You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

3 Growth-Hacking Strategies To Help You Succeed With Your Next Product

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 4/11/2015 Elena Prokopets

2015-11-03-1446568695-1046786-GrowthHackingStrategies.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-11-03-1446568695-1046786-GrowthHackingStrategies.jpg
You are almost ready to launch your product. You've spent days and nights working hard on it.
You are pretty sure it's awesome.
Yet your biggest nightmare is that no one will come on the launch day. No downloads. No purchases. No social media buzz.
These woes sound familiar?
Avoid your personal apocalyptic scenario with the following smart and sassy growth-hacking strategies.
1. Embrace The Power of Social Media
Sounds like a bluntly simple advice, right? But it's not Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Goolge+ I'd like to talk about.
There are two commonly overlooked social platforms that can yield massive results without any advertising investment or a huge fan base -- Reddit and Stumbleupon.
Both social platforms rarely deserve the marketers' attention, however, they often become the secret sauce of the most successful launch campaigns.
Here are two quick case studies to illustrate their substantial power.
Stumbleupon 2015-11-03-1446568911-7565427-Stumble.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-11-03-1446568911-7565427-Stumble.jpg
According to this case study on Backlinko, one Stumbleupon post resulted into:
•17,584 unique visitors to a brand new website in one (!!!) day;
•over 204,000 total visitors from the last four months;
•consistent traffic growth for the whole website;
•top ten rankings for highly competitive keywords in Google and a subsequent overall 457% organic traffic increase in only 30-days.
•a lucrative share of income of course.
You want these results, right? Here's how you can use Stumbleupon to your advantage.
Create the right type of content.
This includes both the form and the contents.
No, you cannot publish a mediocre post and reap the massive rewards from Stumbleupon.
Yes, there is a formula to create a great piece of content that is likely to perform well on the platform.
•Long-form (1200+ words), practical how-to posts and tutorials usually work best. As well as, lengthy helpful listicles and round-up posts.
•Brainstorm a catchy creative title as you have just 5 seconds to grab user's attention before they hit Stumble.
•Make the content scanable -- clear big font, short paragraphs, bulletin points and bolded subheads. Again, you have just a few seconds to impress.
•Big clear visuals are the key elements towards winning the audience on Stumbleupon.
Obviously, not all content receive a massive buzz from the first try, so test and try different posts. Browse the content in different categories to see what types of posts are trending. Follow relevant threads and users; be sure to stumble some other posts as well, apart from yours.
The last, but not least method is paid discovery that is said to bring great results with relatively low costs involved - 60.000+ users for less than $129.
Reddit 2015-11-03-1446567846-4551076-RedditStats.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-11-03-1446567846-4551076-RedditStats.png
According to this case study by Attentive, hitting the front page of Reddit attracted over 280,000 unique visitors to their newly launched website; a mention by the Washington Post and over 600 new referring domains in their backlink profile.
When it comes to using Reddit as a growth-hacking tool, the primary rule you should remember is that -- don't let anyone suspect that you are marketing or growth hacking.
The community is ruthless when it comes to self-promotion and you can generate a huge negative buzz around your product, rather than gain any profit.
Some essential rules to follow include becoming part of the community in the first place - through participating in discussion, learning Reddiquette and analyzing which type of content get shared most. Be relevant and find specific subreddits to target. Always read the rules before posting and bring value over quality (ideally your profile should have one link to your business for ten other submissions).
Growth Hacking with Reddit Start a discussion/ask a question
While Reddit is most commonly used to submit links; starting a relevant discussion and mentioning your product (company) briefly among the lines could be a much better practice.
Say, you are a startup planning to attract some early beta users. Start a discussion at /r/statups about a problem your company is trying to solve and if the interest gauges throw in a link to your website.
Take advantage of images
Reddit loves good visuals. /r/pics, /r/dataisbeautiful/, /r/art are among the top subreddits.
If your product is visually appealing or you've got some thrilling visual data to share - take advantage of those.
Now the rule of thumb is -- follow the community guidelines and don't self-promote too bluntly. Here's a good example:
2015-11-03-1446567525-3243891- © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-11-03-1446567525-3243891- 2. Find Good Partners
Finding good partners for cross-promotion can be an instrumental part of your growth. This can be broken down to the next separate areas: integration, syndication, API and affiliate partners. Let's focus on the first two.
