Developing a growth marketing plan is a critical element of any digital strategy. However, all too often, marketers make common mistakes about the data and insights they have available and the planning and execution of a plan.
Here’s a closer look at things to avoid when developing your growth marketing plan.
What Is Growth Marketing?
Growth marketing is a long-term, strategic approach to marketing that relies heavily on data. The approach helps brands achieve consistent, sustainable, and measurable growth.
An effective growth marketing plan uses an end-to-end approach that looks at every stage of the marketing funnel to attract and entice customers. However, too many traditional marketing approaches focus exclusively on the wide end of the funnel.
The successful growth marketing plan is different. It features a balanced approach that approaches every stage — awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, revenue, and referral — equally.
Additionally, with a balanced focus on each stage of the customer journey, your marketing plan will deliver deep insights and data. As a result, this information can help determine how successful a campaign was. Consequently, it can also help inform future campaigns.
Mistake 1: Marketing Without a Plan
You need a well-defined plan in order to start developing a marketing strategy. Additionally, your marketing plan needs to clearly identify your customer personas and each phase of the funnel.
Developing these strategies requires collaboration and perspective from multiple team members. It requires setting priorities, goals, measures, and outcomes.
In addition, it also requires being willing to experiment and testing out ideas, concepts, and new messaging. However, to test out ideas, you still need a plan to measure the outcomes against.
Mistake 2: Failing to Remain Consistent with the Brand
No matter what marketing strategy you deploy, you need to remain consistent with your organizational brand. Brand matters deeply. Consequently, you do not want a marketing strategy in place that does not align with the brand.
In a competitive market, disruption and damage to your brand can have disastrous consequences. Therefore, remain true to the brand and brand guidelines within a growth marketing plan. In addition, if the results of that work dictate taking a closer look at your brand, then do that work separately.
Mistake 3: Failing to Develop a Content Strategy
Content is king. It drives search engine optimization. Content leads customers to your website. Consequently, it reinforces other messages.
Developing a content strategy is a core component of growth marketing. Your content can take many forms — blog posts, videos, e-books, white papers, and websites. This content has several benefits.
First, it answers questions that customers and prospects are asking. A smart content strategy plan knows the concerns, questions, and needs of its customers and provides answers.
Second, a good content marketing strategy positions your brand as a leader, with the knowledge, insights, and expertise within your industry.
Finally, content marketing is versatile. As a result, it can be used again and again to use in multiple formats.
Mistake 4: Ignoring Social Media
Marketing strategies need to be comprehensive. Additionally, they should use as many arrows in your quiver as possible. Social media is a critical component of an effective strategy.
You’ll need to do some research to determine which platforms are best for your brand. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and YouTube are among the most popular.
One of the most powerful benefits of having a content strategy plan is the ability to use digital PR to distribute the content in the right places.
Mistake 5: Using ‘Black Hat’ Strategies
Black hat hacking uses various strategies to trick search engines — and users — to monetize activity. In marketing, that might mean link building to boost SEO results or creating link farms that drive traffic.
These approaches are not worth the time and can lead to unforeseen problems. As a result, you could end up being blacklisted by search engines.
To avoid the perils of SEO, be sure to avoid adding irrelevant keywords to your content just to boost website hits. Irrelevant content can also turn off audiences and lead to increased bounce rates.
Don’t “keyword stuff” by adding too many keyword links to your website in the hopes of boosting your Google search ranking. Google algorithms can detect this misleading practice.
On the flip side, keyword research is essential. Identifying the most relevant keywords and keyword phrases can better inform your messaging, content strategy, and growth marketing.
Mistake 6: Forgetting It’s About the Product
If you want to be successful as you experiment and implement a marketing strategy, be careful to remember one thing. It’s about the quality of your product or service.
In the end, it has to be about providing high-value, highly needed products, and services. Consequently, finding a way for these marketing initiatives to inform new iterations of your products and services is critical.
How? Consider that conversion rates and bounce rates can give you good data about what’s valuable. Understanding what customers are looking for and where they spend time on your website are valuable insights. As a result, this information can help you refine product lines and marketing focus for increased profits.
Mistake 7: Not Knowing Your Competitors
Growth marketing can seem like an insular, internal process. However, it needs to be well informed by what’s happening with your competition.
Consequently, reviewing and analyzing what others in your space are doing can inform how you develop messaging and distinguish your brand.
Mistake 8: Ignoring Mobile
Most people who search for something, browse a website or engage online are using a mobile device.
Mobile-first is no longer an anomaly. It’s a must. As you’re optimizing your messaging and marketing, you have to think about the mobile experience.
Customers are most likely to be using a smartphone or tablet when they are engaging with your brand.
Mistake 9: Setting Unreasonable Goals
Your strategy needs to include goals that are measurable, realistic, attainable, and transparent. As a result, set your goals based on past performance and data-informed projections.
Mistake 10: Not Reviewing the Plan
Your marketing plan should be an organic, ever-evolving tool. Reviewing your plan regularly will help you determine if you are reaching your goals.
Course corrections are perfectly acceptable and will allow you to build a growth marketing strategy that aligns with where you are.
Growth marketing is an excellent way to scale a business by focusing on customers at every phase of their journey with your brand. Learning how to build an effective growth marketing strategy gives you the tools to market effectively for long-term gain.