The popularity of growth hacking and experimental marketing tactics is at an all-time high as businesses are looking to take the sort of “road-less-traveled” in pursuit of results.
However, those hoping to be the next Uber or AirBNB-esque success story should perhaps pump the brakes before getting stars in their eyes.
After all, marketing isn’t magic: many businesses drop the ball when it comes to growth hacking simply because they assume implementing unconventional tactics will transform their business overnight.
But how exactly do companies screw up their marketing strategies in pursuit of epic growth? For starters, consider the following five pitfalls that growth marketers make and how you can avoid them yourself.
Failing to Play by the Rules
The experts at Reciprocity Labs note that failing to comply with industry regulations stops many businesses in their tracks. While growth hackers might see themselves as rule-breakers, no marketer can afford to let the legal details of their business fall by the wayside.
As such, even unconventional marketing tactics need to be by the book as you avoid falling into the realm of black hat activity.
Putting Too Much Stake in One Platform
Recent developments such as Facebook’s shift away from marketing content are concrete proof of what happens when marketers put all of their eggs in one basket. While it is indeed possible to build a business solely via Facebook or Instagram, diversifying your channels is always a smart move.
Beyond the fickle realms of social media, for example, you can always rely on the likes of email and content marketing as “safer” bets.
Influencer marketing has seen a boom in recent years as businesses understand the importance of authenticity and making more personal connections with their leads.
That said, this has also created the phenomenon of “influencers” boasting fake follower counts with little to no meaningful engagement. This has likewise resulted in legitimate influencers raising their proverbial price tag on their own reach as their audiences have become more valuable.
Don’t overlook how working with smaller influencers with niche audiences might make more sense from both a marketing and financial perspective. Think about it like this: an influencer with an engaged audience of 10,000 will produce a better ROI than an audience of 1 million fake followers and no interactions.
Overlooking Your Existing Relationships
As a quick tip, one of the most crucial aspects of growth marketing is cost-efficiency. Before splashing cash on a new test or hire, look into your own network of fellow marketers to see how you could perhaps benefit each other or tap into each others’ audiences.
Chasing Numbers, Not an ROI
Although hacks certainly exist to explode your Instagram or Twitter followings, ask yourself: what do those followers mean in terms of dollars and cents? Sure, it’s nice to see your traffic or follower counts tick up, but such metrics translate to wasted time if they’re not part of some sort of concrete goal.
It’s easy for growth marketers to get lost in the numbers; however, don’t forget the simple rule that time is indeed money.
Make no mistake: savvy growth hacking can produce positive returns if you keep your expectations realistic and follow a strategy rather than trends. By knowing what mistakes to look out for, you can do exactly that as you fine-tune your marketing campaigns for 2018.