You’ve probably heard the buzz about ‘Growth Hacking’ by now.
It’s a buzzword that has slowly risen to prominence - yet when you ask people what it means, no one can really pin down a definition.
Essentially, growth hacking takes a holistic approach combining marketing, sales, technology, design, and customer experiences. Businesses need to utilise the full talent pool of skills and tools at its disposal - with one crucial objective – to grow. This growth can relate to any part of the business, whether a product, a service, customer base or even a platform.
Growth hacking, although by nature is geared towards start-ups, can actually be rather useful for any sized business. The growth hacking mind-set and techniques can add real value, and we highly recommend you start applying and using them right away.
Here at Netleadz we have made it easy for you by compiling a list of our top 10 simple, effective and in some cases lesser known, growth hacks that you can start using in your business today.
Growth Hacking Technique #1: The Skyscraper Technique
The first growth hack on our list is known as ‘The Skyscraper Technique’. This little hack is a great way of increasing backlinks to your site, therefore improving website traffic and SEO.
There are three basic steps to the Skyscraper technique:
1. Research some relevant content that ranks highly in your industry with plenty of backlinks (You can use an tool like Topsy to help with this)
2. Secondly, group together and analyse this newfound content, and then simply improve it. This could be by updating it, refining its design, adding more data or even compiling it all into a list (like this post!).
3. Lastly, reach out to the same people that promoted the original piece of content with this newly reinvigorated blog post.
This may not be common practice, yet it simplifies the way you go about your content creation and link-building process and has a proven success rate.
Growth Hacking Technique #2: Create Online Communities
This technique may seem obvious, but many businesses fail at building an active, engaged online community for their products. Online communities can take many forms: a dedicated forum integrated into your site, a Facebook fan page, a LinkedIn group, etc.
The location of the online community is not important, having an active community of brand evangelists and influencers is. They will provide you with informal social validation, the type of persuasive validation that new customers need when finalising a purchase decision.
Online communities also give users the ability to discuss, engage and interact providing you with valuable insights into your product and / or industry.
The key to building an effective online community is to build up a large number of existing contacts before you launch the community. Identify and provide real value to your early adopters to make them love you. Launch blogs, host competitions, comment on other blogs and review other products. The goal is to ensure that people within your industry know and trust you before you launch the community… If you do this in a sincere, genuine way, everything else becomes a lot easier.
Growth Hacking Technique#3: Get recordings of your site visitors (SessionCam)
Session Cam is the first tool featured on our list and is very useful for online businesses, especially ecommerce. Session Cam is a unique tool which allows you to watch recordings of your website visitors and mobile visitors so that you can identify key problem areas and increase conversion rates.
In addition to session recordings, you get access to heat maps to get more information about usage behaviour on your site. You can also build conversion funnels to assess drop-off between form pages.
This simple-to-use tool can also be easily integrated with third party solutions like Google Analytics, Campaign Monitor and Olark.
Growth Hacking Technique #4: Use your FAQ to target Long-tail keyword search queries
This hack is a fantastic way to target long-tail keyword search queries that are more specific which should convert better as they catch people later in the buying / conversion cycle.
Using keyword research, targeted ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ topics can help put you in the top of the search results for the questions that your customers are looking for answers to.
To get the most out of this hack, make sure that the FAQ page has a clear call to action to sign up for your product or service, as well as a custom domain that doesn’t rob you of indexed pages and content.
(Alternatively, you can create a help forum for the same effect, with the added bonus that your community will be creating the content themselves)
Growth Hacking Technique #5: Find anyone's email address (Betterwhois)
This simple growth hack is a great way of identifying the email address of a specific potential user or blogger. At times you may find it impossible to find someone’s personal email, however if they have their own website there is an innovative tool that will make your life much easier.
‘Betterwhois’ allows you to identify the owner of any website. This is usually in the form of their active email address, and although it may not always work, it’s definitely a more efficient technique than guessing or endlessly scrolling through Google. Furthermore, it’s a numbers game and if you can generate even 10% more contacts for outreach you have a higher chance of generating links. After all, it’s not what you know it’s who you know.
