Kickstart Your Startup Marketing With These 7 Growth Hacks

Your startup may be the best new thing since sliced bread, but if you can't market it, the world will not even be able to find the path to your door.

growth hacking

If you think outside the box, you can create a campaign that⁠—if effectively executed⁠—will increase brand awareness, grow your audience, and increase revenue.

This kind of startup marketing is currently called growth hacking because hackers use original ways of quickly solving a problem or conquering an obstacle.

Calling something a hack does not mean it's easy or worry-free. Growth hacking is, frankly, one of those things that is easier said than done.

But if you're struggling, ready to try anything that might build your base, and willing to work hard for success, try some of these hacks:

1. Free stuff encourages people to sign up.

Offer a limited-time discount, free shipping, or a buy-one-and-get-one-free deal. You can give free trials, samples, or services to influencers that align with your brand's values, and then you can ask them for reviews.

2. Identify brands with values similar to yours and collaborate with them.

Collaborating with a brand that shares your values⁠—and therefore may have followers who would like to know who you are⁠—can help your brand make noise, gain visibility, and expand connections. Co-marketing is a growth strategy that can be effective in building your social media buzz and acquiring relevant organic traffic.

3. Run social media contests.

Be creative and run a contest with a prize that excites your audience and is related to your brand. Make contest rules that to enter, you need to follow your social media accounts and/or subscribe to your newsletter.

4. Give perks in exchange for referrals.

An effective hack is to get consumers to promote your products for you. Offer them perks when they refer new followers to you. Make it easy to share your products by creating a link or online code to be shared with anyone.

 5. Grow your fans into evangelists for your brand and be an evangelist yourself.

This kind of evangelism is a current version of WOMM: word-of-mouth marketing. A brand evangelist spreads the word about your product or service through their personal network and reputation.

Research has shown that over 90% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends over any other form of advertising. So, word of mouth works, but how do you do it?

People who have an emotional connection to a brand feel that success depends on their involvement. They identify with and buy into the brand story you put in front of them.

Put in the time and work to connect with people. Your team members know the product, the company, the culture, and your values. Therefore, they make the best evangelists. When hiring, keep in mind that you want team members who can and will spread your word while they fill the roles you hired them for.

6. Work on creating a cult around your brand.

Think Nike, Apple, or Ikea: they are among the limited number of big brands with cult-like followers. The people who identify this strongly with a brand can be obsessive and passionate, but they are also good at marketing your brand.

Every product that finds long-term success fills a common need and resonates with real people. These folks have the potential to get truly excited about these products. Features are found across those brands that created cults from their customer base. Here's what we can learn from them:

  • Your brand shouldn't be mainstream. It should stand out and be different.

  • Members must have courage, or they wouldn't join a cult, so your brand must also have courage.

  • Your marketing should be about a lifestyle, not just a product, so be sure your brand is fun.

  • Potential followers want to feel valued. They're buying into something. So you should listen to them! They need to know their voices are being heard.

  • Brand cults generally do not spontaneously form. The brand works to enable the creation of the community. This can happen when you communicate your story, message, and goal effectively.

  • Of course, a community that spawns this kind of following is not insular. It is accepting of all devotees.

7. Seek publicity, and don't be afraid of upsetting people.

There is a risk in using lousy publicity to grow your startup. But there is both effective and ineffective bad publicity. Bad publicity is more likely to improve new brands, not so much older or established ones.

Good publicity is usually better than bad. Bad publicity can work for you but don't lose track of good being better. So go positive if you have that option.

The bottom line is to be fearless. The more publicity, the better.

Wrapping it up

Rarely does success come by accident, and it doesn't always come via traditional means. Effectively using alternative marketing methods increases the odds of success. If you're just starting and looking for ways to grow your new business, keep some of these growth hacks in mind. You can try them out and see what works for you and what your audience responds to. After all, growth hacking is an experiment-driven technique. With some trial and error, you'll find effective ways to grow your business.

Interested in learning more? Get your unlocking growth guide by clicking below.

Unlocking Growth Guide Inbound Marketing

Shelley's been in Seattle practically since the dawn of time. She enjoys having fun (seriously) with research and writing. In her off hours she reads and walks, although not at the same time -- because tripping over sidewalks is embarrassing.

Article Contents

Leave a Comment