Success Hacks — 09 Feb 2022
7 Growth Tactics to Boost Sales
Growth marketing has grown into a major buzzword in the marketing sphere. You will find people calling themselves growth marketers and others say they’re growth hackers. It sounds technical and all, but is there any difference between regular marketing and growth marketing? Should your business even bother creating a “growth marketing campaign”?
Well, yes and yes.
This article will explore what growth marketing is and how it’s different from growth hacking and regular marketing. We’ll also look at the framework and top tactics of growth marketing.
To better understand what growth marketing is, we need to discuss traditional marketing. In traditional marketing, marketers use the same techniques to acquire new customers. For example, they will send out email blasts, run PPC ads, and so on.
There’s nothing wrong with those techniques. However, traditional marketing strategies are rarely sustainable. For example, with Google AdWords, if specific keywords are known to attract tons of customers, most marketers will target those keywords. As a result, the cost-per-click (CPC) for those keywords will increase over time.
At some point, the CPC may get so high that the overall cost of customer acquisition could become too much. At best, it means lower profit margins for you. At worst, you’ll find yourself making losses.
That’s only one of the few issues that growth marketing solves. Put simply; growth marketing is the rigorous experimentation of different marketing strategies to identify the most efficient tactics to acquire, engage, and retain customers over the long haul.
Growth marketing is not a static marketing technique. The strategy recognizes that market dynamics change all the time. Therefore, to give businesses a chance at long-term success, growth marketing explores the changing customer preferences and needs. It then tests multiple tactics, channels, etc., to determine how businesses can best address those changing consumer needs.
Also, growth marketing doesn’t just focus on customer acquisition. The strategy is keen on customer retention, which is critical since retaining customers costs less than acquiring them.
Growth marketers aim to turn customers into brand advocates, as well. Ultimately, you want to build a satisfied customer base that can recommend your exemplary products to other people.
Growth marketing and growth hacking are typically used interchangeably. Although the two terms are more or less referring to the same thing, the scope is slightly different.
Growth marketing has a bigger coverage. It refers to the whole concept of developing and testing various marketing techniques.
On the other hand, growth hacking usually refers to the execution of a specific growth marketing technique.
Think of growth marketing as the bigger picture that takes care of your long-term goals. Meanwhile, growth hacking deals with the specific strategy you need to perform now to make steps towards achieving your big goal.
A good example of a growth hacking technique is Dropbox’s genius idea to give existing customers free space through their referral programs. They also attracted the referrals with free additional space if they accepted invitations.
That basically created a two-sided incentive, and the strategy saw their signups grow by a whopping 60% within 15 months.
Typical marketing focuses on building awareness and attracting customers. Those are top of the funnel items. The technique is great at customer acquisition, but it does very little to help a business retain customers.
Growth marketing deals with the entire sales funnel. A proper growth marketing strategy goes above and beyond, to acquire customers as efficiently as possible and keep them in the business for the longest time possible.
Growth marketing operates through the AAARRR (Awareness, Acquisition, Activation, Revenue, Retention, and Referral) framework. Sometimes it’s also called the AARRR framework, where awareness and acquisition operate together.
Here’s what each step entails:
The goal here is to build awareness about your products. Therefore, you need to identify who your target audience is and which platforms they use.
It’s also critical to find the right advertising channels. That should help you put your resources in the right place. For instance, startups whose target audience is millennials may prioritize social media over something like print media. Most millennials are on social networks plus social media marketing is cheaper, so the strategy makes sense.
That said, you may still have to test out different channels. That’s what growth marketing is about, after all. So, don’t just assume a particular platform is better at building brand awareness than another.
In the awareness stage, you’ll need to monitor metrics such as impressions, click-through rate, site visits, and the bounce rate on your landing pages. The data should give you an idea of how many people you are reaching.
The acquisition stage focuses on attracting leads. You’re not necessarily interested in making a sale at this point. The main goal is to spike the interest of regular site visitors and turn them into leads.
The critical metrics to monitor here are the number of new leads and the cost of acquisition.
You can enhance your acquisition process with social proof, case studies, lead magnets, excellent user experience on your website, and other tactics. Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses also utilize freemium models to lure in users.
During the onboarding process, your business can collect additional data from its potential customers. The data is supposed to help you provide personalized solutions later on.
