Interesting Benefits of Growth Hacking for Start-Ups

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At the initial stage, almost every startup is challenged by limited budget and marketing experience. This slows down the process of getting noticed, liked and becoming profitable. But with the right growth hacking methods, any early stage start-up can have the ball rolling in no time!

The success stories of Dropbox, AirBnB, Yelp, Paypal, HubSpot and many businesses stand as a testament to usefulness of growth hacks in adding incremental changes within a short period.

Amid the digital marketing and start-up boom, growth hacks emerge as a refreshing alternative to the conventional marketing processes that take too long to impact bottom line. Growth hacking, at its core is a simple concept that combines marketing with tech and social media-savviness.

How Does Growth Hacking Work for Start-ups?

Entrepreneurs and start-ups can use growth hacking to trigger sudden changes on specific areas rather than targeting broad and imprecise aspects of the business. It may require combining marketing initiatives with some coding in the back-end to strengthen a start-up’s digital presence using SEO, paid ads, pay-per-click campaigns and more.

During the teething stage, start-ups can confidently scale-up and interact with customers through emails and content marketing or invest in paid acquisitions that can be measured and tested regularly.

Typically, start-ups are in a rush to meet their financial objectives and prove themselves to investors, VCs and customers. Investing in growth hacking tools helps them to observe quick, seismic changes in desired areas as opposed to waiting for insights with A/B testing and market research.

But the ‘ace in the hole’ is the absence of risk that allows start-ups to soar high right after the launch.

For better understanding, listed below are some real-world use cases and benefits of using growth hacking techniques:

Boost Digital Presence like Quora: Most start-ups need more than a responsive website to stand out in the digital sea of competitors and garner users/audience attention with more website traffic, users and signups. It could be a simple strategy using keywords, SEO or social media integration. Quora leveraged its interactive question-answer format containing the relevant keyword to pop up as Google search results. Moreover, Quora has a continually increasing community of members by encouraging signups from a new visitor on the website.

Find Quick-fixes: Website traffic, user base and number of customers or followers on social media are important conversion optimization metrics that can be changed from time to time. Dropbox dipped their toes in various methods to increase users and found that the cost of acquisition per user with paid ads was too high. They switched to a referral program that rewarded users with 16gb worth free space for inviting new users. In just 15 months, Dropbox had over 4 million users from 100,000.

Turn ‘Viral’: Normally, it takes time to win customers’ trust and become a popular name in the market.  With growth hacking, waiting is out of question given how the internet and social media come into play in creating the demand and making a business, an overnight success. Growth hacking helps early-stage start-ups embed the ‘virality factor’ in the product journey.

Instagram is a perfect example of the platform that managed to have 10,000 users in the first hours after being launched. The users attributed the platform’s user experience and functionality as the reason behind its quick success.

Add Great User Experience: With growth hacking methods businesses can implement changes and features that bring more customers on board. During the early years, Gmail’s invite-only growth hack alongside its unique search capabilities and email management abilities helped it gain more users.

It became so popular that the invites were auctioned on eBay!

Start a New Trend like LinkedIn: Digital marketing strategies helps start-ups tick off the necessities. But for market differentiation and better brand recognition, every digital business needs a strategy to stand-out and stay relevant to the times. LinkedIn’s concept of professional and business networking through the platform has made it customary for every employed or job seeker to have a LinkedIn account.

It not only brought businesses and its employees or job seekers together but also allows users to stay in touch with their co-workers and ex-employers.

Better Branding and Promotion: Influencers, sponsored tweets, paid followers, reviews and social media endorsements make it easier to brand and market a product or service. Foundr magazine used influencer marketing, social media advertising and tool called Upviral to incentivize promotional activities. They used the tool to specifically gain more supporters to validate their idea on Kickstarter.

Low Cost per Acquisition: Customer acquisition is a slow process. It takes giving away incentives and investing in relevant marketing activities to reach wider audience segments.  Paypal used referral plans and may have spent a whopping $60 million to get new users. But its user base is said to grown with recommendations over instant messaging, blogs and emails that have kept customer acquisition cost low.

Many successful start-ups in today’s world provide a growing body of evidence on the benefits of growth hacking on ROI and sales conversion goals. However, the changes triggered by growth hacking approaches are not permanent and consistent.

It only addresses the need of the hour and hence, experts in this field recommend a refined amalgam of marketing and growth hacking strategies for stable growth and guaranteed success of start-ups.

Which is your favorite growth hack for your start-up?

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