The Ultimate Guide To Learn Growth Hacking: Become A Growth Hacker For Free
Growth hackers love to write about their âultimate growth hack that got 200% ROIâ.
That means there is now an enormous wealth of information about growth hacking and marketing online – including here on the Ladder Growth Marketing Blog.
Thereâs no need to drop $150k on an MBA or marketing degree, or even $50 on a Udemy course – paradoxically the best content is often free.
Once you know the basic frameworks you wonât even need the blogs – you can run your own experiments, discover new techniques and write up the results in your own marketing blog.
At Ladder, we want to bridge the gap between an absolute beginner and someone who is able to conduct their own marketing experiments and learn independently. This list of blog posts and videos is the âwheatâ from the past five years Iâve spent reading âchaffâ.
Absorb this information and youâll understand all you need to run a successful marketing campaign, from strategy to execution across channels. Youâll know how to get consistent repeatable and scalable results, and how to use data and strategic frameworks to justify your approach.
The course should take a maximum of 15 weeks part-time to complete, or you could go hard and complete it in 3 weeks full-time.
The goal is not to get through this as quickly as possible – the goal is to understand the information to the point you can confidently reference it in a meeting or apply it in practice.
How Growth Hacking Works
So, how does growth hacking work? For each company, its about figuring out why you grow, and looking for ways to make that happen on purpose.
Many startups use Dave McClures pirate funnel as a recipe for growth. These are acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and revenue . Others include raising awareness as a key part of growth hacking. Either way, the point is to get traffic and visitors, turn visitors into users, and retain those users as happy customers.
What Is Growth Hacking
Growth hacking is the use of resource-light and cost-effective digital marketing tactics to help grow and retain an active user base, sell products and gain exposure. Think hacking in terms of life hacks those little shortcuts that make your life easier rather than nasty bits of code that can ruin your computer and your life.
Growth hacking is most commonly associated with start-ups and small businesses, i.e., those organizations that dont have a huge amount of cash to spare but need results quickly. However, its a scalable concept applicable to any online business looking to maintain the growth and retention of an active user base.
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Tag Your Youtube Videos
Keywords, keywords, keywords — they might be more powerful than you think. For example, you might want your YouTube videos to show up in the search results for certain keywords.
Thats why we recommend tagging them with those words, and not necessarily for the videos content. When you use this growth hack, it can help your YouTube videos appear as “suggested content” for audiences you want to reach.
Is Your Car Loan Upside
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list ofour partnersandhere’s how we make money.
Without even knowing it, you may have put yourself in a financially precarious position: being upside-down on your car loan.
Maybe you bought a new car without making a down payment. Or perhaps you opted for low, easy monthly payments by stretching your loan to 72 or even 84 months.
However you got there, its time to get right-side up again and avoid serious problems in the future.
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What A Growth Hacker Does
The word hack in the expression growth hacking might lead to confusion. Many people associate this type of strategy with the practice of computer hackers who look for security holes in our systems.
For this reason, there are quite a few people who think that growth hacking is unethical and illegal . There is nothing like that, although this connection helps to explain what a growth hacker does.
In the same way that a computer hacker is famous for finding and exploring security holes, the growth hacker is the professional who finds open gateways to grow the results of a business rapidly.
Their goal is also to find breaches, but in a way that will provide intelligent and accelerated growth for the company. All within the limits of the law and ethics!
The association with hackers also implies that growth hacking is pure technology, programming, and mathematics. The practice usually involves these areas because they typically provide faster and more efficient solutions. But the concept is much more comprehensive and involves broader business strategies.
Therefore, the growth hacker does not need to be an IT or programming professional, although this knowledge would help in aligning with other programmers on the team.
Growth hackers are usually creative and exploratory, looking for growth possibilities and proposing new hypotheses. They are also agile and analytical, testing and proving their efficiency through data.
- data analysis
- consumer behavior.
Growth Hacking Tactic #: Objectively Measure The Bar
Theres no doubt that youll use the same marketing channels as your competitors.
But how do you know if what youre doing is objectively better than them?A few ways we here at KlientBoost have been able to outperform much older marketing agencies is by looking at how they do their marketing.
