How 5 digital marketing growth hacks can spur startups forward

Working as a digital marketer for over 10 years, I started my journey as a blogger, and then worked as a digital marketing manager at startups like Practo, Razorpay and Exotel. In 2017, I started my own digital marketing agency – PixelTrack.

In the course of my career, I’ve picked up a lot of growth hacks that have been priceless for scaling my marketing campaigns.

digital marketing

In this article, we will explore the best growth hacks that I’ve found during my career. All the growth hacks mentioned here are budget-friendly and suited for early stage startups.

1. Create content for the Long Tail

SEO and content marketing are great ways to attract free traffic to your website to convert hits to paying customers. However, most startups feel that competition is high, and they are unable to compete for keywords that they want to be ranked for.

For example, if you are selling online courses on Machine Learning, it would be almost impossible for a new startup to rank for the keyword “Machine Learning.”

If you search Google for “Machine Learning Courses in…” you will see many suggestions. The first keyword in the search auto suggestion that I see is “Machine Learning Courses in Bangalore.” Now this is a long tail keyword. If you write an article targeting this keyword, you will have a better chance of ranking it.

The search volume for such a long tail keyword will be lesser than the short tail keyword. But you can write 10 articles like these, one targeted at each keyword.

The cumulative traffic that you will garner from all the keywords will be more than the short tail keyword. Your investment in content targeting all the keywords will have an ROI for a long time to come. Just make sure that you are creating good quality articles that provide value to the user.

2. Run conversion campaigns using the Facebook Pixel

When you are running ads on Facebook, never run an ad to drive clicks to your website or landing page. Install Facebook Pixel on your website and setup Custom Conversions. Always run Facebook campaigns with a conversion goal.

Your conversion goal could be purchase of a product or a form submission. Ensure that you have Facebook Pixel installed on all the pages of your website, and setup the custom conversion with the target being a Thank You page that follows form submission or sale completion.

When you are setting up your conversion optimised ads, select your custom conversion as the goal and let Facebook know who converts and who doesn’t. Over time, Facebook will optimise the ads, and only show it to people who are more likely to convert, than those who are more likely to just click.

Conversion campaigns give you the highest ROI on Facebook Ads as you are leveraging Facebook’s algorithm to reach the right audience who is most likely to convert.

3. Run Google dynamic search ads

Most people run search ads or display ads on Google. When you are driving traffic to specific pages on your website using Google Search Ads, your CPC will be quite high. Your quality score will not be high if your page is not a content page.

If you have a blog (and you should), you will have a lot of content pages which already rank on the organic search result pages. These pages will have a high-quality score if you run them as ads on Google ads. However, if you have hundreds of content pages, you will not be able to write ad copies for each page and URL.

Say ‘hello’ to dynamic search ads from Google. With DSA, Google will pick up titles and URLs from your organic search index, and create ads on the fly for you. You have an option to enter a custom meta description that will be common across all ads.

Google picks up pages with the highest quality score, and thus drives a lot of traffic to your page from search. If your articles do not rank on the top for most keywords, you will be able to get high quality search traffic to these pages from Google paid search ads. The CPC for these clicks will be very low as the ad rank of these ads will be high due to your content-focused pages. This will bring you high quality traffic that is scalable.

4. Create a multi-channel Follow Up Funnel

Once you generate leads, you need to follow up with them. Most of the time, it is difficult to follow up manually on all the leads that you generate. You can call the hottest leads from your sales team, but the remaining leads need to be engaged using marketing automation.

An email follow-up sequence is the best way to follow-up on automation. Create a drip marketing sequence that has a series of emails to engage your leads. Your emails should have information about your products, customer testimonials, reputation of your company, story behind the brand which tells people why you do what you do and valuable content that is useful to your audience.

While most of your competitors will just use one channel to follow up with prospects, you can use multiple channels. You can have a drip sequence with Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, SMS, Retargeting, App push notifications and even direct mail. When you use a multi-channel follow up sequence, you will be able to have a higher reach with the audience who has already opted in.

5. Create multiple Lead Magnets and Funnels

A lead magnet is something of value that is given away in return for contact details of a prospect. Each lead magnet must lead to a follow-up sequence where value and content is delivered over time.

Most of the brands have only one lead magnet which encourages the website visitors to give their contact information. However, you can have multiple lead magnets with multiple follow-up sequences.

When you have multiple lead magnets, you are going to attract multiple sets of audiences. You might miss out a huge portion of the audience if you just have one lead magnet. For example, I train people on digital marketing and I have a lead magnet targeted at students, one targeted at professionals and one targeted at business owners.

Over time, you will have a great asset of lead magnets which deliver value on automation. This will keep your marketing engine running on automation.

The final word

I hope the ideas shared above help you scale your startup. New hacks will keep coming and old growth hacks will keep dying. The best way to come up with unlimited hacks of your own is to put your user first in your marketing campaigns. Do what is useful for the user and you will be aligned with everyone’s interest in mind.