Most startups dream of having a successful product. The problem is that they end up spending too much on development before realizing it is the marketing side which they haven’t thought about enough says Paul Haarman. Successful companies like Facebook and Twitter were built with growth in mind from day one, not after years and millions of dollars spent in R&D (Research and Development).
It’s no secret; if you want your startup to succeed, you need to invest in marketing yourself. Otherwise, nobody will know who you are and what you’re offering! In this article, we will address the basics of Growth Hacking for Startups. We discuss how Growth Hacking can be applied by small teams on a low budget while allowing them to significantly grow their customer base and generate much more revenue.
We will look at various different growth hacking campaigns and discuss how they can be replicated by startups.
These examples we’ve selected (which you’ll find further down) are mostly from individual contributors and small teams, not big corporations like Coca-Cola or Google, as those would require a whole team dedicated to marketing. Growth Hacking is all about getting the most out of your resources!
1: Find Your Product-Market Fit
Before you start with anything else, you need to search for what’s called product-market fit. Simply put, that’s where your idea meets people’s needs and expectations so well that they’re willing to use it. Think about people who would want to use your product or service. If you can’t answer that question, it’s time to go back to the drawing board!
2: Choose Your Target Market Carefully
Be sure to tailor your solution specifically to the needs of one small segment of society. For example, many Kick-starter campaigns focus their efforts on “gamers” or “artists.” You want to find a group where you can create something that will be useful for them, but not necessarily crucial says Paul Haarman. That way, if they don’t adapt you’re offering right away at least they’ll still appreciate it and come back later after you’ve built up public awareness. For example, Dropbox started as a cloud storage company for gamers because there were no alternatives available at the time (at least none were good). The same was true for Mint; when it first launched, there were limited options in personal finance software and most people didn’t understand online banking well enough.
3: Keep It Simple
As we mentioned earlier, creating a simple product is key if you want to see fast growth in your customer base. Everyone loves new features but they can also make life more complicated; test the waters before making major changes. If you’re not happy with the results, consider adding just one feature at a time and giving it another shot according to how users respond.
4: Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Feedback!
Don’t underestimate user feedback either! You might be tempted to believe that your idea is so brilliant and unique that people can’t wait to use it explains Paul Haarman. That’s not always true, especially when the product is very niche or requires some time to be adopted by the public. If you want your startup to gain traction fast, don’t hesitate to ask directly for feedback from users!
5: Find the Right Distribution Channels for Your Product
Marketing has never been more important than in today’s digital world. Someone using PPC marketing might spend a lot of money up front but gain much more value in return thanks to added exposure and increased revenue. On the other hand, building up a website with great content management, SEO optimization and email marketing gives you long term benefits at a fraction of the cost over time. We can see many startups have started adding blog posts to their websites, tweeting interesting things on Twitter and publishing compelling images on Facebook; they’re trying to attract potential clients using the same tools you are!
6: Utilize Social Media
Although word of mouth is still an extremely effective marketing strategy, it’s no longer enough in today’s competitive environment says Paul Haarman. Make sure your startup is present where people are spending a lot of time online. By creating accounts on popular social media sites. These include Facebook, Twitter Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.Etc. Each network has its own advertising system. But if you want maximum exposure try utilizing free tools like Hootsuite or Buffer instead. That way you can spend less time managing your accounts and more time growing your business! Another powerful social media strategy is to repost and retweet interesting things that your customers mention. That way you can stay top of mind, create a relationship with them and turn potential customers into actual ones!
As you can see, the six steps we’ve outlined below are not necessarily complicated. But they do take a ton of time and effort. If you’re a startup founder looking to grow your customer base quickly or an entrepreneur on a tight budget. It’s probably best to start with one or two of these tips at first and work from there.