What is Growth Hacking

In the age of new media, it is not enough to just have a social media presence. You need to grow your brand and business through social networking if you want to succeed in today's market.

This is where growth hacking comes in!

Learn how growth hacking can help your company reach its goals today! 

The following blog post will teach you what growth hacking is, why it matters, how it works, some examples, etc.

What is Growth Hacking?

2 male entrepreneurs on a rocket ship showing a startup growth through growth hacking.

Neil Patel defines growth hacking as a method of rapid experimentation that is used across different marketing channels to be able to find out the most effective ways of growing a business. 

Basically, growth hacking is just another way of saying that you are using every tactic available to increase your company's revenue. This could be through emailing potential customers or creating new social media accounts with unique hashtags.

Growth hacking is not a new idea, but it was started by Sean Ellis  (the guy who coined the term) back in 2010 when he made Dropbox one of the fastest-growing companies ever. Since then growth hacks have been used to help many other companies become household names like Airbnb and Uber. Why Is It Important?

Growth hacking is a marketing technique where growth is the primary goal. That growth could be the growth of revenue, growth of users, or growth of any kind of metric that would lead to the expansion and growth of your company and brand.

Why is Growth Hacking Important?

Today growth hacking is extremely important to businesses. Waiting for customers and users to find your product or service doesn't work in this modern market. 

In fact, according to an article posted in Klint Marketing, 50-80% of B2C companies depend on word-of-mouth referrals. The same statistic shows that 97% percent of users trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Growth Hacking is important because, in this day and age, you need to find ways to grow your product or service so it can become a household name. The key here is to find a way for your product or service to stand out from the crowd, and growth hacking can help you accomplish this goal.

According to Mark Hayes over at Bulletproof Consulting (BulletProofExec), "Growth Hacking should be viewed as any tactic that gets customers in front of users while providing a great experience. This can be done through a variety of channels including social media, search engine marketing, and word-of-mouth referrals."

When is the Perfect Time to Try Growth Hacking?

A female marketer using a project timeline as a calendar to see when is the perfect time for growth hacking.

Anytime growth is the goal, growth hacking strategies can be used. However, the best time to implement growth hacking techniques is when you are in a state of stagnation or want to take your business/brand/product & services to the next level.

In fact, for established companies, growth hacking can be thought of as a way to accelerate growth. It can help increase your company's growth without having to spend as much money on traditional advertising channels, which can cost $100k plus per month.

This is concurred by Ellis, as he said that if you're not growing by at least 20% month-over-month (MoM), your product or service is probably stagnating and a change in strategy may be necessary to increase business results.

Now, if you're a new startup, growth hacking may be your only option in gaining growth since you don't have the brand awareness and connections that some companies do. You must focus on building an audience around an existing service or product.

It is often difficult to turn your attention away from building new features for your app and instead focus on how you can optimize growth, but you must do so to increase business results. Furthermore, by investing in growth hacking strategies, you will be able to do things that would otherwise take years within a much shorter time frame.

The goal of a growth hacker is the same as every other marketer - they try to attract new customers without spending too much money on advertising or hiring expensive employees. Growth hackers are skilled marketers who use data analysis, and oftentimes, creativity to achieve their company's growth goals.

The earlier these growth hacks are implemented, the faster growth potential will happen throughout the year!

What Growth Hacking Is Not?

Growth hacking may be a lot of things, but one of the things that are not is growth hacking spending too much on advertising or hiring expensive employees. This means that a growth hacker is a good marketer who uses data analysis and creativity to help the company grow.

Growth hacking does not mean that it will happen quickly, but instead throughout the year! So if you're looking for immediate results only, then this may not be your best option.

Growth hacking is not just throwing money at various marketing channels to see what sticks. This is a bad way to conduct business, and won't usually result in long-term growth for a company. In fact, growth hacking is not even marketing at all!

A growth hacking expert can't create growth out of thin air. The strategies and tactics that a growth hacker uses have to be backed up by data before anything else. You also need to know the impact that your efforts will have on the bottom line.

Growth hacking is not just an idea that's hot for a few months before it goes out of style and people move on to the next big thing. It's a philosophy that has been adopted by some of the biggest tech companies in the world, and it will continue to be used for years to come. Companies are always looking for new ways to attract customers - growth hacking is here to stay!

