Growth Hacking Tactics For Beginners (How To Use Them To Grow Your Business)

For over five years now, startup activity has experienced massive growth around the world.

In fact, a post on the City A.M. blog shows that a staggering 100 million businesses are launched annually, according to figures from GEM Global Report. It comes to just over three businesses every second, or 11,000 per hour.”

However, does that mean that starting a business is easy? Well, I will say that starting a business is easy, but starting a business and making it a success is very difficult. Landing your first paying customer is even more challenging.

Interestingly, as many companies are turning into successes, more and more companies with killer services and products are failing on a daily basis.

In an article published on LinkedIn Pulse, Kevin Vyavahare showed that The failure rate for new startups seems to be around 70% to 80% in the first year and only about half of those who survive the first year will remain in business the next five years.”

However, no matter how many statistics you look at, or what you understood about them, startup life is drudgery.

Now, you may wonder…why do lots of good startups fail to see the sun?

The graph below from CB Insights shows some of the traits that often result in startup failure.

They include:

  • Not having the right team.
  • Having a mediocre product that is not needed by the market.
  • Poor customer service.
  • Funding related problems.
  • *The inability to take the right products to the right people.*

Top Reasons Startups fail
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(Source)

Whether pre-launch or post-launch, failure looms everywhere, especially in a startup’s early days.

You can write fascinating blog posts in your industry, hire the best social media marketing consultants, build a killer content marketing team, invest massively in video marketing and PPC ads, but still not get the publicity and profits needed to become part of that 10 percent of startups that succeed.

That being said, one can wonder…

The answer is simple:

Growth Hacking.

5 Easy To Apply Growth Hacking Techniques

Surprisingly, growth hacking has become a prevalent phrase in the internet marketing industry today – many brands and businesses are using it to skyrocket their business growth beyond human imagination.

In today’s post, I’ll reveal to you the easy steps you can employ today to dramatically grow your business with growth hacking.

This way, you’ll be on good footing to be one of the surviving 10% of success stories.

1. Make compelling videos a part of your content strategy.

You probably know by now that storytelling is one of the best content marketing strategies on the internet. It can help a lot in strengthening your brand’s credibility and boosting your conversions.

Now, integrate your story with visuals and your message’s visibility will go through the roof. This is because, as humans, we process visuals 60 thousand times faster than text.

Apart from that, visual related content (in the form of infographics, charts, memes, screenshots, videos, etc.) also tends to attract more shares and views on social media.

However, among all the visual content marketing formats out there, video is the most powerful. It can single-handedly help you touch millions of people in less than a week and convert them into good brand advocates.

Typically, video marketing is one of the most efficient growth hacking tactics on the internet, and if you can use video to convey an exciting story about your product, you’ll stand the chance of getting lots of repeat customers.

In the month of November 2015, as the most popular social media platform on the internet, Facebook crossed 8,000,000,000 daily views in their videos as stated by TechCrunch – double of what it was seven months earlier.

Similarly, Syndacast made an interesting prediction that 74 percent of all web traffic will come from video by 2017.” (I suspect this has happened.)

The famous Whiteboard Friday hosted by Rand Fishkin of Moz is an excellent example of video marketing in the internet marketing and blogging niche.

Whiteboard Friday
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This program has massively helped Moz in expanding their brand reach and getting more trusted paying customers.

The idea with this technique is to entertain as many as people as possible with videos.

You don’t have to solely focus on producing tutorial videos like the Whiteboard Friday, there are lots of other things you can do.

For instance, the guys at Dollar Shave Club did a remarkable job at creating a brilliant marketing video that ended up drawing a lot of people’s attention.

Their service is a simple razor subscription service for a dollar a month.

The video cost them $4500 and one day to shoot.

After a few days, the video went viral, and Dollar Shave Club ran out of inventory within the first six hours. According to Business Insider, “this approach helped them to acquire about 200 thousand active members in less than 1.5 years.”

At the time of writing this blog post, this same video has generated almost 25 million views on YouTube.

Dollar Shave Club Video Views
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That’s the power of video marketing. If you want to experience similar result for your business, create an unconventional and entertaining video about your product, and take it to as many eyes as possible.

