Growth hacking is a relatively new but exciting approach to growing your business. If you can grasp the understanding of what it actually means and how to define its strategy in accordance to your business goals, you can achieve tremendous results.
Start-ups especially have seen the benefits of growth hacking to increase company growth effectively and efficiently.
We have highlighted some common mistakes companies make while exploring the various components of growth hacking, below:
1. Experimenting without a plan
The process of growth hacking, as with many strategies, starts with a plan. Successful companies should first begin by identifying and planning experiments to collate data for one main metric to determine success. This can be, for example, number of sales, users, or retention rate. Your main metric will depend on your company’s goal at any given phase.
Effective planning can help your company save a lot of money and time to achieve results as per the objectives outlined during the planning stage.
If the experiments are not well planned, your company could end up spending more money and using more resources than intended.
It does not take expensive or fancy tools to organize your growth hacking experiments. For example, I have shared a Google Sheet template below to show you one way of planning your growth hacking activities.
Click on the link to download this step-by-step growth hacking template.
Step 1: Discuss ideas with your team members and create a list
Step 2: Use a scoring method to rank each idea. For this example, I used the ICE (Impact, Confidence, and Ease) Score approach. At Voxturr, we sometimes identify more complex metrics to score, such as, a budget for every experiment.
Step 3: Prioritize. I prefer to choose easy wins and low hanging opportunities first before high impact ideas.
Step 4: Execute the different phases of your strategy
Step 5: Measure success according to specific metrics and goals at the different levels of your strategy
Step 6: Scale, discard or test another version.
2. Mistaking “black hat” as growth hacks
The term “hacking” is already widely used in the digital world and not always in a positive light. When we talk about growth hacking, you may also come across the term “black hat hacking” which refers to tactics that can produce faster results. However, black hat marketing is not the right approach to achieve sustainable business growth.
Black hat hacking techniques can involve link building to boost page rankings with SEO, creating link farms to drive traffic to other pages or other similar link activities which can actually get you penalized and blacklisted from search engines.
Here are a few common hacks that you should avoid:
- Adding irrelevant keywords to increase website hits. This can actually affect the user experience resulting in a higher bounce rate.
- Using hidden words or “keyword stuffing” which refers to the practice of using excessive keywords to manipulate your website’s rankings on Google. This can be quickly detected by Google and result in a penalty.
- Redirecting to separate pages using doorway or gateway pages. These are designed only for search engines and provide no useful information to users.
- Bait and Switch. This is a fraudulent techniques used to increase traffic to non secure websites.
These are just a few techniques. However, it is important to consider a good growth hacking strategy involves improving the user experience and increasing engagement with valuable content.
3. Scaling larger experiments
Companies often lead growth hacking experiments with the misconception that scaling large is the only way to measure success. But, big experiments require more people, resources and funds.
Organizing growth hacking experiments allows you to measure specific metrics according to different stages of your strategy and understand which one needs scaling, accordingly.
For example, while planning PPC campaigns, social media campaigns, or email marketing campaigns, avoid opting for a very large audience or demographic to measure and focus on the areas which can provide you with valuable data.
4. Not staying true to your brand image
Avoid taking shortcuts to achieve short-term goals. Your brand image is your stamp in the competitive market and offering or communicating to your audience with false promises can be damaging. Always stay true to the key values of your company.
It can be frustrating trying to reach certain goals, but do not take desperate measures that reflect badly on your image or can irritate customers, jeopardizing customer loyalty to your brand.
Once I was working with a client who sent multiple emails to their audiences without segmenting the database. As a result, more people opted to unsubscribe to their mailing list. Planning on what to send and who to send to makes a huge difference.
Growth hacking is about understanding what is right for your business. Companies have this false notion that growth hacking is about focusing on bulk activities. However, choosing specific and relevant approaches will only help you increase your chances of reaching your goals.
5. Lack of attention to product development
After running thousands of campaigns, out of which many failed and few were successful, the only difference was a good product.
Companies often measure success solely on traffic, which to a certain extent is relevant. However, traffic alone is not enough. Your conversion rates determine how successful your products are and for that, you need to develop products according to your audience.
Understanding what your customers are looking for and continually developing and improving your products can have a positive impact on customer loyalty and conversion rates.
6. Not running competitor analysis
Insights from the competition can give you a lot of new ideas. To grow and sustain growth, it is always important to know what your competition is doing.
At Voxturr, we provide complete scan services to our clients by decoding the digital strategy of your competitors to better understand what they are doing and developing in the market. Many times we’ve turned up surprising results!
7. Not thinking about long-term growth
Business growth takes time. Growth hacking ideas and experiments need to me modified often to fit your strategic goals and requirements. Planning ideas and experiments is an effective way to measure success according to long-term metrics and achieving sustainable growth.
Growth hacking is a combination of smaller counterparts to your bigger business strategy but can help, in particular, smaller businesses with lower budgets in achieving substantial growth in a shorter period of time. Avoid the mistakes we have highlighted above, to ensure you move forward in your growth hacking strategy.
Our team at Voxturr, are skilled professionals who can help you grow your business, rapidly.