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.

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.

long tail keywords

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 set up Cus­tom Con­ver­sions. Always run Face­book cam­paigns with a con­ver­sion goal.

Your con­ver­sion goal could be the pur­chase of a prod­uct or a form sub­mis­sion. Ensure that you have Face­book Pix­el installed on all the pages of your web­site, and set up 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 opti­mized ads, select your cus­tom con­ver­sion as the goal and let Face­book know who con­verts and who doesn’t. Over time, Face­book will opti­mize 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.