“Hacking” conjures to mind the image of someone dressed in all black, furiously typing away at a keyboard. But hacking isn’t all negative or relegated to cheesy ’90s flicks – it can also be a tool for exponential growth. That’s where growth hacking comes in.
What is Growth Hacking?
The original term “growth hacking” was coined by startup advisor Sean Ellis after helping several high-profile internet companies grow massively in a short period of time. In Sean’s own words, a growth hacker is “a person whose true north is growth.“
While marketing and growth go hand-in-hand, marketers by default are not growth hackers. Marketers still consider budgets, expenses, conversions, etc before making a decision. A growth hacker and growth hacking only cares about the make-or-break metric of growth. That is their true focus.
A famous example of old school growth hacking was McDonald’s strategy of placing restaurants on every interstate. A modern example is Uber’s reliance on app technology instead of traditional taxi fares, both to cut their own costs and to serve a shifting demographic’s needs.
How Do I Use Growth Hacking?
There are five major pillars to growth hacking, as defined by HubSpot:
- Evaluate current marketing initiatives. Do a full audit that determines your best sources of leads, traffic, and page views. Figure out which channels are working for you.
- Set achievable goals. Determine where you’d like to improve these numbers, and start to think about how you can do so.
- Plan experiments to test your hypotheses. Come up with two, three, four, or twelve ways of testing your theories, and how you can reach your goals.
- Let it run. Experiment until your results are statistically significant. You can also continue optimizing until you reach your goals.
- Document your winning results, and share them with your team. Growth hacking is all about improving what you already have. If you come up with a game-changing tactic, spread the word.
This may seem like a daunting process, but the end result of exponential growth can be worth the time investment.
The Best Way to Get Started with Growth Hacking
One way to test out growth hacking for yourself is by using Growth-Driven Design. Growth-Driven Design (GDD) is a new approach to web design that uses growth hacking principles to continuously update your website.
In a Growth-Driven Design approach, websites are continuously updated every month, with substantive changes to keep your users engaged and moving through the buyer’s journey. It’s a three-step, ongoing process:
- Strategy: Develop overall goals for the site to measure success.
- Launch Pad: A functional, but slightly more minimal, site that’s launched in 1-3 months.
- Continuous Improvement: The site is continuously updated and modified, using feedback from the goals set in step 1.
This strategy halts stagnation because you are constantly updating your website to meet your goals.
In this way, you can experiment with growth hacking. One idea is to try different messaging on your website as part of GDD. You can use your homepage as a playing ground to experiment with different messages served up to different viewers, to see which one results in the most action.
Growth hacking is still relatively new in the business world, but it’s already gotten traction and been used for wild success. If your business is plateauing, it’s time to try some growth hacks in 2020.
* * *
Every Growth Hack Starts with SMART Goals
The first step to any digital marketing or Growth-Driven Design project is setting the right SMART goals. SMART is a methodology that helps you establish concrete and achievable goals. SMART stands for: Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Time Bound. Use our FREE template to set your SMART goals and grow your marketing.
Need a new digital marketing or web design plan? We are a Minneapolis SEO, digital marketing, social media marketing, web design and HubSpot inbound marketing agency. We’re located just outside of Minneapolis. Stop on by and get started – and while you’re here, pick up a free honey stick (yes, we love our bee-related theme).