For the past few days I curiously went around and asked different businesses what their day to day problems were.
The answers varied, but a large bulk of them responded they needed more customers.
The majority of the businesses I visited were owned by Baby Boomers. Coincidence? No! Here’s what I came up with.
Baby Boomers grew up in the era of radio and the yellow pages. That's right! You put an ad on the radio or in the yellow pages and the customers came!
Build it and they will come, right?
Although I believe in the 'build it and the they will come' concept, now that we are knee deep into the Internet era (one I happened to have grew up in) having a method, a strategy, a playbook saves you time, essentially money!
Now, why am I telling you this?
Throughout the time I spent around numerous well-earned and revenue generating businesses and entrepreneurs (roughly 8 months), I've learned that the real secret to spiking your revenue and building your brand awareness is right in your homes and in your hands. The Internet! More specifically, Facebook.
I know. You already knew that because you’re on social media posting quotes and sharing pictures of the food you ate today and such. My question to you is, are you making any money doing that? I'm no psychic but I can guess that your answer is probably no.
Facebook likes and comments are nice. No, they really are! Interaction is everything, even if you have only a few followers. However, if you do not know how to convert that interaction (or traffic) into sales, you're pretty much wasting time. And time is money, right?
I'll wrap this up here. I've done the work to let you know that you're not alone. Everyone is having the same problem, even some business owners who are already generating over million dollars. How'd you think I got one of my first clients?
Therefore, now that you know there’s a problem or that you can do something better, hire someone to fix it. Outsource! The market is centered around social media and my advice to you is, don't try to beat the market or hunt for treasure without a map. It's the quickest way to waste a ton of time and eventually end up BROKE!
While I have never been one to use the latest buzzwords, “growth hacking” is a concept worth adopting and its implementation can be the difference between your company thriving or just surviving. If we look back in history, the closest concept to growth hacking would be “benchmarking”, which is the practice of analyzing your competitors to see if you can learn methods of improving your market position. According to businessdictionary.com, the objectives of benchmarking are (1) to determine what and where improvements are called for, (2) to analyze how other organizations achieve their high performance levels, and (3) to use this information to improve your company’s performance.
In the digital age, growth hacking does share some of the same attributes of benchmarking, but on a much deeper level. Growth hacking concentrates more on gaining market traction through application of data driven strategies that are tested, retested, and duplicated across as many platforms as possible.
For example, if you have a target audience of 11-17 female, you can use software to examine marketing techniques of a famous artist like Taylor Swift to get a glimpse into how her marketing department best reaches that audience. Using this type of software gives your company insight into an average number of hits on Taylor Swift’s website, where the hits originated, key words used in SEO efforts, and samples of ads run over several campaigns.
Armed with this information, your company should A/B test versions of your website pages, splash pages, and information downloads in order to determine which iteration lead to the desired conversion rate. Be sure to chart the results of each change, but be careful in the number of changes you make per iteration. Try not to change more than two elements per session and have the test page be 40% of exposure to ensure you are not losing conversions as a result of trying something new.
The final stage of growing hacking is increasing your company’s voice as a thought leader in your discipline. Write a book, preferably in collaboration with a well-known influencer, send articles and blogs to local, regional, and national publications; build relationships with bloggers, who reach your consumer with different products or topics and offer to provide content, and add your company’s names to the lists of experts for local television and radio shows. All of these methods will help drive traffic to your new and improved website, significantly improve your SEO rankings, and increase conversions and profitability.
In summary, benchmarking has been a very effective tools for companies to increase market share, but growth hacking represents the next era of competitive analysis and growth through incorporating proven methods and strategies from many industries globally.