Marketing Strategy for Growth Hacking in Singapore
Marketers, career-changers, and college grads, be warned. Next time you go around searching for a new marketing job at your favourite startup, you will come across one of the buzziest job descriptions, Growth Hacker.
The term sounds simple, yet promises big results.
By adopting alternative media, including SEO, social media marketing, and targeted advertising, Growth Hacking has created a reputation for being bold, brilliant, and revolutionary.
It’s a marketing strategy that could be a game-changer for so many businesses in Singapore.
Forget about being slow and steady. How about we show you how to fast-track everything through growth hacking?
What’s Growth Hacking?
This is a relatively new term that’s picking up flame really fast.
Every startup wants to hire a growth hacker.
Every company wants to fast-track their growth. They want to attract millions of users and generate millions of dollars in revenue.
So, what’s exactly does growth hacking really mean?
The term growth hacking was first coined in 2010 by Sean Ellis. He coined the phrase out of frustration after so many failed attempts to hire someone that could replace him.
Sean was the guy that businesses reached when they needed someone to help them grow. He had helped so many companies achieve incredible growth, and even helped a few of them become publicly listed.
He was the guy that companies sought when they needed someone to help them accelerate their growth or expand their user base. In return, he would be paid or receive some equity in the startup or company.
He was essentially a one-person growth shop, setting up processes, systems, and mindsets that set the company on the fastest path to growth.
Eventually, he would hand over everything to someone else and ride off into the sunset.
And that’s where the problem began.
Those applying for the replacement position would send resumes that were above board, but not relevant.
They had marketing degrees and the much-needed experience to excel in marketing. But they were missing a key component that tied everything together.
The strategies he employed were not in the same playbook as those used by traditional marketers. Most of them didn’t even know what to do after being given the reins.
Who’s a Growth Hacker?
Sean Ellis describes a growth hacker as “someone whose true north is growth.”
Traditional marketers lack the focus that growth hackers have. Their talents are all over the place. They have a broader view, and most of them tend to be obsessed with such things as public relations and brand recognition.
However, a growth hacker is only interested in marketing strategies and tactics that fast-track growth.
If a marketing strategy or tactic does not steer a business towards growth, then a growth hacker has no business with it.
Growth Hacking Vs. Growth Marketing
Growth hacking differs from growth marketing in the sense that it’s centred on a more specific tactic or channel (or one that’s more likely to grow its audience, and at a fairly low price).
Growth marketing, on the other hand, is a much broader concept for growing an audience, but with room for experimenting with various channels.
Growth marketing takes a slow and steady approach, while growth marketing occurs in fast spurts that stir spontaneous growth. Think tortoise vs. hare.
Growth Hacking Rules to Observe
There are no specific growth-hacking techniques other than looking at what has proven to work in the past.
It’s interesting because it’s not limiting. You’re allowed to do pretty much anything to succeed.
That means new ideas are invented almost daily.
Here are a few growth hacking rules to observe:
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with pretty much anything and to rapidly switch your ideas.
- Learn about your target audience and how to think like them
- Track all metrics, and look for the pattern that builds up over time
- Leverage social media networks, especially those with large audiences
Why Growth Hacking Matters
It’s true: so many people are using the term growth hacking a bit too loosely nowadays.
So, why does it matter?
When Ellis first coined the term, it clarified something that many startup founders experienced, but only a few could clearly articulate it.
The truth is traditional marketing had nothing much to offer to early-stage ventures. Startups were hiring marketers when they shouldn’t have been employing them in the first place.
Growth hacking has saved marketers so much money. It has led to what researchers prefer to call “architectural innovation” – a merging of product, marketing, and engineering.
Departments no longer operate in separate silos. Nor are they evaluated on individual metrics. Instead, they’re all joined together and tracked using the same metrics.
What Is NOT Growth Hacking?
Some of the successful brands you know, including Hotmail, Dropbox, and Airbnb, have all implemented growth hacking to great effect and rapidly succeeded in expanding their businesses.
You might be tempted to walk in their footsteps. But that’s not how growth hacking works.
