Growth marketing and growth tactics are critical for a startup beyond its MVP stage. Once you have tested your product with early customers and iterated it to arrive at a product/service that provides value to your market, it’s time to grow.
Startup growth tactics are vital. It’s innocent to believe that if you launch a product, people will automatically find and use it. Growth marketers would disagree. It takes special care to continuously bring new users to a product to facilitate growth.
Who should be using growth tactics to grow their business? Any company selling online and relying on a set customer journey to convert audience to paying users would benefit from growth marketing. Both B2B and B2C companies focusing on growth have an advantage over competitors.
Gustaf Alstromer, a growth expert at Airbnb, shares growth tactics and gems in this video, referenced to research for this piece.
A growth strategy underscores a strategic plan for a company to boost sales, revenue and market visibility. Growth strategies include both organic and paid ways of attracting customers.
The Ansoff matrix includes the growth strategies companies use to expand into existing and new markets- market penetration, market development, product development and diversification.
Related: What a Startup’s Go-to-Market Strategy Looks Like
Focusing on growth at the wrong time can be detrimental to startups. The primary focus must be building a product your market wants and finding a solid product-market fit. Applying growth tactics as a company without a product-market fit can yield growth early on, but it dies out in the long run.
To find product-market fit:
For instance, at Airbnb, the value to customers is to book a stay. The frequency of booking can be annual on average. For Facebook, active user count represents a value metric, and the ideal frequency can be daily logins. For a company like Lyft, booking a ride is the value for the customer at an ideal repeat frequency of daily/hourly.
So, it’s critical to determine the one metric you can measure as the core value of your product and the ideal frequency at which that should happen.
Then, it’s advisable to measure retention to test if a product-market fit already exists.
On the X-axis plot the time, and on the Y-axis, the key metric as the percentage of users. If the graph slides down, there is a poor product-market fit as the percentage of users engaging in the key behavior is dwindling with time. It’s key to note that most good products flatten out over time, meaning they retain customers consistently.
For small startups, this method could be replaced by asking customers questions to find product-market fit. For instance, “how would you feel if you could no longer use the product?”
Small startups can run a simple survey with existing users and gather feedback to analyze product-market fit.
Related: Step-by-Step Roadmap to Developing an MVP
Facebook’s growth encapsulates the essence of growth marketing. A growth tactic called internationalization (using translations) helped Facebook grow to 500 million users.
As Facebook launched in multiple languages, it entered new markets worldwide. Therefore, as Facebook was hitting the peak of reaching people who spoke English, it was made accessible in other languages to expand.
Another phase of massive growth at Facebook occurred around 2010 when smartphones were on the rise, and the Facebook team built a mobile app.
Next, around 2013, Facebook was bumping against the ceiling of the Internet, meaning almost everyone who used the web was a Facebook user. Then, Facebook started getting more people online with internet.org. They worked with carriers to bring more people online and eventually get them on Facebook.
The lesson from Facebook’s growth story is that intentional growth can help a company grow beyond its wildest imagination years after the natural adoption of a product slows down.
Three types of professionals drive growth in companies today-
Related: Creating a Marketing Funnel That Converts
Startups ready for growth can find out which growth channels would work best for them using the framework below. The idea is to highlight the key user behavior around your product and determine how frequently users engage in it.
However, users perform Google searches when considering buying a property. So, it makes sense for a real estate company to optimize its website using SEO and SMM best practices.
Related: A Comprehensive List of UX Design Principles for Startup Website and Blog
It’s worth noting that each of these growth tactics has books written about them. So, consider this as an overview of growth tactics available to startups and then dive in with specific resources.
Any product is a funnel with steps between someone discovering it and completing one circle of usage. For an e-commerce site, the funnel could begin at a social media advertisement and end with signing up on the site or start with signing up on the site and end with a successful purchase. Conversion Rate Optimization considers the entire or a part of the product funnel.
There are many ways to work on conversion rate optimization. Here are a few notable CRO tactics-
When we drill down, CRO tactics include the correct language and placement of calls-to-action, including keywords into title tags and meta-descriptions for searchability, optimizing page speed, optimizing content above the fold and more.
Referrals are a systematic form of word-of-mouth marketing. Startups can use financial incentives to accelerate user behavior of talking about their product. Every referral program is a funnel. First, a user becomes aware of a referral program, then opts for it, then sends invites to their friends, who then convert into new users and spend money or transact on the app, leading to an incentive for the existing user.
Only revenue-generating startups should focus on paid growth. If you have incoming revenue, it’s essential to analyze the average CAC (customer acquisition cost) and juxtapose it with the LTV and payback time of users acquired through paid growth. CAC should be significantly lower than LTV, which means it’s worth investing in paid growth. Only four channels are big enough to support startups in paid growth- Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube.
Related: 5 Ways In Which SEO Can Boost Your Startup’s Sales
On-page and off-page optimization are the two high-level characterizations of SEO.
Off-page optimization relates to the websites linking to you. Are the websites linking to you authoritative on the web? This defines Google’s perception of your site. Off-page optimization is the science of ensuring that you get backlinks from reputed websites.
Growth marketing is the art and science of making good decisions about every little aspect of a product and business. A/B testing and experimentation lie at the core of growth marketing. Decision-making about the various parts of a startup is relatively simple when it’s in a nascent stage. However, decision-making can get complicated as a startup grows.
So, instilling a culture of experimentation can go a long way in helping a startup grow and thrive.If you’re looking for in-depth mentoring around scaling and growing your startup, learn more about KiwiTech’s startup ecosystem.