Growth hacking teaches marketers and entrepreneurs the strategies they need to accelerate company growth, using rapid experimentation frameworks.
If you’re new to growth hacking and want to learn more, or are looking to build on your skills, there are some excellent books on the market to help you do exactly that. In our list of the best growth hacking books to read in 2022, we’ll let you know which ones deserve a place on your bookshelf.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
1. Hacking Growth - How Today’s Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown
The first title on our list comes from no other than Sean Ellis himself and co-writer Morgan Brown. Ellis is credited with coining the term ‘growth hacking’ or ‘growth hacker’ in 2010.
The book details the step-by-step processes that companies can use to achieve rapid growth through experimentation at these core stages of the customer funnel: Acquisition, Activation, Retention and Monetization.
Hacking Growth is heavily focused on helping readers understand the growth framework for creating and testing experiments with cross-functional teams. Throughout you’ll read success stories of humble startups like Airbnb, Uber and Pinterest, and how they gained breakout growth using the techniques described in the book.
For growth hackers and marketers alike, this book is widely considered to be an origin point for this exciting field. If you’re looking for an entry point into growth hacking, this is it.
Part I: The Method
Chapter 1: Building Growth Teams
Chapter 2: Determining If You’re Product is a Must-Have
Chapter 3: Identifying Your Growth Levers
Chapter 4: Testing at High Tempo
Part II: The Growth Hacking Playbook
Chapter 5: Hacking Acquisition
Chapter 6: Hacking Activation
Chapter 7: Hacking Retention
Chapter 8: Hacking Monetization
Chapter 9: A Virtuous Cycle of Growth
2. One Million Followers - How I Built a Massive Social Media Following in 30 Days by Brendan Kane
Brendan Kane spends his time working with Fortune 500 companies, celebs and brands as a digital growth strategist. Some notable clients include Taylor Swift, MTV, IKEA and Rihanna.
In his book, Kane shares his framework for building audiences and scaling social media followers, similarly to growth hacking, using his 3-step process: Hypothesize, Test and Pivot. Interestingly, the pivot stage involves making adjustments in real-time using data extracted from Facebook. Truly innovative.
What sets this book apart however and proves its legitimacy, is the fact that Kane applies his experience and strategies to grow the social media following of a total newbie, with no social headway whatsoever. Zero to a million in 30 days.
Chapter 1: How I Gained One Million Followers in 30 Days
Chapter 2: Target Your Audience
Chapter 3: Choose a Message for the Masses
Chapter 4: Fine-Tune Through Social Testing
Chapter 5: Create Shareable Content
Chapter 6: Strategic Alliances
Chapter 7: Go Global
Chapter 8: The Strategies I Used to Gain a Million Followers on Instagram
Chapter 9: Growth Drivers for YouTube
Chapter 10: Substantial Business Growth with LinkedIn
Chapter 11: Staying Power
3. Lean Analytics - Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll & Benjamin Yoskovitz
Lean Analytics is part of a series of books curated by Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup and leader of the lean movement for businesses. The book refers to the philosophy of lean analytics and how to implement it into your business strategies. This is broken up into 3 distinct lessons:
- To be data-informed, not data-driven - using all of the data a company amasses to signal what direction to take but always remain in control, don’t purely let data determine what to do next, use it to drive a goal.
- The 5 stages of a startup - Lean analytics identifies five stages that a business moves through, Empathy, Stickiness, Virality, Revenue and Scale.
- Finding your OMTM (one metric that matters) - refers to focusing on a single metric at a time, but adapting your metric and goal on the fly as you move through the five stages.
Alistair Croll held a growth hacking workshop on lean analytics with Growth Tribe, check out the video here.
Chapter 1: Stop Lying to Yourself
Chapter 2: Finding the Right Metrics for Right Now
Chapter 3: Lines in the Sand
Chapter 4: Putting Lean Analytics to Work
4. The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money & Stand Out From The Crowd by Allan Dib
The 1-Page Marketing Plan introduces a 9-square marketing plan that fills out as you move through the book.
Each chapter gives readers the step-by-step processes needed to make a convincing and effective marketing plan, although tailored to small businesses, the methods can prove just as effective for startups and growing companies too.
Dib talks about how mimicking big business companies is actually detrimental to small and medium businesses on limited budgets and should instead, focus on authenticity and creating a brand that people will love.