You can learn from what these companies have done, but you cannot copy their growth hacking strategies and expect to achieve the same level of success.
Unlike marketing, there’s nothing like one-size-fits-all-solutions growth hacks.
Growth hacking is a game of experimenting with a wide range of strategies. It calls for an innovative mindset. You have to identify your business strengths and use them as your springboard.
It’s a short-lived crossroad where your business, audience, and message overlap.
So, while we cannot give you a growth hack recipe that could work with your business, we can provide you with a few tools that you could use to brainstorm your own ideas and propel your business to even greater heights of success.
7 Growth Hack Strategies and Examples of All Time
Growth Hack 1: Growing Your Brand on YouTube
The first growth hacking strategy for startups is to grow their brands on YouTube, the biggest content consumption platform at the time of this publication.
Just growing your brand on YouTube has a far much bigger ROI than buying ad space on billboards and television.
By consistently posting valuable content on YouTube, you gain trust, build a reputation, and trigger associations that could benefit your product greatly.
Example of a Company Using this Growth Hack
One common example of a startup that uses this growth hack is a camera company by the name GoPro.
For a long time, Go Pro has been using YouTube to showcase their product experience effectively. They’re constantly posting videos that they have captured using the device.
Initially, all they did was demonstrate their high definition video experience. And after building a fanbase, they would double down on brand building by also asking their users to post their videos and tag GoPro.
GoPro would then choose the best fan-made videos and post them on their channel to acknowledge their work and expose them to their fanbase.
They were able to establish a strong relationship with their fans and increase brand loyalty for their GoPro fanbase.
Their YouTube views skyrocketed and ultimately gained more loyal customers for their brand.
As we speak, their subscribers are almost hitting 10 million. Now imagine how much the company could have spent had they opted for paid ads instead?
Another classic example of a company that uses the YouTube growth hack is Red Bull.
Red Bull didn’t just brand itself as an energy drink. They instead choose to promote that active, high-adrenaline lifestyle that so many people crave for.
They have been promoting this lifestyle through blog posts and by posting YouTube videos that feature athletic feats and daredevil stunts, thus enabling the values of a high adrenaline brand.
As we speak, Red Bull has nearly 10 million subscribers and millions of loyal customers from all over the world.
How to Apply this Growth Hack to Your Business
It’s simple: create a YouTube channel and consistently post content around a particular subject or topic.
The simplest approach would be to choose a niche and start posting videos that offer solutions to the problems in that particular niche.
Use tools such as TubeBuddy to increase your subscribers and strategically grow your channel.
TubeBuddy will give you many critical insights on the audience you’re targeting, like ranking difficulty, search volume, tags, and related keywords.
You can use this information to optimise your YouTube videos and channel for search engines. Suffice it to say that it’s a tool that you wouldn’t want to miss if you’re planning to start creating content for YouTube.
Other than that, this nifty tool also features a series of creator-focused tools such as end screen templates, thumbnail generator, canned responses, and more.
Growth Hack 2: Product Integration
You don’t have to build your audience from scratch. A better approach would be to unveil the product in an already existing platform with thousands or millions of active and highly engaged users.
Companies Using This Growth Hack
The first company that employs this growth hack is Airbnb. Instead of building their userbase from Scratch, Airbnb used Craigslist, which already had thousands of active and highly engaged users that they could easily convert.
Although Airbnb was more sophisticated that Craigslist, it didn’t have the same userbase as Craigslist.
Instead of building their own user base, Airbnb designed an integration hack that allowed them to list all their products on Craiglist and Airbnb simultaneously.
Meaning any product that they listed on Airbnb was automatically listed on Craigslist as well.
In so doing, any users searching for a vacation rental on Craigslist came across a barrage of Airbnb’s listing inviting them also to check out Airbnb.
Working side to side with their Craigslist’s listing, they also ran an email campaign that informed the people who post on Craigslist about how easy it is for them to also post on Airbnb.
Eventually, the platform would grow to be as popular as Craigslist, and that’s how millions of users came to know about them.