Let’s say a prospect joins your email list through a lead magnet on something like “Free PPC Checklist.” Building and launching a PPC campaign could be one pain point of that lead. You can fill that information in the lead’s profile and use it down the road to pitch your PPC services.
Activation involves showing the lead your product’s value and having them take the desired action. That could mean signing up for a free trial, installing your app, spending more time on your site, etc.
Even signing up for a newsletter could be a sign of activation in some cases. For example, if a lead signs up for newsletters from an ecommerce business.
To monitor the performance of your activation stage, track the number of email list subscribers, free trial sign-ups, first app installations, and website sessions.
You should be able to enhance your activation stage by optimizing your landing page. You can do that with social proof, enhancing user experience, great copywriting, and offering product tutorials.
Look at how many leads have actually turned into paying customers.
At this point, you also want to compare revenue per customer with the cost per acquisition. Are you breaking even or making profit?
Monitor the average revenue per customer and the customer lifetime value.
You can boost your revenue with discounts, sensible upsells and cross-sells, or by sending cart abandonment emails to lower cart abandonment rates.
Retaining existing customers is less expensive than acquiring new customers. Therefore, lowering the churn rate and boosting customer retention should be a top priority for your business.
The metrics to monitor will depend on the type of business. For example, for a SaaS business, you’ll need to monitor daily or monthly active users.
Apps can look at users’ sessions. If the number of sessions of a user is dropping, chances are you’re about to lose the user.
Meanwhile, ecommerce businesses can look at the number of repeat customers.
You can boost retention by personalizing the customer experience, building an active community, offering rewards, and engaging customers through email marketing and other channels.
Finally, you want to take your business to the next level by converting your customers into brand ambassadors. You can easily do this through a rigorous referral program like what Dropbox and many other companies do. Just give your customers unique links or codes and promise an incentive for every successful referral. You’ll be surprised at just how effective word of mouth can be.
Besides that, you can also host giveaways and contests. Many brands do this on social media.
To see how well your referral stage performs, track the number of new users your existing customers bring in. Check social shares as well.
We’ve seen the growth marketing framework. Now let’s go through a few of the tactics used by successful growth marketers.
Growth marketing campaigns don’t focus on any one marketing channel alone. Even when you have one channel generating tons of traffic and leads for you, it’s still critical to test out different channels.
Remember, customer preferences can change at any moment. It’s important to experiment with various channels in anticipation of such changes.
So, build your email campaigns, social media pages, PPC campaigns, SMS, search engine optimization (SEO), etc. You can even test traditional advertising channels like TV and radio ads.
Prioritize the channels your audience loves the most, then work to integrate all your channels.
Proper integration boosts the performance of a multi-channel marketing campaign significantly. It ensures that messaging and interaction with your leads remain consistent regardless of the channel.
For example, a lead could land on your website through a Google search or by clicking a social media post. If you’ve integrated your channels correctly, you can retarget the same lead with a PPC ad relevant to the page they were looking at. Such contextual campaigns will boost your lead generation efforts and conversion rates.
Don’t make the mistake of traditional marketing where the emphasis is put on the top of the funnel stuff alone. Growth marketing takes a holistic marketing approach, focusing on the entire customer journey or lifecycle. Therefore, you should have a broad strategy covering all the six elements of the growth marketing framework.
Let’s say you are a new ecommerce business, for example. At the awareness stage, you’ll want to utilize social media, PPC, and other channels to get your name out there. You can even partner with micro- and macro-influencers to build brand awareness rapidly.
Next, you need to ramp up your acquisition. You can do this by enhancing your website UX, providing offers like free shipping, discount codes, etc.
From there, the goal is to make the leads aware of your product’s value, activate their interest, and push that conversion. This is where you target the leads with personalized marketing emails and discounts. Include some user testimonials to show the prospects what other users have to say about your products.
You can also activate prospects with optimized landing pages. Include discounts, social proof, excellent copy, etc., on the landing page, then drive qualified traffic with targeted digital marketing strategies like PPC, email marketing, and social ads.
Once the user converts, work on boosting your revenue. But don’t be pushy. Use reasonable cross-sells and upsells. If a customer is buying a shaving razor, for example, cross-sell a shaving brush. That’s a sensible cross-sell. You can even include free shipping in the package to make it more compelling.
