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Ultimate Guide: How To Build A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

By Growth Kolony Blog, Startups No Comments

Ultimate Guide: How To Build A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
By: Growth Kolony

There are plenty of startups that struggle with finding funding for their business ideas.

And the venture capital companies that do decide to fund startup founders invest in startups with traction.

So how does a startup founder get traction without spending thousands of dollars and wasting a lot of time on a product that flops?

The answer is building a minimum viable product also known as MVP.

MVP Explained: What Is A Minimum Viable Product?

MVP is an acronym that stands for Minimum Viable Product.

This concept was first introduced in 2001 by Frank Robinson and then later popularised by Eric Ries.

The minimum viable product provides a maximum amount of validated learning about customers with minimum effort. This product allows any team to do this and is explained by Eric Ries in the video below.

Ultimately, the goal of your MVP is to ship out the most basic version of your idea and do it as soon as possible. This is a way for you to test any product or market idea based on the feedback of users from early adopters.

What Are The Benefits Of The MVP

Below we highlight the top benefits of pushing out your MVP:

1. Low-Risk Product That Can Provide Very High ROI

One of the key benefits that come with the MVP is that it is a low-risk task. But, the results for this may be exponential.

Plenty of companies such as Dropbox and Uber have grown into what they are today by having some MVPs testing their ideas. The cue you should take from this is to release an MVP and add only the features that are requested by your users.

return on risk analysis

2. MVP Will Save You Time And Money

All of the money and time that you would have spent on marketing and product development can now be reinvested into customer development. What this ensures you is a good product and an increased chance of success.

Many people have learned this the hard way.

Stop spending your time and energy on a product that has not been tested on the market.

Instead, do the MVP and thrive.

3. You Get The Opportunity To Attract Early Adopter Customers

If you want your MVP to pick up the pace, the thing you need to do is target the right people.

Think about targeting influencers and early adopters. There is a high chance that these people will be the ones who will be most excited about your product and will provide you with honest feedback.

They will also likely promote your product to their network.

early adopter

What Are The Top Challenges When Creating An MVP?

When creating an MVP, entrepreneurs are usually met with a few challenges along the way.

Think of challenges as opportunities that help you become better.

Below we highlight the three most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when building an MVP.

1. Ignoring The Difference Between MVP, Prototype And Proof Of Concept

Even though all of these three strategies are created to validate a certain idea, all of them are created for different purposes.

product market fit chart
The proof of concept helps you check if an idea is developed enough to be released into the world, where a real-life scenario can happen. The prototype is working on a simulation of a product that is based on your concept mock-ups and is discarded right after testing.

Now, the real difference between a prototype and an MVP is that the MVP is the first version of an actual idea. Despite the limited features it might have, the prototype is just a draft that you immediately discard after launching.

2. Lack Of Knowledge Needed To Identify The Target Group For The MVP

The second most frequent challenge that entrepreneurs face is product and market fit. Just because the product is “good” does not mean that it will perform well in the market.

For example, the mobile app Botnim discovered this very soon after launching. Botnim is an app that helps users find a restaurant near them based on their food preferences.

Their market research consisted of talking to restaurant employees and their owners about the food preferences of guests.

But, what they failed to recognize is the target audience, which was the people.

Those people who often went to restaurants did not care much about what they ordered to eat and the people who did care about what is on their plate rarely visited — their MVP fell flat.

In this case, you need to research your audience and make them use your MVP. Constantly test your audience, over and over again. Because there is a high chance your first testing group will not provide you with any response.

The trick here is that you have to look for passionate people. Show them your product and encourage them to give you some honest feedback.

3. Choosing A Project Management Methodology That Is Incompatible

Many startups are faced with the same challenge and that is collaborating with others to build the MVP.

Tech startups for example require the creation of special software as a part of their MVP development. In these cases, the most used project management methodologies are Agile and Waterfall.

The Waterfall management model consists of a strictly defined sequence of software development. These include design, implementation, planning, production, testing, and support.

You can jump to the next stage even if you haven’t fully completed the previous one. The Agile model is considered to be much stricter than the Waterfall model. This model strives for agility.

You can instantly make changes as you go, based on the feedback you get. Constant alterations speed up the process of product development. If the development process is outsourced on a platform such as Clutch or Upwork, some issues may arise.

This does not happen because of low quality, but because you need to have your development team on hand for any alterations you may want to do.

chaos resolution model

What Is Fake Door MVP Testing?

This is how you’ll learn if people are willing to buy your product at all. Drive traffic to a landing page on a website and see if people will purchase your product or not.

This can be done by a crowdfunding platform such as Gofundme, Kickstarter, etc. When you are doing this, you want to add a button that can help you see if people take interest in the particular features that your product offers.

There is one main piece of information that can help you know whether people like your product or not. It is the ratio of people who show interest in your product against the number of people who have been exposed to it.

By using validation and invalidation, the company can gather plenty of information and decide how to implement them in its next steps.

Fake door testing is a good way to see how many people want your product. You can evaluate some small features with it as well and it can even help you develop some features of the product without spending a lot of money.

fake door testing

What Are Some Minimum Viable Product Examples?

Below we feature MVP examples from startups that went ahead without using the MVP properly and ended up crashing and burning.

Let’s get right into it.

Gymlisted

Tom Zaragoza started with a very simple idea: The app was supposed to locate private gyms in your area and provide a membership management hub.

The idea came from his cousin, who owns a gym, and who was eager to try such an app.

This made Tom invest his time and money into it. Unfortunately, one relative’s passing interest cannot form the foundations for a strong MVP and his idea crashed flat.

AskTina

This is a live video app for blogs. The founder Tom Hunt made the mistake of using MVP without conducting thorough market research beforehand.

He did all of the interviews that could help him identify their desires, needs, and problems, but he simply didn’t do enough interviews.

As a result, they spent time and money on building a product that customers didn’t want. This only goes to show how doing just an MVP is not enough. It needs to be thoroughly researched and watertight.

Airbnb

This is another example courtesy of Airbnb founders, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia.

Their concept was to make people rent an extra room or apartment for a short period, an idea that came to Airbnb founders when they did not have enough money to pay their rent.

At the time they were living in San Francisco and out of desperation for rent money after noticing a design conference taking place in the city, they came up with the idea.

They decided to post pictures of their room and try to rent it out for a couple of days to attendees of the conference.

Successfully, they had three customers.

What they used was an MVP to gain information based on their three customers. So, going with their initial assumptions, first, they created a bed and breakfast, then they expanded to what is today Airbnb.

Watch the video below on how Airbnb started:

Uber

At the beginning in 2010, Uber founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp used a very simplified interface.

The app was created in San Francisco and the goal was to help iPhone users in the city find cheaper transportation to get from point A to point B with vehicles that can provide excellent service, were fast to find and you knew the price before getting in the vehicle.

This was tested in New York with only three cars before having an official launch in San Fransisco. Uber used their rating system to gather information from their customers to improve the service.

This was when Uber’s founders gained true success. They managed to expand throughout the USA and even in Europe, despite the competitive space.

How To Create Your MVP

Before moving on, make sure you know the benefits, downsides, and challenges of building an MVP.

Only after learning this is when you can continue to make your very own MVP.

Below we show a step-by-step guide on how to crate your MVP:

1. Identify Your Issue

Before you start identifying the issue, you need to take a good look at your business premise. Zoom in on your product. What does it do and which problem does it solve? These are the simple questions that can influence all of your decision from this point on. Also, it will influence your target audience as well.

Who are your customers and why are they attracted to your product?

Potential customers should be given the option to sign up for updates which will give you valuable insight when it comes to audience research. All these potential customers will reveal what their motivations for subscribing are and what they expected to see from the final product.

Also, spy on your competition. By seeing what they do better, or worse, you can develop your unique sales point (USP).

2. Outlining Your Flow Of Users

The user flow explains the route that your potential customer will take with your business. Just like how Uber takes the customer to places. It is a very exact aspect and it contains numbers, but it is an important part if you want to build a solid MVP.

You can easily break it down into a few stages so you can outline the goal of your potential customers. Take Spotify as an example. It is a platform that helps people find the music they like.

First, they need to search for music, then play it, then curate it, and discover new music along the way. These are the most obvious steps that Spotify identified.

They created an end product around it and they managed to do that by providing impeccable service. This is a stage that can help you discover all of the areas where there can be an improvement, now or in the future.

3. Break Down The Core Feature

You have your USP and the issue it solves. The following step is to break down the features that it comprises.

Make a distinction between the ones that are nice to have and the essential ones. The first one can be left for a later date, knowing that you are striving for a minimum viable product.

mvp vs map

After identifying the core features, prioritize them. The one key feature will be the center of your attention. It will be of most use to your potential customers and will solve the problem that you have earlier established.

At this stage, it is important to be honest with yourself. The second pair of eyes is always good to have. This way you can easily determine whether something is a priority or not.