How to Implement this Growth Hack
Before you implement this growth hack, you first have to figure out which platform has the highest number of the users you’re targeting.
You can start by wearing the mind of the user and think of all the places and sites that carry the highest number of your users.
The next thing you want to do is create tie-ups with these platforms to promote your products.
The tie-up can come in the form of money or equity. You can pay them to list your products or enter into some sort of partnership.
Another approach would be to create an affiliate link, where you pay them a certain percentage of whatever you’ll have earned from the sales you make through their platform.
AppSumo for Startups
If you’re planning to run a startup, you can use a tie-up site like AppSumo to determine the user base and initial sales of your products.
AppSumo has millions of subscribers. They also have lifetime deals on new SaaS startups and software that you can use to market your products and get your sales through the roof.
As a startup, they’re among the easiest platforms to tie up with and list your products.
Growth Hack 3: Build Virality
Once you have succeeded in building virality into your product, it shouldn’t be that hard to skyrocket your user base.
Companies Using this Growth Company
A classic example of a company that grew popular by incorporating virality into their product is WhatsApp.
No one knew about WhatsApp when it started. But every time someone used the app, they ended up inviting their friends and family, and that’s how the app came up to be so popular.
WhatsApp was built with the virality factor in its functionality, and that’s the basis of its massive popularity.
Other platforms that blew up because of going viral include Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Craigslist.
How to Implement this Growth Hack
The only way to incorporate virality into your product is by providing value – with WhatsApp; it was the free calls and messages.
You also have to make sure that this offer is exclusive to the platform and that it can only be leveraged when you invite other users to the platform.
Growth Hack 4: Use a Simple Homepage
A minimalist homepage is meant to simplify the decision-making process. Simplicity clears confusion and overthinking.
Users can easily tell what’s expected of them by just looking at your website.
Companies that have succeeded by cashing in on simplicity include Twitter, Quora, and Dropbox.
How to Apply this Growth Hack to Your Business
First, you have to include a headline that clearly articulates your value proposition, accompanied by a clear CTA.
Your focus should be on making your users understand what your startup is all about, in a simple, frill-free way. Get rid of all the unnecessary functionalities and messages and stick with what’s relevant to your users.
Clear and concise messages should help your users to act fast.
Growth Hack 5: The Branding Hack
This growth hack requires you to feature your brand and its unique selling point to the operation of the product, more like free advertisement.
You simply advertise your product on your own product or on some part of its operation.
This growth hack was popularised by Hotmail, back in 1996, when they managed to use it to turn in more than 20000 subscribers and millions of users.
They opted to market their services to friends and families of their users by adopting a simple strategy. They added a clickable tagline on every email sent through the platform, “get a free email address from Hotmail.“
This link could direct users to their sign-up page, and that’s how they managed to get millions of users to sign up with them.
How to Implement this Growth hack
You can start by creating a coming soon page with a compelling copy that encourages your visitors to sign up as they await the launch.
After they sign up, you can redirect them to a viral-waiting-list page – Vyper should help you out with this. On this page, position them according to their effort.
The more they share your product, the higher they’ll rank.
Have a reward for those who make it to the top 10, 20, 0r 100.
However, you want to make sure your reward is in line with the kind of problem your soon-to-be-launched website will be solving.
For instance, you can reward them with free upgrades, swifter delivery, or offer them a complementary product that makes the main product more impactful or useful.
Growth Hack 6: The Dropbox Hack
Just a quick reminder: Dropbox didn’t invent this hack, but they’re the most famous example of the brand that implemented it.
With this hack, they were able to increase their sign-up rate by up to 60%.
New sign-ups were provided with an option to increase their allocated storage space by inviting the people they know.
With every friend that signed up with them, you’d be allocated more storage space, and that’s how the platform ended up growing their user base.
How to Implement this Growth Hack
This hack could work with any SaaS company that operates on monthly credit. You can use Early Parrot to implement it.
One important point to note is that Dropbox’s success was triggered by how well they managed to integrate their SaaS product with their referral program.
