Let’s face it – the whole point of business is to GROW.
Maybe that seems overly simplistic to you, but when you take a good look at the goals you have put down on paper for your own business venture, I’m willing to bet that the common thread they all share is growth of some kind. Whether your current objectives are focused on market share, revenue, or customer retention – it all comes back to growth.
Well, I have got some good news for you: There are only 3 ways to grow your business.
Additionally, they all begin with the letter “A”?
“Why the letter ‘A’?” you ask… adept article authors always arbitrarily and artistically abuse alliteration.
Anyway… on to the first “A”.
Increasing the number of people that buy from you
This is typically the first obstacle that any business has to overcome. Simply – “How do I get more customers?” There is a seemingly endless collection of strategies and tactics to solve this problem, and new ones are being conjured up daily. As we are firmly situated in the realm of digital marketing, let’s take a look at some of the most common ways a business might look to ACQUIRE new customers online.
There’s a reason that the phrase “Content is King” exists. For those who aren’t aware, the term was actually coined by none other than Bill Gates, a man who knows a thing or two about growing businesses. Content comes in many forms on the internet. There are blogs, sales letters, landing pages, infographics, viral videos, social media – the list goes on and on.
For some, it can be a dizzying and deadly waste of a business’s resources. Those who develop and execute a strong content marketing strategy can reap the many advantages that compelling content can provide to a business.
Great content is shareable and viral; this helps new users become aware of your brand. The more shareable your content is, the more organic reach (AKA reach that you don’t have to pay for) that your content gains. It also stands to reason that if someone finds enough value in your content to share it with their network, they find enough value in it to start considering your brand to be a voice they can trust. This is an incredibly important part of building your Offer Bridge.
In stark contrast to content marketing and SEO, most paid traffic strategies start to gain speed relatively quickly and are typically more predictable and scalable. This is great for businesses that are just starting and want to build more momentum or established businesses that want to put their current growth into high gear.
There are 2 things that you want to watch very closely during a paid traffic campaign: Attribution and ROAS. A great marketing partner should be able to very clearly report to you which ads in which campaigns are turning into sales and conversions, and they should also be able to optimize your campaigns so that you are receiving the highest ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) possible.
Ah yes… the dreaded black box of SEO – shrouded in an enigma and clouded in mystery.
Truthfully, SEO is quite simple when you get down to it. Simply put – SEO is any number of tactics that help Google and other search engines more easily find your content, be that a blog, shop page, or service listing.
Organic Search is an incredibly valuable source of new customers for your brand, and therefore it is vital that some portion of SEO be a part of any holistic marketing strategy. There are a number of ways to build your SEO including backlinking, SEO-optimized content writing, technical SEO, and others.
Increasing the frequency at which your customers buy
Repurchasing workflows can be a great way to remind your customers about the products or services you provide and keep your brand top of mind. In fact, a repurchase workflow is one of the Top 3 Email Automations You Must Have to build a successful email marketing strategy. In a nutshell, after a customer purchases from you, they get put into a repurchase workflow to remind them – at an optimal time – to buy from your brand again. This can be very powerful! Because these customers already know and trust your brand, they are the most likely cohort of people in the world to purchase your product.
What’s better than reminding your customers to repurchase your product?
…Not needing to remind them!
Subscription pricing is a very effective way to ensure that you increase the frequency at which your customer buys from you. Many brands such as Adobe, AVID, and Microsoft are switching from previously one-time purchase products to subscription pricing for this very reason. How can your primary product be offered on a subscription basis?
Increasing the value of what your customers buy
Please note, I’m not simply saying “raise your prices”, although Marc Andressen thinks you probably should.
True customer ASCENSION is building a path to allow your customer to continue getting more and more value from your business (and giving more value in return).
Let’s look at some real-world examples:
Shopify, one of the most popular eCommerce platforms, offers new stores an incredibly low entry point of $29 per month to build a fully-featured online store. As you add more staff to your store, the price increases to $79 and beyond. In addition, apps from the marketplace and premium themes create even more value for you, and of course, more revenue for Shopify. This ascension strategy is one that is very common in the SaaS industry.
Ramit Sethi, a well-known business and financial author, has an even lower point of entry than Shopify. Obviously you can start reading his blog for free or his book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, for likely under $10. For Ramit’s brand, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what value he can offer his audience. Further down the rabbit hole, Ramit offer’s everything from mini-course on personal finance for a few hundred dollars to full masterclasses on scaling your business for multiple thousands of dollars.
Finally, Dollar Shave Club, a company that auto-delivers razors to your house, starts at around $4 per month. If you enjoy that service they will likely encourage you to upgrade to their “Executive” 4-blade razor for $10 per month. After that, they will send you a sample of some of their many shave or personal care products, which can be easily added to the subscription you already have for around $10 per product. It’s easy to see how you could very quickly ascend from $4 per month (a $48 annual customer value) to $30+ per month (a $360 annual value) and beyond. That’s a 650% increase in customer value – not bad.
The time to make a plan is NOW
Whether you are a beginning business owner or a seasoned entrepreneur, the fact of the matter is that the KEY to your business growth is one of these 3 strategies. For many small businesses, customer acquisition is the strong foundation on which the other growth can be built. Established businesses may find that customer acceleration or ascension is the missing ingredient in their growth strategy. Whatever your unique situation is, it is paramount to take time to examine your entire business model and consider where you might be missing out on opportunities for growth.
Here at 12South Marketing, we love helping business owners find effective and innovative ways to grow their businesses – seriously we are MAJOR geeks about it. What’s going on in your business currently? How do you think you could implement one of the above strategies to jumpstart your growth?
Let us know in the comments below!