If you need an organizational tool that can help you allocate each feature to the stages of your user flow, then Trello or even Mindmup can help you achieve it.

What To Do After You Create Your MVP

After building the MVP, it is time to test it for functionality and acceptance. You can do this by driving traffic to it. Your goal here is to successfully transfer this from MVP to MMP (Minimum Marketable Product).

For example, say you built a new website that interviewed entrepreneurs and brands breaking the status quo in the tech world. How are you going to find out whether your target audience will accept it?

You’ll learn by analyzing the traffic that you send to the site and studying user behaviour. Did your users stay on your website for long or bounce off? Did they share your content, sign up for your newsletter or follow you on social media?

If you don’t want to spend a fortune but still want feedback from users, here are a couple of ways how to do that.

1. Paid Ads

Whether you use search engine ads from Google or Bing or social media ads from Facebook and LinkedIn, just to name a few options, the more you spend, the more targeted traffic you’ll drive to your site. Generally, we find that social media traffic is cheaper than search traffic but you can test yourself and see what works best for you.

2. Buy Old URLs 

Here you can buy an existing website within your niche from an online marketplace like Flippa. So when you buy an old website, you’ll already have a steady level of traffic. After you have buy it, you can test your MVP on an already prepared market that is related to your niche.

3. Record A Video That Talks About Your MVP.

Video content is the lifeblood of social media. With YouTube being the second largest search engine and short-video content like TikTok and Reels, you’ll expose your website and MVP to more users outside your existing fan base.

4. Get Feedback About MVP

Make sure to drive up the traffic that goes to your landing page. The traffic can be paid (non-organic) or organic. Organic traffic derives from social media, blog posts, and websites that are specific to your industry.

Reach out to anyone who has signed up for your email newsletter or followed you on social media.

5. Start A Blog

Here you will give people a chance to take a look at what happens behind the scenes.

It will also give them an idea of who is working behind the product. This will help you build a loyal audience that is both interested in what you do and is interested in the product as well.

Also when you write and target keyphrases across the web, you’ll be able to pull in organic traffic from search engines like Google and Bing and expose more people who are interested in your niche to your MVP.

6. Release A Survey To Your Audience

This is how you will get customer opinion. Give them a chance to sign up for an email list. It will give you some clear numbers on how many people like the idea in the first place and how many roughly will buy your product.

7. Split Test

Test your videos, test your audience, and test your marketing materials! Make sure that you are doing whatever you can to get the most accurate results.

8. Run A Crowdfunding Campaign To Validate Your Ideas

Whether it’s on Indie Go Go or Kickstarter or both, get more eyeballs to your MVP and create a crowdfunding campaign.

9. Pre-Order Pages

This is a great way to see if people will pay for your idea/product/service. You can easily do this by setting up a landing page and feature an explanation video where the product is explained and copywriting that highlights the benefits and your call-to-action Buy button!

Then, send paid traffic to the pre-order page and get immediate feedback from your website visitors.

how to build a minimum viable product

Conclusion

Don’t give up on your startup idea, it might just be the next best thing! All you need to do is find an idea and test the market to see if it’ll stick. When it comes to the MVP, it is considered to be a widely accepted option. Especially in those cases where you want to test a product idea as soon as possible.

Once the MVP is created, you need to drive up the traffic and ask for feedback. It is the logical path when releasing a new product.

Take the feedback and make your product even better. Once it is vastly known, especially through influencers and early adopters, you will have no issue rising to the top!

If you have any questions about our article “Ultimate Guide: How To Build A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)” or need help with growth marketing for your business, feel free to call us at 1-888-593-4159 or DM us in near real-time on FacebookTwitterInstagramTikTokLinkedIn.

growth marketing

150 Growth Marketing Statistics That Give You An Unfair Advantage

By AI Marketing, Content Marketing, email marketing statistics, Growth Hacking, Growth Kolony Blog, Growth Marketing Agency Toronto, Local SEO, Mobile App Marketing, SEO, Social Media No Comments

150 Growth Marketing Statistics That’ll Give You An Unfair Advantage
By: Growth Kolony

With great data comes great knowledge and with great knowledge comes great power.

So today we highlight 150 growth marketing statistics that’ll empower business owners and professional marketers with the knowledge that’ll help accelerate online growth today.

Let’s get right into it!

growth marketing statistics

Why are growth marketing statistics important?

Growth marketing statistics help you stay competitive

  • With powerful industry statistics and knowing your competitor’s statistics, your business will be able to size up the competition. You’ll know where the marketing industry is heading which will help you jump through future challenges and stay ahead of the competition that do not follow growth marketing statistics.

Growth marketing statistics keep you on top of trends

  • This is vital if you want to reveal patterns and trends happening in the online marketing world. With proven data-driven strategies, you’ll find assistance in identifying emerging platforms and strategies.

Growth marketing statistics make room for plenty of other strategies

  • When you are dealing with this particular type of marketing, you build and improve on what is proven to work. There’s no guessing when the proven data is there. You then can spend time focusing on other tasks, like taking your site through more audits and experiments. Because after all, the efforts you put into growth marketing are fruitless if your website fails to support them.

Important growth marketing statistics

Below you’ll find the latest growth marketing statistics that highlight the industry market.

How big is the growth marketing industry?

1. Currently, US digital and advertising marketing is estimated at $460 billion dollars.

2. In Canada, businesses are expected to hit an estimated $12.3 billion dollars.

3. The global market for the growth marketing industry was estimated at $350 billion in the year 2020 and is supposed to reach $786 billion by the year 2026.

What’s the growth rate of the growth marketing industry?

4. The annual growth rate of growth marketing between the years 2020-2026 is projected to be 9 percent.

5. In 2022 alone, 63 percent of businesses have already increased funding for their growth marketing strategies.

6. The budget rate in growth marketing spending has been noticed to rise 14 percent just within the past year.

7. Digital display is expected to grow to about 15.5 percent CAGR and search marketing is expected to continue to grow at 12.2 percent. Search marketing accounts for 40.9 percent of the marketing and global growth advertising market.

What is the success rate of growth marketing?

There is not one single answer that can explain this, however, here are a few pointers that can guide you in the right direction:

8. The highest reported ROI rate for paid ad channels are Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

9. PPC results in a 200 percent ROI rate, meaning on average PPC ads return $2 dollars for every $1 dollar spent.

10. 50 percent of businesses claim that organic search is what brings them the most ROI.

11. Email marketing returns $36 dollars for each dollar that is spent.

12. Small businesses say that email marketing is the one marketing channel that brings them the highest return when it comes to investment.

13. According to marketers, SEO and content marketing provide the best ROI.

How much of the marketing industry is digital?

14. About 72 percent of the overall marketing budget goes to digital channels.

15. 55 percent of all marketing is digital. Offline marketing in the year 2021 was $196 billion dollars and online marketing cost $436 billion dollars.

Is growth marketing in demand in 2022?

16. The demand for a growth marketing job is expected to increase by about 10 percent by the year 2026 – that’s above average for all careers.

More Interesting Growth Marketing Stats

17. An average local business invests about 5-10 percent of its revenue in growth marketing, and we’ve seen larger businesses invest up to 14 percent of their revenue in growth marketing.

18. Customers spend 50 percent more on businesses that respond to reviews regularly.

19. 93 percent of people read online reviews before making a purchase.

20. 78 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations while only 14 percent trust advertisers. Prospects spend 5 times longer on a certain site after reading negative online reviews about a business.

21. Google is currently holding 91 percent of the complete worldwide search engine market share.

22. 45 percent of shoppers buy online and then pick up in-store.

23. Three-quarters of businesses report how growth marketing campaigns directly influence their overall revenue.

24. 52 percent of businesses are using marketing attribution reporting.

25. 62 percent of marketers use CRM software for reports.

online statistics

Online Marketing Statistics For 2022

If you have a strategy that needs framing, look at these data points below.

The following online marketing statistics can help you understand how much you need to spend and which channels.

How effective is online advertising?

26. Digital ads increase brand awareness by 80 percent.

27. Consumers have a 155 percent more chance of looking into your website and brand-specific terms after they have been exposed to display ads.

28. Customers are 70 percent more likely to purchase from a retargeting ad.

29. When a potential customer searches after initially seeing an ad, the likelihood that they’ll buy goes up to 59 percent.

30. A user’s search activity increases by 155 percent after being served a display ad.

31. After seeing a display ad, 27 percent of customers search for the business.

32. PPC can generate double the number of website visitors that SEO brings in. The more you spend the more traffic you can expect.

33. 86 percent of people would pay more for services from a company with higher ratings and reviews.

How big is online advertising?

34. The total ad search funds spent in the year 2021 was $144 billion dollars.

35. On a global level, the digital ad spend for the year 2022 currently is $441 billion dollars, and it is estimated to increase in 2023 to $485 billion dollars.

How much advertising is online?

