Did you know that according to the statistics, 9 out of 10 startups will fail?
What that means is that you have approximately 10% chance that your new adventure will prevail. Scary numbers, but you know what?
Still, most of the success depends on you. Worldwide known brands like Tinder, Airbnb or Dropbox, became what they are now not by accident.
They adapted traditional marketing techniques using out of the box thinking and managed to grow their customer base significantly in a short time of period.
This type of process where traditional marketing is mixed up with unusual tactics, experiments, and A/B testings is usually called growth hacking.
Growth hacking is one of the most important pieces of a puzzle that could transform your startup into a multi-million company.
Most of the founders of a startup concentrate on developing a product, and they ignore one of the most important parts of every business – marketing.
If no one knows about you or your product then even the most amazing idea is doomed to die.
And growth hacking could be that inexpensive and yet very effective strategy that could bring thousands of new customers.
So, let’s walk through the three of the most effective growth hacking techniques that almost any startup could adapt.
Having a community even when the product is still in a development stage might be crucial for your business.
This is the time when you can warm up the audience, build a close relationship and learn what product features are expected from you.
Building a community doesn’t mean that everything should be strictly concentrated around your product.
On the contrary, it is better to focus on problems that your product might solve later.
For example, if you are building a website analytics tool, then it would be a good idea to build a community of marketers who are looking for ways to get a more sophisticated data about their traffic and conversions.
People could share their experience and give advice to each other.
And you will have the possibility to build your name in this niche.
There are many ways and tactics you can use to create this community.
You just need to get a little creative.
Here are a few of them:
– Create your own forum and participate on other top forums in the niche
– Create groups on social media. It is especially popular on Facebook and LinkedIn
– Participate on Quora. Answer questions related to your niche and build your name as an expert
– Find relevant subreddits on Reddit and ask people for the feedback about your idea. Compile it into one list and once the product is launched, send them a message explaining how some of the features were changed or added based on their feedback.
– Participate on platforms like BetaList (https://betalist.com/) to submit the beta version of your product for testing.
Creating a unique, high-quality and helpful content for your audience is a rule number one for almost any business nowadays.
Analyze your niche, find what people need, profile your perfect customer and use all of that data to create content that people would love.
Be creative and come up with topics that have not been covered yet by your competitors.
And if it was, make sure you are giving much more insight than they are.
Do not be afraid to experiment with different forms of content like text, visuals, audio, video, maybe animation, etc.
People like seeing something new, something controversial, so do not be afraid to think out of the box. Only those who are not afraid to risk will win.
Let’s walk through some of the tactics that could be used for almost any startup:
– Blogging. You know your audience? You understand their needs, fears, and passions? Great. Then play a little bit with their feelings by writing a blog. Talk about some problems they face and help solve them. Answer their questions publicly, share various insights from experiments you take, introduce to your behind-the-scenes life in a company. Show anything that might interest your potential audience.
– Guest posting. It is almost the same as blogging; you just publish not on your own blog but others. All you have to do is create amazing content, find a website that would be glad to share your content and publish it.
– Forum marketing. Very often marketers and businesses are overlooking this strategy. It is a great place to meet thousands of like-minded people. Do not be promotional and act like an ordinary user answering questions, helping people and sharing your experience. This way you will build your name very quickly, and people will start coming to you by themselves.
– Content upgrades. If you want to take your content to the next level, then a content upgrade is the way to go. Provide something valuable for the reader to download. A template, a checklist or a tool that could significantly improve his work. In return, you will get his email for your future marketing campaigns. Both sides win.
One of the biggest reason of startups’ fast growth is successful viral campaigns.
Going viral is the key to quickly increasing your customer base, your sales volumes, and your overall audience.
One option is to keep creating high-quality content and hope that it just naturally goes viral.
Another option is to take everything into your hands and organize your own viral campaigns.
Here are few examples what tactics your startup could apply:
– Get noticed by the media.
If you have something interesting to say or show, then notify about it as many media companies as possible. Just make sure that you are outstanding because there are thousands of competitors that are trying to do exactly the same every day. It might be one of the most problematic strategies, but if you get the attention from at least one of the media companies, then it could be a huge boost to your startup.
– Use Pay with a tweet for your content.
If you are already offering free ebooks, tools or content upgrades, then incorporate this strategy in a few of them. What it does is it asks for a user to share your content on social media before he can download your freebie. That way you can go viral in a blink of an eye. You just need to attract a few users at the beginning, and then it might spread organically very fast.
– Organize viral sign-up campaigns.
This strategy has been applied successfully by many startups. Basically, what you have to do is assign a referral link to every new user that registers on your website. Then offer something in return if someone else registers through that link. It could be a contest with a prize for users who earned most referrals, it could be a discount for the referrer and each referral, or you can just offer an additional product for free. It is up to your imagination, but make it worth sharing.
Growth hacking is a never-ending process.
You need to keep testing and applying new strategies all the time.
Only that way you will increase your chances of success.
These three approaches above is just a starting point for you to get on the way.
Once you are done with them, keep adding new tactics to reach even better results.
Leave a comment below if you have a strategy for startups that I have not mentioned above.