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A team of marketers sitting at a table with computers.

Best Growth Marketing Agencies in Nashville in 2020

A team of marketers sitting at a table with computers.

There are a ton of great growth marketing agencies in Nashville and it can be hard to stay on top of them all. Since we have team members throughout the US, I spend time researching agencies in the cities we operate in, including Nashville. 

In this post, I’d love to share 10 growth marketing agencies in Nashville who have been partnering with clients to drive meaningful results. Some of these agencies specialize in specific tactics, like SEO or Google Ads, and others offer more end-to-end solutions. 

  1. Social Link 
  2. Tuff
  3. redpepper 
  4. Spark Marketer 
  5. Speak Creative 
  6. Astute Communications
  7. Dash Two 
  8. Taillight 
  9. Parachute Media
  10. LSM 

Social Link 

Growth marketing agency website in Nashville.

Social Link was founded in 2018 with a mission to connect people with your brand. 

Their primary focus is on digital marketing strategy using inbound marketing. The agency’s expertise includes Brand Strategy, Lead Generation and Nurturing, and HubSpot Developer and Partner. 

Social Link has 11 strong reviews on Google and the team is led by Brady O’Rourke. 

Sample of clients: Remax, Best Western, and North Shore  

Tuff 

Screenshot of marketing website.

Tuff is a plug-in growth marketing agency for hire. The team was founded in 2017 by Ellen Jantsch and hired it’s first Tennesee employee in 2019. Since then, the agency has grown it’s client base in Nashville and surrounding areas.

They are a small, fully remote team that specializes in tactics like: Conversion Rate OptimizationTechnical SEO ImplementationFacebook and Instagram Ads, Google Shopping, Google Search, Display Ads, YouTube Ads, Retargeting, Content Strategy, Link Building, Influencer Marketing and Email.

Sample of clients: Thalamus, CITI Program, and WatchBox 

Case study: Felt 

redpepper 

redpepper is a full-service agency that specializes in branding and creative services. They are experts when it comes to brand design and brand identity. 

The agency was founded 15 years ago and the team now has 60 full-time employees. redpepper was founded by Tim McMullen and they’ve worked on brand projects for some top companies in the US. 

Sample of clients: Slack, Verizon, and Mars 

Case study: Urbane 

Spark Marketer

Spark Marketer is a one-stop-shop for local service and small business owners looking to navigate the world of online marketing and social media. They work with HVACs, Restaurant Owners, Remodeling Contractors, and other local businesses. 

The agency was founded in 2012 by Taylor Hill and Carter Harkins and has 16 full-time employees. If you’re a local business, Spark Marketer could be a great fit. 

Sample of clients: A to Z Window Screen, Winston’s Chimney Service, and Legacy Hill Dentistry

Speak Creative

Jacob Savage founded Speak Creative in 1991. Since then, they’ve partnered with dozens of brands to help them with website development and brand identity. 

The agency describes the team of 42 as “web design company with a passion for all things digital” and they can help you with things like mobile app development, video production, and website design. 

Sample of clients: Ballet Memphis, OKC Zoo, and BROOKS  

Case study: Graceland

Astute Communications

Astute Communications is a digital marketing and web design agency that focuses on developing cohesive brands and comprehensive digital strategies that generate leads and grow businesses. 

The agency was founded in 2013 by Anna Stout, a web designer and developer with a background in business development, the company was built to create harmony between client interests and production realities. It’s a smaller shop, with 9 full-time employees. 

Sample of clients: Nashville recovery center, aerial innovations, and vintage millworks

Case study: Verdi Oncology 

Dash Two  

Dash Two is a digital marketing firm headquartered in Culver City, CA, with a second team and location in Nashville. The agency was founded in 2009 and now has 30+ team members. 

Dash Two specializes in end-to-end digital marketing, with solutions for paid ads, landing pages, conversion rate optimization, and data and analytics. 

One thing that makes Dash Two particularly unique is that they combine the power of online channels with more traditional marketing like billboards, print, and outdoor advertising. 

Sample of clients: Adidas, Puma, and Universal Studios 

Case study: Klarna 

Taillight 

Taillight is a creative video production company based in Nashville. The agency was founded in 2000 by Tom Forrest and has a team of 10 employees that provide video production, branding, and content marketing services.

The team has extensive video production experience and focuses on TV programming for live music specials, comedy specials, awards shows, original series.

Sample of clients: CMT, Glow, and Hallmark 

Case study: Lady Antebellum Global Tour 

Parachute Media 

Parachute Media is a go-to creative agency in Nashville with a passion for brand-storytelling. The agency was founded in 2012 and now has 13 full-time employees. 

The agency’s expertise include photography, web design, data and analytics, reputation management, brand development, and paid ads. 

Parachute Media strive to have their clients view them as their in-house team rather than a distant, third-party agency.

Sample of clients: Kirkland, Alpha Park, and Camping with Dogs 

Case study: Evolve Pet Food 

LSM 

LSM is a 50+ person agency focused on helping local and small businesses succeed with online marketing. The majority of the team is located in Tennessee with support from an Indonesia office. 

The agency was founded in 2006 by Tevor Emerson and has since helped hundreds of business owners build and grow their online presence. This includes services such as local reputation management, local SEO, website design, and more. 

Sample of clients: DMMG, European Wax Center, and YMCA

Case study: Thompson Burton

A paper with growth marketing strategy.

11 Best Growth Marketing Agencies in Denver in 2020

Sign in downtown Denver.

There are a ton of great growth marketing agencies in Denver … almost too many. Since we have team members throughout the US, I spend time researching agencies in the cities we operate in, including Denver. 

Having seen a ton of great growth marketing agencies in Denver, I’d love to share a short list of these teams –  many of which specialize in different aspects of performance marketing. 

Check out the list below. And hope you find some great new teams! 

1. Metric Theory 

Screenshot of Metric Theory website.

Metric Theory focuses on User Acquisition and works with clients in nearly every industry, including Retail, B2B, eCommerce, and B2B. They are one of the larger agencies in Denver with 150+ employees and over 500 clients. They have extensive international experience and manage over $200M in ad spend. 

Metric Theory was founded by Ken Baker and Jeff Buenrostro and in addition to Denver, has offices in San Francisco, NYC, Orange County, and Salt Lake City.  

Case Study: FabFitFun 

Sample of Clients: Lyft, Winc, and Optimezly 

2. Tuff Growth Marketing 

Screenshot of marketing website.

Tuff works with startups and scale ups by plugging in as their extended growth marketing team. They work with teams in nearly every industry, from solo-founders to larger enterprise brands. Tuff was founded in Denver, with team members in Portland, San Francisco, Boston, and Nashville. 

They are a small, fully remote team that specializes in tactics like: Conversion Rate Optimization, Technical SEO Implementation, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Google Shopping, Google Search, Display Ads, YouTube Ads, Retargeting, Content Strategy, Link Building, Influencer Marketing and Email

Case Study: Renogy 

Sample of Clients: WatchBox, QuietKat, Xendoo and EnVision 

3. Booyah Advertising

Screenshot of marketing website.

Booyah is an end-to-end advertising agency, helping clients with paid search, creative services, display media, SMS, social media + more. They are a go-to in Denver for paid ads. 

Booyah’s CEO is Troy Lerner and has over 15+ years of experience helping companies scale up with advertising. The team now has 60 full-time employees and manages digital ad spend for major brands like Unilever, Discover Card, and Backcountry.com.

Sample of Clients: Discover, Pearl Izumi, and Bobo’s 

4. Bounteous

Screenshot of marketing website.

Bounteous is a full-service digital marketing agency with expertise in design, as well as campaign management. The agency has been working together for the last 20 years alongside global brands and innovative startups. 

Everything we do is designed to optimize that flow so that we create big-picture digital solutions that drive growth for our clients and our business.” 

Bounteous was founded by Keith Schwartz and has over 500 employees, primarily located in Chicago. 

Case Study: Teach For America 

Sample of Clients: Dominos, Harvard, and Wilson 

5. Location3

Screenshot of marketing website.

Location3 is a growth marketing agency in Denver that helps global brands activate local markets. They specialize in high-level enterprise campaign strategy and execution. 

This agency was founded in 1999 with a portfolio of primarily franchise brands. The team has 75 employees and is led by Alex Porter. 

Their services include SEO, Paid Search, Content Development, Franchise Marketing, and Media Management. 

Sample of Clients: Honey Baked Ham and Mountain Mike’s Pizza 

6. Campfire Digital

Screenshot of marketing website.

Campfire Digital is a Denver digital agency specializing in inbound marketing, websites, SEO, and more.

The team is small (4-total) and was founded in 2012. Since then, they’ve grown an impressive client roster, focused almost exclusively on outdoor brands. 

In addition to social, email, PPC, SEO, and blog management, they also build, design, and manage websites. 

Case Study: KAABOO 

Sample of Clients: Catalyst Coaching, World Cinema, and Cottonwood Residential 

7. 9thWonder

Screenshot of marketing website.

9thWonder is a full service, creative marketing agency. Their specialties range from research and brand strategy to digital marketing, media, and creative. They are extremely strong with brand identity, creative, and website design. 

While they are based in Texas, they have a small team and office in Denver. The agency’s CEO is Jose Lozano and he’s been managing the 150 person team for 9 years. 

Case Study: Adam’s Camp 

Sample of Clients: LAX, Pilatus Bank, and Coleman Natural Foods

8. 90octane

Screenshot of a marketing website.

90octane is a growth marketing agency based in Denver. Their approach is simple: They get to know your business like our own and provide a dedicated team of specialized experts to tackle your challenges with a fresh point of view.

The agency has 50+ employees, all located in Denver. Sam Eidson and Jim Grinney started 90octane in November of 2000. 