Integration partners
Creating integrations between your product and others on the market is a double win. You bring extra value to your customers and you piggyback ride on the other's product success. The later includes:
Getting listed in the partner directory. Mailchimp has one and so does Basecamp.
This gives you more opportunities to target the product users and elevate your product authority by being associated with other popular products.
Tapping into adjacent new market. For instance, if you are a project management tool geared towards non-project managers and people dealing with repetitive tasks teaming up with a Property Management Company CRM tool can be a perfect match, as you'll bring extra value to their product and gain access to the absolutely new strategic market. An extra win if you manage to be the first one to offer a similar type of integration among your competitors.
Syndication Partners
These are the partners that can compliment each other by cross-promoting their product to the combined audience. Syndication partnerships can take many forms.
For instance, cross-promotion on each other blogs and social media in form of guest post. Bplans created a separate massively popular blog with tons of valuable content and often invite guest contributors.
InventHelp organizes annual events for inventors like their INPEX invention trade show. Additionally, you can get valuable insights on intellectual property patents from the experts in these events.
StackCommerce built a ready-to-use branded store that publishers can add-on to their website and generate revenue. It's a win-win partnership as StackCommerce gets more exposure and the publisher earns a commission.
Influence marketing a.k.a. sponsoring bloggers, vloggers and other online influencers is on the rise for a good reason. A lot of them agree to publish a review of your product in exchange for a sample and some exposure if it's relevant to their audience.
3. Build your email list from day 1 to retain and attract customers on a permanent basis.
The average email marketing ROI is $40 for every $1 spent leaving banner ads ($2) and keyword ads ($17) far behind. Email lists are one of the best communication tools a business can use these days and not only money-wise:
•Launch your product beta to a warmed-up audience.
•Gain immediate attention and increase the virility of the product launch.
•Retain customers with special offers, smart product positioning, useful content (e.g. tutorials) and regular product updates.
You realize the power of an email list only when you have one. And here are some clever hacks to help you build an email list fast.
Use Facebook Ads 2015-11-04-1446640019-3423909-o_19sk9b4939261grqp36fcr1tho7_new.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-11-04-1446640019-3423909-o_19sk9b4939261grqp36fcr1tho7_new.jpg
Mary Fernandez managed to gain nearly 530+ email subscribers within a short time span by using cheap Facebook ads for list building.
Here are the key elements of irresistibly attractive Facebook ads.
•An attractive incentive (and a landing page to showcase it)
•Eye-catching image
•Intimate ad copy
The incentive should directly target your client's biggest challenge in life. It should be a quick, effective solution to their problem. Package it into the simplest form possible and offer them a quick win in exchange of an email address.
Next, create an attractive squeeze page where your Facebook fans will land, add a cute, personalized image and an ad copy under 90 words to avoid Facebook for cutting down your text under "more" tab on small screens.
Now, set up Facebook ad campaign and choose the audience to target.
The easiest way is to identify your ideal customer, for instance, college students that like traveling, is to find the fan pages they already liked on Facebook (a.k.a. travel blogs with budget tips, travel communities etc).
- Make a list of 10 specific Facebook pages where you think your ideal customers spend a lot of time.
- Make sure each page has a good among of likes (at least few thousands) and decent engagement rates.
- Choose 3 pages from your list to target in the ad campaign.
Run a Contest
Contests, when well planned and executed, can drastically boost the numbers on your email list. While contests may take many shapes and forms - trivia, content submission, user voting etc. - the main point is to ask all the participants to join with an email address. Obviously, you will have to offer some value in exchange for your user's email, so make sure the prize is worth it.
Basecamp used this strategy to achieve massive growth at the early stages with a Tell a Friend contest. Users were asked to sign up for an account and share a referral code via email or social media. Everyone who participated automatically gotten a $10 discount for Basecamp account and got a chance to win an iPad and MacBook Air, plus a grand prize of $5.000.
Results: Basecamp managed to double their user base within the short time span and relatively low-costs involved. Traditional advertising would have stretched their budgets much, much more.

OPTIMISM © martinplkang via Getty Images OPTIMISM

More from Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon