growth hacking seo marketing

Growth Hacking Marketing for Startup Businesses

Start-up businesses are on tight marketing budgets and growth hacking marketing can show significant promise.

Growth hacking marketing for start-up businesses is nothing new and has been around for a long time. However recent changes in the digital economy have allowed startups to Leverage marketing tools and strategies that only large enterprises once help. The playing field has been leveled.

Online marketing has become an instrumental tool for any business. From tech giants to small mom-and-pop stores, if they’re not online, then they don’t exist. 

There are different strategies you can use to achieve more exposure for your business and your brand’s need. One that’s been taking the industry by storm is growth hacking marketing.

What is growth hacking marketing?

It’s more than just a phrase created to catch your attention. Growth hacking proposes an aggressive approach in which growth is the main target of your marketing strategy. 

According to Ryan Holiday, one of the men that made growth hacking so popular, growth hackers relentlessly pursue users and growth and when they do it right, those users beget more users, who beget more users?

The goal is that it becomes a growing snowball of clients heading your way directly. This is precisely the main benefit of using growth hacking strategies. Importantly, specific characteristics are of the base of growth hacking, and these are that it must be trackable, testable, and scalable.

Therefore, for your growth hacking strategy to be a success, you need to be able to test it on different audiences before launching it on a bigger scale.

Furthermore, you should be able to develop various options for an ad, for example, before deciding on which one to release. Also, you need to accept that many of these strategies might fail, but this is exactly how you achieve success.

Furthermore, you need to be able to respond. If your strategy is effective and the demand for your product increases tenfold, you’ll need to be able to meet that demand. You might need to get online personal loans to do this, but your clients must not go away dissatisfied. If you can’t scale things up, then you should reconsider the scope of your campaign.

That your strategy is trackable with marketing attribution should be a given. After all, the online world is all about analytics. You should be able to know how many people your campaign engaged, what their demographic characteristics are, and how they can help you reach even more people.

Also, you need to see what the results of your strategy are. For example, 53% of growth hackers actively track what the increase in revenue is after they apply their strategies.

Your Growth Hacking Team?

Something you should keep in mind when you decide to implement this strategy is that the people that will be dedicated to growth hacking should work hand-in-hand with the digital marketing team you already have. Interestingly, while their goals might differ initially, it’s their teamwork and ability to share information that will help your business succeed.

If you have a small business, then all the more reason to encourage teamwork. The idea is that growth becomes a core part of your marketing strategy without forgetting other goals. The idea is to increase traffic, which will increase revenue.

What Marketing Tools Should You Use for Growth Hacking?

1. Know your audience

Your audience will speak to you if you’re listening. Consequently, one of the smarter things you can do is study your target customers. This will allow you to identify what they might need. Furthermore, you should learn about how they search for what they want. 

This is the part where a lot of people get lazy. Often the marketer may think that there are only one or two maybe four personas but in fact, there may be as many as 24. If you really want to increase your conversions you really need to know who you are talking to what makes up their buying decisions.

This is where using search engine optimization (SEO) tools can make all the difference. There is a reason why approximately 61% of companies have as a main priority the improvement of their SEO tools. If you are not one of the first options your prospective customer sees when they search for what they want, then you need to optimize. 

2. Create a direct product

Once you’ve identified what your customers want, you can create or reintroduce a product that responds to that need. Marketing should focus on promoting a product, highlighting how this will be the key for your audience to get what they want. 

Take for example the success of Spotify’s decision to offer a rewind of the music their users played during the last year. They listened to what the customers could want at the end of the year and decade- and offered them a product that answered this need. They took it one step further by making the song lists easy to share. This caused the snowball effect we mentioned at the beginning.

3. Make the most of different platforms

It’s not only about placing ads on social media platforms, but it’s also about using the free features of these platforms to promote your product. Let’s take GoPro as an example. One of their campaigns focused on encouraging users to post their videos on YouTube. 

Why is this move so smart? YouTube is an already well-established platform used by millions of people. This is a great way to get free publicity while directly showing the usefulness of your product.

Small businesses have used this strategy, as well. The restaurant chain Haidilao encouraged its customers to post on Tik Tok about their new do-it-yourself (DIY) plate. 

This was a product designed to get the engagement of their customers while using Tik Tok for free publicity and gaining a new generation of young customers. Here we see a combination of smart use of platforms as well as the creation of a direct product.

4. Be Bold with Your Growth Hacking Strategies 

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need the help of big companies to achieve your goals. That’s precisely one of the great things about growth hacking. There’s no need for massive resources as long as you know who you’re targeting and what your goals are. Companies such as Airbnb and Uber have employed these strategies to grow from small companies to worldwide moguls in just a few years.

By being bold and making headlines, you can get the attention you want. Remember, investing in online marketing is one of the most affordable ways to get out there, and an effective method to reach millions of people at the same time.

5. Use Paid Media and PPC Ad Campaigns

The best way to be bold and get out there is by using ad campaigns. Your ads must contain essential information, such as how to initiate contact and your location. If your audience doesn’t immediately see how they can get in contact with you, they might quickly forget about you or lose that first drive.  

