7 tactics to grow your business: the ultimate guide to growth hacking
Growth hacking is a marketing technique that relies on creativity, analytical thinking, and technology to sell products and services.
A breakdown of how small business owners can start marketing their businesses online as a one-man team with a shoestring budget.
We can all agree on one thing:
A one-man marketing team, composed of only you, the owner, is stressful let alone having a shoestring marketing budget.
You know you can reach your target audience by marketing your business online. But, the main problem you might face is doing it on your own while running the business.
Doing so leads to burnout, one end of your business left unattended or losing current customers as you try to attract new customers by marketing on your own.
With hiring a marketing expert out of the question, the next viable option is learning the ways of marketing your business and doing it yourself. But, with the current state of information overload and a ton of sites publishing content without backing them up with examples and showing you how you can start off, makes it even harder for you.
With 75% of small business owners think that internet marketing is very effective or effective for attracting new customers, you know it’s a matter of how are you going to market your small business.
In this post, we’ll look into the different ways you can market your small business without breaking the bank. And by the end of this post, you’ll have a firm grip of the marketing strategies you can use.
Two things are certain with Facebook:
Leaving less room for posts from pages people follow. This forces small businesses to choke up some advertising dollars all in the hope of trying to appear on people’s news feeds and increase their brand reach.
Businesses, therefore, see it best to sell straight on just because they are spending on Facebook ads. This rarely works unless you are a big brand. Otherwise, treat advertising on Facebook more like dating.
Start by introducing your business to the market and let people be familiar with your business.
You can do so by running:
By running your audience through such a funnel: Awareness, consideration to conversion stage, you save up on advertising dollars. Instead of selling your product to strangers, which is nearly impossible, you introduce your product to them, increasing your chances of conversion.
There are two sides to Instagram. One where we share our adventures and what we are up to. And this other side, where the algorithm decides which type of content appears on our feed.
By understanding how the algorithm works, you get to increase the chances of your content appearing to more people without spending on advertising. You increase your brand awareness, build an audience and convert them into paying customers.
There are two places you can get people interacting with your posts on Instagram:
To appear on people’s newsfeed, they have to be following you to receive updates of your posts. But since you might be starting out, have few followers or just hit the wall with Instagram marketing, we’ll look into how you can appear on the explore page and reach people who don’t follow you, yet.
With over half of all Instagram accounts visiting the explore section, you can bet there is an audience for your niche business. Whether you are in consultancy, nutrition or even construction.
The Instagram explore page algorithm learns what you like and the content you engage with the most then uses this information to find similar posts from accounts you don’t follow and creates a personalized feed on your explore page.
“Explore shows you the full breadth of content on Instagram that is relevant to your interests,” says Instagram product lead for discovery Will Ruben.
From my explore page content, you can tell Instagram knew I’m more interested in football and the algorithm worked its magic. I get to see more football posts from accounts I don’t follow.
So it’s basically “show me your Instagram feed and I’ll tell you who you are”
If you interact more with interior designs, the Instagram algorithm will provide more interior design content from various accounts you don’t follow yet.
As a business owner, you can use this to increase your brand awareness.
Instagram uses several signals to determine what appears on the explore page. While this is not an exhaustive list, Instagram did tell TechCrunch some of the signals they use to determine what content appears on the explore tab:
From these signals, let’s look at how you can leverage the algorithm to your advantage:
One thing to remember, Instagram controls how your content appears on your audience’s feed. To be in control of your audience and turn strangers into customers, direct them to your website or landing page by offering an incentive. It can be a free template or a free one on one consultation call with you.
It’s no secret that About 1.6 billion unique visitors per month see tweets on third-party properties like TV and other digital media.
Heck, even brands use tweets as advertisements on billboards and in subway stations.
Twitter has turned out to be one of the top platforms to keep up with the latest conversations, trends and discover social media challenges.
Chances are, you've come across screenshots of trending tweets on other platforms as well, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Reddit.
For you, as a small business owner, Twitter can be a great platform to build your community around. It’s microblogging distinct feature lets you attract like-minded people who attract a larger audience through retweets.
Take, for example, Jack Butcher. Through Visualize Value, he builds a community of people who seek to improve their thinking. Who in turn, retweet his tweets which reach more like-minded people. His community grows.
He can therefore leverage this and sell courses to his community and loyal followers.
Here are some key tips and findings I’ve come across while interacting with different Twitter accounts that you can use to market your small business:
Be all about your target audience. With time, you’ll get traction as people steadily find out about your account and business. Don’t hoard information with the hope of linking them to a blog post. Instead, provide all the tips through tweets then at the end you can link to your website.
Play into Robert Cialdini’s first principle of influencing people: Reciprocity. Where we tend to respond favourably to what others have done for us.
Provide tips based on your experience and skills and you’ll influence people as they feel indebted to you for providing such valuable information for free. Such that, the only thing they can do is click on your website and support you.
