The adage ‘old is gold’ doesn’t hold much importance in a digital age when all it takes is a couple of million hashtags to make a word a ‘buzzword’. From cryptocurrency and blockchains to design thinking and min-mapping, there is no scarcity of buzzwords that are thrown to us through our screens every day.
In such a scenario, these buzz words undergo a round of ‘Chinese whisper’ wherein the meaning of the word itself gets significantly diluted. Amongst some of the most popular buzzwords that people are hearing today is a term called ‘Growth Hacking’.
To throw more light on the popular but seemingly elusive term of ‘Growth Hacking’, Raghav Belavadi, Founder & CEO, Hype, interviewed Mr. Ravi Kikan. Mr. Kikan is an advisor to entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses. He is also the author of the book, ‘How To Validate Your Startup Business and Bounce Back’.
Here are some excerpts where Mr. Kikan talks about growth hacking, the importance of good content, and why creating content that users just like, is not enough:
RB: Ravi, we hear the term growth hacking so many times in a day. What exactly is it?
RK: Growth Hacking is simply multiplying your company’s sales in the quickest, shortest way possible. Growth hacking can be achieved in various ways- it can be achieved through user experience, through marketing, through directly targeting sales or through a combination of factors.
RB: When it comes to marketing, is the platform that is selected that is more important?
RK: When it comes to the digital space, it’s more about the content than about the platform you select. In today’s times, the average consumer consumes a whole lot of information on a daily basis. If you give them mediocre or obsolete content, they recognize and see through it. In order to ensure growth through community building, companies must aim at giving their consumers some food for thought. You must try to be platform-agnostic and work with the demographics and sociographic of your target audience.
Content is King
RB: Is there a method through which businesses can create that content? Something they should stick to or avoid?
RK: Most businesses make the mistake of first deciding the platform that they want to post on and then work on the content. Ideally, it should be the other way around. Since the core content is of utmost importance, it is essential to first focus on what you wish to create. Then, you must work on the medium of the content- do you want it to be a GIF, an infographic, a video, etc. Finally, you must choose the right digital platform to showcase that content.
RB: How can companies create stellar content that stands apart?
RK: As a brand, you may be able to create content that your followers may like, but that is not enough. You must aim to create content that users may want to share with other people. Shareable content will ultimately facilitate organic growth. In times when a lot of businesses focus a lot on paid media, it is important to work on earned and owned media first.
RB: Ravi, we’ve spoken a lot about the word growth hacking and how content will help businesses pave the way for growth. Tell me one thing, is the approach to growth hacking going to be different for different niches?
RK: Ultimately, having a growth mindset is essential, regardless of the niche you’re in. As a company, you must develop growth psychology. It is imperative to ask yourself “How can I improve my offering?” How can you work on improving your user experience, how can you work on direct sales, how can you make shareable content- these are the questions you must try to answer. It is extremely important to study the demographic and sociographic and to ensure that the content variety changes. The way we test our product or service, it is also important to test the content. We must figure out which type of content leads to more conversion and a better response rate. In the end, customer validation is the biggest growth hack you can ask for.
RK: (contd.): Being flexible in marketing is highly necessary. If you wish to survive as a business, you must have a growth mindset and more importantly, hire the right human capital to take the work forward. Hiring a growth hacking manager may seem unnecessary to some who think their marketing team may handle it, but in the long run, the growth hacking manager will turn out to be an asset.
Hype’s webinar on growth hacking with Mr. Kikan threw a lot of light on how startups can look at growth in the short-run as well as in the long-run. As the mystery around growth hacking faded, this discussion reiterated the value of unique content that is shareable, and that is appreciated by a growing audience, which will ultimately ensure growth.