Interestingly, it has been shown that awareness of your brand can increase up to 80% by using paid advertisements or hire online advertising services. While this is not the primary goal of growth hacking, it’s undoubtedly a win for your business.

6. Make Things More Visual

Another good way to reach your audience is by making things easy to grasp. There has been an 800% increase when it comes to searches for infographics. This is because they are catchy, which often makes people take pause and stop to see what you have to say.

Growth hacking marketing tactics like GIFs, infographics, images, videos and more draw your audience in.

7. Make Them Come Back

People often visit a website without committing to any purchase. This is when you should make the offer more attractive to them. Sometimes just a small discount or an extra gift can turn a prospective client into an actual client. This is a great way to remind them there was a reason why they were interested in the first place.

Furthermore, don’t be afraid to offer your newest products to older clients. Moreover, the retention of these clients is essential. If you follow the numbers, it’s estimated that getting new customers is up to five times more expensive than retaining old ones. Despite this, only a minority of companies focus on client retention.

8. Marketing Content, Content, Content

Content marketing is everything. You must map your content strategy to how your prospects research and engage with your brand. If the right marketing content at the right stage of the buying process your sale cycles would become shorter and your deal sizes will become larger.

One of the things you need to do is introduce the content on your website that goes well beyond what you’re selling. Customers now want to engage more, but they need you to provide content. There’s a reason why over 3 million blog posts are written and published every day. Furthermore, 91% of organizations are now big producers of content marketing

What will distinguish your company from the rest is personalizing these blogs as much as possible. 78% of polled consumers have stated that the more personalized the content is, the more likely they are to purchase something. 

9. Educate Your Clients

From the same idea that you need to generate content, there comes the concept of educating your clients. This is a brilliant way to get them to engage effectively. An example of this is the company HubSpot. Growth hackers of this company focused on the development of educational tools. From e-Books to assertive blog posts and webinars. 

This was a big bet that paid off. After becoming a public company, HubSpot increased its worth by almost $1 billion. Significant growth since their beginnings, with only three people developing the company. If you show how useful you can be to your prospective customers, your revenue will increase.

10. Give Them a Taste for Your Growth Hacking Marketing

Giant platforms such as Spotify and LinkedIn have made an art out of this strategy. If you can provide a free sample of what you have to offer, people will be able to see the value of your product. 

This sometimes called freemium strategy encourages users to try what you have to offer with the possibility of upgrading if they want the rest of the benefits. An app that applied this is Slack. This messaging tool provided a free version of its service. This resulted in a 30% increase in enrollment to their premium option.

11. Make Your Goals Specific Ones

Growth hackers focus on particular target market segments and personas. This can be reaching a determined number of sales in a year or getting specific numbers of visitors to your website. The important thing is that the goal is attainable and that you’re open to adapting and adjusting to make sure you reach this goal. 

The best way to determine if this will be necessary is by setting smaller goals to reach the larger one. Let’s say you want to sell 100,000 models of your signature product by the end of the year. You should set monthly goals that will help you evaluate if you’re on your way to achieving this larger goal. 

This is where the use of metrics and analytics can help you study what you’ve accomplished so far and determined what you need to do to bring your business where you want it to be.

12. Metrics are Everything

Your parameters are one of your best tools. If you do your analytics right, you can once again learn from your audience and identify what the next thing they want is. This way, you can go back to the start and begin working on the next product. The key is to stay current, which will help you keep growing.

Customer feedback also plays an important role in this area. You can learn of ways to improve the product, as well as adjust for pricing if necessary. By studying the response to your growth hacking strategies, you can continue to develop more efficient campaigns and techniques that will help you succeed in the world of digital marketing. 

Wrap up on Growth Hacking

Startup growth hacking is the buzzword for startups. Forget pivoting and iterating. It’s all about growth hacking.

Growth hacking their way to the top through testing and scaling growth hacking marketing strategies. 

We’re listening.

Have something to say about your thoughts on growth hacking marketing? 

Share it with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Lidia Staron is a part of the Content and Marketing team at She contributes articles about the role of finance in the strategic planning process.

General FAQs

What is growth hacking?

Growth hacking is an umbrella term for strategies focused solely on growth. It is usually used in relation to early-stage startups who need massive growth in a short time on small budgets.

What is growth hacking marketing?

George hacking is a marketing field that focuses on achieving the most significant amount of growth in as little as possible while using a small budget.

What is growth hacking in digital marketing?

Growth hacking and digital marketing can work together to achieve the goals of a business. When growth hacking is applied, more direct engagement is used to achieve the desired results. However, knowledge regarding consumer psychology continues to be necessary for this. While using growth hacking, there should be an increase in the use of metrics and analytics.

What are the benefits of growth hacking?

Growth hacking allows small businesses to maximize their number of clients. Without having to spend as much as big companies do, this levels the playfield for competition, despite the resources of the company.

What are the marketing tools for growth hacking?

Numerous tools can be used. Some of the most important ones are related to SEO, content marketing, targeted ad placement, and social media use. SharpSpring, HubSpot, Salesforce, Nimble, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all great tools to use.

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