Business to business (B2B) startups have a set of unique challenges when they venture into the startup world. While there are many traditional marketing and business strategies that could help your business, in the B2B space none are more effective and efficient than growth hacking.
Growth hacking, in a nutshell, is the idea of setting up your startup in such a way that the sole objective is to grow the volume of sales or users of your product, service or experience.
You can be forgiven for thinking that growth hacking is a marketing or sales function, however, there are many non-marketing decisions that a company makes that are clear drivers of growth – such as HR, operations, and R&D.
In this article, we dive into the world of growth hacks and outline some of our favorite growth hacks for B2B startups designed to grow your business from the inside out.
Tap Into Your Community
There is a lot to be said about community in the B2B startup sense, it is vital as a growth hack to build your community around your products and brand as quickly as possible. Staff, suppliers, customers, their customers… whoever your community might be should all be nurtured to assist with your growth strategy. You should be focused on getting your startup to invite, involve and engage as many people as possible who are either quantifiable sales leads or who can add value to your overall supply chain in some way.
Your community should be rallying around your new product launch or just about anything that may be good or bad – supporting you and your startup and flying the flag. There are countless examples of where communities have rallied around companies that were suffering setbacks or striving for the next level of growth. It’s worth focusing on beating the drum in communities such as social media platforms and closed networks of affiliates who are all valued communities within themselves.
How you communicate to and with these communities is paramount – the WIIFM factor or ‘what’s in it for me’ should be considered for your community. What benefit are you offering as part of this community? How can you add value to the community? The more you put in, the more you will get out - it’s as simple as that.
Interact With Your Audience – Be Real And Be Live!
With the ever-increasing use of chat-bots ready and raring to go to answer your every question, there is no shortage of popups when you are browsing online. However, if you can utilize these tools along with real life people to drive your business needs, you could be onto a winner.
A key growth hack is to ensure that your startup embraces speaking directly to your customers as much as possible. Engagement with your customer base will allow you to understand more about their specific needs, demands and of course their issues so you can incorporate them into your business model, and evolve your product or service to take this into consideration and pivot where required.
Focus on Your SEO Every Time, Everywhere
Rich content, SEO text, blogs and other key SEO metrics are vital to ensuring that your business is being seen in all the right places.
B2B startups need to make it as easy as possible to be found by your potential customers. Regardless of whether you are spending marketing money on the SEO or not, it is vital that your online platforms are geared up to take advantage of SEO through both organic and paid means.
Create Quality Content That People Want to Talk About, Read, View And Share
Word-of-mouth is still the most effective way of marketing – it costs you nothing. The flip side of this is that people will share both good and bad stories about your business.
Creating content that can be shared through social media, networking and media sites, retweeted, shared and liked is a growth hack that can expand your reach exponentially. While your network may not be as vast as you would like as a startup, your networks are – so make sure you use them.
Create meaningful, rich and shareable content is not always easy, so in many cases, an external content writer is useful to drive the traffic to your business.
Everyone Loves a Freebie! Offer Free Trials With a Sign-up
The creation of free applications or white papers that are topical, relevant and useful an extremely effective growth hack for B2B services. Everyone loves a freebie and people are usually willing to sign up for something free as long as it is relevant and helps their business.
Whether you’re giving away a free trial of an application, a lite version of a service or a white paper for guidance and reference there is little doubt that we have all signed up for website subscriptions to get a little more information or application.
Creation of these again can be outsourced, shared and created by external experts, which can allow you to drive your startup while outsourcing the growth hack to drive growth within your company,
Use LinkedIn as Your Ultimate B2B Tool!
It is no secret that LinkedIn – a startup itself – is geared toward creating a networking opportunity for businesses to drive their growth hacks success. Networks of potential customers are regularly accessing shared content and opportunities on a global scale and as a B2B startup, you cannot afford to be active on this platform.
Look at a ‘premium account’ on LinkedIn which gives you access to more possibilities and metrics to measure your success - it’s well worth a trial and LinkedIn often give 30 days free away throughout the year so jump onto it when it’s available.
Posting relevant content, sharing information, connecting with people who you see as opportunities or people who can lead you to new opportunities is paramount as a B2B hack.
Adding in content to your page that followers actively access and share is a key opportunity to build your profile and your perceived value within the network.
Creatively Repurpose Your Content
While you may create wonderful content for a webinar, a key growth hack opportunity for B2B is then to repurpose the content to another format, ensure branding is prevalent and then submit.
For example taking the webinar content and moving to a SlideShare presentation, using the audio to create a podcast while uploading a whitepaper to drive sign ups and contacts to your page is a key example of repurposing original content. Rehash what you can and get your content out to the digital world!
While you won’t be reinventing the wheel, reusing the wheel to drive your business is a growth hack that is simple and effective and will drive awareness and reach.
Don't Sweep Feedback Under The Rug - Listen And Respond!
Customer feedback is one of the most important growth hack components to any B2B operations. Taking on board customer reviews, customer exit interviews and service calls as ‘opportunities for growth’ again is a key growth hack.
Listen to what your customers are saying, how they are saying it and what opportunities for development you have in any functional area of your business. Learn from their feedback and understand why they are giving negative or positive feedback and then evolving your product or service offering to suit their needs better, relieving key pain points and driving customer sales is paramount to embrace the growth hack and take your offering to the next level.
While there are many expensive opportunities for startups to marketing and sell through B2B offering around the Internet and traditional channels, the evolution of the growth hacks allows businesses to grow startups from a holistic level.
At the end of the day, it’s vital startups embrace growth hacks otherwise they’ll get left behind.
Hire a Freelancer And Get Your Startup Growing FAST!
Freelancer.com has a range of marketing, business strategy and functional experts that are well versed in driving growth for B2B’s through growth hacking programs – speak to your consultant today to get connected and get active.
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