4 Growth Hacks Every Small Business Should Try
Despite the buzz it generates, the term growth hacks is a bit of a misnomer. Rather than matching the images conjured up about seedy techniques and underground methods, it’s more about reading and using the data you’re receiving from your marketing efforts to reinforce them where they’re strong.
Growth hacking includes a variety of techniques used by businesses to grow their audience, client base or potential user interest. It should really be referred to as growth marketing; it’s all about getting your brand out there.
The most useful techniques of growth hacking can be broken down into four categories:
- Lead Capture
- Word of Mouth
By taking advantage of growth hacking tips in all of these fields, your small business is sure to boost the number of eyes on it. (And hopefully also greatly increasing your chances of success with each new prospect!)
Lead capture involves convincing your interested prospect to provide their details to you, so you can chase them up later. This is an important facet of growth hacking because capturing email-based leads can be 40 times more effective. With 3x as many active users as all social media channels combined, email is too big a channel to ignore. Creating an email opt-in form on your website is great for getting a quick email list for your growth efforts.
Use landing pages – pages built specifically to capture leads for a certain purpose – to create more leads. A/B testing involves creating alternative landing pages and monitoring them using analytics to see which generates more leads. Optimising your lead capture through method requires effort, but can result in a far more efficient lead capture process.
Content is essential to all growth hacking strategies, be they social media or otherwise. Without good content, a business can’t provide an effective motivator for prospects to look at their brand. Images and video content are essential here. Facebook posts containing images have a much-higher-than-average 87% user interaction rate. Twitter posts with image attachments have a 35% higher retweet rate than those without.
To get the most out of your posted content, you should endeavour to take advantage of the 4-1-1 rule. This tactic works by considering your content in lists of six. If you share 6 pieces of content, 4 should be from your influencer target that’s also relevant to your audience. That is, 67% of the time you share content that isn’t yours. One further piece should be original, educational or informative content that you have created. The final piece should be sales-related. A coupon, press release or another piece of content related to what you’re trying to sell is best. Keeping this ratio in mind ensures that you call attention to your influencer group and share information that’s useful. Both of these are indirect methods of selling yourself, but essential to effective growth. In this way, you can get your product out there both directly and indirectly.
Engagement is an essential part of growth hacking. Content is useful to get people looking at a business, but without engaging those users no growth will actually occur. Use effective calls to action in your landing pages (“sign up now!”) and social media pages (“like”, “comment” and “share”). You can then create a sense of importance with a great hook to encourage action from prospects. If you want your audience to do something, you have to ask them. An effective call to action is essential to increasing engagement and growth, on social media and beyond.
Another technique to motivate engagement is to take advantage of the audience’s inherent FOMO (fear of missing out). Surveys show that 56% of social media users fear missing out on events, important updates and news on social media. Creating and sharing content that focuses on exclusivity and limited-time offers can harness this FOMO to create enthusiasm and excitement around your business, increasing your visibility.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth marketing is exactly what it seems to be – getting people to tell others about the business. The numbers don’t lie. Studies show that word-of-mouth marketing can generate twice the sales that paid advertising would. The typical avenues for this include making sure content is being shared on social media, offering some kind of referral discount or encouraging customers to share their experiences. For a small business, though, happy customers won’t necessarily need – or want – to be compensated for their referral. They will want to share in your success – encourage them to be your advocates.
Other important avenues for referral are influencers – those who already have their own loyal followers. Forging relationships with industry influencers can be a very effective way to get your business recommended to a wide audience, so be sure to include them in your referral strategies.
One less-used method is to get your employees to share the message. Usually, there’s only a 2 to 8% overlap in the social networks of your company and its employees. Because of this, implementing an employee-focused program to reward referrals through word of mouth can be used to develop good leads without significant external investment.
To find out more about how our lead generation strategies can help your business grow, give us a call on 01273 287374 or get in touch with us here.