Grinney’s favorite client quote: “Nowhere else in our marketing mix have we seen a greater return. What makes it work is a combination of their knowledge, process, and a healthy dose of rolling up their sleeves and understanding our business and marketing goals. We consider the 90octane team an extension of our department.” – Steve Born, VP Marketing, Globus family of brands

Case Study: RES Software 

Sample of Clients: Paladina Health, Timbers Resorts, and PENTAIR

9. Elevated Third

Screenshot of a marketing website.

Elevated Third is a growth marketing agency in Denver that blends strategic thinking with technical execution to solve enterprise B2B challenges. 

Unlike some of the other agencies on this list that work with multiple industries, Elevated Third focuses on enterprise B2B. 

The agency was founded in 2004 by Jeff Calderone and since then has worked with brands like Comcast, CVENT, and Kaiser. 

Case Study: Numerator 

Sample of Clients: Central Square, Water Research Foundation, and Xactly 

10. Zenman

Screenshot of a marketing website.

Zenman is a web design agency in Denver, Colorado offering website development, branding, content strategy, and more. 

The agency has over 30 reviews on Google and a team of 10. Zenamn was founded in 1998 by Keith Roberts. One thing that makes Zenman unique is their 5-step “zen process” shaped to help you focus on efficiency.

Case Study: Richey May 

Sample of Clients: PlumVoice, Relocate, and Bonanno

11. Cast Influence

Screenshot of a marketing website.

Cast Influence is a marketing agency in Denver that specializes in PR and their expertise are with small businesses and startups. 

The agency was founded by Justin Kraft in 2017 after serving in senior marketing roles in-house for 16 years. They have a smaller shop, with 4 full-time employees in Denver. 

In addition to their pillar service, PR, they also partner with clients to help with SEO and website design. 

Case Study: 1UP Aerial Drone Services

Sample of Clients: OnDeck, Revivify Surface, and escapex 

 

Person working at a computer.

9 Ready-to-Go Growth Marketing Spreadsheets Startups Can Use to Boost Productivity

Person working at a computer.

One of our team values at Tuff is to work smarter, not harder. For the work that we do, this often means creating clear and repeatable processes.

We also think dashboards are a little overrated. 

Although they give you a snapshot of important metrics, and they look good, dashboards aren’t great at providing the details or context that effective data-driven decision making requires. 

This is why spreadsheets have been such a staple for our team, helping us to collaborate more efficiently with our startup partners, track budgets and core metrics, see our growth more clearly, organize our experiments, and get more work done

That being said, building the right spreadsheets that are actually helpful and relevant to your startup can be time-consuming. We’d love to help.

We’ve pulled together a list of the essential spreadsheets and templates we have used and improved to help prioritize experiments, run campaigns, and track growth for Tuff and our startup partners.  

Let’s jump in…

For many of the growth marketing spreadsheets linked below, you can download as an .xls file to use and customize in Excel or Google Docs. Google Doc users can also go to “File > Make a Copy …” to add the spreadsheet to their account, then edit.

1. Growth Marketing Framework 

Growth marketing spreadsheet.
Use for: Prioritizing and tracking your growth marketing experiments

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

We discovered this Growth Marketing Framework spreadsheet after attending Sid Bharath’s talk at the GrowthMentor summit last year. We tested it out on our own and it’s quickly become a go-to for our team when we need to prioritize campaigns, identify new experiments, and find big wins for our partners. We like it so much that we have one for Tuff that we look at weekly as a team. 

In this spreadsheet, you have four core tabs: 

  • Customer Personas 
  • Customer Journey 
  • Tactics Backlog 
  • Experiments 

Our favorite part about this spreadsheet is that your customer personas exist in the same spreadsheet as your ideas. In the past, we built out personas in a word doc or slides with visuals and descriptors, and sometimes we still do. But having your target audience in the same place you go to list ideas and pick experiments is extremely helpful when it comes to prioritization. Before we add any ideas to our backlog, we can revisit our personas, their journey, and then truly assess if they are the right fit for our audience. With this setup, your personas become a driving force for tactics instead of an afterthought. You end up with experiments that hit the mark more often because they’ve passed the persona check. 

2. Channel Projections for Experiments 

Marketing projections spreadsheet.

Use for: Forecasting budget based on historical data and determining projected performance 

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

We get these two questions a lot: How much should I spend? And, what can I get in return? 

In order to set monthly budgets and projections, we start with core KPIs. What are we trying to achieve? Do we want to book more demos, increase sales, drive more leads? Once we understand these goals, we can forecast budget based on historical data and determine projected performance using this spreadsheet. This isn’t an exact science but it helps us align as a team about what we’re trying to achieve based on specific targets. It also helps you know how much you need in the bank to test and learn. 

For traffic and conversion rate data, we lean on tools like Google Analytics, Shopify, Metorik, Firebase, Salesforce, Facebook, and Google Ads. If you don’t have this data available because you haven’t experimented on these channels, you can still use this spreadsheet, you’ll just need to take bigger leaps with the numbers based on industry averages. 

3. Growth Marketing Scorecard 

Growth marketing scorecard.

Use for: Tracking results daily, weekly, and monthly in one shared spreadsheet

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

When you’re running experiments and testing new campaigns, we like to have a reporting template that gives us true insight into what’s working and what’s not. We use this spreadsheet to track daily, weekly, and monthly results for our campaigns. 

One of the most important things about this scorecard is that it’s 100% manual. While there are a bunch of automated dashboards out there, after three years and 35 startups, we still think this is the best option for our team and partners in the early stages. It’s simple (no fluff) and sticks to the most important metrics. While pulling the data from various sources takes time (about 10 minutes each morning), it gives you an opportunity to really look at the data, dig into what it’s telling us, and then make smarter optimizations and budget allocations. 

4. UTM Generator for Campaigns (Tracking) 

UTM Generator Spreadsheet.

Use for: Understanding which campaigns are driving meaningful results 

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

UTM codes are snippets of text added to the end of a URL to help you track where website traffic comes from if users click a link to this URL. If you’re anything like the data-driven campaign managers on the Tuff team, you probably don’t run any campaigns without UTM parameters. By tagging your URLs with UTMs, you can get a good understanding of how your visitors interact with your website, allocate budget more efficiently, and cut out anything that isn’t working. For a full rundown on UTMs, we turn to Niel Patel’s ultimate UTM guide here

So what’s with this spreadsheet? If you’re running multiple campaigns and experimenting quickly, it’s easy to lose track of your URLs. For example, we have a batch of Facebook campaigns active right now, with 23 different audiences, using 23 different URLS. These can add up! This spreadsheet keeps all active URLs organized so anyone on the team can check the URL, review performance in Google Analytics, and then help make smarter marketing decisions at the campaign level.

5. Blog Post Traffic Tracker from Buffer (Content) 

Blog Post Traffic Tracker from Buffer.

Use for: Knowing which posts are gaining the most traffic 

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

This is one of the best spreadsheets to understand how your content is stacking up. If you don’t have a blog yet, skip this spreadsheet. 

The blog post traffic spreadsheet from Buffer enables you to keep an eye on which posts are hitting your traffic goals and it’s also really great to keep an eye on what topics are performing best, too. While this is easy to see in Google Analytics, pulling the data into a spreadsheet helps you benchmark performance more easily to identify content wins. 

One of the more actionable ways we use this spreadsheet is to help us identify articles we want to update. To increase the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and boost your search engine traffic, you canupdate your old content and give yourself an improved freshness score. 

Buffer has 10 other very helpful social media and content spreadsheets here, in case you want more. 

6. Budget Tracker for PPC Campaigns (Paid) 

Google ads budget tracker.

Use for: Creating an automated monthly budget pacing dashboard for Google Ads

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

When you build this spreadsheet, you’ll get a quick glimpse at how your budget is pacing for the month on Google Ads. This can be helpful when you have specific monthly targets you want to hit. 

With this spreadsheet you can see how far through the month you are, what percent of spend you’ve used, and how close you are tracking towards your goal. For example, you might be 61% of the way through your budget but only 53% of the way to your revenue goal. 

This works best with larger budgets (below $1,000 per month is less effective) but as you ramp up, it can help you stay more efficient and effective with your spend. 

7. Influencer Marketing Template (Influencer)  

Influencer marketing spreadsheet.

Use for: Managing and tracking your Instagram influencer marketing campaign 

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

Performance-based influencer campaigns can drive revenue and user growth if you can tap into the right communities. 

The way that this spreadsheet works is simple. Once you’ve defined your niche and set goals for your influencer program, you can start compiling your influencers in this spreadsheet. From here, you can start to calculate each influencer’s engagement rate. This will tell you who has an active audience. 

There are a bunch of different ways to calculate engagement rates and this spreadsheet uses the below formula: 

ER post = Total engagements on a post / Total followers *100.

A higher engagement rate typically spells out a wider reach and stronger influence. 

Again, this is another manual process and it takes time. If you find early traction with your program in the first 90 days, we recommend transitioning to a tool to help manage as you scale. 

8. Email User Onboarding Flow (Email) 

Email user onboarding spreadsheet.

Use for: Building and visualizing your welcome email flow  

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

Installs, sign ups, and demos mean nothing if you can’t keep your users — which makes your onboarding email campaign incredibly important. 

We use this template to outline our Email user flow from start to finish. For a successful strategy, it helps us: 

  • Set a goal for each email in the series 
  • Set timing for each email 
  • See the entire flow at once 

From here, you can start thinking about copy, CTAs, and design for each email, benchmark performance, and start testing. This structure has helped us get higher retention rates and increase revenue. 

Bonus Template: If you don’t have an onboarding flow for new customers or leads, this email marketing planning template from Hubspot is handy for planning marketing and transactional emails. 

9. Google Ads Keyword Audit (Paid)

Google Ads Keyword Audit Spreadsheet.

Use for: Efficiently auditing your PPC keywords & search queries to identify top performers based on ROAS.

