Growth Marketing 101: Online Growth Marketing for Small Businesses

It doesn’t matter if you’re a startup or a Fortune 500 company, growth marketing is needed for any business looking to make a profit. The term essentially boils down to: attract more engaged customers. And as such, online growth marketing for small businesses is extremely important. Here are the basics.


“For meaningful growth, startups must completely change the rules of traditional channels or innovate outside of those growth channels. They are too desperate and disadvantaged to adapt to the old rules of marketing. They have to dig deep creatively, and relentlessly test new ideas. If they don’t figure it out quickly, they will go out of business.” – Sean Ellis


1. What is Growth Marketing?

Growth Chart

If finance is the revolving door of cash for a company, then marketing is the revolving door of customers for a company. Seeing as over 500,000 businesses startup every year in the United States, this means that collectively, over $200 billion is spent on just marketing in this country per year. To remain competitive, online growth marketing for small businesses is essential.


So what is growth marketing? It’s basically the next step in the evolution of marketing. Instead of focusing on data, analytics, branding, and research, growth marketing really ties into the services that the internet can offer more readily. To give you a better idea of what that entails, here are some strategies and tools that solid growth marketing strategies like to use.

  • A/B testing
  • Copywriting
  • Content generation
  • Statistics
  • Funnel marketing
  • HTML and CSS
  • Social media
  • SEO


2. How Growth Marketing is Different

So how is growth marketing different from ordinary marketing? Because the old way of marketing towards potential consumers generally formed around the idea of the “waterfall” approach to customers. As in, marketing phases that need to be completed before the next wave can begin. In today’s fast-paced world of technology, this method simply isn’t viable. You have to remain flexible in your business plans so that you can pivot at any time.


The Growth Funnel

Growth Marketing Funnel

One strategy that many companies tend to favor is the concept of the “growth funnel.” This tactic was named after the fact that the amount of potential consumer you can reach will narrow as you approach the bottom of the funnel. However, by utilizing the entire funnel you can gain far more potential customers than if you had taken the older approach of concentrating on the top. Therefore it’s in your company’s best interest to go with the growth marketing approach. This will make full use of your consumer base demographics.


The main difference between the older and newer forms of marketing is that the old way focused mainly on brand awareness and acquisition, which certainly works, but you can gain so much more value from retaining customers and having them act as referrals for your company. Even in the internet age, word of mouth still holds power over what products and services people choose to use.


3. How to be Successful in Growth Marketing

Growth Marketing Venn diagram

But how does your company know when this tactic of marketing is working? Fortunately, there are certain qualities to be on the lookout for when it comes to online growth marketing for small businesses. Here are some points to keep in mind when using this strategy.


Be a storyteller – when you boil it all down, the first marketers were essentially storytellers that could spellbind a captive audience with a product. Don’t be afraid to tap into your inner entrepreneur.

Be a hacker – should your skill set include coding, A/B testing, copywriting, or creating content, the more varied your abilities, the better your chances will be. Think outside the box.

Be product focused – know your product, have faith in it, and show people what it can do.

Be creative – in the breakneck speeds of the modern world, it really helps to think on your feet. Make your own designs, logos, and artwork that suit your brand.

Be data-driven – get the stats, crunch the numbers. Know what your consumer base is looking for.

Don’t be afraid to fail – failure teaches us far better than success ever will.  Experiment and stay open to all possibilities.


4. The Difference Between Growth Marketing and Growth Hacking

Growth Marketing Chart Lines

Unfortunately, the terms “growth hacking” and “growth marketing” have been used interchangeably in the past. And while they are similar terms in the same field, there is a huge difference in what those terms mean. Here’s the fundamental breakdown.


  • Growth Marketing is a long-term strategy designed to provide and boost income to a company
  • Growth Hacking is a short-term fix designed to solve a specific problem quickly and focuses on creating fast solutions


Growth hacks can be thought of like trading in the stock market. It might make you some money fast, but is not a viable long-term solution. Whereas growth marketing is a much more sustainable practice and based on data. In either case, a healthy amount of knowledge and experimentation is usually required.

By |2018-12-18T20:18:43+00:00December 18th, 2018|Branding, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sean Mahan has been writing for online companies since 2014. He really cut his teeth on generating content tailored to companies looking to enhance their SEO.

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