As a business owner, you know that creating and running a business is hard work.
When you start a business, progress is often slow, and in many cases, you may not grow fast enough to survive in a competitive market. This lack of rapid growth is one of the reasons why 90 percent of new businesses fail.
It’s difficult enough to hear this sad fact, but it’s more resourceful to know what you can do today to prevent your business from shutting down prematurely.
A study conducted by CBinsights on startup failure revealed that 29 percent of startups that failed ran out cash, 19 percent were outcompeted, and 14 percent of failures resulted from poor marketing. What’s sad is that these failures could’ve been avoided through growth hacking.
Growth hacking is an innovative approach to growth whose main aim is to rapidly grow the number of customers a business has and multiply their revenue.
Rapid growth will;
- Give you the financial strength you need to thrive amidst strong competition
- Prevent poor marketing from causing you to shut down
- Ensure that you make enough cash to grow and expand
If you’re wondering how you can multiply your customer base and revenue in a short period, read along to find out the five growth hacking strategies that guarantee results and are easy to implement.
1. Referral marketing
Referral marketing is one of the most effective growth hacking strategies used by smart business owners and marketers.
According to research done by Nielsen, visitors are four times more likely to buy when a friend refers them.
When you already have sufficient customers, it’s more rewarding to use these current customers to get more customers as opposed to trying to get new visitors from scratch.
Referral marketing works best when three conditions are met;
- You already have customers
- Your current customers are happy with your products
- You’re giving your customers a great user experience
When you meet these three conditions, all you need to do is ask your customers to refer you to their networks and friends. To increase the likelihood that your customers will refer you, you can offer your customers incentives such as discounts.
A classic example of referral marketing done right is Dropbox’s offer to its customers. For each invited friend that installs Dropbox, a customer is rewarded with 500 MB of free bonus space. This generous offer is what motivates Dropbox users to invite their friends to the platform.
Referral marketing is an endlessly profitable cycle. You get your current customers to refer friends, and the new customers you land will later invite their friends.
2. Influencer marketing
When you’re trying to attract new customers to your website and increase sales, using an influencer’s social network can skyrocket your results.
According to Techopedia, “digital influence is the ability to create an effect, change opinions and behaviors, and drive measurable outcomes online.”
Influencers have a wide reach, with lots of loyal followers that are ready to follow their lead.
With every dollar spent on influencer marketing giving a return of $6.50, this growth hacking technique should be among your top priorities when you want to increase the number of customers your business has, and need a quick ROI.
When choosing some influencers to work with, here are some factors to consider;
- The size of their following; the bigger, the better
- The level of engagement with their following. A highly engaged following is more emotionally attached and this increases the likelihood that they will act on the influencer’s recommendation.
- Are they relevant to your business?
After you’ve chosen an influencer with a huge following and is relevant to your business, you should reach out to them with your business proposal. You can partner up with influencers by offering them a percentage of all profits they help you generate or by offering them some of your products for free.
A simple recommendation from the right influencer can help you multiply your customer base and give you the kind of brand awareness that precedes rapid business growth.
3. Use social proof
While most growth hacking techniques are geared towards attracting new visitors to your website, social proof is different.
Even after attracting new visitors and referrals to your website, you still need to build trust for you to successfully convince these visitors to make a purchase.
Using social proof is all about presenting your business as the right choice by showing your visitors the results you’ve gotten with your past customers. People are more trusting when they can see that you’ve achieved positive results with your previous customers.
According to Buffer, we think that what the experts use is great because we assume that they’re more knowledgeable than us and also trust user reviews since the reviewers, unlike us, have already experienced the product or service.
Some examples of social proofs that work are;
- Testimonials and reviews from previous clients
- Some logos or names of your biggest clients/customers
- Case studies of your biggest successes
Social proof not only presents you as a trustworthy expert but also increases your websites conversion rate.
4. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is closely related to referral marketing in that in both techniques people get a reward for sending customers your way. However, there is a slight difference.
While referral advocates recommend your business to others based on a personal relationship or experience with your business, affiliate marketers are driven by financial motivation and rarely know your business personally.
Entrepreneur defines affiliate marketing as a means through which a company can sell its products by signing up affiliates (other companies or individuals) to market the company’s products/services for a commission.
Affiliate marketing is a great growth hacking technique because unlike other strategies mentioned in this post, you can land new customers and generate more sales without spending a dime or any effort to market yourself.
One of the most lucrative niches for affiliates according to The Balance is foreign currency exchange markets (Forex.) While this means that affiliates get higher commissions for every customer they invite, it also means that affiliate marketing is producing a very high ROI for Forex businesses.
The reason why trading platforms and applications for working on the Forex market are the favorite choices for affiliate marketers is that they have multiple products to sell and have a broad audience for consumers. This increases their chances of getting customers to buy and earn them a commission.
If your products solve a particular need for many people, you should try partnering with affiliate networks that will not only generate quick sales for your business but also save you the resources you’d have used to market the products yourself.
5. Inbound marketing
According to a Kapost report, companies that use inbound content platforms and create content relevant to their buyer personas see a 45 percent increase in the volume of Sales Acceptable Leads.
Inbound marketing is a marketing technique geared towards attracting business leads and customers through relevant and helpful internet content that bridges the gap between people learning about your brand and making a purchase.
Hubspot, one of the biggest proponents of inbound marketing, came up with an inbound methodology that can help you turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business. The methodology starts with attracting and converting visitors into leads.
Afterwards, through lead nurturing, you’re able to convince your prospects to make a purchase. And finally, you delight your customers so that they can promote your business (e.g., through referrals and positive testimonials.)
When trying to attract visitors to your site, there are many techniques you can use to drive traffic to your website. The most rewarding methods are blogging, social media and guest posting on relevant blogs.
High-quality content drives all inbound marketing efforts. Here is some data that shows the potential of inbound marketing as a growth hacking technique;
- SEO leads have a 14.6 percent close rate while outbound leads (such as print advertising or direct mail) have a 1.7 percent close rate (Search Engine Journal).
- A study of 7000+ businesses revealed that business websites with 400-1000 pages get six times more leads than those with 51-100 pages. You need to step up your blogging game to enjoy six times more leads.
To skyrocket your inbound marketing results, diversify your inbound marketing tactics by using more than one marketing channel.
Growth hack your business for rapid growth
The growth hacking strategies you decide to use largely depend on what type of business you have, your current situation, and what you intend to achieve.
It’s worth noting that growth hacking only works when you invest your time and resources on the right strategy. For optimal results, try out different growth hacking techniques to see what gives you the best ROI, then put all your efforts into what works and abandon what doesn’t.