The right way to grow your startup isn't throwing money at various marketing channels immediately without doing any research or testing. That's a common mistake many startups make - they can't scale their growth, and once the money runs out, so does the business.

Growth hacking is all about determining where your customers are hiding online, what content they're reading, which social media platforms they spend time on, etc., then catering to that audience at every stage of the buying funnel.

A single growth hacker can increase user signups by up to 40% of revenue. That means hiring one person full-time could pay off big time, compared to hiring an entire marketing team!

What are the Differences Between Growth Hacking and Marketing?

A female marketer focusing on the data and analytics of growth hacking as she is looking at her computer screen with data behind her.

Is growth hacking the same as marketing? Growth hacking and marketing are both part of growth strategies, but growth hacking focuses more on data and scale. In contrast, marketing focuses on branding and public relations.

The main difference between growth hacking and marketing, in fact, is that you're not creating awareness; you're accelerating growth using tactical approaches on social media or mobile traffic moves.

Traditionally, marketing efforts are focused on awareness and lead generation. Many marketing spots and advertisements were created to add credibility or enhance the product name or performance. Once customers become aware of your company/brand/product & services, you need some type of mechanism (a landing page for example) to capture their information.

Growth hacking, on the other hand, focuses on generating users. This is done with the help of growth tactics which are designed to grow an audience or user base in a scalable way, many times at exponential levels.

The growth hacks will be completely different because they'll use only specific tactics to increase growth in a short time (a hack), not create growth over some time.

Growth marketing utilizes many online channels, tools, and tactics that aim to grow your audience by making more people aware of you or spreading awareness for a specific campaign. This often involves paid ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, native advertising with AdSense/AdExchange as well as influencer marketing (also known as affiliate or referral marketing) with platforms like Viral Loops.

What are the Skills Needed for Growth Hacking? 

A painter being creative with his imagination running wild as needed to do growth hacking.

The skills needed for growth hacking apply to many different fields. While some of the skills are more technical (like coding, data analysis, or design), others like creativity and critical thinking can be applied in any industry.

In fact, according to Growth with Ward, the skills needed for growth hacking are creative thinking, data analysis and interpretation, a focus on metrics and measurement, marketing or sales aptitude, and digital marketing skills.

Furthermore, GOOINNN Global added that the skill for growth hacking is problem-solving, which is the ability to identify and solve problems in a unique way.

On top of that, Gagan Biyani (founder & CEO @ Sprig) told Forbes Magazine to consider these skills when hiring growth hackers: hustle, creativity, curiosity about data/analytics/product-market fit, storytelling...etc.

Other skills needed for growth hacking are:

  • You need to have a growth mindset and teams, as you will most likely be competing with other growth teams that are more focused than you. 
  • Focus on what growth can help the company achieve. Growth is important, but it needs to be in line with company goals. If your company has no specific goal, then growth may not mean anything—just keep this in mind when thinking about growth.
  • Or create a growth hacking strategy for your own goals first, then go from there, for this can spark off marketing ideas or some things that might help marketing.
  • If you don't know how to make growth happen: test different channels (not all at once!) to see which ones work best for your "product."

What are the Benefits of Growth Hacking?

A male businessman becoming rich as money falls on him. This is one of the benefits of growth hacking, it can increase your revenue.

Growth hacking has several benefits, and this includes:

  • better marketing strategies;
  • an increase in revenue and conversions; and
  • improved customer experience.

Another benefit is that growth hacking can be used to drive traffic towards a certain page or website, which means it could improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This might lead to more people using search engines to find information about your business or company.

Growth hacking also involves a creative and innovative way to increase the growth of the product by using growth hacks as growth channels. It works best for startups that have a growth problem or growth opportunities within the company.

Growth hacking also helps eliminate multiple efforts to optimize the growth of a product that already has traction and growth, but wants more users or customers to increase sales/revenue, etc.

What are the Criticisms of Growth Hacking?

No strategy is perfect, as such, growth hacking also has its shares of criticisms. One of them is that it can actually hinder growth if done wrong.

Another criticism is that, because growth hacking focuses on short-term metrics and increasing the number of users or customers rather than building a company's brand equity over time, companies might get stuck in a "growth trap." This means they don't have a strategy to retain existing customers without using aggressive measures such as spending a lot of money on advertising or promotions.

This is important as growth hacking is just a tactic and it needs to be implemented as part of a larger strategy. It is supposed to be part of a larger growth machine.

