The first of all Growth Funnel is the acquisition, the part where the person in charge of attracting people so that they know your value proposition and can turn them into users or customers.
Each of these channels are distribution channels through which your organization can generate traction: sustained growth of users and customers.
The 19 Acquisition Channels.
1) Niche Blogs
Many of the most popular startups such as Codecademy, Mint, and Reddit began their acquisition strategy generating content to be distributed in niche blogs. According to Noah Kagan, the then Mint marketing director, says that this was the acquisition strategy that helped them acquire 40,000 customers before launching.
While advertising through traditional media (newspapers, magazines, TV, etc.) is the least desired option for a young organization, it can be very effective. Especially if you know how to use it in your favor with very few resources as Ryan Holiday explains in his book “Trust me, I’m lying.” It is possible to invest very little money and get all the media to talk about you. You just have to know how to manipulate the average.
3) PR Not Conventional.
To make PR (Public Relations) unconventional is to create an event or event that attracts the attention of the media and people to talk about you, your product or service. Don’t confuse this with the “activations” that marketing agencies usually sell to their customers (ha, suckers!). It’s about doing extraordinary things to serve your customers. For example, Uber giving away two trips to ALL his clients in CDMX for the double today does not circulate (peak and plate).
4) Search Engine Marketing
These are the ads you buy in search engines such as Google and Bing to position your message in front of people who are looking for products and services related to your organization. Or even in front of those looking for your competition. This is usually much more effective than mass advertising such as panoramas or posters throughout the city. This was the technique Archives.com used to grow and be sold for $ 100 million.
5) Social Announcements
Similar to search engine ads, but on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. These types of ads are usually very effective when it comes to niche social networks. For example, if you want to sell bait to catch your ads, it will be much more effective in the fishermen’s forum than on Instagram.
6) Offline ads.
They are the traditional commercials on TV, Radio, Panoramic, Flyers, etc. etc. These work best when your audience is difficult to reach on the internet. For example, elderly people, populations without internet access, base of the pyramid etc. The funny thing here is that very few startps use this channel, so there is very little competition. And if you know how to use it well you can win fast. That was how WP Engine grew rapidly.
7) Search Engine Optimization
It is the process of making your site reach the top places in search engine results such as Google, Bing, etc. It is a somewhat technical process, but if you do it right it is a great way to bring a lot of traffic directed at low cost. If you use WordPress you can use Yoast SEO to make it easy.
8) Content Marketing
Many organizations have blogs, but not all use it to acquire new customers. Content Marketing is about generating relevant content for your audience in different formats and media: blogs, ebooks, video, podcast, etc. It is a long-term effort, and certainly one of the most effective.
9) Email Marketing
It is another form of content marketing, which serves to convert prospects and curious customers, without having to press them. It works by generating content that you distribute through mailing lists. They are usually effective because people voluntarily agree to receive your information.
10) Engineering as Marketing
You can also approve resources from your engineering team to improve your acquisition. Many companies create free micro-sites, widgets and tools to attract thousands of people. This is the main East HubSpot who offers a tool to evaluate and site for free.
11) Viral Marketing
It consists in growing your user or client base by promoting among your current clients that they refer new people. According to Andre Chen, mentor in 500 startups, viral marketing techniques are what enable a startup to grow exponentially in a very short time.
12) Business Development
It is the process of creating strategic relationships for the benefit of your organization and your allies. For example, during its early days, Kayak allied with AOL to achieve greater reach and provide a benefit to the AOL audience.
Well this strategy is very clear. You just have to go find your customers and convince them to give you money in exchange for your product or service. Yes, many companies do. In fact, companies that have a solid growth process usually have a good sales team. Of course, it’s not glamorous, that’s why we don’t hear much about it, but it’s something we have to do.
14) Affiliate Programs
Many companies like hostgator, godaddy, etc. have created very solid affiliate programs. These programs have helped them grow their customer base in millions. This strategy is very simple, for each client that someone refers you you pay a commission in cash.
15) Existing Platforms
It works when you take advantage of an existing community to serve as a starting point for your organization. Apps that use Facebook to acquire users, or stores that I use and eBay, are examples of how you can take advantage of someone else’s platforms to grow.
16) Events and Fairs
These are events where companies are going to demonstrate their latest technology, stop pipelines and services. The benefit is not only to demonstrate products, but in the generation of relationships that you can generate during the event.
17) Sponsor Offline Events
Many companies support events of all sizes. The most effective are conferences and meetups for your adopters. This generates loyalty and traction among a community that if you generate value they can be clients and evangelists for life
18) Talks and Conferences
Giving talks and lectures on a topic related to your organization (without spamming) allows you to promote yourself without necessarily being noticed as advertising and instead is perceived as generating value. For example, Eric Ríes, author of The Lean Startup, dedicated himself to lecturing before the launch of his book, just mentioning that he was the author. So when he launched a week he was already a bestseller
19) Community Creation
Organizations such as Wikipedia, Stack Exchange, Github, have managed to create large communities around their products. For example Stack Overflow, the Stack Exchange community, is the world’s largest community for programming questions and answers.
Remember that there is no predefined formula to follow. Ideally, try one of these acquisition channels and experiment with them. Along the way you will find that some work better than others. If you manage to have a conversion rate of 40% or more, you have a winner.
If you have any questions just leave it in the comments.
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