This helped us set a new marketing bar – for example:1) Blog post we publish MUST have more examples, more data, more tactics, and usually, higher word count2) Podcast episodes we publish MUST have more expert guests and more actionable tactics3) YouTube videos we publish MUST be shorter in time and be more fun to watch
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Discover New Business Models And Product Ideas
Through creating, optimizing, analyzing your growth hacking experiments, youre always ahead and deeply understand more about your customers, business, and industry more in-depth.
Growth hacking allows us to see more about our businesses and the underlying industries because we experiment so often. We will always end up with the new insight that we can use to our advantage.
And sometimes it shows new business models and product ideas.
For example, you have modified your products in a way that would enhance word-of-mouth or be more attractive to new customers in your current sales funnels.
In doing so, you discover an entirely new way your customers are using your product more effectively and engaging more with products.
You decide to implement the features within the core product, and your growth continues.
Eventually, you will discover something unique about the business model and optimize it from the customers insight.
And when you create new products based on customer behavioral data You increase your chances of succeeding by a more considerable margin.
All this would lead to discovering new profitable ways of doing your business through growth hacking.
As a constant process, youre always experimenting with new ways to improve growth through your products, enabling further growth, even faster.
Make New Brand Partnerships
Business partnerships and collaborations are one amongst the best growth hacking techniques as they create a lot of noise. Many brands have realized the fact that co-marketing and product partnership is an effective growth marketing strategy.
It will not only create a great social media buzz but will also send relevant organic traffic to your website. It is an opportunity for news coverage and will enhance the visibility of your products and services globally.
Some of the most successful partnerships with not-too-shabby ROIs have been those that created new products around a theme. Any small-medium company can develop an effective collaboration if it finds the right partner to bring value to its brand and vice versa.
Partnerships even work for businesses that operate in very different industries. A great example is a partnership between Flipboard and Airbnb that allows users of one brand to leverage the strengths of the other partner.
In this case, Flipboard offers customized content to Airbnb users who could then make informed decisions when booking residences through Airbnb. On the flip side, these users create content that Flipboard aggregates for its users.
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How Are Growth Hacking And Digital Marketing Different
If youre wondering how thats different from the role of a run-of-the-mill modern marketer, youre not alone.
There are a ton of comparison tables out there to explain the differences. Heres one that captures their general themes quite well.
Were skeptical that these still apply. Its possible ten years ago that marketers focused solely on top-of-the-funnel activity and growth hackers on the entire customer journey.
Plus a non-data driven marketer is a little akin to the dodo.
All this to say that a growth hacker and a generalist marketer arent that different in todays funnel-less, data-driven, technology-powered, and customer churn-obsessed environments.
Solution #: Consider Buying A Used Car
Just because you want to buy a car doesnt mean it has to be a new car. Used cars are a financially savvy option, particularly for those who are in a position where their current car has an upside down loan. The original owners have already paid the bulk of the cars depreciation, so your vehicle, which will be more affordable, will also retain its value longer:
- Pros: You will save money on depreciation costs and may be able to save a significant amount of money while you get your finances back in order. Once you have your loans completely paid off, you may even want to trade your used car in on a new one. Just be more careful this time!
- Cons: If you have your heart set on a new car, this option will require you to wait until you are in a better position financially. You may not be able to find a used car in the make, model or color that you prefer.
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Dangers Of The New Car Urge
In a market that pushes the newest, latest car designs, many people feel they have to get into a new car whatever it takes. Others simply dont feel comfortable driving a car that is out of warranty or has a lot of miles on the odometer. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that dealers and financial organizations are willing to accommodate these purchases by making deals that roll-over the debt owed from the trade-in and add it to the financing for the new car with, understandably, a higher loan amount over a longer period of time. This is done to keep the monthly payment low enough to be affordable.
What sometimes doesnt get noticed by the buyer is that he or she is now making payments on two cars the new one and what was left of the old one and taking a very long time to pay it all off.
Furthermore, when a buyer is described as being upside-down it is quite often not for just a few thousand dollars. Many buyers are upside-down by 10 or 20 thousand dollars, or even more and, at their current rates, it will be years before they are even.
Follow Your Biggest Competitors
Competition can come in different shapes and sizes but it always exists. Once youve acknowledged your competitive landscape, it is important to display why your company has a competitive advantage in any respective market.Make sure as an entrepreneur you, not only zero in on your business venture but also remain aware of the changing factors in your competitive landscape. This will position your business to quickly adapt and leverage its strengths.
