At the end of the day, marketing revolves around growth. Every marketing effort your team invests in should help in the growth of your brand, and that is the main goal. However, it is not an easy process.
To stay ahead of the competition and create an impact on your target audience, it is important to invest in different marketing activities like growth hacking. Various early-stage startups are already doing this and are reaping massive benefits.
Yes, growth hacking yields long-term results. Instead of taking shortcuts, you must opt for growth hacks that align with your strategy perfectly. This blog post covers some essential, proven growth hacks that can help your business to shine.
What is growth hacking?
Growth hacking originated from the term, growth hacker, coined by Sean Ellis, a growth marketing expert, in 2010. It means using fewer resources and curating interesting strategies to help B2B create awareness, acquire customers, and generate revenue.
The core purpose of growth hacking for businesses is to scale quickly without spending huge amounts on marketing.
This is handy for B2B businesses as most are bootstrapped, and a large chunk of money goes into product development.
10 Proven B2B marketing growth hacks
Here are the ten most successful marketing growth hacks that were tried and tested by some popular brands.
1. Free trial of products
B2B space is costly. Businesses pay huge amounts for these products, and providing a simple free trial relieves them of stress. You need to provide a free trial with a credit/debit card commitment.
This free trial is the best time for you to showcase your product, the features you offer, and how efficient your support team is. This free trial has to be long enough for people to see how your features can help their business and short enough for them not to get a chance to explore all the features.
→ Canva, the leading design tool, offers a 30-day free trial. The users will get access to all the paid features in Canva, and they can try out pretty much any element, color, design, or photo without any limitations. They just have to sign up and provide their credit, and debit card details. (Source)
→ Slack has also opted for this model and offered a free and premium product along with a free trial for 60 days. The company was able to grow exponentially with these hacks along with word of mouth. (Source)
2. Retargeting Ads
Retargeting is done for the contacts who have already shown interest in your product. You need to decide what you want them to do and curate your ads accordingly. For example, if you want your contact to book a demo of your product, create an ad around it and retarget that contact.
→ Mailchimp, one of the popular email marketing platforms, has used retargeting ads to increase its ROI. The company offers a free trial for one month, and most of the people opted for that free trial and stopped using their premium product. That is when the company ran some interesting Facebook ad campaigns and targeted these inactive users. This has created a lot of traction on social media, and the brand was able to convert so many inactive users back then. (Source)
→ Adobe, a leading provider of creative software solutions, uses retargeting ads to remind users of creative software solutions they have previously viewed or added to their cart but haven't yet purchased. These ads offer discounts and other incentives to encourage users to complete their purchases.
3. Referral incentives
There is no better marketing strategy than word of mouth; you have to leverage that to the fullest. Offer incentives to your existing customers when they refer your brand to others and bring in more deals. Yes, you need to offer an extraordinary product, but an incentive can motivate them to promote your brand for you.
Referral incentives can act like game changers for businesses if they are implemented effectively.
→ Dropbox is one of the biggest file management companies out there, and the company has skyrocketed its revenue from $116 million in 2012 to $1.1 billion in just a five-year span. It offers referral incentives to users who invite their friends to use the platform. When a friend signs up for Dropbox using a referral link, both the friend and the referring user receive extra storage space for free. This incentivizes users to invite others to use Dropbox and drives new business for the platform. (Source)
→ PayPal has also used these referral incentives to attract new customers. The company was able to grow its business by 7 to 10% every day. However, PayPal spent huge money on these incentives, but the company valuation post that traction has made the investment worth it. (Source)
4. Video marketing
Videos have a huge impact on viewers when compared to images because they are captivating. Sales activation is one of the most essential goals of every B2B marketer, and this is where video marketing will come into the picture.
Video marketing will help in boosting the search engine ranking of a website, increase conversion rate, provide credibility for the brand, strengthen your brand value in the market, and many more.
→ Brands like HubSpot invest a lot of resources in video marketing, as they know how impactful it can be in providing information and generating traction for a brand. They use video marketing to showcase the benefits of their solution. HubSpot creates videos that show how its platform can help businesses grow and scale their marketing and sales efforts. (Source)
→ MailChimp also uses video marketing to share its knowledge and, at the same time, to promote its product. The brand usually creates videos that provide advice on creating effective email campaigns and growing email lists. (Source)
5. Email marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways for B2B brands to reach their target audience. Personalization is the key to attracting an audience while sending out emails.
Right from using your real name to addressing them with their real name, mentioning their business, the pitfalls, hardships, and how your product can be a solution for all of that, there are so many ways one can customize their entire email marketing strategy.
You can send promotional emails and newsletters weekly to gain some traction from the customer. Remember that this process is lengthy and must be extremely patient. Add a CTR at the end of your email without fail, be it in your promotional campaigns or newsletter; a CTR is mandatory.
Pick the right marketing tool, and you can curate completely personalized email marketing campaigns that resonate with your readers.
