Business Professionals Share Growth Hacking Strategies

The research accompanies the short aggregated results published on Forbes Business Development council.

Introduction

Dear Readers. The Code Inspiration team is happy to present new research. The research is about Growth Hacking. The core of the research is interesting and efficient growth hacking strategies and approaches, provided by multiple experts, accompanied with explanations how they use this or that strategy. Will discuss the following growth hacking strategies:

  1. Focus on real problems, pains
  2. Adjacent marketing
  3. In-app currency
  4. Sharing options
  5. Social media marketing
  6. Networking in socials
  7. Networking in messengers
  8. Advertisement
  9. Content marketing
  10. Video Marketing
  11. Public development roadmap
  12. Keywords’ and Titles’ modification
  13. Podcasts
  14. HARO press opportunities
  15. Sharp focus on retention
  16. Partnerships
  17. Building in public
  18. Exclusivity and Restrictiveness
  19. Product Hunt listing
  20. Online contests
  21. Digital courses
  22. Gamification
  23. Email marketing
  24. Referrals
  25. Focus on a single channel
  26. Use no-code, low-code solutions
  27. Give something for free
  28. A/B testing
  29. Ads as microexperiments
  30. SEO
  31. Competitor analysis
  32. Ideal customer concentration
  33. Focus on decision-makers
  34. Personal brand
  35. Offline events and networking
  36. Webinars
  37. Use TikTok
  38. Use Reddit as a source
  39. Create an online tool
  40. Pay attention to KPIs
  41. Charity
  42. Capitalize on FOMO – Fear of missing out
  43. Fake It Till You Make It
  44. Pivot
  45. Create an Aggregator for companies like yours
  46. AI for Ads
  47. Learn failure stories
  48. Build a culture around testing practices
  49. Create a Google Chrome extension
  50. Build a growth hacking team

Will discuss each growth hack in detail. Just in case here is a an infographic with all the mentioned growth hacks: Growth hacking strategies. Am image with a list of 50 growth hacks

Sources of Research

To carry out the research we used: 

  1. Our team’s knowledge gathered while working with startups and large companies and developing software for them; 
  2. Insights, gathered in interviews with 130+ experts from all over the world;
  3. Product management and startup expertise of our team-member – Artur Prokopchyk, business development manager who has his own food-tech startup. 

By the way, Artur is responsible for the part of the research, so feel free to contact him if you have questions, clarifications, would like to criticize or say thanks, include your response in the research.

Growth Hacking Best Practices: interviews with experts

The team interviewed more than 130 experts from all over the world: among them are business owners, CEOs, CMOs, SEO specialists, SMM managers, PPC specialists, business developers, startup founders, entrepreneurs. We asked them to comment on the growth hacking strategies they applied. The questions were the following:

We are doing research on how business applies growth hacking methods today. In fact, there are no universal growth hacking tools remaining. Nevertheless, they don’t call growth hackers for nothing, which means they constantly come up with something new. So the questions are: 1. What growth hacking technique(s) have you tried? What were the results, did it work for your business? 

Growth Hacking: Present and Future

In another block we asked expert’s opinion on the current state of growth hacking and its future: 

What is your opinion on the current state of growth hacking? Do you agree that all possible GH methods have already been invented and GH today is all about automation as much as possible and data-driven ideas testing? In the research we try to find out and analyze some unique, elegant growth hacking techniques.

While we were writing the research we noticed that this block is relevant but should be placed in a separate piece of content, because the current one is focused on growth hacking strategies only. So stay tuned and we will publish experts’ opinion on the growth hacking and its evolution and prospects soon.

For Whom the Research is?

Needless to say, your personal brand is important, your company brand works hand in hand with your personal brand. These days, having a strong brand is important. But for most, creating a brand is expensive and takes time. Lucky there’s a simple solution to this; the do-it-yourself method. Today, you can easily start your own brand by using the many online design platforms available. You can easily design a logo, create stationary products, social network branding, signage or any other branding elements you need. This method takes the hassle out of contacting an agency and allows you to stay in control each step of the way.

We are sure the research about growth hacking best practices will be useful for:

  • Product managers
  • Startup founders
  • Marketers
  • CEOs
  • SEO specialists
  • SMM specialists
  • PR managers
  • Brand managers
  • Business owners
  • Business development managers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Probably journalists.

In fact, the research is useful for anyone who is interested in business growth and growth hacking strategies as a way to achieve it.

Growth Hacking Strategies PDF

Just in case we prepared a PDF infographic. Feel free to download – it is available for free. Code Inspiration team is happy if this stuff helps you!

Growth Hacking Strategies infographic.pdf

What is Growth Hacking

The term “Growth Hacking” appeared in the beginning of 2010th. In fact, business owners, marketers, development managers began to look for cheap but effective ways to attract customers. Well, they have always been, but only then this “phenomenon has” received the name “growth hacking”.

Among plenty of sources, we didn’t manage to find a better definition of growth hacking than the Wikipedia’s one:

Growth hacking is a subfield of marketing focused on the rapid growth of a company.

Let’s proceed from this definition.

What is Growth Hacking, According to Experts

Let’s also have a look at how business professionals who took part in the research define growth hacking:

  • Growth hacking is a novel and unconventional approach to achieving large outcomes by avoiding the use of traditional procedures. The ultimate goal of growth hacking tactics is to market your product without having to spend more time or money on it. – Mr. Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager at Buyer’s Guide.
  • Growth hacking at the end of the day is about gaining mass exposure as quickly as possible that will ultimately lead to growth and typically isn’t a conventional method others are using. – Mr. Michael Kawula, Co-Founder at CBA Venture.
  • Growth hacking is an experiment-driven method for determining the most successful strategies to build a business. Marketing, development, design, engineering, data, and analytics are all part of the process. Instead of following traditional processes, a growth hacker develops a rapid, cost-effective, and imaginative way to achieve growth, which is why it’s called growth hacking. – Mr. Tanner Arnold, President & CEO of Revelation Machinery.
  • Growth hacking is an unorthodox approach to marketing. Unlike other forms of marketing, growth hacking focuses on a single objective at a time. It unlocks growth by combining data, creativity, and innovation. Following that, the results are examined and documented before moving on to the next plan. Today’s GH procedures rely more heavily on automation. – Ms. Jennifer Harder, Founder & CEO of Jennifer Harder Mortgage Brokers.
  • Basically, growth hacking means using low cost, marketing related techniques to leverage significant and scalable growth. – John Popel of Benchhacks.
  • Hacking growth is akin to unnatural growth accomplished by introducing new nuances and mechanics into a product that increase virality and reach. –  Mr. Scott Belsky, Adobe Chief Product Officer.

Enough theory, practical growth hacking strategies await!

Growth Hacking Strategies: Experts Share Insights and Best Practices

So let’s get to the main part of the research. There are many growth hacking strategies. Here, we will highlight some unique, worthy, elegant and efficient growth hacking techniques you probably haven’t heard about.

Growth hacking techniques’ description will be accompanied with comments of business professionals who applied the given strategy, sharing some insights.

Address Real Problems

Basic enough growth hacking technique that means defining users’ or customer’s pains to be able to address them as well as possible by means of products or services offered. 

Mr. Matthew Paxton – founder of Hypernia and a personal finance expert. Matthew has tried quite a lot of those famous growth hacking techniques for his startup business. He recommends to find the answer to real-world problems related to your business:

This GH technique particularly worked for my business and helped me grow my audience and possible customers. People primarily use the internet to find solutions to their issues. If you can make it simple for them to resolve this and help them locate more in the future, they’ll return. The final step is to sell them your goods or service, since they will readily pay for it.

In fact, this growth hacking technique is not so simple. Quite a lot of marketing activities has to be done for this: forming a unique value proposition, competitor analysis, positioning, target audience and its segmentation, offers, ideal customer and so on. After these actions, it is possible to define who is the client and  what pains does the product address,

Adjacent Marketing

Adjacent Markets are those markets which are close in proximity to what a company already does. When you take adjacent marketing as your growth hacking strategy you export your skills and capabilities, not the products and services. In one sentence, this is like optimizing your core competencies in order to create new value for new customers.

If you want to follow the adjacent market strategy, the first thing you need to do is to evaluate the new market. You need to consider factors like how competitive the market is, how big of an opportunity it is considering the potential volume and profits, are there legal barriers that might hassle you, and more. Then, you need to consider your own skills and existing channels. If you can find the best and latest ways to optimize those skills, then you can easily reach new sales growth opportunities.

Let’s use an example to make things even simpler. Consider a language company that has hundreds of associates who can speak more than one language. The services of the company include translation services, language training, and more. Now the question is, what skills does this company have to create a new source of value? Well, they can start a hospitality/tourism consultancy service as these industries need bilingual speakers to communicate with people from different places of the world. So for the company, exploring this adjacent market can be a great opportunity.

The response about adjacent marketing was provided by Mr. Caio Bersot, Chief Marketing Officer at Rank-it, a leading product comparison website in Canada. We provide users with unbiased third-party reviews of the latest products so that they can select the best option for themselves.

In-app currency

A widely used growth hacking method that means creating some essence that can be earned by doing something in the given application. 

Basically it’s main idea is to engage users. Having in-app currency benefits it: users like to be rewarded. This in-app currency can be earned by user’s basic actions, such as registration, creating profile, entering the app, and by user’s additional actions, such as entering the app’s Facebook group, adding social networks to a profile, inviting a friend etc. 

Here is a cherry on the cake with this growth hacking strategy: providing users with a possibility to spend currency earned in an app somewhere else outside it, for instance, get a discount or buy cinema tickets. 

Mr. Josh Wood is Founder and CEO of Bloc, – an app that connects people before events and rewards people for attending venues. Developing an in-app currency has become their growth hacking strategy:

We have a successful growth hack implemented within our app whereby we leverage our own in-app currency. Our users can earn our in-app currency by performing certain actions within the app and then they can exchange this currency for real money once they have hit certain levels. One of the best ways of earning this currency is via inviting friends. We use Branch.io to track whether an invite is successful and reward both parties when someone new joins the app. We get around 5k free installs a month via this method and this is growing rapidly. We also plan to create a marketplace whereby our users can spend the initial in-app currency on physical goods such as event tickets and designer clothes. 

Actually this is a wide enough area of knowledge related to users’ engagement, retention  and monetization. Probably the simplest example is mobile games where developers may introduce multiple types of currency which may be earned by spending both time and money. we will not dwell in more detail and move on to the next growth hacking strategy.

Adding Sharing Options

Well, it’s simple: provide users with a possibility to share your content with no effort. In fact, it has already become a default marketing action.