36. Out of the total advertising expenditures in the year 2021, 4 percent is accounted for digital advertising.

37. 50 percent of advertising in 2020 was conducted online – offline advertising spend was $196 billion dollars and online advertising spend was $378 billion dollars.

38. The annual growth of digital media is higher than offline media.

What is the percentage of online advertising on social media?

39. Out of all digital spending in 2022, social media accounted for 33 percent.

40. The annual spending on social media in the year 2022 currently is $134 billion dollars. A 17 percent YoY growth increase.

41. Paid social traffic makes up for 5 percent of overall website traffic and 15 percent is paid search traffic.

42. 4 percent of digital marketers want to increase their paid social spending in the next year.

Is online growth advertising popular?

43. 65 percent of mid-sized and large businesses have a PPC campaign.

44. 45 percent of all businesses have a paid search strategy set in place, and they use display ads too.

45. 96 percent of revenue in Google comes from Google Ads.

Even More Growth Marketing Statistics

Go through the following PPC statistics before investing your money in paid advertising.

46. 18 percent is the average click-through rate across all of the industries for Google Ads.

47. 8.82 percent is the average conversion rate in all industries, ranging from 3.25 percent to 19.19 percent.

48. $41.40 dollars is the average cost per lead across all industries, ranging from $14.88 to $73.70.

49. $3.53 dollars is the average cost per click in all industries.

50. Digital ad fraud cost advertisers $22.4 billion globally.

51. Only 20 percent of marketers use A/B tests to improve conversion rates.

52. 70-80 percent of people completely ignore digital paid ads.

SEO statistics

SEO Statistics For 2022

If you want to take a look at the bigger picture and check whether your business is a good fit for SEO marketing, here are some SEO growth marketing trends and statistics that you might find useful.

How much is the SEO industry worth?

53. Currently, the SEO industry is worth about $80 billion dollars. In the year 2019, this industry was worth half at about $43 billion dollars, and it is predicted to go up to $86 billion dollars in the year 2023.

How much traffic does SEO generate?

54. 53 percent of website traffic derives from organic searches.

55. Businesses that commit to blogs pull in 55 percent more traffic to the website when compared to sites that do not blog.

Is SEO relevant today?

56. 61 percent of marketers report that website traffic generation is their number one priority, so yes.

Does SEO increase the ROI?

57. SEO leads have a 15 percent closing rate.

58. 85 percent of retailers report that SEO and paid search are most effective for getting new customers.

Do big companies spend money on SEO? And how much?

59. Depending on their strategy, big companies commit between $10k-$20k dollars every month to SEO.

60. Small to medium businesses spend about $5k-$10k dollars every month on SEO.

61. Small businesses spend about $1k-$5k dollars every month on SEO.

How many people go to the second page on Google?

62. Between 75-93 percent of users never look past page 1 Google. This means every time a business fails to rank for keywords on any given search query, they lose 75 percent to 93 percent of daily impressions.

What defines a good organic search performance?

63. When it comes to Google organic search, the top-ranking site has an average CTR of 31 percent.

64. The industry standard for organic CTR is between 3-5 percent.

More Growth Marketing Statistics For SEO

If you feel unsure whether you should spend more money on SEO, check out the following SEO statistics below.

65. 89 percent of customers start their customer journey with a search engine.

66. 46 percent of all Google searches are search queries for local services and local products

67. 29 words is the average voice search query. If you want to dominate voice search and perform well, you’ll have to be clear and concise with your brand name with power words.

68. 28 percent of local searches result in a purchase within 24 hours.

67. When you are ranking a website, there are over 200 search engine ranking factors from the algorithm that you need to consider.

68. 88 percent of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a related store within a week.

69. SEO content is important for growing your business. Brands that blog have 434 percent more indexed pages than brands that don’t blog.

70. 76 percent of people who search on their smartphones for something “nearby” visit a business within a day.

71. The most heavily used SEO tool is Google Analytics.

Growth Marketing Statistics For Social Media For 2022

These are the type of statistics you do not want to miss out on because marketing in social media is growing by the minute.

How large is the social media market?

72. The global social media market is estimated to be worth $223.11 billion.

How much of marketing is done on social media?

73. On average, businesses focus about 15 percent of their marketing budget on social media.

Should I advertise on social media?

74. Yes. 91 percent of businesses use social media for their marketing.

Is the social media industry competitive?

75. At the moment, there are 55 million companies on LinkedIn.

76. 93 percent of all businesses are found on Facebook and 86 percent of them take advantage of Facebook advertising.

77. There are 200 million businesses on Instagram and 30 million on Snapchat.

What is the fastest-growing platform on social media?

78. TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in 2022.

79. 40 percent of overall businesses have joined TikTok in the last year and made it a part of their social media strategy.

80. TikTok reached 1 billion active users in just five years while it took Facebook eight with 100 million of those users based in the US.

What is the most popular social media network?

81. The most popular social media platform for the year 2022 is Facebook, although the information may vary depending on what your business is specifically searching for.

According to Statista’s data here are the following most popular social media rankings:

1. Facebook

2. YouTube

3. WhatsApp

4. Instagram

5. Facebook Messenger

6. TikTok

7. QQ (Chinese messaging software)

8. Douyin (China TikTok)

9. Telegram

10. Sina Weibo (Chinese microblogging site)

11. Snapchat

12. Kuaishou

13. Pinterest

14. Reddit

15. Twitter

16. Quora

social media marketing statistics

More Social Media Marketing Statistics

82. An average adult spends about two hours a day on social media.

83. Almost all Instagram users follow at least one business.

84. 91 percent of consumers have access to a social media device.

85. Nearly half of consumers rely on recommendations from influencers. Make sure to research this thoroughly and see how you can best approach influencer marketing.

86. Less than 5 percent of businesses on Facebook use video ads, so if you are looking for a way to stand out, here is it!

87. 80 percent of businesses use Twitter ads to build their following and sell products.

88. 265 million users on Snapchat open the application about 30 times on average daily. They are more inclined to make impulse purchases and are more likely to buy a product or a service from their mobile device.

89. The average swipe-up rate on Snapchat is about 50 percent and the cost per swipe is between $0.30-$1 dollar.

90. The most trusted social media platform is LinkedIn.

91. 80 percent of B2B businesses use LinkedIn advertising and almost 96 percent of them use LinkedIn for organic social media marketing.

92. 30 percent of the business engagement on LinkedIn comes from their employees.

93. If you are interested in audience targeting, LinkedIn Ads is the best platform for it! Marketers can choose from over 200 targeting characteristics.

94. TikTok is the best social platform if you are looking to have a high engagement rate per post.

95. More than 70 percent of the users on TikTok find the ads inspiring and even enjoyable!

96. 25 percent of TikTok users have either purchased or researched a product or a service once they have seen it on the platform.

97. 95 percent of the users on Pinterest have the app either to make a purchase or plan a purchase.

98. 52 percent of Pinterest users report seeing something first on the platform and purchasing it later on.

99. 64 percent of users that watch branded videos on social media end up making a purchase.

Email Marketing Statistics For 2022

If you are interested in knowing how effective email marketing can be, take a look at the statistics below.

How much is the email marketing industry worth?

100. Currently, the email marketing industry is worth $9.62 billion dollars, but it is expected to grow up to $17.9 billion dollars by the year 2027.

Is the email marketing industry a large one?

101. As the numbers and projections are coming in, the email marketing industry is expected to grow to 48 billion users by the year 2024.

What is the success rate in email marketing?

102. 80 percent is the average open rate across all industries and the average click-through rate is 2.78 percent. Small businesses have confirmed that the highest return on investment they have had is through their email marketing strategy.

What is the average ROI for email marketing?

103. The average ROI for email marketing is $36 dollars for every dollar spent.

What percentage of emails are from marketers?

104. It is widely known that marketing emails are the most prevalent ones in our inboxes. There is not a piece of specific information and number that is considered a confirmation, but since 2 billion emails are being sent each day, people receive about 120 marketing emails on average each day.

Is email marketing working in 2022?

105. Email marketing is the second most popular marketing channel, just behind social media. There is a 2 percent difference, so yes, it is a strategy that still works.

Is email marketing a growing tactic?

106. Since it is estimated for the email marketing industry to double within the next three years, this is considered to become one of the most popular strategies for both marketers and users.

107. Email marketing is constantly growing. The global email marketing industry was worth $7.5 billion dollars in the year 2020 and it is estimated to reach $17.9 billion dollars by the year 2027.

108. In the year 2020, 78 percent of marketers claimed that email marketing is important for a business to succeed, in comparison to 71 percent in the year 2019.

Even More Growth Marketing Statistics For Email Marketing

109. About 64 percent of small businesses claim they use email marketing strategies to reach their audience.

110. Every fifth email campaign is not mobile device friendly.

111. About 80 percent of all marketers claim that they would rather give up social media marketing than email marketing.

112. Email marketing is a low-cost way of promoting your business and 64 percent of all small businesses take advantage of it.

