Most startups these days are adopting the growth hacking marketing method rather than the traditional marketing approach. Growth hacking focuses on the firm’s growth by using trial and error methods to determine the most effective marketing channel.

Popular and traditional marketing channels such as “branding” are attractive and are widely used; however, they are often time-consuming and are not 100% directed towards a single customer.

The important note to mention about growth hacking is that it takes a different approach. The company quickly gets a product or service to the market, gets feedback from their customers, and modifies it according to what the market wants. This helps to validate that there is a demand for the product and can save countless amounts of hours and work which will result in a more marketable product.

Growth hacking allows the company to test, track, and scale their business. Tools that are used are emails, pay-per-click ads on Google or Facebook, blog articles, blog advertisements, and, most important of all, influencer marketing.

Below are four steps that are used in growth hacking:

Product Market Fit

Product Market Fit or PMF is the beginning stage of creating a successful growth hacking process. Business owners have learned that by testing what works, they will be able to design a product that will fit the market’s demand.

  • Don’t start with the product or company focus. Create a market focus approach with a press release.
  • Draft a FAQ as it will help keep the focus on the market and in defining the product design.
  • Build a prototype, test it, modify it, test it again, listen to the customers, and keep modifying it until it is accepted.

Target the Right People

Once the product or service is ready after the first stage of PMF, it is time to launch it in the market and through testing determine what is the most effective. Business owners can determine these channels by listening to the feedback they receive from the market. They can modify the campaign and product using this method and re-launch it again.

Going Viral

Going viral is considered to be the holy grail of marketing. All businesses are trying their best to go viral but find it difficult to make it happen. They spend millions on various forms of marketing to make their product go viral, which I think is not a good approach. If you want to go viral then just make your customer happy. It is as simple as that. You need to deliver experiences and go above and beyond for your customer, which will drive word of mouth and in return go viral.

Another good strategy would be to get Gary Vaynerchuk's attention and your business will skyrocket. Click To Tweet

Close the Loop

Growth hacking is not a one-time thing. It is an ongoing process that never ends. The growth of the business doesn’t solely depend on getting new customers but keeping customers coming back. Customer retention is one of the best ways to acquire new customers because these happy customers will introduce your product or service to their family and friends. A small increase in retention can create a snowball effect and increase growth and profitability.

One of the best examples of growth hacking is Zappos. Nick Swinmum, the founder, had an idea to sell shoes online but did not have any information or research to see if it would be successful. So he opted to use the growth hacking approach.

Swinmum went to a couple of stores, took pictures of the shoes, made a website, put them up and told the shoe store that if he sold any of the shoes, he would come back and pay full price. After launching his online store he made a few quick sales and realized that there is a demand for his business. This validated his idea and it was worth pursuing to build it into a scalable business. Now Zappos is one of the most wildly successful online companies.

Zappos’ growth hacking lesson shows that the method not only works but it is the fastest way to get the strategy rolling in the right direction.

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Safwan Khan

Safwan Khan is the founder of Startupily and also has an App & Website development company. He consults with several small businesses and is always working to build new passive incomes.