Grab a copy of this spreadsheet here >>

When it comes to optimizing paid search campaigns, keyword optimizations can oftentimes be time-consuming, scattered, or – even worse – ineffective. A keyword with a high CTR and low CPC may be performing well at first glance, but these are surface-level metrics and they don’t necessarily correlate with the most important metrics.

Organizing your keywords and search queries into a format that helps you focus on what really matters the most – in this case, ROAS – will give you a clear picture of which keywords to invest more money into and which keywords to scrap from your campaign(s).

To use this spreadsheet, export your keyword report from Google Analytics for your chosen time period. Be sure to include the following attributes: Keyword, Campaign, Clicks, Cost, CPC, User, Sessions, Ecommerce Conversion Rate (or Goal Conversion Rate), Transactions (or Goals Completions), & Revenue.

The first row in this spreadsheet maps to these attributes. In Column K, you’ll find a ROAS calculation equipped with Conditional Formatting that will provide you with a quick visual representation of your Keyword success.

As a starting point, we’ve got Conditional Formatting set up to turn cells in Column K green when the ROAS is greater than or equal 250% and red when the ROAS is less than or equal to 150%.

With your exported data placed in this sheet, you’ll quickly see which of your keywords are driving the best ROAS.

To help sort, we have a filter placed in row 1 that provides you with endless filtering and sorting options. There’s also a nifty word count formula in Column L which will provide some insight into how your long tail and short tail keyword performance compare.

Run the same report at the Search Query level and compare it with your Keyword list. You may find some standout queries that can be added as Exact Match keywords to your campaigns.

Happy Spreadsheeting-ing

Thanks for reading! I hope you picked up one or two new tips and tricks for your spreadsheets here.

I’d love to hear what growth marketing spreadsheets your team has been using? What has worked well for you?

 

Growth Marketing Tips to Turn Your Crowdfunded Product Into a Sustainable Business

More and more, crowdfunding has become a popular way of launching new products. You can get access to the capital you need, gain market validation, hedge some risk, and even pre-sell some of your product. But how do you convert viral excitement for your product into a flesh-and-blood, thriving business?

In this post, we’ll talk you through the steps to take in the immediate aftermath of hitting your funding goal to ensure that you make the transition from funded startup to a stable business with sustainable growth potential. The post-campaign phase is going to be an especially sensitive time in the life of your business, so it’s important that you move not just quickly, but strategically.

1. Get to Know Your Backers

You probably did a bit of market research before you rolled out your crowdfunding campaign, so you may know who your target market is, but it’s time to take that one step further. Crafting customer personas is one of the best ways to lay the proper foundation for growth marketing campaigns.

Looking at hard numbers and data about the people who funded your campaign will help you build a three-dimensional picture of who you’re selling to. Once you’ve converted that data into a persona, you can use that to determine which tactics you should experiment with first, because you’ll know where the customer is going to be and how you should be speaking to them there.

Once you’ve filled in all the details about your current customers, you can feed that back into product development. Knowing your audience—and we mean really knowing them—is key in ensuring that you not only make them happy with this one product but continue to build the kinds of products that will keep them coming back for more.

2. Get Your Website Up and Running

Once your campaign hits its fundraising goal, your first thought will probably be about fulfilling your commitments to backers. But at the same time, you’ve got to make sure you’re laying the groundwork necessary to bring in even more new customers.

The best way to do this is to make sure you have an attractive, user-friendly website to direct people to. Choose the platform that best fits your ecommerce needs (Shopify, WooCommerce, etc.), and then focus on building pages that will easily and consistently convert. There are a few elements that need to be present on your pages to make that happen.

Clear Pricing Info
Don’t make people hunt for the numbers. If they have to scroll through paragraphs of text before to figure out how much the product costs, you’re bound to lose people. Put your pricing information front and center. Yes, this may weed out potential customers who are not willing to spend what you’re asking, but setting those clear expectations upfront will prevent customer frustration in the long run.

Trust Indicators (Reviews, Testimonials, Photos, etc.)
Your company is new, and anyone can raise funds on a crowdsourcing site, so the onus is on you to prove that your product is worth purchasing. You can do this by showcasing indicators of consumer trust for potential new customers. Your site should include high-quality images of your product(s) as well as reviews from verified purchasers and/or customer testimonials.

Seamless Checkout Process
Cart abandonment is a regular struggle for anyone who manages an e-commerce site. Consumers these days seem to have very little patience for slow processing, so it’s important that your checkout procedure be as painless and intuitive as possible.

Optimized for Mobile
Every year, more and more commercial transactions are taking place on mobile devices. While you need to make sure your desktop site functions smoothly, you really need to make sure your mobile site is optimized as well as possible for the most popular devices. Keep an eye on things like loading times, pop-ups, navigation, and visual design.

3. Scale Up Your Team

With limited time to deliver backer rewards and limited funds with which to do it, you may be tempted to take too much on yourself in an attempt to avoid adding payroll to your list of costs. But now is not the time to wear all the hats. You need to level up your team, but you must do it smartly.

Remember that hiring too quickly can hurt you, and so can hiring the wrong people. The pressure to deliver can feel really strong, but keep in mind that these hires are building the very foundation of your business. You want to make sure you’re bringing in the best possible people!

With that in mind, remember that now is not the time for high-level specialists with ultra-focused skill sets. You want someone who can plug-in where they’re needed and bring energy, effort, and results. Look for candidates that are scrappy, creative, and flexible.

You can hire someone to come on full-time and in-house, or you can partner with an external contractor or team to help support the initiatives that are a top priority for you in this phase. If you hire out-of-house, make sure that your partner is integrated fully into your business. They should function as a natural extension of your company, not a separate third party.

Regardless of which direction you go, make sure whoever you hire has done something like this in the past. Look for five or more years of experience in scaling brands with special attention paid to the consistency of their strategy and execution. They should have a visible, proven track record of growing startup revenue.

4. Establish Processes and Start Collecting Data

The real strength of a good growth marketing plan is assessing data and using it to make informed decisions about product development and marketing campaign direction. There are a few standard data and analytics tools that all startups should leverage from the beginning.

Google Analytics
This free service is absolutely essential for helping you gather data about how people are interacting with your website and how you can improve. It will integrate seamlessly with AdWords and other platforms that you’re likely to use for marketing, and it allows you the option of fully customized reporting. It can help you beef up the design of your site, determine where to focus your social media dollars, and aid in tracking your goals. It’s really indispensable.

Facebook Pixel
Retargeting is one of the best ways to recapture current and potential new customers and drive sales. Facebook Pixel is an analytics tool that will track your website visitors so that you can serve them targeted ads on Facebook in the future, and keep up with what happens when they return to your site. It should be a key component of your social media plan if you’re using Facebook Ads.

Google Ads Pixel
Similar to the Facebook Pixel, this tool will allow you to track what actions customers are taking after they interact with your ad. This data is invaluable when you’re making decisions about where to focus your ad spend and how to increase conversions.

Google Search Console
This tool works in conjunction with Google Analytics to help you develop a fully realized vision of how your website is functioning. Where Analytics focuses mainly on user data and demographics, Search Console also helps you identify malware, improve website performance, and determine how website visitors are finding you in the first place, whether through pages that are linking to you or through search queries.

These five tools are just a starting point for collecting the data you need to develop a robust growth marketing plan, but implementing them as soon as possible after your campaign is funded will ensure that you’re making the most informed decisions, even in these early days of your business.

5. Tackle the Low-Hanging Fruit

Once you’ve got your website up and running, your team together, and you’ve implemented some core processes for collecting and analyzing data, it’s go time. Look at what the numbers are telling you and quickly identify which channels are going to provide you with the highest possible ROI. Then hone in on those and work to scale them.

Here at Tuff, we always make sure to revisit the customer personas and user data to help us prioritize which channels and tactics to tackle first. Some of the most common campaigns we initiate from that point include:

Facebook/Instagram
Social media is one of the lowest-cost advertising platforms available, and if you leverage your data smartly, you can get even more bang for your buck. Focus on delivering strong, relevant content to highly targeted audiences to see the best possible returns.

Google Shopping
Utilizing this channel could mean your product landing in front of thousands more potential customers. It’s simple to use, but it’s important that you understand how the bid system works if you want to maximize your returns, as competition in this space is steadily increasing.

Retargeting
As we mentioned above, serving retargeting ads to customers who have already visited your site can be a powerful driver of sales. If done correctly, it can also be great for your budget. But there is a fine line to walk here, as customers can become annoyed or feel a sense of privacy invasion by seeing the same retargeting ads over and over again.

SEO
The more people who see your business in organic search results, the less work your paid ads have to do to bring in qualified leads, right? Optimizing your website for search engine crawling is, therefore, often one of the best ways to stimulate strong ROI. Pay attention to not only your on-page optimization for product pages, but all your site’s content.

Receiving funding for your product is such an exciting time, but there are pitfalls aplenty on the other side of crowdfunding campaigns. This is a time to move with intention and purpose and set the stage for not just fulfilling backer rewards, but for the entire future of this business venture.

If you’ve just completed a crowdfunding campaign and you’re not sure where to go from here, the Tuff team can help you make sense of it all. We’d be happy to set up one of our free 30-minute strategy sessions to discuss your business’s unique challenges and strengths. We’ll bring actionable tips, and together, we can explore the best possible routes for achieving and maintaining profitable growth for your new business.

Got Funding? 5 Growth Marketing Steps to Take Now

Woman brainstorming on whiteboard

Securing funding for your business is a major step. And it’s something you should rightfully celebrate. But when the champagne runs dry, you’ll probably be feeling the crunch to get things moving.

Receiving financial backing is encouraging for startups because it means that people believe in you and your idea. But it also means that you now have external parties involved. And with those parties comes a lot of associated pressure and expectation (and fun!).