Mr. Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager at Buyer’s Guide, explains an importance of sharing options in a product and explains how Pinterest used it at the beginning:

Growing your small startup by including sharing into its functioning is, in my opinion, one of the most important business tactics for Growth Hacking. Sharing implies that your material may be linked directly to social media sites, allowing your users to handle your marketing for you.

When individuals show their support for anything on social media, they are suggesting it to their friends, boosting the possibility that someone new may find your page or product and check it out.

Pinterest is an example of a company that has effectively implemented this growth hacking method. This is an era of online marketing, and you may take advantage of it to benefit your company. You may easily create trust with your audience if your material is too good and has the potential to go viral. In the long run, this will also increase your social media involvement.

Mr. Robert Gate, Founder of Archery Topic, one of the best online platforms for new archers in the US. As a business owner, he has tried lots of hacks in my business and he is fond of growth hacking. Robert is sure that growing and running a business involves lots of hacks. Here’s one growth hacking technique he has tried:

When it comes to growth hacking, all that matters is about finding ways for your product to inherently go viral. You need to understand how today’s digitally-driven world works. The secret here is to ensure people can easily share your product. Create content and make it shareable and embeddable. It should be directly related to what your business is offering and should not overlay-self promotional. For example, if you’re into the plumbing business, create content that teaches people how to take care of their pipes. Then don’t forget to put a floating social share button in it. And make it more enticingly shareable by adding a compelling title and an attractive header image. Lastly, amplify it by adding a refer a friend incentive campaign.

Social Media Marketing as a Growth Hacking

Social media is a great tool to promote any product or service. A great challenge is to find, address and attract relevant traffic from socials. Below some experts share insights how they deal with this challenge.

Kirby Wilkerson – PR Strategist and Founder at The Impact Kind – PR and Digital Marketing Firm from the USA. They have tried many things to help clients grow but in terms of sales, consistent posting on social platforms like YouTube, is a great traffic and sales generator that doesn’t cost much and so is influencer marketing. We’ve tried the hype of Instagram Reels but sometimes the views are minimal if the client or their staff isn’t willing to create short videos consistently.

Social media has quickly become one of the most essential and successful growth hacking techniques available to date. I use it to leverage social media communities to promote my business, receive market feedback, and interact with industry influencers. It takes time to develop content and build an audience though. For this growth hacking technique to be beneficial, I had to align my social media activities with the directional growth I want my company to take. – According to the response of Mr. Taylor Ryan, a growth hacker and 6x startup founder from Washington, D.C, who currently serves as the CEO of Copenhagen-based marketing and growth hacking agency Klint.

One more speaker who believes that using SMM is a great growth hack is Mr. Kashish Gupta,  Founder and CEO of HighTouch – a software that moves data from a warehouse to the tools a business needs. His experience using SMM:

Taking advantage of presence and positioning on social media is a highly effective growth marketing tactic in today’s digital environment. Achieving this can be done through an educated use of hashtags and tagging, as well as engagement in popular trends on a frequent basis to keep posts at the top of feeds. Understanding this, or working with a social media manager who does, is a great way to find success in social media growth hacking.

Ms. Jennifer Harder, – Founder & CEO of Jennifer Harder Mortgage Brokers – company that offers guidance when it comes to mortgages. She is also sure that SMM is a must for business growth:

We find that leveraging third-party platforms and audiences is an excellent growth hacking method. In today’s world, social media plays a significant role in our lives, and we may leverage other people’s networks to grow our audience and attract clients. Everywhere, you can find other people’s networks. 

Like we have already mentioned, a general idea of SMM as a growth hacking strategy is that there is traffic in social networks that your business needs. And the great challenge is how to get the traffic from social networks, both via paid and free options. Here is where SMM growth hacking focuses.

Let’s also have a look at some other growth hacking strategies and more specific examples that lie in the social media marketing direction, provided by experts:

Build a community around a brand

The task is to create, manage and maintain a community related to a brand. Sounds simple but it is more complicated than creating a group in Facebook and Instagram profiles and posting links to new blog posts. Users expect to see interesting and useful content and not only promotional one. Which, by the way, should be no more than 30%. What’s more, today users expect engagement and participation and not just reading news. So, what business professionals can advise and where is this growth hacking?

Mr. Tanner Arnold, President & CEO of Revelation Machinery – a platform to buy and sell used metalworking machinery. Mr. Arnold explains why to build a community around a brand using social media growth hacking:

For businesses, social media is a vital component of their marketing mix. You may use social media networks to advertise yourself, get input from the market, and connect with industry influencers. Content creation and audience growth take time. To do this, you must endeavor to integrate your social media activities with your entire growth strategy.

Creating a Facebook group around your company where your audience can engage with your brand is one of the best social media growth hacking tactics for exploiting social media for your business success. You must verify that you are adding value to their lives through that group. Those who are unfamiliar with your brand are likely to learn about it if they are motivated by the material in your group.

Mr. Kourosh Ghaffari, founder of Waves – an app that automates community management. His insights:

I worked on another startup where we aggressively used growth hacking to widen our user base. A/B testing landing pages, automated social outreach (with Phantombuster), even attending various offline events. All of these came with downsides. A/B testing small changes is only possible if you already have a high enough number of users on your pages. automated social outreach has extremely low conversion rates and is too ‘sales’ and attending live events is expensive and requires a lot of time.

The one growth hack that really provided us with an extremely ROI was building a user community on Whatsapp and then moving it to Slack as we grew too large. We followed community best practices and set up automated onboarding experiences for members, and prompted members to produce user-generated content within the community. After just 2 months, the average member referred at least 3 other members, we had an extremely large library of user-generated content and were able to push out all of our new material and events for free to our existing community. 

Because of the power of community, I decided to leave my previous role and start Waves. The above mentioned approach works extremely well for businesses where it is an obvious value add to introduce members to each other and help them build relationships.

There is one more speaker who recommends creating communities in social networks to benefit growth – Mr. Jeff Meeks, VP of Sales and Marketing at EnergyFit – exercise equipment online store:

While the term hacking has become popularized as of late, growth hacking is truly just an understanding of SEO and social media marketing systems. Among these hacking techniques, one of the best is to find ways to use social media to generate a self-sustaining, self-growing community. This entails careful social media management, community engagement, and trendsetting, but proper use can help you create a community that grows itself.

There are more insight on building communities around a company in social networks:

Your customers want to feel like they are part of a community, involved in your brand, and – to an extent – cared for. If you want to truly hack your social media growth, the secret is to get your customers to do the work for you. Build a loyal, excited community around your social media brand and they will grow your social media presence themselves through sharing, discussion, and participation. During the early stages, this takes a lot of intentionality and engagement, but in the end can yield highly successful results.

This was a response of Ms. Amy Block – Director of Marketing and Communications for Navitar, Inc. where she handles company and product branding and many other marketing activities. Her company designs and manufactures thousands of unique lens systems and integrated camera and lens solutions.

Mr. Boye Fajinmi, I’m the Co-Founder and President of The Future Party – a media brand at the intersection of business and culture, NVE Experience Agency. 

Among the most interesting techniques for growth hacking is creating a self-sustaining community around your brand, and your brand narrative. The most extreme example of this (though the most easily understood) would be starting a conspiracy theory surrounding your brand narrative, forcing the discussion, inciting, and sharing of your brand’s content by consumers and followers in such a way that your engagement becomes far less necessary. Of course, this is quite the intensive example, but the point remains. Creating a brand narrative that invites the consumer to engage, incites conversation, and creates community members instead of merely customers is a great way to “hack” your social media strategy such that it grows itself.

One more response that describes building a specific community around a brand. Ms. Barbara Sawala from Uploadcare IAAS company:

Here at Uploadcare, the IAAS company for developers, we’re just starting to build a community. For each niche you should look somewhere else to gain your audience. For us it’s places like GitHub, Reddit, Stack Overflow, Twitter and LinkedIn. Our end goal is to form a community to enable like-minded developers to connect, share ideas, collaborate on projects, and support each other. We want to build a dev-to-dev platform that would unite engineers around our brand.
We’ve already started by asking developers to contribute to our blog. Their articles are usually very technical, with real life examples and bits of code. We’re actively promoting the articles across our social media platforms, and we plan to launch paid advertising to bring more traffic and exposure to dev’s work. With this method, we not only encourage developers to join our community but we also receive high quality content for the website.
The next step is hiring a professional DevRel. This is where we are at the moment. We want to master developer communication and be the first place the digital product owners/developers would go when facing any code issue or just to find other people working on similar projects, hoping that it will also attract Uploadcare power users on the way.

Micro Communities

Tapping into micro communities is the most effective and budget-friendly growth hacking technique today. A micro community is essentially a small group of people highly passionate about a specific topic, such as desert farming for example – ensures Mr. John-Paul Cody. He is the creator of Trends & Tactics website with the mission of helping people demystify entrepreneurship and money so they can live life on their terms. John currently works in the data analytics and marketing space. Regarding managing Micro Communities as a growth hacking method he shares his experience launching a book: 

I leveraged this exact technique in my publishing business using Facebook groups to catapult my book “Habits of Champions” (written under my pen name) into the top 100 bestselling books in the Free Kindle Store during its launch (1,000+ downloads during the first week). Facebook groups connected me with micro communities of people extremely passionate about my book topic before it was published, which happened to be habit development. As a result, hundreds of people across these groups asked to be emailed once my book was available. When it came time to launch my book, I had a large email list of people eager to download the book, which immediately sparked momentum in the Amazon charts. If you have a great product, all you need is an initial spark to get the sales snowballing rolling.

Instagram Guerilla marketing

An interesting growth hacking strategy that we hardly can give a definition to. Let the expert do it better:

Mr. Eloy Caudet from wfDesign – marketing agency from Germany – shares a really interesting technique that might become your new growth hacking strategy. It proved its efficiency while working with clients. So, here is Instagram Instagram Guerrilla Marketing:

To start with, you will need:

  1. A good-looking Instagram Business Profile with good content
  2. A list of 10-30 competitor accounts of competitors in your niche. 70% should have between 3k-10K followers, the rest should have over 10k.

Steps:

  1. Start with one of your small competitors (3k-6k followers): Go to their Instagram page, click on “Followers” to see the account’s followers.
  2. Start following everybody from the top until the bottom. Try not to follow more than 100 accounts/hour.
  3. Most of the users will click on your profile whenever they get a new follower notification. If your content is good enough, they will like it (The odds are very high, since they follow some of your competitors, who should have similar content) and finally follow you.
  4. After 2-3 days, unfollow these users. If you keep posting good content, they will not unfollow you because they like your content.

