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Growth Hacking Tools for Startups

Search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), social media advertising, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, public relations (PR), analyst relations (AR), native content, sponsored content, podcast advertising, banner ads… the list of growth hacking tools for startups goes on and on.

Back of man's head and shoulders looking up at tall buildings

As an entrepreneur or wantrapreneur growth hacking can be an overwhelming subject to wrap your head around. Success whether you are bootstrapped (self-funded) or working with outside investors, growth is often the lifeblood of your company. The future depends on increasing your customer base, user base, or increasing profits.

The growth hacking tools right for your startup will depend on your industry, product, goals, and how much money you have to invest in growth. To better understand growth hacking I attended a growth hacking meetup in NYC that featured 4 marketing leaders from startups in a variety of industries on their successful strategies. Stacklist organized and hosted the event which was located at Alley Chelsea. Gabby Slome from Ollie – a subscription premium dog food brand, Sam Viskovich from Reonomy – a commercial real estate data platform, Jim Shook from Payability – a FinTech company supporting e-commerce sellers, and Nilton Duque from Cleanly – an on-demand dry cleaning and laundry service.

The Growth Hacking Panel

The panel covered strategies ranging from utilizing guerilla marketing, social media and the free press – all the free resources. To how to optimize content for SEO. enabling influencers and paid social media advertising. While the specifics for each strategy deserve their own deep dive some key takeaways for early-stage companies are:

Measure and track everything

If you don’t start tracking where you are spending your resources and where your growth is coming from it will be very difficult to replicate that success. If you can’t afford software come up with systems for inputting data into an excel spreadsheet to start. First and foremost before doing anything track your activity and the results

Someone picking up a label reading success

Pick one growth channel to start

If you have limited resources it is better to pick one avenue and really go deep then to sprinkle those resources thinly over multiple. If you can get really good at one marketing or growth strategy you’ll be able to learn and iterate quickly. Focusing on influencers, for example, you’ll be able to identify which tier give you the best results and what type of audience they have.

High intent traffic is better than a lot of generic traffic

When it comes to early marketing and growth it is important to target more profitable and higher converting audiences. Targeting 500 people and having 200 convert is more effective than targeting 1,000 and having 300 people convert. Being focused is an advantage and assuming you have a great product and great customer experience those high converting audiences will spread the word about your company.

outstretched handholding old school video camera

Invest in Video

oung people are spending a tremendous amount of time on Youtube and other video platform. You don’t have to have a fancy studio or camera. In fact, often times the selfie phone videos are the most effective. With the amount of content out there ensure the first 5 seconds your video will capture attention and tell a quality story.

There are many other growth hacking tools for startups to look into. But if you follow the above advice you are more likely to have success tapping into growth. I highly recommend attending local meetups and learning from people that are having success. Share your successful growth hacking tools and tips below!

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