Growth 7: Data-fuelled Growth Hack
One of the best resources you already have at your disposal is Google Analytics. Just seeing correct data is enough to tell you what works and what doesn’t, as well as what changes to make.
The greatest beneficiary of this growth hack is Twitter. If you can remember, they used it a while back to resolve an onboarding problem.
Twitter came to find out that users that sign up with them were more likely to convert into their core users if they managed to get 30 or more people to follow them.
So, they figured out a way to help their users achieve this after signing up with then.
They’d do this by suggesting new users and by helping their users import their contacts.
How to Implement this Growth Hack
This growth hack demands that you begin by studying your analytics.
Find out what makes your users tick or what prompts them to take action. The freely available Google Analytics should be your number one friend in this.
Next, you want to use a freemium tool like Heatmap or Hotjar to study your site and determine what areas do they engage with the most and what areas are prompting a lot of drop-offs.
You can also use Heatjar to ask people to rate the various features on your site and to create surveys that you can use to collect feedback from your users.
Growth Hacking Key Metrics
Like we said, growth hackers are only interested in strategies that help them grow their business. They typically prioritise on scaling their businesses and acquiring new customers. ;
Their strategies revolve around developing, implementing, and testing their ideas to achieve these goals.
Growth hackers focus on what we call pirate metrics – better referred by their initials, AARRR.
AARRR represents the five stages of your growth hacking funnel:
Acquisition: This is where you acquire new customers. You have to figure out the cheapest way or channel to deliver your products or services to customers.
Activation: It’s your job to convince your customers to use your products.
How are you going to get your customers to try out your products?
Retention: You have to retain many of the customers you get. Keep as many of them as you possibly can, and reduce churn.
You have to engage your customers and focus on establishing a long-lasting relationship with them.
Revenue: Your business should be making money.
Your goal should be to grow a sustainable and renewable revenue stream.
Referral: Get your customers to refer their friends and families.
Encourage them to share your products or content and invite the people they know to try it out too. Use incentives to encourage them to do it.
10 Growth hacks to Integrate into Your Marketing Strategy
Here are ten different ways you can integrate growth hacking into your marketing strategy:
Break Your Business Goals into Subgoals
Forget about your general goals, and instead break them into small, achievable goals. You want to track down your progress.
Use the SMART framework by setting SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
You Can Adopt the Freemium Model
The freemium model is the most dominating business model used by startups nowadays.
If you’re running a SaaS program, then you can allow qualifying users to try out the upgraded or premium version of the product for free.
Let them try it out for free. Eventually, your user base will expand, and that’s how you get to grow your business.
Integrate Your System with a Referral Program
Reward-based programs and referrals are a great way to scale your business and accelerate its growth.
All you have to do is develop a referral program the benefits both your customer and referrer.
The goal is to develop a win-win situation that stimulates growth and benefits your customers at the same time.
Leverage Influencer Marketing
Social media optimisation, which works hand in hand with influencer marketing, is another great way to scale your growth.
However, before you choose the influencer, make sure he or she aligns with your product, brand’s value, and target audience.
Employ an Invite Only Sign-up System
An invite-only system isn’t meant to scare away users, but to stir the fear of missing out.
It works because it encourages users to act fast.
You can set a limit to the number of users you want. After that, one can only sign up after they’re invited by one of the users.
Your current users can invite up to three of their friends, who can also invite up to three of their friends.
You can also scale growth through content hacking.
So, what exactly is content hacking?
Simple: content hacking is where growth hacking meets content marketing. It’s where you combine these two marketing strategies with the sole purpose of growing your business.
Gamify Your User Experience
Another sure way to accelerate your growth is by gamifying your user experience.
By gamifying, we man every interaction has to feel like an achievement. You’re to make your customers enjoy interacting with your product.
The perfect example of gamifying was the collaboration between Netflix and Jerry.
Collaboration is a critical growth hack.
Synchronise the different departments and let them work collaboratively towards a common goal.
At the same time, you want to identify brands that you can collaborate with for the mutual benefit of both of you.