Whenever you are done with your small competitors, you can start with the big ones. The  problem is that their audience is usually less engaged than the audience from smaller profiles, so less people will follow you back. This method is very time-consuming, but it is 100% free.

Social networks competitor analysis

Didn’t you forget about competitor analysis, did you? – If so, competitor analysis has a section dedicated to the online presence of your competitors and in particular, their presence in social networks. Or their non-presence.

Mr. Teo Vanyo, CEO of Stealth Agents – a virtual assistant service company that can significantly minimize overhead costs for business. Teo confirms this growth hack works:

We have employed growth hacking techniques such as identifying and actively leveraging social media venues that our competitors do not use. Our brand is exposed to a huge audience due to the growing presence of social media on a global scale.

Twitter Automation

Mr. Michael Kawula is a Co-Founder at CBA Venture. He shares an interesting example how they increased user base using their own tool that automates some Twitter activities:

Today, with digital, it’s possible when you don’t navigate towards everyone else’s playbook to hack growth. In my previous startup, Social Quant, we quickly went from 2 users to 10,000 users within 12 months with a Twitter automation tool by not doing what others were doing. We ate our own dog food with automation but set up clusters to retweet influencers in post we tagged gaining them exposure and in return relationships that referred us massive amounts of business daily. While competitors focused on following what each other did, we did it differently and asked how we can do this bigger and quicker?

Any entrepreneur can do this when pushed. Social Quant was fun though after a great 3-year ride Twitter pulled the plug. I’m now building my new startup, CBA Ventures, where we start viral YouTube Channels for investors looking for big monthly income.

Indeed, this growth hacking strat is no longer relevant, however, we still decided to include it in the research. Who knows, maybe after reading this you will come up with some other idea(s) for promoting your product. Or even a new comprehensive growth hacking strategy.

LinkedIn

Being a world major social network for business professionals, many experts use it as a great source of leads, connections, insights, discussions and so on. In other words, for the needs of growth hacking, mainly for B2B companies. One of our contributors is ready to uncover some insights that convert using Linkedin into a growth hacking strategy, welcome Mr. Ryan Patel, the Founder of Lottery Sambad, one of India’s most trusted financial sites. As a digital marketer, Ryan knows that growth is very crucial in a business’s long-term survival. Driven by it, he embraced and adopted B2B growth hacking strategies:

Master the power of LinkedIn. There’s no other great online network when it comes to B2B companies than LinkedIn. A recent study showed that it drives 80% of B2B social media leads. You need to work and build your presence here and to connect to people relevant to your industry. Build your brand by focusing on empathy and provide values instead of trying to sell your product. Also, focus on improving your conversion rates by making an outstanding profile picture. It’s the most crucial thing to consider in having a good start on LinkedIn. Be creative and use a high-quality and professional picture that shows emotion and empathy. Then amplify it with your cover photo. You can add social proof about your company and product then add some CTA buttons like Contact us or Learn more. This alone can do wonders for you. And the best part is, you can use your connections in LinkedIn in creating a custom audience on Facebook that can deliver an ad that’s highly targeted.

Networking in Social Networks

This strategy somehow continues the previous one about Linkedin, but still deserves a separate spot. A strategy is to look for relevant contacts and network with them via establishing connections and discussions in socials. The strategy is more relevant for B2B projects. Indeed, Linkedin is the most suitable social network for this, however, possibilities of Xing, Twitter and surely Facebook shouldn’t be underestimated. The strategy itself is simple:

  1. Find relevant people
  2. Connect with them with a request of the type: “Hello, I’m doing X and would like to discuss/get your feedback on Y. Would you mind if I ask a couple of questions”. – Most likely the reply will be positive, because people usually like it when they are asked for advice and help. 
  3. Send questions.
  4. Continue discussion.
  5. Leave them a review describing how they helped you with their expertise, where it is possible.

As a result, a certain number of experts will be notified about your services in an unobtrusive way

This GH strategy is useful for both running business and at the stage of idea validation when building a new B2B startup. This is what our team member Artur Prokopchik is doing now to enter the Russian market with his startup.

By the way, this growth hack might be automated with some Linkedin tools. 

Messengers Networking

In fact this is almost the same growth hacking strategy as described above: it’s all about looking for necessary contacts in messengers and trying to network with them.

The thing is that messengers also have some “power” you can use. Is there a sectoral chat in WhatsApp, Telegram where specialists, business owners of your niche/region take part and discuss latest news and share insights? If so, do your best to enter it and introduce yourself and what you do, what questions and requests can they contact you. If no, consider creating and leading one.

There is also an interesting thing with Telegram: check aggregators of Telegram channels on the internet and find the one(s) relevant for your business. Or add the one you have just created.

Advertisement

A simple and, in fact, default strategy to pay for traffic and show some information to a wide audience. Includes many marketing activities, such as Unique selling offer preparation, positioning, preparation of creatives and content, preparation of landing page(s). Nevertheless, this might be a growth hacking strategy. Mr. Muhammad Ali Sangi is sure about that. He is a Digital Marketing Specialist for Streaming Digitally, – company that provides a solution of how to access Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and other major streaming services that are region-specific. He has been working hard to grow in the field of Marketing. Here is what he says:

Growth hacking majorly depends on data and the best practices to collect it is by using different advertising and marketing channels. For startups, the major traffic of the website is from Advertisements, you have to identify your target audience and find out which platform to target that can increase your reach as brands are what people see all over the internet and you can be one of them through the right place of publication and positioning the right audience for your website.

Content Marketing

It is a constant activity to create and publish content which helps users engage with a company. Usually it is carried out via articles, but there are many other types of content: presentations, videos, infographics, schemes, guides and so on. How can content marketing be a growth hacking strategy?

Indeed, many business professionals in the research say that content marketing might be a growth hacking strategy. Our next speaker is not an exception. It is Mr. James Philip – serial entrepreneur, accredited investor. James is the Founder & Managing Director of Heavy Hitter Holdings which owns over a dozen companies and brands spanning the consulting, consumer goods and hospitality industries, including Employment BOOST – the leading boutique professional career services and outplacement company in the US. His thought regarding content marketing as a growth hack:

Hands on, brute force content marketing has worked for us and continues to work for many others – especially video. If you’re a smaller company competing against the large established businesses, you have no choice but to roll up your sleeves and become scrappy. The things that still work for growth hacking are doing the things others don’t want to do and also doing them very well. Outwork your competitors and you’ll give yourself a chance to win.

One more business professional who “votes” for content marketing is Mr. Brian Donovan, CEO, Timeshatter – a company that helps clients to get out of their timeshare contracts. Brian saysthey started with paid ads, mostly in socials, and then transferred to content marketing:

When I first started my company, my team and I mainly tried paid advertising for growth hacking. We paid for ads to appear mainly on Facebook, and we ended up spending a lot of money on it during the foundational stages of the business. It ended up not succeeding very well at bringing in a lot of new leads, so we switched our efforts to content marketing and that has proven much more effective.

Mr. Adam Garcia also develops content marketing in his business. He founded TheStockDork as a resource with down-to-earth, easy-to-understand and unbiased information for all investors.

Over the years, while learning the tricks of the trade, we’ve tried almost as many GH strategies as we heard of, and there’s one thing we are certain of: in our experience, there isn’t such a thing as a GH formula, much less one that would work for everyone! For us, the three methods that propelled our business from run-of-the-mill to good to great were: 1) a robust content marketing strategy that included publishing at least 1-3 high-quality articles every day and targeting the lowest hanging keyphrases and topic clusters, 2) consistent effort to get high-value links through collaboration with other reputable websites from our niche, and 3) motivate and inform every single step with data, analyses and testing. The funny thing is that all these techniques pretty much subvert the whole “hacking” aspect!

Let’s sum up this section with the opinion of Mr. Muhammad Ali Sangi, Digital Marketing Specialist for Streaming Digitally

The content is king. Content has always been the backbone for growth hacking. Make sure your meta title, the meta description should be so juicy that the user really wants to click the link to read more.

Blogging

Let’s discuss exactly blogging that is publishing stuff on a certain topic constantly. 

Mr. Mark Whitman is a founder of Contentellect – a content marketing agency that specializes in writing SEO blog content for online businesses. Again, such a default marketing activity as writing might be a growth hacking strategy:

Blogging is a simple, inexpensive growth hack that we use to get our clients noticed by their audience. We find that businesses benefit from using blogging as a growth hacking technique by combining content creation and marketing together. Writing valuable SEO content can drive traffic to your website but it needs to be consistent to work. We find the more value you provide and the more consistent you post content, the more traffic you will get.

Ms. Emma Williams is an avid positive psychology practitioner with more than 25 years of international experience in both consulting and leadership roles. She is Chief Research Officer at HIGH5 which goal is to help people become more self-aware by making transformational tools available to the public. Emma insists that blogging is worth investing:

One growth hacking technique that I have tried is providing blogs consistently. Customers will not love our brand if they are unable to locate us. If you haven’t yet, create a blog and start blogging today.

Blogging is the cheapest and most straightforward way to reach out to an audience and engage with influencers. Before ever talking to a human, today’s consumer goes straight to the Internet for information at the start of the buying process. There, you’ll find them.

Emma underlines that constant publication of content is a key to success of a blog:

Please, do everyone a favor and don’t start a fantastic blog with a few weeks’ full of mind-blowing content and then abandon it. Your readers want to hear or get updates from you frequently once you’ve hooked them. They are more likely to trust, choose, and refer you to their friends if they read more articles about your company. If you go away, your readers will go with you.

Ms. Daniela Sawyer, Founder and Business Development Strategist of FindPeopleFast, a web-based people searching website. She says that blogging has become her key growth hacking strategy:

There are many growth techniques I’ve tried for my brand, but among them is blogging. I blog so much as if my brand depends on it. Customers will not love my brand or me when they can’t see and find my brand. I wrote every day about my brand. Blogging worked for my business. It gave my business the visibility I lacked. I got new customers, followers, and higher sales through it. I achieved this without spending much.

Mr. Calloway Cook, President of Illuminate Labs – a supplement company in the US with third-party test results of every product listed. Mr. Cook says they decided to push content marketing and it has become a growth hack for his E-Commerce business.

We’ve tried many growth hacking techniques from influencer marketing to flash sales to organic social media marketing. None of the above listed methods worked for us, but what has worked really well for our brand is content marketing. We started publishing high-quality health content less than two months ago on our blog, and we’ve increased our monthly pageviews from around 3,000/month to around 30,000/month. Since we’re an eCommerce brand this qualified traffic has led to a significant increase in sales at no marketing cost. The content we’re publishing is better-researched and more engaging by far than the existing content for the queries we’re targeting, which is why we’ve been able to achieve such dramatic organic traffic increases with no marketing spend on standard things like backlinking.