Act I: The “Before” Phase
Chapter 1: Selecting Your Target Market
Chapter 2: Crafting Your Message
Chapter 3: Reaching Prospects with Advertising Media
Act II: The “During” Phase
Chapter 4: Capturing Leads
Chapter 5: Nurturing Leads
Chapter 6: Sales Conversion
Act III: The “After” Phase
Chapter 7: Delivering a World Class Experience
Chapter 8: Increasing Customer Lifetime Value
Chapter 9: Orchestrating and Stimulating Referrals
5. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
This book is about those irresistibly shareable ideas you just have to tell people about. Each chapter delves into the influences that force word-of-mouth marketing and propel businesses into the digital stratosphere.
The book serves as a great introduction to the science behind vial content and how people connect with it on a personal, emotional and psychological level using case studies and practical tips.
Chapter 1: Social Currency
Chapter 2: Triggers
Chapter 3: Emotion
Chapter 4: Public
Chapter 5: Practical Value
Chapter 6: Stories
6. Top 101 Growth Hacks: Top 101 Short, Actionable, 100% Proven Growth Studies On How To Boost Your AARRR (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, Referral) today by 70%, 400%, 700% and more… by Aladdin Happy
The clue is in the rather long title here; this book delivers a trove of concise growth hacks to help businesses grow, scale and perform better. The examples laid out in the book refer to what’s called the “Pirate Funnel” or “AARRR” - the stages of a customer journey.
For newcomers and veterans alike, this book provides fascinating insights into some of the most successful stories around growth hacking and details their processes too. Definitely worth picking up for some inspiration and be sure to have a word document open, ready to take notes!
Chapter 1: Before Product/Market Fit
Chapter 2: Hustling
Chapter 3: Copywriting
Chapter 4: Acquisition
Chapter 5: Activation
Chapter 6: Retention
Chapter 7: Revenue
Chapter 8: Referral
Chapter 9: Other
Buy it here and look out for the follow-up book titled: 101 Growth Hacks 2: The Best New Growth Hacking Ideas That Inspire You To Put Them Into Practice Right Away
7. The Growth Hacking Book: Most Guarded Growth Marketing Secrets The Silicon Valley Giants Don’t Want You To Know by Parul Agrawal & Rohan Chaubey
Using case studies and ideas from over 35 leading experts, from marketers to entrepreneurs, thought leaders to successful companies, The Growth Book shares insights from them all to teach readers the unconventional marketing strategies used to identify and grow marketing channels.
If you’re looking for real-life examples of how growth hacking works in the real world, this book is a great place to start.
Chapter 1: Content Skillset
Chapter 2: Social Media Skills
Chapter 3: Tactical Skills
Chapter 4: Growing Business in an Unorthodox Niche
Chapter 5: Mindset
Chapter 6: Toolset
8. Product-Led Growth: How To Build a Product That Sells Itself by Wes Bush
Product-Led is a term used to define how a company approaches their sales process or customer journey.
It presents an alternative way of moving customers through the journey by focusing on making the product firstly, available to the consumer on a trial or freemium basis but making it so irresistible that it becomes a no-brainer to upgrade and pay for it.
The traditional sales approach is to sell the benefit of a product and how it can better the consumer’s life. Which is fine, but with so much competition and the meteoric rise of “freemium” subscriptions (like Spotify) on the market, SaaS companies have to be agile if they are to succeed.
This book explains the concept and practice of using a product-led business model. A fascinating read that embodies a new way of applying growth strategies to businesses.
Chapter 1: Why is Product-Led Growth of Rising Importance?
Chapter 2: Choose Your Weapon: Free Trial, Freemium or Demo?
Chapter 3: Ocean Conditions: Are You in a Red or Blue Ocean Business?
Chapter 4: Audience: Do You Have a Top-Down or Bottom-Up Selling Strategy?
Chapter 5: Time-to-Value: How Fast Can You Showcase Value?
Chapter 6: Choose Your Product-Led Growth Model with the MOAT Framework
Chapter 7: Build a Product-Led Foundation
Chapter 8: Understand Your Value
Chapter 9: Communicate Your Value
Chapter 10: Deliver on Your Value
Chapter 11: The Most Common Mistakes That New Product-Led Businesses Make
Chapter 12: Develop an Optimisation Process
Chapter 13: The Bowling Alley Framework
Chapter 14: Increase Your Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)
Chapter 15: Slay Your Churn Beast
Chapter 16: Why Truly Great Companies Are Built to be Product-Led
Time to make some room on the bookshelf
This has been our list of 8 of The Best Growth Hacking Books to Read in 2022, check them out and let us know your thoughts on them too!
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