What are Growth Hacks?
Growth is a perennial objective whether you are a start-up or a veteran in the B2B sphere. You could be on a lean budget but want to expand rapidly. Or you might have been in the market for a long time without significant progress and getting saturated or stagnant. Either way, knowing the growth hacks for the B2B domain is beneficial. B2B growth hacking strategies are becoming highly sought-after. Because businesses differ from one to another in terms of maturity, stage, objectives, resources, and markets, there are no set & defined growth hacks that will work for all. Each organization needs to do a need analysis and accordingly figure out the best & relevant growth hack strategies that apply to them.
So, what are growth hacks?
These tips or tricks are not intensive on your resources but practical digital marketing strategies that can help create brand awareness, score more leads and boost your sales. B2B growth hacks are techniques to scale up your business quickly without splurging a fortune.
How is it different from your traditional marketing strategies?
Growth hacks and traditional marketing strategies are opposites. While traditional strategies are more rigid and conventional, growth hacks must be innovative and out of the box. And while businesses allot a considerable portion of their budgets to traditional marketing methodologies, growth hacks are more spontaneous, work on a lean budget, and are opportunistic. Also, the channels usually differ for both.
Why do you need B2B Growth Hacks?
Growth remains a top priority for all. While some may succeed, it still remains elusive for many. Achieving growth takes time and effort. Sustaining it is even more difficult. Over 25% of the companies fail to grow and expand. That is, 1 out of every four companies fails to grow. Decision-makers and business leaders fear making multiple investments and restrict scouting, surveying, and exploring growth opportunities. And with the impending recession, looming pandemic, skyrocketing inflations, competition for skilled resources, and perennial international conflicts, companies need help understanding where to focus.
But amidst all these trials & tribulations, sustaining profitable growth remains a strong possibility. In the previous decade, 1 in 8 companies in the S&P 500 achieved 10% annual growth. Albeit low, only some companies are succeeding by re-evaluating growth strategy acting upon well-defined long-term growth plan that accommodates critical talent and resources. There are also cases where talents outperform, breaking the force of inertia to propel the organization toward success.
Executives, attaining profitable and sustainable growth, are unequivocally dedicated to implementing their growth strategy, from cultivating the appropriate mindset to executing bold actions. They demonstrate this commitment through the prudent investment in well-defined growth opportunities and the provision of critical enablers for that growth, such as a robust M&A engine and capability-building initiatives. It is paramount to note that these leaders possess a deep understanding of growth through confidently pursuing timeless growth imperatives and adroitly navigating disruptions and uncertainty.
Hence, it has become imperative for businesses to harness growth hacks to help them scale up their efforts.
Important Growth Hacks to Implement
Before you implement the growth hacks, some preliminaries need to be in place so that when the new prospects start flowing in, you are ready for them. Some of the core assets that should be ready beforehand and primed for growth are:
2. Brand accounts
3. Sales Collaterals like eBooks, Whitepapers, Case studies, datasheets, pitch decks, sales presentations & more.
4. Enough bandwidth to accommodate incoming traffic.
5. Optimized brand accounts and sales collateral with effective CTAs for better conversion ratios.
Now, given that these are all in place, you can start to implement the following growth hacks:
1. Product Listing: Various online marketplaces and listing websites are designed to provide your product or service visibility. List your products or services on these platforms. It will allow your audience to share, discover, and even vote for their favorite products/services. Doing so will increase brand awareness and visibility and progressively rank higher.
2. Free or Trial Version: You have a product or service. But you need people to use it. Use the freemium model or make your product available for a trial version. It allows your audience to engage with your product first-hand and builds trust. You show the product’s utility without revealing your entire hand. It can excite your audience, and buyers are prone to commit more to a full version with more conviction.
3. Referral Programs: Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective way to harness growth and expansion. It offers 100% returns with zero investment. You empower your existing prospect base to bring in more leads for you. Your product gains immense visibility across the network by lucratively incentivizing referral programs. Referrals convert 30% better, offer a 37% higher retention rate, and are 4 times more likely to provide further referrals (source: revenuezen.com).
4. LinkedIn Marketing: LinkedIn is easily the most interacted platform for the B2B domain. With over 5 million users on the platform, LinkedIn is a gold mine for B2B marketers to score quality leads. You can source leads with higher conversion rates by creating hyper-specific and targeted ads. Based on profile-specifics like company, designation, location, experience, demographics, membership, and other parameters, you can create personalized ads targeted to your intended audience, guaranteed to convert.
5. Influencer Campaigns: Influencer campaigns have seen a recent boost like never before. By harnessing the audience of a celebrity or a micro-influencer, you can reach out to a broader audience in no time. Source an influencer that relates to your niche. The trick is to hire multiple micro-influencers rather than going for a single mega-influencer. This way, you won’t break your bank balance and drum up a media presence through numerous accounts, all talking about your product or service. By partnering with influencers, you can incentive the relationship by offering discount codes, merchandise, and other giveaways to create a long-lasting impression among your target audience.
6. Podcasts & Webinars: Another great way to engage and interact with your potential prospects is through webinars and podcasts. These sessions should be used for product demonstration, address the audience’s pain points, inform prospects about usage and implementation, or establish your organization’s decision-makers as thought leaders. The most significant advantage of this exercise is that you will connect with a very niche audience. It significantly improves your chances of converting potential leads into sales. You can also pitch to popular podcasters as guest speakers.