Guest Writing

The method is to write articles and publish them on third-party platforms – they publish your content and mention you. As a result, you boost online presence and get backlinks. 

If you’re a regular contributor that writes editorials for websites with high domain authority, you can link your website at the bottom of each article you write. You have to be well-connected to do so; otherwise, writing high quality responses for reporters through services like HARO also works. – According to Mr. Matthew Ramirez – a serial entrepreneur and investor, as well as Forbes 30 under 30 alumni. His company, Rephrase Media, develops cutting edge AI applications for creators

Video Marketing

Video marketing has already become a default activity for many businesses. The idea of this is simple: make and publish videos related to your business, products and services. Making video was considered to be a growth hack about 10-15 years ago. Now you won’t surprise anyone by video, but it is still a great tool – users will more likely watch a video from a brand than read a text post. Today video production is available even for small businesses. Here are just some basic video ideas for almost any business:

  • CEO’s introductory word.
  • CEO/Managers sharing company’s philosophy or explaining what value can the company deliver.
  • Introduction of managers, explanation of their area of responsibility.
  • Manager(s) explaining what issue you can contact them with.
  • Video describing your products or services.
  • Guide(s) how to use your product(s).
  • Production process video.
  • Guide how to get to your office. 
  • Clients’ reviews.

All these ideas are simple, there is no need to order costly video production – a smartphones’ camera and probably a tripod is enough to create it. More insights and advice on video marketing in the article describing our video marketing experience.

Public Development Roadmap

Probably not a comprehensive growth hacking strategy, but still worthy activity. Have you got any development plan for your product? – Consider publishing it and inviting users to discuss and share feedback on it. What features do they like or don’t like, what features would they add or maybe remove. This approach is really engaging and capable of bringing much valuable feedback.

Creating Evergreen Content

The growth hacking technique means writing content that is always relevant to readers and search requests. Being challenging enough, this strategy is able to generate much traffic to a website. A worthy strategy, though requires many SEO and content production efforts.

What experts say about this growth hacking strategy? Let’s see. Mr. Gerald Lombardo, Co-Founder of The Word Counter – a dynamic online tool used for counting words, characters, sentences, paragraphs, and pages in real-time, along with spelling and grammar checking. In less than a year, they achieved 30,000 users per month, starting from 0. He says:

A growing content marketing trend is creating evergreen content. Now more than ever, business owners need to understand how to turn their businesses into sources of information more than just product-hubs. Build organic traffic to your website through informative and engaging content creation based on keyword research, and revenue is sure to follow. We frequently use original research and data in our content. The data is fact-based and usually displayed in visual charts that tell a story. This makes it easy to convey the findings and it is differentiated from normal text. The uniqueness is the key and it must add distinct value.

The key to great content, regardless of whether the goal is marketing or entertainment, is to understand your narrative. How should the consumption of your content marketing make your targets feel? What actions should the assets inspire? Knowing, ideally with data, how different groups of people react to your brand, learn your value proposition, and are motivated to take action is the best lesson I’ve learned.

Gerald also tells about a particular case. They created an article about typography design trends for 2021 which gained a lot of attention and almost 90 websites mentioned the article in their materials. Throughout the article, they used a lot of visual guides to complement our in-depth coverage of each design trend. This is a topic that a lot of people are searching for, and a lot of websites want to link to it as a resource. Gerald also explains: 

One important consideration for quickly growing a site is to make sure your intended content is searchable. As much as you want to carve out a niche in your industry to stand out, you must consider the likelihood that the average user will search for content that will include your site in the search results. Essentially, you must find the value for your content. High publishing frequency for a new site is also very important. The more results that are populated about your site, the more traffic you will get because users will see your site as an authority. It typically takes a new site about 3-6 months to gain initial traction and about 6-9 months to gain significant traction.

Keywords’ and Titles’ Modification

This approach means adding necessary keywords to titles of your content. Sounds like it is complicated because it requires some significant work of SEO professionals, but everything is much simpler. Our next speaker is Mr. Sandeepan Jindal – a founder of a SaaS-based product company, called BidFortune. It is an aggregator of government contracts. Sandeepan has worked extensively on growth hacking at the company and shares some simple examples:

People search for the latest stuff. And to do that, they use the current year in their search query. For e.g., if somebody is searching for mobile phones, their search query might be like “Mobile Phones 2021”. This way they are trying to search for the latest phones of 2021. Or for e.g., if somebody is searching for the latest travel deals – they may go for something like “travel deals 2021”. Thus, if we can tune and update our content a bit and make it suited to the next year ( for e.g. 2022), there is a good probability of getting good traffic. Here, the content writers have to update the content a little and in their post headline, add the year 2022. For e.g., if somebody had a post on “Cheap destinations to visit”, they can update their article a little, and make the headline as “Cheap destinations to visit in 2022”. This will rank higher as people search, and lead to higher traffic.

Similarly, if you add the word “free” in your content headline, it leads to good traffic. People always search for free stuff, and hence adding the word free – and providing them value with free stuff, can lead to good traffic. For e.g., “The free gifts you have been missing in your shopping in Los Angeles” or “The free guide to get cheap tickets”.

Podcasts

Creating podcasts is probably the most uncovered content marketing channel among the all mentioned. Creating podcasts means recording audio with some useful stuff, be it monologues, interviews, discussions or anything else.

Mr. James Khoury, representing an online retailer and CEO of Zendbox – intelligent eCommerce fulfilment solution driven by AI. He says:

To tap into the ears of our target audience we found that podcasts have been a successful way to connect. Being a global business we have to implement growth hacking in order to survive, let alone expand and grow. Our customers are extremely busy and don’t often have the time to browse social media or even sit and watch videos, but they can listen and multitask and so we produce relevant and informative podcasts.

This has been a positive move for us as it has allowed us to speak to industry leaders and enabled Zendbox to establish themselves as an authority within the industry.

What we would like to pay your attention is how grealy Zendbox knows the target audience. This understanding, most likely based on long deep marketing research, let them generate the described podcasts growth hacking strategy. So, if we continue the thought, a growth hacker should not underestimate basic marketing activities such as UVP, target audience and its segmentation, Ideal Customer Profile, Customer Journey Map, Positioning and so on. Growth hacking is based on perfect understanding of a business’s point A – the starting point. Otherwise, it’s impossible to define how to move to point B – business growth, and, respectively, what GH strategies to apply.

Quizzes and Polls

Creating quizzes and polls is an engaging mechanic that attracts users to your brand. It doesn’t expect to sell anything. 

Mr. Thibaut Davoult, Head of Growth at Livestorm – an end-to-end video engagement platform that enables you to connect, engage, and capture actionable insights in one place. They tried a lot of growth hack and right now they are working on a quiz:

Too many to list and the answers would depend on your exact definition of growth hacking. We have tried programmatic SEO (generating pages on the website with as little manual work as possible aiming to rank for high value keywords on Google), to custom experiences done for lead generation (we’re about to release the Video Engagement Quiz, which asks 7 questions to the visitor, about how engaging their online events are, it then gives a score from 0 to 100 based on these answers, with tips on improving it), to automated prospection based on companies intent (example: scraping job offers for mentions of keywords that Livestorm can help with and contacting the company that published it). 

Mr. Shiv Gupta, CEO of Incrementors SEO Services – digital marketing agency that provides a wide range of services from SEO to software development. Shiv recommends to poke your Audience in the Grey Matter:

Studies have revealed that readers virtually feel compelled to answer a question. What is the reason for this? It occurs because of the human brain’s stimulation and desire to provide answers to questions. Gamification has always been an effective advertising channel because of the basic human urge to be right & win. Use this to your advantage by enticing your audience with quizzes and polls to encourage engagement and brand loyalty. Make the content entertaining while keeping the mantra of providing value in mind. This is the opportunity to flaunt your brand’s freak flag.

HARO press opportunities

HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. It is a website – aggregator of journalists’ requests who are looking for expert responses to prepare their materials. Sources – interviewees might get links if the reply is specific, useful, unique and educative by nature and was selected by a journalist. 

Mr. Milosz Krasinski, Managing Director at Chilli Fruit Web Consulting company. Milosz explains how HARO works and what can you get of it:

There are lots of great growth hacking techniques out there in 2021 but, my favourite one has got to be HARO (Help A Reporter Out). HARO is a platform whereby reporters seek quotes and opinions to help them with an article, post or news story. Individuals can sign up to HARO and then respond to queries, in return for a shout out and link within the journalist’s article. I do this on a daily basis and have found it to be a great way of gaining growth without a huge investment in time or cash.

In fact, it is possible to consider using HARO as a growth hack, because many businesses use it to achieve growth’s goals. Mr. Aiden Cole, – the Co-Founder of Tatbrow eyebrow products agrees: 

We use HARO for press opportunities. Through this method, we’ve been able to secure backlinks from journalists who write for major publications.

Mr. Tyler Garns, Founder, and CEO at Box Out Marketing – a company that offers strategic coaching and campaign implementation services. Tyler also relies on HARO capabilities and recommends using it:

You can get a backlink by demonstrating your knowledge on the HARO platform. Additionally, some of the hesitant purchasers may become potential buyers as a result of this strategy. 

Focus on Retention

Retention means how many users keep using the product within a certain period of time. It is a great approach to focus on retention because it is easier to work with existing users unlike attracting new ones. So retention is a great metric to pay attention to. Mr. Joshua Thomas is a Retention Strategist at ProfitWell – company that offers solutions for subscription-based businesses. He insists on an importance of addressing retention:

The single most overlooked area for revenue growth is retention. We talk to a lot of growth leaders at ProfitWell and the majority are focused on acquisition and monetization, but retention is rarely brought to the table. However, focusing on retaining current customers provides a massive opportunity for growth, especially for subscription companies. Even something as simple as automating failed credit card recovery can provide a 15-40% increase in LTV, which has a profound impact on overall revenue growth.

Partnerships

Uniting efforts with similar companies or even with your direct competitors for some activities to reach a joint audience. 

Mr. Curtis Lawson, Managing Editor of Project Gunner – website that highlights accurate knowledge and information concerning firearm education while providing quality product suggestions tailored to your needs. Curtis does his best to establish fruitful brand partnerships and shares his experience:

Making New Brand Partnerships is one of my developing hacking techniques. Because they generate a lot of noise, business alliances and collaborations are the best growth hacking tactics. Many companies have learned that product partnerships and co-marketing are excellent growth marketing strategies. Not only will it generate a lot of talk on social media, but it will also drive relevant organic traffic to your website. It will increase the awareness of your products and services abroad and provide opportunities for news coverage. Those that built new goods around a theme have had some of the most successful collaborations with not-too-shabby ROIs. Any small or medium-sized business can create a successful partnership if it finds the proper partner to add value to its brand and vice versa.

