How convincing an entrance like this sounds to you, not about Growth Hacking?
You have a new investment but your website’s visitor rate is too low? You actually think that your idea addresses to millions but you can not reach the number of user that you expected? Your twitter and Facebook follower number is too low? Even with advertisements, you can’t reach the numbers that you desired? You want your work to show up at the 1st page of Google?
I have something exactly for you!
If you are having these troubles mentioned above and want to hire me believing what I am going to talk/sell about, good luck with that!
Is there anybody out there that doesn’t want the “thing” what this ad. is selling ?
If you still want to work with me, I also have something like this:
Do you want a platform which is heavily colored in blue, has its personalized walls and profiles where people can add each other as friends? It is important for it to be in blue color…
We made a harsh entrance but the situation isn’t that bad because there is something called “Growth Hacking”, yes!
But first, we need to solidify certain concepts, just to be on the safe side!
It is possible to expand a platform, service, product or website quickly at some certain points, but you need to calculate possible incomes and costs really well. Especially, you need to calculate the result you want to get as a customer, or in other words, you need to specify your ultimate goal clearly.
Like always, let’s get to work by asking the right questions.
Why do you need Growth Hacking ?
Why don’t you wait for a natural growth of your product, or in other words, why do you need a 1 year expansion in 3 months? What is the real reason? This question is so important at the start before growth hacking.
Google always says the exact same thing about that, “Create valuable and creative content!”. You have to do it all the time when writing a blog, when trying to expand your idea to commercial life or even trying to expand your platform to broader masses… Do you think your content is different from the others? Is it going to be valuable for the audience that you dreamed of? Is it going to make a difference for them?
Basically, is it unique? Like former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt asks: http://www.slideshare.net/ericschmidt/how-google-works-final-1
If you think your idea is unique or almost unique, I’m not saying if you believe, after calculating everything and coming to this conclusion then, you don’t need Growth Hacking at this point! Create your Marketing Strategy and try to manage your resources in the best way possible.
However, there is an exception in that situation mentioned above.
If your idea is unique but you are having troubles with finance managing and/or other business problems, then you need to prepare your Marketing Strategy before starting to Growth Hacking. I am sorry to observe that many projects start their journey without preparing a Marketing Strategy which is important than to use a tool like Growth Hacking.
Customer : We decided to do Growth Hacking.
You came here based on the word Growth but do you know what hacking is? Borders of hacking still arguing all around the world however hacking is hacking, like you know. Stealing one’s Facebook password, bank-account information or any digital illegal activity is hacking. You can check literature here.
Sometimes people ask me to do hacking without damaging their brand name. Please think it like that, let’s steal Bob’s money but when we get caught, we want to keep our brand name clean! If there is something like that, why not? But you have to make your hands dirty. Like every other decision that you made in your life, this will also have some consequences for you and me. At this point, a cleverly applied strategy will allow you to get out from worst case scenario with minimal damage. It is important to find the safest middle way.
I understand why I need Growth Hacking and what it is. Let’s do it!
If everyone is ready, let’s get to work.
It is important to differentiate yourself, differentiate your product clearly! Because, if we’re going to hack the system, we need to attack its holes with best weapons we have. Once we entered the system from its holes, unless we damage it with the best weapons, the system which is bigger and stronger, will clean out people like us. Entering again might not be possible after that point. That’s why, we need to optimise that one unique item.
Many people know this motto: “Content is the King”.
You need to create the unique content in the best possible way, that is the most important part of the job right now! You need to ideally assimilate that unique content into product or service. Then we will look into possible ways to sneak this content inside the system.
I am not going to mention any Growth Hacking tools in this article. Type “Best Growth Hacking Tool” to Google, and pick the ones that fit into your strategy. Again, many people came to me asking which tools to use, I must say tools are not important, what matters is your strategy!
If we go back to content; when creating your unique content, follow the new trends. Focus on hot topics, keywords and events. Those will acts as doors to provide you an entrance to the system. Focus all your cannons to these doors. You don’t have many to begin with in order to start Bulk Effect, so select only 2 or 3 doors and focus on those.
