Let’s take a look at 7 unique growth hacking strategies for startups that you can use in order to grow your business in 2020. These strategies are effective in helping your startup business or venture acquire customers, establish brand recognition, and even sell products or services.
Before we dive into the growth hacking strategies it’s important that we define what growth hacking actually is, how it works, and why it’s effective for helping you grow your business. At the end we will provide some clear examples of growth hacking strategies so you can gain a further understanding of it.
Growth hacking is the practice of experimenting with different and unique strategies that can most effectively help you to grow your startup or existing business.
The process of growth hacking involves tweaking your marketing mix, development process, engineering process, customer acquisition strategy, operational changes, data and analytics in order to find ways to improve and grow your business.
Read also; How to get started with Growth Hacking
The changes are oftentimes quick and small but tend to yield large positive results for your startup or business. Growth hackers need to have the ability to work quickly and efficiently while yielding great results for the company.
One of the main reasons it’s referred to as “hacking” is because the growth hacking process involves finding quick and cost effective methods to grow components of the business instead of traditional methods for growth which can consume a ton of time and resources.
Growth hacking is a buzzword that is very commonly used with startups and it can be quite confusing if you don’t know how it actually works or the strategies involved with it.
The process of growth hacking first involves taking a deep look inside your startup or business and analyzing which component of your startup needs a change in order to help it grow.
Once you narrow down the component that you want to improve and grow, you begin to brainstorm on unique, innovative and cost effective solutions to achieve your goals.
This is obviously easier said than done and requires you to have the right people in place with the right marketing and operational expertise.
Growth hacking is especially important for startups because they don’t have the resources or the budgets that big established companies do. Therefore, they have to find innovative alternatives to position themselves for growth and this is where the growth hacking strategies come into play.
It’s worth mentioning that growth hacking isn’t a strategy that is only reserved for startups. It is very much used by established companies who want to remain competitive and innovative in their niche.
Growth hacking can be extremely effective for startups and established companies because it revolves around the methodology of finding innovative solutions that are new, cost-effective, and scalable.
It can be especially effective for startups because it allows them to quickly pivot certain parts of their business and marketing strategy in order to see immediate changes to their bottom line. These changes often are very small and unique, but can drive some serious growth to the business.
Now, let’s take a look into some of the unique growth hacking strategies that startups can use to quickly and effectively growth their business.
It’s important to note that the growth hacking strategies we discuss can work for your business if they are deployed correctly, to the right demographic and at the right time.
In order for these strategies to be effective for your business or startup you must have a clear cut understanding behind your marketing mix, operational process and how you measure all the components of your business.
If you don’t track and analyze your data you are simply throwing darts at a board.
When it comes to effective old school marketing strategies nothing else comes close to the power of good old fashioned email marketing.
If you build your email list from the start you are laying the groundwork for your startup and ensuring you collect customer information and data from the beginning. Building your email list will allow you to pre-launch your product and gain an idea of how customers respond to it before you officially launch it to the public.
This is done by creating an email waiting list and is also commonly referred to as a soft launch. They are great to do so you can see what components of your product or service you may need to adjust to better serve the market. There are plenty of email marketing tools online to help you create an effective email campaign and collection mechanism.
Take some time to build up a small email list of eager individuals to soft-launch your product to. This will help you gain some perspective and feedback on your product or service. It’s an inexpensive way to test the effectiveness of your product or service before going live to market.
Recommended Reading: Everything You Need to Know About Drip Marketing
On top of creating an email waiting list it’s a good idea to gain some outside perspective on your product by launching it on to third party platforms.
There are dozens of different types of products constantly launching on Product Hunt. Product Hunt is a website which allows users to find and discover new products that are getting ready to launch.
Users and startups submit new products everyday where real people have the ability to share and discuss the latest mobile apps, websites, tech creations and hardware projects.
People vote on their favorite projects and products which allows the product creators to gain valuable feedback on their product or service. Not to mention, their products receive much needed exposure at an extremely low cost.
Product Hunt also gives you the ability to have 1 on 1 meetings with industry experts that can help you with product billing, social media, PR, design, product engineering, operations and more. It’s a frequently used growth hacking strategy for startups that is extremely effective.
Building your own user base from scratch can be extremely time consuming. Some startups utilize other platforms to attract highly targeted users that are looking for a similar product or service.
For example, if you plan to create a platform or service which sells online courses but you don’t have any sort of students or clients, one way to do it is by distributing your courses on platforms which already have a flow of users.
One way you can do this is by publishing your course on platforms such as Udemy, SkillShare or even Youtube in order to attract users back to your website. This is commonly referred to as the product/platform integration growth hack.
The platforms mentioned above already have a massive base of active users who you can tap into and start to interact with.
You strategically leverage other platforms in order to build out your user base until you can successfully market and manage them on your website.