113. A third of all people open up an email just because they find the subject line interesting.

114. 47 percent of people decide to open an email solely based on the subject line.

Website Statistics For 2022

If you want to improve your website performance and visibility, these are the statistics you want to be looking at.

Why is conversion rate optimization important?

115. It takes people less than a second to form an opinion about a website.

116. If the layout of a website is not attractive, about 38 percent of people will leave the site.

117. Three-quarters of customers judge a company’s competence and credibility based on the design of its website.

118. Websites that look good and have a high-level user experience have a 400 percent higher conversion rate.

What’s the industry standard for website page speed?

119. Half of the users expect the loading time of a website to be no more than two seconds.

What percentage of companies own a website?

120. About 72 percent of businesses own a website.

web design statistics

Even More Growth Marketing Statistics For Website Design

121. About 60 percent of people said they would not recommend a business if it did not have a good website.

122. 40 percent of people will leave a website if it is not functioning properly.

123. 70 percent of small businesses do not have a call-to-action on their website.

124. 90 percent of people will go to your competitor and purchase if your website is not working well.

125. Businesses that invest in user experience get an ROI of $100 dollars for every $1 dollar spent.

126. 44 percent of users share their negative experiences with bad websites.

127. Only 28 percent of the text on the homepage is read by users.

128. 73 percent of businesses invest in better design to attract potential customers.

129. 90 percent of the website pages are not generating organic traffic.

130. More than half of the website traffic on a global level comes from mobile devices.

131. Bounce rates increase by 50 percent when load time is longer than 2 seconds.

132. 85 percent of people abandon a site (even mid-purchase) if they realize that they are on an unsecured website.

133. 43 percent of all small businesses that own a website are planning on improving their presence and performance this year.

134. 60 percent of marketing professionals don’t know or don’t understand their Core Website Vitals.

135. Video marketing is the most popular media tactic used by content marketers.

136. Businesses that use video marketing grow 50 percent faster than businesses that don’t.

137. 49 percent report that they grow revenue faster when they use video content.

138. 73 percent of customers are willing to spend more with a business if it had complete transparency.

139. Prospects are 35 times more likely to read a mobile message than an email.

140. Only 17 percent of professional marketers use landing page A/B tests to improve conversion rates.

And More Bonus Growth Marketing Statistics…

141. Customers are 4 times more loyal to environment-friendly brands.

142. 70 percent of marketers are actively investing in content marketing.

143. 87 percent of professional video marketers report that video has increased traffic for their website.

144. LinkedIn live streams have more than doubled since 2020 increasing by 158 percent.

145. 53 percent of professional marketers report webinars are the top-of-the-funnel format that generates the most high-quality leads.

146. The average cost-per-click in marketing is $3.33 and the most expensive marketing industry keyword cost-per-click is $165.

147. 80 percent of consumers report that they only download apps from brands they know and trust, while 72 percent are concerned apps are tracking their behaviour and movement.

148. 78 percent of salespeople who leverage the power of social selling outsell their peers who are not.

149. 80 percent of customers prefer watching videos to reading help articles.

150. 61 percent of professional marketers believe search engine optimization is the key to online success.

If you have any questions about the growth marketing statistics above or need help with growth marketing for your business, feel free to call us at 1-888-593-4159 or DM us in near real-time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn.

seo pricing guide

SEO Services Pricing Guide: What’s The Cost Of SEO In Toronto?

By Growth Kolony Blog No Comments

cost of seo
SEO Services Pricing: What’s The Cost Of SEO In Toronto?
By: Growth Kolony

With 93% of users starting their customer journey on a search engine and with over 75% of users never looking past page 1 Google, it’s never been this important for businesses to have a good SEO strategy in place.

Yet surprisingly a lot of businesses today still operate without practicing any SEO, or worse, unknowingly continue working with a “cheap SEO” scam artist.

And if you own a business, you probably get emailed by a lot of SEO agencies offering you the world…at different prices almost every day.

Whether it’s the offshore SEO agency offering $99/month programs or the specialized agency offering sticker shock prices through the roof without any justification, you’ve probably noticed the huge SEO pricing gap between agencies

And the tricky part is that the average business owner is unaware of what consists of a “good SEO” strategy and unknowingly wastes valuable time and money.

So to avoid all that nonsense, in this growth marketing article we’ll break it down and highlight the main takeaways of SEO pricing.

Below you will learn:

What is the average cost of SEO?
What are the main SEO cost factors?
What are the SEO deliverables that you should expect?
Must-know SEO tips you should know when provided SEO pricing
How to determine the price of SEO?
What you should expect from an SEO agency?
What’s the average cost of an SEO project?
What should businesses look for in an SEO agency in Toronto before hiring?

Let’s get right into it.

Your SEO Pricing Guide

seo pricing guide

What is the average cost of SEO?

  • $1500-$5000 is the average cost of a monthly SEO.
  • $100-$300 is the average cost of an hourly SEO.
  • $5000-$30 000 is the average cost of the project SEO.

What are the SEO cost factors?

  • Plan
  • Aggressiveness
  • Model
  • Goals
  • Experience and location of the service provider
  • Size of the business of the client
  • Industry

What are the deliverables of SEO?

  • Monthly SEO audit
  • Tech SEO
  • Data analytics setup and analysis
  • Keywords research
  • Metadata optimization
  • On-page optimization
  • Off-page optimization
  • Content creation
  • Backlinking
  • Routine reporting

Tips you should know when given SEO price list and quote

seo tips

Page one rankings are key: Be sure your SEO agency and their SEO strategy guarantee page rankings for keywords.

Of course, high-competition keywords take longer to rank.

But a good SEO agency at the very least should be able to guarantee relevant organic rankings for low competition keyphrases with confidence.

If they fail to provide proof of organic rankings from previous clients or fail to guarantee keyword rankings for your business then you should find an SEO services provider that does.

Avoid SEO agencies that promote cost-effective SEO ($100 or less): This price framing is typically a money scheme.

They pitch “low-price SEO” to as many unsuspecting business owners at high-volume and do very little if anything at all and laugh to the bank every month until their clients notice.

Get a customized solution: Make sure your SEO agency identifies the underlying issues of your website and customizes its SEO strategy with your overall marketing objectives.

Request a list of deliverables with their SEO pricing: Before hopping into bed with a random SEO agency, request monthly deliverables beforehand so you know exactly what to expect.

Demand SEO reports: Every SEO agency should be able to report how their deliverables improved your website.

But if the SEO agency in Toronto that you choose fail to include progress reports, find a new one that can.

Without tracking reports, you won’t be able to measure success and know where your money is going.

If you are interested in looking into some options for your SEO in Toronto, take a look at our SEO service pricing below.

The prices give you an idea of how much you should spend on SEO.

Bronze plan at $800 a month: For this plan, you will get 10 optimized keyphrases, 5 optimized pages, backlinks, UX, content, or CRO assets, lead, phone call, and revenue tracking dashboards, and more.

Silver plan at $1500 a month: For this plan, you will get 30 optimized keyphrases, 15 optimized pages, backlinks, UX, content, or CRO assets, lead, phone call, and revenue tracking dashboards, and more.

Gold plan at $2750 a month: For this plan, you will get 60 optimized keyphrases, 30 optimized pages, backlinks, UX, content, or CRO assets, lead, phone call, and revenue tracking dashboards, and more.

Custom budget at TBD: For this plan we highlight the possibilities of aiming either lower or higher than the average client, providing you with transparency on what is possible and its potential impact coupled with easy options that cater to your goals.

How to determine the price of SEO?

Several factors can be included in determining the price of SEO and some of them include:

  • The size of the business, whether it is a startup or an enterprise
  • The pricing model
  • The experience and location of the agency
  • The SEO sale strategy
  • Goals and the strength of the backlink profile

Depending on which SEO services you subscribe to and on the vastness of your project, we’ve seen the cost of SEO reach more than $35 000.

This is why, when it comes to pricing, more than often SEO companies use the following familiar payment models – see below:

Monthly retainer: For selected SEO services, clients will agree to pay a monthly retainer.

Depending on the package and the agency, we’ve seen SEO retainers on a monthly level that cost from $99-$10 000 a month.

A fixed price: You can create a contract and pay for some fixed services for SEO.

Depending on the services you are paying for, there will be a specific scheme created just for the business, and it varies from one SEO agency to the next.

Based on a project: This is very similar to any contract-based service, but the custom SEO project can be paid for with a previously determined fee.

The SEO costs for this can vary depending on what you want, but the average cost is about $1000-$30 000.

Hourly cost: The consulting fees for SEO on an hourly basis are somewhere between $100-$300.

What you need to make note of here are the agencies that charge less.

If an SEO agency charges you much less for their services, there’s a good chance you end up getting low-quality services executed by a low-level executive at low volume, which in the long run will do you more harm than good.

