Small and medium size businesses (SMBs) have to concern themselves with marketing sooner or later. While it may be a feat most people aren’t prepared for at first, growth marketing can be used to leverage your smaller size and secure a larger segment of your market in a unique, memorable way.
- Growth marketing can help businesses grow faster and with less resources, increased retention, and a more meaningful customer journey
- Researching, testing, and finding your niche will connect you to the customer profile that your business serves best
- Growth marketing focuses on building a relationship of trust with your target customer, gaining the ability to market to them in the future, and then delivering results on-demand on their schedule
You might not have million-dollar marketing budgets, legacy media contacts, or focus groups slated to evaluate and give you feedback on your product or service. But that’s okay. With the right growth marketing approach, you’ll still be able to win over consumers fast and turn them into brand champions.
Growth marketing means ou’ll be operating with real-time data, something that CEOs from large companies often complain they can’t get in a timely manner. That’s just one more way that sets growth marketing apart from traditional marketing.
While growth marketers prioritize acquisition and engagement, traditional marketers concentrate on raising awareness. Growth marketers are interested in finding out how to attract more customers and keep them interested in their goods or services. And it’s often done with laser-targeted precision.
Growth marketers use a data-driven methodology to accomplish this. They use analytics to monitor their progress and choose where to concentrate their efforts. which involves planning and running tests to enhance and improve the outcomes of a target area.
Growth Marketing, Brand Awareness and Visibility for SMBs
Growth marketing is where your business’s smaller size may not only not hurt you- it might work to your benefit. People love the feel of something exclusive, boutique, rare, or uniquely different in some way. Something they can brag about. Something esoteric.
Growth marketing is a technique you can use to achieve specific metrics to create real brand awareness among an actively purchasing community. It’s the opposite of just running advertisements in a magazine or resorting to “spray and pray.” No more hoping your ad dollars convert to sales without knowing for sure.
Done effectively, this customer research and experimentation will lead to repeatable and sustainable growth for an organization. And this is where the exponential growth lies. Discovering which of your keywords in your ad spend convert will not only create a new income stream, it can add to your bottom line in huge leaps and bounds.
Finding Your Ideal Customer and Marketing Channel
As long as you are aware of your target audience, you can narrow down your marketing to smaller audiences or sub-audiences that appeal to particular consumer groups. This can allow you to cast a wide net at first, then optimize your results so that you’re targeting the hungriest buyers that convert.
It is more effective and efficient to concentrate all marketing efforts on one or two of these rather than disseminating the messages through numerous channels or to a massively broad audience. You can use the best strategies to engage audiences and forge bonds once the right ones have been selected, which only comes with experimentation.
As an example, you could use paid PPC ads to get visitors to your content-rich website, bidding on related keywords. This way, you can test a small cross-section of web traffic to see if they’ll either convert to buyers or give you their email/phone for future marketing. Your website should have those keywords and related topics, products/services, and FAQs.
Growth marketing relies heavily upon your relationship with the customer, which brings us to their journey. Smart business owners put themselves in their customers’ shoes and take the customer journey too, just to see what they discover along the way. It’s often the most useful information that you can use to set yourself apart from the pack.
Understanding the Customer Journey
The customer journey overlaps with your sales funnel as your potential customers interact with your brand, from awareness to purchase (and beyond). Understanding how your target customers move through the customer journey will help you as a growth marketer to maximize your marketing efforts at each stage.
You can spot growth opportunities and give your customers a more satisfying experience by outlining and considering the customer journey every step of the way. It also provides the opportunity to add value by offering relevant and helpful upsells. Remember, you might be doing a favor by offering them an add-on service or “people also bought” type of product. Sealing the deal with a discount for bundling items also seems like a win – win.
Brand Awareness and Brand Experience Marketing
Master these concepts and you’ll have a business in demand with customers on command. Becoming a household name all starts with getting your brand on the minds and in the mouths of consumers by providing a straight-forward, ready solution or desired product or service, then making it special.
