Growth hacking in digital marketing is a tactic deployed by small businesses with limited funds. Thanks to shallow pockets these SMEs – typically start-ups – seek out low-cost entry points into their chosen markets – attempting to engage and persuade customers to buy their wares on shoestring budgets.
- Although popular with start-ups, growth hacking is scalable and can be applied to businesses of any size and regardless of sector
- Growth hacking and digital marketing share some common traits but aren’t entirely the same – which provides a neat segue into our discussion
Growth hacking versus digital marketing: how are they different?
As suggested, a growth hacker goes off-piste – looking for more economical routes to build much-needed brand awareness and generate high-quality leads.
Digital marketing, meanwhile, encompasses a wide range of methods and skill sets, many of which require considerable budgets in order to be effective
To understand growth marketing in digital marketing terms..
- A growth hacker will use notifications, social media posts, or optimised sign-up forms to attract and onboard interested parties.
- A digital marketer will spend thousands on Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns and considerably more on television or radio ads
How do growth hackers operate?
Growth hackers are data-driven and obsessed with testing new ways to scale their business. They’re also first-class collaborators who are never too proud to ask advice from others to build their knowledge.
As a growth hacker you’ll need to work quickly: trialling new ideas and mercilessly culling those that don’t work. This means meeting infrequently and keeping strategic discussions short and highly focussed.
Growth hacking in digital marketing: the pros
If we’ve kindled your interest here are three big reasons to become a growth hacker in 2023.
One-person is all it takes
Small businesses with tiny budgets don’t have the financial clout to create in-house think tanks, replete with experts from across all marketing disciplines. Fortunately growth marketing requires the acquisition of just one person.
Growth hacking is always a work in progress. By continuously tracking data you can see which strategies work and focus on those that generate the highest return on investment.
This point cannot be emphasised enough: growth hacking in digital marketing isn’t free. But it costs comparably little when you consider the millions global brands spend on advertising campaigns.
Examples of growth hacking campaigns might include:
- On-page optimisation. Writing insightful blogs peppered with the right keywords is a great way to attract interest in your brand and costs nothing but your time.
- Social content. Developing a presence on social channels is free and requires (a) consistency; and (b) posting about topics close to your audience’s heart.
Growth hacking in digital marketing: the cons
- It’s not all blue skies and rainbows because:
- It has a bad rep – some marketers have distanced themselves from growth hacking, which they see as a gimmick and not true marketing
- The process takes time and effort – and time is money (so is this approach really a cheaper way to win customers?)
- Hacking a product or service that exists is one thing; try this process in reverse before you’ve even launched.
Your next step…
Whether growth hacking is distinct from digital marketing is a matter of debate. One thing is for certain: if you put in the time and effort it could work wonders for your business.
But not every business has the time or in-house expertise to hack growth. That’s why hiring experts to do the hard work for you makes sense.
Contact one of our specialists today and let’s talk over a virtual coffee.