2. Make sure your product is desired by the market.

According to Ryan Holiday, the single worst marketing decision you can make is creating a product nobody wants, or nobody needs.”

Successful growth hackers know that it’s not all about attracting new consumers; the most critical thing is creating or refining a product experience which eventually leads to generating massive raving fans.

Uber’s growth hacker (Andrew Chen) once said that “startups don’t need growth hackers – at first. They need products that are really working in the market. This means users love it, that there’s lots of retention and engagement, even at small numbers.”

“Working on scalable growth is an optimization problem,” Andrew said. It could be as easy as highlighting a captivating value proposition or refining the product’s messaging, or it could be as difficult as changing your overall business model.

Back in the day, with great marketing, you could sometimes succeed with a mediocre product, but not anymore. Today, if you have a bad product, the world will know about how much it sucks quicker than you can imagine.

The solution to this is to start getting feedback as soon as you have a product idea. Begin by asking and responding to questions. Don’t start by creating a product you assume has great product-market fit.

Don’t create something for months and then one day come out, show it to people, and then ask them what they think.

When it comes to the feedback strategy, one company that comes to mind is Instagram. According to Justin Jackson, Instagram’s growth was totally insane.”

Instagram User Growth
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The founders initially experimented with a social networking app called Burbn, meant for whiskey drinkers. They discovered that the most liked feature of the app was their photo sharing mechanism.

That was when they started looking at photography apps, which they assumed were already saturated in the market.

However, from users’ feedback, they finally discovered that for all the apps already in the market, photo sharing was either too complex or not the primary feature of any particular app, and that was what gave birth to the Instagram we all are enjoying today.

Another way to ensure you have a product people love is to validate it before launching it to the entire public. To do this, you need to get your friends to pay for it.

For example, if the app is going to cost you $1000 to create, you could get 20 of your friends to pay you $50.

Doing this will make you 100% confident that:

  • You won’t waste your own money if it doesn’t work out.
  • Your friends are interested in the app, and so, other people might like it as well.

If everything goes well, in the end, you’ll have a product that has lots of happy users. Therefore, before launching any product, figure out if people will be crazy about it. If not, look for something else.

3. Include a viral element in your product.

The holy grail of growth hacking and the central concept of virality is all about the ability to have your customers get you more customers. And for virality to be super efficient, this concept has to be a critical part of your product.

Let’s take Skype as an example:

  • Before you start using the product, it asks you to invite the people in your network so you can communicate with them via the app. And once they join Skype, they will, in turn, invite their friends to use it too, which will make it reach even more people.

Other good examples of products that are utilizing this concept include Facebook, Dropbox, and Twitter.

In your business, check if your product or service encourages, inspires, and facilitates sharing. If you notice space for improvement, now is the right time to meet with your team and figure out ways to naturally integrate viral elements into your product.

You will be amazed at what impact virality will make for your product’s visibility and user-base.

4. Leverage guest blogging.

As a company, having a blog is incredibly important in terms of driving inbound traffic. However, publishing lots of blog posts on your own site is not always necessary.

Using Buffer as a case study, the company was able to grow its user-base from 0 to 100,000 within a short period of time. This growth came mainly through the impact of Buffer’s founder, Leo Widrich, guest posting on third party sites.

The primary purpose of Buffer’s guest posts was to attract visitors – a percentage of which will eventually result in click-throughs back, leading to sales and users.

In an interview with Search Engine Watch, Leo advised marketers to “copy from others”. So if your blog is about search engine optimization, study related blogs and find formulas that work for them. Then, know how to use them on your own blog.

Today, it will interest you to know that Buffer has around 1,500,000 users across six continents.

Another company that used blogging to skyrocket its growth was GrooveHQ. By publishing on third party sites in their niche, including KISSmetrics, Buffer, and Shopify, they reached over 1 million people.

GrooveHQ
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Go here if you want to learn how they did it, and how you can also get a similar result.

5. Create scarcity.

This is another smart marketing and growth hacking strategy often used on the internet today. It was also one of the strategies that made Google outrun its competitors when they launched Gmail in 2004.

Back then, the company wasn’t quite the all dominating data-gathering monster we know today. Indeed, no one could be so sure whether Google’s offering would successfully compete with those of Yahoo! and Hotmail.

