We had the pleasure of hosting Ryan Metzger, Director of Growth Marketing at Madrona Venture Group, for a Growth Study Hall. Previously, he was Director of Acquisition Marketing for Zulily. With extensive knowledge in SEO/SEM, customer acquisition, and conversion optimization, he acts as an advisor and coach to Madronas portfolio companies.
During this session, Ryan covered 3 key tips to prioritizing growth for startups. Take a look at what he said below and get on track to make your startup the most important thing in your life:
Growth and customer development can be the same thing. Content marketing can be used as a tool to experiment with both and is relatively cheap. You might ask yourself, “How can I produce content for cheap?” The answer is to write.
Create and experiment with different content formats and topics. Encourage yourself to write 500-1000 words a day. This simultaneously builds your brand and helps you narrow your focus to the most important customers.
With social media and various instant communication channels, influencer marketing is more effective than ever. TA McCann, a local serial entrepreneur and Galvanize Mentor, suggests the following tactics for influencing the influencers at little to no cost.
The most critical aspect of creating an influencer marketing plan is identifying effective influencers. Buzzsumo is a great place to start. Next, you need to provide value for these influencers in whatever way possible. Share content with them that they might find useful. Give them feedback on the content they produce and share. When you’ve built and actual (digital) relationship with them ask them for feedback on a piece of content you produced.
If they express that the content is relevant and valuable, ask them if they’d be willing to share it. If that doesn’t work, keep trying!
Getting Back to Basics
Ryan had one overarching point he wanted to drive home: marketing has grown into a massive industry of number crunching, funnel optimization, and analytics, but when it comes down to it, people care about stories.
People care about your brand, what you stand for, and the way that what you do makes them feel. People care about the why. If, as founders and early employees of startups, we can tell the story of why we do what we do, everything else in the marketing department will work itself out.