7 Simple Growth Hacks for Your Small Business

Startups and small businesses succeed or fail depending on their ability to drive growth. Having an out-of-the-box idea about a product or a service that consumers will find truly helpful isn’t enough today.

In a world where businesses are targeting users aggressively by showing them ads after ads, you need to do more than just make a cool product. If your consumers are not able to use your product to the full potential, you aren’t making a big enough dent in the market.

This is why it’s absolutely necessary to have a different and innovative approach towards traditional growth channels. It is important that you collect and use meaningful data to rapidly test ideas, utilize different distribution channels, and find creative solutions for growing your customer base.

Here are seven simple yet very effective growth hacks that will help you achieve growth in 2018.

1. Viral Loop Referral

Referral marketing has become one of the most vital aspects of growth today. Be it a product recommendation or email subscription, people trust opinions and reviews of their close network.

Rewarding the existing customers and their friends on sign up drives higher number of referrals and helps you grow rapidly. Since your customers advocate for you, referral programs consistently give amazing results with a minimum investment of your efforts.

For example, you can offer 14 extra days of subscription to your users who successfully refer their friends to subscribe to your service. Viral Loops is a good tool that helps in referral program and giveaways; it also provides performance analytics and insights.

2. Personalized Lead Nurturing

Among all the noise out there today, it’s important to send the right communication to your customers and leads. Be it display ads or sending nurturing email, personalization is the key.

Dynamically recommending products based on their purchase pattern, for example, or suggesting the next content to read can urge the user to make a purchase or subscribe to your service.

The level of personalization depends on the amount of data you capture. To capture the right data, you can use internal sources to find user’s behavioral data, transactional data, and augment the same with ‘alt’ data which can be acquired by a web data extraction service.

By collecting more relevant data points, you can segment and personalize your ads or messaging meticulously.

3. Leverage Chatbots

Building a chatbot for your company has become easy, thanks to a wide range of drag-and-drop tools that are available today.

Because of this, the use of chatbots is on the rise. Businesses that primarily used chatbots for customer service are now innovating and personalizing its use for other aspects, too. For example, MedWhat is a chatbot that makes medical diagnoses faster and more transparent.

Chatbots have several benefits for your business — they are online 24/7, save you money that would have been spent on employing manpower, educates leads about your offerings, and of course, increases customer engagement and satisfaction.

Apart from all these benefits, it’s easy to train the chatbots; with time and more number of customer interactions, the machine-learning-powered bots can improve the service aspect automatically.

These chatbots can be integrated with other services like Salesforce, Gmail, and Stripe, allowing you to provide premium experience to your customers. Depending on your case, you can easily build your own chatbot to further drive growth.

Flow XO is one such tool that can help you build a smart chatbot using drag-and-drop interface along with prebuilt flows and templates.

4. Optimize Your Website for Growth

Having a fully optimized website is equally important to achieve growth. Apart from the usual SEO-related activities, you should also make sure that your website is designed intuitively.

You must make use of on-page growth elements like social proofing to increase the credibility of your offerings, using pop-ups and welcome mats to collect emails, promote offers, conduct surveys, and improve the stickiness of your website.

For example, if a user is about to exit the product page, you can display a pop up that shows a special discount with limited time validity to prompt them to make the purchase. You can also use a simple feature like Click to Tweet that allows visitors to share your content easily with their network.

While you implement these hacks, it’s important that you do not hamper the overall experience of your website and do not force it on the users.

5. Run A/B Tests Regularly

Run A/B Tests RegularlyA small change on the landing page or email subject line can have a huge impact on your revenue growth.

A/B testing is one of the best way to improve conversion rate at a minimal cost.

Google once ran an A/B test for 50 variations of the color blue on their call-to-action button, just to find the highest converting shade.

Similarly, you need to run a series of A/B tests on different channels like landing pages, email campaigns, and product trials, among others, to find out what your audience likes the most.

Some simple things to start testing are the text on your call to action, sign up forms, website or email structure, banners on landing pages, CPC/display ads, and pop ups.

You can run multiple tests at the same time; however, it’s important to run these tests for a considerable amount of time and collect enough data points to arrive at a conclusion.

Tools like Google Optimize and Optimizely allow users to run A/B tests and provide great analysis.

6. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing constantly gained popularity throughout 2017. Small or large, companies partnered with influencers in their niche to sell products and services to their target audience.

Over 80% of marketers find influencer marketing campaigns effective. That’s because the relationship began with trust in the influencer.

Some of the most active channels influencers are on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat.

It’s important that you provide real value to the audience and not just push your product. For example, a YouTube video by the right influencer about your product features and tutorial can do miracles for your business.

A book review and giveaway by an influential author in your genre can attract huge traction for your newly published book. TapInfluence is a good tool that helps in finding influencers and managing workflows.

7. Video Series

Video SeriesCreate a series of videos instead of a long form blog. Video content performs better when it comes to conveying brand message, promoting a product, and increasing the engagement.

Apart from showing video ads, businesses today are creating 360-degree videos using omnidirectional cameras, creating how-to videos to promote their product features, and also entering the VR space of video marketing.

Live videos saw exponential growth in 2017, too, and are expected to do the same this year. Popular channels like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram saw an increase in engagement when it came to live videos. Viewers spend 3x longer watching live videos compared to pre-recorded ones.

It’s not just limited to social media, too. Using videos on landing pages can increase conversions up to 80%. Also, a video is more likely to be shared or go viral compared to the text form content.

Summing Up

Growth hacking is not just limited to the above mentioned strategies or other hacks that you may find elsewhere. It’s about how creative you can be while developing a cross-functional growth program for your company.

More importantly, growth hacking is about capturing and analyzing as much data points as possible and running rapid experiments to see what works best for your business.

What other growth hacks have you been trying? Let me know in the comments below.

About the Author

Raj Bhatt drives marketing and growth at PromptCloud.com, a pioneer and global leader in Data-as-a-Service solutions. You can follow him on Twitter.