Here’s a “happily sad” business scenario!
Your website has thousands of visitors. Yay!
And your visitor-to-customer conversion rate is good too. Superb!
There are too many channels generating website traffic. And, things aren’t happening at the desirable scale 😔
The worst part is – Your customer acquisition cost is rising and your budget’s falling short. 😪
The reason behind this not-so-desirable outcome is the lack of a growth marketing strategy.
There are other cost-effective ways of acquiring ideal customers and retaining them. And you can know about them only when you enter the world of growth marketing.
Let’s take you on a joy ride exploring the whats, whys, and hows of growth marketing!
What is Growth Marketing?
Growth marketing is an updated version of the traditional marketing model. It helps businesses acquire new customers and convert the existing customers into brand advocates.
A few growth marketing strategies include producing valuable blog posts, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), A/B testing, and more.
Growth Hacking vs. Growth Marketing: What’s the Difference?
Both growth hacking and growth marketing focus on gaining new customers and monetizing them in the long term. There’s more!
Both techniques use experimentation and data to achieve their goals.
However, they’re two different techniques used to fuel the growth of a business. Let’s have a look at the differences.
- Growth hacking techniques could use any means to achieve growth and may lose focus on sustaining it. For example, you may acquire customers by building referral programs like Dropbox, but you may need help to keep those from staying subscribed. On the other hand, growth marketing always focuses on brand building. It acquires customers as well as works towards reducing the customer churn rate. In a nutshell, it promotes holistic growth.
- Growth hacking involves a lot of testing and tweaking to refine an outcome. In this technique, the outcomes are more related to addressing pain points and goals of the business– like getting more traffic and increasing the number of trail sign-ups for the business. But growth marketing efforts are always centered around the pain points of customers.
Top 3 Growth Marketing Strategy Examples 2023
We hope you’ve understood what growth marketing is and how it differs from other techniques like growth hacking for skyrocketing overall business growth.
Now, let’s look at some real businesses that have achieved phenomenal growth using growth marketing strategies.
Do you know that the term “inbound marketing,” of which you may have heard so much, was crafted by Hubspot?
They not only preached the idea of “inbound marketing” but practiced it extensively to build a billion-dollar company.
Their 158,000+ worldwide customers and over 600,000 email subscribers indicate what a successful growth marketing strategy looks like.
So, let’s take a glimpse at three growth marketing strategies that helped them reach where they are.
Robust Content Marketing Efforts
HubSpot provided intense levels of value through blog posts. Their blogs covered five broad topics- Marketing, Sales, Service, Website, and The Hustle.
Each category's blog posts helped them build a compelling online presence over the years as readers found these blogs detailed and value-packed.
Hubspot is one of the few online sources where you can find so much value for free. Their Free Business and Marketing Resources contain valued tools such as website grader, buyer persona maker templates, and Ebooks.
To understand how these resources help Hubspot reach its target audience, consider this — their free email signature generator tool alone gets 181,000 monthly visitors! 😮
Tailored CTA in Each Content Type:
HubSpot embeds CTAs tailored for specific blog topics. For example, if you’re reading a blog post on Social Media Channels, a pop-up CTA providing a free “Social Media Trend” report follows as you scroll down. The same CTA awaits you at the end of the introduction as well.
These content-specific smart CTAs might have helped Hubspot increase its conversion. As a result, it continues to fuel its growth.
HubSpot was able to cater to its target market, especially internet-savvy companies, from the very start, through online presentations.
Founded in 2016, Notion currently has 4 million customers and gets 2.3 million monthly organic traffic.
Though it started as a note-taking app (online diary) now, it's way more than that. It has transformed into a free, minimalistic, no-code app for studying, website building, organizing, and more.
Let’s look into two of Notion's market growth strategies that fueled its incredible growth.
Growth Loop with Countless Templates
Apart from the countless user-generated templates, Notion’s Template Gallery offers handy templates for HR & People Ops, market plans, pricing strategy, startups, students, remote employees, and more. Now
Notion's growth cycle starts when its users share the templates they use or create with their peers and colleagues in slack channels, Reddit circles (Notion has a 262k member Subreddit), and Facebook groups.
The users act as brand advocates as they share these templates. As a result, more potential users are introduced to Notion. These users enter the “Template” Growth loop, and the cycle continues.
