3 Blueprints for Outstanding Online Growth
Growth requires risk.
In order to determine where you have an opportunity for improvement, you first need to recognize the areas of weakness. Exposure is humbling and it can be scary, but it’s the first step to growth.
“Every problem is a gift — without problems we would not grow.”
Anthony Robbins, motivational speaker and writer
Blueprints for growth can take on varying styles and applications, but all of them require risk. Whether you design a viral loop or position your organization for easy word-of-mouth marketing, you’re marrying science and instinct.
Create an online growth strategy for your organization or church with these 3 outstanding blueprints.
1. Viral Loop: Audience Referrals
A viral loop is the means by which an online user selects and shares your content with others, spurring others to do the same. It’s more than sharing information, it’s actually a sophisticated referral engine.
Think about the silly Buzzfeed quiz results we see posted on Facebook. These generate continued traffic and shares, simply by appealing to users with its pop culture associations and personalization.
But for our purposes, let’s take it up a notch. Buywapowa instructs us to “build virality into a product” so users have an incentive to share. This is more than just sharing and referring for entertainment, this is serious business.
Sometimes growth requires rebranding. Is it time? 5 Simple Questions To Ask When It’s Time To Rebrand
For example, look at Airbnb. As described in the Buyapowa article:
Airbnb supercharged the growth of its user base by implementing a referral loop designed to encourage new hosts, and new guests, to come on board.
Current guests and hosts are asked to refer their friends (to become guests, hosts, or both).
When a referred friend successfully completes their first booking, the referrer earns credit that can be used against their next booking. If you refer someone that becomes a host, you’ll get a (higher amount) in Airbnb credit when they host their first guest.
It’s easy to see why this strategy is powerful: the marketing is low-cost and comes with a heavy side of credibility. It certainly seems worth the risk!
2. Experimentation: Using Data to Grow
While Experimentation is not a traditional strategy, it is a blueprint in its own right, thanks to the availability of detailed data.
More than A/B testing, this plan for growth is a combination of gut instinct and science. Professionals in this area of growth test and test and retest to determine a product’s demand and success.
In fact, Amazon was nurtured on this principle. As discussed at CRM:
[Jeff] Bezos promotes failure as a learning experience on the road to invention, because, “to invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it's going to work, it's not an experiment.”
Data is your friend, and access to it increases with every software update. Choose what to test (funnel analysis, website exit intent, conversions, etc.) and carefully study your results.
Increase sales today with 8 Things That Have A Positive Impact on Sales.
3. Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Customer Endorsements
Different than a referral, word-of-mouth marketing asks the customers to step into the organization and make a contribution through their engagement.
An obvious way to harness this strategy is to encourage your customers to engage with your organization or church on social media. Strike a balance for your brand between informing and entertaining, tagging with a hashtag for further engagement.
Adding testimonials and reviews to your online presence will give you credibility and notice, and this kind of social proof will set you up for growth.
An example of a successful word-of-mouth marketing is Land’s End. As explained in Huffpost:
When Lands’ End decided to launch Lands’ End Canvas, a product line targeting millennials, it embraced the power of word-of-mouth marketing. The company partnered with eight well-known bloggers, each of whom was charged with curating a “Blog-Up Shop,” or digital retail space, on their personal platform. These influencers truly spread the word: The campaign generated more than $100,000 in sales and over 60 million impressions on the internet stars’ sites.
Of course, it’s just not any “mouth” that’s doing the talking. Land’s End carefully chose their ambassadors and let their influence do the work. But the risk certainly paid off!
The companies referenced took a chance by leaning on the customers’ engagement to help build their notice and credibility, resulting in further online growth. Each of these blueprints can be applied to your organization: we can all add testimonials, encourage shares, and get influencers talking.
Take a calculated risk of your own and implement one of these 21st century growth blueprints in your organization.