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Andrea Serventi
27 April 2017
Reading time: 4 min

Growth Hacking Strategies: 5 Key Steps To Get Started

Growth hackers are versatile professionals who know how to take full advantage of online resources. Here are the best growth hacking techniques and tools to get started with you strategy.

Growth hackers started off as “pirates”, and evolved into professionals. Originally, their activity had blurry edges – it was a cross-cutting role within the corporate organization. Today their role has a precise definition and can be broken down into exact activities. Here we are to get a clearer understanding of the top five steps to tackle a growth hacking strategy.

Growth hacking definition

So-called growth hackers are the “pirates or experts of growth”: professionals with multidisciplinary training in the digital field. They are skilled in email marketing strategies, content management and social media campaigns, as well as SEO and SEM.

As mentioned earlier, growth hackers work toward business growth and development, by experimenting with new strategies. Their main goal is to use the many resources available online to attract the highest number of visitors and convert them into active users.

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Growth hacking techniques

1. Create a consistent, frictionless customer experience

The needs of new customers are different from those of regular customers. New customers are usually critical when judging every moment of contact with the brand – with them, the first impression could make it or break it. It is all about the customer experience the brand is able to build for them.

So it is paramount to make your CX consistent and frictionless, with as few barriers as possible. If individual interactions through single touch points create an experience in line with the customer’s expectations, it’s a win. Any mismatch between expectations and actual experience, on the other hand, will potentially give rise to a loss of revenue.

Automation is the key that keeps all components of the customer experience together: this technology lets you reach the customer at every level of the customer lifecycle, through automatic email/SMS workflows.

For instance, it is important to take care of broken links that lead to unavailable resources: there is nothing more counterproductive than leading a user down a dead end (i.e. to a page that only shows an error message). The pitfall of broken links can be avoided by constantly monitoring the links placed within your content.

2. Set micro-goals and progress steadily

Setting ambitious targets is necessary, but taking them on in real terms means taking baby steps. For example, if your goal is to “increase traffic on the website”, growth hackers will identify the intermediate steps – micro-goals to measure the results achieved up to that point, and take stock of whether they have been working or not. The strategy can then be fine tuned, leveled up or sized down.

Testing is the cornerstone of any improvement. Innovative companies know this and base their business development strategy on testing and analysis. The potential of A/B testing on one hand, and web and mobile analytics on the other, are the key tools of a Growth Hacker. One basic assumption can be made: all key data to develop and refine strategies can be found in the acquired customer base. All you need is the knowledge and tools to tap into their habits and behaviors. These will then direct your subsequent strategies.

3. Connect with influencers

In every industry, there are people who have special influence on others: this means that their opinions and experiences inspire those who are listening. At times like ours – when the jumble of voices and opinions create a hazy background noise – influencers play an increasingly important role. So pick up the phone and get in touch!

4. Don’t lose sight of the competition

You need to know how others are doing in order to assess your own growth. Looking over the desk to see what your classmate is doing is natural instinct. In marketing, this doesn’t mean being a copycat, but understanding the direction the competition is taking, finding out their level of development, and seeing how they compare with your business.

Comparisons provide lessons, ideas and a positive push towards improvement. There are several tools that make competitor analysis easier, such as Semrush or  Similarweb. Always make sure that you are checking competitors that fit your business type and are in line with your own target customers.

Comparisons must also be made by looking back: Facebook was preceded by MySpace, Apple by Altair, and Google by Yahoo. So unless your product is completely unique, there is always someone who has come before you. Analyze the history of your industry and look for both the brilliant and not so brilliant models.

5. Keep up with the times

We often mention the tips provided by Rafi Chowdhury, the growth hacking and startup expert: “Stay up to date on current trends” or “Embrace new trends with open arms“. Be always open-minded and eager to learn new things. This combination underpins the essential attitude of the growth hacker.

Also, identify your strengths in the market – your unique selling proposition. Without clarity and awareness about what you’re doing, it’s hard to stay on top of your goals and strategies. To use a metaphor: a steering wheel is useless if you don’t know the route.

Growth hackers focus on where customer needs meet the brand’s unique features.

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Andrea Serventi

I was born in 1986 in Milan, where I graduated in Modern Literature and started writing for online newspapers, magazines and TV news programs. Having now converted to marketing and the digital world, I am a Content Editor at MailUp: I read, listen, collect ideas, and write about what email marketing is and how to use it strategically.

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