Your SEO marketing plan should accomplish two tasks: it should help you establish an audience for the products or services you provide, and it should help you achieve sustainable growth for your business. It is the second of these that represents real success for your marketing plan.After all, a flurry of traffic and page views won’t mean anything if you cannot convert it into a growing customer base. A niche market has emerged in the Growth Hacking area to help businesses find ways to combine an early surge and lasting customer and sales growth. The most effective internet marketing strategy builds the approach into a powerful overall SEO plan to build for both the present and the future.
What Is Growth Hacking?
When computer hackers fight their way into a system, they do so by attacking different areas of that system to look for weaknesses. Much like the raptors checking the fence in the original Jurassic Park, they test multiple kinds of attacks until they find one that achieves their goals.Growth hacking, in the world of marketing, applies the same kind of approach. Rather than settling in on a single marketing approach, platform, or tactic, it quickly applies multiple approaches to determine what works the best.
In marketing, though, two variations from the software analogy apply. First, success does not come from a single breakthrough moment. Growth occurs by definition over time. You cannot determine immediately whether a given approach works. Instead, you need to follow through over time to identify trends. For each approach, the threshold issues is awareness. If you cannot demonstrate increased page views and other metrics showing people notice your campaign, you drop that strategy and move on. If you do see this movement, you then continue the effort until you can demonstrate whether the approach has led to conversion.
Second, because a single, exclusive point of success does not exist, a single approach to marketing generally does not work in isolation. Growth hacking uses multiple marketing lines to build your brand across the spectrum. Thus, several approaches may continue over time as long as each one demonstrates efficient growth for your business.
Hacking Across Platforms
Social media provides a tremendous testing ground for your marketing plans. When you build an SEO content library for your company, you generate page views organically, simply by leading people searching for you or your products and services to your website. But one channel for your SEO campaign should always lie in the realm of social media. Multiple platforms allow you to create business profiles and gain followers and traffic back to your website. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and a plethora of emerging platforms provide ample opportunity for you to test approaches to gaining viewers.
A social media approach to growth hacking should thus take advantage of the opportunity by involving profiles across as many of the social media options as make sense for your company.You should post links to the same content on each platform, and track the links and page views each one generates for you. Your efforts can then focus on the platforms that most effectively generate awareness and interest in your brand.
Again, though, awareness is not your end goal. Tracking the page views should then yield to additional research designed to ferret out the quality of the views you receive. You thus need to determine the percentage of views from each platform that result in follow-ups or ecommerce behavior. Social media marketing provides a low cost of entry, but it still only represents an efficient use of your marketing money if your business grows as a result of the increase in page views. The best platforms for you are the ones that grow both your brand awareness and your actual customer base.
Hacking Within a Single Platform
Your marketing approach should take into account the differences in use among different platforms, and with it the variation in how you can use each one. In addition, though, you should test different approaches to content on individual platforms. Do particular images or videos shared with your content help? Does a serious or humorous approach do more to generate both page views and purchasing behavior? For each platform, a thorough approach to growth hacking should include multiple posts to determine what works better.A/B testing uses two similar iterations of something to determine the effect distinctions have on results. Social media platforms provide tremendous opportunity for this kind of testing. You can use two different posts that link to the same content on your website, and track the effectiveness of each. Over time, you can compare approaches in ways that increasingly focus in on the best ways to reach the audience most likely to respond to your posts and to follow up with purchasing behavior.
Again, you likely will find that more than one approach can be effective for you. Social media marketing thrives on variation; you usually cannot depend on a single approach to achieve the best growth for your business. Further, you may find that different approaches within a social media platform effectively reach different demographic groups, or different segments of what can become a broad, diverse customer base. Facebook and Twitter have over a billion users each. Your growth hacking should seek to reach as many segments of those user bases as possible, as this decreases your dependence on an unnecessarily small segment of the local population.
Art and Science
Growth hacking in social media involves both art and science. It applies a rigorous, scientific approach to your marketing plan to test and focus your posts on what the data demonstrate works best for you. But each post you test comes from a place of creativity, and an understanding of what people respond to and enjoy. The best approach to social media marketing employs and engages both sides of the brain. It approaches multiple groups through multiple platforms. Over time, growth hacking through your Social Media presence can create an exponential surge for your business.