However, there are also new startup agencies out there who will take the hit on pricing just to land new long-term clients for social proof.

But keep in mind that SEO tech analysis, SEO content marketing, SEO copywriting, and data insights from reports are crucial in SEO.

So if you’re taking a chance on a new agency with lower-than-average prices, find one that practices the services that they sell on their own site because you’ll learn that there are SEO agencies in Toronto that don’t.

The second thing you need to have in mind is that SEO is a long-term solution.

It’s not something that can happen overnight and you should definitely not expect any results overnight either.

With this being said, organic SEO is an excellent idea for businesses wanting to invest and improve online traffic, lead generation, and overall business growth for the long run.

And also the cost of SEO varies depending on the size of the business.

From a startup business to a fully developed one, the prices usually vary between $500-$10 000 a month.

What you should expect from an SEO agency?

what's the cost of seo in toronto

SEO services can vary depending on what the agency offers and what the business requires.

It also depends on the type of client (one-off or vs long-term client), what type of SEO are they after, and whether they are looking for an agency delivering fulfillment or an SEO consultant.

On a monthly level, you should expect SEO packages that include:

  • Setup of analytics
  • Keyword research and integration
  • SEO audit
  • On-page and off-page optimization
  • Content creation
  • Technical optimization
  • Backlinks
  • Frequent calls and reporting

On the other hand, SEO consulting services are bound to include:

  • Frequent calls and reporting
  • SEO audit
  • Implementation and recommendation of SEO

Finally, the project-based SEO has SEO services that include:

  • Frequent calls and reporting
  • SEO audit
  • Specific optimization as per your requests

You will need to take a closer look at them so that you can determine which one you need.

What’s the average cost of an SEO project?

Due to the wide range of available campaigns and the difference in the costs between the SEO consultant and SEO agency, it is only natural to have a difference in SEO pricing.

Depending on the service they provide and depending on the service that you want, the cost for an SEO project can vary between $400-$10 000.

But how much should you spend?

The cost that you should pay for SEO services, again, varies depending on what you are after, the agency that you want to collaborate with, and the business you already have.

These are the three main components that will help you determine at least an approximate number of what the SEO should cost you and how much should you pay.

We will also emphasize this yet again: make sure to keep as far away as possible from SEO agencies that offer you unbelievably cheap services.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that the agency is bad, but it will mean that they will pay little attention to your project or that they have very little SEO experience and they’re using your website as a testing ground, which can lead to your website being blacklisted from search engines like Google.

So when you are calculating the costs of the SEO service, please remember that you get what you pay for!

Is there standard pricing for SEO services for 2022?

To be straightforward with you, SEO agencies have the liberty to add any price that works best for them, so they can vary from one month to the next.

The most important thing that you need to take care of is the result and the quality of service that will be provided to you.

You should not have to worry about anything else.

When researching the cost of SEO, what to look for?

The cost of SEO will always depend on the scope of the project that you have.

But if you are looking into some specifics, here are three things for you to research more carefully when going after an SEO agency in Toronto.

Familiarize yourself with the process of the provider

Get an SEO agency in Toronto that will focus on your needs and is willing to change and adapt to the most recent updates and requests.

They should have a flexible and positive attitude and must be adaptable to change.

Get a customized SEO package

Make sure to avoid SEO agencies that have a “one size fits all” policy.

The main reason for this is because, as a business, you need to be dissected and looked into by the SEO agency, who will later come up with a plan and a strategy that fits your business and your needs.

So whenever you are looking into this subject, make sure to consider that.

Full-service solution is what you want

This is a very important bit because you will need an SEO consultant or an SEO agency that will give you the best of their services.

If the agency is unable to cover everything that you need, you will end up lacking some very important aspects of your SEO and will have to move your business elsewhere.

If you have any questions about SEO pricing and SEO services in Toronto, free to call us at 1.888.593.4159 or chat with us in near real-time on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

growth marketing toronto

Viral Success Stories: How These 8 Brands Went Viral

By Growth Kolony Blog, Content Marketing, Growth Hacking, Growth Marketing Agency Toronto, Social Media, Startups No Comments

Viral Marketing Success Stories: How These 8 Brands Went Viral

By: Growth Kolony

You’ve likely heard the phrase “go viral” before and it’s something every online brand or business hopes to accomplish one day.

However, there is no simple formula to make a campaign go mega-viral all the time.

Many online brands are blindsided and believe simply adding bells and whistles to low-quality content on a trend will help them reach virality, but there’s more to it.

The truth is most viral marketing success stories are based on many years of long hard work or in exceptional cases a lucky guess on what can lure people’s attention.

And if you ask the businesses who’ve gone viral, like the ones below, oftentimes they’ll tell you that it wasn’t planned and that it felt like hitting a home run on your very first attempt.

Surely, going viral can be an incredible way to propel your brand into overnight stardom.

But we caution you from trying to build your company solely on virality because it isn’t easy for many companies and it isn’t sustainable.

Instead, we suggest brands consistently create content that is either:

 

  1. informational;
  2. educational;
  3. entertaining
  4. or all three at the same time if possible.

That way new fans and existing ones engage with your brand on a consistent basis and ultimately develop a relationship with you.

Then after building a decent strong loyal audience, the chances of you going viral on any given day increases.

 

Why Do Brands Want Virality?

If done right, viral marketing can have all sorts of benefits including increased brand awareness and credibility.

At its core, it’s an advertising strategy that’s relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional strategies and paid media.

You’ll see in this list of the most viral videos ever that viral content production can be done without a team of professional videographers and producers — DIY creators go viral all the time.

But considering we’re growth marketing professionals, in this article, we look at some of the most original viral marketing examples in business and highlight the marketing strategies used by each campaign.

Let’s get right into it!

 

Viral Success Story 1: Purple’s Video Marketing

Purple decided to produce a series of short videos showing how their comfort-tech mattresses are better than the mattresses created with regular memory foam.

Using video content as their medium, Purple gradually became well-known for creating videos that were informative and funny, so naturally, when these videos came out, they were a huge hit!

Their videos consistently hit the multi-million mark and the video below has over 183 million views on YouTube and all of this is because of their series of consistent witty content.

They show in about 4 minutes how the raw egg test is done by none other than, Goldilocks!

They decided to carry it out in a manner that would include the character from a fairy tale with three bears.

They featured an incredible product that was engineered from a unique material and that makes everything easier.

However, just having an excellent product was not going to do the trick, they needed to go the extra mile and create an online advertisement that went the extra mile and appealed to the digital audience.

If you’re a growth marketer online, you know “How-To” pieces perform well.

Why?

Because they’re informative and educational and sometimes entertaining.

And Purple’s viral marketing example shades all the boxes.

The viral title “How To Use A Raw Egg To Determine If Your Mattress Is Awful” instantly grabs the attention of viewers with beds, which is a large demographic.

And it wasn’t only the copywriting that stood out, they also coupled it with video content, which also performs well online.

They showed 4 eggs intact after being attached to a heavy glass panel that was then dropped onto their Purple mattress.

It was a great use of all elements and it earned them the fame it deserved.

Viral Success Story 2: Beardbrand Authority Content


This is one amazing example where good content marketing can get you the exposure you want at a low cost.


Since beards and men’s grooming became a trend over the last decade, this was just what the founders of Beardbrand needed.


They created a platform and online shop called Beardbrand, an online community where anyone can share stories and find all sorts of useful educational material on men’s grooming.

But putting their informative and educational articles aside, their presence and the interest in their site grew mostly because of their look and branding.

One of the founders was featured as a “beard expert” and from there the site took off.

They took the site even further and created more products and made an entire lifestyle around it becoming a high-authority source for beard culture and men’s grooming.


They understood the assignment and soon after it was not only beards and styling they were talking about but also hobbies for men and literature too.


With consistent content that targeted their ideal buyer personas, they positioned their site for viral success and from there created a path that moved into other relevant niche products for growth.

Consistent informational, educational and entertaining content is the key for community growth.

It is considered one of the most powerful and effective tools that attract people.

Because it lures in your target audience without forcing them to buy anything.

Free content helps you position your products or services in front of your ideal customer.

And chances are, after a while, they will turn to buy something from your site.

Viral Success Story 3: Dove Inspires Women With Experiment


If you shower and hopefully you do, you’re probably familiar with the company Dove and their products, so no introduction is necessary.

In this video, they documented a social experiment that featured women and a forensic sketch artist.

It was simple.

Each woman was told to describe themselves to Gil Zamora, an FBI trained forensic sketch artist behind a wall.

The forensic artist would then draw them as each woman described themselves.

Then a second portrait was sketched of the same woman through the eyes of another person, which showed to be more attractive then the self-described photos.

And since it was a video filled with raw emotions, it quickly turned into one of the most viewed videos of all time, creating much more fame around the products.

Since Dove is already a well-known company, they have had all of the resources and professionals they wanted to finish the project.

