Traditional marketing is always about the same thing, focused on awareness through conventional and brand based media. Growth Hacking is about making data-driven moves through low-cost, metrics-driven and ROI-driven channels to quickly achieve growth in product or service utilization. Check out 4 tips to make your product a success.
1. Make a product that people want
Starting a product that nobody wants or needs is the worst marketing decision that exists. Growth Hacking believes that products and companies should continue to change until they cause very positive reactions on first use. The best marketing decision is to create a product or business that solves a pain for a real, well-defined group of people, no matter how much it takes to change or refine to achieve it. It is to make such a good product that people recommend to friends. Marketing works with what you have instead of working and improving what you have. Growth Hacking helps with interactions, tips and analysis of each part of the business.
We should always ask ourselves:
- Who is this product for?
- Why do people use it?
- Why do I use it?
Parallel to this, always ask customers:
- What would you like to have in the product?
- What excited you about him?
- What brought you to this product?
- What keeps you from sharing it to other people?
- What is missing?
- What is the best thing about this product?
Do not ask random people, friends or family. Be scientific. Use tools like SurveyMonkey, Wufoo, or Google Forms to get concrete data.
2. Find a way to grow
To succeed and grow, you need to align the way the product is marketed with the way customers learn and buy the product. With Growth Hacking, we start by testing the product until we are sure, based on evidence and not on ego or fantasy, that it is worth it to be marketed. You can not expect people to come to you, you need to attract them.
Launching a product does not mean making a campaign to reach a large audience. The key is to reach early adopters. While marketing always starts the same way, with advertising text or a campaign, Growth Hacking can run in many ways. It is not effective to do marketing for anyone. You go where there is a potential audience interested in what you do. To try to go everywhere is not to go anywhere. The big question is “Who are our early adopters and where are they?".
You need to find the communities. Why spend on print ads before trying to pitch to Reddit communities? Why pay to appear in a celebrity magazine instead of sponsoring a Meetup ?. Our initial marketing and PR (public relations) should capture the attention of interested, loyal, and zealous members. Capture attention and attract them. That simple.
If you do not know where to find the right people, you do not know your industry well and are not ready to launch the product yet. To identify your initial group, you can:
- Send a pitch email saying “Who we are”, “What we do” and “Why you should write about us” to sites that you know your potential customers often read;
- Write a post on Hacker News, Quora, Reddit or some other similar platform;
- Create your own blog to get traffic and advertise your product indirectly;
- Use crowding funding platforms like Kickstarter or Catarse to expose your idea;
- Seek customers and invite them to use the product for a promotional price or a free trial period.
The more innovative your product, the more innovative the ideas to get customers need to be. For example:
- Create exclusivity by sending invitations;
- Choose a service or platform and serve exclusively;
- Launch the product for a small group and then a larger group;
- Make events and guide their first users manually through the system;
- Use influencers with many followers as a channel of dissemination;
- Create viral videos;
- Create quality content in which the consumer does not bother to have a mark behind.
A good idea is not enough. Customers need to be conquered. The way to do this is not with bombardment. It’s with a targeted offensive in the right places with the right people.
3. Be viral
Virality is not magic or luck. There is a science behind why people talk and share. Most of the things that people do to be viral, have zero chances of becoming viral. The best way is to look natural. It has to be content that is worth spreading. You should facilitate and encourage sharing by adding tools and campaigns that allow virality. In addition, create powerful incentives for users.
We need to create self-disclosure initiatives and create residual behavior around people even after they buy the product. Referral programs are often more effective than paid advertising like Google Adwords.
4. Create engagement
Your job is not only to bring potential customers but to create long-time users. Dedicated and happy users are also marketing tools. Growth Hacking without engagement is like a bored bucket. Investors inject money into businesses for growth but the product does not keep users engaged. You can pay for ads but can not buy engagement. Engagement should be cultivated every day by improving the product experience. It is not enough just to have registered users, you need to create engagement. Examples:
- Dropbox leads the user to upload the first file;
- Twitter provides a suggestion list of some people to follow;
- Uber sends discount coupons when he realizes that the user has been around for some time without using the app.
Engagement is the most important metric of Growth Hacking. You need to be disruptive and make improvements on your own or someone else will do it at your expense. At the end of the day, what we all want is to grow. Growth’s ability is to expand the business without having to chase new customers. Even the best Growth Hacker can not grow a bad product. No matter what your current state, it can always improve. Growth Hackers know this and so they try new interactions often.
Focus should be on user retention and not on acquisition. Holding back is easier. Forget this talk that you need to invest more in sales and marketing. Instead, you should invest more in refining and improving the product while users are happy and active. Keeping clients can be incredibly simple, such as making a call by offering help or thanking. It is not a scalable solution but it helps a lot in the beginning. We must always look for growth via acquisition and retention through known channels and in parallel experience things that others have never tried before.
When your product is relevant and made for a specific audience, bloggers will love to write about it. Writing posts about your product will provide more pageviews for them. We do not have to pay outsiders to represent our product. We do not have to buy a relationship with the media. Instead, we can grow our business through iteration, tracking success and anything that brings people to our sales funnel. And then we will understand how to improve our product for these customers and their needs. We can change quickly and spend our money on product improvements rather than advertising.
Summary of steps
- Test your idea without spending too much, make improvements based on feedbacks and then launch the product;
- Reduce the entry barrier. Use channels and platforms aimed at your target audience to bring the first users;
- Do something amazing for the user so that they want to share;
- Build your list of users, listen to them, deliver what they want and remember that nothing is really finished.
The definition of marketing is a desperate need for expansion. In fact, anything can be considered marketing as long as it helps the business grow by bringing customers. Growth Hacking uses tactics that no one previously described as marketing and so ended up becoming a more powerful type of marketing. More important than tactics is the mindset. Growth combines marketing with product development, focusing on getting the most out of the first users and then adding viral elements, repeating that cycle, always guided by information and feedback, with an open eye for optimization.
Growth Hacking is more of a mindset than a set of tools.