Growth hacking favours those with an innovative mindset
You don’t have to do what everyone is doing. Instead, learn to think outside the box and be bold enough to experiment with things that other businesses do not have the chutzpah even to try out.
It takes a creative and analytical mindset to come up with a great marketing concept.
As a growth hacker, the essence of running an effective growth hacking campaign lies with how able you’re to experiment with your creative ideas.
There’s a reason chatbots are all the talk suddenly, especially in growth hacking.
Here are a few of these reasons:
- Chatbots have high engagement rates.
- Everything can be automated.
- Has endless use cases
You just have to be creative. There’s no limit as to what you can achieve with chatbots.
List Your Products on Relevant Market Place
It’s a good idea to want to grow your ecommerce store. But it’s going to take you a while before you make a substantial amount of sales.
With so many people launching their products every day, you want to make sure yours are listed in all the right places.
The question to ask yourself is that, “what’s the go-to place for those looking for your products or services.”
From that, you want to make sure your product is listed in that particular market place.
10 Must-have Growth Hacking Tools
There hundreds of growth marketing tools to sample out. Since we can’t review them all, we’ve narrowed our selection to the best 10.
Our runner’s up is Expandi.io, a growth hacking tool for marketers who use LinkedIn.
Expandi allows you to automate LinkedIn marketing. It allows you to view people’s profiles, send messages, and even invite people based on your description of your ideal customers.
Expandi’s alternatives include Chrome’s extension Dux-Soup or Phantombuster.
Zapier is another must-have growth hacking tool. It’s an automation tool that connects with more than 1000 other marketing tools.
For instance, it allows you to record your type form respondents on MailChimp automatically.
Zapier is a great tool for automation, and it’s for that reason that you wouldn’t want to miss it in your marketing pellet.
Growth Bar is a chrome extension for SEO. It was designed to make life easier for those optimising their products for SEO.
With every Google search you run, it’s designed to show you the following:
- Keyword difficulty for every search term you use
- Similar keywords you can use, including their CPC and volumes
- Important SEO statistics, like how much traffic the page gets, how valuable is the traffic, and the domain authority of the results
- Facebook ads from that particular competitor
The alternative tools for Growthbar include MozBar and Ahref SEO tools
Chatbots have been one of the hottest trends since 2018.
Speaking of which, Landbot gives you a chance to create your own chatbot within minutes.
It’s an easy app to use and very effective in creating animated FAQ bots.
If you want to advance your chatbox, you might want to use ChatFuel and ManyChat to create a Facebook chatbot.
Colibri is the tool you use to monitor the internet.
It’s designed to help you find out what people are saying about your brand, product, or any other topic you’ve chosen.
With the information it provides, you should figure out a better way to approach your target audience.
Its alternatives include tools such as SparkToro and Mention.
Hotjar is one of the best heatmapping tools you’ll ever come across online. It’s designed to give you an insight into the behaviour of your site visitors through heatmaps.
It records your users’ actions.
Their free version is a complete package, which explains why it’s the most used heat mapping tool on the web.
Airtable is more of a database or excel spreadsheet.
It’s quite difficult to figure out, but if you’ve ever used spreadsheets, then you shouldn’t find it hard to work with this tool.
It’s a great tool for growth hackers. You can even integrate it with Zapier and use it to create smart Kanban boards and CRMs.
Hootsuite is an excellent tool for managing all your social media accounts from a central place.
You can also use it to schedule posts and so on.
There are so many great alternatives to Hootsuite, including Later, Buffer, and MeetEdgar, but Hootsuite stands tall over every single one of them because of its free pricing plan.
Businesses spy on each other, and so should you.
But don’t make it so easy for anyone that wants to spy on you. With Ghostery, you can cover your online tracks, so those spying on you won’t have an easy time tracking some of your online behaviour.
You can also use Ghostery to spy on your competitors by finding out which tools they’re using online.
Growth hackers have to design a lot of things, whether it’s an image for Facebook, visuals for infographics, and some poster to accompany their messages.
Canva can help you out with all that. It’s a great tool to have in your marketing toolkit if you’re planning to handle visuals.