Ok...brace yourself. There's another "new" term in the middle of digital marketing: growth hacking. It sounds somewhat intimidating or possibly illegal. Will Google see it as "black hat" or will they like it? One thing is for sure is that growth hacking is here to stay and should be considered as a part of your digital marketing effort, especially if you are a startup or a newly-formed company.
"Before we get into how growth hacking should be used through digital marketing, let's define what it is," said Wesley Farnam, chief digital strategist for The Idea People. "Growth hacking is a buzzword whereby new companies use low cost technology integration to achieve fast online growth and attraction of many users."
Growth Hacking - A marketing technique which aims to attract users at a relatively low cost and primarily by means of technological integration.
So let's take a closer look at who is using growth hacking and how it is used successfully (and legally!)Who is using growth hacking?
Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Pinterest, YouTube, Groupon, Udemy and Instagram still use growth hacking in their digital marketing strategies today.Examples of growth hacking.
"Some of our readers may remember the early use of growth hacking by Hotmail when they launched a campaign called 'P.S. I Love You' with a link for your friends to get the free email service," adds Farnam. "And another recent example was the offer by Dropbox for the user to earn more free storage when they referred their friends."
One of the easiest examples of "growth hacking" is to add “?sub_confirmation=1” at the end of your Youtube channel URL. Everybody will see a popup “Confirm Channel Subscription” (works only on desktops). This growth hacking tactic increased YouTube subscribers by 400%.
"Startups and new companies traditionally don't have large sums of money for marketing and user adoption nor do they have extensive marketing experience," said Farnam. "So growth hacking techniques are popular because of the low cost, scalability and fast user connectivity."
The real heart and soul of growth hacking is the intensive focus on rapid growth as the only measurement of success that matters. "Growth hackers build-in a viral loop of awareness, use and sharing to their product strategy so the online adoption rate is through the roof," added Farnam.
"We have included growth hacking into the development of a new startup's online software-as-a-service model that is launching this fall," said Farnam. "Rapid online adoption, sharing and heavy product usage are being built in as an organic component to the online software service. We're excited to watch it pan out this September."