It’s the small changes that count when making content go viral.
Traditional companies spend anywhere from 5-10% of their annual budget on customer acquisition.
Startups, however, tend to spend closer to 15-25% since they are focused on getting to revenue positive or raising a followup round based on their traction. I’ve had the pleasure to work with 5 startups who are outperforming and underspending their competitors in the sprint that is startup growth-hacking.
Over the last 10 years, I’ve helped organizations get traction; (everything from beating Kickstarter to getting millions of views for client videos) and have learned the hard way what most startups are missing in their marketing and why most spend too much money on too little growth.
What do these startups understand that is helping them grow faster than competitors on social media?
Become a leader for your target audience by providing value, not by talking about yourself.
Whether it’s by giving tips and tricks, or reviewing industry products that your audience is interested in, the fastest growing startups understand that growth hacking through content marketing has to stem from the perspective of the audience; both from the type of content they consume and being present on the right platform.
Stanford PhD., ex-PayPal and eBay executive, and mother of two Elena Krasnoperova says motherhood is the hardest thing she’s ever had to do. Her family calendar app has a mission to help mother’s live easier lives with the help of their spouses and other family members by assigning tasks and chores. This core mission permeates Calroo’s entire social media presence. Moms from around the world have joined Calroo’s social media networks by the thousands every month to receive free content about family life, productivity, and share parenting tips.
Milwakee-based serial enterpreneur Nathan Harris has a mission to help businesses scale by creating a platform at the forefront of the freelancing economy; giving businesses like Abaxent Global (servicing businesses like Harley Davidson, IBM, and GE), on demand freelancer talent that’s managed by Ease on a proprietary cloud-based platform. The business’s commitment to empower freelancers to live life by their own terms, shows on every social media post; oftentimes receiving tens of thousands of impressions as freelancers share free resources related to book-keeping, graphic design, and free stock images. In putting the audience first, Ease has grown rapidly in a few short months.
When CEO Matthew Sniff left Silicon Valley to relocate his startup to North Carolina’s Research Triangle region, he was commited to grow his company drastically as quickly as possible. In less than a month of content marketing and testing paid distribution outlets, Sniff was able to bring his cost of acquisition down as low as ⅓ of his competitors. The team understood the right audience, content, platform, and paid distribution strategy to double down on their strenghts and position MapMyCustomers as a market player in 2017.
Hoverpin CEO Alain Hanash knows the importance of momentum. After raising a +$17,000,000 USD investment for his last startup, Hanash is now creating a tech to license out to discovery tools; find people, places, and events around you- even if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In less than a month since launching on ProductHunt, Hoverpin’s first product (a Facebook Messenger chatbot), has been featured on Botlist to more than 250,000 monthly visitors and grown on social media followings by the thousands. The secret? Hoverpin’s relentless commitment to show users new places and experiences around them translates to every social media platforms, with users rushing to Hoverpin’s social platforms to find new coffee shops in New York, or hidden gems in Silicon Valley. Not every post is about the app, but about the community and mission.
NomadApp has curated and posted an average of 4-8 Instagram posts per day for months, and have grown a total social media following exceeding 70,000 followers in less than a year on multiple accounts. By sharing traveler-submitted content, NomadApp builds a loyalty with undiscovered travel photographers, who happily share with their friends that their picture just got featured by a large Instagram travel channel.
Grow your community around a shared interest.
Doing this simple shift is the single most powerful thing you can do when marketing on a limited budget.
These fast growing startups are a great example of entrepreneurs who understand how to compete with other companies in the space who can outspend them dollar by dollar. Targeted content marketing, and (more importantly) quality distribution tactics have helped fast growing startups position themselves competitively in their respective fields.
Think in terms of your audience.
Think in terms of providing value.