Risk is inherent in running a small business, especially in the early years. In fact,
50% of new startups fail within the first 5 years – and only round a third survive the first 10 years.
So what’s the difference between businesses that thrive and those that die?
In the natural world and in the business world alike, “grow or die” is a proverb we should all live by.
And in the business world, to achieve growth, it’s crucial to to your survival that you learn growth hacks and big business growth strategies that small businesses can use, too.
This includes marketing strategies, fortunately many of which are much more affordable or even free today.
So without further ado, here is our list of “5 Cost Effective, High ROI Growth Hacks” you should implement in your marketing game plan.
1. Referral Marketing
The number one way to obtain marketing gains that are both “big and durable” is by creating a “chain of new customers” through referral marketing.
The Internet has not changed the fact that referred customers top non-referred new customers in these important ways:
- Higher conversion rate.
- Faster conversions.
- Less expense per conversion.
- Buy more of your goods/services.
- Greater customer loyalty for longer.
About 80% of customers say they are willing to give a referral after a positive customer experience, but only 30% actually do so. To help close this gap and make your small business grow, click on the link to learn how to launch a referral program with referral marketing software and more!
2. Team Up With Other Local Businesses
Research which other local businesses target the same market segment as you, but don’t of course compete with you by selling the same products and services.
For example, a luxury retailer could team up with a luxury car dealership and a local upscale country club. Basically, you let each other advertise at each other’s locations with flyers, posters, and the like. You give each other referrals. You might exchange links on your websites, too.
This is one way of developing referrals, though it goes beyond that and enters into more direct marketing as well. It can have a big impact since you’re hitting your target market almost exclusively.
3. Don’t Neglect Social Media Marketing
Interacting with clients and potential new clients on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other popular social media sites is just smart business these days.
Creating discussion groups, followings, and home pages (plus using a few well placed ads that funnel back to your website and/or to your social media centers) gives you a chance to answer customers’ questions, give out special coupons and offers, provide them with links to your website, and ask them to email a friend or otherwise make a referral.
And you don’t have to be online all the time. Just let it be known when you’ll be there, or always get back within 24 hours to those who leave a message. Plus, encourage existing customers to interact with prospects to do much of the advertising for you!
4. Encourage Customer Loyalty
If you expect your customers to be loyal to you, you also have to be loyal to them. Unless there is a reward for becoming a consistent customer of your business, people aren’t likely to do so.
Thus, besides one-time sales, discounts, and other deals, you need something to advertise that rewards repeat and large scale purchases. So you give free shipping on all orders $50 and 50% off on shipping for orders of at least $25. That’s a repeatable discount that keeps people coming back.
Or, you give a free month’s service on the 12th month for those who make annual subscriptions and always pay their bill on time. Or, you create a membership plan with valuable rewards points. There are many ways to do it, but unless you stem the tide of customer loss, you’ll undo all your marketing gains and have to start all over again!
5. Answer Industry FAQs and Attract Long-Tail Traffic
As you may have experienced, SEO can be tough, especially if your competitors have been around for a while.
One of the best ways to drive long-tail qualified traffic to your site is simply by answering your industries most frequently asked questions.
Here’s how to execute this growth hack:
- Make a list of the most popular forums and subreddits in your industry.
- Create a list of the most common questions you see appearing on those forums and subreddits – some even have an FAQ section.’
- Write a blog post for each “question” and within your post answer the question better than anyone else in your industry. Cite studies, use infographics, and link to other research backing up your answer.
- You can also use tools like Answer The Public to quickly generate a list of questions to answer.
Simply answering peoples common questions is not only a great way to drive traffic, but it will help you establish you and your brand as an industry expert.
While at times you may feel like a little fish in a big ocean of sharks with deep pockets, there are plenty of ways to growth hack your way to the top. There’s 5 ways to get started, good luck and let us know what your favorite high ROI growth hacks are.