The Key To Growth Hacking: Never Stop Testing
I’m often asked by business owners about online marketing best practices. They want to know what will help them gain an advantage over their competition or simply drive more leads and more sales. They often want to look better than their competitors, rank higher in search engines and pay less for advertising.
The answer I give them isn’t necessarily what they want to hear, but it is fundamental to their success.
Don’t Stop Growing, Don’t Stop Experimenting
The key to digital success and growth hacking is to never give up. That seems like a simple tip — but more often than not, companies accept their status quo and fail to invest in growth. They’ve learned to falsely accept that the internet really isn’t going to impact their business or that it is too costly to do much better than they are now.
The reality of it is that it does take a lot of time and effort to really make a difference, but it pays off. There are rarely any quick wins online (though they do happen).
The Goal Is Growth
Your goal should be growth, not necessarily a specific business or marketing milestone. Milestones can be accomplished, but growth is perpetual. If you stop pursuing a better search engine position, you will drop. If you stop optimizing your campaigns, you won’t make improvements in conversion rates.
Optimization needs to be a permanent part of your growth process. If you commit to be always learning (and if you give yourself room to fail), you will grow. Most companies take years to truly begin seeing big growth, but when it happens, it really begins to take off.
Is It Cheap?
When my prospects ask me what my services cost, they are typically looking for a fixed budget and a check-off. As marketers, we know that it can be difficult to put an exact price on growth-focused marketing. If one company has a monthly budget of $300 and another has a monthly budget of $300,000, we can always find a way to wisely spend that budget. You have to look for the places where you can have the greatest impact and return on that spend, and do it in a way that it is measurable and focused on growth rather than a specific task.
When you can show regular growth in terms of numbers, assuming you’re measuring the right things, the revenue generated can be used to help increase the monthly budget to drive more improvements. Even small improvements add up over time. But again, the key is not stopping. As soon as you stop, you start losing insight into customer behaviors — which can shift over time — and gains will be lost.
A good example of this is shown below. This organization invested heavily in driving organic traffic, but they eventually stopped creating and marketing new content — and as you can see, their traffic began leveling off and started to eventually decline as a result. They do have a natural dip in the fall, but the trend continued to where almost half of the organic traffic dried up by February.
Make Growth A Part Of Your Process
This thinking should go beyond just a strategy on a piece of paper or a goal to strive for. Growth must become part of your everyday process and the way you approach anything in the digital space. Things change far too quickly if you don’t take this seriously and want to compete. If you can integrate a growth-focused mentality into your teams, they will be far more successful because they are being measured on the right thing(s).
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