It’s like I used to tell other servers looking for ways to make more tips at their restaurant gigs. If all they order is tap water, ask if they’d like a lemon slice. It adds some flavor, not everyone will take you up on the offer so it won’t cost the restaurant a lot, lemons actually contain valuable terpenes which stimulate the olfactory senses, and it shows you’re willing to add extra care when you didn’t have to, and when most people who are supposed to be doing their jobs are asking “what’s in it for me?” even while they’re at work.
Brand awareness is the degree to which consumers are aware of your brand and how they feel about it. In order to believe in a brand and make a purchase from it, you must usually be able to identify with it first. This psychological response forms the basis of most modern advertising thought, and for the sake of copywriting in marketing, may actually be more important than strictly highlighting features and benefits of your product or service, though those are important too.
The competitive advantage that keeps a company at the forefront of consumers’ minds is a high level of brand awareness. High levels of consumer recognition for a brand can even make it synonymous with the product, like the old Maytag repairman who is still waiting to get a service call. Poor guy. Just wants to work.
Every facet of the customer experience, from consideration to trial to purchase, is impacted by brand experience management. Customers’ preferences and expectations change quickly, and organizations’ capacity to be agile and adapt should be a priority. However, that doesn’t mean jump on the latest fad, or else you might spread your message too thin or be seen as trying too hard.
Business leaders will be able to put those customer insights into action almost immediately with the right systems in place. The best brand experience management practitioners only employ a focused set of techniques or tools. As a result, they are more likely to use real-time data to guide their decision-making about where to focus on building their customer base and their brand.
How You Can Increase Your Business Visibility
Sometimes, it’s as easy as putting up a physical custom exterior sign for your business to announce to the world that you both exist and you’re there to serve. But most of the time, it isn’t, though don’t think you can’t change that.
A big part of meeting your future customer is meeting them– halfway. That means knowing their likes and dislikes, where they hang out and do their shopping, as well as if they are in the younger crowd browsing Tik Tok or your auntie sharing pictures of her garden on Facebook.
Businesses can utilize the following to increase their online visibility:
SEM / SEO – Search Engine Marketing or Search Engine Optimization is, at its most basic level, the creation of a website that provides useful information to help a web visitor solve a problem, learn more about an issue, and/or eventually buy something to make that solution a reality.
Done right, you’ll build a long-term relationship with your prospect. You might offer them a discount or a free gift in exchange for their email. Then, you can send them lots of useful information on the subjects they’re interested in– with a product sales link at the bottom. For customers with immediate needs, you may not have to longterm market to them, though it’s never a bad idea.
The greatest thing about SEM/SEO is that none of it has to be paid. You can film a 5-minute video where you discuss an issue important to your customer when buying a certain product. You could do an audio recording in your phone on a topic that draws upon your own life experience while surveying the market and your competitors. Or, you could hire a writer or content producer to help you get some useful content up now.
Super-Secret SEO Content Marketing Pro Tip:
Wondering where to find written content that has not been used anywhere else around the web?
- Visit YouTube on your computer browser, then search for videos in your industry, just as I’ve done in the snapshot of my screen below.
- Click on the three little dots highlighted below and then “show transcript.”
- Voila, you now have written content you can copy/paste (and hopefully, re-word) into your own website or use as a place from which to start.
Social Media – If you’re like me, you’re not likely to jump up and do a dance, much less record yourself doing it. But a lot of folks do just that on an app called Tik Tok. What’s that got to do with you? It’s another opportunity to get a formulated message campaign going for your business, product, or service. Disclaimer: Please, no more dancing nurses.
Similar to Tik Tok, and owned by META (Facebook), InstaGram also offers a visual-centric app easily accessible by cell phone. Remember what I said about having high quality images on your website in a previous post? as the key to e-commerce success? Social media and making purchases from smartphones requires the easiest, fastest-loading, highest definition image-rich shopping experience.
Word of Mouth – I’m somewhat of a savvy consumer based in part on my experience doing online marketing. When I want to cut to the chase and rise above all the static regarding any particular topic, product, or service– I look at the comments section for honest remarks by real customers on web pages around the internet.
