It isn't easy to satisfy investors or board members who want to see off-the-charts growth. It's even harder in a post-2020 landscape after marketing budgets were slashed from 11 percent in 2020 to 6.4 percent in 2021. In such a turbulent environment, how are marketers supposed to do more with less?
Enter growth marketing, a proven methodology to create comprehensive marketing strategies that are data-driven and centered around long-term, sustainable growth. We can't think of any board members or investors who would say no to that, can you? Growth marketing is more effective than traditional marketing, and depending on your strategies and goals, can even cost less. Instead of focusing on customer acquisition (top of the funnel), growth marketing focuses on the entire funnel. It uses data to run marketing campaigns that acquire leads and convert them into loyal customers so they stick with your brand and tell others to do the same.
Here is a systematic and proven approach to using growth marketing to exponentially grow revenue with minimal marketing cost:
- Great content
- Conversion strategy
- Data-driven decisions
- Testing, measuring, and adjusting.
1. Create Awesome Content
Great content is the foundation of an epic growth marketing strategy. You need to create great content that is optimized for both search engines and readers. Importantly, you must create content for all the funnel stages — not just the top:
Most brands focus entirely on content that is geared towards awareness with little content for the middle and bottom of the funnel. For some reason, brands are always busy acquiring new customers (lead generation) and do little to convert leads into customers, repeat customers, and loyal customers.
Yes, customer acquisition is essential, but customer retention is even more important. And it makes a huge difference when you start focusing on customer retention than acquisition:
Not only does retaining customers save you money over getting new ones, an increase in retention means extraordinary profitability for your brand. This is what growth marketing is about. You need to shift the focus from acquisition to retention. Loyal customers are the backbone of your brand.
And growth marketing relies heavily on customer retention (aka the bottom of the funnel).
Start creating content for the middle and bottom of the funnel, too (if you aren’t already). This includes:
- Product demos
- Case studies
- Webinars and events
- Education resources
- How-to videos
- Upgrade discounts and special offers.
You don’t have to create content just for the sake of it. If your content isn’t the best on the topic, it is potentially useless. There are three stages of content creation that you must follow religiously:
- Content creation (Use techniques like 10x content and skyscraper.)
- Content optimization (Optimize content for search engines, aka on-page SEO.)
- Content promotion (Promote your content so your ideal customers can find and read it, aka off-page SEO.)
2. Conversion Strategy
Ever visited the HubSpot blog (or, for that matter, our blog)? What stood out to you the most?
You'll not see any posts on the HubSpot blog without at least one CTA. A call-to-action is a powerful tool for conversion and gives readers instructions on the next steps you'd like them to take, whether that's downloading an asset, buying a product, or watching a webinar. You should always place a relevant offer towards the end of a post (and sometimes in the middle) with a powerful CTA. Here is an example:
You'll always find these types of relevant offers with CTAs on HubSpot. This is what you should do to promote relevant offers with the content you publish.
This can be done when you have a conversion strategy and the purpose of each content piece you create is clearly defined. This requires understanding the buyer's journey and identifying key conversions.
For example, converting blog readers into subscribers is a conversion goal, or converting free users of your SaaS app to paid customers is a conversion goal.
You need to identify all such conversion goals that lead to revenue. And then incorporate these conversion goals into your content strategy. A simple way of doing this is by having a clear purpose for every content piece that you publish.
Take a look at the CTAs in this blog. See how they have a clear goal, offer, and action? You'll also notice that while there are two CTAs in the blog — one in the top half and one at the end — they direct to the same place.
What does all this mean for your brand and for satisfying those investors? You need to develop a conversion strategy to fuel your growth marketing strategy, and it must focus on customer acquisition, retention, and referral. Identify micro conversions and incorporate them into content throughout the funnel.
No piece of content should be published without a clear purpose and conversion promotion.
3. Data-Driven Decisions
There are two ways to make decisions:
- Based on your institution
- Based on data
Decisions made on the basis of data are reliable and effective. For example, audience segmentation is a type of data-driven marketing technique where you create different segments of your audience based on key variables (demographics, purchase history, etc.). When you run a campaign to target such a segment, it will be more effective because it will be a highly targeted campaign.
Here is an example of data at work:
If you want to impress your investors, start making data-driven decisions for content creation and marketing campaigns. This means you can’t create content and conversion strategy for growth marketing based on what you think; rather, these need to be data-driven.
Let’s take an example.
Facebook found that users who add seven friends in 10 days are more likely to become active users and stick for life. So, it started focusing on this particular conversion strategy to persuade new signups to invite and add friends as quickly as possible.
Similarly, Slack figured that when a team sends 2,000 messages on their platform, it is 93 percent more likely to stick and keep using Slack.
How did they find their aha moments?
Growth marketing must be driven by data, or else it won’t work. This is why you need to start collecting and analyzing data from day one. Use it to identify patterns. Identify the best content type, identify micro-conversions, conversion strategy, the path to success, aha moments for your app, and other insights to take your marketing to the next level.
4. Test, Measure, and Adjust
Business growth and scaling are the key aspects of a growth marketing strategy. If you can’t use your marketing campaigns to scale and grow your brand exponentially, it is just traditional marketing — not growth marketing.
Growth marketing is scalable.
But it doesn’t mean it is a set-and-forget marketing strategy. No, it requires next-level testing and tweaking.
According to Matt Bilotti, the product lead at Drift, growth marketing is all about finding scalable marketing campaigns. It isn’t your one-off marketing campaign.
So how to find such scalable campaigns?
It requires constant testing, measuring, and tweaking. Whether it’s your content, landing pages, aha moment, conversion strategy, marketing channel, or anything else, it needs to be rigorously tested.
You need to create data-driven hypotheses, test them using A/B testing tools, evaluate and analyze results, and repeat:
Consistently testing and tweaking marketing collateral with the aim of growing your brand is a must-have and a core component of growth marketing.
Growth Marketing Can Satisfy Investors
According to the growth marketing definition, it adds additional layers to your existing marketing strategy. These layers include conversion rate optimization, data-driven decisions, A/B testing, epic content creation, and more.
Ask yourself: Do you have these layers added to your marketing strategy?
If so, how efficiently are you using these?
It is time to add these layers to your marketing strategy and start implementing them practically. If you aren’t sure where to start, we're just a click away. See how First Page Strategy can help you create and implement a growth marketing strategy.