In startups, you are either growing or dying. Sounds dramatic but it’s true! You are probably wondering how do you achieve exponential growth for you startup? That elusive 10% weekly growth they call it. We got some great tips to share with you as last night, we had a blast hosting our first Startup Growth Hackathon with our community on Lobby. Our guest speaker was Kristian Borghesan. We discussed and brainstorm ideas for growth for startups and our members. This was the first time we were bringing our members together in this format and had a blast on Lobby. If you haven’t heard about it, Lobby is a video platform that you can host your online event, social gatherings or even teach on it. Here are the summary notes from our event:
“Every startup should be a media company”.
Growing a startup is the biggest challenge you will face. Oftentimes, it’s not so much about the product but about distribution. How do you get your product in front of thousands of users? Product and distribution should go hand in hand but many startups spend more time on product as supposed to distribution. Getting both product and distribution will be true success. This guide focuses on distribution to get the word out by your startup. Inbound marketing is when users discover your product organically. This falls into different channel such as content marketing, blogging, e-books, social, SEO, and other ways.
Content Marketing: Creating great content itself is not sufficient to drive traffic to your site. It’s the first step in the whole content series cycle. Use the following framework to guide your content marketing:
Create – create a blog post, e-book, or any form of text, video, or audio
Optimize – is the content optimized for SEO? What keywords are you targeting? Content that is not optimized is wasted down the drain.
Amplify – where can you get your content out? Facebook groups? Reddit? Linkedin groups? Use the social channel to distribute your content. If you have the best content but it hasn’t been amplified your efforts are doing down the drain.
Snip – Create one content and then create short versions for different channels. We call this snippets of content! e.g. long blog post can be into snippets on Twitter or other channels.
Audit – Always audit your old content and making sure internal and external links are working.
Recycle – This is the step most marketers miss. Can you recycle your old content? Have a re-post back to your newsletter or channels?
General approach to startup marketing:
One of the best to think about your startup marketing is to experiment! Ideally three growth experiments per week! This sounds brutal but the more experiments the better as to find out what channels are working. Sean Ellis talks about this on 500 startups. Check out this talk here.
Search Engine Optimization:
Google crawl and indexing is mobile first but this used to be web crawl first. Always consider this when planning your content and test out your site on mobile. Knowing your audience is the first key to start your marketing. Asks yourself questions such as where do your audience hang out? Which platforms? What are their goals and aspirations? The best way to start is to figure out the search volume for the keywords in your industry. If the search volume for a particular keyword is less than 500 searches per month maybe it’s not that worth it. Tools such as Keywordeverywhere can greatly help you for planning your keywords. Other tools such as SEO META in 1 CLICK can help you analyze your meta description and headers.
Outbound marketing channels include paid or sponsor social media posts, Facebook ads, Google Ads, Instagram Ads, and also influencer marketing. Hyper-experiment with each channel depending on where you audience might be and see how it goes! Outbound marketing can get expensive so if there is no ROI there, change it up as cash burns fast.
If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love our community. Join our next event here to connect with founders and members to grow your startup.
About the Author
Eric Rafat is a passionate founder with wealth of expertise in startups, building high-performing teams, and growth marketing. He is a top ranked tennis player and always up for a conversation about startups and tech. Connect with Eric here.