But even then, any brand can create this low-budget “reality-tv” piece of content.

The brilliance of the social experiment proved women wrong about what they initially thought of their looks, and that they were more attractive than how they saw themselves.

It was simplified and was created in a very light way.

And again, the targeted piece of content was informative, educational and entertaining.

Viral Success Story 4: Tommy Hilfiger Goes Outrageous


The ridiculous campaign that went out in 1985 was just the twist Tommy Hilfiger needed.

It was considered outrageous in the era where there was no viral marketing like the ones we are used to today, but, it still made the impact it was intended.

Back then, Tommy Hilfiger was an unknown struggling designer.

But when advertising genius Georg Louis suggested Tommy Hilfiger present his name on a large billboard next to some big household designer names, he was in shock.

Even though at the time he was a nobody, he still decided to do it.

The billboard was hung at Times Square in New York, with his name among the likes of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, etc. and it worked perfectly for him!

The campaign was a success and immediately started a create buzz around the Tommy Hilfiger brand.

People wanted to get to know the brand and understand how it worked and what it offered.

The marketing strategy they decided to go with here was a word-of-mouth strategy.

The billboard created a sense of mystery around the fourth American designer.

After the brand was recognized after the campaign, Tommy Hilfiger decided to work even harder on reaching the goal of being one of the top 4 American designers.

The ad itself was a perfect place to start.

They had heads turn for their company and their products, but it would not have been as successful as it was if the products were not good themselves.

So in this case, taking a risk is always considered to be a good thing.

However, you always have to make sure you deliver once you take the step into going big or going home.

It turned out good for Tommy Hilfiger.

 

His brand is a recognizable fashion statement and well-known all over the world.

 

Viral Success Story #5: Old Spice’s Once-In-A-Lifetime Ad


When one thinks of men’s body deodorant, the first thing that comes to mind of many is Old Spice.

The reason for this is because of their incredible campaign that captured the dreamy vision that society has when it comes to men.

It is considered to be one of the most successful campaigns of all time and it earned them the reputation of being a world-famous company.

Their sales went through the roof after the campaign was released to the public and it received excellent feedback and reviews.

Their ad shows a man who claims that when he uses Old Spice, anything in the world can be made possible.

It is a single-shot video where the main character of the video is seen riding a horse, then on a sailboat, all the while his bathroom was his starting point.

Old Spice saw that the campaign was very successful, they made some more ads that similarly appealed to the public eye.


When the reviews were in, Old Spice was in too.

The campaign was big business!

Relatability is key.

If you have a product that needs to be placed in the market or want to improve an already existing product, then the focus should go on making it a more relatable product for your target audience.

The people who were behind the campaign for Old Spice did a very good job investigating the market, what is already placed out there (and how), and determining the right target group designed specifically for Old Spice.

This is what made things easier for them and created a feeling of connection between the campaign and the viewers – resulting in sky-high sales.

They did everything right.

Viral Success Story #6: Skittles Taste The Rainbow


When one thinks of a rainbow, the first thing that pops into the minds of people is not an actual rainbow but other things like rain, LGBTQ+, or rather the incredible burst of the taste and colour found in a bag of Skittles.

This campaign was not a new one, but their approach surely was.

The original slogan “taste the rainbow” was created in 1994, however, it is still being used today.

There is a catchy undertone to the entire expression and it does not take a genius to see that this is the type of campaign that will stick for a long time.

In the original ad that was released in 1994, it showed that you can make quite a few combinations from the various Skittles flavours and in each case, you would taste the rainbow in your mouth.

Even if you decided to take the Skittles one at a time, the effect would be the same as you would still taste the rainbow!

And through the years that followed, Skittles had made some variations of the original slogan that sounded like “Find the rainbow” or “Harvest the rainbow” but in the end, it all boiled down to tasting the rainbow every single time.

Since their target audience was teenagers and children, the success after releasing this campaign was imminent.

The campaign was spot-on, that it is what made it so popular and made Skittles’s sales rocket!

Viral Success Story #7: Greenpeace And Iceland Make An Impact


Throughout its history, Greenpeace has always been very well known for creating a voice of its own and standing its ground with its marketing.

Their campaigns mostly include controversial material and can be made political too.

However, the case for their campaign that we are going to dissect today went viral for neither of the reasons above.

The campaign was called “Rang-tan in my bedroom” and as soon as it was released, it went viral, and within a few days, millions of people from all over the world were watching it.

The campaign made companies sign the Greenpeace petition that pledged to use only sustainable ingredients in their products.

Such a case was the one with Iceland, the British supermarket, that signed with Greenpeace and managed to remove all products that contained unsustainably sourced palm oil.

According to the Financial Times, this move and the campaign overall helped Greenpeace make quite an impact.

It received a whopping $70 million and is considered to be one of the most successful Christmas campaigns of all time.

The success is measured not by the funds that it received, or for the ability to go viral for such as short period of time, but for the peak that was noticed in the sales of the said British supermarket.

The numbers went through the roof.

The key to this particular campaign was understanding the current issues the world is dealing with and how to connect it with buyers or your target group and make an impact all the while increasing sales.


This was the perfect opportunity for them and they seized it at the right moment.

Solving the problems and servicing the needs of customers should be a top priority for everyone involved in the business.

Viral Success Story #8: Barilla’s How To Make Al Dente Pasta


Barilla is well known around the globe for being one of the leading pasta manufacturers in the world and their products are connected to high-quality taste.

Since Barilla had been fond of traditional media, they suddenly surprised all of their loyal customers (and everybody, really) by creating a Spotify playlist for cooking different types of pasta.


The aim of this is to achieve the perfect al dente pasta while listening to great music.


To be honest, the approach was perfect.

Because when you’re cooking, you want to set the atmosphere with cooking music.

The world loves pasta, whether it is cooking it or eating it, and Barilla led their minds into a completely different setting.

Now when you’re searching for cooking music, you think of Barilla.

They created 8 different playlists for 8 different types of pasta and let the audience enjoy themselves.

 

The music they included was filled with joy and was the perfect excuse for anyone to come home, put it on and make their favourite pasta dish that evening or any other evening for that matter.

This is how Barilla used music content to attract new customers from a new medium.

Their incredible playlists have been played thousands of times and they have gained plenty of new followers.

Food brings friends and family closer together and music creates an environment for good times!

 

And of course, what better way to learn how to properly cook pasta than with some Barilla pasta, right?

 

 

Summary


And there you have it fellow growth hackers: 8 examples of viral marketing success stories.

When you create consistent content that’s informational, educational, entertaining or all three in one for a target audience, you’ll drive consistent eyeballs to your products and services and become an authoritative voice and trusted resource in your niche industry.

After building a consistent following, the chances of going viral for each campaign increase.


If you have any questions about growing your online business and attracting new customers feel free to call us at 1.888.593.4159 or chat with us in real-time on Twitter.


 

 

growth marketing toronto

11 Growth Marketing Stories From Successful Startups

By Growth Hacking, Growth Kolony Blog, Startups No Comments

11 Growth Marketing Stories From Successful Startups

By: Growth Kolony

9 out 10 startups fail.

It’s a tough pill to swallow if you’re a new startup founder but research concludes that 21.5% of startups fail in the first year, 30% in the second year, 50% in the fifth year, and 70% in their 10th year.

And really, growth hacking and marketing play a huge role in whether or not a startup fails or succeeds because a growth marketing agency (like ours) helps determine your product-market fit.

So if you’re struggling with growth, below, we highlight 11 growth marketing success stories that you can use for inspiration which may help you survive the law of 9 out of 10.

Let’s get right into it.

Growth Marketing Success Story #1: Instagram

In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion.

During this time, it had 35 million users with no revenue. 10 months later, it grew to 100 million users and in 2018, it touched over 1 billion.

So, how did Facebook grow Instagram at such a fast rate?

The concept is very simple.

Facebook integrated its products with Instagram to cross-promote its users to use the app.

Cross-promotion is not anything new.

A lot of companies have been using cross-promotion as a growth hack to grow at an amazingly fast rate.

In today’s marketing world, there are tools like Madneto which allow you to discover potential brand partners and cross-promote with other brands.

Growth Marketing Success Story #2: Dollar Shave Club

Using videos for a marketing tactic is extremely effective but Dollar Shave Club incredibly changed how effective it can be.

The company took a boring topic and spun it into something entertaining and humourous worth sharing with friends.

The video went viral with over 20 million views and Dollar Shave Club grew to 1.1 million subscribers and eventually sold off to Unilever for a whopping $1 billion all-cash deal.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZUG9qYTJMsI

Growth Marketing Success Story #3: PayPal

PayPal’s big challenge was to get new customers.

Advertising was too expensive.

They needed organic viral growth.

So they started to give people money.

New customers got $10 for signing up and existing ones got $10 for referrals.

Growth went exponential and PayPal wound up paying $20 for each new customer.