In the end, it’s all about finding out what works for your company and then doubling down on that thing until you can do more. In other words, as long as growth hacking gets results, there's nothing wrong with using what works even if it's not "hacky," and I'm sure we'll see growth hacking becoming more and more mainstream in the future.

What is Growth Hacking Techniques?

A female growth hacker drawing out her strategy of growth hacking.

Growth hacking has been around for a while and there some growth hackers have already established their techniques.

One technique that you can use is called “growth accounting,” which is all about finding out where your growth comes from and how much each source contributes to total growth.

Another technique that you can use is called the “Bullseye Framework,” which helps companies find their way towards future growth by pinpointing what actions are most likely to yield the best results.

If you want to be a growth hacker you can also start by making lists of tests that haven't been done yet (for your own product.) Then ask others what hasn't been tested, too. 

Look at every new feature as an experiment that will generate data if it works or doesn't work – this gives everyone visibility into what is working and what isn't.

Using Growth Hacking means it's no longer something that you can just be good at; there needs to be a new aspect of measurable growth so it can be quantified as a part of the product. 

Product teams need better ways to measure growth – simply measuring total users or active users won't cut it anymore.

There are many different types of growth strategies out there. Some examples include content marketing, SEM, SEO, etc. Still, we will focus on a few that we believe should launch at the beginning of any growth campaign for your startup or business.

Word of mouth referrals is an important growth hacking strategy because they give you free advertising from people who trust your product or service enough to recommend it to their friends and family. However, for this tactic

The earlier these growth hacks are implemented, the faster growth potential will happen throughout the year. We were able to see growth in several of our growth hack strategies during the first 2 months, which has been pretty amazing.

What are the Five Funnel Stages Of Growth Hacking?

A male purchasing a hat online. This shows the end goal of the 5 funnel stages from the first time they hear about the product until they pay for the product.

The Five Funnel Stages, as defined by Keap is the process that every new user goes through from the time they first hear about your product until they become a paying customer.

Furthermore, Ignite Visibility also defines Five Funnel Stages as the process of acquiring, engaging, and retaining customers.

The five funnel stages of growth hacking are:


The acquisition is defined as attracting new users to the growth channel of growth hackers. It is the first step in the funnel, which is all about getting users to your product.

In the acquisition stage, the growth hackers will use their creativity to incentivize users with offers like free coupons, discounts, or contests. They are also using paid advertising platforms such as Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.

Another strategy is by creating landing pages that can be used for PPC ads (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns that drive traffic directly into an online form on the company site.

You are successful in the acquisition stage when you see an increase in users, signups, and conversions.


The acquisition is defined as attracting new users to the growth channel of growth hackers. It is the first step in the funnel, which is all about getting users to your product.

In the acquisition stage, the growth hackers will use their creativity to incentivize users with offers like free coupons, discounts, or contests. They are also using paid advertising platforms such as Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.

Another strategy is by creating landing pages that can be used for PPC ads (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns that drive traffic directly into an online form on the company site.

You are successful in the acquisition stage when you see an increase in users, signups, and conversions.


The third stage of the five funnel stages of growth hacking is retention. The retention stage is where you spend a lot of time creating a strong relationship with your customer, so they keep coming back. This will help increase the amount of revenue from that customer in the long term. For this stage to be successful growth, hackers need to make sure customers are receiving value and have an incentive to stay loyal.

Retention is successful when your customer feels like your product or service is great and they tell their friends about it. They will then be a part of the "viral loop" that causes exponential growth for companies in every industry.


The revenue stage is when growth hackers focus on "conversion" to increase the amount of money that is earned. This means converting free users into paying customers, or increasing engagement for current paid services/products which will give them more revenue per customer over time.

Once you have completed all three stages successfully your business will be able to experience sustainable growth and expansion. The revenue stage is when growth hackers focus on "conversion" to increase the amount of money that is earned. This means converting free users into paying customers, or increasing engagement for current paid services/products which will give them more revenue per customer over time.


Referral means growth of the channel. Good growth channels will have good referrals from friends and family, which we call 'viral' growth - this is the most powerful growth of all, as it sky-rockets your business with no costs or extra work on your part.

The Referral stage is when growth hackers focus on "word of mouth" to increase the number of people that use their product or service. This is usually done through targeted advertising and word-of-mouth marketing.

