Struggling to figure out what to write about as the temperature drops and the days draw shorter? As we near Thanksgiving, the focus shifts to the holidays, but you can write only so many turkey, family and holiday themed posts before you get bored.
And so do your readers.
I created a November Marketing Calendar to help you figure out what to write about and let you know what’s hot and highly searchable this month. In addition to “Thanksgiving” posts, gift guides, “Movember” and party planning are all top search terms; fulfill one or more of these to attract attention to your blog. Click Here for Free November Marketing Calendar
Other highlights this month include Cyber Monday, which is rapidly catching up to Black Friday in revenues for sellers. This month also includes Veteran’s Day, a chance to recognize those who serve the nation and Giving Tuesday, an ideal time for Non-Profits to shine.
When you’ve covered all the basics for your launch and are ready to focus on building your audience and attracting prospects, growth hacking can help. By focusing solely on growth, you can propel your brand forward in a surprisingly short period of time and ensure you rapidly reach your forecasted goals.
What is Growth Hacking, Anyway?
Growth hacking is a form of hyper-focused marketing that provides rapid results for a company or brand. By focusing all efforts solely on growth, the growth hacker can achieve swift results. When your brand is in a constant state of growth, you’re scaling rapidly, adding followers in massive numbers and everything you do – every tactic, strategy, effort and piece of content has one goal, growing your business.
Does growth hacking replace traditional marketing?
The guy that hacks your cable and steals your HBO – not cool.
The group that phishes your business and holds your data for ransom – really not cool
Someone who is clever and inventive and uses any available resources to achieve a goal, even if they deploy those assets in unusual ways – very cool.
A growth hacker uses any and all available resources to focus on building a following and brand; innovation, problem-solving, creativity and original ideas are the hallmarks of this type of hacker and the type of entrepreneur that is primed for rapid success.
Be curious, be creative, be adventurous and take risks – and your business will grow.
Growth Hacking Strategies for your Own Brand or Business
Growth hacking needs three primary points of information to be successful:
You need to know who your customer is. Who will buy your product? Is a luxury for them or a necessity?
You need to know where they are. Geographically, physically and online, where are they? If you want them to find, follow and purchase from you, your efforts need to be targeted and tailored to match not only their needs but positioned properly as well.
What content resonates with them? Do they want a steady stream of visuals – video, infographics, images and more, or do they want whitepapers, case studies and technical details? Do they need to be informed, educated, entertained or engaged? Does humor resonate with them or is it a waste of time to incorporate clever memes, word play and outright funny content?
Once you know who you are aiming for, these techniques will help you streamline your efforts and make the most of your budget.
No matter how fantastic your products, services and content are, it won’t do your business much good unless you can grow your audience. Organic growth takes time, but turning to some key growth hacking strategies can help you speed things up and see the fast-paced growth you need for your brand. Your competitors are likely using some of these methods to supercharge their growth right now; the best way to catch up – or gain an edge – is to focus on a few growth hacking strategies designed to help you grow in a hurry.
Ideally, pages should load in two seconds or less; any longer and you could be driving precious traffic away from your site.
Provide Social Proof
You need social proof – and a lot of it – when you want to grow. Any available spot should showcase user content, real testimonials, review streams and more. People need to see others using, interacting with and winning with y our brand to be willing to give you a try. Seeing others who love your brand, and who have successfully interacted with you reassures your new customers and subscribers and helps you grow your brand in a hurry.
Customer statistics, from the number of visitors you have to your Twitter followers and even email subscribers, can all showcase how much people love your brand and provide visitors with real proof of just how effective you are.
What happens when someone makes a purchase or joins your list? Do you have an automated email campaign ready to welcome them, and are you focused on winning their business permanently?
Your New User Experience (NUX) will have a direct impact on the quality of these new arrivals and how well you grow your brand. A new user will need more guidance and help; having a process in place that welcomes them, walks them through and lets them know what to expect will help you make the most of this time period.
Viral Growth Loops
Anything with “viral” in the name is good news for marketers, and this method simply uses your existing happy customers to grow your brand. If each of your customers shares what you do with one other prospect, you could double your list. The key here is offering them something worthy of a share. It either needs to be content that is so funny, amazing or relevant that they can’t resist – or it needs to be a promo that benefits both users.
Hit on a viral growth loop with your customers and you’ll see rapid, extreme growth seemingly overnight. Determining what your customer responds to can help you craft a compelling offer or piece they’ll want to share again and again, and lead to the growth you are craving.
Guest Post on Other Sites
Position your brand as an authority by guest posting. You won’t get paid, but a well-crafted piece of content could land on a high-ranking site and generate plenty of traffic for your own website. Choose your topics and partners with care and guest posting can drive traffic to help you grow today and position you as an expert in your field. This type of branding and awareness can help you for years to come.
Create an Amazing Opt-in Offer
What happens when people do visit your site? Unless you have a way to capture their emails, they could bounce away before you can connect with them. Creating an irresistible offer for your email opt-in can help encourage these visitors to hand over their own contact details before leaving – allowing you to direct them into your sales funnel and making it possible for you to follow up.
