In order to bring growth, a growth hacker has many channels he can use: SEO, SEM, Social Media (SMO, SMM), Content Marketing
, PR, Email Marketing, online/offline event organizations, Video marketing, ASO, referral marketing (Viral Growth), UI/UX, gamification, business development/strategic alliances, Sales… I recommend the book Traction
explaining you 19 different channels you can use for your startup. The book doesn’t describe each channel in detail but it gives a good overview of what you can do. I also believe that growth hacking goes hand-to-hand with the implementation of an inbound marketing strategy (If you are not sure what inbound marketing is, I invite you to read the inbound marketing definition
But, what should you do with all those channels? The thing is, each startup or business is different. Each industry is different. Their target is different (B2B or B2C, different demographics, habits, location, culture, language, religion…). So, you might ask how a growth hacker would know which channels they should be using. A great growth hacker would say that they wouldn’t know the answer… unless they conduct a customized testing process for your startup. Even if you are the founder of your company, do you really know which channels are the most effective to use to reach your target audience before testing them? No, absolutely not.
Ideally, the goal would be to actually try all the existing channels. As a startup you can’t. Then, you actually need to make assumptions, check what kind of competition there is in the market, define a marketing strategy
, trust your gut feeling in order to choose which channels you will prioritize and test first.
A/B testing / Experimentation
In my opinion, A/B Testing is the most important part of growth hacking. Experimenting is really what define growth hacking. You have to be determined that you need to test everything. It’s impossible to know if something is going to work without testing it. You can make assumptions but at some point, you have to test those assumptions.
So, you have to test several channels but also A/B test those channels. What I mean is that you need, for example, to test social media, email marketing, PR and online events. But then, you also need to A/B test those channels. To illustrate this more clearly, let’s say you want to reach your target customers through social media. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Weibo or any social media channel that exists under the moon. Let’s assume you use Instagram. You need to A/B test to find out what works the best. Post different kind of pictures, different hashtags, post at different times, follow different people... This process should be the same for other channels, either you want to create great email marketing campaigns
, compelling blog posts, work on your mobile app ASO, etc...
The goal is to literally test every single little detail until you find what works. It's critical to include relentless experimentation to the growth hacking process. I will give more insights about A/B testing in another post.