Many businesses are unaware that they have a referral tactic within their product that can be used to increase customer acquisition rates if done correctly. However many products will include user actions such as sharing content via email/social media or inviting friends.

The key here is not to ask for referrals or incentivize them, but rather just include it in the product itself and let users create their own word-of-mouth marketing campaigns around your business. This way you can get people talking about your company without even asking!

The above growth hacking strategies are not necessarily sequential order, meaning that it is perfectly acceptable for a growth hacker to mobilize all five simultaneously. Some key techniques can be implemented immediately, while some hacks may take two months or two years.

What are the Differences between Growth Hacking Strategies and Techniques? 

A buyer cannot tell the difference between each milk in a supermarket. With growth hacking strategies, it is considered to be more high level than techniques.

Growth hacking strategies are considered to be higher level than growth hacking techniques. It is the difference between the abstract and the concrete.

Growth hacking strategies are more conceptual or philosophical, while growth hacking techniques are more tactical in nature. They are both equally important to consider when executing a digital growth campaign but understanding their development can help you better manage your company's growth initiatives.

Strategies for Growth  Hacking 

Some of the well-known growth hacking strategies are:

User experience optimization

This is a process in which the product and service are continuously refined so users can gain complete satisfaction. This strategy helps companies achieve their objectives through technical changes that improve user behavior or habits, such as reducing load times or making sure search results yield useful answers.

Viral marketing

One of the most effective growth hacking strategies is to create content that users will want to share with their friends. This type of marketing relies primarily on word-of-mouth referrals rather than paid ads or other methods for growing the business, and it's especially useful in digital platforms where sharing can happen quickly and easily.

Free trials

Offering free trials allows companies to convert new users into paying customers. It takes some time and effort to implement, but it's a powerful strategy for growth hacking when done right.

Techniques for Growth Hacking

Some growth hacking techniques include the following:


Retargeting is a form of advertising where certain businesses display their ads and content on other sites that a user visits after visiting the company's website.

Social shares

Tools like AddThis allow people to easily share your content by adding attractive sharing buttons at the top or bottom of an article, which makes it easy for users to spread information about your brand around social media.

Mailing list

Another technique for growth hacking is to gather email addresses and collect them into a mailing list. This way, you will be able to send people promotional material about your company whenever it is released – these emails can also include special offers that only those on the mailing list receive.

Guest blog posts

The concept of guest blogging has been around for quite some time now since individuals or businesses with popular blogs can share their posts on other sites and frequently drive traffic back to their own site.

How to Start with Growth Hacking?

A male using a backpack with a rocket to fly up the sky showing he wants to start growth hacking.

In starting growth hacking, you need to start with your business model. This means that you must identify your target market and figure out the best way to get in front of them. Once you have a good understanding of this, then you can focus on implementing growth hacking strategies that will help acquire new customers or retain existing ones.

The growth hacking process has three steps: 

(i) Growth research, which involves the collection of data to understand what's working for your competition and customers

(ii) Growth hypothesis generation, where you consider how new features or services could improve growth; and then finally, after considering feedback from a focus group of potential users, 

(iii) Growth test, where you execute the growth plan.

A growth hacker is a marketer who knows to find creative ways of getting more customers for their company to grow revenue and profits. They have the skills to experiment with strategies that do not require substantial investments or time commitments from developers or other employees.

How to build your own strategic foundation for Growth Hacking? 

To be able to build your own growth hacking strategic foundation, you need to understand the following:

The first step is to understand your current growth rate and the growth potential. You need to consider all of the data points that you currently have and then determine how many new users can reasonably be expected as a result of executing these tests, taking into account variables such as average revenue per user (ARPU) or cost per user (CPU).

The next step is to build your growth hacking strategy around this foundation. Growth hacking strategies need to be built on a solid strategic foundation, which will mean different things for different companies and industries depending on the company’s current situation.

Below are some specific growth hack ideas:

  • Use social media ads as an advertising strategy; 
  • Make sure that all emails are mobile responsive; 
  • Get reviews from customers by giving them discounts when they review products and services online; and 
  • Buy leads instead of building relationships with prospects (lead generation).

What are Growth Hacking Trends for 2021?

This dress is trending in the market as people are willing to pay for it at a high price with high demand. Like growth hacking, there are also trends that you can follow.