Eventually, PayPal decided that the referral programs costs were too high but it certainly brought them a lot of customers early on, and possibly helped them cross the tipping point to growing exponentially.

growth marketing success story paypal

Growth Marketing Success Story #4: Groupon

Here’s a perfect example of applied social psychology.

By creating a sense of urgency Groupon puts users in a buy or else you’d miss out on a time-sensitive deal.

If you ever noticed an e-commerce website displaying how many items they have left in stock or how soon a deal would expire, they are creating a sense of urgency. 

In its early days, Groupon used this growth hack amazingly well but took it a step further.

Groupon needed a minimum number of people to buy the deal but they also had a limited quantity available.

Not only did it create a sense of urgency, but in order to take advantage of the deal, you had to spread the word about the deal and about Groupon.

Growth Marketing Success Story #5: The Sumo Group

Content upgrades are an increasingly popular growth hack to collect email subscribers.

Think of a 1,000-word informative blog post on a topic you’re interested in.

At the end of the post, you realize that whatever you read was just a trailer, and there was much more to it.

All users had to do was download a more detailed PDF to learn more.

A popup would appear to collect your email and a shiny new book (for free) would be sent to your inbox.

Sumo tried various content upgrades including downloadable spreadsheets, infographics, videos, cheat sheets and e-books.

Additionally, they created a 12,000-word guide to social sharing and published an e-book of the article.

They believed people were too lazy to read the entire article at once and that they’d rather download the e-book and read it later.

The e-book resulted in a whopping 21.2% conversion rate.

Growth Marketing Success Story #6: HubSpot

When HubSpot wasn’t as famous as it is today, it tried a lot of different things to acquire customers but none of them really worked.

Content marketing is great but almost everyone out there has a content marketing strategy in place. 

HubSpot’s founder built a small tool to grade websites on performance and SEO.

It was an incredible success and millions of people used the free tool to grade their websites.

It helped build an awareness of HubSpot and helped grow its email list.

The company’s founder credited the tool for its initial success and has since been revamping the tool and also launching others to acquire customers.

growth marketing success story hubspot

Growth Marketing Success Story #7: Gmail

In today’s world, the fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful growth hack and if you have a product that offers value to the masses, this tactic can be instrumental to your growth.

When Google launched its email service Gmail, it used an invite-only system to drive growth and it was a an instant hit.

It worked so well that people were running eBay auctions to sell invites.

However, use this strategy very carefully. Google has used this strategy for their Google+, Buzz, and Wave products that failed.

Also FOMO can be tricky for closed communities.

For example, using Gmail doesn’t require the email recipient or sender to also use the Gmail service.

But that’s not the case for Google+.

With closed communities, it’s best to ensure that you choose a small but connected community to send exclusive invites.

Facebook did this in its early days by sending exclusive invites to Harvard students.

Growth Marketing Success Story #8: Dropbox

We’ve all seen call-to-action prompts like “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter”.

Some brands go as far as running contests or announcing special rewards, like a free T-shirt, to incentivize users to spread the word on social media for overall growth.

Dropbox decided to go in a different direction.

With each follow or linking of social accounts, Dropbox would give 125 MB of storage space.

This growth hack was incredibly powerful.

Not only do users spread the word but they also were given more reasons to keep using the product.

Today, Dropbox has over 3.8 million Twitter followers and most of their growth success goes to this powerful growth hack.

Growth Marketing Success Story #10: Netflix

Back when Netflix was into DVD rentals, it struck partnerships with DVD player manufacturers like Panasonic, Philips, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, and others to include a Netflix coupon inside the DVD player box sold to customers. 

This solved a critical problem faced by DVD manufacturers.

Customers didn’t want to buy DVD players since they found it difficult to buy DVDs, which were at the time weren’t widely available in stores.

By including a Netflix coupon in the box, the DVD manufacturers could showcase a library of more than one thousand titles to customers.

At the same time, Netflix benefited because they could easily target customers who owned a DVD player. Within a year, Netflix’s subscriber base doubled to 500,000 customers.

Growth Marketing Success Story #10: Hotmail

Freemium is a popular way to onboard customers today, especially for SaaS products.

Get your target audience to use your products and once their usage goes beyond a certain limit, or they need extra features, start charging them.

Super easy and efficient. 

But going freemium isn’t a growth hack.

Sure, it helps you, onboard customers, faster since they don’t need to pay, but it doesn’t get customers to your website in the first place.

But if you couple the freemium model with advertisements, it can really blossom into a great growth hack that’ll help spread the word.

Hotmail used this model to spread the word. Every email sent by Hotmail had a “Get your free email at Hotmail.com” signature at the end.

That one line made the sender an advertisement to the recipient.

And the word spread fast.

Heck, an iPhone isn’t even free but Apple adopted the same strategy for an email with a “Sent from my iPhone” signature in the end.

However, tread easily if you’re planning to use this for your paid product.

Customers may not welcome it as much as they do Apple unless you’re a premium brand.

Growth Marketing Success Story #11: Airbnb

In its early days, Airbnb used an extremely bizarre way to grow.

They provided a feature on Airbnb to simultaneously post on their biggest competitor Craigslist. 

If you think about it, it was a genius growth hack at the time for Airbnb.

Craigslist had a massive customer base and Airbnb was new.

So, they gave their users the chance to post on Craigslist at the same time, and in fact, encouraged them to do so.

The Craigslist users that viewed the property were allowed to contact the owners only if they joined Airbnb.

They also noticed that Airbnb listings were far more superior than the other – nicer photographs, better descriptions, and more personal.

The rest is pretty much history.

Many claims that this single hack was responsible for Airbnb’s success.

Today, Airbnb has raised more than $4 billion and a valuation in excess of $30 billion.

If you have any questions about growth marketing and growing your online business feel free to call us at 1.888.593.4159 or chat with us in real-time on Twitter.

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Mobile App Marketing: How To Launch Your Mobile App

By Growth Kolony Blog, Growth Hacking, Growth Marketing Agency Toronto, Mobile App Marketing, Social Media No Comments

Mobile App Marketing: How To Launch Mobile Apps
By: Growth Kolony

Developing a successful mobile app is not cheap.

The cost to develop an average app can range from anywhere as low as $5K to all the way up to $150K if you’re looking at something complicated with lots of features or content included.

Whatever the range that you find yourself in, all of your efforts can go all to waste if you fail to launch without a mobile app marketing strategy.

So without further adieu, below we highlight a step-by-step process on how to launch your mobile app.

Let’s get right into it!

Mobile App Marketing Tip 1: Market Research

If we take into consideration the statistics that go back to January 2020, we can see that there were almost 2 million mobile applications available on the App Store.

Take into consideration that this number does not even include Windows apps and Android apps.

To translate this, you would need to do extensive market research before you plunge into the world of mobile applications because competition is fierce.

Find out what will make your app stand out from the crowd.

Get yourself familiarized with what might become your best competitors in the field, search for their shortcomings and use that information to make your app better.

When relying on your budget, you can check whether you will only do primary research on prospect users, or you will include secondary research as well (this can give you plenty of insights).

Check out all the reviews and comments on competitor apps, the vlogs on YouTube, and anything you may find useful online.

Mobile App Marketing Tip 2: Definition Of Success

So, you want to know how to create a successful application?

Then you need to define what success means to you.

Before launching, set some achievable goals.

You can easily measure your success rate based on your active install rate.

This is how you can find out the retention rate and the number of people that install the app and keep it, without ever uninstalling it.

You can furthermore check your average ratings, whether you are selling your application, the revenue you have generated, the entire number of ratings that you receive, etc.

If you are interested in setting some small goals, remember that the biggest download rate when promoting a new app usually happens during the first month (about 50%).

That decreases in the following months to about 30%.

What you also need to focus on is the rating, keeping in mind that the usual ratings for an app are about 3 to 4 out of 5.

This is what you need to focus on in order to maintain a healthy rate of installs.

Mobile App Marketing Tip 3: Know Cross Browsers And Platforms

Expanding your reach means that it is not enough to have to launch on only one platform, but rather all of them.

Taking into consideration the latest numbers from January 2020, the market shares between the operating systems have been divided as such – 74.3% for Android, 26.7% for iOS, and the remaining 2% divided between various operating systems.

In the long run, the development of cross-platforms would result in a wider reach and is considered to be a more cost-effective option.

To do this, you can use any top-rated Integrated Development Environment (IDE) software.

This can assist you in advancing the development of your app by creating web browser versions of your mobile app, giving your users the freedom to use your app from whichever device they wish.

smartphone platform

Mobile App Marketing Tip 4: Claim Your Social Media Accounts

Just before launching your app, you would want to claim your accounts all over social media so you can create buzz and generate interest on things such as an early sign-up.

Sometimes you can show the app while it is still in development so you can receive some feedback from potential users.

And once the application is complete, change the link to get you to the downloading site because, after all, you are looking for more downloads, not more site traffic.