7. Guest Posting Program: Growth relies on tapping into new audiences which would not have been reachable otherwise. Guest posting is ideal for speeding up your brand awareness, reaching out to the audience you otherwise wouldn’t have reached, enhancing lead acquisition, and driving sales. You can build a content library quickly without spending a penny on guest posting. Guest authors will freely promote your platform, which helps establish your presence as a trusted vendor in the market.
8. Platform Integration: It is essential to meet your buyers where they are. Today, with the growing technologies, apps and other platforms offer various plug-ins and integrations that increase your brand visibility further. Integrating yourself with these apps & platforms builds your business to be omnipresent in the digital ecosystem. Look for well-established platforms to piggyback on their success and visibility. It also helps shorten sales cycles as prospects can directly access your service or product without going through the entire sales funnel. It also helps with building backlinks by accessing the partner directory. Also, the functionalities of these integrations can drastically improve campaign performance.
9. Targeted Google Ads & Retargeting: To make headway in this crowded market competing against industry stalwarts, one of the sure-shot ways is Google ads. Google ads offer laser-specific targeting. Because of its positioning in the search results, visibility is 100% guaranteed. By targeting branded and competitive keywords with multiple landing pages, you can redirect some of the traffic from your competitors. It requires innovative ad planning, compelling copies, and intelligent bidding for keywords. Once you land traffic to your website or microsite, ensure the site is engaging enough to keep visitors unless they make the purchase.
10. SEO: Optimizing your website with relevant keywords, building credible backlinks, and optimizing your website for search engines have become the most important growth hacks. SEO is organic, meaning it can be done for free. And the results it fetches are long-time benefits.
B2B Growth Hacking Tools
While planning and implementing growth strategies, there will come a time when you will hit a roadblock. Therefore, relying on growth hacking tools is highly recommended. Even if you don’t stumble, the usability of these tools is unmatched and comes in handy at all times. Here is a quick rundown of some of the most used and recommended growth hacking tools:
1. MailChimp: Specialized in email marketing, MailChimp creates automated email campaigns and drip nurtures. Affordable pricing and a free subscription to 2000 subscribers make MailChimp very desirable. It also allows A/B testing and is compatible with CRMs like Salesforce.
2. OptinMonster: Another tool specialized for email marketing, OptinMonster is apt for conversions. Create engaging pop-ups, captivate traffic with CTAs, and turn your traffic into leads and sales.
3. Ahrefs: Ahref is the perfect tool for traffic and ramping up organic searches. It allows you to do comprehensive keyword and backlink research. It also offers unparalleled insights into your competitors and helps build your website as a profitable asset.
4. SEMrush: Easily the most famed tool for digital marketers, SEMrush helps with end-to-end SEO. Conduct site audits, analyze content, track social media metrics, measure monthly traffic, segment high-performing pages on your website, and more.
5. Ubersuggest: Easy to use and easy to comprehend, Ubersuggest is an uber keyword research tool. A perfect tool to ramp up your content marketing effort. Therefore, a must-have for your growth hack toolkit.
Things to Remember
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while implementing growth hacks:
• Set challenging objectives to counterbalance base business deterioration and foreseeable challenges.
• Articulate a few growth concepts and guarantee the entire corporation assimilates them.
• Safeguard the profit margin of your base business while concentrating growth on high-profit targets.
• Imbue line managers with accountability for crafting and executing growth strategies.
• Finance growth through resource reallocation and reinvestment of profits.
• Devise implementation plans with specific, measurable markers of progress.
• Routinely refine and reinvigorate the pipeline of growth initiatives.
• Assess and incentivize performance at various levels to concentrate efforts where they are most critical.
Growth Hack strategies businesses have used in the past.
Identifying a gap and then curating a solution to fill that gap: Slack has become a unicorn by creating a platform for internal communication. It used the freemium model initially. But the resolution of addressing a way to make internal communication between teams seamless has proved a tipping point for them. Today, over 12 million active users are on Slack.
Power of Referral Marketing: Dropbox offered users an extra storage space of 250 MB if they completed the referral program. Today, Dropbox accounts for over 15.8 million users.
Freemium models and trials: HubSpot has become synonymous with marketing automation thanks to its freemium model, offering a free version of its tools for users.
Many innovative growth hacks can be used to drive growth in B2B businesses. Some of the most effective strategies include building a robust online presence through social media and content marketing, leveraging the power of data analytics to identify and target critical prospects, using customer feedback and reviews to build trust and credibility, and partnering with other companies to expand and gain access to new markets.
Other growth hacks include offering free trials or demos to potential customers, using email marketing and personalization to nurture leads and close sales, creating referral programs to encourage word-of-mouth marketing, and optimizing website design and user experience to maximize conversions.
Ultimately, the key to successful growth hacking in B2B is to focus on providing value to customers and building solid and long-term relationships. By staying innovative and adaptable, and constantly experimenting with new strategies and tactics, B2B businesses can stay ahead of the competition and achieve sustained growth over the long term. And above all, B2B growth hacking needs innovation and optimization.