Business Hacks: 21 Actionable Growth Hacking Techniques
No matter how great your business idea is, it won’t develop into a multimillion company unless you work for it. There are many basic rules to keep in mind and dozens of growth hacking techniques and shortcuts for getting your service or product noticed and acquiring new customers.
We present you the most awesome growth hacking techniques for your business that help you make your business seen and heard and build a loyal audience around your brand.
1: Create content
There is no better way to earn people’s attention and build a meaningful relationship with an audience as to give them the information they need. It’s even better if this information is delivered in a format that’s pleasant to read, listen or watch.
Start creating content that’s easy and cost-effective to produce (blog articles, templates) and as your audience grows, move on to more complex content such as interesting video materials and interviews with industry experts.
Keep in mind that before producing any content, you need to understand the core audience and compile a content marketing strategy.
Content formats to consider:
- Blog article
- How-to guide
- White paper
You can find amazing guidelines for content creation from Copyblogger blog.
Newshacking is basically taking any breaking news and creating a story or a social media post circling around your company and the event. Keep an eye on trending hashtags on Twitter and use tools like Buzzsumo to be aware of popular topics.
Remember: newshacking only works in real-time, you have to be really quick and creative to win this battle over people’s attention.
Be inspired by Oreo’s newshacking during the Super Bowl. They managed to get tens of thousands of likes with one witty social media post.
3: Share content from other sites
Saw an amazing blog post that’s not your own? You can still take advantage of it by sharing it on your own social media channels. Always add a “via” link to your share so that the author is able to see that you’ve shared their content and they’ve been given credit.
Sharing third party content is beneficial in many ways:
- You show industry-specific knowledge
- Your social media feeds have more interesting content
- You build a relationship with other blogs and companies
- Bloggers might share your content in return
4: Find guest bloggers
You’ve probably heard a dozen times that small starting businesses should ask to guest blog on big platforms and websites. Instead of publishing your valuable content on third party websites, get others to guest blog for you. If you have grown a notable social media followership, other small businesses may be interested in writing for your company’s blog.
Target small businesses or starting bloggers that write about the topics similar to your own content. In return, you can offer to share their other content in social media or give them a free period of using your product.
See this guide on How to Find Guest Bloggers to Write Guest Posts on Your Blog.
5: Create viral content
It is estimated that 347 blog posts are published every minute, so why would anybody want to share YOUR content instead of millions of others? The answer to really shining out and getting hundreds of social media shares is to create a really thorough research study or learn to craft viral content.
It’s a strange animal, the viral content. Read more on how to create it from Neil Patel’s blog.
6: Get your content out there
There’s no reason your content’s outreach should be limited to your own social media channels. In fact, there’s so much more to be done in order to amplify your reach and find a bigger audience. Whenever you feel there’s a really great piece of content you’d like the world to see, post it on LinkedIn Pulse, Reddit, Hacker News or StumbleUpon. There’s a good chance that someone is going to pick up your article and share the content with their friends and social media followers.
Another thing you should try is answering questions on Quora. Search for topics that your blog articles cover and then write an answer, add a link to your blog article, leading readers to your website. Make sure your answer is relevant, otherwise posting on Quora might have a negative effect on your business.
The rule of relevance also applies to all other content sharing platforms. If users of sites including Reddit and Hacker News sniff out your attempts to ‘market’ your business, they might feel cheated and disappointed. Worse still, they will downvote your content, having a deleterious impact on your marketing efforts.
7: Reuse old content
How long after publishing a blog post or white paper are you still sharing it on social media? Is it 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months? The right answer to this question is totally up to you and your marketing team but keep in mind that many big companies like Content Marketing Institute reuse their best content years after its initial publishing.
And it’s returning great results, people come back and find this content for the first time, being grateful for useful advice and interesting reading. Do not let the best content get lost in your blog archives like dust-covered books of a public library. Re-share your best-performing content even if it’s been published a long time ago as sound advice is timeless.
Growth hacking technique: find your old blog articles that cover the same subject, gather the information together and bind it into a comprehensive guide or a white paper. This way you’ll have a brand new piece of content, created without a huge effort from your content writers.
8: Invite-based rewards
One of the best marketing techniques Uber has come up with is the invite-based reward. Whenever you invite a new friend to join Uber and use its service, you both receive free credit for riding a taxi. If you’re a B2B company, offer rewards to users who invite or suggest a new client to your business. You can organize a prize draw for those sharing information about your product with their friends or give people a discount in return for promoting your service.
Growth hacking technique: Offer extended trials in return for tweeting about your service or product.
9: User testimonials
If you deliver great service, there’s no doubt you’re going to have fans among your customers. Ask some of your top customers if they will agree to give you a short interview about how they use the service or product, and write a subsequent user testimonial to add to your website.
Here’s a simple guide for getting customer feedback:
- Search your database and find users actively using your product/service
- Organize a short survey to obtain their feedback
- Offer rewards for answering the survey (e.g. 1 month of free service)
- Gather the results and seek positive feedback
- Ask to interview 20 customers who gave the most interesting and positive feedback
- Write user testimonials based on the interviews
- Ask your clients if you can publish their testimonial on your website
- Don’t forget to reward people for sharing their experience with you
10: Case studies
People love case studies as they demonstrate immediately whether other people having the same problem found a solution by using a service or product. This is what many commercials are about – a problem-solving product.