Next, focus on retention. Do this by engaging your customers regularly. Send them your store’s newsletters, for example. You can also give them a knowledge platform where they can learn about subjects of interest for free.
Our own platform has such a knowledge hub.
Finally, make advocates out of your customers with giveaways, contests, or a referral program. Test all options to identify the most appealing one for your audience.
Focusing on the whole funnel is the most effective way to ensure your business succeeds long-term.
A multi-channel marketing campaign is effective, but it can be very expensive. Creating quality content for all channels is no easy feat. Fortunately, you can reduce the expenses without compromising your campaigns, by repurposing your content. But there’s an art to it.
You must repurpose the content with your users in mind. Focus on delivering value.
Therefore, you may have to update or tweak the content before redistributing it through other channels.
The good news is there are various ways of repurposing all types of content. For example, you can turn your webinar into a video tutorial and share it on YouTube and other social platforms.
You could even include some footage in relevant blog posts or use it as a lead magnet, like this webinar aimed at B2B businesses:
The webinar already took place, but the company is still using the recording to capture leads.
You can also turn a blog post into a guide or checklist. The strategy works incredibly well with actionable long-form content. You can go as far as using the checklist in an exit-intent pop-up to reduce bounce rates and grow your email list.
Or how about you turn customer reviews into social proof? Include the user-generated content (UGC) in your landing page, emails, and even social media posts.
For example, GoPro collects content from their users (through a brand hashtag) and reshares it on their socials to showcase the capabilities of their products.
There are lots of content repurposing strategies you could use. Just get a little creative, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques.
Customer engagement is critical for boosting revenue and retention. Engaging your audience also cultivates customer relationships, making it easier for the customers to recommend your services down the road.
Besides the occasional newsletter, you can boost engagements with a rigorous social media campaign. Use your customer’s favorite social networks to interact with them, not just promote your products.
You can combine polls, memes, and other types of content to keep your customers entertained.
Content marketing is the option. Create a captivating and educational blog post. In addition to keeping your customers engaged, content marketing can also support your SEO efforts. It’s no wonder online businesses, including SaaS and ecommerce stores, are doubling down on content marketing.
It’s imperative to monitor your efforts and measure the results. You wouldn’t want to waste your resources on campaigns that aren’t generating any ROI, would you?
Therefore, track the metrics of every campaign in your growth marketing plan. In the AAARRR framework above, we shared all the key metrics you need to look at.
Check how many impressions your social media posts are getting, for example. And what’s the trajectory there? Are you moving upwards or downwards?
Look at the open rates of your marketing emails. Are they dropping? If so, what can you do to improve your emails? Perhaps test out different subject lines?
A/B testing involves experimenting with different versions of an item, A and B, to determine which of them generates the best outcomes.
Various tools make it possible to A/B test just about anything in the marketing process. And you should invest in testing as many items as possible. That’s the only way to know what’s working for you and what isn’t.
For example, you can test different subject lines of the same email then monitor the open rates. Identify the best-performing subject line and figure out what made it work. You can then use this insight to inform your next email campaign.
You can test different versions of a landing page as well. Tweak one or two elements, for example, a value proposition or the copy. Find the best-performing version and use the data to optimize your landing page.
That’s how to utilize A/B testing. You can run similar multivariate tests with your PPC ads, email copies, social media posts, etc.
You shouldn’t alter too many items when running split tests, though. For example, if you want to find the best-performing landing page, don’t create two versions and change the social proof, call-to-action (CTA), value proposition, CTA placement, and copy.
Having too many variables makes it hard to keep track of the results. Ideally, you should test two elements at a time.
Very few businesses can afford to test a multitude of marketing strategies blindly. The resources are simply not there.
Therefore, unless you are one of the few marketers with a blank check, it’s a good idea to stick to the proven and tested growth hacking strategies. That should reduce the risk of running expensive experiments that won’t generate any meaningful results.
Growth marketing is the testing of various marketing strategies to boost customer acquisition and retention.
The technique has a six-stage framework; awareness, acquisition, activation, revenue, retention, and referral. We looked at seven proven growth marketing strategies you can implement through each of the stages.
These are; create a multi-channel campaign, focus on the whole funnel, repurpose content, keep customers engaged, monitor and measure results, run A/B tests, and lastly, follow proven growth marketing strategies.
Doing all this should help your marketing team focus on the big picture and achieve its long-term goals.
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