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The Complete Guide to Growth Marketing Channels For Startups

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Intro: What Is Growth Marketing?

Growth marketing is a comprehensive approach to digital marketing that engages all stages of the funnel and looks at the entire customer lifecycle. A marketing funnel is usually split into 5 stages which are awareness, interest, consideration, conversion, and loyalty. The common approach to digital marketing has always been focused on the first two stages, awareness and interest. That is to get as many customers or clients as possible through acquisition strategies, but this approach has one big flaw, it ignores the rest of the sales funnel by not focusing on the other multiple touch points a user needs to become a valuable customer. This is where growth marketing comes in and makes a difference. It focuses on all the stages so you can acquire a customer, nurture it to convert and have them become a brand advocate too.

The term growth marketing was coined by Sean Ellis, the founder and CEO of GrowthHackers, in 2010.

Why Is Growth Marketing So Important?

Growth marketing is important because it starts off with a personalized approach that aims to do more than just acquire customers, it works to cut down acquisition costs, lift revenue and increase the effectiveness of overall marketing. This is achieved by:

  • A/B Testing 

A scientific method of experimenting with two versions of content to see which one performs better. It can be deployed across social and search ads; copy, content and design.

  • Cross-Channel Marketing

A strategic approach to marketing to reach potential customers through multiple different channels whether it be using email marketing, paid media, search engine optimization, content marketing, affiliate or influencer marketing.

What Channels Are Best For Startups?

A marketing channel refers to the medium which you acquire new customers with. Below are some of the most common channels startups use.

Search Engine Marketing – SEM

Search engine marketing (SEM) involves marketing using paid search advertisements that appear on search engines. This is done by building advertising campaigns on either Google or Bing Ads, two of the most popular search engines for paid search advertising. The pros of using search engine marketing is that it’s intent based, meaning that a user has to search for a term on a search engine for an ad to appear. This makes it highly effective and precise when reaching your target audience.

Search Engine Optimization – SEO

Search engines use algorithms to generate their results and rank them based on relevance, keyword usage, and other factors. These algorithms are designed to provide the most helpful content for users so that they can make informed decisions as quickly as possible. Search engine optimization involves optimizing your website and landing pages to rank better in search engine results. Although it is considered a crucial part of any marketing strategy, it generally takes more time to yield results. For more information on search engine optimization, visit Search Engine Land.

Social Media Advertising – Paid Social

Social media advertising involves using paid ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter and Youtube. Paid social shows your ads between organic posts based on targeting parameters you choose when building your campaigns.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves paying a commission to people willing to promote your product or service. It can be a very effective way to generate additional revenue when used alongside other marketing channels. Top tools for affiliate marketing.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that involves having a high authority figure promote your brand to their followers in exchange for financial compensation. They usually have a large following on one or multiple social media platforms. The good thing about influencer marketing is that it looks organic and if the influencer you choose has a large following in the niche your advertising to, then it can be very lucrative and yield a very high return on investment.

Content Marketing

There is a saying among marketers that says “content is king”. And there are many reasons why it might be! Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing content such as articles, videos and any other relevant social media content to promote your brand and attract visitors to your products or services. The best content strategy is to actually produce content that adds value instead of it being completely promotional.

How To Choose The Right Growth Marketing Channel?

It depends on what you have already implemented and what are your next objectives. While I’m a big believer in always running an omni-channel marketing strategy, it always serves well to have your search engine optimization and content marketing strategy set out first before moving on to paid search and social. The reason being is when all of your organic marketing channels are set up and performing well, paid media will actually add to that success and fuel your overall growth.

A key takeaway is to always keep testing and experimenting with different channels and strategies along the way!

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