It was just another day when we were scrolling through different platforms to find interesting topics for the week. And we came across a LinkedIn post from Lubhanshi Garg, a digital marketer at Stella Brands (1), about Quant-based marketing (2).
Immediately we reached out to her to see if she would like to collaborate with us or tell us the source behind her inspiration. Here’s what she said,
“Thanks for reaching out to me. Honestly, I was not planning on doing any write-up about it, and I had come across the idea from this book named ‘The Growth Marketer’s Playbook,’ an interesting read and thought I should share.”
But we were ecstatic when she asked us if we could offer more information about it and share it with our readers. We agreed.
Long story short, here we are writing this post about how you can grow your startup from zero to 1 million+ users.
How Can You Make It Happen?
When we see the success story of any startup, there are always two things in common.
First, they offer an excellent product. Having a great product makes your marketing less about selling and more about spreading the word and educating your target audience. After all, even if you have a great product, it won’t do anything if no one knows it exists.
Second, you need a strong growth marketing strategy. And that’s what today’s article is about. Here’s how you can grow your startup from zero to one million users to start writing your success story.
Building Successful Growth Marketing Strategies
Have a Goal
Quant-based marketing can help you with your growth strategies regardless of your goals. Whether you want 10k people on your mailing list or 100k users for your new app, the key is to work backward.
It is similar to a road trip; you start with a destination and then plan your route to reach there. Without planning a solution and mapping out your strategy, you cannot meet your goal.
In other words, an aim is the most important aspect of any marketing strategy.
While there are several ways to come up and achieve great goals when it comes to quant-based marketing, you will need to work backward.
For instance, if you want to increase your sales from 100 USD a month to 10,000 USD, you will need to consider how many new customers you will need to hit your target.
“If you do not establish your definition of success before you start running your acquisition efforts, you will not know whether you are failing or succeeding,” said Nate Desmond, a growth marketer (3).
And once you have a goal in mind, you will need to select a timeframe.
Select a Timeframe
Remember that famous quote from Elon Musk?
“If you give yourself 30 days to clean your home, it will take you 30 days.”
It can be tough to reach your destination without the urgency to achieve it. If you don’t have a timeframe for your goals, it is challenging to determine whether you are lagging behind or on your track. You will be driven to begin working toward a goal if you anchor it within a timeline.
Here is a better way to explain this; “I need to increase my customers,” or “I need to gain 100 new customers in the next three months.” Which one sounded more like a goal? You can also choose to break it down into smaller goals, about 16 new customers every week.
Plan, Track and Measure Your Marketing Activity
Once you have set your goal, it is time to start building strategies to achieve it.
The best way to do it is by planning, tracking, and measuring your marketing activities. You can also create a spreadsheet or something similar to keep it easy and simple.
Here’s how you can break down your activities;
- Find the source of your users, which could be a blog, Google Ads, or Facebook ads.
- How much traffic and impressions each marketing channel is making? It will help you prioritize different channels.
- Find out the CTR click-through rate from sources to your platform.
- Find out % Conversion of your CTR.
- Keep tracking the status of your sources and marketing channels to see how many users they bring you. Keep on re-prioritizing your marketing efforts based on the result.
But, How Would You Decide on Your Sources?
Of course, there are thousands of different marketing channels and strategies you can use as a part of your marketing effort. However, the key is to narrow them down and choose a number of sources that best fit your goal.
For instance, we at TimesNext decide to gain 100k more readers in the next six months; we will need a few very specific sources to drive traffic to TimesNext.com. And since we are focused on the startup community, we will target startup blogs and tech professionals.
To put it another way, you must first determine who your target customers are before deciding which marketing channels to employ.
Here are some channels you can use:
- PR: Pitch the bloggers and press in your niche to cover your story
- Search Engine Marketing: Paid ads on Google and other popular search engines like Bing will make your name appear when certain keywords are searched.
- Social and Display Ads: If your target audience is available on a particular social media platform like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, you can reach them through ads.
- Content Marketing: You can create and publish content through blogs, videos, and podcasts to generate interest in your products and offerings.
- Target Market Blogs: You can also sponsor content on popular blogs within your target market.
- Influencer Marketing: Find and build relationships with people who have an influence over your target market.
- Direct Sales: Directly reach out to your potential customers by sending them cold emails (4).
Remember, the key is to know where your ideal customers hang out the most and prioritize your channels accordingly.
How Can You Prioritize Your Channels?
You want to invest in sources with the highest impact and easiest implementation. For instance, getting featured in magazines like Forbes or Entrepreneurs will have a huge impact; however, it can be pretty hard to implement, especially when you have only entered the market.