You can also partner up with affiliates who are in your niche and are looking for useful products or services to recommend to their established audience.
Recommended Reading: How to Find Affiliates to Sell Your Products
This strategy can be implemented through a careful step by step process.
Step 1: Find products and platforms with an established user base who are in your niche. Facebook groups are an effective way to find users for a certain product or software.
Step 2: Find out certain elements that the product or service in that niche may be lacking that you can capitalize on.
Step 3: Offer your product on AppSumo to get initial sales if you are in the SaaS Space. AppSumo runs software deals for SaaS companies and can help you get your initial base of customers.
Below are additional websites like AppSumo that can help you leverage the growth of your product or service which already have an established user base.
Recommended Reading: Sites Like AppSumo: Find More Deals in AppSumo Alternatives
A great way to promote your product or service and gain immediate exposure is to leverage someone else’s audience. Finding bloggers who are in your niche who use similar products or services to run their business is a great way to network and find partnership opportunities.
You can ask the blogger for an honest review of your product in exchange for using your product or service for free. From here you can form a partnership referral agreement if they promote and review your product to their audience.
You’re probably thinking, how do I even do that?
1. Make a list of industry and niche related bloggers - You can do this by performing a google search with different keywords or use an app like BuzzSumo to help you find bloggers in your space.
2. Look for reviews of products or services that are similar to yours. This will help you find blogs and content creators who review them.
3. Look for Youtube reviews or tutorials of popular products or services. You can then reach out to them and see how much it would cost for sponsorship or review.
4. Look for guest posting opportunities for your niche. Featuring information about your product or service on someone else's website is a great way to promote it. Guest posting marketplaces such as Accessilly and Adsy can help you find websites in your niche which are accepting guest posts.
All of these options can help you pinpoint bloggers who would be interested in reviewing your product and promoting it to their audience.
Attending startup events is a great way to gain industry knowledge into new and upcoming trends and other businesses who are getting ready to launch. It’s also an extremely effective way to network and find people who work in similar industries as you.
Recommended Reading: Top 5 Must-Attend Events for Startups
Events and conferences are a great way to gain industry knowledge and even spy on your competitors.
They can be a great source for inspiration, collaborating on different ideas and even finding startup capital. If you choose to attend, make sure you have plenty of business cards and even company marketing material to hand out.
There are always talent scouts, venture capitalists and people who are just hungry for the opportunity to create something unique.
This is a term that is frequently tossed around in the marketing space, but many startups fail to effectively make use of social media in the early stages of their company.
Nowadays everything is digital and making use of social media is an integral part of an effective marketing mix for startups and established businesses.
Social media allows you to leverage audiences in order to promote your product, brand or service in a way that can be authentic and unique to your brand.
It also allows you to collaborate and make connections with different industries which can help your startup grow.
It takes some serious time to create great quality content. Many startups are simply focused on creating tons and tons of content, but only a few are focused on actually promoting their content effectively. You should spend just as much time promoting your content as you do creating it.
Recommended Reading: Social Media Marketing Tools
Hootsuite is a social media tool that can help you schedule, manage and optimize all your social media content across all major platforms. It will help you become more consistent with your content distribution and also save you a ton of time.
Instead of viewing your competition as a threat, try to view them as an endless source of opportunity and idea generation.
In order to be able to gain a competitive edge you must first be able to accurately pinpoint what your competition is doing that is successful and also identify areas in which they are struggling or even completely ignoring.
It’s good to track and analyze what your competition is up to so you can keep up with changes that are occurring in your industry and niche. This will help your startup and business keep on track with current trends and adapt to changes that are happening every year.
In order to do this in an effective way which is scalable as more competitors enter the landscape you need automation. You need a tool which can give provide insight into every important facet of your competitor’s content and marketing strategy.
You need Spyfu.
Spyfu is the ultimate tool that can help you pinpoint exactly what your competitor is up to in terms of their content and marketing strategy. It’s suite of tools can help you expose the types of keywords they are targeting, how their content is ranking, where they are getting their backlinks and so much more.
Below is a snapshot of their SEO Competitor Research suite of tools. Just type the name of your competitor’s website and see all the interesting data that SpyFu will provide you.
These are just a few of the many components of a competitor’s content and marketing strategy that you can track and analyze. It can help keep you in front of new trends and help you discover a competitive edge that can grow your business.
Reading tip: Are SEO agencies worth the cost?
Growth hacking strategies are important to have inside your startup and current business because they can provide you with alternative ways to bring in customers, establish brand recognition, and even sell products or services.
It’s important that you experiment with different strategies consistently in order to find ones that work best for your industry and niche. Try different strategies often and be sure to measure your results so you can gain an accurate idea of what’s working and what isn’t.
You will be surprised how small subtle changes inside your business processes and marketing strategy can have a large impact on your overall bottom line.
Additional Growth Hacking Tools: Growth Hacking Tools