Growth Hacking Technique #6: Utilise SlideShare to increase potential reach
If you’re looking for an easy option, here it is: turn your content into a slide deck using SlideShare. It’s estimated that SlideShare receives tens of millions of unique visitors each month, which puts it in the top 150 websites in the world. If you know how to do it, this is a very fruitful platform to share or repurpose existing content you’ve created without a huge investment of time and resources.
Some extra tips to increase the effectiveness of using SlideShare:
1. Optimise titles and description for SEO benefits (SlideShare presentations often rank very high in search results)
2. Insert the URL of your homepage into your presentation – Make sure people know where the link leads and give them a reason to click it
3. Create stunning slides – The presentation has to be visually appealing to capture their attention and to encourage sharing
Once you have created your presentation and uploaded it to SlideShare, your next task is to improve reach. Share it on Facebook, share it on Twitter, and even share it on your blog. The larger your reach, the higher the chance of converting people into customers.
Growth Hacking Technique #7: The LinkedIn Email Hack
Even easier than Slideshare is the LinkedIn email hack. This extremely simple growth hack using LinkedIn is a quick way of rapidly expanding your email list. Chances are you have a LinkedIn account set up and have at least a few connections on there. What you may not know is that through LinkedIn you can export the email addresses of all the people that you are connected with, and they make this process extremely easy.
Hit the ‘Keep in touch’ menu item under the ‘Connections’ drop-down. Then, find the ‘Settings’ icon in the top right, and click ‘Export LinkedIn Connections’, as shown below:
LinkedIn will give you a CSV file of every single contacts e-mail address. Using a tool like MailChimp to convert the list into an actionable mailing list, you can now send all of these potential leads an email with a call to action to opt-in to your core list. Easy.
Growth Hacking Technique #8: Use Facebook Lookalike audiences to acquire new customers
Now that we’ve covered LinkedIn, here’s a growth hack that uses Facebook to reach an even wider audience. A very powerful, yet underutilised targeting option is Facebook Lookalike Audiences.
In short, it allows you to target Facebook ads to users who are similar to your actual customers away from Facebook. You can use Facebook to find the top 1% or 5% of users in a specific region who are share similar interest or demographics with your existing customers. This is a fantastic way of reaching new potential customers that couldn’t be found in any other way.
Some of the most powerful target options available include:
1. Upload your subscriber list and target ads to people similar to them
2. Target ads similar to your existing customers by uploading your customer list or finding users similar to the ones who converted
3. Find users similar to any visitor to your site, or specific pages
Growth Hacking Technique #9: Follow your Competitors Followers on Twitter
We can’t cover Facebook and LinkedIn without giving you a growth hack for Twitter too. This technique is one of those ‘I can’t believe I haven’t thought of that already’ hacks.
The title says it all with this growth hack. If your competitors have built a following on social media there is a good chance those same followers might be interested in following you as well. So go through their followers, identify the most engaged and influential ones and give them a follow. Chances are they will be interested in your business too.
Growth Hacking Technique #10: Use Rich Snippets
Our last but definitely not least recommendation is again very simple, but most marketers are not taking advantage of it. Micro data (also called rich snippets) are the few lines of text that appear under every search result. They were designed by Google to give users a sense of what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query.
In other words, rich snippets provide you with a few additional characters to convince your readers that your link is worthy of a visit. With some HTML skills, or a bit of help from Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, you can control what is seen here.
Rich snippets have been proven to increase attention and click-through rates by 20-30%. You can be as creative as you want in developing this, as the more original and intriguing the data, the increased likelihood of a click-through.
Some examples of rich snippets:
• Star Ratings
• Product Images / Videos
• Special Offers
• Business Locations & Customer Reviews
• Author’s Name & Photo
With growth hacking, what you have to remember is that some methods will be more effective for your business than others. Take what you can from this list, be creative with it, and if you are looking for even more hacking techniques feel free to give us a shout.
Have we missed any out? If there are any other superb growth hacks that have worked wonders for you, please feel free to share and leave a comment below.
If you’d like us to put you together a growth plan or hacking strategy then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .