what is growth hacking

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You know that rebellious kid in high school, the outcast, the stereotype that initiated trouble, partied too hard, and never made it to college? Fast forward ten years and you come to find out he’s running his own innovative business, entrepreneur extraordinaire. Ever wonder what happened and what lead him to success? I’ll bet you his company’s net worth he was pushing boundaries, thinking outside the box.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to growth hacking. Never heard of it? Neither had I, up until a month or two ago. It’s a brand new way to wrap your head around internet marketing, and it’ll probably spark your interest, if not for how it applies to the digital world, then for the concept in general.

For starters, the idea of growth hacking was developed by Sean Ellis, founder and CEO of Qualaroo and GrowthHackers.com. His approach to internet marketing was exciting, unique, and groundbreaking. While hiring a replacement for his job, he realized none of the candidates had that “spark” he was looking for. None of them were pushing boundaries. None of them were promoting growth for startup businesses at rapid speeds.

So he decided to take it upon himself to create a new job description title called “Growth Hacker”. Someone who is inspired by growth, yearns to tackle growth, and strategizes with growth in mind. A growth hacker uses various internet platforms to watch new products and businesses skyrocket, and is constantly looking for new ways to attract consumers. It’s truly an internet marketing strategy that represents the era we’re in – fast paced, original, and clever.

Behold the real beauty of growth hacking: You don’t have to turn your business’ marketing strategy upside down. Start small. Take one piece of growth hacking and integrate it into your current marketing plan.

For instance, let’s say you do all of your marketing traditionally (traditional marketing meaning TV spots, print ads, etc.) Start taking advantage of internet marketing platforms such as search engine marketing. Go after a niche audience who are looking for your product specifically, and BOOM, you’re right in front of their faces on Google. Talk about some serious growth, am I right?

Instead of booking TV spots where viewers are skipping through commercials more and more often (thanks, TiVo), consider placing videos on YouTube. There are millions of users out there waiting to subscribe to helpful channels that enable them to learn about products in a visual, entertaining way. All of a sudden, you’ve unlocked a new potential fanbase through interactive videos that can help you build dialogue with real people in real time. The potential is through the roof!

Rather than continuing to put all of your marketing budget in print, try letting social media share a little of that spend. If you ask me, social media is key to growth when it comes to segmenting out relevant, qualified users who are eager to start a conversation with you. Promote posts and you’ll start to see users come out of the woodwork, opinions blazing (whether you asked for them or not). But hey, isn’t that what we as marketers dream of? Interaction is an essential piece of knowing your audience, and social media is where it’s at.

You might not have been that rebellious kid in high school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with some strategies in your business now. It’s never too late to mix up your marketing – and why not have a little fun learning something new in the process?

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