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What is Growth Hacking?

Nicole Donnelly

By Nicole Donnelly, CMO, Spring Global

Say Growth Hacking around a bunch of SEO practitioners and you will likely elicit scowls at very least. You talk to a “social media expert” who’s been in the biz for a while and they’ll poo poo the term as trendy. It’s not scientific enough, it’s not credible, yet if it increases their engagement or SEO then they’ll use the term.

Growth hacking is a broad term for a number of experiments that will increase your traffic or customer base in a creative way that may or may not be scalable or repeatable. There are tactics that growth hackers will use that may be deemed on the gray side of ethical and there are perfectly “white” tactics as well. Things, like putting a pretty girl in a FB ad and using catchy copy until it sticks, is a common “hack” to get max clicks for min money.

Some of the tactics could include “scraping” or gathering a large amount of email addresses from Linkedin or Facebook and soliciting the owners of the email addresses. Or taking these email addresses from Linkedin, dumping them into FB ads and advertising to them there and then advertising to people with similar profiles to those that were scraped from Linkedin.

There are also content tactics where you would use a tool to find out what kind of articles are getting the most shares and engagement, then you would write similar articles to lead people back to your site. This is an incredibly effective method which big corporations can afford to leverage big time by investing in content trend tools and authors to execute.

You can also use bots and other automations to create engagement while you sleep.

The whole point of Growth Hacking is to shortcut your way to more customers or visitors to your site. True growth hackers measure everything and tweak constantly. They’ll Create, Test, and Automate consistently.

The traditional definition of the acronym CTA is Call To Action, in this case, I’d like to give you a CTA to CTA 😉 Create – Test – Automate

Whether you are curating other people’s post or creating your own, you are creating an opportunity for people to interact with you/your brand online. Do this as much as people have an appetite for.

Measure the results of your posting, do you get more or less for what you do? More site traffic, good open rates on emails, massive click-throughs on your chatbots? When you do then…

AUTOMATE! You can automate engagement, like favoriting a retweet, or liking a FB comment. This will leave your audience feeling cared about and SAVE you MASS amounts of TIME!

You can use a variety of tech tools in your CTA cycles. Here are my favs, Google Analytics, of course, Salty Waffle for all things content and automation, ManyChat for chatbots, and Leadpages for landing pages. I’m not a super technical person, and I can figure these out.

You almost need a Ph.D. to really get Google Analytics to the max, AND as a beginner, you can still garner good info from it. Find an expert and pay for an hour or 2 of their time, and go back for touch-ups, tech changes and they are likely paying attention to it all. This will save you time and money.

Salty has onboarding and informative workshops to help you get set up also with experts to help you level up and an affordable Done For You option to get you started if you don’t have time to do it yourself.

If you want to use Many Chat, you may want to have an expert such as Gabriel Hershberger set it up for you.

With Leadpages, they have good tutorials and simple templates that will start you out.

OH AND for the creative, I love Canva. You can make great images for all of your social networks and blog posts in a snap.Canva is a super hack when it comes to making things look good whether you have an eye or not and looking good is key to conversions!

With the right tools and right attitude, you too can become a Growth Hacker! (That is if you are infinitely curious and driven to improve and measure your inbound traffic/eyeballs/conversions on your posts and your site)

CTA – Create, Test, Automate

Ciao for now!

-Nicole A. Donnelly