Your opt-in needs to be relevant to what you do and valuable enough to get your visitors to sign up for it. Taking the time to create a piece that visitors want can help you grow your email list – which in turn will help you grow your business.
Employ Email Marketing
Inexpensive and effective email marketing makes it easy to connect with your subscribers and ensure they are aware of your offerings, products and services. An automated welcome email is a good start; you can also email your newsletter, relevant industry information and other things that would be of interest. Simple automation tools can help you connect and spread the word about your brand in a variety of ways.
Simply focusing your efforts on growth can yield surprising results in a short amount of time. When all your efforts are focused on one thing – growing your brand – you’ll be able to add followers in a variety of ways. From optimizing your site to creating compelling content, these techniques will help you make the most of your brand and your growth hacking efforts.
There are many ways to gauge and measure your success when it comes to your growth hacking efforts. Knowing the action, you want users to take, being able to state with precision where you are now and then measuring the outcome can give you the best idea of how well your efforts are performing.
What is a unique selling proposition – and why does your business need one? Your value proposition is what sets you apart in a crowded marketplace and what allows you to appeal to your target prospects. Every competing business in your field is after the same group of customers, so your unique selling proposition (USP) is what makes you unique and what appeals most to your prospects. Correctly identifying your target customer and then crafting a unique value proposition that they just can’t resist will allow you to stand out and thrive in a crowded marketplace.
Creating your Own Unique Value Proposition
It doesn’t happen overnight, but the time you spend now correctly developing your USP and really defining your product and customer will pay off in the long run. You know you have an amazing product or service but this process allows you to gain a comprehensive understanding of how you can best appeal to consumers and where to invest your marketing efforts.
Start with your Audience
Who is your target customer? How do they spend their time? Are they male or female, buying for themselves or someone else – and what is motivating them to make that purchase? How old are they — and what concerns them most? A 20 year old college student will have far different concerns and goals than a just-turned 50 year old professional. It’s tempting to think that your product has such wide appeal that everyone will love it, but really taking the time to define your target audience ensures that you are directing your efforts in the right way.
Ideally, you’ll be able to come up with a complete image of your target audience and be able to define them in a few short sentences. If you are selling a home organization system, your target persona will likely be female with children in the home, but you need to look even closer.
Is she worried about the budget every month or can she afford simple luxuries? What does she do to treat herself, and what does a typical day look like for her? Answering these questions can help you correctly target your market and make sure that you are presenting your product to a group that wants it, can afford it and is likely to purchase it in the near future.
Learn from your Competition
They may not offer the same product you do (your business is unique, after all), but you do have competition targeting the same market you are. Taking the time to look at how your competitors big and small are relaying their message to your target audience helps in several ways:
You see what resonates with your target prospects, without spending any actual cash
You gain an understanding of the messages your targets are used to receiving, so you can develop ways to stand out in a crowded market
You learn how your product can fill a need for this group that is not already being met
You can also use that competition to stand out – if everyone in your area is approaching customers in the same way, novel approaches to marketing and messaging will help your brand stand out.
What is your Message?
What is your brand’s mission and what one thing do you want buyers and prospects to know? How will you improve their lives? Distill your offering to one simple sentence and you can build your efforts around this concept. Do you help buyers feel better about themselves? Help them save time or money? Beautify or simplify their lives? Get to the heart of how your product helps your customer and you’ll find your unique selling proposition.
Make a list of the key benefits of your product or service – -basically the “why” people buy and what they get from their purchase. Your list could be hundreds of items long or just a few key points; getting these ideas down on paper can help you refine your unique value proposition and understand what resonates with your buyers. You do not have to go it alone; your employees and current customers may also be able to provide valuable input – a survey can help you gain essential information about your product and buyers.
Once you have that one, pure message, you can begin to build your marketing plan around it. Your unique value proposition isn’t going to just pop into your head in 10 minutes – give yourself plenty of time to work it out and to really think about how you will position your brand. The more time you spend on this step, the more successful your marketing efforts will be.
Ideally, your USP should be one sentence that defines your brand and makes you stand out from everyone else.
Incorporate your Unique Selling Proposition into your Marketing
Once you have your value proposition, put it to work for your business. Every printed material, blog, tweet and post your business makes needs to relay your value proposition in some way. This will not happen overnight, but by constantly being aware of your message and seeking out new ways to relay it to your customer, you give your marketing team something solid to work with. Over time, your value proposition should permeate every aspect of your business; customers should be able to instantly grasp your USP whether they are visiting your website, following you on social media or viewing a video you’ve produced.
Correctly targeting your value proposition takes time, but taking the time to work through the process can help you make a valuable, lasting connection with your target market. Once you’ve correctly identified your USP, you’ll know where your marketing and advertising efforts should be focused and avoid wasting capital on efforts that won’t really make a difference.