But Google smartly turned a problem into a great marketing tactic. With little server space available at the time, Google turned scarcity into an advantage. When Gmail was launched on April Fool’s Day (1st April), it was by invitation only and started with around one thousand opinion formers who were able to refer their friends.

This gave people the impression that in registering with Gmail, you became part of an elite club – something that raised demand and interest.

You can also use the strategy to grow your business. Just create something that’s enticing in your industry, and give people the impression that they’ll lose out if they don’t grab it up.

Trust me, if the offer is good enough, you’ll be amazed by the number of people that will beg to be included.

Effective Growth Hacking Techniques To Get You Started

Growth hacking is scalable, flexible, and efficient. It has helped a lot of startups and business owners reach the heights they never imagined possible.

And if you follow the suggestions here, you can find those new heights, too.

For your information, it took Facebook eight years to reach a $50,000,000,000 in valuation. That’s some historical and extraordinary growth which you can also experience in your business if you apply these steps.

Now, I can hear you making excuses…

  • “These growth hacks don’t work anymore.”
  • “This will not work in my industry.”

Nonsense.

Growth hacking isn’t a fixed strategy; it’s simply a mindset. If you think you can do it, you can.

Therefore, stop making baseless excuses right now and get busy.

You can do it. All you have to do is start.

What are some of your favorite growth hacking techniques? What things on this list have you tried before? What were your results? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

Like this post? Don’t forget to share it! 

For further reading:

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

31 thoughts on “Growth Hacking Tactics For Beginners (How To Use Them To Grow Your Business)”

  1. HI Harsh,

    Great tips that will help beginners. Creating video is a great way to get more exposure. I love creating videos for my YouTube channel.

    I also love watching the Whiteboard Friday videos. I’ve actually binged watched several of them, they’re interesting and very informative.

    I love how you say that growth is just mindset. “If you think you can do it, you can.” I’ve actually been focused on working my self-growth because I know that it has everything to do with success.

    Thanks for sharing these tips, I’ll be sure to pass them along.

    Have a great day 🙂

    Susan

  2. amazing article harsh, videos are nowadays the best method to increase our sales!
    everyone prefer watching a video to understand the product/service better.
    thanks for the information 🙂

  3. Hello Harsh,

    Another informative article from your side, Video marketing is the best way to promote your business or products online to global customers and thereby increasing your sales growth and brand reach. This growth hacking will surely benefit a beginners.

    Thanks,
    Z.Wasir

  4. It is true that videos are getting more and more prevalent over the internet and many blogger are starting to incorporate them into their content marketing plans. I once used them on a site of my but later removed them because they sort of reduce the page load time. It would be better if they are made without affecting the page load speed.

    The other point I like in this article is creating a sort of scarcity in a product. It works in every industry; both offline and online!

    Thank you for sharing these time tested hacks… 🙂

  5. Golden Okechukwu

    Much respect sir Harsh.

    Startups seeing digital marketing as an option would indeed be one of those that survive.

    These points neatly contained in the body of this article has been overlook by many startups and thus are being set back.

    For me, I’d take the Guest Blogging approach because it works effectively when done in the right way.

    Thank you for dropping these helpful tips.

    Do have a nice day.

    Golden

  6. wow its great tip thanks really dear

    “However, among all the visual content marketing formats out there, video is the most powerful. It can single-handedly help you touch millions of people in less than a week and convert them into good brand advocates.

    Typically, video marketing is one of the most efficient growth hacking tactics on the internet, and if you can use video to convey an exciting story about your product, you’ll stand the chance of getting lots of repeat customers.”

    this will help me very much

  7. Hi Harsh,

    A lot of things I learned from this article and I can say yes these growth hacks are really works.

    I personally used the social media which gives me instantly improvement. And I think to try out the guest blogging, I heard many advantages of guest blogging so as quickly I try out the guest blogging.

    Thank you for sharing such a valuable article with us!

    Ashutosh

  8. Excellent post Harsh, couldn’t agree more. Getting the right product in front of an interested audience is the real challenge. Videos is indeed a great leveraging tool, I love the simplicity of Microsoft Expression Encoder for tutorial screenshot videos within my niche (From an affiliate marketing point of view). Buffer is indeed one of the best auto posting platforms, and I like how they later added options for Instagram.

