What Is Growth Hacking?

Marketing focused intentionally on growth (growing a business).

Growth Hacking is a lens to evaluate and process your marketing efforts.   Essentially it’s looking at the world from a marketing point of view and figuring out ways you can use tools and phenomenon is unique ways to drive traffic and sales to a business generally with a smallish budget.

How was the “growth hacking” term coined?

Originally Sean Ellis coined this term when he was wanting to hire a digital marketer that could hustle with this startup.  Before this he would post his job ads and only get great marketers, but they might be great at branding or leveraging expensive tools.   A growth hacker can do those things but is more adept of working with little to no budget to get similar results, even if it’s a bit unorthodox.

Some Keys To Growth Hacker Qualifications

  • Singularly Focused on Growth.
  • Understand how to bootstrap
  • Tech Heavy

21 Growth Hacking Techniques

These are every day techniques that you likely already know but didn’t know that growth hackers everywhere utilize this in their growth marketing toolbelts.  Understanding SEO is key to a growth hacker as many of these techniques are leveraging this skill.

  1. Blogging – you can read about blogging here.  Mandatory skill for any marketer, let alone growth hacker.
  2. Podcasting – Podcasting can allow you to network to influencers or allow you to build an audience
  3. E-books – e-books can be used to bolster credibility but more often is used as a freebie in exchange for an email address.
  4. Infographics – One of the quickest ways to get shared content
  5. Webinars – Everyone has a webinar now a days.  No longer is it a hard sale, but rather a soft sale and introduction to your service or product
  6. Social Media Networking – actually using social media to build relationships that you intend to leverage in some way
  7. Pop-Up Groups – Those groups you either want to join or got spammed into can be leveraged to get the word out about your service.  Simply help a bunch of people in the group and let the sales roll in.
  8. Social Media Contests – Give something away of value and promote it on social media.   You’ll get a ton of traffic and unqualified leads, but it still gets your name out there
  9. Marketplaces – tougher for some service providers, but marketplaces are simply a place to exchange services.  Amazon added the ability for people to sell their goods on there and grew exponentially.
  10. Affiliate Deals  – You get affiliates to sell your services or products
  11. Freebies – You give away your service or product for a limited time to great “press.”
  12. Freemium Services – think Dropbox, allow some use of the product or service.  Helps you grow and 20% or so will want to upgrade.
  13. L.O.P.A. – Leverage other people’s audiences.   This is really a true growth hack.  Imagine running an ad, “Winter is coming, get your taxes done.” – you’re leveraging the Game of Thrones audience for your tax services.
  14. Promo Swap – Find a business that is complimentary such as real estate and inspection services.  Agree that the real estate agent will send the inspector his clients and the inspector will knock off 20% off the inspection.   win/win.
  15. Hiring A Sales Staff – Admittedly not a real “hack.” – unless you’re hiring them from the Philippines off upwork or something similar.
  16. Pay Per Click Ads – again, this is run of the mill, however, if you used our LOPA strategy above you’d definitely classify this as a hack.   Other PPC hacks are, “Don’t buy [competitor] product yet until you read this” – run this ad with a target for a competitor.   You’ll definitely get some “buzz.”
  17. Invitations – to events, to try something – People like to be invited.  I’m always tempted when Harvard Business Reviews invites me to subscribe.  The more personal the invitation, the better.
  18. Integrations (API) and Offline – Using integrations mean APIs.  If you own a remotely “tech” company you should do this.  It opens up your product to a ton of opportunities.  However, you can do this offline as well.  Think about your work flow and what other 3rd party vendors are involved.  Think about how you might integrate them, as in train them, equip them to help your customers in a better way.   IF you did this would you get more business from them too – you betcha!
  19. Backlinks – getting links is likely the most important thing you can do for good SEO, however it’s also good for traffic.
  20. Influencer marketing – whether it’s from networking or through paying them, influencer marketing will make you laugh… all the way to bank.  Yes, that instagram person has 1 million followers that love cats, but hey those cat lovers might like your product too.
  21. Influencer Review – kind of like the above, but this time you send them free swag to review.



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