Offline businesses can benefit from this partnership growth hacking strategy too. Mr. Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love – a company that’s bringing high-tech solutions to the lawn care industry: 

This isn’t an option for everyone, but we joined forces with another company recently and have been making the most of their built-in audience as it’s virtually the same as our target audience. This has allowed us to supercharge our own growth with few drawbacks.

Mr. Riley Burke, the Growth Marketing Manager of Ohza Mimosa – canned champagne cocktail company. Hi is experienced in direct-to-consumer marketing and deep level of understanding of consumer behavior. Riley agreed to share his insights on establishing partnerships as a growth hacking strategy: 

Affiliates and partnerships are a quick way to create relationships with other businesses and share a platform to expand audiences. You are able to reach thousands of more consumers using partnerships and one another platforms to share your stories and products. It is usually fairly easy to create partnerships with like-minded companies that have relatively similar audiences without being in the same industry.

Mr. Christian Velitchkov – Co-Founder at Twiz LLC – a full-service digital marketing agency. His opinion on partnerships and collaborations:

Working together is always better than working against someone. Social media has indulged in this very creative way of working. Collaborating with other brands as well as influencers can help you grow your market and have faithful clients.

Looks like establishing partnerships as a growth hacking strategy is really practiced by many business professionals. No other GH technique is spoken about as much as this one in the research. Let’s have a look at Mr. Hector Gutierrez’s contribution who is the CEO of JOI – plant milk concentrates online store. He shares some examples of fruitful partnerships:

Partnering with other brands allowed us to share our audiences; we even created a marketplace for like minded brands on our own website. The opportunities are endless: cross-posting, product bundles, and other special or seasonal collaborations.

Building in Public

An approach to business development that means sharing news about the progress constantly. In other words, founders share achieved results, any news, success and failures with the public, usually in socials. This way people engage with a brand and become followers, and even potential customers. 

This strategy is extremely cheap: writing a post in socials describing what has been done simply needs time. This strategy is simple: no specific skills are required, and it is possible to start posting right after you come up with an idea and decide to develop it. 

How do business experts follow this strategy? – Let’s have a look!

Ms. Elena Fabrykant from Lemon.io – exclusive community of startup sidekicks. She says:

Growth hacking has been one of Lemon.io’s top strategies. The most effective ones have proven to be building in public and building a community.

Our Founder, Mr. Aleksandr Volodarsky, is building Lemon.io from the ground up while sharing with his audience on Twitter every step of the way. He set a goal of reaching $10M GMV this year – and regularly shares updates on it. Plus, he shares how much we’ve already paid to our freelancers, mistakes, and failures, as well as changes we implement. And this transparency has brought him almost 10K of highly relevant followers, a great deal of leads, and strengthened the employer’s brand. Thanks to his strong public presence, we now get to hire great candidates on social media easier and without enticing them with salaries or perks to beat the competition. He also used growth hacking techniques to build a strong community on other social media before this. He would:

  • join an entrepreneur community on Facebook;
  • share content there every week;
  • get their contacts with PhantomBuster;
  • find them on LinkedIn and add them as connections;
  • send them an intro saying they were in the same community;
  • create a ton of content on LinkedIn to gain credibility and visibility;
  • regularly send them messages to catch up;
  • find a podcast that all the community members were listening to and get an ad on it.

All these steps had helped him build a strong personal brand and made

Lemon.io known so that when he transitioned to Twitter, his audience followed him there, too.

Exclusivity and Restrictiveness

In some cases it makes sense to make your product available to a limited group of users. The most common practice is to make some service available only via invites from those who already use it. A recent example is Clubhouse app – they launched successfully thanks to this growth hacking strategy. But in fact, failed then. 

Mr. Dan Alder suggests an exclusivity and limitation growth hacking technique. He is Editor-in-Chief at LEVVVEL – a website with tips, tech news and research for gamers. Mr. Alder recommends:

One of the best growth hacking techniques is exclusivity. In fact, people scramble for exclusivity. When a certain platform is open only to a specific group, there’s more craving for other people to be members on it too. The curiosity in exclusivity is what drives growth to your business or brand. This is best especially for small brands who cannot accommodate huge crowds, yet wants huge attention. Offer exclusive passes to assure that you can present well to those you’ve invited. One of the reasons, big launch fails is because no one is prioritized. With exclusivity, you can be more focused on your crowd, and learn more on how you can please them. With such, everyone will feel that they are given preferential treatment, which is a morale booster for a customer.

Мr. Yousun Allen – CEO at Yosun UV Printer manufacturer. He reminds the story of Google+ (there was such a social network) development and how they used the Exclusivity growth hacking strategy:

According to my experience Google+ isn’t the most well-known online media stage out there, I praise its development hacking system before all else. Rather than tossing open the entryways, Google just offered records to a chosen handful.

Restrictiveness is an incredible development hack when you can’t oblige huge loads of clients during your dispatch, or on the other hand assuming you need to fire up the interest. Individuals will in general need something just accessible in restricted amounts or spots.

Product Hunt Listing

This growth hacking method means submission a profile of your product on Product Hun t- a major aggregator of startups and innovative products where users vote for best ones. Probably, it should be included in the list of social media growth hacks, but the value of this GH is so great that it deserves a separate section in the research.

Launching on Product Hunt or Similar Platforms is one of my developing hacking techniques. A product launch on Product Hunt is a must-do. Week after week, scores of new businesses emerge. These platforms enable you to reach new audiences with your message.

Product Hunt has remained a market leader in terms of exposing your company to a worldwide audience. It’s your golden ticket to attract the undivided attention of a slew of entrepreneurs and journalists. This is your chance to get feedback and suggestions for new opportunities. In just two weeks, I was able to add roughly 2000 subscribers using this strategy. By Mr. Richard Mews CEO at Sell With Richard – a company that offers homeowners solutions for selling a property in the UK.

Online contests

Here is one more growth hacking strategy proposed by Mr. Robert Johnson – Founder of Sawinery, a woodworking company. It is a great strategy that engages users, boosts online presence and brand awareness – organize some online competition with clear terms of participation and definite prizes. Robert’s experience:.

This did not work for my woodworking business as those who are interested in winning a top grade cabinet are mostly adults and elderly who are not active on social media and other online platforms. It did not reach the target number of people that we had hoped for initially. This may have worked if the prizes we offered targeted the younger generations.

Mr. Sid Berry is our next speaker who uses this strategy. He is a creative director at 71Three, he is leading a team of designers and software developers. Sid explains their experience organizing contests:

The go-to growth hacking technique for my company has been design contests. We’ve convinced several local print newspapers to publish a design contest, in which we encourage the youth to submit their creative designs around our city (Houston). We then have a voting page for the community on our website and give the winner a prize and internship in some cases. The newspaper then publishes the winner, giving them and our company more recognition. Also, the people that vote also become familiarized with our services when they visit our website. It’s a win-win for us and the community.

Digital courses

As a passive income to my company, online courses provided steady recommendations for our business. Those that have completed the courses often stay loyal and refer us to their colleagues. It may not provide a fast return of investment, but it certainly boosts growth in the long run.

This was one more growth hacking strategy proposed by Mr. Robert Johnson – Founder of Sawinery. Indeed, this is a great one. For some businesses there is an option to create a comprehensive education center that offers both free materials and paid courses. Imagine how much trust to your business will the presence of such an educational center generate when customers find out about it: “Oh look, they not only sell goods/offer services, but also teach how to. This means they are professionals, isn’t it? Definitely worth buying.”

Gamification

Mr. Giovanni Braghieri, CEO and co-founder of MyConsultingCoach. Giovanny helps aspiring consultants get into McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. The main part of these preparations is aptitude tests and case interviews, which we used as our very own growth hacking technique:

Humans have an inherent motivation to compete, play, and achieve mastery over a skill or a set of skills. To that end, we’ve provided a series of case interviews, courses, videos, and aptitude tests that help aspiring consultants be at the top of their game before their real-life case interviews. The goal was to stimulate the minds of our consultants and give them the proper motivation to keep going with a couple of gamification elements. 

It’s commonly misunderstood that gamification is about using game-like vocabulary and prizes. In reality, gamification can be nothing more than progression towards mastery. The progression is dotted with mental stimulation, challenges, advancements, and small victories that accumulate to the aforementioned mastery.

As a growth hacking strategy, gamification helped skyrocket our business and get us more prospective consultants than ever. They enjoy a clear-cut progression path towards mastery, which is learning to think like a real consultant. Along the way, they can track total hours spent preparing, results of self-assessments, and the number of both peer and coaching sessions.

Some would argue that gamification is not really a growth hacking strategy. While that may be true, stimulating your users’ grey matter certainly is, and gamification makes it far more effective. People love to answer questions and solve challenges, and if you give them proper motivation to do so, you’ve got yourself a winning strategy.

Email marketing

Email marketing is utilizing emailing and email automation services’ capabilities to achieve marketing growth.

Email marketing is regarded as one of the highest growth channels today. Indeed, for every $1 spent, email marketers receive on average a net profit of $44.

according to Mr. Jameson Rodgers, a serial entrepreneur and executive with years of executive and managerial experience, the cofounder of CBDfx – a company that offers finest, purest, and most effective CBD products on the planet. Mr. Rodgers continues:

“To automate this method even further, create funneled email strategies, make sure your email marketing aligns with the rest of your marketing calendar, and scale email sign-ups by providing an incentive-laden popup”.

Mr. Andre Kazimierski, CEO, Improovy – an aggregator of painting services providers. Andre explains that email marketing can be also used for customers retention improvement: 

One of the most effective methods of growth hacking that my company has tried is email marketing. Not only have we brought in new customers this way through targeted marketing, but we have been able to keep our customers and get them to return to our services again. If you are only focusing on getting new customers but not maintaining current/old ones, you won’t actually experience growth.

A lot of businesses are realizing that content marketing is probably the best category for growth hacking. Through the various subcategories under it, you are better able to target your efforts toward specific demographics of people that would be interested in your products/services, which creates a higher rate of success. 

Mr. Seb Evans is the Co-Founder of Banquist – allows customers to learn cooking from the world’s best chefs in the comfort of their own kitchen. Seb says they notify users on interesting and useful content via email newsletter which benefits greatly to their business:

We’ve used email marketing to open the lines of communication with our customers. More than half of our monthly revenue comes from our email subscriber list. We ask subscribers to rate that week’s newsletter at the end of the email which creates engagement. Our formula is simple: only produce content we’d want to read ourselves.