You’ve got money in the bank now, however, so the time has come to move quickly and strategically. The goal should be putting those funds to the best use while showing your stakeholders that they backed the right horse. There are five key steps you need to take after a funding round to capitalize on this exciting and important time in the life of your business.

1. Level up your team

For most companies, once they’ve got some funds to work with, their first thought goes to team.

The first element you’ll need to consider is whether you want to hire someone to be in-house full time, or whether it’s more beneficial to partner with an external team. Whichever direction you choose to go, your focus should be on finding people with a specific and proven track record of success in growing startup revenue.

There are a lot of talented potential hires out there, but you want to make sure you’re prioritizing the candidates that have real-life experience with this kind of growth work. You’ll want to look for people who have clocked five or more years of time scaling brands, and doing it with rock-solid strategy and execution.

If you choose to bring someone in-house, at this early stage, what you need the most are generalists. You want a growth marketer who has a broad knowledge covering a wide range of tactics with in-depth knowledge in one or two specific areas.

If you choose to partner with an external team during this phase of your growth, look for a team that is efficient, decisive, and ready to learn and adapt. Work to integrate them fully into your business, both via processes and communication channels.

Whether you go with internal or external hires, making smart moves and putting together a strong team with proven growth experience will be a clear signal to your investors. It will reassure them that you have the skills within the team to execute on your plan and deliver on your plan.

2. Rally behind shared goals

Having other people’s money in your hands can give you a real sense of urgency to deliver results. But you can’t do that effectively if you haven’t even defined what success looks like.

Everyone should deeply understand the driving force of the company. To do this, you need to identify the growth marketing metrics that matter most to you and make sure everyone on the team is working towards those.

Additionally, you need to make sure there is buy-in from top to bottom. A company’s founder(s) will naturally always be the most invested in the mission of the brand, but if you hire smart and discuss these metrics early on, the entire team can move like one cohesive unit.

And for your existing employees, remember that raising capital is an exciting but stressful time. Once it passes and you’ve secured that money, it can be easy for people to drop the ball or forget what they were working towards in the first place. So rally around your people, and be in constant conversation with them.

At Tuff, we think this step is so critical to success that we hold weekly meetings with our startup clients. We align on goals, see how we’re pacing, and make sure we’re always learning and inching closer to our north star.

3. Refine your processes

Again, it’s totally understandable if you’re eager to move immediately once you receive funding. But if you want to build truly sustainable growth, you have to lay the groundwork first.

To that end, we suggest that you refrain from implementing any new tactics for the first 30 days after securing funding. Focus instead on setting up the right processes before diving into the execution phase of things.

Regardless of whether you hire in-house or bring in a partner like Tuff, your growth marketing team is going to need time to dig deeper on:

  • Mission
  • Business Objectives & Key Metris
  • Unique Selling Point
  • Reviews and Customer Insights
  • Product
  • Business operations
  • Previous market efforts
  • Performance metrics (CPM – CTR – CPA – CAC – LTV)
  • Organic Traction

Then, they’ll need to put on paper a full-funnel roadmap to reach your growth goals. One that outlines tactics, deliverables, testing plan, and spend.

You want to move as quickly as possible in this phase, but you also want to move strategically, with purpose and intention. Doing so will not only provide better results for you but will also show your investors that you are taking a thoughtful and measured approach. Taking the time to do things right shows them that you respect their contributions and intend to utilize them efficiently.

4. Identify what works and scale that

You’re growing, and that’s great, but chances are that if you’re moving smartly, you’re still operating in a pretty lean fashion. Your time, money, and people are limited, and you can’t afford to waste any of that on channels that aren’t profitable.

Let your team do some quick experimenting, document the results, and uncover the channels that provide you with the most generous returns. Then throw all your energy into effectively and smartly scaling those channels to show your investors some timely and reassuring results. This will help you get an early win and increase everyone’s confidence across the board.

5.Test it all, internalize every number, and use those results to inform what you do next

This one is so important. You can hire great people and rally them around your vision, but if you don’t track the details of what is and isn’t working with your strategies, you’ll get stuck once you’re ready to scale.

One of the most vital parts of growth marketing is assessing data. Having those numbers in front of you helps you make informed decisions about everything from product adjustments to marketing campaigns. Without this data, you’re effectively shooting blind.

Leveraging the data you gather to improve your performance is what separates good companies from great companies. Don’t rely on hunches or surface metrics to determine your course of action, either. Dig into the hard numbers, and let them lead you in the right direction. We promise they won’t steer you wrong.

Getting funding for your business is exciting. And we understand how much hard work it takes to get there. To honor all that effort, though, it’s important that you take the right steps after a funding round to get the most out of what you’ve been given.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-scaling-your-ecommerce-sales

A Step-by-Step Guide to Scaling Your Ecommerce Business

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with new links and fresh content. 

Original Publication Date: October 29, 2019

We created this guide to serve as a sort of one-stop-shop for understanding the components necessary to supercharge your existing ecommerce strategy, including how you can grow your sales profitable overtime. From learning how to setup Google Shopping campaigns to more advanced ecommerce SEO tips and tricks, we cover key traffic strategies to help you sell more online. 

Let’s dive in! 

Ecommerce PPC

The basics of PPC (pay-per-click) advertising are fairly simple: Instead of paying a flat rate to place an ad in one spot, you create an ad and then pay the publisher (usually a search engine like Google or Bing) every time someone clicks on it. PPC is essential for ecommerce businesses because it drives traffic directly to your website and, in the case of paid search ads, usually captures an audience that is already looking to make a purchase (aka has high commercial intent!). 

Here are five keys to maximizing the impact of your ecommerce PPC strategy:

1. Understand How Google Shopping and Amazon Advertising Work

Google Shopping has been around in some form or another for nearly 20 years now, but in 2012, it became a more organized and monetized service. It functions much like a marketplace in that it serves up a variety of products from different brands that match a user’s search query. 

However, rather than conducting all business within the platform like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, Google Shopping merely aggregates options for the searcher. When a user clicks on a product, they’re taken to the retailer’s site to complete their purchase. It’s a way for consumers to shop for an item across multiple brands without the hassle of toggling among a half dozen websites. 

Much like Google Ads, there is a bidding system in place for Shopping that determines your ad’s placement on the SERP (search engine results page). We’ll talk more about how to develop a smart strategy to approach this bidding process a bit later in this article. 

Some of the benefits of advertising on Google Shopping rather than just sticking with paid search ads include: the opportunity for your product to appear multiple times in a given search (as a website result, a text-only PPC result, and a Shopping result); the chance to stand out from the competition with the use of visual imagery in an otherwise text-heavy experience; and the reality that Shopping ads have 30% higher conversion rates than text-only ads. 

Amazon advertising is a bit of a different beast. Chances are you’ve spotted these ads if you’re an avid Amazon shopper. When you input a search query, the results page will have some items that are very subtly marked with “Ad” or “Sponsored” just beneath the product image. 

They can also appear in sidebars and the “related to this item” roundups at the bottom of individual product pages. In addition to these Sponsored Product ads, Amazon also offers Headline Search and Product Display advertising options. They’re all priced using a cost-per-click method, but there is a lot of granularity in how you can manage campaigns for each of them (more on that below).

If you’re selling a product online and don’t have it strategically marketed in these two spots, you’re missing an opportunity. Let’s dive more into how to make these two types of PPC placements work for you and help you close that gap.

2. Set Up and Structure Accounts on Each Platform

To set up an account with Google Shopping, you’ll need to visit their Merchant Center. (Note: you’ll need a Google account of some sort, such as Gmail, to sign up.) From there, you’ll enter your business information and select the programs that fit your specific business goals. 

This is where you’ll select which type of Shopping ads you want to develop. The Product Shopping ad option lets you include an image of one product, a title for it, its price, and your business name. It will appear when people search for a term specific to that product (e.g., red high top sneakers).

A Showcase Shopping ad gives you the chance to share a little more information about your brand, as it allows you to group related products. These tend to pop up when a consumer searches for a broad term that aligns with your business (e.g., sneakers). 

The last option’s utility is a bit more niche. The Local Catalog ad option is a way for brands to highlight store-specific inventory in the searcher’s location. This can be very useful for businesses aiming both to boost ecommerce and to drive traffic to brick and mortar stores. 

From here, you’ll enter product information in your data feed and populate your campaigns. Google has a helpful onboarding guide that will assist you in setting everything up and navigating your dashboard to control your campaigns and manage your account settings.

To set up an account for Amazon advertising, you’ll first need to have a vendor account. If you don’t have one yet, you can check out the pricing options here. Once you have that established, your next step will be to determine what type of ads you want to utilize in your Amazon campaigns.

Sponsored Product ads are keyword-targeted and allow you to control your daily budget and campaign duration. You can also pause campaigns at any time.

Example of Amazon sponsored product ad.

 

Headline Search ads display in search results as a banner ad and redirect to a branded page. They’re also keyword-targeted, but you can use them to promote multiple products at once. There is a minimum spend of $100 on these campaigns, and you can set them up as much as four months in advance.

Example of Amazon headline search ad.

 

Lastly, there are Product Display ads. These are not keyword-targeted like the others, but rather interest- or product-targeted. You’ll choose from a long list of interests to target your ad to relevant shoppers.

Example of Amazon product display ad.

3. Navigate Google’s Bid Types

If you know your sales goals and have narrowed down a cost per sale target, when it comes to selecting your bid strategies in Google the question comes down to this: How much control do you want? While there are over a dozen bidding strategies for Google, here are three popular ones to consider at each end of the “control” spectrum: 

Full Control: Manual Cost Per Click (CPC)
Manual CPC bidding gives you control to set the maximum amount that you could pay for each click on your ads – and setting individual bids at the keyword level allows for the highest level of control. If you have the time and resources, we recommend starting here. Manual CPC bidding allows you to closely monitor your performance and make sure that none of your ads are overspending.

