The #1 aspect of running or starting a new business is getting customers. The more potential customers who can hear about us or know about you in the selection process, the more potential sales you will get. SO what is the best approach to get customers as there are so many avenues to pursue. From online advertising, to SEO to blogging and local contests or even local newspaper ads. The list goes on and on.
The fast-growing startup Gleam has listed some of the best growth marketing tips and we chose out 10 favorites:
Have An Experimental Mindset
Once you know your metrics, you need to test as much as possible. There’s a few things that ring true when it comes to growth:
- Just because it worked for someone else does not mean it’ll work for you
- There’s no such thing as a silver bullet (but some things are close)
- Growth comes in bitesize increments, the more you can do the more overall impact you can see
- Everything can always be improved
A perfect example of this is something that we tested last year with our widget. In the footer of each widget we have some Powered By Gleam text (which most would consider to be the industry standard). With some simple testing we were able to increase the effectiveness of this text by 484%.
How many business actually have this mindset? Most businesses throw money and time at one campaign and just hope it will work. Testing is the most efficient way to get to one or more techniques that are Effective!
Brand Your Business
Branding can have such a large impact on how you business grows (or even how it can fail). In 1998 Kellogs rebranded their popular Coco Pops cereal to Choco Krispies but renamed it back almost a year later when sales plummeted and surveys showed that 92% of the UK population preferred the old name.
In a world where big brands rule, there is space in the market for your voice to be heard. It involves determination, creativity and consistency.
Think of a creative and memorable name. Customers remember names
Have a tagline that conveys your core value proposition
Good branding makes your company appear much larger than it actually is
Good branding can allow you to be clever about your advertising
Focus Your Time On What’s Working
Time is a precious and finite resource, so it’s important as a small business owner to apply focus to the areas that drive us the most growth.
For example, if you invest $45,000 per year on a contractor to spend all their time updating your social accounts, but you actually drive almost no revenue from social – then there may be better uses of that time and budget. You might also consider it a branding exercise, or something that needs to be done.
Find those key areas that drive the most growth for your business and focus relentlessly on them #growthhacking
One flipside to this is content, especially when you’re just starting out. You may need to evaluate a longer time period before determining whether an activity is worth doing.
This is the perfect tie in from the testing mindset. When you have that type of thinking, you can try more things which gives you more chances to find something that works. Then you can multiply the successes.
Build Your Email Database
You never quite realise how powerful a good email database is until you have one at your disposal. As soon as this article is finished, I’ll have a copy of it sitting in 10k marketers inboxes within a few minutes. Image how much work I would need to do to promote to that same size of audience.
Building a good email database isn’t easy, but it’s an extremely rewarding activity:
You get to speak to potential customers directly
You can completely control your message or offer
They are mostly likely on your list because they want to hear from you
It allows you to provide instant product or service updates
You can use emails to ask customers for reviews of your services
It takes a little bit of time but really adds up!
Build A Personal Relationship With People
There’s a reason why playing golf has a big impact on closing large deals. It’s because personal one to one relationships with other humans work. They convey trust and allow you to get to know the person you’re dealing with.
In todays hyper-connected world it can be easy to try and build a business sat behind your 28″ widescreen monitor, but if you want to grow, you need to be able to rely on partners, distributors, suppliers and others. The best way to foster and grow these relationships is through personal interaction.
- Jump on Skype and have calls with people, talk to potential customers – you will find out a lot more about them and their needs than via an email
- Go meet key influencers in person, this can often lead to other introductions
- Always try to give value to others so you are front of mind
The difficult part with relationships is that as you grow and get bigger, you will have more demand from others for personal time. Who you choose to devote this time to can also help (or hinder) your potential growth – so you will need to balance this demand carefully.
Network Like Crazy
There are so many ways nowadays with the internet. Linkedin, local events and of course meetups for business people.
Build Relevant Partnerships
These can be vendors and people who promote your products or services in their store and on their sites. And you may do the same for them.
Delve Into Your Competitors Strategies
Experiment With Discounts
Run a Contest
Contests are a fantastic way to engage customers at any stage in your business lifecycle.
- You can partner with other companies to giveaway larger prizes and get exposure to their audiences
- You can use a contest to drive initial awareness about your product
- You can use contests to giveaway free samples of your products
- You can run competitions to announce new products
- Align giveaways with key times of the year (i.e. Valentine’s Day)
- Send out coupon codes to each user to drive post-entry revenue
- Use contests to collect user generate content that you can use for social proof on your site
There are so many ways you can do this. You can even start with just your contacts in your email network and/or on facebook if you are just starting out.
You can read their whole list of 36 here.