And what specific email marketing activities might become growth hacking strategies? Let’s have a look at experts’ experience:

Email subscriptions

Ms. Cindy Corpis, CEO of SearchPeopleFree – a people lookup site. SearchPeopleFree is also engaged in software development based in the US. 

I wanted more email subscriptions rather than having to wait for long-term results, therefore I built a conversion funnel that provides maximum growth. To quantify my success, I modified my email autoresponders to contain more valuable material, then measured signups, open rates, and click-through rates. For me, it worked well.

Well, email subscriptions are considered to be a default marketing tool, isn’t it? Anyway, under certain conditions it might be a growth hacking strategy, because it’s cheap and leads to product’s growth.

Pre-launch email list

It’s all about preparation of emails of those who are interested in your content, product or service before the planned launch. In fact, almost impossible without a combination with other activities like creating a website or landing page with a subscription button and SMM. 

Reply to email newsletter

There is an idea to revise a default email newsletter strategy and invite recipients to a dialogue. 

Mr. Harriet Chan, Co-Founder of CocoFinder – a public record search service company. Their aim is to provide complete transparency of information so every person can search through publicly available information with ease.

The CocoFinder firm has adopted growth hacking techniques like land page modification and triggers customers to reply to our company mails to enhance the sales rate. Most growth hacking strategies work as a trial and error method. These two hacking ways had reflected good outcomes within a short span. Instead of following the traditional email template like ‘Do not reply’ quotes along with the newsletters, you can disclose the communication with your valuable customers.

Building Email List

Dr. Mark Farrell has employed many growth hacking techniques as a founder of ProActuary, – a startup for actuaries worldwide to optimize their career potential. In the response, Mark not only emphasises on the importance of email lists, but on a great growth hack on how to create the email list quickly:

Like most businesses these days, my email list is very important. An email list is crucial for my business as it allows me to develop a relationship with potential customers, in a cost effective way. However, building an email list can be time-consuming and hard work. This is why I recommend using a virtual summit event to quickly build an email list in the fastest time possible. Over the last 12 months, I created two global virtual summit events (The Digital Actuary Virtual Summit and The Growth Actuary Virtual Summit in my industry and attracted over 8000 attendees from more than 70 countries. During the event I asked attendees if they wanted to sign up to my newsletter and this resulted in over 6,000 new newsletter subscribers. This has been the most effective growth hacking tactic I have used to drive my small business forward.

Actually, Mark speaks about 2 growth hacking strategies at the same time, however we didn’t cut them because of their close connection.

Mr. Lukasz Zelezny, Managing Director at SEOLondon – full service SEO company, shares his advice on building email lists:

My top tip would be to use landing pages to create email lists. Growth is all about gathering data as well as customers and, you need a really good, solid email base in order to comprehensively get your message out there and, then, to keep in touch with your customers to let them know what’s new.

Referrals

Mr. Scott Ferguson, the founder of I Over Golf, shares experience using referrals in his business:

The most effective growth hacking our company did is using referrals. It was as simple as placing a “Get One Free Lesson” button on the front page of our service website. The offer was that students would get a 60% discount on the next course they’ll avail for every friend they invite and get to sign up. Almost immediately, sign ups increased by roughly 20% and stayed at that level for months.

And remember, the alternative was paying a few hundred bucks via advertising. Referrals vs paid advertising is the kind of A/B test whose results are obvious to everyone. Referrals win! And, today about 10 % of our clients come via referral. 

Mr. Dan Belcher, Founder and CEO at Mortgage Relief from the US. also recommends referral marketing. 

Referral Marketing – This might sound old but we can’t deny the fact that this is effective. Referrals from your current clients toward their friends and acquaintances will be another boost in driving more clients to your business. This hack is good for generating additional sales and growing your market.

Mr. Marcin Stryjecki, SEO Project Manager at Booksy. He is a referral marketing adept:

For me, growth is all about referral marketing – this is basically promoting your brand or your product / service to new customers through word of mouth. You do this by properly engaging with customers by email, mobile and, of course, social media. You then encourage them to share your content with others. This can be as simple as running a competition on Twitter whereby users get a chance to win one of your products by retweeting your content.

Actually, Marcin mentions several strategies at once: social media, email marketing, content production etc. It is probably wrong to use just one strategy to achieve growth, isn’t it?

Focus on a Single Channel

Sometimes focusing on a single digital marketing channel might generate better results than investing time and resources in multiple onse. This is the statement of Mr. Richard Stevens, SEO Specialist at New Silver Lending. He says: 

Hyper-specialized knowledge of a single digital marketing channel can be worth infinitely more than mediocre knowledge of multiple channels. For instance, at New Silver Lending we have been able to 30X traffic through organic search in less than 18 months, by focusing on: 

  • Cutting Edge Keyword Research
  • Outputting High quality written content consistently
  • Tried and trusted link building techniques
  • Content upgrading using on-page SEO software programs

Using No-code or Low-code Solutions

Today no-code tools offer really flexible and, in fact, advanced functionality. No code tools are great for testing hypothesis, ideas validation, launching projects with basic features for testing market demand and so on. It is much cheaper than offering custom software development services. Consider using no-code or low-code tools in your operations and upcoming launches.

Give Something Away for Free

Probably there is no such person who would not have heard about the topic. And even participated. But this is a growth hacking strategy. Means carrying out a giveaway to gain attention to a brand.

Ms. Isabella Gordan, the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sleepy’s Express. By cutting through the mattress marketing jargon, Sleepy’s Express helps Australians get a better night’s sleep.

Giving anything away for free is an excellent growth hacking approach. Everybody enjoys winning or receiving free merchandise. Freebies are a time-tested method of generating interest in your brand. When our consumers spend a specific amount on our items, we provide something unique. It’s unpretentious, yet it works.

Mr. Dan Barcelon, Chief editor and owner of Non-Athlete Fitness – a health and fitness blog for non-athletes and the athletically inclined. His response is about free giveaways:

Free giveaways. In some cases, giving free services can increase interest in your brand. In our case, giving away free services can help us earn more. The hype around freebies can generate more participation and promote brand awareness.

Dan will also comment on utilizing communities and networking capabilities later in the relevant paragraph.

A/B Testing

Since growth hacking is not only about breakthrough ideas, but also about automation and data-driven testing, A/B testing is among GH strategies.

Mr. Jeff Moriarty, Marketing Manager at Moriarty’s Gem Art – Tanzanite and tanzanite jewelry store in Indiana, USA. Jeff confirms that A/B testing is an efficient strategy:

While our business has tried quite a few growth hacking techniques, the most effective strategy for us has been through A/B testing of our landing pages. We started with HotJar, but have recently been using Microsoft Clarity because it’s not only free, but provides unlimited heatmaps and session recording. This allows us to find out the most successful layouts of our pages to increase our sales and conversion rate goals. It’s also so easy to implement, that any type of business can do it with little cost.

Ads as Micro-Experiments

Mr. Ben Freundorfer, Founder of FactBranch. He is directly responsible for growth. FactBranch connects to a company’s data sources and helps the company display their data wherever they need it. He explains their way to hacking growth:

For me, growth hacking is all about speed. When we wanted to find out which subjects to write about, we ran multiple ads as micro-experiments and looked at their click-through-rates. This told us what would work even before creating high-quality content and waiting for a signal from organic SEO. Later, it was no surprise when our new landing pages ranked higher on search engines and our content was driving more traffic than ever.

SEO

Good old Search Engine Optimization, being the process of making a website compatible with search engines’ requirements and relevant to users’ requests might also be a growth hacking strategy. The following example confirms it.

Ms. Katherine Brown is the Founder & Marketing Director at Spyic – a US company that specializes in parental control and remote monitoring. This how Spyic benefits from SEO:

At Spyic, we’ve seen success in growth hacking with SEO. As a result, our website traffic grew by 10x in 6 months, and our revenue increased by 50%! SEO worked very well for us. However, this was because our product was relatively easy to rank for specific keywords. It also helped that we had an extensive network (a referral program) that encouraged people to share posts on social media.

It is important to understand that SEO is a highly competitive area and there is no guarantee that your ROI will cover expenses: It all depends on the niche which is the subject to deep analysis before a decision to invest in SEO.

Competitor analysis

Competitor analysis, being a basic marketing activity with the goal to define marketing positioning. It is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors.

Ms. Jennifer Foster, Managing Editor and Career/Life/Relationship Coach, Authority Astrology – a collaborative dream team of astrology enthusiasts and dating professionals who work together to curate the best original content and helpful guides for those who are looking to date according to their star sign. Jennifer says that following the biggest competitors is one of growth hacking tips:

Competition can take many various forms, but it is always present. After you’ve identified your competition landscape, you’ll need to show why your company has a competitive advantage in each market. As an entrepreneur, make sure you’re not only focused on your business but also the shifting dynamics in your competitive landscape. This will enable your company to change and capitalize on its strengths quickly. Many businesses fail because they try to keep up with the competition without having a strategy in place. As a result, they are unable to achieve the required outcomes. An effective strategy should center on identifying all of the conversations taking place around the target brand. You must be present in the same digital environments (social media, forums, etc.) as the target (and its target audience). A thorough and regular study of the competition blog (and the keywords in those blogs) should also be included in the plan so that you can modify your material for optimal impact. Similarly, you should monitor their backlinks to get a good sense of how they promote their products and services.

Ideal Customer Concentration

Define buyer personas and ideal buyer persona, then focus your marketing efforts on the ideal customer.

The ideal customer concentration growth hack – we used to leverage growth for the SoLoMo app for helping neighbors by kind people nearby. Instead of acquiring users from conventional paid digital, we sent representative students to the volunteering centers offering the app to help volunteers (naturally kind people) to make the difference with the lowest activation energy. That brought us more than 50k active users in the Seattle-Tacoma area for a month and less than $1,000.

This growth hack was shared by Mr. John Popel of Benchhacks. John has been in the marketing for 20 years already, he used to utilize various growth hacking technics since the term appeared in 2010x. For 6 years John has been doing growth hacking as a service for hire via his personal website devoted to the startups and growth hacking. John has one more growth hack to share:

Focus on Decision-makers

The decision-makers hack is for B2B sphere. That is the conventional view, that in B2B decisions are made by a set of various people and based on rationality. Though, Daniel Kahneman, the father of behavioral economics, stated that is not true. The hack is, we found the crucial decision-makers among our b2b customer’s employees, as well as what their real problem (not company-related) we should tackle for them so that we got the contracts.