If your brand experience and customer journey are seamlessly integrated, the positive comments on your YouTube videos, Facebook and Instagram posts all demonstrating overwhleming love for aspects of your product are the absolute best advertising money can’t buy. And that’s where everyone wants to be in business.
Google Business – Google offers your business a digital storefront– and all you have to do is be able to prove somehow that you’re at the address, usually by receiving a postcard with a code or a phone call. This is an amazing, free opportunity for you to essentially create an online profile of your business where people may be likely to find you based on their own geo-location when performing the search, either on their phone or computer.
This free Google business listing also allows customers to review you with 1 – 5 stars and leave a review. When people are looking for a business or service, this star rating user review plays a major impact in their decision to try you out. As far as technical SEO is concerned, the star ratings will actually be associated with your business as “structured data,” or “rich snippets,” and further increases your likelihood of showing up in a search.
I believe the Google Business listing is so important that I’ve created them for businesses in other countries during my travels, just as a personal favor to the people I knew. And, you get a free backlink which is good for SEO and allows your prospect to visit your website.
Google Shopping – Another great free option is the ability to have your products show up as images with their prices in the search results organically. You can do this with Google Shopping by uploading your product data in their Merchant Center and setting everything up.
Adding a Blog to Your Business Website
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, your blog, when created properly, is a demonstration of your competence, free help for people who might need it, and another way of boosting your website rankings in Google and overall business prominence.
No pushy sales tactics. No trickery. Just facts.
You instead can be viewed as an ally, colleague, consumer advocate, and industry leader.
Sharing your unique experience and research in the market bridges the information gap in ways that make potential customers feel at ease doing business with you. And, you’ll get to self-promote without a bunch of hot air. You’ll be helping people and building a wealth of online knowledge that people can benefit from long into the future– whether they buy anything or not.
You’ll be leveraging web traffic and visitor’s behavior metrics like time on site and click through rate to signal to Google just how effective your site is. This in turn will elevate your site in the organic search engine rankings, just by opening your virtual doors and trying to help folks.
Conclusion: Growth Marketing and Increasing Brand Awareness
The best marketing is a superior product and experience that makes customers feel validated and excited for the future, willing to share word-of-mouth referrals simply because they believe in it, and happy that people like you are in the world making real things that matter happen.
Growth marketing puts your core customer’s primary needs and concerns front and center for you to meet, address, and use to help others too. From there, you may even find new offerings that will serve them all the more, and expand your business profits simultaneously.
Frequently Asked Questions – Growth Marketing
Establishing a regular cadence of blog posts, white papers, videos, ebooks, and other content can help prospective buyers understand how your products and services can solve their problems. It also helps you build loyalty and retention with existing customers. A strategic content program can lead to market leadership and real business growth.
Content marketing focuses on creating and distributing relevant content to your target audience. It can be used to attract, engage, and educate prospects so they can make informed buying decisions. Content can be delivered via organic and paid channels. Organic distribution includes your website, email newsletters, and social media channels.
A customer’s entire interaction with a company is referred to as their “customer journey.” It includes all customer interactions throughout every stage of the customer lifecycle, from awareness to loyalty, across all channels, devices, and touchpoints. Companies communicate with their customers through a variety of channels, but frequently forget to link each action to the customer journey.
A disconnected customer experience results from the separation of sales and marketing strategies.
The brand experience is a type of experiential marketing that includes a comprehensive set of circumstances developed by a business to affect the perception a customer has of a specific product or brand name. When it comes to fostering long-lasting customer relationships, the right brand experience is everything.
Building a brand experience that strengthens customer connection and promotes long-term loyalty is possible by understanding where current efforts fall short, prioritizing areas for improvement, and monitoring engagement metrics over time.
One of the most valuable assets your brand can develop is brand awareness. A strong brand name can add value to your product or service and give your business a competitive edge. Additionally, it is a crucial element of brand equity, which is the value a consumer attaches to a specific good or service.
You can increase your brand awarneness through telling an authentic, viral story, through multi-channel marketing (i.e. YouTube ads and PPC Ads + SEO), and by capturing the hearts and minds of your happy customers to share their experience with your product or service.