To many business owners, growing their startup is all about using regular marketing strategies and focusing on short-term goals. However, to properly grow your startup, you need to invest in both short-term and long-term goals.
This means finding out your strengths and using growth strategies best suited for your specific business. It’s not about what your competitors are doing. It’s about how you can make the best out of your branding, audience, and data.
In this post, we’ll look at ten tips you can implement in your startup for long-term business growth. Keep reading to find out more.
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10 Tips and Tricks
1. Be Ultra-specific with Your Target Audience
Your marketing efforts and results will determine your company’s growth. So you can only truly grow when you understand and form a connection with your target audience.
Taking out time to understand your target audience helps you identify their challenges, how they look for your products, what they hope to experience with your product, what their sales cycle looks like, and so much more. With this information, you can form a connection with them and effectively sell your products.
For example, Stitch Fix is a clothing brand that gets to know its audience through personalized quizzes immediately after they land on the website. Through this quiz, they know the user’s style, budget, preference, and even favorite brands. They then use this information in their marketing messages, recommendations, and other materials.
Asides from aiding your marketing efforts, understanding your target audience helps you save costs.
As a startup, you probably have limited resources to work with. And so when you know where to focus, you can use your marketing budget wisely and get maximum returns.
Conduct audience research through quizzes, sessions, interviews, or surveys.
Segment your audience based on certain interests and characteristics.
2. Optimizing Your Website for Better Experiences
At some point, you’d want to consider building the web experience and work on the mobile a lot more later. But the thing is 70% of your web traffic comes from mobile devices. So it’s pretty important for your brand. At a networking event or when you’re having a coffee chat with a prospective client, you need to be able to view your site on a mobile device and be impressed.
You don’t want to wait for awkward minutes while your website endlessly loads. Most people would just bounce away from the competition. It also borders on how well people can navigate around it, fill out contact forms, seamlessly order a product and so much more.
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In our example below, you’d see this long drop-down that doesn’t come with an option to search or filter. Not only is it time-consuming for the user, but it’s exhausting to fill out similar fields. This is an example of a poor website experience.
Introduce shorter forms that only collect the most essential information.
Opt for responsive themes when you’re choosing a website builder.
3. Offer Regular and Consistent Support
Your customers are the bedrock of your business. This is why they have to ensure that they receive the best service and support without straining your resources of course. You need to be accessible as a business because there will be inquiries and unsatisfied customers.
We recommend setting up a knowledge base as the first line of action. With an FAQ section or help center, customers can find the answers to questions they already have.
It could also be a resource that shows them how to use a certain feature that might have a learning curve. This makes their experience seamless and it puts less pressure on your team. See an FAQ example from superside design agency below:
Another investment you could make is in chatbots. This is because as a startup, you probably don’t have enough support representatives on your team. So to ensure that every customer’s case is prioritized, you can set up a chatbot to cut the work in half.
Collate the most frequent questions your team receives about your startup and create a resource that answers it.
Set up trackable goals your team can use to measure success, e.g., NPS, CSAT.
4. Ramp Up Local Search Traffic First
Truth is, most marketing channels are going to cost you money. So you need a source of traffic that doesn’t need consistent funding. And that’s SEO. By boosting your search engine rankings, you can keep getting high-intent users or clients for a long time.
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For starters, you want to set up your Local SEO (especially if your target market is a local one). The competition is usually less and sets you off good in your SEO journey.
Start by adding your office or store to Google Maps and creating a Google My Business account. With this, you’d increase your visibility across your local area.
In this example below, you can see the businesses that pop up with just the search query ‘bookstores in London’. Each one of these stores was gotten from their Google My Business listing and attached to them are ratings, contact information, and directions.
You can also invest in curating useful content that will attract people to your target market. We understand that it could be a lot of time investment, but SEO produces lasting results.
Search for keywords and embed them across your website copy.
Regularly perform an SEO audit across your site to stay up to date with your rankings.
5. Don’t Go Full-bore On All Social Platforms – Be Strategic
Marketing on social media is a great way to drive awareness about your brand, engage your audience, and increase the loyalty your customers have towards your brand. Thanks to Facebook and Instagram Shop, you can now sell directly on these platforms. Your audience is on social media.
However, these social platforms work well for certain types of startups and don’t for some others. So, it is important you figure out what channel your target audience are using and what they are using it for.
A great way to start is to conduct a customer analysis. For example, professionals are likely to be on Linkedin. So it’s an excellent choice for B2B startups. If you are in the fashion or beauty industry, however, you’d be keener on establishing your presence on IG.
For example, Blendtech came into the market as the ‘World’s most advanced blender’, and to ensure they stay true to this name, they started a video campaign called ‘Will it blend?’. Since people would want to see this action, they hosted the series on Youtube where they got millions of views and an increase in sales.
