If you are obsessed with success like most entrepreneurs, you likely spend the majority of each day working through challenges and creating new opportunities for yourself and your business. If you’re like me, you also spend countless hours thinking about how to make your operation more efficient, how to better reach your target customers, and ultimately, how to grow your business more effectively.
If you’re an owner or key employee in a startup, learning how to scale and grow your company is one of the single most important things you can focus on this year. Without growth you have no revenue, and without revenue you and your employees will be left without jobs before long. To prevent that from happening you have to be proactive about every aspect of growing your business.
If you are looking for unique ways to grow your audience, traffic and revenue in the coming year, check out these 17 growth hacks that will help you take your business to the next level in 2017.
#1: Take Advantage of Full-Page Interstitial ads
Have you ever hesitated to share a link with your audience, fearing that you will miss your chance to monetize that customer in the long run? If that’s a problem you encounter frequently, it’s time for you to embrace the power of interstitial ads. Interstitial ads are the most effective way for you to monetize the links you share in your content, in your social marketing and even in your ads. Instead of losing out on a potential customer when you share a link that takes them off your website, you can show the customer a full-page interstitial ad after they click on the destination url you share. The best part: you choose how your ads look and behave. You can even throw in your company’s branding for a little extra kick. This provides you with the opportunity to monetize every single link you share with your audience. Here are just a few other cool things you can do with interstitial ads:
- Collect leads via an opt-in form
- Show a full-page ad spot
- Present a short poll
- Offer a special promotion
- Add customers to a retargeting list so you can market to them later
- Share a funny image or video
#2: Use an Additional Call to Action on Thank you Pages
When a new lead submits their information in exchange for an ebook, in-depth guide or other piece of free premium content, it’s a great idea to add an additional call to action on the thank you landing page. Maybe you have an additional piece of free content you’d like a customer to sign up for, or maybe there is a paid product that you’d like to sell—If that’s the case there is no better time to test someone’s commitment. If someone gave you their email address and contact information, strike while the iron is hot and prompt your new lead to take another action. Doing this will strengthen customer loyalty and grow your revenue.
#3: Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences
Want to attract more high quality customers? What better way to find more customers than by creating a Facebook lookalike audience. With Facebook lookalike audiences you can find customers that have similar demographics, online behavior and interests to the people on your existing email list. Definitely use Facebook lookalike audiences if you want a steady stream of high quality leads for your business.
#4: Implement Exit Popups
If you want to prevent a portion of your website visitors from leaving your website too soon, try implementing exit popups on the key pages of your website. Once implemented, an exit popup will trigger a popup box to display on the page when a visitor prepares to leave your website. The popup can feature a special price on one of your premium products, an offer for a free piece of content, or another bit of information to keep users engaged with your material.
#5: Send all Email Marketing Emails from a Real Person
Customers didn’t really care who an email came from in the early days of the internet, but times have changed. When someone sees an email from [email protected] or [email protected], they instantly label it as spam material in their minds. However, if you send an email from your email or an email from one of your key team members, the response will be drastically different. Your customers want to hear from real people, not an automated messaging system without a name or a face.
#6: Opt-in Offer at the Top of Your Website
The best way to grow your business is to steadily increase the number of subscribers on your email list. The best way to increase the size of your email list is to prominently display an offer that will entice your website visitors to join your list. Your free offer can be anything: a free video course, a how-to guide packaged in a pdf document, or even a list of resources. The idea is to create something valuable for your audience and give it away for free. Once you have that offer finalized, implement website technology that allows you to constantly display that offer with an opt-in form at the top of your website. This will increase the likelihood of someone deciding to join your list.
#7: Signup for LinkedIn Groups and Join the Discussion
Did you know that there are thousands of LinkedIn groups focused on your exact industry and niche? One of the best ways to attract new subscribers and potential customers is to join a few of these LinkedIn groups and contribute to the discussion happening within those groups. The key here is to not over promote your business, but to offer helpful advice for potential customers. If you can add enough value, group members will engage with you and become a loyal follower of your brand.
#8: Automate Your Sales Funnel
When you’re growing a business you don’t have the time or resources to make everything individualized. At some point you have to invest in automation or the progress you’ve made in your business thus far will come to a firm halt. I’d suggest investing in email marketing software that allows you to create a series of emails that will go out to each new person that joins your email list. Within those emails you will have free content, as well as products and services for sale. All of this has to be automated or else you will never keep your head (or your business) above water.
#9: Create Gated Content
It’s great to give away a lot of your content for free on your blog, but if you really want to grow your business in 2017, you need to take advantage of gated content. Creating gated content is simple: you just require your readers to give you their email address or use “Pay With a Tweet” and share the content in order to access it. You shouldn’t do this with every piece of content you create, but if you’ve spent a lot of time on a particular piece, make your audience take action to access it.