Calling Out Competitors
When new users sign-up for Notion, the company takes them through a quick onboarding quiz. It asks a few questions about how they plan to use Notion to provide a customized product experience.
Moreover, Notion calls out competitors on its home page to make new users understand its many use cases. For example, on the project & tasks page, they point out the tools they replace- Asana, Trello, and Jira.
This provides the context of the use cases of Notion to a new user who isn’t 100% familiar with the product. So, the user gets the impression of how a single platform can consolidate their workflow.
Canva is a graphic design solution that revolutionized basic graphic design for the average person. More than 100 million people use Canva. Its number of paid users is a whopping 5 million. And this explains why the company is worth $40 billion.
But how did they get there?
Let’s take a quick peek into two of their growth marketing plans that helped them reach where they are.
Canva Made Graphic Designing Easier
Ever since its launch, Canva focused on providing a better UI and improved ease of use for its target market.
Unlike its competitors, Canva has usable templates that made it super easy for a new user to create designs. It has an intuitive interface that easily grasps different features. Also, Canva's web-based feature enables new users to use the design tool from the web browser.
As a result, numerous users create new designs, share them on social media with their communities and turn advocates for Canva.
Canva's pricing strategy is built so that new users can familiarize themselves with the platform for free. They could use all the free features to serve their purpose and make the tool part of their workflow. Once that happened, it was pretty simple for the user to use additional Canva features by upgrading to the new features.
Your 7-Step Growth Marketing Strategy
Growth marketing plans cover a customer's entire journey– from knowing the product to purchasing it to advocating the solution to peers. In other words, the growth marketing strategy focuses on acquisition, retention, cross-selling, and upselling. However, as every business is different, no one-size-fits-all strategy applies.
Here's a step-by-step plan that most businesses need to take to create an effective B2B growth marketing strategy.
Step One: High-level Specific Goal Setting
Start by identifying the specific goals you want to accomplish. Whatever the goals may be, it has to be concrete and should mean success for you.
For example, a general goal would be to increase your revenue from European customers by 40 percent. But from a marketing perspective, you need to set a more tangible goal that allows you to see improvements in plain numbers.
A better objective would be to monitor and increase the number of leads (+500 leads/month, say) generated in France, England, Spain, and Italy.
Another example of tangible goal setting would be achieving the #1 rank on Google for your top 5 keywords. Ranking for specific keywords will increase the overall market share of your company’s website.
Step Two: Finding the Top-performing Channels
Break the high-level goals you’ve set in the previous step into smaller objectives. Taking the first example, your aim in this step should be to find the channels that bring the most leads at the least cost.
Apart from bringing leads which can be the cumulative result of many channels working in tandem, your high-level objective could be to get the most visitors (say 25k) or get 1k new email newsletter signups every month.
Considering vast possible objectives, find the channels that bring the best result in terms of your set goals. Ensure that your channels meet the following three criteria:
- Have the lowest operating cost
- Attract the most amount of visitors
- Provide the best conversion
Step Three: Determining KPIs and the Growth Marketing Metrics
Based on the above-mentioned criteria, you should determine the top two or three channels and start utilizing them as your resource allows.
Next, identify the metrics that would help you judge whether your efforts towards the goals through that channel are a “success” or not.
For example, you may have started with Linkedin outreach, YouTube ads, and Blog posting. Now you are witnessing that Linkedin(Social media) and Blog (organic search traffic) are the two top-performing channels in terms of the above criteria we have mentioned.
An example of growth marketing metrics for the above two channels is follower growth( for Linkedin) and organic Click Through Rate( for organic search traffic).
Once you’ve identified the metrics, the need to specify KPIs related to your high-level goals comes. You might set a goal to need 50+ Marketing Qualified Leads from Linkedin and attain a conversion rate of more than 3 percent from your Bottom of The Funnel( BOFU) blogs.
As you track the results from these channels, you can see if it’s moving towards achieving the high-level goals you’ve set up.
Step Four: Dissect Your Buyer Journey and Optimize it at Every Stage
After determining KPIs and growth metrics, comes evaluating your customer journey. Your task is to map how your potential customers move through your sales process - from knowing your solution to purchasing a subscription (in the case of a SaaS product).
