There are billions of tactics a brand can use, to drive growth, as well as a whole load of tools that can make both brick-and-mortar and online businesses thrive.
There are email marketing and marketing automation tools that can help out with creating amazing newsletter designs and pop up forms like Moosend and Social, paid ads that can help with taking your brand’s or product’s name (or both!) a little more “out there”, landing pages and online forms that can help with lead generation, and of course, social media.
But what about growth marketing? Does this entail all the aforementioned tools? And if so, how can you leverage it, especially if you’re just starting an online business?
Well, growth marketing does entail digital, email marketing and is quite different from traditional marketing, but this doesn’t mean that those two can’t be used in unison. But… How?
Don’t worry, I’m here to help you find out!
Growth Marketing: The Definition
First things first, let me tell you what growth marketing is. Often associated with words like “hacking” and things that can more or less guarantee quick results, growth marketing is nothing of the sort.
At the moment, it’s one of the most popular marketing techniques. But why is that?
Well, in the past, marketers were not a part of the production process and weren’t so closely tied to the production or the final product that was released out to the crowd.
Meaning that, no matter how great of a customer service a brand had, they were lacking the main mindset: For something to be sold, one needs to know what it is, what it can do, and be convinced of its worth first.
Growth marketing came to change that and it was soon pretty evident that growth marketers could increase rates like MRR, using pretty simple methods.
In simpler words, growth marketing doesn’t focus on new customers. Neither does it focus on existing customers. It focuses on the methods one can use, to monetize any customer actions.
This means that its goal is to create a successful funnel that will go well beyond the actual funnel, re-activating old customers and acquiring new ones through all channels.
Therefore, growth marketing doesn’t distinguish between newcomers, one-timers and repeaters. On the contrary, a growth marketer will focus on marketing a product in a way that their ideal customer, the one that fits their buyer persona, will be able to understand.
Why Use Growth Marketing, Though?
As I mentioned before, growth marketing is a concept that differs vastly from traditional marketing.
Of course, a marketing team needs both traditional and growth marketing tactics, to cover all aspects and create strategies that will have a fruitful result.
Growth marketing is data-driven, in terms of making decisions.
Let me put it this way: You’re releasing a new product and you want to make sure that product adoption will go well.
You will invest in the press, marketing your product through all of the traditional channels, such as press releases, perhaps you’ll get a little booth at a conference that has something to do with your product and so on.
These are traditional marketing tactics. Proven success, albeit not exactly cost-effective.
But this is not all you’ll do. You’ll send an email to your subscribers, you’ll create some targeted Facebook ads and so on.
Of course, you could send emails and create a Facebook ad without ever needing to look at your data. It is possible, however, it’s completely counter-intuitive.
If you’ve got the data, just make sure to utilize it every step of the way, even in that booth at that conference. Pick the right conference, according to your data and your target audience.
Growth Marketing Tactics for Your Business
Since it’s evident that you need all the data you can get in all kinds of marketing, but especially for your growth marketing efforts, I bet you’re dying to know how you can use that data and what kind of tactics would scale your online business.
It’s not too difficult. So, let’s go!
1. Trends and Target Audience First
So, let’s assume you’re just running to implement growth marketing, you’ve created a team of experts and they’re eager to go ahead and do whatever it takes to help your business thrive.
First of all, they’ll need to study the trends in your niche and make sure that they can implement those and then come up with something new. You don’t need to rush into things after all, and great growth means you’re opting for the long game.
So, research is your no.1 best friend, even if it means that you’ll need it to decide on something as simple as the rules of a giveaway.
But wait for a second… How are you going to do something like that, when you don’t know who your audience is?
Well, this is why your target audience goes first, along with the trends you should research.
Buyer personas are what is going to give new purpose to all of the tactics you want to implement, mainly because you’ll know exactly who you’ll need to talk to. Metaphorically, of course.
Trying to figure out what made your ideal customer think that your product could provide them with a solution to a day-to-day problem, is what will show you new ways of marketing to those who, in the end, will be your actual customers.
So, from figuring out which social media channel would be the one to use and which social media management and influencer tactics would be beneficial for you, to making sure that your email marketing has content that is worth the hype, researching your target audience can pretty much do the work for you.
2. Proper Metrics Go Second
You can’t know where you want to go, without setting goals. And you can’t know what goals to set unless you sit down and define what kind of metrics matter to you and run tests accordingly.
