Launching Your Startup in 2016: Digital Marketing Growth Hacks





The very term Startup has acquired a somewhat derogatory note over the past decade, and in 2016 some businesses are even avoiding this label like it’s jinxed. Why is it so? Well, because 9 out of 10 startups fail miserably. A wave of Apple-wannabes, and wantrepreneurs on a mission to create a demand for products that their friends and family consider to be a creation of a genius, have brought hundreds of companies to an imminent failure at a surprisingly fast rate. Brace yourself for the following statement, because it might just sting you a little bit.

You are not the next Elon Musk.

Still, if you don’t want to come off as a business caveman who is not following trends, I suggest that you start using the word Brand instead of a Startup. Because that’s what will influence the final outcome of your work.  And while you’re stuck in a daydream, fantasizing how you will thrive in the business world and build a successful company - some of us are allegedly working even 18 hours a day to make those dreams come true.

So what do you have in plan for today, do you have some milestones to reach? Hopefully you do, because if you want to focus on growth, you need to be focused on a bigger picture as well as your individual milestones. But first, let’s focus on that bigger picture. 

Gartner’s Hype Cycle

The Gartner’s Hype Cycle provides the best possible depiction of how technology innovations peak and progress. Reaching the astronomical curve of growth and the peak of inflated expectations is a bumpy ride, and this representation of tech innovations hype can closely relate to the actual growth of your company. Actually, 25% of startups fail during the first year after their launch, and as much as 30% of them fail because they weren’t ready for the rapid growth. The mutual dependence between your company and the product that you are pushing on the market, and how that relationship relates to this curve presented, should be obvious. Since the great majority of Startups are basing their unique sales proposal on some type of a technological innovation, the algorithm presented is the perfect exemplification of what you can expect from your audience and your overall productivity.

However, reaching that plateau of productivity depends on a grand variety of small milestones that you should reach on a daily basis, as mentioned in our introduction. From marketing to lead generation and actual sales, you have a whole world of troubles to conquer before your business model proves itself as a sustainable operation that will bring profit continuously, and increasingly in the following period.

So which goals should you reach daily? Collecting shares and leads of course. Read through and find out not just how you can generate a buzz within weeks, but also how you can hack some of the growth milestones that you’ve set.

Rapid Growth on a Daily Basis: Exploiting a Social Media Marketing Hack

Your business development relies heavily on your marketing efforts. While most business owners are worried about an inconsistent ROI, which is sometimes in digital marketing as inconsistent and non-transparent as it possibly could be, you will have to embrace the fact that digital marketing is an expense that you can’t get away from. Accept it as a cost of doing business, but keep in mind that it is still an investment. So don’t expect wonders if you are investing less than your competition. Expect wonders only if you are investing less amounts, but in a smart way and particularly focused.

Now let’s reinvent your social media marketing strategy. As we said, ideally, you should focus on one metric, and one metric only. If you are on a mission to develop your business, you have to create brand awareness, and creating brand awareness will come through shares and referrals of your followers. Sharing quality content can get you out there, and it will certainly create some buzz if you do it continuously and you mind your basic SEO strategy. But what you need is engagement from your followers, and you need it to increase gradually, if not rapidly.

Organizing a giveaway is probably the most fruitful hack that you can perform. This type of a campaign will allow you to focus your investment, target the right audience, gain followers, spread awareness rapidly and create that buzz within days. You can practically skyrocket your brand and go viral by the end of the week. The first thing that you will need for this is an app designed for this type of giveaways. The second thing that you will need is a prize that will encourage your audience to share your material. In an ideal world, you have some knowledge of API integrations, and you will utilize your CRM tool with your social media profile and monitor all shares and their conversions separately, since there isn’t a tool that will cover all of this options yet. Today, it is not that hard or expensive to build an app by yourself. However, this is not a necessity. The third thing that you will need is a bulletproof content marketing strategy that will utilize this buzz on the right way.

Expect enormous fluctuations in traffic on your website. If you are monitoring your visitors and conversions you will definitely be confused when you receive your monthly report. In all honesty, that sort of traffic is unpredictable, but one thing that you can do is push high quality content. While the great majority of your contest entrants will be motivated solely by your prizes, a percentage of those visitors will become regular readers of your blog, or at least will become returning visitors. Engaging them, and motivating them through high quality content and lead magnets, will create conversions eventually.

Over time, your visits rate will began to drop (similar to the hype cycle algorithm above presented) and the milestones that you will have to focus on are conversions, of course. Once you determine how many shares are bringing you leads, you will have no problem with optimizing that funnel. Invest in quality, organize multiple giveaways if you have to, but keep a steady flow of visitors and focus on conversions. Once your buzz wears out, another contest will kick it right back up. If you are optimizing your funnel right, you will be able to collect higher and higher numbers of leads, and, ultimately clients.

If it helps, imagine this process as a wave. Once it gets low, it’s time to boost it right back up. In that fluctuation, focus your lead magnets and content to acquire as many leads possible. After that, you will have to focus on referrals, but that’s a whole different story.

Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant mostly concentrated on business growth through latest management and marketing trends, and technological innovations. Nate is the Editor-in-Chief at