18th June 2015

Growth Hacking: What is it and how can you use it to turbocharge your business?

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You might have seen the term ‘growth hacking’ pop up on Twitter or on Facebook, or perhaps you’ve heard it mentioned at a conference or networking event.

What you’ve probably been wondering is, “what the hell is growth hacking, do I need to pay attention or is it just another distraction I can safely ignore?”

Which sums up my questions when I first heard the term the term. That is until I read this case study about Airbnb.

To summarise, when Airbnb realised that the people they wanted to use their website were already using Craiglist. Rather than using expensive advertising to win over the user base they got clever.

When someone posted a listing on Airbnb they had the option to automatically post it to Craiglist as well, with a link back to Airbnb added.

Lots of people used the auto post option, building lots of links on Craiglist, promoting Airbnb and helping their SEO effort as well.

It worked wonders, just look at how their listings grew:

And that is Growth Hacking. Having a good think about how you can reach your audience by being cleverer, rather than by spending more.

How can Growth Hacking help your business?

When you dig under the surface what most people mean when they talk about growth hacking is:

AB testing websites to optimise the conversion rate

  • Analysing social media activity to find out what drives awareness and conversions
  • Using analytics data to understand how the most valuable customers use a website
  • Finding where a target audience go online and putting your message in front of them
  • Using tech, social or offline hacks to reach an audience

It’s all stuff we’ve been doing for years, but have you?

If you have, you know how powerful these tactics can be for growing your customer base. If you haven’t, there’s a huge opportunity for growth.
If done right, growth hacking will help you to:

  • Find new customers
  • Build engagement with your brand
  • Generate more leads or sales
  • Cut your marketing spend

Finding out exactly which tactics will work for your business means looking at things from a different perspective, perhaps working with outside consultants or involving staff from other areas of the business. Anything that disrupts your normal way of thinking will help you find the inspiration you’re looking for.

Start with your audience: Who are they? What are their interests? Where do they go?
Do they read blogs or engage in forums? Do they browse the web on a mobile? Are they looking for your product or service at home or at work?

You can use online customer research to understand them in a little more detail (exit surveys can be really helpful here) and gain a real insight into their behaviour and interests.

From there, you’ll find all sorts of ideas about how you could reach more customers, improve the way you do things, increase customer engagement… in short, ways to grow your business.

But we all know that most projects that need you to focus on your own business rarely make it off the bottom of the to-do list. Which is where we can help. We’ve worked with companies like Wren LivingPure Collection and Distinction Doors to help them find ways to grow their business and we can do the same for you, so get in touch if you’d like to know more about how we can help you grow your business.