How to Create a Growth Marketing Framework That Gets Results
Many small businesses struggle to get their marketing efforts off the ground because they simply don’t know where to start. With so many options out there (search engine optimization(SEO), website redesign, Google Ads, email marketing, conversion rate optimization, LinkedIn ads, etc), it can feel confusing to know which tactic fits your company’s needs and how to create your growth marketing framework.
This article will start at the beginning and focus on the basics of a growth marketing framework. Future articles will dig deeper into the structure and tactics.
One of the ways you can avoid this is by always first identifying your short vs. long-term goals before coming up with any growth strategy framework.
1. Know your growth goals
Before you can create a growth marketing plan, you need to identify your business goals. What are you looking to achieve in the short and long-run?
Are you looking for more website visitors, more leads, or more customers? Do you want to increase brand awareness or drive more form submissions to your contact form? Once you know what it is you’re trying to achieve, you can start thinking about the specific tactics that will help get you there.
Here are some example growth goals:
1. Increase website visitors by 25% in the next three months.
2. Generate 100 leads in the next two weeks.
3. Increase customer base by 20% in the next six months.
2. Identify your target market
One of the most important steps in any marketing plan is identifying your target market. This means understanding your ideal customer, including their demographics (location, age, gender, income, etc.), psychographics (lifestyle, interests, values), and behaviors (where they spend their time online and offline, what media they consume, what problems they’re trying to solve).
Once you know who your target market is, you can start thinking about how to reach them. What marketing channels do they use most? What type of content do they prefer? What tone of voice will resonate with them? Knowing your target market inside and out will help you create a more effective marketing strategy.
For our growth marketing clients, we use tools such as AHREFs, SEMrush to help identify search terms that have the following:
- Search intent (people who are searching for something you are offering)
- Search volume (enough people looking on a monthly basis)
- Keyword difficulty (the level of difficulty in being able to rank for the search term)
We collect these search terms in order to use them as part of your content strategy and technical SEO efforts.
3. Research your competition
It’s always good to have an idea of what your competitors are doing and how they’re marketing themselves. If you’re doing the same thing as your competitors then it makes it that much harder to stand out. One way to do this is by studying what has worked well for them in the past, taking good ideas from their strategy and mixing things up a bit.
Researching the competition is a great way to get guidance about which actions you should take, or avoid. You can research them by looking at their website, blog posts, social media profiles and ads they promote on Facebook and Google Adwords for example. If you want to know exactly who your competitor is targeting with their marketing efforts then it helps to look through old emails sent by the company as well as any other marketing material such as brochures or infographics that might be available online or in person. If you think there’s a chance someone else could also be working on the same campaign but targeting different people
1. Identify your competition
So who exactly is your competition? Sometimes this can be tricky since you may have competition based on location but also by online “footprint”. These are the competitors who outrank you in Google search engine result pages (SERPS).
By using tools like SEMrush and AHREFs you can quickly see who outranks you for the keywords you’ve identified as quality search terms. Also, you can do a general search in Google to see who shows up on the Google Map view (Google My Business) or simply by using some directories such as Yelp or Yellow Pages(yeah, it’s still around).
2. Research their website, blog posts, social media profiles, and ads
Once you’ve identified who your competitors are, you can see where they outshine you and learn (aka steal) ideas from them. Notice what seems to be working for them the best.
Example: If we were the company SEMrush.com (an SEO software tool providing SEO insights to help you rank higher, convert more traffic, and drive measurable results) and we were doing marketing research on our competition (Moz.com). We might use a tool like… SEMrush to see what other websites are similar to ours, what keywords those sites rank for, where there might be opportunities on social media or pay-per-click ads to gain more visibility.
Organic Keyword Research
We could look at what keywords drive the most traffic to Moz.com by filtering out the branded terms (like “Moz”) and focusing on the more general search terms that would overlap with our business.
We also might want to isolate their keywords that rank in the top 10 of search results. After all, the second page of search results gets little to no click-through. As the saying goes, “the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google”.
Now that you have this filtered, you can see the search terms that drive the majority of traffic that you could be getting! (if you were SEMrush).
By knowing this information you can determine if it would be a good strategy to build your own inbound content to try to rank for some quality search terms.
