Growing a business is not for the faint of heart. While the internet has definitely leveled the playing field, it’s also created a lot more noise. From search engines to social media, there are tons of ways to reach your customer base. But getting their attention takes more than a few growth hacks.
If you have read my content before, you know I love growth hacking. But it’s not a silver bullet to success. In order to fully reap the benefits of a good hack, you need to have a scalable marketing strategy as well. Check out the video below to learn more.
Hey. What’s up? Welcome to Hack My Growth. In this episode, we’re going to be looking at a chapter inside of Rand Fishkin’s book, Lost and Founder, about the difference between scalable marketing and growth hacking. All right. Let’s go.
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So Rand Fishkin is the starter of Moz, he recently stepped down, he’s got a new project going on now, Spark Toro, so check that out too if you want to continue to follow Rand. But Moz was really one of the first SEO platforms for the everyday digital marketing. They did an amazing job of creating great content early on, explaining how SEO worked and doing a lot of tests and helping educate people about the power of search marketing. And in Rand’s book, he uncovers some of the struggles and the things that are going on in the startup world, but he also has a lot of good insight into marketing.
So this show’s called Hack my Growth. And a lot of times when we hear about growth hacks, we think shortcuts. The reality is we try never to really just give you shortcuts, we try to give you quick tips to help you to execute a good marketing strategy. Now a lot of times, especially in today’s world, we see startups and small businesses looking for that hack that’s going to get them over the top, you know the one that they can leverage, so they don’t have to do any marketing, we just want that secret sauce that’s going to get us up there.
The reality is that doesn’t happen. You can use growth hacks to help grow faster, you can use growth hacks to help get you into a market, but you also need to pair that with a scalable marketing approach. And Rand does a really great job and there’s a whole chapter on the importance of building a scalable model versus a growth hacking model. So here’s what they’re doing here at Moz; this is kind of their scalable, what they call flywheel. But I want to kind of talk about the difference between the scalable approach and growth hacking approach.
So, if you’ve been watching the show for any time now, you know that we follow basic inbound methodology, which is a funnel, right? And we’ve got to move people along this process so that we can move people along the process even more. You kind of start broad and you work your way down. And in this chapter, Rand starts talking about keyword research, understanding who your audience is, you know? This is where we want to attract people. Then we want to be able to build them into customers, covert them. And then we want to close them. And then the last thing on inbound is delight. Don’t just miss the bottom part of the funnel, we want to build a customer that loves us so they stay with us. It’s 10 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a good existing customer.
This is why this part’s so important and it often gets overlooked. The thing about this is it takes time. It takes time to do the research, it takes time to build the content, it takes time to understand who your audience is, it takes time to see what resonates with them. And a lot of businesses don’t have the patience to do this. And so what they do is they look for hacks, they look for ways to jumpstart. Now you can insert growth hacks all along here. Maybe you’re starting to do some A/B testing to find out which is the best version of a landing page which could increase the conversion rates from those two things. Maybe you test a referral program, this is a very popular one in the SAS world, you can test a referral program to see if that’s going to generate more closed customers.
But these on their own aren’t going to do you much good. What you have to do is pair scalable and hacks. When you do this, this is when you actually can start to see a ton of growth. But these have to work together. These aren’t separate things that happen in their own eco-system, they have to work together. Because what’s going to happen, if you just rely on hacks, you’re going to get those short spurts of growth, growth, growth, and then it’s going to stop. If you go to a scalable solution, you’re going to be able to grow long-term and insert hacks along the way to grow even faster.
Hope you guys learned something today, and until next time, Happy Marketing.
By Ryan Shelley, Owner & Founder, Shelley Media Arts