Meet SF based growth hacker Peter Wang from Grow Your Funnel. The moment you meet Peter you’ll be caught up in his energy and excitement for what he does. Plus he’s got this amazing smile that lights up his 6’1 frame! Peter is incredible adept in understanding the email and social hacks that takes a business from 10 customers to thousands. Learn more why you need a funnel and how to think outside of the box.
1. What is growth hacking and why do businesses need to do it?
Growth Hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most efficient way to grow a business. In short, growth hacking is a new way to look at marketing. It’s a marketing philosophy that understands the rapid changing nature of the internet and creates a culture that responds to its rapid change. Businesses now days depend on the internet for traffic and thus for customers. To understand growth hacking is to understand where your potential customers are hanging out online and how to reach out to them. Growth Hacking also utilizes existing websites with high traffic and creates messaging to redirect the traffic to its native site. This is a very cost effective method as it requires trial and error (thus time) and not money. Startups and small businesses love this method because it doesn’t cost them much but their message can spread as fast as any paid campaign.
2. You’re an influencer marketer and a growth hacker, how did you get into this area of expertise and what do you understand that your clients don’t?
Ever since I worked in marketing back in 2012, I dealt with small businesses and startups. I started in the world of ad sales with a company called ReachLocal. I moved to work for a big ad agency called AKQA but my real passion has always been to help small companies and startups compete with the big boys. I saw the internet as the great equalizer as there have been many examples of the internet rewarding homegrown messaging over the corporate high production pizzazz (just look at the growing success of Vine & YouTube stars.) I spent the remainder of my years before launching this business helping startups tell their story and I realized I had insight no one else in that room had.
I understand the financial constraint that many small players have when advertising online and this is where my expertise really shines. Both Influencer marketing and growth hacking deal with a similar challenge: How do we get movement in a demographic of people online to do a certain thing. Influencer marketing’s response may be to have its demographic see the message enough through various different influencers over a longer period of time but the growth hacker’s response is to dangle attractive “carrots (which is industry term for call to actions such as coupons or freebies)” into the pool to entire the audience to make a move.
3. What is a funnel, and why is it important to grow?
A funnel (more importantly a sales funnel) is the visual representation of the customer journey from awareness to action to evangelism. Understanding this means that you know where your pitfalls are in your business and where you can tweak to change and grow. This means that when you saw an ad on Facebook for that really awesome luggage that you can ride and clicked on it, was intrigued by the video put your name down to be notified when it comes to market, you just fell into that company’s funnel. Funnels are absolutely important to growing a business because it shows the business owners exactly where they can invest to reach more people and generate more sales.
For example, if you ran a Shopify store that sold a tea subscription box and wanted to know why people were not buying your membership you can look at the funnel. You know that you spend $100 a day on Facebook ads and you regularly maintain a blog about tea and that generates a daily influx of 1000 visits to your website. You also have a streamlined landing page setup that has all the properly placed Call To Actions buttons throughout the site giving you 100 clicks to your purchase page. Your subscription box is priced at $50 a month and are only getting 1 member a month, that’s 0.1 conversion rate, not good! You know that you are bringing in people to your site and they are interested because they keep seeing your pricing page and bouncing out. According to the funnel that is where you should focus your attention to fixing your business. Either change the price or create lower ask to collect their emails and engage them further.
4. In your opinion, how has the influencer replaced traditional advertising routes?
The most powerful aspect of an influencer is its fan base. An influencer has the potential to wield enormous power using its fan base. It can use its power for good (like the bucket challenge which donated tons of money to ALS research) or bad (like getting kids to eat tide pods). Subscribers are more 3 times more likely to buy something because an influencer they follow recommended it than if they saw traditional advertising means. Influencers because thought leaders, trend setters, and product reviewers of the internet age, they are what the younger generation tend to lean on in what music they listen to, what health trend to follow, what movie to watch, what app to download, what clothes to wear, etc. Utilizing them will definitely get a brand catapulted to the top.
5. What piece of advice do you have to businesses on growth hacking?
My biggest advice is this: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Growth hacking is 80% outside the box thinking. Be creative with your ways of generating traffic and don’t be afraid to combine offline with online. I’ll give you an example. When I was working for a startup called TalentSeer, I grew the users from 0 to 3,000 in just under 2 months during the beta testing phase. I did this by Traffic Hacking, which means redirecting traffic from one website to your site. I used craigslist and I got craigslist users to call me inquiring what I was offering. I had people field each and every phone call and we converted them over the phone to sign up.