→ Salesforce, a leading CRM software provider, sends a weekly newsletter to its subscribers, which includes industry news, product updates, and best practices. This newsletter helps to build engagement and loyalty among subscribers and drives new business for Salesforce. (Source)
→ HubSpot uses email marketing to nurture leads and drive conversions. HubSpot sends a series of automated emails to leads who have shown interest in their solutions, providing helpful content and offers to encourage them to take the next step.(Source)
6. SEO Growth hacking
SEO is a long-term process, but it is organic. You can start optimizing your website so that it checks off all the requirements of your website and helps in getting a better ranking for your website. If you can target the relevant keywords and get your site ranked for them properly, that would be more than enough for you to gain leads.
What can you do to make this happen?
Firstly, check your website's content, functionality, and appearance and make any changes as required to match the search engine algorithm. Make sure that all of your pages are optimized.
Once you are done with this, start curating blogs and articles that help in bringing awareness for your brand, and product and also help in gaining more traffic for your website. Start various link-building activities and get more traffic to your website.
→ Job Board Proven has implemented an SEO growth hack strategy to improve the rankings of its website. Their strategy was very affordable. The company conducted an internal competition called Mission Week. In this competition, employees gained points for improving and promoting their existing content. Every employee, irrespective of their team, participated in this event and tried different strategies to improve their website performance. Their strategies worked, and the traffic for so many blog posts has increased along with the website's ranking. (Source)
→ HubSpot has also leveraged SEO to the fullest. You will find HubSpot in the first SERP if you search for anything related to inbound marketing, CRM, etc., online. The reason for this is the content that HubSpot puts out there. The company does clear and conscious guides about many products and services in B2B marketing and sales. They have a strategy to publish content for top, middle, and bottom-of-the-funnel audiences. (Source)
7. Offer freebies
You can create a simple yet valuable free tool that will go along with your main product. For example, Moz offers Open Site Explorer to address some of the most common issues users face. Doing this will build trust in your prospective leads and customers.
→ HubSpot has utilized this free tools for growth. Lately, website graders are everywhere, but back when HubSpot launched, it was very new in the market. You can enter your website URL, and HubSpot will check its SEO friendliness, any issues the tool has, etc. However, you need to sign up to get these details, and this is how HubSpot has started acquiring email details.(Source)
→ Ever heard of a SaaS startup offering free cupcakes? RJ Metrics did that way back in 2015. The brand offered cupcakes for anyone who helped them in building an eCommerce benchmark report. (Source). This strategy has garnered them a lot of love on social media platforms, and the brand was able to gather huge traction. Following this, Advanced B2B offered cupcakes for people who signed up for their tool and increased their signups by 1.5 times. (Source)
8. Influencer marketing
The industry experts and people who have built a brand around their name are considered influencers. These people generally have massive social media following and great reach for their posts. There has always been a myth that influencer marketing is perfect for only B2C or D2C brands but not for B2B.
However, things have changed a lot now. The influencers are able to generate huge buzz on different social media platforms for B2B businesses as well. You just need to pick the ones that align with your product. For example, if you offer sales automation software for businesses, you need to look for an influencer known for their sales skills.
The one who talks about how to sell, tips to sell, etc. These people will have relevant followers who can get attracted to your product and invest in it.
→ Canva has leveraged influencer marketing to increase signups. Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist of Canva, learned about the brand on social media and started using it to create graphics. Post this, the brand has started investing in influencer marketing and made industry experts talk about Canva online. There are some separately dedicated accounts that share so many tips, and tricks, and publish guides on how to use Canva, and most of these accounts have huge followers. (Source)
→ HubSpot is spot on when it comes to influencer marketing. The brand partners with industry influencers and thought leaders to create content and promote their solutions. These partnerships help to build credibility and reach new audiences, which drives new business for HubSpot. (Source)
Learn more about building successful influencer marketing strategy from our blog.
9. Cross-promotion partnerships
You can contact other brands that offer business tools and collaborate with them to create promotional programs. From social media campaigns to email marketing, there are various cross-promotion strategies that businesses can explore.
→ Facebook did it with Instagram. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 when its revenue was nothing. It did cross-promotion by integrating its products with Instagram. Most Facebook users started using Instagram, which has resulted in its multifold growth. (Source)
→ Hootsuite and LinkedIn have also done this. Hootsuite is integrated with LinkedIn's marketing solutions, and LinkedIn promotes Hootsuite to its business customers. This cross-promotion partnership helps both companies reach new audiences and drive new business. (Source)
10. Email signatures
Have you ever thought that a simple email signature could result in more signups? Well, it does. There are so many brands that use email signatures as a way to gain attention from users.
→ One such brand was Hotmail. Hotmail was the precursor of Microsoft Outlook and used to be one of the most preferred email services back then. They have added a signature at the end of every email asking the recipient to sign up. Yes, it was as simple as that, and the brand was able to see a growth of 12 million users in 18 months. It was the highest at that time. (Source)
→ Recently, another company used the same tactic - Mailtrack. This Spanish tool provides email users an option to see whether the recipient has opened the email or not and when they did it. In its free plan, a signature is added at the end of the email. Yes, the brand successfully used Hotmail’s strategy 20 years later. The simple signature has increased its signups exponentially. (Source)
B2B brands have grown leaps and bounds with the help of these proven B2B marketing growth hacks. So many of these techniques won’t cost you a penny; you just have to spend some time and resources on them to reap the benefits.
Assess the different types of hacks mentioned above, pick the ones that are perfect for your business, and implement them now.