Go where your audience is. Since you are just starting out, you probably don’t have a large following that you can call a community.
So by commenting on posts of the thought leaders in your niche, you get to reach people who might be interested in your business.
For example, Amazon Prime Video Sport used this tactic to grow their own audience. By commenting on major sports Twitter accounts, they got exposure for their brand and built their audience.
By finding these conversations and giving out your two cents, you get to stump yourself as an authority in your niche.
Let’s say you are a fitness trainer. Look out for conversations around the fitness industry.
Search up keywords in your niche and you’ll find these conversations. Participate in the conversation to increase your brand exposure and direct the curious ones who want to know more about you to your profile and ultimately to your website.
Truth be told, we trust recommendations from friends and family, even strangers than advertisements.
That’s why companies like Amazon have invested in referral marketing. People give their in-depth reviews on products then link to the product on Amazon. When someone buys from that link, Amazon pays the referrer.
Word of mouth initiatives are designed to incentivize existing customers to introduce their family, friends and contacts to become new customers.
With 85% of small businesses discovered by customers due to word of mouth recommendations, It’s importance to the growth of your business can’t be overstated.
“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.”
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO.
To better understand why people share, let's look at the mechanics behind our nature of wanting to share things and how you can go about using these mechanics for your own word of mouth marketing strategy.
Marketing professor Jonah Berger, in his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, identified six principles of word of mouth:
The prime reason why we share is that it helps us look good in the eyes of others. We want to be the first in sharing the latest news because it makes us look informed and up to date.
He writes, “Give people a way to make themselves look good while promoting your products and ideas along the way.”
Here’s how you can do that:
People share what’s at the top of their mind.
He writes,” Sights, smells, and sounds can trigger related thoughts and ideas, making them more top of mind. Why does it matter if particular thoughts are top of mind? Because accessible thoughts and ideas lead to action.”
Associate your business with triggers that people come by often. When Christmas nears, for some reason, I tend to think of Coca Cola.
We share what we care about.
In your marketing initiatives, rather than focusing on facts, focus on emotions, what motivates people to action. Link those emotions back to your product or service through writing marketing copy that arouses people’s emotions or creating a product with people’s emotions in mind.
People often imitate those around them.
Seeing others do something makes others more likely to do it themselves. When a crowd is looking at something, more people start looking too.
Make your product or business more shareable and visible to the public.
We share things we deem valuable.
“Promotional offers that seem surprising or surpass expectations are more likely to be shared.”
Creating an insanely practical guide to help customers with their problems is one way of inspiring action (shares) because the value you give exceeds their expectations.
People share stories.
Make your product or service benefit integral to your story. When people tell your story, they have to mention your product or service.
Integrate as many of these principles in your product or service and you’ll have something people want to talk about and share with others.
You’ve probably come by collaborations between big brands and celebrities. Brands partner with these individuals to promote products.
The latest that stirred social chatter was McDonald partnering with rapper, Travis Scott.
Influencer marketing effectively reaches your target audience and improves your brand awareness.
But as a small business owner, you probably don't have the budget of McDonald.
Enter, micro-influencer marketing. Micro-influencers are individuals who specialise in a specific niche and share content about their interests. They have a more modest number of followers compared to influencers but they have an engaged audience, sometimes more active than the influencers with big followers.
In fact, according to a study by Markerly, as the number of followers increases, the rate of engagement declines.
And with 82% of consumers likely to follow a recommendation made by a micro-influencer, it’s safe to say micro-influencers can greatly impact the growth of your business.
But it all starts with choosing the right micro-influencers to work with and how you are going to compensate them. Whether through discounts, free products or money.
One easy way to identify micro-influencers is by:
I’m a video and photography fanatic. So when I stumbled upon this recommendation from YouTube, I clicked.
Although B&H Photo Video sells photography gear, they have invested in content marketing.
They publish content ranging from expert views, tips and tricks and camera news.
When I, later on, come across one of their videos again, I’d remember who they are. They’ve built trust and credibility with their audience. So when I finally decide to buy a camera, my go-to will be B&H Photo Video.
70% of consumers feel closer to a company as a result of content marketing. Largely because content marketing is geared towards educating people about their most common problems and questions rather than pitching them.
So when people trust you as their source of information, your authority in your niche or industry grows. People are more likely to trust you if they view you as an industry expert.
Here are some ways you can get started with content marketing:
Let’s face it, doing marketing all by yourself while running your business is a tough ask, which you still have to do to stay in business and grow.
We have gone through some of the marketing strategies you can use in your business. Depending on the time and budget you have, choose the right marketing strategies. For example, word of mouth marketing alone can grow your business exponentially. By using the six principles explained you can develop an effective word of mouth marketing strategy that brings in customers and increases your brand reach.
Growth hacking is a marketing technique that relies on creativity, analytical thinking, and technology to sell products and services.
Growth hacking is the new marketing. It's the process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most