For several years now, two words have come up regularly on the Internet and social networks when we talk about the growth of start-ups. You may have read them without necessarily paying attention to them. You may already know them and are knowledgeable on the subject. What words immediately come to mind if someone says “growth hacking”? Hacking, undoubtedly, because of the term “hacking”, which brings to mind an illegal practice and cybercrime.
However, if this is the correct translation of this word, there is nothing criminal about “growth hacking”. To understand it better, we must move away from the literal translation, namely “growth hacking”, and consider it instead as an activity to accelerate the growth of a start-up. A technique that has proven itself since it has enabled the development of the turnover of certain companies – which are today well known to the general public – in record time.
However, a growth hacking strategy cannot be implemented with a few mouse clicks. Quite complex, it requires real expertise in:
- Digital Marketing,
- data processing,
- online advertisements in particular.
As much knowledge as our Power Trafic agency has. Thanks to our 13 years of experience, we have acquired the know-how to help our clients accelerate their growth using different marketing techniques.
What Is Growth Hacking? Definition
Invented in the United States in 2010 by an entrepreneur and investor, Sean Ellis, growth hacking arrived a few years later in India. As previously indicated, this technique can be summarized as “growth hacking”. But this remains imprecise and needs to allow us to understand its ins and outs fully. This is why, at Power Trafic, we prefer to define growth hacking using other words:
- a set of marketing actions aimed at rapid growth;
- a low-cost method that achieves maximum results.
It is a fairly broad definition, which may seem vague at first glance. Here are some explanations and examples to make it more concrete.
An Expression Associated With Start-Ups In The Digital Economy
Initially, growth hacking concerned the growth of start-ups from the digital sector. Much more than a simple marketing technique, this practice relies heavily on data analysis. The objective is to optimize the conversion funnel in 5 steps (AR):
- Acquisition of traffic;
- Activation, or the completion of a first action by an Internet user on a site (generally a registration);
- Retention, which consists of bringing an Internet user back to a site;
- Income or when the prospect becomes a customer of the site;
- Recommendation: when a customer recommends the products or services of the site.
For start-ups, this practice had severe advantages. She helped them develop their growth with the following:
- a small budget;
- few human and material resources.
The holy grail is when you start an activity and want to obtain results quickly (and sustainably). Especially since, unlike other marketing techniques, growth hacking is less conventional. It, therefore, corresponds perfectly to this famous start-up spirit. And today, having been successful, it is also of interest to businesses.
The Pillars Of This Technique
Growth hacking is, in fact, the combination of several methods which make it possible to optimize the conversion funnel (acquire traffic and generate conversions):
- marketing (classic and digital),
- data analysis,
- social media.
Therefore, any good growth hacking strategy involves :
- Segmentation to identify the targets to be reached, the most relevant for a site or brand.
- Tracking using tools such as Google Analytics ;
- Optimization of the results provided by tracking.
- Saturation of communication channels to quickly increase awareness and visibility of the site and the brand.
When perfectly mastered, these actions act as powerful levers of growth. Several start-ups have experimented with it and have today become world-renowned companies.
Examples Of Successful Strategies
In recent years, many start-ups have focused on growth hacking; for some, the results have lived up to their expectations. This was the case for:
- Hotmail (Outlook.com nowadays), which, when it was launched, had developed a reasonably simple method to develop its number of users: when a user sent an email, a message at the bottom of the email was automatically added: “PS: I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail. As a result, in a year and a half, 12 million Internet users were registered.
- Airbnb has chosen a slightly less orthodox method than Hotmail, with accommodation rental advertisements published both on its site and on its competitor, Craigslist (a Leboncoin in the American version), to take advantage of the hearing of it. Then, Airbnb considerably improved the quality of its online ads, with more beautiful photos than its competitors, for example. And it worked since the platform quickly generated new subscribers and a better traffic conversion rate.
- Dropbox has opted for sponsorship to develop its growth. Its users could recommend this online storage solution to their relatives and friends and receive, with each referral, 500 MB of additional storage. A rather primary method, which nevertheless had to be thought of, allowed Dropbox to achieve exponential growth.
Our Expertise At The Service Of Your Strategy
When we analyze, years later, the strategies of the former start-ups mentioned above, we can say that they are straightforward and accessible to everyone. The context differed from today, and for 3 successful start-ups, dozens of others failed. Likewise, only some basic techniques work for sure in growth hacking.
Each strategy must be personalized and be the subject of reflection, analysis of user behavior, targets, and tests. You must also dare, be creative, and learn from your mistakes. This is why it is better to contact specialists, such as the experts from our Powertrafic agency. The role of our team is to support our clients in their growth by offering them recommendations and growth hacking, marketing and social media actions.
Therefore, we need to understand their activity, sector, customers, and expectations to present them with a tailor-made strategy. Likewise, all our recommendations comply with good practices in force on the Internet, particularly those established by Google. This is not about penalizing our clients for the SEO of their sites. Therefore, we favor actions that are certainly unconventional but legal and effective, which are not condemned by Google.
What Are The Limits Of This Practice?
Regarding growth hacking, each agency has its own habits and methods. There are not necessarily good or bad practices. However, we must acknowledge that some techniques are unscrupulous and sometimes seem dubious. And this is mainly a criticism often leveled at growth hacking.
If growth is essential when starting a business, do you need to grow it quickly? Is it essential to obtain excellent results very quickly? Can we not instead aim for reasoned and sustainable growth, which is based on customer loyalty and human capital? This quest for exponential growth, whatever the cost, is not to everyone’s taste. It must also be recognized that it is only possible for some companies.
Everything depends on a company’s “business model”, brand image, and values. However, with growth hacking, we can have the impression that it is within everyone’s reach. This needs to be more accurate, so it is essential to contact experts to receive good advice when implementing such a strategy. So, if you have any questions about this practice or our agency’s methods and would like to take advantage of it, do not hesitate to contact us.
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