Some Control: Maximize Clicks
Maximize clicks is an automated bid strategy that sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget. With this strategy, Google will work to get you as many clicks as possible within your daily budget. If you are trying to build your brand or have a website with an incredible conversion rate that holds at scale, try this out. Otherwise, stay clear because the quality is hard to control or regulate. Google is trying to get you as many clicks, not as many quality clicks.

Little Control: Target CPA
With target CPA, Google uses historical information about your campaigns and evaluates the  auction to find an optimal bid for your ad each time it’s eligible to appear. Google has complete control – you can’t leverage bid modifiers, favorite keywords, push spend to mobile, etc. Google will push tCPA hard because it allows them to automate your entire budget. While it seems nice from a management perspective (once you set it up you don’t have to optimize as frequently), we’ve found that CPA bidding is much more effective on display versus search. Either way, one thing to remember even if you’re using fully automated bidding – nothing should ever be set on auto-pilot.

4. Focus on Mobile Speed First

It’s no secret that a huge portion of consumers’ online shopping is taking place on mobile devices. While you can’t ignore desktop optimization, your first priority should be to ensure that your mobile site can keep up. 

If your checkout experience is anything but fluid, customers will leave your site. Remedy this by making sure you’re offering seamlessly integrated payment options like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Amazon Payments, which are all optimized for mobile shopping.

Similarly, if your pages take longer than a few seconds to load, customers will abandon your site. Test your site response times with this handy tool.

Set the speed to 3G and use that as your baseline for improvement. You may think your connection is faster than that, but setting it this low will ensure that no matter how busy or crowded the network is, mobile users can swiftly navigate your site. 

5. Ramp Up Remarketing With Display

The last element of getting the most out of your PPC budget is developing remarketing campaigns. This unique type of advertising allows you to target users who have already visited your site

The obvious benefit here is that you’re marketing to people who have already shown an interest in your brand. Additionally, because they’ve visited your site, you have more data about this audience segment. Which means you can craft campaigns with more specificity and granularity than if you were marketing to someone totally unfamiliar with your products. Google gives you multiple options for how to leverage this type of advertising.

Ecommerce Paid Social

Social media is so ubiquitous these days that nearly every business has established its presence on the major platforms. But is having a presence really enough? Your team probably has a complex strategy and management system for your social media content, which is important, but don’t overlook the impact you can make by including paid social advertising in your budget as well.

1. Conduct User Research and Build Audiences 

One of the biggest benefits of advertising on social media is the goldmine of data it provides. The insights you’ll gain from examining the people who interact with your brand will inform your entire marketing strategy going forward. Dig into the numbers and patterns to find out who your customers really are. 

On top of the valuable research angle, paid social also allows you to build audiences and target segments of your customer base (and potential new customers) more directly. Here’s a breakdown of the most important types of audiences you can build.

Custom
Build this audience by matching customers already in your system with their social profiles. You’ll ensure you’re reaching those customers not only through email marketing but also in the social spaces where they’re spending so much of their time. This is how retargeting audiences are built which we’ll get into later on.

Interest

This option allows you to create a group of consumers to target whose interests align with your product offerings. It differs from building a custom audience in that it seeks primarily to prospect to users that may not yet be familiar with your brand.

A great first step in determining an interest based audience is to do a Google Analytics behavior analysis to determine key age groups, geographies, genders, interests, and online behavior like type of device used when visiting your site or app. 

Getting too granular can be an issue with interest based audiences. If your audience size is too targeted (typically less than 10,000 users) costs for your social ads can go up as social ads struggle to find enough people to see your ad. People in a small audience may see your ad too many times leading to poorer and poorer results over time.

Lookalike

Lookalike audiences give you the chance to create a profile of your current customers in an effort to reach others like them. These are similar to the interest based audiences, but allow for significantly more granularity. This experiment showcases some of the distinct differences in targeting each group.

Lookalike audiences are especially effective when segments within them can be layered like geography, age groups, and interests. 

Lookalike audiences can be created using either an email list, they can be based on web traffic to your site, or by actions they take on your social media channels like following, or engaging with posts.

Retargeting

Often overlooked on social advertising but critical to success is retargeting. Retargeting will serve social ads to people who have already visited your site, or better yet, taken a key action like initiate checkout, subscribed, or viewed key content, like a product or resource page. 

When traffic to your site is high enough, retargeting can be segmented by date ranges, and actions they took. These users are then served ads that closely reflect the experience they had on your site, and encourages them to return to take action.

Overlap and Exclusions

To squeeze even more efficiency out of your social ads, avoid audience overlap. Audience overlap is when two separate campaigns or ad sets are serving ads to the same users. This means you’re competing for the same users from the same ad account, which will cause your advertising costs to go up. 

Facebook has very graciously provided an audience overlap tool so advertisers can see just how much their audiences overlap. Ideally, there will be no audience overlap, however, that can prove quite challenging. As a rule, always aim be below 10% audience overlap. 

To avoid audience overlap, add exclusions to your ad sets. The audiences anticipated to have the best conversion rates should have the fewest exclusions. For instance, here’s an example of how audience exclusions would look for a Facebook Ads eCommerce account:

  • Cart Abandon Audience 
    • Exclude purchases in last 90 days – this is so people who’ve recently purchased aren’t served ads, considered a best practice. 
  • Retargeting Audience 
    • Exclude purchases in last 90 days
    • Exclude cart abandon audience 
  • Purchase Lookalike Audience 
    • Exclude purchases in last 90 days
    • Exclude cart abandon audience
    • Exclude retargeting audience 
  • Interest Targeting Audience 
    • Exclude purchases in last 90 days
    • Exclude cart abandon audience
    • Exclude retargeting audience
    • Excluded purchase lookalike audience  

You will see here that the interest based audience has the most exclusions because the prior three audiences are anticipated to have the best performance. Done in a vacuum, users would only be seeing ads from one of these audiences, which will essentially eliminate all audience overlap.

2. Optimize for Clicks and Sales 

Even if you’ve built beautifully curated audiences, you still want to make sure what you’re spending on social is providing good ROI, right? You can’t skip out on the important steps of clearly defining your objectives, optimizing your settings, and selecting the right bid strategy. 

Prioritize consideration (clicks) and conversion (sales) above all else to ensure that your ads are being served up in the right ways and at the right times. When it comes to optimization, be very specific about what you consider success for this campaign. 

The algorithm is intelligent, but it’s not human. Make sure your selected objective drives clicks and sales, as the algorithm will ultimately only do what you tell it to do. 

Lastly, take a look at your bidding strategy and budget, as this will tell the algorithm what you’re willing to spend on each impression. Decide what’s more important: giving the algorithm the freedom to reach a much wider audience, or keeping tight control over how much you’re spending per optimization.

3. Creative Copy for eCommerce Social Ads

To sell via social ads on channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you have to have copy and creative that draws your audience in. You must remember your audience is on social media for personal enjoyment, so your copy and creative will need to coax them out of the comfort of their scroll or swipe, and convince them to act. 

Below we talk about dynamic retargeting, which is one of the most effective ad types on e-commerce because it’s showing a user a product they are already interested in. Your dynamic retargeting ads should have copy that includes an incentive to return ad act. e.g. “Free shipping for a limited time; $10 Off with offer code 10RIGHTNOW; etc., 

Your dynamic retargeting can be dialed, but if your top of funnel prospecting campaigns using lookalike and interest based audiences are not bringing in traffic to feed your dynamic retargeting campaign, then you may never see success. 

Prospecting copy will introduce your audience to your product, a benefit should be expressed early, and the product should be clearly presented in the ad or video imagery. The best practice is to test multiple creatives per audience, turning off any ads with creative that don’t resonate with the audiences you are targeting.

Using Real Photos as Social Proof 

Social proof is a powerful weapon that every marketer should have in their arsenal. The concept behind it is that consumers will alter their behavior based on “proof” from their peers that a product or service is worthwhile. There are lots of different ways to integrate social proof into your paid social, but we find that using actual photos is an especially compelling one. 

It can be tempting to use glossy stock photography in your paid social. After all, you can find some impressive images through those channels. But authenticity and genuine customer connection often don’t come along with them. 

Take the time to create dynamic imagery of your own. This could be of your products, influencers, endorsements, accolades, or behind-the-scenes peeks of your team at work. Prove to consumers that your brand is worth not only investigation but an investment. 

When It’s Time to Update Your Social Ads

Knowing when to update your ad creative is both an art and a science. We write about triggers to watch for to know when it’s time to update your Facebook and Instagram ad creative, here.

In a nutshell, you will be looking at a variety of metrics like costs, results, frequency, and more. Facebook provides trendlines of costs and results for campaigns, ad sets, and ads, in the ads manager, which can be a nice visual indicator of costs going up, and results going down — the key trigger for rethinking eCommerce social ads creative.

4. Ramp Up Remarketing With Dynamic Product Ads

Just as with paid search, remarketing should be an important part of your paid social strategy. Retargeting this unique audience that has already visited your site but failed to convert requires a special approach. On social, we suggest using dynamic product ads to reach them. 

A dynamic product ad will look like any other ad you place on social, but instead of creating unique ads for each item you want to promote, these dynamic ads allow you to build a template. From there, you can drop in product information and imagery that is specific to the audience you’re trying to retarget.

Example of a Facebook dynamic product ad.

When a consumer in this segment views your ad, it will populate with information on the specific products they visited on your site. The intention here is to spark their memory and entice them to come back and complete a transaction with you. 

Ecommerce SEO

Ranking well on the major search engines is a huge part of the battle when it comes to scaling your ecommerce business. That’s why SEO is so incredibly important. Any good ecommerce growth marketing strategy will put considerable effort into fine-tuning your website to optimize this performance metric. There are four main steps you need to undertake when evaluating your SEO approach.

1. Conduct a Site Audit

This is your opportunity to see under the hood of your website’s on-page SEO performance. It will give you a benchmark for where you are now and let you know what is and isn’t working with your current strategy.