Another example is how Roshambo baby targeted women from 25-40 on Facebook. As a startup focused on selling durable sunglasses for babies, they couldn’t afford to run Facebook ads for awareness. And so with a single fun video on the social media platform, they achieved their goal, got millions of views, shares, and 40k+ followers across their socials.
Once you find actionable insights from your analysis, set up your business profile and create engaging posts. You can even choose to launch social media ads across your channels for increased visibility.
Experiment with different content types to find which one they engage with the most.
Consistency matters more – find a posting time and stick to it.
6. Nurture Leads with Marketing Automation
Truth is, as a startup, you’d want to maximize all the human resources you have in your company. And so, using them to carry out redundant tasks can seem like mismanagement. With marketing automation, your team has enough time to focus on closing sales and generating revenue. This is because it does repetitive work for you.
A great way to launch your marketing automation is through automated emails. For example, you can segment your audience into two – new and existing users. It could also be customers who’ve purchased vs those who haven’t. Once you finalize your audience segments, you can then draft out personalized emails and launch them with your preferred tool.
The popular types of automated email workflow include – welcome emails, transactional, re-engagement, product inventory, event announcements and survey emails.
Run A/B tests to determine the most effective message for your audience.
Constantly reevaluate or update your automated messages as they can be easy to forget.
7. Personalize Experience Across All Customer TouchPoints
When you create a personalized experience across all customer journeys, you increase the loyalty customers have towards your brand while attracting new clients.
Personalization in this context doesn’t mean simply slapping on their first name in an email, but communicating with them based on their interests.
For example, as an eCommerce startup, you’d want to recommend products to your customers based on their purchasing or browsing history. It could also mean taking prospective clients out for a drink and talking to them about their challenges.
Personalization extends to the ads you create. Thanks to custom audiences and Google Customer Match, you can deliver personalized ads based on their previous interaction, location, or interests. For example, see Croc’s location-based personalized ad.
Your personalization should start with user data – collect customer information with the consent.
Make several copy variations or ad sets to cater to interests at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
8. Invest In Brand Building
People’s perception of your brand is important to your business growth. If they have a negative impression, there’s not a very high chance that they’ll patronize you.
This is why businesses collect reviews and testimonials to make that first good impression. Because when you have excellent reviews, you’re deemed trustworthy and people can be more receptive to your marketing efforts.
For example, see how Patagonia uses its customer testimonials to its advantage. Being an adventure gear store, people need to see how durable and safe their products are. What better way to do this than hear directly from the source?
Asides from good reviews, your business name is the first encounter a lead is going to have with your brand. With an excellent business name, your brand will be easy to remember and recommend. It’ll also help with your SEO and product development over time.
For example, a hard-to-spell business name can cause your prospective clients to revisit a competitor after searching for your brand.
Start with a good business name – you can get one from a business generator online.
Collect customer reviews and use them across your marketing material.
9. Collaborate with an Influencer
Influencer marketing is a great strategy for small businesses looking to gain visibility and credibility in their target market. This is because you’re tapping into the followers of that influencer and putting the benefits of your product right in their face.
While the popular misconception about using influencers for your brand is that you have to use someone with millions of followers. This might be good seeing as they have a wide audience, but sometimes finding a micro-influencer can be more effective. They are also a cheaper alternative for a small business as the quotation of mega influencers will be on the high side.
With nano and micro-influencers, you can also ensure your product gets to the right audience segment and get more conversions.
Check out the profiles and posts of your prospective influencers to ensure they fit your brand values and style.
Don’t focus on the followers but also on the engagement rates as well – they should be at least 0.5%.
10. Be Data-Driven In All Your Strategies
When you use the data at your disposal, you’re likely to nail another funding round, make better product decisions, and increase your revenue. And because of how voluminous data is, you can get overwhelmed by it.
Luckily, there are tools to help you visualize your data in a less intimidating way. For example, with Google Analytics, you can track your most important metrics like visits, conversions, and even your first-time revenue.
But it’s not just about collecting data, it’s about using it as well. Uber had a challenge with bridging the supply and demand gap. And so before losing this supply to their competitors, they analyzed their historical data to get insights into the number of rides getting fulfilled, where exactly in the city, and what time of day this was happening.
With this information, they were able to notify drivers to move to these areas ahead of time and take advantage of the supply at a slightly higher rate.
Start collecting data from the launch of your product to see your true company growth.
Put a team in charge of analyzing this data and reviewing it.
Your startup growth strategy should be a plan that puts long-term growth in sight. And this shouldn’t just focus on first-time acquisition but throughout the stages of the customer lifecycle. So, you should implement these tips listed above not just in your awareness campaigns, but also in engaging and retaining your customers as well. This includes building your brand for sustainable growth. Start by getting the right business name for your brand.