Keywords might be light but when used correctly they can be effective weapons just like pawns on a chessboard. You can sacrifice those pawns before your main attack in order to see the responses of the system. Sometimes, only finding the right keyword may boost your traffic without other growth hacking tools needed.
There are some other tools that you can use as a vanguard to measure the doors besides keywords. When using those tools the most important detail that you shouldn’t forget is that you need to enter to system as silently as possible. If you heavily focus your pawns to these doors in order to get immediate results, you might get the wrong idea about these doors (they might seem weak on the surface but actually, they might be full) in which system will crush you in 3 days. You might end up having to watch your campaign desperately.
When building your strategy, you may think Growth Hacking as a castle siege. If you have enough money and time, you can enter the castle from front door by using common marketing steps.
If you still continue to read this article;
- You don’t have enough money (lets be realistic),
- You don’t really have a unique idea (believing is not enough),
- Your resources are not enough to support your unique idea,
- Admit it already, you actually have a marketing strategy based on growth.
Growth Hacking might offer a solution to these:
- You don’t need that much money,
- Even if you don’t have an unique idea, it might highlight your differences,
- If you have limited resources, it allows you to use resources of others.
But, it doesn’t increase growth and/or create Marketing Strategy! You need to do it on your own, then towards that Marketing Strategy, you will decide whether you need to use Growth Hacking or not.
Let the Operation Begin
You decided which doors to attack with the things I’ve mentioned above. Now it is time to attack that door(s). You can start the attack by beating your enemy with heavy artillery fire or you can hire assassins to take out your primary opponents. The method I prefer to use is this: I split my pawns equally to 3 doors that I want to enter, wait for them to battle, measure the response of system and then beat the doors with heavy artillery. My aim is to open up canals with maximum width and enter inside.
You might encounter these problems when using the method mentioned above (or any other method):
- System will enter a state of defense. If you don’t act quickly, you might see numbers declining instead of increasing.
- Overconfidence is dangerous. Other people (your hacker/marketing opponents) may also be planning to pass through the gate which you’ve managed to expose its weakness already.
- Your No.1 opponent who entered to system from front door and acts like landlords and the system which acts like their ally can always target you. You need to act quickly without scaring them and even if you did move quickly, you can always get counter attacked by your opponents. In a situation like that, the system may unconsciously help your enemies (opponents).
- You will push the limits of your potential and existing clients. There is a probability that you may bore them abusively. Although this situation is completely neutral, your content may handle this. If your content is good, there is no other option other than trusting it.
- You may see a traffic that is unrelated to you. System can be regard this as a disturbance. This situation might cause your initial target points to decrease despite the rising of overall numbers.
- You will have to make your hands dirty.
Nature of growth hacking work, you are going to enter the grey area when using your tools and doing your moves. The time you are going to spend in this area is important. Otherwise, precautions taken against will increase. It is a good thing to move inside the grey area as much as possible. Just like any other job, there will be a certain risk factor but even in the worst case scenarios, your preventive device should be at stand by and it should be in your strategy. Movements in grey area of growth hacking are preventable and reversible. Your measures will suffice. Ship may crash into iceberg but if you have enough lifeboats, you can always evacuate the passengers and transfer them to the next ship.
If the situation is hopeless and the company is willing to take risks at all costs, you may enter to the black areas as growth hacker. We can also name black areas as “the dark side” of growth hacking. Most probably (%80-90 of the time) you will be detected by the system and eliminated. However, if you think you are capable of playing in that %20 ratio, that ratio has certain rules and strategies too. Usually, it’s really hard to find a plan B for your general strategy particularly for this area. Once and only once you can trespass this area and get out. I’ve observed that the outcome is good with the in and out tactic. In every situation, every move towards this area will be highly risky. The higher the risk, the higher the outcome. You can tenfold your capacity in just one week. I’ve seen examples but I’ve not seen any live one. I even don’t know if there is any and this shows they have well managed that %20 and they are really decent in growth hacking business.