There are a number of great audit tools available these days. They’re each priced differently, and they’ll have varying strengths and weaknesses. We suggest choosing the combination of tools that performs best for the metrics you’re looking to evaluate.

2. Research the Best Keywords for Your Ecommerce Site

Keywords are the primary driver of good SEO. You may feel like you have a good idea of what keywords you want to rank for, but just going on that hunch will not help you unlock the kind of growth you’re looking for. You need to dig deeper.

Take every page on your website and research the optimal keywords for each one. Yes, this will take time, but we promise it’s worth it! Prioritize mapping the most important pages on your site first, so pull up your Google Analytics account and figure out which pages are the top sources of revenue for your site.

From here, focus on unearthing the very best head and long-tail keywords for those pages. For head keywords, it can help to figure out what keywords you’re currently ranking highly for and what other sites and pages are ranking highly with you.

This research will give you insight into what consumers are looking for when they search for that term. You want to select a head keyword that you can be competitive for and one that is tangibly driving folks to your site. 

Long-tail keywords, alternately, give you an opportunity to rank for more detailed terms that are likely more specific to your business. They will have significantly less competition than broader terms (think “black dress” versus “black cocktail dress with sequins”) and therefore can be a cost-effective way to get more eyes on your site.

There are a number of keyword explorers you can use to help find these long-tail search terms, but you can also DIY a bit by typing a broader search term into Google and seeing what it auto-suggests for more specific terms. You can also look at the results in the “people also ask” box as well as the “searches related to” area at the bottom of the SERP. 

3. Optimize Your Meta Titles, Descriptions, and H1s

You’ve got your keywords set. Time to update your titles, descriptions, and headings to help support the structure you’ve built and drive visitors to those pages. Writing completely unique copy for these for every single page on your site would take forever, but don’t fall for the claim that it’s okay to use a single template and apply it sitewide.

Instead, approach it like you did your keyword research, and first find the most important pages on your site (those that rank in the top 10 for a particular keyword). For each of those, craft a specific meta title, description, and heading. You can use a loose template for the other pages by grouping them into related categories and assigning a meta title, description, and heading to all the pages under that umbrella. 

When creating the copy here, make sure you’re always using that head keyword you chose, as well as putting in some of those long-tail keywords where they make sense. You also want to make sure you’re using compelling and actionable language (e.g., “buy,” “click,” “sale,” “free”) as well as plugging any unique perks you provide the customer, such as free shipping or free returns.

4. Create Valuable Content and Hub Pages 

Getting eyes on your product pages is the ultimate goal of ecommerce marketing, but it’s also the biggest challenge. If you approach it correctly, though, your content marketing will drive business continually back to those pages, increasing your conversions.

People love clicking on sources that provide them with quality information, especially if they relate to a niche topic. Blog posts are a great way to provide that value and attract visitors to your site. And while they’re there, you have the opportunity to direct them to your product pages—if you play your cards right.

If you create a lot of content around similar themes, consider creating a “hub page” that aggregates all the content you’ve produced about that topic into one place for readers to explore. This also helps improve your search ranking, as it prevents your blog posts from competing against each other in the rankings and, rather, drives all traffic to that hub page, boosting it significantly higher in the rankings.

Strategically putting internal links into your blogs can also help drive sales. Link back to that hub page to reiterate the value of your content and your brand, but also link to product pages within the content to push conversions. When doing so, though, consider your audience, and imagine what someone who is reading this blog would truly need from your product catalog. 

For example, if you sell leather boots and you write a thorough blog post about how to clean and condition them properly, you can safely assume that most of the people reading it already own a pair of leather boots. You’ll want to link, then, to specific items from your line of cleaning and care products, rather than just your main category page for boots. 

Next Step: Growth

If you want to grow your ecommerce business consistently and efficiently, you need to think of online sales not as one or two specific campaigns or tactics but as a process—one that goes beyond the surface of channels and dives further into the sales funnel, using data-driven analysis and experimentation to unlock avenues of growth for your ecommerce business. 

Our team has years of experience navigating the world of ecommerce growth marketing, and we’d love to talk to you about what we’ve learned. If you’re interested in having a conversation about what this would look like for your business, get in touch. We can set up a free 30-minute strategy session for you. 

We’ll take a look at your business’s unique circumstances and goals, put our heads together, and toss around some ideas about directions for sustainable growth. If nothing else, this exercise can help you shake up your thought process and start thinking about where you want to go from here and what you need to do to get there.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-growth-hacking

What The Hack Is Growth Hacking?

Busy highway

In our previous blog post about growth marketing, we dove into the world of growth marketing in an effort to understand how it works, what makes it different from traditional marketing, and why your company needs to embrace it. If you’ve been reading much about how to stimulate business growth, chances are highly likely that you’ve stumbled across the phrase “growth hacking” as well, so we’d be remiss not to address it. 

You may be wondering what the difference is between growth marketing and growth hacking, and if one is preferable to the other. The terms are often used interchangeably, and there certainly exists an overlap in the goals of growth marketers and growth hackers. Ultimately they are both data-driven approaches that are hyper-focused on metrics and hitting KPIs. 

But there is also a lot about growth hacking that is misunderstood or misinterpreted. We want to break down a few of those misconceptions to help you better understand what growth hacking really is (and isn’t).

Myth #1: Growth Hacking Is a New

The term growth hacking may be quite buzzy right now, but the concept itself isn’t really anything new. It was first coined in 2010 in a blog post written by influential entrepreneur and angel investor Sean Ellis. It really blew up a few years later, though, when Andrew Chen (who was working with Uber at the time) boldly declared that “Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing.” 

But even before these two gave it a name and some viral traction, companies like Facebook and LinkedIn were building their marketing strategies around a scientific approach to rapid growth. This type of innovative and strategic thinking has been around for decades

Myth #2: Growth Hacking Is a Magic Wand

The way growth hacking is hyped up, it’s easy to see why businesses would think it’s an overnight fix. But the sky remains blue, and business remains a long game. There is no wizardry in the world that can provide instant results, and time and effort are still necessary components to success with this approach. 

Both growth marketing and growth hacking are all about intentionality and efficiency. So while there is always a chance you’ll hit on something huge and have a viral campaign on your hands, that shouldn’t be your expectation right out of the gate. 

These methods focus, instead, on constant testing and tweaking to uncover growth opportunities. That can’t happen overnight. Additionally, it might take some serious shifts in the way your business operates to get there. But nothing worth having ever comes without effort, right? 

Myth #3: Growth Hacking Is a One-Man Show

In the early days of growth hacking, there was an unfounded belief that this type of work was the purview of one very specific type of person. The idea that you could hire a growth hacking “guru” who was a marketing genius with crazy coding skills to come in and revitalize your dying business was rampant.

As time has inevitably proven, however, that’s not the case. Growth is literally never a one-person job.

Do you need someone on your growth team who has coding skills? Yes. Someone with extensive marketing experience? Yes. Someone with an intimate working knowledge of your products and services? Yes. Someone who is well-versed in data analysis? Yes.

Can (or should) one person do all those things? Absolutely not.  

While it’s great to look for people with a unique skill set to help propel your business’ growth, don’t fall for the lie that any one person can do all of this for you. Partnering with a growth team or fleshing out your growth team by bringing in contract workers to complement your full-time employees is one thing, but remember that no man is an island. If someone promises you they can deliver astronomical results single-handedly, walk away. 

Myth #4: Growth Hacking Is a One-Size-Fits-All Solution

Just as growth hacking is sometimes considered a magic bullet, there is also the misconception that there is a growth hacking “playbook” that anyone can take a page from and find success. Would that it were that easy, but it’s simply not the case. 

The growth game is all about zeroing in on what works for your brand and your customers. That’s why the approach is based on the scientific method and involves countless rounds of testing and revision. It’s all about individuality, so what works for your business is very unlikely to work for someone else’s, even if you’re in the same industry. 

Each business is going to have a unique path to sustainable growth. While there is a general framework of processes many growth hackers work from, it’s vital that your approach be tailored to your product, audience, industry, etc. Growth hacking is not a copy-and-paste solution any more than traditional marketing is.

Myth #5: Growth Hacking Can Make Up for an Inferior Product

What’s that old saying? Ah, yes: ”You can’t put lipstick on a pig.”

Many businesses have made the mistake of indulging the thought that growth hacking can provide a boost to their bottom line even if they’re selling a subpar product. If you’re running into product quality or customer satisfaction concerns, though, attempting to create a “viral” moment won’t help anything. 

But growth hacking can ultimately help you improve your product. The kind of instant feedback loop this approach creates can help you tweak not only your marketing but your product and service offerings as well.

It can be difficult to admit that your product isn’t everything you wanted it to be, but look at it as an opportunity to work out the bugs and uncover areas for improvement that will ultimately clear the path to sustainable growth. You’ll be better off for it in the long run. 

Forget Hacking and Embrace Processes

At Tuff, we have to admit to having a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the use of the term “hacking” when it comes to discussing growth. Frankly, you can’t hack together long-term sustainable growth; you have to earn it. Chen himself even spoke out recently saying that in many ways, he regretted his role in the popularization of the term, as it has been co-opted by content marketers trying to sell quick-fixes to businesses that should instead be focusing on overhauling their processes.

We understand that when you look at businesses like Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb, it can be tempting to imagine that they have uncovered some secret sauce for instant success, and you just need to figure out the recipe. But our philosophy is that while the concepts behind it are solid, “growth hacking” is largely a buzzword. At its core, it’s really just an attempt to describe how brands find success by embracing non-traditional methods of growth. 

Whether you’re a startup or an established player, growth is always going to be one of your primary challenges. So it’s understandable that businesses are eager to believe it’s possible to “hack” your way into it.