Personal Brand

Perhaps it is somewhat controversial to include personal branding to the list of growth hacking strategies, anyway, we decided it deserves the spot. Indeed, personal brand might become a great way to develop your business. In other words, to hack the growth. Mr. Anthony Mixides, Managing Director at Bond Media – web design company from London. Anthony is personally involved on all projects at a strategic level and is often the lead point of contact for large-scale development and marketing projects. He recommends making your personality known: 

If you have a strong personality, make the most of it. Make yourself the face of your company, and you’ll be able to inspire and help others. Before you ask for a conversion or sale, growth hacking frequently entails figuring out what you can do for others.

One more great growth hacking approach to personal brand is shared by Mr. David Fernandez – CEO & Founder of Capital Solutions marketing agency. Mr. Fernandez has been in marketing for over 20 years. His advice is:

One growth hacking technique that I have tried is to be a shameless promoter of yourself. Confidence spreads like a virus. Lack of trust is also a problem. Inquire about prospects for guest posting and backlinks. In exchange, be gracious with backlinks and cross-promotion to other like-minded professionals. It can be not very comforting to sell your material to people and brands you admire, but keep in mind that you are the most knowledgeable about your products and services. No one understands what you do as well as you do. Influencers will notice your confidence, and prospects will be drawn to you because of your pervasiveness. Be present in every situation. It’s free advertising for your brand, with the extra benefit of the halo effect that comes with being in the company of well-known influencers.

Offline Events and Networking

Growth Hacking is not only about online, digital activities. Many experts underline that anyone who is interested in business growth should not forget about offline events. Let’s have a look at what they say.

Mr. Taylor Ryan is a growth hacker and 6x startup founder from Washington, D.C, who currently serves as the CEO of Copenhagen-based marketing and growth hacking agency Klint. Taylor explains why visiting offline events is important and how to get maximum of it:

Hosting and attending conferences is a growth technique I use almost weekly. It’s a fantastic way for people to get inspired by those with more success, experience, and industry insights. These events also offer a great opportunity for me to express my passion for the world of business and my own company. The idea is that I’m presenting to relevant people who are interested in the services that my business provides, creating warm leads and growing our customer community.

Mr. Jonathan Zacharias is also sure that offline events are worth visiting and organizing. He is the Founder of GR0 – a focused, dedicated and committed digital marketing agency that will GR0 your brand online. Mr. Zacharias has over a decade of experience working in organic SEO and his agency was named Fastest Growing Company of the Year by the American Business Awards. Here is Jonathan’s insights:

In today’s online-first world, most individuals think of growth hacking as a strictly virtual experience. However, growth hacking also very clearly involves face to face strategies as well. Indeed, one of the best ways to incorporate growth hacking strategies in a non-virtual way is to organize local, community events for your customers. This will not only build brand validation and help establish long-term customer loyalty, but also encourage new organic customers to engage with your products in very intimate ways.

As an agency, we occasionally have meet-ups and round robins with our clients in particular cities. This provides even greater collaboration, while also encouraging idea-sharing between and within brands.

As retention is a powerful tool, there is perhaps no stronger strategy than face to face marketing.

Mr. Zacharias als adds that they occasionally have offline meet-ups and round robins with clients in particular cities. This provides even greater collaboration, while also encouraging idea-sharing between and within brands.

Dan Belcher, Founder and CEO at Mortgage Relief, says that visiting events is an integral condition of a business growth:

Community Events – Creating a network is always one of the top lists of marketing strategies for growth. Attending community events is one of the best in creating larger connections, thus a more possible opportunity to grow. Though this might look similar to referral marketing, it differs in a way that you are personally looking not just for additional clients but also for a possible partnership.

Michael Jankie, a contrarian thinker and founder of Natural Patch – online repellent store. He suggests:

The best way to quickly grow is to get involved with your community. Host events on behalf of non-profits or community groups. These events usually allow a quick introduction about you and your company. Then, make use of the events and network with those who are in your industry. They are the people who have the best connections to your target market and audiences.

Mr. Dan Barcelon, Chief editor and owner of Non-Athlete Fitness – a health and fitness blog for non-athletes and the athletically inclined. Dan recommends utilizing opportunities that communities and networking can provide:

Join communities. Virtual or otherwise, being a part of a community can get you in touch with like-minded individuals. It builds your brand’s reputation and expands your networks. Networking can also offer support and lead you to your goal. Joining communities gives your brand a face, convincing more people that you are authentic and reliable.

Webinars

A webinar is an event held virtually which is attended exclusively by an online audience. It is used to deliver some useful information to attendees. Holding webinars might be a growth hack.

Mr. Cristian Ungureanu is a Digital Marketer with 7 years of experience, currently working as a Senior Growth Marketer for Switzerland-based b2b SaaS company QuickMail. His experience of utilizing webinars for business growth:

Applying an engagement and sales-oriented approach to our webinars allowed us to get an 80% webinar attendee retention rate (meaning 80% stayed with us from beginning to end), and a number of conversions during the live webinar itself. This was done through carefully scheduling points of interaction with the audience throughout the webinar, among other things we learned from Nathan Latka (a webinar expert).

Use TikTok

Being an extremely popular mobile app among the young, creating and publishing short videos on TikTok might be a growth hack. Both via a free way, trying to create videos and go viral, and paid way.

Mr. Kyle Dulay, the co-founder of Collabstr, a marketplace to find and hire influencers on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. They helped thousands of brands with their marketing, and as a result they have some insights into how businesses hack growth particularly when it comes to leveraging social media platforms. Using TikTok is his recommendation:

One particular growth hack that is still brand-new is the ability to leverage TikTok as a business. This is something we’ve done at Collabstr, and it’s also something that a lot of our users are constantly hacking away at. TikTok is an excellent platform for those who don’t have the funds to gain exposure through more traditional advertising channels like Facebook or Instagram. On TikTok, businesses can gain millions of impressions for next to no cost, something that is unheard-of on any other platform.

For example, SoundWavePic is a small business that sells art online. They used our platform to find a content creator that would make a video showcasing their art, and then they posted the video on their TikTok. The video generated over a million views and dozens of comments from people interested in where they can purchase the product. 

As a small business, TikTok is heavily underrated and you can most-definitely hack your way into millions of impressions for next to no cost by leveraging influencers and creating original content. Next time you need to build buzz for your products, consider trying out TikTok, it may take some time, but with consistency there’s no doubt you’ll be able to receive an ROI you’re happy with.

If you need more information about TikTok and possible promotion of your business there, you might be interested in our analysis.

Use Reddit as a Source

Reddit is a major forum and a social network in the English speaking internet segment. Its monthly audience is about 1.2 billion users. Surely, it might be beneficial for your business. and therefore, to be a growth hacking strategy. In the research, experts will uncover 2 directions to pay attention to when working with reddit.

First one is an extremely interesting growth hack that is suitable for almost any business. Word to Mr. Abdul Rehman – a senior digital marketer at Think Orion digital marketing agency where they keep experimenting with new growth hacking techniques to boost some of our internal projects.

We had an internal project in the cyber security niche. In that niche, news about hacks and data dumps works really well for pickups. Now considering our budget, we couldn’t hire a security professional to do proper research and gather data and leaks. 

So what we used to do is we used to monitor reddit for exclusive news closely every morning. Whenever any big news got published, we used to feature that on our blog as well. Obviously giving credits to the original news owners.

That used to help us get huge traffic and visibility as we used to start appearing in the news queries because of the first-second mover advantage. This might be useful for every niche out there. Obviously you’d know if you try. 

Mr. Matthew Ramirez – a serial entrepreneur and investor, as well as Forbes 30 under 30 alumni. His company, Rephrase Media, develops cutting edge AI applications for creators, such as a paraphrasing tool that helps authors create compelling and varied content for their audiences. Matthew say there are options to submit your content and get a backlink in exchange:

If you are a well-known and respected member of a reddit community, you can likely share your content, resources, and apps with a large audience if you do so tastefully and in a way that provides overwhelming value to your community.

Well, of course, you need to negotiate about this and look for sites that correspond to the topic and niche of your business to get maximum of this growth hacking technique.

Create an Online Tool

Neon Sign Studio in the UK and developed an online tool that generated a lot of traffic and sales – Neon Sign Visualiser. Mr. Vincent Song explains:

Most of the time our clients are not sure how Neon Light will fit or look in their current interior/exterior setting. So we developed an online tool that they can visualize simply by uploading a photo of where they want to have the sign on. It works on both desktop and mobile devices, and it’s free to use. It generated a lot of word of mouth traffic and sales. Now not only end users use this online visualizer, it’s becoming more and more popular among interior designers. They use it to generate a mock up for their client and eventually their client buys the neon sign from us.

Obviously, this example shows how important it is to know the customer and his needs. The customer is interested in some product, in the given case – neon signs – and hesitates to purchase? – Let’s create a free online tool to address this hesitation. So, growth hacking is impossible without basic marketing activities, such as customer research, Customer Journey Map, Unique value proposition, positioning and so on. 

Pay Attention to KPIs

Tracking KPIs and metrics of a product is a growth hacker’s primary goal, isn’t it? Mr. Roy Morejon, the president and co-founder of Enventys Partners and a serial entrepreneur and thought leader in digital marketing. They help products come to life through crowdfunding, consumer research, and SEO optimization.  

This is a data world. The best growth hack is to look at your KPIs and figure out how you can improve them. For example, an important KPI is the Customer Effort Score. Customer effort measures how hard do your customers have to work to get an issue resolved? Ideally, the customer brings an issue to the company’s attention, and afterward, for the most part, has to put in minimal effort to get a satisfactory result back. Customers shouldn’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get their problems solved.

The customer effort score can affect other KPIs such as Customer Lifetime Value, Customer retention rate, and average first response time. These are important because they show the long-term life expectancy while optimizing efficiency in customer satisfaction.

When it comes to growth, balancing your existing customers and their satisfaction yields long-term rewards.

Charity

Charity as a growth hack means mentioning the fact that your business donates and does charity work. This way, users are more likely to deal with a company if they know that founders do something good and kind.

Ms. Karisa Karmali, Founder of Self-Love and Fitness online fitness equipment store, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, ISSA Certified Online Fitness Coach, and NASM Certified Nutrition Coach. She says about charity as a growth hacking method:

Although this hack is not intended to be a hack, but is still automated in some way, the product (TRX suspension systems) with proceeds being donated to a charity, are getting the most page visits and sales – this is giving me more results than spin the wheel discount codes, unique discount codes, email marketing, and FOMO/social proof app pop-ups, and influencer marketing.

Sometimes, it is the unique hacks that work! I think that having a cause / charity helps people while making sales and is a driver for people to add to cart and complete the purchase, sometimes, FOMO is not the only driver. I like results driven by care for a cause more than trying to incite fear of missing out in the prospect client. It seems better for longer term client loyalty and a better client service relationship.

