2020 shook us all with a brutal pandemic and upended businesses that followed. In the new year, many people are retooling and looking for a fresh start. 

But because you need to recover fast the old methods just won’t do. That’s why it’s time to look at growth marketing – the newest approach for insane growth. But what is growth marketing – or growth hacking, its other name?

This is the buzzword Sean Ellis coined in 2010 for a disruptive technique that gives startups on tiny budgets a stunning path to acquiring customers and growing business super fast.

The process is data-driven and relies a lot on experiments. As a growth hacker, your fixation is on growth, which is really what a startup needs to obsess exclusively on, or else it dies. The idea is to seek to optimize your product while focussing on the whole funnel from awareness to purchase and advocacy. So if you are looking for business growth on steroids, here are 10 growth marketing tricks that will make your startup race to the top in no time. 

Growth Marketing Trends

1. Influencer Marketing

this has been around now for some time, but its appeal is not about to fade any time soon.  A 2020 survey by influencer Marketing Hub showed that 49 percent of consumers rely on recommendations by influencers. Over the ten years since it emerged, it has evolved to involve more features to make it one of the most attractive growth marketing strategies. For example, one of its features is gamification which takes advantage of the fact that people love games. Adidas was able to get insane amounts of sales by using Leo Messi as an influencer. He had 84 million Instagram followers which helped Adidas win massive attention for its new merchandise line.

2. Monitor core updates and EAT of your content

Google updates to search algorithms have been rolled out periodically. The result has been ugly for some – wholesale desolation of sites as they get relegated in their rankings. To avoid paying the staggering price of neglect, companies will be paying close attention in 2021 to Core Updates and EAT which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust. This follows a Core Update that was rolled out in 2020 as the pandemic raged (the second after a previous one). Many analysts think that the 2020 core update also has elements of E-A-T which emphasize the content and expertise of the author.

3. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Our era is getting more and more defined by data. so it’s natural that AI and machine learning should be part of any marketer’s toolkit. Applications of AI in growth marketing will expand including creating content as machine learning gets refined. Businesses will be able to leverage the accuracy and speed of AI-based content creation to come up with press releases, blog posts, and other content. Startups will also be able to use tools such as those by AdoreMe to analyze user reviews and gather actionable intelligence and data. Businesses that embrace this technology, evolving along with it will reap huge rewards.

4. Invest in interactive content

Interactive content keeps consumers more glued which makes them more engaging and increases conversion rates.  Chatbots are being used to answer customer inquiries and with improving AI, they are sounding more and more human. This can be magnetic, pulling in customers and creating an impressive professional image for your site. Interactive images can be used as eye-catching elements. These can turn into 3D pictures and can entice customers to click on them. The most engaging interactive content of course is videos. They are powerful because users are eager to know what the ending is, especially if you use a good hook in the first 5 seconds.

5. Customer segmentation

If you target everyone as a startup, you are courting disaster.  Since yours is a new product it needs to capture the initial 15 percent of the market or it faces doom. To improve your chances for this, you need to narrow down to a small minority of prospects who will be your early adopters or innovators. This is why customer segmentation is a strong trend of growth hacking. Creating a customer profile helps you to know who to target with your product and reap dramatic results.

6. Social Media Messaging Apps & chatbots

Many users have turned to message apps which make them an avenue for business growth.  For example, according to Businessweek, there were 1.49 downloads of WhatsApp with Facebook having 830.000 downloads.

Messaging apps are great support for your business. For example, digital payments can be sent through them. They also offer a great platform for the use of chatbots. This allows real-time interaction with customers to solve their queries instantly. A much richer customer engagement can also be experienced via video and images.   

7. Opportunities from structured snippets

If you are placing ads with Google ads, you can have an opportunity by featuring structured snippets. These are information-rich elements that a searcher can interact with to know about your site better. They aid the searcher to choose the best ad that fits their needs. Structured snippets give you opportunities to juice up your visibility and edge out your competition. For one, they help you to have screen dominance on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) since sites that don’t feature them are pushed lower down the screen. Searchers are more likely to click your site which leads to higher conversion rates.

8. Increase in voice and visual search

The entry of voice and visual searches such as virtual assistants like Google Assistants and  Cortana has changed the game for digital marketing. Users are turning increasingly to these technologies so businesses can’t ignore this important demographic. You can structure your content to have more conversational keywords so that it can respond better to voice search queries. For visual search, you are responding to users who like to interact with visual elements like images. For this, you can assign textual elements to images, ensuring the text used is concise and clear. These include titles, captions, and alternative text (also called alt-text). These actions ensure that your images are better indexed. This leads to good chances of being returned during queries. Optimization to voice and visual search can also be done to social media presence. With less typing, users can discover more especially if your brand is content heavy.

9. Privacy and Data Protection

One asset that businesses find very essential is customer data. But data breaches of sites from internet scammers are rampant, causing customer concerns about the privacy of their data. So this can be an obstacle to customer acquisition or conversion rates.

Data sprawl, ransomware, cloud access to data have all gone up which are disruptive to businesses. Startups will pay close attention to cybersecurity issues to gain more confidence and trust from their customers. 

10. Social Commerce

Social commerce brings together social media platforms and e-commerce. It is the use of social media for transactions. It brings the whole shopping experience or sales funnel – from discovery to purchases at checkout – on a social media platform. Your business can leverage social commerce through platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram to generate a viral response. The appeal of social media lies in the way it allows users to easily share and recommend your product. Such content can go viral, generating stunning exposure and driving growth.


Unlike traditional marketers, growth hackers take more fearless and creative tactics,  even venturing through uncharted territories for solutions. If you are a startup that doesn’t like no for an answer when faced with tough business space, this may be a good time to get a growth hack agency. Growth hacking is what was behind phenomena like Snapchat, Spotify, and Airbnb,  startups that were transformed into multi-billion businesses.