But what you should really be focusing on is refining your processes and optimizing your efforts. At the end of the day, if you’re giving your customers what they want and need, and you’re staying plugged in to the pulse of your business, the byproduct is going to be a kind of natural, organic expansion. 

Rather than looking for tricks or hacks, businesses would ultimately be better served by focusing on developing and deploying their own growth processes. It’s easy to be distracted by exciting, shiny new things that promise instant results, but the reality is that creating sustainable, stable growth is a tall order. And frankly, it can feel boring sometimes. 

But the brands that really nail the growth game aren’t those that experience one instance of rapid explosion. It’s the ones that put in the hard work to find the right catalyst for that explosion point and go in armed with a fully fleshed-out plan for how to capitalize on—and continue—that growth after the initial shine wears off.

The landscape of marketing is constantly changing, so growth initiatives simply can’t be a one-off thing. Growth has to be an integral and ongoing part of your business plan.

Your approach has to be able to evolve. It has to be able to pivot. There are lots of great ideas underpinning growth hacking, but make sure you don’t get caught up in the hype. 

If you want to explore more about how to approach creating a smart and sustainable growth plan for your business, reach out. We’d be happy to set you up with one of our free 30-minute growth strategy sessions. We’ll meet with your team to talk through some ideas for growth that are specific to your brand and your long-term goals; no “hacks” needed! 

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-growth-marketing

Growth Marketing: What It Is and Why You Need It

Person analyzing business growth on laptop & phone

Editor’s note: This content was updated in January 2020.
Original publication date: September 2019

Growth, as it relates to business, is generally defined as, “The process of improving some measure of an enterprise’s success.” When you consider that definition through the lens of marketing, what does “improvement” really mean to you? More sales? More leads? An expansion of your product line or service offerings? All of the above? 

Growth marketing aims to address them all. At its heart, growth marketing is about going beyond the surface of advertising and diving further into the sales funnel, using data-driven analysis and experimentation to unlock avenues of growth for your business. It is a unique approach to marketing that focuses on the use of the scientific method combined with creative tactics to identify the best possible way for your business to attract more engaged customers. 

Growth Marketing versus Traditional Marketing

The marketing industry is full of buzzwords and “growth” has been a big one lately. We can’t blame you if you’re thinking that all marketing is ultimately growth-focused, so why the need for this special designation?

It’s the job of any marketing expert to grow your revenue, right? The difference, though, is all about how they get there. 

Traditional marketing focuses primarily on two goals: awareness and customer acquisition. It seeks to play the long game of creating brand recognition and building reputation. Both of those things are incredibly important, but if you’re just starting out (or your growth is stalled), you may not have the luxury of the time it takes to see results from that type of approach. 

Growth marketing, on the other hand, aims to deliver more rapid results. It uses experimentation and testing to identify ways of maximizing opportunities at every stage of the sales funnel.

It also considers the LTV (life-time value) of each customer. Rather than focusing solely on “getting bodies in the door,” it creates a framework that hones in on the right customers and then engages them throughout the sales cycle, keeping them coming back for more with proven customer retention strategies. 

On its face, growth marketing also looks very different than traditional marketing. A classical approach to marketing usually includes considerable time spent in the stages of planning, strategy, and creative development prior to rolling out a campaign.

The work is mostly frontloaded, and once deployed, the only thing you can really do is hope for the best and wait to see how it shakes out. There may be some audience testing done beforehand to inform the campaign’s general direction, but that’s about the extent of customer feedback involved in the process. 

Growth marketing, conversely, is a real-time game. Don’t get us wrong—there is absolutely creative thought put into strategy, but much of the strength of this approach lies in its ability to pivot quickly and easily based on audience response. Effective growth marketing is all about failing fast, retooling your approach, and attacking every possible angle in order to unearth that hidden growth potential.

Responsibilities of a Growth Marketing Team

This type of marketing can honestly feel radical if you’ve never done it before. But the benefits it brings are more than worth scaling the learning curve. The kind of team you’ll need, and the way they’ll work, will be totally different than a traditional marketing department. 

To be effective in growth marketing, your company must be willing to make major changes to things like onboarding and workflows. There may even be a need for larger organizational and process overhauls if the results of testing show that’s what’s necessary for growth. 

Your team should be well-rounded, with a wide array of skills and an understanding that runs the full gamut of your business operations. While growth marketing is a data-driven approach, a data analyst alone cannot bring you success. You need to marry that scientific approach with innovative creative, an adept understanding of your product/service, and effective project management if you want the execution to be truly fluid. 

You may already have rockstars in your ranks that can fill some of the spots on your new growth team, but don’t be afraid to go a more non-traditional route if that’s what’s necessary to build the best team. Contract employees can help fill in those knowledge gaps while also bringing new energy to the table.

Once you’ve established your dream team, and you’re aligned on the essential growth marketing metrics, there are four main phases of effort that should drive all their work:

1. Identify Areas The Need Testing and Improvement

A growth team needs to understand its customers. Digging into the company’s history and culture can help them paint a more holistic picture of the brand. This will be of vital importance as they work to define the right growth priorities and situate their objectives in the proper context. 

Next, they’ll need to perform an audit of your current marketing strategies. They should be looking at customer metrics, finding your ideal customers, and the performance of each channel you’re currently using, just for starters. An honest accounting of the current atmosphere will help them zero in on both the obvious and not-so-obvious areas where there is room for improvement.

This is also a great time to do a competitive analysis and break down what is and isn’t working for your competitors. You may discover some new growth channels worth exploring during this exercise.

2. Crafting Experiments to Optimize Processes in Those Areas

Once your team has identified the areas where you’re struggling or where you’re leaving something on the table, it’s time for them to put their heads together. They should spend this time brainstorming ideas about how to improve metrics and close gaps. This is an area where having a diverse team really pays off, as they should have a wealth of ideas and thoughts to explore. 

Make sure you don’t inadvertently limit their thinking or confine them to a box; some of the best and most viral growth marketing campaigns have been born of that spirit of “throw everything at the wall and prioritize from there.” Growth marketing initiatives can be edgy. They can be inexpensive or even deceptively “simple.” But what they should always be is scrappy and smart. 

It’s normal to be eager to start a growth campaign, but make sure you give your team ample time and space to come up with plenty of ideas during this phase. Going in fully loaded will mean they’re ready to do extensive experimentation and pivot quickly without having to return entirely to the drawing board before making adjustments.

3. Conducting Experiments to Test Hypothesized Solutions

Now it’s time for organized, smart, and efficient execution. Your team will roll out their first experiments in the hopes of moving the needle on whatever initiative is your top priority. Chances are high that the testing period will be fast and furious.

Growth marketing doesn’t play the game of waiting weeks or months to gauge consumer buy-in on a campaign, so don’t be shocked if your team abandons one avenue just days after they debuted it, or if they A/B test various options in different markets to compare results. The goal here is to amass as much data as possible as quickly as possible.

4. Analyzing Initial Results and Adjusting to Experiment Further If Needed

Once that quick initial testing period is complete, your team will analyze results and determine how to move forward. They may have hit on something golden that they want to continue leaning into, or they may have been surprised by a new area of opportunity they hadn’t expected. Either way, now is the time for adjustments and continued experimentation. 

The tweaks they make may be small, such as changing a headline or a few snippets of ad copy. Or they may introduce entirely new creative, or go in a completely new direction. It can be nerve-wracking to watch it all unfold—especially if you’re used to traditional campaigns that are complex, sprawling, and defined—but you have to trust the process. 

An effective growth marketing team will move very fast in gathering and processing customer data and adjusting their approach accordingly. This is why it’s so important to give them time in the brainstorming phase to stock up on ideas. The process is ultimately one of the continuous small changes until you hit on the perfect combination of creative, copy, channel, and audience. But once you find that sweet spot, you’ll be ready to scale up what works. 

We hope this quick rundown helps you understand a bit more about how growth marketing works and what it could potentially do to energize your company. If you want to learn more about how to leverage this unique marketing approach to generate rapid, sustainable growth for your business, you can check out these top growth marketing experts or give us a shout. We’d love to connect. 

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-growth-marketing-metrics

10 Growth Marketing Metrics Every Founder Needs To Know

tuff-increasing-conversion-rate-with-landing-pages

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with new links and fresh content. 

Original Publication Date: September 11, 2019 

As a founder or marketer, you know your growth goals for Q1 and Q2 of 2020, right? And you have a game plan to get there?

To hit those goals and achieve real, tangible growth, you need to not only understand how to get there but also how to identify your ideal audience and drive constant engagement in a way that positively impacts your bottom line. That’s a lot to focus on all at once, let alone measure. 

If you’re like most founders and startup teams, identifying the right metrics and figuring out how best to track them can be time-consuming tasks. After all, there are a bunch of vanity metrics out there that can be more distracting than useful. 

There are multiple avenues to a good end result, but it’s key that you have at least a foundational understanding of what metrics matter most to your business. That’s why in this post I’m going to give you the growth marketing metrics we like to track. 

At Tuff, when we partner with a startup to implement growth marketing strategy and execution, we pick three of core KPIs from the list below to focus on. From here, we’re able to narrow in on the right tactics, measure our success, internalize the numbers and decide what to do next. 

Ready to get data-driven? Let’s dive in. 

Acquisition

1. Search engines drive 93% of all website traffic

Long-term growth will be easier if you consider SEO from the start. It doesn’t have immediate results or carry the same short term momentum as paid customer acquisition, but the payoff can be 3x greater down the line compared to other acquisition channels. In fact, we think SEO is one of the best early stage investments a founder or startup can make. 

Why? People use search as their main gateway when considering a purchase, so if you set your organic foundation early, you’ll be able to actively work your way up the rankings to drive more non-branded search (and sales, purchases, and leads).

Google Search Console with data.

2. Better content can increase blog traffic by up to 2,000%

When it comes to content, remember that quality is better than straight-up quantity. If you truly understand your user and their unique challenges, you can create content that will provide real value. Quality content paired with smart SEO will help you get found by more prospective customers more often.