Many businesses fail due to following the competition without an action plan. As a result, they fail to produce the desired results. A good plan should focus on discovering all the conversations that are happening around the target brand. For this, you need to be at the same digital places where the target hangs out.
The plan should also include a thorough and regular analysis of the competitor blog so that you can tailor your content for maximum impact.Similarly, you should also track their backlinks so that you have a fair idea of how they are marketing their products and services.
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Why Use Growth Hacking
The old marketing formulas are facing a lot of changes. In the past, you would contact traditional media outlets , analyze the advertising costs, assess the outlets affinity with your audience, negotiate prices, and air your ad.
But who could guarantee that your ad would reach the number of people you wanted? Or that you would get the expected return on your investment?
This is how companies bought advertising, without any guarantees which could be very expensive, especially for brands with tight budgets.
The questions also began to come from the public. Traditional advertising has to work hard to convince people who no longer accept what brands say as the absolute truth. Instead, they take their criticisms to the Internet and can put the entire investment at risk.
Therefore, investing in traditional advertising has become unfeasible for many companies, both because of the cost and the publics rejection. So brands looked for new ways to get results through marketing. And this is why growth hacking has gained so much buzz.
Growth hacking presents itself as a safer solution for companies, since it relies on experimentation and data analysis before applying strategies.
Such strategies are only adopted if the experiments prove their effectiveness, i.e., if they provide faster and cheaper solutions than traditional marketing.
This description of growth hacking explains why startups widely adopt this strategy.
Ways To Growth Hack Your Startupgrowth Hacking Your Way To Success
Startup founders often find themselves overwhelmed. They need workable solutions to their thousands of questions. One of the most important issues that all startups face is how to growth hack the business. In other words, how a startup can start generating revenue as soon as possible. The following eight ways to growth hack can be further elaborated into a book of 400 pages. However, this is the simplified and concise version.
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The Growth Hacker Funnel
If youve ever put oil in a car then you know what a funnel is. A funnel has a wide opening at the top and as oil runs down it the opening becomes smaller and smaller until the oil reaches the engine, which is the ultimate goal. A funnel is a way to guide something which is usually unwieldy and uncooperative, like liquid.
If you are building a product then your task is to guide people towards a particular goal . The problem is that people are unpredictable and full of free-will. If you are going to get people to do what you wish, en masse, then you must employ a funnel. When you think about growth hacking the image of this funnel should dominate your understanding:
Customize Landing Pages For Different Channels
To help reach the right users, try creating landing pages that are unique to the distribution channel youre using to capture leads. If youre using a Facebook ad to capture a lead, for example, it should send the users to a short, mobile-friendly, easy-to-tap form. A landing page designed for organic search, meanwhile, might contain more text for search engines to index.
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Share And Systematize Your Learnings
Before you repeat this process in your next experiment, it’s critical to share the results of your experiment with your colleagues. Sharing information internally is a great way to both encourage transparency and generate feedback — which can help you build upon a history of experimentation.
At HubSpot, we use an internal wiki where we post experiment results, in addition to all kinds of internal information for employees. Its a great way to keep everyone in the loop on whats going on, as well as get feedback from colleagues who might be interested in your findings.
You can also keep a running document of your experiments, so that the findings are easily accessible in one place. For example, you could create a document where you track all of your A/B tests from your landing pages or all of your tests on CTAs.
Taking The Growth Hacking Path
First, make something people would want
Back in the day, mass advertising campaigns could sell almost anything regardless of its quality or price. They could even inject unnecessary products into the daily life of consumers. But today, users have the awareness needed to identify their own needs and reject unmatched product.
So the first step in entering any market is understanding whether your product would be of benefit to the people youre trying to sell it to them. In a simple form, create something that people would want to buy or get ready for the worst days of your life.
For example, Coca-Cola introduced lots of other soft drinks over the years like Sprite and Fanta, most of them didnt taste as good as Coke.
So how to make sure your product is needed? Test it.
The perfect product-market fit doesnt exist so you should get on ground with a prototype and start collecting feedback. Just like what the people behind Crazy Egg, a heat maps tool, did:
We pushed out the first version of Crazy Egg after only a month of development. Thanks to our quick release and constant collection of feedback, we had a decent product that customers were happy to pay for after only six months. Not only that, but the press and buzz created from releasing the updates publicly also helped us create a waiting list of 10,000 people by the time we launched Crazy Egg.
Second, dont target all humans
Third, set your north star and measure your progress
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