Trying to navigate growth hacking without a plan is like going on a treasure hunt without a map—you’re just not going to find the pot of gold you’re looking for, at least not without a lot of luck. That task becomes infinitely more difficult if your competition has a their map in hand, leaving you wandering out in the vast Internet desert searching for the ever elusive growth your startup so badly needs.
Mapping Out Your Growth Hacking Success
To help you get a better feel for the lay of the land, it’s helpful to look at your growth hacking landscape in terms of a real map. We’re all familiar with how our everyday outside world looks, so making the analogies between real world entertainment, marketing, business and their online counterparts will help you navigate growth hacking for your startup.
• Follow the Flow of Traffic—From Highways to Search Engines.
We’re all pretty familiar with the way that highways and streets work: you use them to get to your destination. If you’re hungry, you get in your car and drive down the road to a restaurant. For the most part, you’ll find restaurants fairly close to the exits on the highway—right in plain view so people passing by can see the signs towering above the trees. On the Internet, we get to our destinations through the search engines. Just as you can help someone get to a restaurant faster if you know the highways, the fastest routes and how to give directions, you can grow your startup faster if you can efficiently direct people there with SEO, inbound links and traffic generation—the signs near the exit.
• Where You Live—From House Address to Web Address.
Similarly, if you’re trying to get to someone’s house, you’re going to need their address. On the web, someone’s house address is their web address. The more you know about the roads that lead to someone’s house, the easier you can get there from the off ramps; just like the more you know about the roads that lead to your site (e.g. inbound links, social media, PPC), the easier it is to grow your traffic.
• Getting Your Entertainment—From TV and Movies to YouTube and Vine.
When we want some entertainment in the real world we go to movies, concerts or watch television. These outlets are not only fun, but also expose us to a lot of advertising. When you’re growing your startup, it’s helpful to think of YouTube, Vine, Instagram and other media outlets as places where you can both entertain and get your branded message out there, thus promoting growth.
• Doing Some Shopping—From Malls to Amazon and eBay.
When you need a pair of sneakers or a new couch, you know where to go in your neighborhood. If there’s a mall, you can get all of your shopping done in one place. Online, shopping happens through eCommerce, existing in individual site stores on websites or large “mall” outlets such as eBay or Amazon. When your product is in the right store, people are more likely to find and buy it, thus growing your distribution and sales.
• Parties and Dating—From Bars and Mixers to Facebook and Social Media.
Finally, the social scene is just as important in real life as it is online. We’re social creatures by habit and just as you grow your circle of friends at parties or your love life at bars and mixers, growing your social network through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites is a big part of growth hacking—only instead of friends per se, you’ll want to find customers.
Every Startup Growth Map is Different
Of course, just like the layout for each town, city and state map is different, having different road names and traffic laws, each startup requires a unique growth hacking plan that will help you navigate the vast span of bridges, tunnels and roadways that lead to your startup’s success. To find out more about how to plot out and navigate your company’s unique growth hacking map, click here right now and don’t ever get lost again.