On the other hand, working with a couple of influencers in your niche will have a considerable impact and be pretty straightforward to implement.
When you think about your sources, you will also need to consider your budget and timeframe.
For example, if you want to acquire 100 new customers in a month, prioritizing SEO strategy won’t make sense.
When you only have a month, you can’t implement an SEO strategy successfully since it takes a long time to implement and start reaping its rewards.
However, it would make sense to take a direct approach like emailing or calling them to acquire new customers within a one-month time frame.
When you decide which sources you need to prioritize, you will need to have a budget in your mind. You can go with sources like social ads and paid sponsorship if you have some budget. On the other hand, it is best to focus more on organic channels like PR and content if you have a limited or zero budget.
Overall, the key is to prioritize your sources and focus your time and resources on only those with maximum impact opportunities.
Remember, when it comes to achieving success, you cannot leave anything up to chance and hope for everything to fall into place. You will need to set up everything and go ahead of your time.
You will always need to be measuring and iterating your goals and readjusting your strategies whenever needed. Perhaps, with enough testing and experimentation, you will be able to find what works for you the best and what does not. Not everything you hit will make a home run, and it is completely alright.
However, you will need to keep measuring your results and adjust your plans to achieve your goals. For instance, if a source performs well, focus on doubling down your resources to maximize your growth. Similarly, if you find a source underperforming, you must try multiple tests and replace it with another source if nothing seems to be working.
“Social customer acquisition is not about being on every possible platform; it is about choosing the right ones for your target audience and building a strong community,” said Shanelle Mullin, Marketing Director at Onboardly (5).
Leveraging Facebook Groups to Find Potential Users
Now that you know about setting up your marketing goals and how you can use different sources to achieve them, let’s talk about Facebook groups.
It is important to highlight how businesses have used Facebook pages for years to attract new customers and connect with their target audience.
And as more businesses joined the platform, the platform’s algorithms changed, and pages started to experience a drop in their organic search.
Back in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg had announced that Facebook wanted people to stay together and that the newsfeed would show more posts from friends, families, and groups and fewer from brands, businesses, and media (6).
Many businesses and marketers then started to get creative about staying connected to their audience on the platform, and that’s when Facebook groups entered.
Of course, Facebook groups have long been a part of the platform. However, it has improved the overall group experience over the past year or two and added new tools for businesses and individuals to build communities.
And it seems that these features and tools are working out well since today, more than a billion users a month use Facebook groups.
We believe that if you haven’t already, every entrepreneur and small business owner should learn how to use them.
There are public and private Facebook groups and secret communities where people can connect, talk, and share about a common topic.
The big difference between Facebook pages and Facebook groups is that page owners share posts, and the audience can like and comment on pages. On the other hand, both group owners and members can share posts on Facebook groups on the feed. It makes it possible to have two-way conversations.
It offers an excellent way for businesses to have real conversations with their audience to gain customer insights and market research possibilities. It also offers a way to demonstrate thought leadership and value to potential customers (7).
LinkedIn is another excellent platform to build thought leadership; read our previous article LinkedIn Marketing: Leveraging LinkedIn to Grow Your Brand, for more details.
If you don’t know BuzzSumo, it is a content marketing service that helps you track web content and trends across all major social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others.
In other words, BuzzSumo is one of the excellent platforms to find influencers, posts, and websites popular within your niche. It can help you produce content that resonates with your target audience (8).
Below are different features BuzzSumo offers that can help you with your marketing efforts:
- Running a keyword search around your related topics
- Analyze your competitors
- Find top influencers in your niche
- Measure your content marketing success
You may also use Google Trends to find out what’s popular in your industry. For more details, read our previous article, How to Find the Next Big Thing with Google Trends.
Some More Tips
For this article, we tested and succeeded in user acquisition strategies by several businesses like Mint, Buffer, BrandYourself, GrowHack, and many others. Below are some more tips we found that can help you acquire more users for your startup:
- With Facebook ads, you can reach the target audience interested in your products, making it ideal for a smart user acquisition strategy (9).
- You may boost your Twitter visibility by following people who are more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. (10).
- There are several communities full of people who can fit your target market on platforms like SlideShare, Meetup, Quora, Reddit, and others. All you need to know is how to use them to connect with your target audience (11).
- The key to attracting the attention of your potential users is to offer content that is relevant and useful on each platform, aka posting native content (12).
- Marketers need to connect with community members in authentic and helpful ways that don’t sound phony and salesy.
- Gain advantage of the referral sales system by encouraging your customers to refer your products to at least one person who can benefit from your offerings (13).
- Use the guest-blogging strategy to acquire more customers for your startup.