PPC Ads are another place to research what your competitors are doing to see what you can learn from. Using SEMrush you can see if your competitors are using any search terms to run ads on.
This insight not only shows you how long a competitor has been running ads but also what keywords the ads are run against, the ad copy itself, the amount of money they have likely spent as well as traffic gained for those search terms.
This can help you fast-track your Google Ads campaigns in order to not waste precious marketing dollars and experiment with ad concepts in a much more accurate way.
The next thing to look at is Social media and how your competitors might be using Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, etc for marketing purposes.
Most marketers don’t know this but Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin publish all of the running ads and have a library of these ads that you can use to spy on your competition marketing efforts.
Here are the goods:
Facebook Ad Library (which includes Instagram) – https://www.facebook.com/ads/library/
First, choose your category and then search for a company name.
This brings up all the ads that are currently running for that company.
Next up is Linkedin.
This one is a little different. It’s not so much as a library as it is just ads right along side posts for a particular company.
How does it work? First go to the company page on Linkedin that you want to research. Then from the company page click on “Posts” which is one of the tabs at the top and finally “Ads”.
This gives you the ads that are currently running for that company. Again, marketing Gold. You can determine a lot based on these ads.
3. Look for old emails and other marketing material
Old emails and other marketing materials can give you a lot of insight into what your competition is doing. By looking at the content they’re producing, you can get a sense for what topics they’re focusing on and how they’re trying to position themselves. You can also get some ideas for content of your own by taking a look at what’s worked well for them in the past.
In addition to all of the basics, you can do a little bit deeper research on your competition.
Social Blade is a great tool for doing this. It provides analytics about YouTube channels and Twitch streams that show things like how many subscribers each channel has, views per video or stream, and even where they’re getting their funding from.
4. Create a marketing experimentation strategy
Marketing experimentation is when you test different marketing methods to see which one works best for your business.
If you want to know what’ll grow your business, you need an accurate marketing map with data-driven experiments — backed by actionable learning — so you can uncover which levers truly matter in your industry (and find them much faster).
It’s important that each marketing experiment is measurable, achievable and specific.
Experimenting is the only way to know for sure if new marketing avenues are working. That’s why it’s crucial to have a marketing experimentation strategy in place before investing heavily in new channels or techniques.
The first step is to make sure you’re defining your goals, setting metrics and coming up with KPIs (key performance indicators) that will enable you to measure success, then create experiments that will achieve these specific goals while also providing some degree of learning talking into what may work best for your company’s future marketing endeavors.
Some common marketing KPIs include:
– website visits
– leads generated
– conversion rates
– customer lifetime value
– social media followers/engagement
Now that you have your KPIs you are monitoring, it’s time to brainstorm marketing experiments. As part of our growth marketing agency, we offer a bank of 1000+ marketing tactics that we employ for our clients. Having a bank of ideas or experiments across many marketing channels will allow you to rapidly test a variety of ideas.
Expert growth tip: Make sure to log all marketing activities you work on. It’s easy to get into “doing” mode on something that seems like a good idea or a “quick fix” (changing the CTA on a button, moving featured services to the top of a page, changing the font size on your blog posts, etc) but if you don’t log these activities, you have no way of knowing what is working and what is not.
5. Set up tracking and measurement tools
One of the most important aspects of any growth marketing framework is tracking and measuring results. Without accurate data, it’s impossible to know what’s working and what’s not.
There are a number of different tools and platforms you can use to track your marketing efforts, including:
This is a free tool that provides website data including page visits, demographics, and traffic sources.
How to set it up?
- Go to Google Analytics and create an account.
- Enter your website’s information and click “Create Account.”
- Verify your account and click “Continue.”
- Select the “Account” tab and click “Create new property.”
- Enter your website’s information and click “Create.”
- Select the “Property” tab and click ” tracking code .”
- Copy the tracking code and paste it into the <head> section of your website’s HTML.
- Save your changes and test the tracking code.
What to track in Google Analytics?
- website visits
- leads generated
- conversion rates
- customer lifetime value
- social media followers/engagement:
This is a paid tool that provides analytics for mobile and web apps, including user engagement, conversion rates, and revenue.