First, AI is one of the growth hacking trends that will continue to be relevant. AI refers to software bots programmed by humans to carry out specific tasks. For example, chatbots are AI tools connected with social media sites like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp and can answer questions 24/24 hours a day. So instead of interrupting customers with sales pitches, these bots automate the messaging. That way companies can focus on providing great customer service and keep their users happy at the same time.

These chatbots are effective because people feel more comfortable with machines than humans when asking questions about products or services they have never used before. I also predict that AI growth hacking strategies will help companies improve their customer retention rate.

Using chatbots is just one example of how growth hacking can help startups grow quickly and easily increase revenues, while also making users happy at the same time.

Influencer Marketing

Then there's the growth hacking trend on influencer marketing. Influencers with large audiences can be a very effective way to market your product or service and gain exposure. This can be difficult if you don't have the budget for influencers, but there are always free options like using social media shoutouts (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) from influencers in exchange for something of value such as sharing their post or mentioning them.

Upselling and Cross-Selling

The growth hacking trend on cross-selling and upselling is a slightly different way of increasing revenue from customers through adding extra value to your product offering, rather than just selling more units. Things like bundling products together can be an effective way to increase sales without sacrificing margin.

You can also try to upsell with complementary products. For example, offering a customer an additional product that is related or relevant to the one they just purchased at a slightly higher cost than what they paid for their initial purchase. The idea here would be to convince consumers who are already in shopping mode so any post-purchase suggestions you offer have a greater chance of being accepted.

This is just one example, but there are many ways to drive up revenue through your digital channels while still maintaining margins and meeting customer needs within the scope of your business model. It all comes down to understanding what drives consumer behavior so you can create processes that take advantage of these insights in an effective manner.

What are Examples of Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking is here to stay, and some companies have achieved more success than others. Below are some examples of growth hacking.


The first example of a successful company that used growth hacking to grow its business is Airbnb.

In this growth hacking example, Airbnb was mainly in the growth phase.  

Most of their growth hacks are targeted at viral growth. They ask for information from the user at sign-up and then emailed them to get friends involved. 

The startup began accepting payments directly through Facebook by working with a payment processing company called Braintree. 

They partnered with Craigslist so that anyone who posts an apartment rental listing must pay a $25 posting fee to list it on Craigslist. 

This fee typically keeps away many amateurs from posting real estate listings on CL. It keeps all the scammers off while providing more advertising revenue for Craigslist and growth to Airbnb since people start using Airbnb when they are traveling around.

The growth team has also experimented with more ways to drive growth through Facebook by incentivizing people who share Airbnb's posts on their timelines. 

They found that the best way to do this is to offer monetary rewards and provide social recognition for those users. So they created an "Airbnb Ambassador Program." 

When someone shares one of our posts on their timeline, we run ads targeting their friends about how awesome the person being honored is for doing it!


Youtube also knew how to hack growth. They made their growth teamwork with content creators and other Youtube channels to promote videos on the site.

This is a great example of how growth hacking can be done in different ways at any company, no matter what size they are or the industry they're in! 

In fact, many people think that this growth hack was one of the most successful ever created for YouTube. Why? Because it changed the direction from just being an online video-sharing website into something much bigger. It's a social media platform where users could share clips and live feeds.

It had been planned by Google since before its launch, but not until 2005 did growth hackers find out about it!


Twitter's growth hacking strategies are actually quite similar to Google's growth hacking strategies for YouTube.

As Twitter has grown, so have their growth hacking tactics! 

And they've done a pretty good job of it, too: In just over five years, Twitter's user base grew from 12 million users in 2009 to an astounding 350 million by 2014. That's more than ten times growth in such a short time. 

All this growth has been credited largely due to one tactic. They could attract celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Lady Gaga into using their platform early on, which helped build even more buzz around the service. 

This caused many other people who admired these celebrities (or simply wanted the attention given) for using social media.


Paypal's growth hacking tactics were a little more traditional but still very effective. They created an email service that allowed people to securely and quickly send money online. 

This was around the time when America Online (AOL) had dominated the internet. So, Paypal's growth hacking tactics helped them get noticed by other companies who would soon want their services as well.

Paypal's growth hacking strategy has been credited with helping it grow from zero users in 1998 to 100 million registered accounts today - which is about one-third of all Americans! 


Growth hacking techniques are mostly common sense. They're just made up of a lot of different tactics that not everyone might think about putting together to help you grow your business online.

I hope this post gives you the tools and ideas needed to start implementing growth hacking into your own marketing strategy as soon as possible!

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