You may think it’s straightforward to map the journey, but it isn’t. The complexity arrives because your target customers can enter the journey at any point and move through various ways.
i. Your customers can first meet you at the awareness stage.
At this stage, leads will interact with your top-of-the-funnel content to know more about the issue they’re facing. So, the content must educate them about your solution addressing their issue.
Educational blog posts, How-to videos and guides, Social Media posts, and ebooks are few of the most popular top-of-the-funnel content.
Here are a few ways to achieve better conversion at the awareness stage
- Adding natural internal related links( IRL)-- for related content or moving to the next stage of the buyer journey
- Adding CTAs to let the visitor know what to do next.
- Adding mid-page engagement opportunities like links to newsletter sign-up, ebooks, free guides, case studies, or related services/products.
ii. Your customers can also first know you in the consideration stage.
At this stage, your leads know about the solution and are looking at all possible options. So, your task is to optimize your middle-of-the-funnel content to increase conversions. Create detailed case studies, send personalized emails, and place yourself among the best possible solutions for their problems.
For example, if you’re a time clock app SaaS provider, create content like “Best time clock app with gps” for this stage. And the case studies should elaborate on how your solutions helped one of your most celebrated customers achieve their goals.
iii. If your potential customers are interacting with your bottom-of-the-funnel content, they’re at the decision stage.
At this stage of the buying process, your prospects are ready to purchase, and you must establish yourself as the best.
One of the best ways to portray your solution as the best is by using product demos (for SaaS products).
Create personalized demos as per your prospect’s role and needs. While choosing the demo-creating software, you should ensure that they offer seamless integrations with your marketing tech stack. The demo engagement insights will help you grow a quality pipeline.
Step Five: Carrying Out Experiments on High-performing Marketing Channels
Once you’ve optimized your buyer journey at every stage, it’s time to conduct controlled experiments on your high-performing marketing channels. Note that these tests differ from business to business as per their top-performing channels.
In most cases, A/B tests and A/A tests are conducted.
A/B tests: You show one version of your content to half of your audience, and the other half seems a slightly different or mostly different version. These tests reveal the version with the best performance, and you can improve based on the result.
Example of A/B tests: Groove tweaked its messaging on their landing page and doubled their conversion from 2.3% to 4.7%.
A/A tests: These tests are tailored for a smaller audience size. You can show one content type to the entire audience and later show a different type. The tests revealed the content type that resonates the most with the audience.
So, if you find organic search traffic as your top-performing channel, you might A/B test the CTA messaging or font color in a top-ranking page to see which version generates more conversion.
Step Six: Scale Up or Run the Steps Again
After you find the top-performing channels for your brand, it’s time to scale up your efforts.
Imagine that the traffic coming through social media channels is interacting with more of your pages than through Google searches. In this case, you should double down your efforts on social media.
Step Seven: Continuous Testing and Scaling
By now, you may have realized that any B2B growth marketing strategy is built on the cycle of experiment, insight gathering, and repeating the winning methods. So, keep the test cycle going and scale them up. Track your result month-over-month to see if it’s moving towards achieving the tangible goals you’ve set up in steps 1 and 2.
Making the Most of Your B2B Growth Marketing Strategy
Phew! A lengthy process, huh?! 😅
But that's how you can effectively offer the best customer experience, acquire more customers, and improve retention for your B2B SaaS business. Your growth marketing strategy will be your key to building a strong brand that stands out.
However, ensure to offer the best content types to your prospects at every stage of the sales funnel to achieve higher conversion rates. For example, offering an interactive product demo at the bottom of the funnel would be great.
Storylane can help you create product stories that speak to your customers and conveys to them the product’s value.
Want to know more? Book a free demo now.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are The Goals Of Growth Marketing?
The goal of growth marketing is to increase customer lifetime value. This objective is achieved through strong customer relationships and loyalty building.
What is B2B Growth Marketing?
B2B growth marketing is the set of strategies that helps a B2B business acquire more customers and improve its customer retention.
What Are The Areas Of Growth Marketing?
Growth markers go past the point of customer acquisition and raising awareness for a brand. They focus on creating a deeper connection with customers to turn them into brand advocates. To achieve this outcome, they handle areas such as conversion rate optimization (CRO), search engine optimization (SEO), A/B testing, and User experience improvement, among others.