Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday
Growth hacking involves building marketing mechanisms into the product itself. It's scalable and cheaper than a traditional marketing approach.
Start with a minimum viable product and gradually improve it based on feedback. It needs to fulfill a real and compelling need for a defined group of people.
For example, an author can use blogs to test product market fit his idea before starting to write a book. This allows him to know if the user group likes the idea.
The prize no longer goes to the person who makes it to market first. It goes to the person who makes it to Product-Market Fit first.
Target the Right People
Attract only early adopters who make or break new tech services and do it as cheaply as possible.
To get your first group of users, you could for example send pitch e-mail to sites you know your potential customers read, and upload a post to Hacker News, Quora, or Reddit.
Make Your Product Go Viral
Virality is not an accident, it can be engineered. 2 simple tips to make this happen:
Make it shareable.
Tell them to share!
The product must be inherently worth sharing and you must facilitate and encourage the spreading by adding tools and campaigns that enable virality.
For example, Dropbox gives you a variety of options to get more space after signing up, one being to invite friends. Most people think 1 GB of free space is worth sending a few messages.
Retention and Optimization
Create lifelong users, they are marketing tools in and of themselves. Word of mouth drives virality so find creative ways to get your customers to market your product for you.
Figure out what your most important metric for growth is and focus on that.
Remember, a 5% increase in customer retention can mean a 30% increase in profitability, and the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% compared to 5-20% for new prospects.
In a Nutshell
Cheaply test your concept, improve it based on feedback, then launch.
Reduce barriers to entry and use targeted media to bring your first users on board.
Aim for a wow factor and response from your customers.
Build your email list! (be able to reach your fans).