How to set it up?
- To set up Mixpanel, you first need to create an account.
- Once you have created an account, you will need to add your website’s information.
- Next, you will need to add your app’s information.
- You will also need to add your billing information.
- Once you have added your information, you will need to copy the tracking code and paste it into the <head> section of your website’s HTML.
- Save your changes and test the tracking code.
What to track in Mixpanel?
- user engagement (e.g. number of active users, session duration, page views)
- conversion rates (e.g. percentage of users who completed a purchase, signed up for a subscription, etc.)
- revenue (total amount generated by all users)
- growth ( how much the metric has changed over time)
Hotjar is a user experience (UX) and conversion optimization platform that helps you understand how your users are interacting with your website or web app. It enables you to see heatmaps of your user’s clicks, taps and scrolling, as well as record user sessions and analyze them. This helps you to identify areas of your website or app that need improvement and make changes that will result in more conversions and happier users.
How to set it up?
- Create an account on Hotjar
- Add your website’s information
- Add your app’s information
- Copy the tracking code and paste it into the <head> section of your website’s HTML
- Save your changes and verify the tracking code (see a theme here?)
Hotjar can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Heatmaps: See where your users are clicking, tapping and scrolling on your website or app.
- Record user sessions: Watch how users interact with your website or app and analyze their behavior.
- User feedback polls: Get feedback from your users on their experience with your website or app.
- Conversion funnels: Track how users progress through your website or app, and identify areas that need improvement.
Crazy Egg is a web analytics tool that helps you track where your visitors are clicking on your website. It also provides information on their behavior, such as how long they stay on your website and where they drop off. This information can help you improve your website’s design and make it more user-friendly.
To set up Crazy Egg, you’ll need to create a CNAME record for your domain. This can be done through your domain provider’s control panel.
You can use Crazy Egg to track the following:
- Which pages are your visitors clicking on?
- – How long are they staying on your website?
- – What pages are they dropping off on?
- – Which pages are the most popular with your visitors?
Clicktale is a web analytics and heat mapping tool that helps you understand how users interact with your website. It provides insights into what users are doing on your website, where they are clicking, and how they are navigating through your pages. This information can help you optimize your website for better user engagement and increased conversions.
To set up Clicktale, you first need to create a Clicktale account. Once you have created an account, you will be provided with a unique Clicktale code that you can insert into your website’s HTML. You can also use the Clicktale plugin for WordPress.
Google Optimize is a free A/B testing and experimentation tool from Google that helps you improve your website’s user experience. It enables you to test different versions of your website or app to see which one performs better. You can also use it to track conversions and revenue on your website.
To set up Google Optimize, you first need to create a Google account. Once you have created an account, you will be provided with a unique Google Optimize code that you can insert into your website’s HTML.
Then, open Google Optimize and create a new experiment. Select the website or app that you want to test, and choose the type of test that you want to run.
You can then create different variations of your website or app and test them against each other to see which one performs better. You can also track conversions and revenue on your website to see how well your experiments are performing.
Some of the types of tests that you can run with Google Optimize include:
- A/B tests: Test different versions of your website or app to see which one performs better.
- Multivariate tests: Test multiple different versions of your website or app at the same time.
- Split tests: Test different sections of your website or app against each other.
- User experience tests: Test how users interact with your website or app.
- Goal funnel tests: Test how users progress through your website or app, and identify areas that need improvement.
6. Execute and refine your framework over time
As growth marketing experts, we help our clients execute with an initial growth plan and then come back for additional “touch-ups” as needed. When it comes to your own growth efforts, you need to be proactive about pulling the trigger on actions that will drive traffic and lead generation — without overspending on quick fixes or ideas that don’t work. It’s important to avoid major overhauls also unless absolutely necessary.
It’s our recommendation to review your goals/KPIs every 2 weeks in order to make sure your efforts are moving the needle.
A successful growth marketing plan requires a lot of experimentation. You need to be proactive about trying new things, and you need to be willing to fail. If something doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to try something new. The key is to constantly be learning and evolving your strategy so that you can get better results over time. Make sure you are regularly reviewing your goals and KPIs so that you can track your progress and make necessary adjustments along the way.
Thanks for reading!
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