Source: Entrepreneur Magazine.
If you are an entrepreneur, you should have heard about customer acquisition and great impact of growth hacking strategies on marketing. Unfortunately, many marketers have misperceptions about the concept of growth hacking or what growth hacking really is.
Growth hacking is all about transforming businesses using out of the box marketing experiments. A growth hacker will combine unconventional marketing strategies that can result in acquiring more customers, increasing revenue and being in better competitive position.
The secret behind effective growth hacking is to follow a proven framework, and implement the right strategy at the right time. I have outlined a set of super easy-to-implement growth hacking techniques that you can include in your marketing strategy — attract, engage, acquire and maintain.
1. Attract potential customers.
Here are four strategies that work great and bring you more customers.
Content creation & blogging. It’s essential to know for whom you are creating content. You don’t want to spend hours crafting an article only to find out that no one showed any interest in reading it. A great way to find out more about your audience and craft the right article is using an empathy map. It helps you discover audience feelings, thoughts, pains and attitude. What does she think about? What really worries her? What influences him? What does he talk about among friends? Once you defined your audience, draft your content from their view and highlight the points that you want them to take away when reading your blog. Remember, your blog should either offer a unique solution to one of their issues or help them to see the bigger picture of what they can gain over time.
Guest posting. You can enjoy the advantages of guest blogging, which vary from getting additional visitors from each article you guest post to improving brand awareness. Your main objective should be adding value by crafting epic content. It requires hours of research, writing and proofreading. Thus, a typical guest blogger who writes 30 articles per week offers no value.
Use visuals and infographics. It’s inevitable — infographics that are designed based on visualization techniques are more appealing than articles. If a picture is worth a thousand words, why don’t you leverage visuals to acquire more customers. Here is a three step approach to creating a viral infographic.
Choose a topic that matters to your readers. Don’t assume that your idea is great. Instead, use market research techniques and get help from the right tools to monitor the trends and choose a catchy topic.
Build your narrative based on facts and data. Find as much data as you can from the most reliable sources. Don’t overcomplicate your story, and choose maximum 10 to 12 key points. Build a narrative, and create a compelling story around those points.
Share the infographic. Once you’re done with your design, it’s time to share it with the world. Don’t just publish it on your site. Get it in front of people in social medias, infographic sites, email, etc.
Leverage on forum marketing techniques. One of the most undermined marketing strategies that results in attracting prospective customers is forum marketing. Luckily, there are plenty of forums available for each niche. Simply join an authoritative one, and start building your reputation. I have to warn you that people who come to forums are looking for answer, not self-promoters. In other words, they are looking for solutions that can address their pain.
In the beginning, spend enough time in forums and try to answer as many questions as possible. Once you build a good reputation, you can include your solution and value proposition in your comments, answers and other forum activities.
2. Engage your visitors and convert them to leads.
You need to realize that visitors are not necessarily ready to buy for the first time they land on your website. Therefore, it’s essential to focus on engagement. Among all growth hacking strategies, the right email marketing approach can work magic. Email is still one of the most effective ways to reach out to your audiences because people rarely change their email over time. This is an opportunity to warm up your attracted audience and convert them to potential buyers.
First, build an email list. Using tools such as exit-intent popups and subscription bars can increase the number of subscribers. Don’t try to sell or promote your product in those boxes and popups. Instead, offer them exclusive tips, promotion codes and something that appeals to your visitors and triggers them to exchange their email.
While you’re building your list, craft a consistent email engagement plan and stick to it. The secret is not to bother your subscribers with too many emails while making sure that they receive enough emails to remember you.
3 & 4. Acquire customers and maintain them.
A/B testing is one of the most amazing growth hacking techniques at this stage. It is about conducting a set of experiments to optimize the conversion of your landing pages based on user’s responses. It’s also known as split testing.
Obviously, you cannot please every visitor, but you can achieve better results by offering something that appeals to the majority of buyers. Follow these four steps of A/B testing if you are not sure which landing page can convert your visitor to buyers.
- Collect data. Identify your low conversion pages or those landing pages that have the highest drop off ratio. You can even go deeper and use analytical tools such as Hotjar and Crazy egg heat map to find out what segment of your page your visitors showed interest in and clicked the most.
- Define goals and hypothesis. Although your goal can vary from increasing opt-in ratio, clicking on a specific button or boosting revenue, you must define conversion goals and metrics to determine whether your split test is successful or not.
- Create the variations and run the experiment. Create both A and B versions based on your hypothesis. The difference between versions can vary from having a landing page with different color or moving the position of a button. Once you run the experiment, your site should randomly show different pages to different visitors.
- Adopt based on results. Analyze the result of the test as soon as you have completed your experiment. In case you found significant statistical differences between the conversion rate of your pages, you can make a decision to use the one that performs better.