Growth Hack Marketing refers to the use of digital tactics to drive leads and revenue to a business. This is done by implementing a series of online strategies to achieve a specific and measurable goal. In other words, a “growth hacker” is actually just a digital marketer who gets results.
So…if that's the case, then what is the difference between Growth Hack Marketing vs Online Marketing vs Digital Marketing?
Nothing. The difference is in the results…and this is what makes a blog a business.
Growth hacking isn’t something specific, rather it’s a methodology or process by which a business achieves it’s online marketing goals. If you're a blogger and you want to make money from your blog, there really isn’t a difference between other forms of online marketing and applying a “growth hacking” strategy, other than the fact that most often, businesses (especially small businesses) implement digital marketing tactics that don’t get results. Then they wonder why they paid for an Ad that didn’t drive any sales. The reason they are not getting results, is because they either don’t know the correct process to follow, or they choose not to act upon the information that the data is telling them.
There are many examples of digital marketing gone wrong. So, how can you get it right?
First, a little perspective here…I’m not just any blogger blogging about how to blog!
I spent the first decade of my career in corporate marketing and practically grew up through the digital transformation of the early 2000s. The year was now 2006, and I found myself at a significant crossroads. I was pregnant with my first baby, and my mother was quite ill. I needed some flexibility, yet working remotely was still not considered acceptable by many corporations, so at the time, I started my own business, Vogue Media, and I spent the next few years doing freelance work…coding websites from scratch.
When social media first entered our lives (right around that same time) I was fortunate to be able to connect the dots between what I did for the first decade of my career with the need many of my clients had…which was the “new” way to market online. At first, large corporations hesitated, because they didn’t know if social media would be a passing trend or if it was here to stay. Over the next few years the world watched those who were willing to take risks enjoy massive success with online advertising, soaring far past their competitors.
I’m a creative designer at heart, so over the next 10 years of my career, I perfected the art of merging beautiful advertising campaigns with good UI/UX design and ultimately revenue by designing websites and sales pages in a way that leads customers through the digital sales funnel and toward the ultimate goal of purchase…all the way from the digital advertisement to the post-sale nurturing. This includes social media marketing and email nurturing. As an independent contractor, I did this kind of work for corporations large and small, grew email lists from zero to 70,000, generated 6-figures per month, and even managed online communities along with it.
So if you want to call that growth hacking, then call it growth hacking. I think the reality is, these days what differentiates a “growth hacker” from a regular digital marketer, is that the “growth hacker” is empowered to make quick decisions based on the metrics of the campaign. Now that we live in a world with real-time metrics, decisions can be made fairly quickly. Often, I make decisions about a campaign within the first 24 hours. So growth hacking is really just digital marking that is done right. When it’s done right, you get results. Massive results!
How do you get these massive results from Digital Marketing?
The formula for success is widely known, but what most marketers miss is the ability to follow the process exactly. You can't skip any part of the process. You also need to think critically about each step of the process, which is something that isn't easy to do…especially when you are filling the role of marketer for your own small business. Marketing, especially digital marketing, is not just about advertising the product or service for sale.
In order to be successful, you need to clearly understands how to journey map, and then communicate in a voice that speaks specifically to the different stages of the sales funnel.
Um, say what? Here's a video I made recently to explain the journey mapping concept a little better:
What is Journey Mapping?
Making sure that you speak to a prospect in the correct “stage” of the their journey from the time they first became aware of a new product or service all the way to the time they actually pull out their wallet and make a purchase. A lot of people talk about how the sales funnel is no longer relevant because people can enter the funnel at different stages. While this is partially correct, if you follow the proper methodology, you, as the digital business owner, can control much of the process.
For a small business, blogger, or solo-entrepreneur, you can be ultra successful with digital marketing when you follow this methodology precisely. Your next move consists of making sure all of the pieces of the digital marketing puzzle are in place. Need some help? Sign up for my FREE 5-Day Email Master Class. I’ll send you a series of exclusive emails that are specifically designed to move you forward in your digital marketing journey.
For a corporation or in a startup situation, your next step is hiring a digital marketer that knows the ropes and has a proven track record. You see, digital marketing works differently for a corporation because they have a separate sales team and a separate marketing team. For this set up, when the sales team and the marketing team are truly aligned, sales understands that it’s not the job of the marketer to sell the product, it’s the job of the marketer to educate in a way that prepares the customer for the sale.
Marketing is about creating a hypothesis around a tactic and a goal, testing, measuring, and then analyzing the results. What separates a growth hacker from a regular digital marketer, in my opinion, is their knowledge of business operations from a broad scope. The growth hacker has experience…and the ability to make decisions about how a particular tactic affects the business overall, (i.e.: they know within 24 hours whether a specific strategy is working or not working) and since the term is used mostly in start-up companies and small business, the growth hack marketer is typically empowered to change their tactic based on the results they get instead of losing time implementing systems and waiting for 20 different approvals. Not only that, they know how to change the tactic quickly and efficiently to grow the business.
So what exactly is the methodology? In simple terms, it is:
Design the offer
Nurture the leads
Make the offer
Create raving fans and repeat customers
While not necessarily as easy as it sounds, here are two pre-requisites that you absolutely need before you can even begin to implement the methodology mentioned above:
1. Optimize your content
Content marketing will never work for the long term unless your website is optimized first. Keyword research, meta-data, internal links, external links, and referral traffic all help put your website on the map. Read more about search engine optimization and SEO best practices here.
2. Social sharing
Sharing on your social channels brings consistent traffic that complements the organic traffic. This works best when you have click-worthy headlines and eye-catching creative. If your post looks like clip-art people will scroll right by. So instead of delegating social media management to your intern, splurge and hire someone who actually knows that they are doing.
What resonates is emotion, story, and practicality, so your social media manager needs to understand how to pull those traits out of your brand and into your lead magnet. Your social media manager is a marketer, and you’ll find that the standouts typically have a background in communication, graphic design, copywriting, and even website design.
Creating lead-magnets is no joke, and once you have one created, the exact methodology must be followed to drive traffic to the lead magnet first…remember, this is still the “design the offer” phase, so you’ve got to start at the very beginning if you want to nail it.