Growth Hacking - 5 Highly Effective Campaigns
Growth hacking can be the quickest and most cost-effective way to change the stars of a company. It involves implementing innovative strategies and tactics to rapidly accelerate growth and achieve desired results. We give you 5 campaign ideas.
CONTENT MARKETINGCHURNSOCIAL MEDIA MARKETINGSTARTUPSINFLUENCERSGROWTHSAAS GROWTHCHURNGROWTH HACKINGMARKETING STRATEGIES
Of all the marketing endeavors we have had the pleasure to work on, NOTHING is more fun than implementing a growth hacking program. It is an intense, fully consuming, process that builds a camaraderie within the company that is simply adrenalin-producing. It becomes even more intense when that effort is for a startup or early-stage company, where success literally means the survival of the business. Everyone in the organization is focused on one thing, GROWTH.
If something is not contributing to growth, it is eliminated. If it does contribute to growth, it is optimized. In a startup, every person is part of the program, and every effort is tracked, monitored, and analyzed. Getting 30% month-over-month growth, quickly, becomes the baseline and not the reality or expectation.
This is why we prepared this series on growth hacking. We first introduced the topic in a blog entitled: “The Magical Mysterious World of Growth Hackers.” We shared how you can begin to build your own growth hacking program using a formula that we have utilized for clients over several verticals and industries. That blog can be found here: “Growth Hacking – How to Implement a Program.” Finally, and maybe the hardest part of growth hacking, is how to convince the C-Suite to dedicate the time, energy, and talent to have a corporate-wide growth hacking endeavor. We called that blog: “Growth Hacking – Making the Case to Management.”
Today, we want to share some actual strategies and stories from programs we have implemented for our clients. We could write an expansive trilogy discussing the wide and varying programs we have run. There are no two growth hacking programs that look the same. The strategies that you will implement will be dictated by the data. We present these growth hacking strategies, not to be a blueprint that should be duplicated, but as inspiration. These will give you a range from the mundane to the magnificent. We selected five examples to demonstrate with wide-ranging scope that can be encompassed in a program. The only limitation is your imagination.
A/B Testing – We will start with the mundane, and what most people think of with the word growth hacking, A/B testing of digital assets. It is true, we begin every program optimizing the client’s website, landing pages, calls-to-action, etc. We start here for three reasons:
Quick Wins – It is amazing how you can quickly change a company’s trajectory by optimizing these items. For one B2B SaaS client, we took their landing page and made our first initiative to optimize its performance. When we started, their landing page had a conversion rate of 2.75%. At the end of the 30-day cycle we set aside for that initiative, we had increased the conversion rate to 19.76%. That only tells part of the story. The quality of the leads was dramatically better than what they had previously experienced. They experienced a 39% increase in leads who moved down the sales funnel to become customers.
Ratification – While some quick wins are more significant than others, they are all impressive to a management team that was a bit reluctant to begin a growth hacking program. These efforts reinforce their decision, and we often find them to now be our biggest advocates and supporters for the program.
Foundational – Anytime you begin any marketing program, you need to build from the ground up. It makes no sense to increase traffic to a landing page that is not properly optimized. Before we start any program, we begin with our exclusive discovery and assessment process and the full development of buyer personas. We, then, proceed to optimize ALL our client’s online ecosystems.
Rebranding – Often, it is the smallest of tweaks that can change the stars of our client’s fortunes. We once had a client who had an excellent product that was perfectly suited for a number of verticals. While each version of the product was unique to that vertical, the branding was the same for each.
One of the growth hacking initiatives was to find the proper branding for each vertical. In the end, we optimized and created unique brand versions for their architectural, legal, and accounting versions.
Results – The results were that, for the first time, each industry saw our client’s product as something that was built specifically for them. The product itself had not changed; it always was designed for the way each industry operated and the jargon they used. The prospects usually never got far enough in their assessment to understand this was the case. They would discard my client’s product in favor of one they saw was for their industry.
While each of the industries saw different increases in their growth, when combined, the results were well over a 39% increase.
Product mixed – Growth hacking involves all aspects of the company, including product development itself. We had a client whose CEO/Developer had become myopic in the features that he was creating. He had ignored customer feedback that was being shared, to the point that Marketing, Sales, and Customer Support were no longer sharing it. Getting the CEO to listen required a bit of growth hacking itself. We utilized the process we laid out in our previous blog entitled: “Growth Hacking – Making the Case to Management.”
We convinced the CEO to add functionality that was necessary to remain competitive and to meet customer needs. We managed to get them to establish a product release update schedule that allowed for proper QA and communication of changes to the customer.
Results – The results did significantly increase new clients, but my belief was that the biggest benefit was client retention. The company had an inordinately high churn rate, because their product was not competitive, and the product would break with releases that occurred every few weeks. If you want to grow, you must retain your current clients. It is hard to get a steep growth rate if all you are doing is replacing clients who have churned. To understand the importance of client retention, and ways to ensure they stay, we have a five-part blog series that begins with: “Customer Churn – The Struggle is Real.”
Aggressive Content Marketing – While many companies understand that content marketing is important, few are willing to commit the time and resources that can turn it into a growth hacking strategy. We have had a number of clients who, because they were startups or had run into financial hardships, had limited resources to do marketing.
We helped them initiate a highly focused content marketing program on steroids. They would produce daily blogs, videos, and infographics every day and share them across a multitude of platforms. The content was all directed to the pain points, interests, and concerns of their targeted personas. They never spoke about product features or why someone needed to buy for them. Instead, they educated, informed, and entertained their audience. This was done on a relentless basis.
Results – While we have many stories of our own that we can share, we are humbled by an example from another agency. In 2015, they were fighting for their existence; they had placed all their eggs into a few clients' baskets, who had vanished. With all the time in the world on their hands, and no revenue to speak of, they started the most relentless content creation program that I had ever seen. Often, they would have several releases in a single day. While they did not achieve success overnight, in four to six months they started to see enough clients that they could rebuild. Rather than stop this initiative, they saw what it created and doubled down. By 2018, they had become one of the largest agencies in the HubSpot Partner Program.
When a client who cannot afford any support asks me the one thing they can do to find success, I always share this example. To this day, none of them have tried to follow it.
Webinar Optimization – When you start your growth hacking program, start with elements that were foundational, then move to areas where the client has seen some traction. We had a client whose pre-existing webinar series was producing modest results. We knew that, with optimization, it could become a powerhouse in delivering bottom-of-the-funnel leads.
Their original program only utilized pre-existing contacts in their CRM and used only in-house experts during the webinars. We expanded the program to bring in external influencers and experts who invited their contacts to also attend. We changed the format to be more educational and informational about the problems those attending were having in their business. We added a call-to-action at the end that invited participants to learn more.
Results - The attendance at the events increased by over 250%. But the real benefit was found in those companies who asked sales to contact them at the end of the webinar. We increased the previous conversion rate of 9% to 24%. The best part was that the majority of those seeking the consultation were from the third-party influencer or expert’s list.
Growth hacking can be the quickest and most cost-effective way to change the stars of a company. It involves implementing innovative strategies and tactics to rapidly accelerate growth and achieve desired results. By leveraging data-driven insights and experimenting with various marketing techniques, growth hackers can identify the most effective ways to acquire and retain customers.
We could have written volumes on campaigns and strategies that have been highly effective, but that is missing the point. For each company, your path will be different. You must follow the path the data-driven metrics show. We gave these examples to try and stretch your imagination as to the different areas and possibilities that exist.
Growth hacking allows companies to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, stay ahead of the competition, and achieve unprecedented growth.