  9. Thanks for this post Harsh.. Growth for start-ups might seem like a daunting journey, but with the right tricks, it becomes possible to raise your head even in the mist of millions.

    Guest posting is one of the best, especially when you guest post for an authority blog in your niche. Not only will backlinks be given, you might pull in some readers in the process.

    The only hassle is the stress you have to go through, into cooking an exceptional content for guest posting.

    I keep telling newbies, growth doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual process. However, there’s a way to speed it up.

  10. Shubham Chaubey

    Sir, can you please suggest some good course or ebook for video content marketing? I have tried several ebooks and utillised whatever provided in the ebook but they didn’t worked out.

    1. @Shubham Chaubey,

      Constant effect mandatory to win in the game of blogging and vlogging. You cannot be achieved the success just by reading the books and implement it. You have to make it understand the core concept and really do it give success.

      My only advice from my experience. Don’t Read. Think and Analyze and Understand. When you implement you get the success that is doing by Harsh for shoutmeloud.

  11. Varun Shrivastava

    I loved the quote at the end that says –
    “Growth hacking isn’t a fixed strategy; it’s simply a mindset. If you think you can do it, you can.”

    I truly believe in this mindset. Infact, it has helped me to grow my blog from 20 visitors per day to something significant that yields some money.

    I really appreciate you putting this article in front of everyone. I know how hard it is if things does not got according to the way you want them to be. I learned some of the most useful lessons the hard way. II only wished if someone would have told me these things before, and not just told me in a casual way rather taught me in a practical way.

    The way you have explained these points by taking real world example is absolutely worth a read for everyone and not just beginners.

    My only concern with this article is Why didn’t you put point 2 at the very first. After all, product is king and everything simply goes around it. Once you have a product, then only you can make compelling videos to support it.
    Just a thought.

    Thanks a lot for this article.
    cheers 🙂

  12. Hi,

    I strongly agree that guest blogging really do a great job. After posting on someone’s blog, we start getting their traffic, at least a little. So all in all, it really makes a difference. Thank you for keeping us motivated every time. Thank you once again!!

  13. Excellent post Harsh, couldn’t agree more. Getting the right product in front of an interested audience is the real challenge. Videos is indeed a great leveraging tool, I love the simplicity of Microsoft Expression Encoder for tutorial screenshot videos within my niche From an affiliate marketing point of view. Buffer is indeed one of the best auto posting platforms.

  14. Hi Harsh

    Woaah! Those are some valuable insights you’ve shared about growth hacking techniques. I fell in love when I saw your presentation in WordCamp Delhi on Growth Hacking and I understood it’s importance and how powerful it is.

    Keep up the good work. This post is something that is going to help someone lifelong.

  15. Well, The best way to understand growth hacking and what growth hackers do is to first understand what is meant by the term hacker. A hacker is someone who is more concerned with achieving an objective than following a prescribed process. In other words, hackers care more about what needs to get done than how it should get done. As a result, hackers often come up with innovative ways to get things done.
    Thanx. 🙂

    Deepak

  16. Very informative article Sir. Learned a lot from your points.

    Basically i am running social media campaigns for my promotions. There we can separate audience according to their interests. But now i am also looking to enter in Blog Posting.
    It would be very thankful if you will write a separate blog for all do’s and dont’s of Blog Posting.
    Once again thanks for the good work. keep it up sir !!

  17. Oluwafemi Adebisi

    I think video marketing is the best way to grow our business. Because through a video I learn faster than reading article. Growth hacking isn’t a fixed strategy; it’s simply a mindset. If you think you can do it, you can
    Thanks for sharing this great Article

  18. Hey Harsh,

    In this era of blogging, people really need to use the visual content and infographics and videos always work.

    Just like Moz, many websites are dominating the market. Knowing about the product requirement is the first thing before launching it.

    Sharing the stuff people find interesting is the first thing comes to the mind.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    ~Ravi

  19. Hi HARSH, Nice article and Very informative,
    Videos are the best way to explain anything.
    Guest blogging really does a great job and it drives traffic to our website.
    Social media gives me instantly improvement, drive traffic too.

    Thanks for Sharing, Keep it up.

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