#10: Routinely Participate in Blog Swaps
Blog swapping is similar to guest blogging, but with a little twist. Essentially a blog swap is when you create a piece of extremely valuable content that includes references and links to the site of a key influencer in your niche. The key here is to expose your audience to the work of someone else and then let that person know you are promoting their work. If you are talented at outreach, you can then reach out to the influencer and suggest that they create a blog post for their audience that references some of your work. Guest blogging involves creating a piece of content to be published on someone else’s site, but blog swapping is a much simpler process and it’s also more effective at generating new buzz for your business.
#11: Invest in Facebook ads
If you haven’t hopped on the Facebook ad campaign train, now is the time. Facebook is effective because it allows you to target the exact type of customer you want to reach. You can target people based on age, demographics, income, geographic region, interests, online behavior, occupation, and the list goes on and on. You may not have much luck with cold selling on Facebook, but if your goal is to build buzz around one of your key products, services or even your brand, you have to invest in Facebook ads. If you use Facebook ads the right way you will increase your subscriber count and generate more interest around your business.
#12: A/B Testing and More A/B Testing
The only way to tell how well you’re converting your website visitors into leads and customers is to conduct thorough a/b tests. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you perform split tests, and there are a million more tools that can help you analyze traffic patterns and measure user engagement on the various pages of your website. The more you test the more you’ll learn about your audience and their buying signals.
#13: Use Short Branded Links
Instead of sharing just any old link with your customers, take your business growth to the next level this year with short branded links. Short branded links have been shown to increase click-through rates by as much as 35%–in some cases even more! Short branded links increase the likelihood of your audience clicking on and engaging with your link, because it’s branded to your business. So stop using short links that look like gibberish, and upgrade to short branded links. I guarantee that you’ll see better results.
#14: Comment on Other Blogs
It’s important to create exceptional content for your business, but did you know it’s equally important to comment on other blog posts as part of your growth marketing plan for 2017? You should try to follow as many blogs as you can in your niche, but don’t just read them. If you really want to make a lasting impact and get people to know your name, you need to comment frequently on other popular blogs. Just make sure you don’t over promote your work—just contribute to the discussions that are going on and offer useful advice.
#15: Repurpose Your Content
Too many business owners think that a blog post is useless once it’s been published and promoted through various social media platforms. If you really want to get mileage out of a particular blog post, you might consider converting popular posts into presentations, infographics, videos, podcasts, etc. You can even take a specific section or two from one of your posts and create an entirely new piece of in-depth content. Repurposing your content will ensure that your message reaches a greater number of people.
#16: Retargeting on Click
Retargeting allows you to follow up with past website visitors that didn’t convert the way you wanted them to (didn’t subscribe or contact you for example). Retargeting is extremely effective at generating new leads because it targets people that have already expressed some interest in your business. Instead of using traditional retargeting to grow your business, you may try using something more sophisticated, like the retargeting we use at Clkim. Say goodbye to placing pixels on all of your landing pages, and instead build a custom list from everyone that clicks on your links. This works perfectly if you’re trying to monetize traffic to sites that don’t typically allow you to place a pixel, like Amazon. Unlike some other forms of advertising, retargeting is extremely inexpensive, but it packs a powerful punch.
#17: Use Cold Emailing
You may be skeptical of cold emailing, but in my experience there is nothing more effective at generating new leads for a business. If you choose to you can generate leads yourself by doing manual research on your ideal customers, especially if you are in the B2B space. If you’re like me and you don’t have hours to spend on research, then you should consider investing in email lead generation. Email lead generation companies can provide you with a steady flow of leads for a price, and the price you pay depends largely on what type of business or customer you are trying to pitch. You can also use tools like Email Hunter and Streak to help you find emails for your target customers. Make sure to always use a person’s name in the subject line when sending a cold email. Also try to personalize the email as much as possible to increase the likelihood of getting it opened and read.
Bonus Growth Hack: Use Buzzsumo
If you want to test the popularity of a particular subject before creating a piece of content, then you absolutely have to try Buzzsumo. To use Buzzsumo, just type in a particular keyword or url into the search box and watch what happens. You should be able to see a list of the most popular articles covering the topic you searched. Using Buzzsumo can help you gauge the popularity of specific topics and titles so that you can create similarly amazing content for your audience. There is no reason to waste precious time creating content that nobody cares about, so always check Buzz Sumo before writing a new post.
Onward to Business Growth!
May you take advantage of these growth hacks and take your business to new heights in 2017! If you can dream it, you can do it!