Of course, the metrics need to be ones that show something. Ie, you don’t have to care about how many “add to cart” you saw in regards to your product. What you need to know though, is how many of those “add to cart” became purchases.
Another example — You may have 1000 page views per week. Does that mean anything? Don’t rush into saying “Yes, it does”, because you’ll be surprised.
What matters is how many people interacted with your page and shared your content, how many of those cost more than they should -perhaps because they shared your content to get a freebie and never re-purchased- and how many of those decided to somehow contribute to your revenue.
Of course, I’m not proposing that you should ditch metrics like page views or downloads altogether, that would be catastrophic. But don’t track those obsessively.
For example, if you see that you’ve got a lot of new website visitors, but not as many returning visitors, you’ll know what your website lacks and you’ll know why it doesn’t convert as well as you would’ve liked.
3. Study the Competition
You need to see what sets you apart from the rest of the people that provide the same service that you can provide -there’s at least one other brand in your niche. This means that you’ll need to dive deep into your data and engage in some social listening.
See what your ideal prospects love about your competitors and what they don’t like and make sure to use all that against them.
Especially after Game Of Thrones, may I add.
Well, Netflix is first and primarily, a tech platform that entertains. It’s not a channel and it doesn’t depend on various creators to create content for it to exist. There are no ads and it’s even got personalized suggestions.
Its low prices and lack of ads came at a very crucial point where viewers were fed up of needing to pay subscriptions upon subscriptions to ensure viewing on two screens, of watching ad after ad (I’m looking at you, YouTube) and of streaming in various websites of questionable quality.
This was its value proposition: The user could access all its content, end of. And it was a brilliant idea, as the team behind Netflix found exactly what bothered contemporary viewers and used it against competing platforms.
4. Use the Power of Referrals
Referrals and referral programs can hack your product into becoming viral in the best way possible and have been a staple in many cases for quite some time, even when it comes to traditional marketing tactics.
Who doesn’t remember our mothers going to the supermarket and getting extra credit because they referred to a friend that would be interested in their discount program?
The main principle of this practice is the fact that humans are almost programmed to think that when the majority finds something to be useful, then it must be good. Even more so, when someone they trust finds something to be useful.
Let’s take DapperTime’s pretty clever referral program, for example. At some point, the watch brand decided that it could grow its crowd in no time (pun intended), simply by leveraging its already existing crowd.
So, they went ahead and proclaimed that for every successful referral -ie every referral that would proceed with a purchase- the person who referred them, would get an extra $10 credit.
The main point here is that everyone wants to be a brand’s ambassador and everyone is willing to trust one of their acquaintances or close friends and family when it comes to a product. So why not incentivize the process?
One will try the product and if they’re happy with it, they’ll go ahead and share it with others. They’ll get the incentive once their referrals make a purchase. Now, their referrals will refer others for the same benefit.
And so on, until this tactic drives the desired growth.
5. Interaction is Everything
The vast, vast majority of marketers — 3% of marketers, to be exact- find that interactive content is what works best for their industry.
Any kind of industry, that is. Interactions are, also, a crucial element that can help set your brand apart quicker and easier, as no brand experience is the same as the next one, even if they’re a part of the same niche.
Both in terms of content and in terms of actual interaction, this growth tactic can help your business skyrocket.
The basic principle is stupidly simple, really: Who doesn’t love the content they can play with?
You can create interactive quizzes, landing pages with some kind of treasure hunt going on, or even better, landing pages that have shareable content and/or quizzes that will aim to engage and entice while offering help.
Videos are another fantastic way to engage users and make them interact with your brand, be it by clicking away or sharing your content around.
The purpose of this is double: Not only does the prospect feel entertained and has something interesting to do -and as you know, we humans learn better through interaction- they’ll also spend more time on your page.
Giving the prospects some interactive content makes them stay on a page longer. Which is one of the SEO strategies proven to work, as this time spent on the page shows search engines that your content is valuable and needs to be pretty high on the SERPs?
Some online businesses use growth marketing and see their business thrive, however, some others are way too impatient and rely on other tactics that are all fine and well but are not as cost-effective or… Well, as effective as growth marketing.
Growth marketing is one of the best tactics if you want to see your online business thrive, but you need to be in it for the long run. So you always have to assess, modify and adapt your strategy to have a clear customer focus.
Don’t expect to see results right upfront and don’t expect to make things work without practising the basic principle of growth marketing: Always, always A/B test.