Ensure that your potential customers are able to find case studies on your website. Again, you can write case studies based on interviews with active customers.
Are you lacking time to create marketing support materials? Follow these 6 steps to increase productivity at work.
11: Social proof
Would you go to a restaurant that has 200-page likes on Facebook or one that has 20 000? Social proof is an increasingly important factor in our decision-making process. Meaning you should do your best to attract many social media fans and interact with your audience on a daily basis.
Make sure that your Facebook and Twitter feeds are constantly examined in order to quickly answer to unexpected posts and comments by happy (or angry) customers.
Awards also count as a method of social proof. Submit your product or service to an industry-specific competition and whenever you win an award or are praised by an influencer, don’t hesitate to shout out about it and post the news on your social media channels and website.
12: Build custom, user-profiled Facebook ads
Everyone can create a generic Facebook ad and pay for advertising it to all types of audiences. If you have a huge marketing budget, there’s no problem with that. Except that if you’re running a small starting business, you’re likely to count every buck.
To get higher results and increase the conversion rate of social media advertising, build user-profiled Facebook ads. For example, create different ads with various landing pages for real estate and media companies. Or target millennials and elder generations with a different message.
Before creating any ads, make sure you know your audience, their interests, and demographics.
13: Utilise Retargeting ad tools
Once you’ve run an ad campaign, you have a clear overview of the users who initiated some interest, for example, clicked on the ad or visited your website. What you can do next, is to specifically target this audience rather than paying huge sums of money advertising to broader groups. People who have already shown some interest in your product are more likely to buy it or sign up the next time they view your ad.
Growth hacking technique: Retarget audiences that clicked on your ad during the previous campaign.
14: Advertise your best content
All social media channels provide free analytics tools. If you’ve shared your content on Twitter, it’s really easy to utilize analytics in order to find out which posts performed the best. You can determine which posts were the most clicked upon or delivered a higher conversion rate, you can use them for social media ad campaigns. Promote a tweet that had many likes and retweets. This way, even a larger audience sees your content and visits your web page.
Growth hacking tip: First see which posts work the best on Twitter, then share the best-performing ones on LinkedIn and Facebook organically to see if they’re popular in the other social media channels. After you’ve discovered the best-performing posts, advertise them to a larger targeted audience.
15: A/B testing
This growth hacking technique helps you find out which content, ads or campaigns work the best. A/B testing can be applied to almost everything, here are some examples:
- Create two different Email layouts and determine which one works the best
- On social media, share the same blog post with different titles and pictures to see which gets the most likes or clicks
- A/B test your call to action buttons by adding different colors and messages
- A/B test your landing pages
- A/B test your blog layout
- Send Emails with various promotions or subject lines
16: Use “if this, then that” Recipes
Shared a post on Facebook? Send it automatically to Twitter, LinkedIn and also to your Google Drive spreadsheet containing all the data about shared posts. Sounds good? Try If This Then That recipes to automate part of your workflow.
It’s not only about marketing but also simple tasks including sending Instagram photos to a Google Drive folder or notifying you when it’s going to rain can be done with these custom-made recipes. Find out what works best for you and automate parts of your workflow.
17: Create online communities
A great way to engage with an audience is to build a community around your service and knowledge-base. Create a LinkedIn group where fellow industry professionals like yourself can discuss industry-specific ideas and problems. If your brand has many fans, create a Facebook community for them where they can share ideas about interesting topics that relate to your company.
You can also dust up your current Facebook page and make it more user-friendly.
View this list of 15 Best Facebook Pages by Hubspot and learn how to improve your own social media communities.
18: Create slide presentations
A slide presentation is the most undervalued and neglected content format and that’s why it’s easy to take advantage of it. A slide presentation doesn’t take much time to create and it can get thousands of views in a single day.
Growth hacking technique: Reuse your list-format blog posts to create slide presentations on a similar topic or create a presentation to support your blog article or white paper.
19: Social media– post on the weekend
Did you know that moving your social media posts from weekdays to weekends returns a 14.5% higher brand interaction?
It might seem weird to share industry-specific business articles during the week-end but think about it for a sec. Busy people have no time to read news and articles during weekdays as they have lots of work to finish.
20: Target competitors’ social media fans
You just started a new business and aren’t quite sure where to find potential customers and readers to your blog? There’s a really easy growth hacking technique to remedy this. Do some research and examine your main competitors’ social media followers. What you can do next is to invite them to familiarize with taking a look at your blog or simply follow them on Twitter so that they can educate themselves learn about your company and follow you back.
To get a quick overview of how your business is doing in comparison to your competitors, create a KPI dashboard that reflects on your company’s performance.
21: Attend conferences
You probably already attend conferences so there’s nothing unique about this growth hacking technique. Actually, there is. Do not only attend conferences but use them for networking and introducing your company and its products. You can place your business cards all around the conference so that random people might locate them and look you up online.
What’s even better than simply attending conferences is giving a speech. It’s impossible to undervalue a great speech as it will introduce you as an industry leader and provides social proof that your product must have a unique value.
As you can see, promoting your business and building a loyal audience is a huge challenge. Use these growth hacking techniques to give you a headstart over competitors, but remember that high results take a lot of hard work and time to achieve.