Capitalize on FOMO

An interesting growth hacking technique. Unlike any other, this strategy offers to experience fear.

Mr. Austin LaRoche, CEO of ATAK Interactive – B2B Marketing Agency located in Los Angeles, explains this GH technique.

The acronym FOMO stands for fear of missing out. People now want to be a part of the loop, thanks to the rise of social media. They become anxious if they are unable to relate to what everyone else is raving about. Use FOMO to your advantage because the anxiety people experience when they realize they are missing out on something amazing increases their desire to buy the product or service.

Fake It Till You Make It

After all, this startup development approach is also a growth hack. It reflects the pursuit of founders not to spend much on development and at the same time to show something to investors, experts, potential users and clients to demonstrate that the idea is worthy. 

Mr. Giacomo Arcaro, a Growth Hacker, Crypto Entrepreneur has the word:

My first growth hacking technique was taught by Ryan Holiday in “Believe me I’m a liar”: fake it till you make it! I applied this technique to myself by pretending to be a luxury designer who has invented a 24kt gold hot tub. I’ve been featured on over 20,000 media websites, including the first page of The Week among Dolce Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, and Gucci as “Luxury gifts for who has got everything”. There was just a 3D render and an impressive growth hacking campaign, nothing more than this. First of all, I had a catchy idea. I’ve designed a 3D hot tub with an excellent render and then distributed 10,000 mail to all the journalists pretending to be famous fashion journalists by spoofing his email. BAM! After 10 minutes, I clicked “send”. I’ve been overwhelmed by calls and interviews and 700,000$ of pre-orders. The funny fact was that the golden hot tub was impossible to produce. In my opinion, growth hacking it’s an unconventional way to achieve goals by thinking laterally, going over boundaries, avoiding blocks, and hacking the system.

Pivot

Pivot is basically a lean startup method for developing businesses and products by changing direction. This way, pivot means significant change, but for growth hacking, it is possible to say that small but impactful changes are required sometimes. An example of such a change is provided by Mr. Antonio Wells, he is responsible for growth hacking at Celebrity Myxer – an entertainment media company covering positive celebrity topics

We are an entertainment media company covering positive celebrity topics. This has been a challenging uphill battle as audiences only want gossip or tea. We have contemplated pivoting to this route many of our peers are doing to moonshot the company. But we decided to stay morally grounded. Previously, we would offer news-based coverage of celebrities with a concentration on their achievements (such as awards shows and philanthropic.)
Our pivot was in the content focus-driven by data. We have shifted towards covering celebrities who star in scripted television series. This way, we managed to gain the hockey stick growth effect regarding our online traffic. According to Google Analytics, we have grown pageviews 2,604% when comparing this past quarter to the same quarter last year.

Following the data revealed our need to pivot topic ideation. Furthermore, it allowed our key traffic source to derive from Google search results. This traffic is of higher quality and lasts far longer than news cycle content or even social media traffic.

Transition to a higher level – create an aggregator of companies like yours

An elegant growth hacking strategy that means creating some platform, marketplace, catalog or aggregator for companies like yours in the given country or region. Under your management.

Let’s take a closer look at this. Let’s imagine you run some local business. Most likely you know your competitors and their offerings. So why dont’ you create a special regional specific website where all the companies in your niche?

Such websites are called aggregators, and they are gaining much popularity. Aggregators are replacing business websites in search results in more and more niches. It is so because aggregators are able to deliver more value to a user than a website of a company, offering a possibility to browse and select from the list of similar companies and their services.Get listed or create own business website, an image with a quote

As you may probably know, there are global aggregators developed and promoted by major corporations like Google, Apple, Microsoft where you have already submitted business listings, haven’t you? At the same time, local aggregators and catalogs are also extremely popular. so consider creating one. Owning such a platform will open interesting and worthy business opportunities, and it is not only placing your company in the top of the list. For example, you could also sell leads to your competitors when your business is full of orders.

We hope the idea is clear. If you are interested in this GH strategy and need more information please have a look at our analysis about aggregators, it also includes a guide on how to create a simple one on your own. 

AI for Ads

Mr. Rob Keve is the CEO & Co-Founder of Flow Commerce, a cross-border solution unlocking and accelerating brands into global markets faster, and more effectively than any other product on the market. He describes the following growth hacking strategy:

Every business is trying to find the perfect recipe to drive brand awareness, site traffic and ultimately sales conversion. One highly effective growth hacking method that can help SMBs achieve those goals – especially for cross-border e-commerce brands – is leveraging AI to localize ad feeds. The key is building brand trust by cultivating a native experience, tailored to every individual customer. Ensuring that your target buyers are seeing ads in their language and currency, paired with local shipping options, is a data-backed strategy to increase site traffic and significantly higher conversion rates. Cross-border solution provider, Flow, reports that their clients have seen up to 10x sales growth after deploying localized ad generation.

Learn Failure Stories

The strategy means paying attention not only to popular business success stories but to failed stories also to avoid their mistakes.Failed startup stories. An image with a quote.

This is one more growth hacking strategy from the Code Inspiration team, proposed by Artur Prokopchik, business development manager who also runs several side projects and mentors local newbie startup founders. 

Well, this technique can be characterized as an “indirect” growth hacking strategy because it doesn’t lead to growth directly, attracting customers, warm leads or boosting brand awareness. Vice versa, this is basic research that the founder(s) should carry out before starting any business. 

Learning success stories only leads to a so-called survivorship bias. It doesn’t mean success stories are useless, but learning failed stories might provide you with even more insights. The statistics say that 9 of 19 startups fail, so imagine how much insightful information can be gathered from their stories? In general, such information shows founders “What not to do to become successful”, while success stories show “What to do to become successful”.

Will not talk too much about this strategy here, better have a look at our article where we analyzed it in detail.

A Culture around Testing Practices

Growth hacking is not just an activity, it’s a culture. Culture of daily activities aimed at business growth. How the growth hacking culture looks like? – Business professional explains:

As a data-driven start-up, we have built a culture around testing practices to optimize our growth hacking strategies. We hypothesize, test, and analyze which innovative growth strategies are working constantly. We are agile, flexible, and can pivot so that if one program or approach isn’t working we can change course and make adjustments with a positive impact. This philosophy is fundamental to being successful at growth hacking, in addition to being a competitive advantage for us.
Companies sometimes forget that there’s no silver bullet for growth hacking. It’s a highly complex matrix of different tactics and approaches: leveraging highly customized events for specific retailers (both digital and soon in person), hosting and sponsoring large scale webinars and events to engage the broader audiences, running an array of digital programs tied to direct outreach across all levels of the team — these are but a few of the many approaches we take. And what’s most important is that we tie all of these efforts together along consistent themes that allow us to build a strong rapport with the merchants we are targeting to educate and engage them. Thought leadership across a variety of traditional and non-traditional outlets has also fueled awareness, particularly as we discuss nuances tailored to niche audiences interested in our offering. This multi-pronged approach coupled with the testing of new programs and highly coordinated internal collaboration has certainly been a driver of our success in our growth.

Ms. Shanna Watkins, PR & Experience Curator, Well-Being Expert, Co-Founder of Borne Collection online clothing store.

Create Chrome Extension

If we were awarding in this research, then the prize for the most unexpected and unique strategy would go to the response of Mr. Adar Hay – Co-founder at Jiga – a marketplace of mechanical engineering parts and equipment. Mr. Hay’s growth hacking strategy is building a Chrome extension:

I tried plenty of growth hacking techniques, some succeeded more than others. An interesting one is to build a chrome extension for our specific target audience that makes life easier for my target audience and generates constant leads from the chrome store – around 5-6 email signups a day. We are targeting a specific niche – mechanical engineering, so it worked very nicely.

Growth Hacking team, not a single specialist

Decided to place one of the responses in a separate section. Indeed, like you might probably understand from the title, growth hacking is not a task or direction of work assigned to a single specialist. Here is what mister Richard Stevens, SEO Specialist at New Silver Lending says about it:

It is a mistake to ask a growth hacker to try every different technique and see what sticks. Instead, you should invest your time and money with people that have a proven track record of results in a particular digital marketing channel. This could mean you end up with a team consisting of highly specialized individuals, rather than one person who tries to do everything.

So, an ideal Growth Hacking Team consists of:

  • SEO Specialist
  • Youtube Specialist
  • Facebook Specialist
  • Pinterest Specialist
  • Instagram Specialist

Said another way: Team of Specialists is way better than Individual Generalist

Conclusion

So we have listed many growth hacking strategies and accompanied them with comments of business professionals. So, is it possible to conclude something except the list of GH strategies, which in itself is valuable? We suppose yes:

  1. Growth hacking itself is a popular enough concept. It is used by many business professionals all over the world.
  2. It is becoming harder and harder to differentiate growth hacking with traditional marketing.
  3. Growth Hacking is not something for big corporations. Owners and representatives of SMEs also do their best to learn and apply growth hacking strategies.
  4. There is no ultimate, 100% working growth hacking strategy.
  5. There is no any single growth hacking strategy applicable for any business.
  6. The only way to know whether a certain GH strategy is successful or not is to try and test it.
  7. Growth hacking is an integral part of marketing. Without proper marketing, elaboration of positioning, target audience, USP, competitor analysis, etc. it is difficult to experiment with growth hacks. 
  8. Growth hacking is not the “task” or job for a single team-member. More-less everyone in the marketing team should be interested and involved in growth hacking. And probably not only in the marketing team.
  9. There is a cycle of GH strategies: once some cheap action to attract customers appears – it becomes a growth hack. More and more companies use the same strategy and as time goes by, the given action becomes a default marketing strategy.
  10. The continuation of the previous point: the effectiveness of old growth hacking strategies is decreasing.
  11. Growth Hacking itself is a popular enough area of knowledge – many business professionals monitor its development and track the emergence of new growth hacks.

Get Featured in the Research

Growth hacking strategies. An image with a white title text on a black background.

The research is not over. Growth Hacking is a constantly evolving are of knowledge and professional acitivity. What was a growth hack earlier, is a basic marketing actions today. We are sure that there are still more growth hacks to uncover. Do you have one? – Contact us and describe it. In the research we try to find out and analyze some unique, elegant growth hacking techniques. Just in case, the question to answer remains the same:

What growth hacking technique(s) have you tried? What were the results, did it work for your business?

We will be happy to revise your input and add it to the research. Surely, mentioning you as the author. Please make sure you send unique growth hacks. Non-unique or heavily rewrote descriptions of growth hacks will not be accepted.


The research accompanies the short aggregated results published on Forbes Business Development council.