3. 50% of PPC visitors are more likely to purchase something than organic visitors

With SEO in place as your long-term investment, paid channels can compliment your strategy and bring quick momentum. The right keywords for your business will have high commercial intent and because of that, those clicks will convert at a high rate. 

4. 81% of marketers found that increased traffic occurred with as little as six hours per week invested in social media marketing

Social isn’t going to supercharge your growth overnight but it’s a key player in the growth strategy mix. Don’t over-invest here but don’t ignore it either. Expending even just a bit more effort could net you big results. 

Engagement

5. Companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies

Consumers interact with brands across a wide variety of channels and platforms. Focusing on providing a seamless customer experience, whether someone is visiting chatting with your support team, shopping on your website, or scrolling through your social feeds, is a proven way to retain (and gain) customers. 

6. 84% of people expect brands to create content

Your customers want more from you than a single product or service. They want value. They want to connect with your brand in a way that feels authentic and beneficial to them personally. If you can work to create content that inspires, excites, and engages, you’ll be able to increase lead quality while reducing churn.

7. The average yield for email marketing is $44.25 on the dollar

Email provides extraordinary ROI in almost every industry. It takes resources to build your list and craft compelling emails, but people still prefer to get their information this way, and that quality traffic will translate into more sales for your business.

Retention 

8. Companies that excel at customer experience grow revenues four to eight percent above the market

If you want to grow, you can’t do it alone. You’ll need loyal enthusiasts. If you can provide the kind of experience that keeps customers not only coming back, but gladly telling everyone about you, your revenue will naturally grow. 

9. Loyal customers are five times as likely to repurchase, five times as likely to forgive, four times as likely to refer, and seven times as likely to try a new offering

Creating a fanbase of loyal customers means you’ll have consistent business, constant new leads, the freedom to try new things, and the ability to make mistakes. Successful growth is inextricable from customer experience. 

10. 80% of your future profits will come from just 20% of your existing customers

You can cast a wide net when marketing your business, but remember that a core of regular customers will make up the base of your revenue. It’s the responsibility of everyone at the company to complement acquisition with retention strategies

In fact, Bain & Company found that “a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%”.

These ten quick growth marketing metrics are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the growth marketing game. If you want to know the ultimate secret for skyrocketing overnight growth, we’ll tell you: 

It doesn’t exist. 

That statement might feel a bit controversial coming from a growth marketing team, but we’re tired of people repeating the idea that you can flip a switch and acquire thousands of new customers overnight. Scaling your business is hard, and growth marketing is not a hat trick

Rather, growth marketing is a path to creating intentional and sustainable expansion. It’s balancing high-risk/high-return campaigns with low-risk/low-return campaigns to find the perfect formula for your company.

Growth marketing isn’t just about quickly increasing your numbers, either. It’s investing your money intelligently to create valuable, relevant campaigns that your ideal buyer both wants and needs with the expectation that this will, over time, impact your bottom line. It’s a continual process of learning and self-improvement. 

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why should your growth marketing strategy be? Trying to do everything at once will likely result in mediocrity across the board.

It can be hard to define and prioritize goals, but that’s the real benefit of working with a  growth marketing team. They’ll help you not only understand what to do, but why you’re doing it. 

They’ll first help you gather and analyze key data for your business. From there, you’ll work together to create hypotheses to identify why certain processes are happening.

Next, they’ll help you prioritize the ideas that have the most potential to spur growth. In implementing those ideas, you’ll be running experiments to confirm or disprove the earlier hypotheses. This cycle repeats until you have a refined and definitive growth marketing strategy that speaks to your company’s unique needs.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-growth-marketing-experts

9 Growth Marketers You Should Be Following Right Now

Want to learn more about growth marketing?

We rounded up nine of the top growth marketing experts in the industry right now. They’ve got a cross-section of skills and specialties and come from wildly varying backgrounds, showcasing what a complex and nuanced game growth can be.

We love following these master experimenters — and recommend you give them a follow, too.

1. Ana Santos: Master of UX Design and CRO

Ana’s expertise sits beautifully at the intersection of experience and connection and places the user’s needs front and center. Plenty of top growth marketing experts talk about the necessity of cultivating a loyal customer base, but Ana provides tangible instruction on how to actually do it in a way that remains authentic to your brand.

What we love about her work: 

  • Her approach is holistic, beginning with product/service clarity and definition and extending all the way to conversion rate optimization (CRO). 
  • She offers immersive courses on highly technical aspects of marketing, including heuristic evaluations (a method used to identify potential usability issues in software).
  • She really gets how to understand your users, and she conveys that clearly and accessibly through both her resources and her blog.

2. Joanna Vaiou: Queen of SEO

This Greek “SEO Lady Boss” originally launched her career by working on SEO project management for architecture firms. Her ability to optimize SEO for niche industries is formidable, and she’s a master of maximizing what Google has to offer. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She provides in-depth case studies to showcase her results in a data-driven format. 
  • Her Twitter feed is packed with SEO goodies.
  • She’s living the digital nomad lifestyle and sharing all her tips and tricks for working effectively without being tethered to one place.

3. Alicia King Anderson: SEO Strategy via Storytelling

Alicia is such a unique voice in the growth marketing space. Sure, she has impressive SEO chops, but most importantly, she’s a storyteller. She understands the value of captivating an audience and how that can ultimately lead to stronger conversion rates. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She uses her creative writing skills to infuse client SEO with a driving narrative.
  • Since she’s in the process of getting her Ph.D. in Mythological Studies, she approaches her work with an ultimate view to the long-term arc of a client’s story.
  • Her favorite part of SEO is puzzle-solving to approach strategy in a holistic way. 

4. Brian Peters: Critical Thinking + Strategic Leader

Brian’s perspective is especially valuable because of its breadth. He has extensive experience in strategy, partnerships, marketing, startups, and more. He heads up strategic partnerships at Shopify, the world’s leading commerce platform. 

What we love about his work: 

  • He provides his followers with detailed explanations of how to achieve concrete marketing goals. 
  • The focus is not always on hard marketing data, but also includes deeper analysis of the nature of work and how to chart a holistic career path.
  • He has an adorable labradoodle named Dierks.

5. Jordie Black: Content Marketer / Strategist Specializing in B2B & SaaS

This London-based content marketer is an ace copywriter who uses her wit and business savvy to “work smarter, not harder.” She especially enjoys working with entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

What we love about her work: 

  • Her Twitter feed is full of great content—both directly from her and retweeted from fellow content nerds who are making waves in the industry. 
  • She offers a top-to-bottom consulting service that helps clients form a thorough and nuanced approach to their content generation.
  • Her services also include copywriting and a blogging boot camp.

6. Elise Dopson: Growth Content Wizard

Elise specializes in growth marketing via content strategy for B2B SaaS and marketing businesses. Her talent for crafting a compelling and data-rich whitepaper sets her apart from your run-of-the-mill content writer. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She is a renowned content writing expert in the B2B arena, and she’s even been named one of the 30 Women Shaping B2B Tech Marketing
  • Her resumé includes work for major movers and shakers in the growth marketing industry, such as Databox, ConversionXL, Leadfeeder, Single Grain, Smart Insights, and Content Marketing Institute.
  • Her style is a perfect blend of cheekiness and know-how, as evidenced by her Twitter feed, which is equal parts hilarious and informative.

7. Katelyn Bourgoin: Customer Research Pro

Katelyn approaches the growth marketing game through the very powerful lens of having been an entrepreneur herself. Having both reached the peak of the mountain and slogged it out in the trenches, she comes bearing the kind of knowledge only a real warrior would have. 

What we love about her work: 

  • She pulls no punches. Her blog delivers actionable advice for marketers without any sugar coating. 
  • As a “3x founder turned growth geek,” she leads in-person workshops—dubbed Customer Camp—that teach companies how to hack their growth by being customer-obsessed. 
  • She is a customer research ninja, and her self-paced online course allows teams to figure out their target customer and star product before investing a ton of time and money into building the wrong thing for the wrong audience.

8. Dani Hart: Sustainable Growth Leader

Dani’s take on growth marketing focuses on how to make it both successful and sustainable. She works with business leaders not only to develop robust growth strategies but to create resiliency and prevent the dreaded burnout as well.

What we love about her work: 

  • She has a knack for helping companies determining whether or not they’ve achieved the right PMF (product/market fit), which can save you a ton of effort on growth that won’t provide ROI. 
  • Her social media strikes the perfect balance between informing and uplifting content, leaving followers feeling motivated and energized.
  • To go along with her mastery of resilience and a sustainable approach to business growth, she’s an amazing yogi, whose Instagram is full of incredible photos.

9. Asia Matos: Expert Marketing Strategy for Startups

As the founder of DemandMaven, Asia focuses on helping founders of early-stage SaaS companies and startups find avenues to rapid growth. Strategy is her middle name. She can help your company set up a campaign, manage acquisition channels, or even analyze your go-to-market strategy. 

What we love about her work: 

  • Her advice is concrete; she’s all killer, no filler. Between her data-driven blog posts and case studies, you can see that she knows what she’s doing.
  • Her process is thorough and in-depth, so you know if you invest in her services that you’ll walk away with tangible returns.
  • Her Twitter feed is full of great takeaways, as well as retweets from other powerhouse marketers (including many on this list), and is an endless font of insight. 

Don’t let the overwhelming nature of the industry prevent you from diving headfirst into learning about how growth marketing can revitalize your business. These top growth marketing experts are great sources for relevant, compelling content that will help you find new avenues of growth for your brand.

If you want to explore more about how to grow your brand’s reach, influence, and impact, touch base to set up a free, 30-minute growth strategy session with the Tuff team. We’d love to learn more about who you are and what you do so that we can help you find your way to the next level.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.