6 best practices for your growth marketing strategy

Over the past decade, traditional marketing has given way to more data-driven, digital-based, and online marketing activities. This has created a new and massive industry called growth marketing.

Every brand or business today must have an online presence in order to compete in a crowded marketplace. Yet simply hosting a website or Facebook page isn’t enough.

Marketers must constantly and actively engage in the process of growing the business through a variety of tactics and strategies — mainly online but offline too. There are endless ways to promote a brand or product, and there’s no single right way. A marketer’s most effective growth marketing strategy depends on their target audience, potential customer base, competitive landscape, market position, and more.

No matter which tactic you decide to incorporate into your growth marketing repertoire, whether it be social media campaigns, email marketing, event hosting, influencer marketing, video campaigns, or all of the above, there are a number of best practices that every growth marketer should follow. These form the foundation of a growth marketing strategy capable of successfully scaling a business.

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Diversify your channels

A successful growth marketing strategy won’t rely on only one channel or platform. Focusing too much on any channel will limit your exposure and won’t provide enough variety to reach your wider audience. Too much investment in a single channel can also limit your visibility into your customer’s full journey, especially if the channel acts like a “walled garden” that wants to own your customer data directly.

Today’s consumers spend time on lots of different websites and platforms. By including diverse advertising and marketing channels in your mix, you can get a foothold in new markets, attract different audiences, and gather more data about your customers and your online activities.

Explore and experiment with a variety of channels to see which ones work best for you, such as social media networks, native ad networks, display networks, mobile ad networks, and more.

You can also get your different channels to work together by using link retargeting to reach a wider audience. This works by adding a pixel to any link you share. Anyone who clicks on that link will be added to your retargeting audiences — meaning you’re able to use one channel to push another one. You can use Rebrandly URL Shortener for this growth marketing hack to increase your retargeting audience.

Pay attention to the whole funnel

One of the key differences between traditional marketing and growth marketing is the emphasis growth marketing places on the entire customer journey. According to HubSpot, it can take up to eight touchpoints with a potential consumer to create a sales lead.

Growth marketing is interested in making the most of every point of contact, no matter how minor it may seem. Whether a social media post, a push notification, a landing page, or a marketing email — every marketing tactic along the entire funnel is important to the end goal of conversion.

When you focus on all the touchpoints along your marketing funnel, you can optimize each according to the target audience.

Repurpose your content

A solid growth marketing strategy will involve diverse channels and complex marketing funnels. This means you’ll need a lot of content to support your activities.

Creating content is time-consuming and labor-intensive. But if you recycle existing content into new formats or for new audiences, you can maximize its value.

For example, take an existing blog post and repurpose it as an infographic or short video. This makes it more effective for audiences who prefer visual content. Or take an older article and refresh it with updated statistics or a different angle. Then you can republish it for new audiences who haven’t yet seen it.

Get your customers actively involved

A critical aspect of growth marketing is having a deep understanding of your audience. When you can connect to their pain points and interests, you can deliver the kind of content and messaging that will appeal to them. This is what leads to conversions and sales.

How can you get to know your audience? By giving them plenty of opportunities to interact with your brand, such as providing feedback, participating in a forum, or becoming part of your brand community. You can do this by engaging customers on social media with polls and surveys; responding to customer comments, chat, and email inquiries; creating groups and forums on social media networks; and more.

Measure and track everything

There is no such thing as growth marketing without data. Every online marketing asset, activity, campaign, and interaction with customers should be tracked, measured, and analyzed. This is the only way to understand the ROI of your digital marketing.

To properly measure your online marketing efforts, you first need to set SMART goals — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. Once you’ve set concrete, measurable KPIs, you can track your campaign activity to see if and when you meet them.

Data tracking also provides you with real-time, scientific information about the areas you may need to improve or optimize. There’s a wide range of online tracking tools you can use to keep a close eye on your success, such as website analytics, social media measurement, mention trackers, SEO tracking, and more.

A/B test your way to success

Tracking and measuring online data is the foundation of your growth marketing strategy. But the stepping stones to true growth come from testing.

Testing is a core component of growth marketing. With advanced online testing tools, you can test your marketing campaigns in real time, so you can adjust and optimize them quickly. This agility is critical to maximizing your growth marketing strategy at every moment.

A common testing practice is A/B testing, or split testing. A/B testing involves running two versions of a campaign, with only one element different in each. This creates a clear, clean testing environment.

For example, you could promote a native ad campaign with two different images or headlines. Then, you’d track the campaign and see which version performed better. The high-performing ad could then be A/B tested against another version, and on and on. Each round of testing brings you closer to the ideal optimized version that will bring the best results and ROI.

When you approach your growth marketing strategy, whether you’re just starting out or fine-tuning an existing strategy, it may seem overwhelming. Growth marketing is a complex industry, with new tools, technologies, and tactics popping up all the time. While it’s important to stay up to date with the latest tips and trends, it’s even more important to stay aligned with the industry’s tried-and-true best practices.

Embrace these growth marketing principles, and the sky’s the limit.

Julie Zhou has over a decade of experience in product management, growth, and marketing for some of the most well-known products in the world. She is currently a senior director of Growth at AdRoll (a division of NextRoll), a growth marketing platform for ambitious direct-to-consumer brands. Prior to that, she led growth marketing at Hipmunk (acquired by Concur), and was a product marketer for Google AdWords, Maps, and Android.

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