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Growth Marketing

Don't Build a House on Sand: How Growth Marketing Lays a Strong Foundation for Success

The tallest buildings need the strongest foundation. Lay the groundwork for long-term, sustainable growth with growth marketing.

5 mins read time
Alan Bedingfield
Alan Bedingfield

Jun 20, 2022

Growth marketing is perhaps the most talked about and go-to marketing strategy for brands of all sizes. Startups need sustainable growth and there is nothing better than growth marketing in those early days to set brands up for long-term success. Sure, it does work, and it works great.

Leading companies like Tinder, Canva, Dropbox, Evernote, Etsy, Slack, Zapier, Yelp, Airbnb, and others have harnessed exponential yet sustainable growth with the help of growth marketing. At the same time, a lot of businesses have failed to achieve any significant impact from growth marketing.

The way your brand defines and uses growth marketing shapes the fate of your startup. Success or failure are both potential outcomes, but we're here to tell you how to achieve the former and avoid the latter.

What Is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing is a subset of marketing that is focused on customer data, continuous experimentation, and cross-channel marketing. It is a strategic mindset that runs throughout your brand and covers the complete marketing funnel with a focus on the bottom of the funnel (BOFU):

growth marketing funnel

Source

As it is often believed, growth marketing doesn’t consist of one-off marketing techniques, best practices, or quick marketing hacks. For example, Dropbox grew 3,900 percent with the help of its referral program and it doubled its user base every three months. Does this mean any startup with a referral program will see similar results?

No.

It wasn’t just a simple referral program that worked for Dropbox; rather, it was a well-thought-out marketing strategy that was relevant to its ideal customers. How did they get to know if their ideal customers would love a referral program?

Testing and experimentation.

Copying a winning growth marketing technique from another business doesn’t guarantee success. And this isn’t what growth marketing is.

It is a data-driven, sustainable, and long-term marketing strategy that has the potential to grow your business exponentially. The big question is: How to do it?

How to Create a Winning Growth Marketing Strategy

Creating a sustainable growth marketing strategy for your startup requires two things:

  1. Sustainable growth
  2. Short-term gains

Sustainable Growth

The basic rule of growth marketing is that it is sustainable and scalable. It doesn’t have to be short-lived and stagnant. This type of sustainable and scalable growth comes from the content. If you aren't creating and publishing great content for your startup, things will become tough after a few years.

Here's why…

The content you publish today will stay there and keep driving traffic as long as it stays live on your blog. The older it gets, the better. Content needs time to rank and drive traffic. It is estimated that it takes an average of two years for a piece of content to reach Google’s top rank:

average age of page google top 10

Source

But blogging isn’t just limited to traffic. It gives you authority. It creates brand awareness. It helps you generate leads. Most importantly, it provides you with data. Analytics gives you insights as to what type of content your ideal customers like reading, what issues they face, what other websites they visit, and more. This data lays the foundation for experimentation and sets the stage for scaling your growth marketing strategy. 

Here is what you need to do to start creating content that becomes your startup’s biggest asset and competitive advantage over the years:

  1. Identify a list of keywords.
  2. Create an editorial calendar.
  3. Write and publish epic content.

The more content you produce, the better. Brands that publish 16 or more blog posts a month receive 3.5x more traffic and 4.5x more leads than brands that publish four or fewer posts per month:

impact of monthly blog posts on inbound traffic
impact of monthly blog posts on inbound leads

Source

More content means more keywords, organic impressions, and organic clicks. These metrics multiply with time.

Short-Term Plan

Blogging needs time to deliver. You can’t expect content to rank, drive traffic, and generate leads immediately, especially if you have a new business.

Becoming an authority and thought leader in your industry needs years.

But this doesn’t mean you have to sit back and wait for the right time. You can’t wait for months to generate traffic and leads. This isn’t a sustainable business model.

Short-term gains will help your startup generate instant cash flow and this needs to be coupled with blogging. Using PPC to generate traffic, leads, and sales proves to be the best short-term growth strategy.

Your PPC campaigns should target the bottom of the funnel instead of TOFU or MOFU. Most startups make this lethal mistake of sending paid traffic to TOFU to generate leads. You need to target BOFU and this means you need to focus on selling and retention with PPC ads.

Why spend money on PPC?

To keep the ball rolling and generate sales.

Is this a sustainable long-term growth strategy?

No.

PPC delivers as long as you spend money on your ads. Stop investing money, and your brand will drop to zero traffic and conversions.

This is a reason why you need to use it as a short-term strategy to generate leads while you are waiting for your content to get mature enough to replace PPC. 

How to Get Started?

Growth marketing comes down to two things: What you do and how you do it.

Blogging and PPC aren’t new strategies. Everybody knows them and thousands of businesses use these two strategies together. But only a few succeed.

Why?

Because it requires experience, testing, and data to figure out what to do and why.

  1. It begins with the intensive market, competitor, and keyword research for your editorial calendar.
  2. Analyze content performance and identify what works and what doesn’t.
  3. Create landing pages for PPC with appropriate offers.
  4. Determine what ad network to choose and why.
  5. Use data to tweak your growth marketing strategy.

At First Page Strategy, we have the experience, team, and resources to help you build a business on a solid foundation. Your startup needs a powerful foundation that won’t collapse after a few years. The right growth marketing strategy sets the stage for long-term success.

And we know how to do it. Get in touch today.

NEED RESULTS-BASED MARKETING  THAT GENERATES TRAFFIC, LEADS,  AND REVENUE GROWTH? SPEAK WITH OUR VP OF GROWTH  <https://www.firstpagestrategy.com/contact?hsLang=en>

Alan Bedingfield

Alan is a strategic marketer and business leader with global experience working for organizations like Google, Microsoft, Toyota, and The Movember Foundation. Over the years, his work has shifted perspectives, influenced change, and driven results.

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