You hear a lot about it in the digital marketing field: growth. If you're on LinkedIn you've probably already met people who call themselves Growth Hackers or Digital Growth Experts. But what is hidden under this name? What does a growth specialist do?
Digital Growth Expert: what is it?
Digital Growth Expert, Growth Hacker, Growth Marketeur... Underneath these various names with an English sound, there is an important job for many companies. The growth Hacker is in fact responsible for the growth of a company. This is a vast field: the growth specialist generally has several arrows in his bow.
His objective: to find the best ways to generate more turnover. In general, the digital growth expert is a digital marketing specialist. He or she must master natural referencing and advertising on the main networks: Facebook and Instagram, Google, but also LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat, etc.
The Growth Hacker is often presented as someone who is creative, who must find the right way to generate business. This often involves original, new tactics. The example given in all business schools is certainly that of Airbnb. At the beginning of the platform, the creators wondered how to make Airbnb known to as many people as possible. They therefore systematically listed the flats they offered for rent on other sites that were better known than them at the time, such as Craiglist.
This hack had two major effects. The first was that people started to notice the brand. Every time they looked at a flat on Craiglist, they were redirected to Airbnb. So people became more and more familiar with this new platform, to the point of connecting directly to it after a while.
The second effect was on SEO. Simply put, in SEO, the more links a site receives from other sites, the better it ranks in Google results. So by listing all their flats on other sites, with a link to Airbnb, Airbnb generated thousands and thousands of links to their site. The result was that after a while, when someone searched for "Paris flat" or any other city, the Google results showed Airbnb.
The result is well known. Today, Airbnb is a major player in the accommodation and tourism industry. And it all started with a genius hack!
This is obviously an extreme example, but it illustrates what the job of a digital growth expert is all about: finding ways, traditional or devious, to generate growth. If you want to know more, read the definition of Growth Hacking.
Growth Hacking techniques
The digital growth expert uses a specific framework: the AARRR model. Behind this acronym lies a global strategy, in five steps, which aims to frame the way in which maximum revenue can be generated. AARRR stands for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, Referral.
The growth hacker aims to improve performance at every stage. To do this, he relies on KPIs, the Key Performance Indactors, i.e. the key metrics that show the evolution of performance. This is how the digital growth expert can impact the growth of his company at every stage.
Acquisition is often the part most dealt with by Growth experts. Indeed, it is the basis of the AARRR model. Acquisition is the art of getting as many visitors as possible to your site or application.
There are many acquisition levers, i.e. methods to bring them in. Social networks (SEM), search engines (SEO and SEA), emailing... The growth specialist knows and masters them all, or can specialise in some.
What are the KPIs to be monitored for acquisition? When working on acquisition, the most important indicator is certainly the number of visitors. The higher the number of visitors, the better your acquisition.
Check out our full guide to Growth Hacking and Acquisition.
When a visitor arrives on a website, he must stay there. If they leave before they have had a chance to discover the offer, the products or the brand, they are lost. The Activation stage aims to increase the rate of users who take action after arriving on the site.
One technique that is often used is to create a sense of urgency. The Internet user is presented with an offer that will soon expire. Messages such as "Only X products left" are used. Some sites set up a timer, which counts down the seconds until the offer is no longer available.
You will have noticed this on many sites. Here is an example of a search page on Booking.com:
On each hotel presentation, we find this sense of urgency: Limited time offer, Only 5 more accommodations at this price on our site, Establishment booked twice on your dates in the last 12 hours... Besides that, other techniques are used to increase the activation: Invitation to click in blue on a white background, very good ratings highlighted, free cancellation...
So what are the KPIs to monitor when working on your activation rate? There are several KPIs that are generally used to measure engagement: the bounce rate, the number of pages consulted and the time spent on the site are the main ones.
A user who visits the site once and buys your product or service is good. But a user who returns several times to spend money is better. The Retention stage aims to increase the number of times your users or customers come back to your site.
How do digital growth experts work on retention? Here again, there are many techniques. But the best known is certainly emailing. Once an Internet user has placed an order with you, they have generally given you their contact details: surname, first name, email and even telephone number. Growth hackers use these details to create marketing automation scenarios.
Depending on the actions you have already taken on the site, you will receive a certain type of email. If you have already been a customer, you will probably receive emails with other products similar to what you may have purchased. If you have added a product to the shopping cart without purchasing it, the company may send you a special offer for that specific product to encourage you to buy.
Many tools exist that make it very easy to create marketing scenarios.
What KPIs should be monitored to check the evolution of your retention? Here again, several indicators can be monitored: the number of sessions per user or the number of orders per user are good examples
The revenue stage is perhaps the most important stage for digital growth experts. It aims to improve the revenue generated. There are two ways to do this: increase the number of buyers or increase the average basket.
Here again, there are various techniques. The best known example is certainly that of cross-sell banners when you add items to your shopping basket on an e-commerce site. You know, those banners that say, as on Amazon, "Customers have also consulted these articles" and that offer you products very similar to yours. The aim is to encourage you to add one or two more products.
The most important KPI when working on the revenue side is obviously the turnover generated. But there are other KPIs to monitor, such as the number of orders placed and the average value of orders.
What better advertisement for your company than won over customers? The Referral stage aims to turn your customers into ambassadors for your brand. Another person will be much more convinced by the opinion of someone close to them than by an advertisement. With the Referral stage, the digital growth expert tries to set up a virtuous circle: your transformed customers generate acquisition, with a high rate of engagement, revenues and potentially referrals.
When Deliveroo or Uber Eats offer you referral codes that you can share, they are working their referral. For a few euros saved on a first order, they get a new customer, who will probably order several times. A very effective method, which can be found in many businesses.
Freelance Digital Growth Expert or Growth Agency?
If you too are looking to grow your business, you have probably asked yourself the question: is it better to hire a freelancer or an agency? On the one hand, freelancers are generally cheaper. On the other hand, agencies are better staffed and have access to resources that most freelancers can't afford.
We can't answer that question for you. What we can tell you is that at GrowthYouNeed, we have created a multi-talented team to help you grow across all levers. We are experts in Google, Facebook, TikTok, Youtube and more. Check out our team to learn more.
We have also decided to offer more affordable rates, which are closer to those of freelancers. Our goal? To offer you the best service at the best price for your growth.
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