Unless you are trying to beat an existing competitor, don’t dismiss sites such as Pinterest, use them to your advantage.

The Facebook Welcome App is also another tool that can assist you in launching your app.

Just make sure to focus on generating some buzz and get people to sign up for a notification for when the app launches, so they can be the first ones to download.

Mobile App Marketing Tip 5: Content Creation

Prior to launching, spend some more time focusing on creating content that provides clear steps on how to use the app.

Anything from social media content, press releases, blog posts, email marketing copy and website copy should be included here.

You should be engaged in this part in terms of providing real-time updates and responding to recommendations from users.

You can even go live on the day of your launch.

Mobile App Marketing Tip 6: Record A Demo

If you want to take things a step further, then you should definitely record a video that explains how to use your app.

There is a program called Camtasia that can easily help you do this – it allows voiceover recording and screen capture.

Make sure to use some real-life scenarios in order to best describe how to use the app.

If you are certain you want to differentiate your app from everything else there is on the market, then implement some clear steps.

Use clear language and display the true value of your app through a short video.

Emphasize who the app is created for and all the uses of the app.

Mobile Marketing Tip 7: Launch A Dedicated Page Or Site

Why not start by creating a dedicated website for your new mobile app?

This is a very logical step to take.

Or even, you can create a page for your mobile app on your existing website.

This is by far the best option if you have an existing website, as most companies tend to take this road.

Feel free to launch the pages even if your app has not yet been introduced to the market.

This way you can help your users engage, add the demo video to help them better understand the usage of the app, encourage them to sign up for an alert when the app finally hits the market, and just generally direct them to your site and get them talking about it.

Mobile Marketing Tip 8: Decide On An App Store

In order to get the higher concentration possible when it comes to users, and get the most out of the ratings, you would want to focus on launching your application to just one app store.

Of course, within the first couple of weeks right after your launch, you will still be making some necessary changes, and having your app available in only one store can actually be of much help.

This is how you will be able to streamline all of your updates as they come out.

Needless to say if after your app is stable and running smoothly, you can continue to expand to other stores.

Two of the most common app stores out there are the Apple App Store and the Android Market, however, you can find many other app stores on the world wide web.

If you are a bit uncertain regarding your choice, you can always do a test run by testing your target market and finding out which store they mostly use.

Mobile Marketing Tip 9: Get Discovered, Optimize Your App Store

Anyone can easily confuse SEO and ASO, but keep in mind that these two terms are very different yet similar.

If you want to get your app discovered, then you will need to use the ASO, which is app store optimization.

Similar to SEO for online search engines, this is how your app will be easily discovered on mobile app stores.

The best way to do this is through optimizing the title of your app with relevant keywords.

Furthermore, when you are submitting the app to all of these different stores, be careful in the steps and add all the relevant info you need, so when users are browsing for an app, you will increase your chances of getting discovered and have your app downloaded.

Second thing would be clear screenshots.

Showcase the most common uses of your application and include them into the download page.

There is no such thing as enough clarity when it comes to presenting a new app on the market.

Just explain to your users how to get the most out of using your application.

to do list and tasksMobile Marketing Tip 10: Network With Some Other App Developers

This is something that might have not even crossed your mind yet, but it is always a good option to reach out to other developers of applications that have already created some apps that could even complement your app.

You can even talk to some developers that have created apps similar to yours, and have an overlapping target market.

Try setting up a co-marketing community that can not only benefit you, but can assist them too in getting some serious install rates.

Keep in mind when making the choice that you want developers that have created apps with great reviews. What you definitely want to avoid is having your app associated with a product that did not go well on the market.

Mobile Marketing Tip 11: Pitch Your App

Whether it comes to tech, industry, journalists, mobile, or even bloggers, the thing you should also put your focus on is to promote, promote, promote!

Get your story pitched with the assistance of the demo video we talked about earlier, be prepared to offer a free download of your app in order to get them familiarized with the interface and the abilities of your app.

Be prepared to answer any and all questions that come your way, because you should be looking at them as another test group that can discover any bugs or offer software recommendations.

Just so you can give them enough time to play with the app, start pitching a few weeks before officially launching the app.

Do not rush and delve into your story.

Give them some time and get all of the feedback into one place where you can benefit from it.

Mobile Marketing Tip 12: Create Buzz, Tap Into Your Network

Reach out to everyone within your business network who is able to assist you.

Ask them if they can share your content – regarding your app’s launch – on their social media accounts.

The best way to do this would be to send an email that would pose as a preview.

Give them a small insight of what they should expect from your app.

Get them to see your demo video of how the app works and include some buttons that provide an easy way to share your content to other social media channels.

In addition to this, it is an excellent way to have journalists and bloggers engaged, who are not necessarily much interested in publishing long-form content for your app.

But, ask them to tweet about your app, sometimes that can be more than enough.

Mobile Marketing Tip 13: Paid Ads Can Go A Long Way

Google has an algorithm that has a freshness update.

This means that you can get some organic search traction during your mobile app launch.

You can complement paid ads, which will work well, especially in your launch week.

Launch targeted ads on Facebook and prompt your potential users with a download link as soon as they click on your Facebook page.

Make sure you are redirecting the people to your app and to the download page so they can easily install the app on their phones.

Create a specific approach depending on what services your app provides.

You can even have some ads that lead the user straight to the downloading page.

Use them all or if you’re limited, the best most relevant paid ads platform.

mobile app marketing

Mobile Marketing Tip 14: Connect With Thought Leaders And Influencers

Despite the industry of influencers has only just begun, we are accentuating this step because it is considered crucial, if you definitely want to spread the word for your app.

Do your research on influencers, leaders, bloggers, and content creators that you would think can help you in initializing some buzz for your app.

Choose the people that you seem they would get the most out of using your app. After all, they have to try the product first before advertising it and they have to feel comfortable recommending it.

Let’s give you a small example.

If you are launching an app that promotes weight loss, talk to different influencers that dabble with a healthy lifestyle.

Find bloggers that hit the gym every day and content creators that focus on calorie deficit content.

Mobile Marketing Tip 15: Launch An Invite-Only Beta

Before sharing your app with the general public, try to organize a Beta that is invite-only.

Plenty of different companies including Pinterest, Spotify and Google+ have used this particular tactic and it has resulted in incredible success.

It would not only build up a buzz around your product, but it will also give the feeling of being a part of something exclusive.

You can use some email marketing in order to send a segment of your customer list that actually benefits from using your app.

Make sure to get your phrasing right, the beta launch that everyone needs to be a part of.

The event would give them an exclusive insight into the mobile app, the opportunity to chat with the creators and for them to review the app.

Mobile Marketing Tip 16: Partner With Affiliates

If you want to take up a partnership and go a step further, then why not try to create an affiliate program so you can encourage the purchase and the download of your app.

Make sure you know your audience and your partners too.

Collaborate with some social media followers or media contacts, whatever gets you across the finish line!

Provide your partners with an exclusive link that tracks the number of downloads, and make sure they receive a small award for each download that happens through the link you provided them.

Mobile Marketing Tip 17: Add Download Links EVERYWHERE

Add call-to-action links that prompt users to download your app everywhere possible – just make sure the placement makes sense.

When your app is ready for the public, this is one of the most important steps that you absolutely have to make.

Remember, that you want to put the download links on the home page of the website, include them in your marketing emails, include them on your social media accounts, you can include them on your blog too!

If you want to go a step further, open your Facebook page and add a mobile tab there as well.

Mobile Marketing Tip 18: Prepare A Launch Party

And finally, the launch party your app deserves!

It really does not have to be something big, maybe focus on a small, intimate launch party through a simple webinar.

Make a short launch where you can invite some bloggers, influencers, and people who are generally very interested in the app.

You can announce some special perks or discounts to the attendees that would download the app and share a downloading link with their followers.

sumerian

Mobile Marketing Tip 19: Encourage Reviews And Overlook Feedback

Believe it or not: the fun does not stop right after the launch.

On the contrary, it is just beginning.

Make sure you strongly encourage all of your users to leave feedback and reviews.

You’ll learn the most from your most critical users.

Also, this is a way to keep all of your users in the loop for any changes that you may or may not implement further down the road.

Mobile Marketing Tip 20: Discover All Potential Integrations

An average smartphone contains about 60 to 90 applications.

And there are some that are integrated, for example, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Health App, calorie and fitness trackers etc.

It is proven that application integration is actually a very user-friendly feature and more and more apps are being integrated.

Users want to seamlessly switch from one app to the next and this is a perfect way to do it.

Try to strike up a partnership with a company that you can collaborate with, where you have a similar goal.

You will be surprised by how many more downloads you will get after a collaboration with the right company.

Mobile Marketing Tip 21: Release A Log With An App Update

Users value transparency.

If you can solve a problem in a user’s life and also offer transparency then you are golden.

One of the best ways where you can provide transparency to all of your users is to provide a log with all of the changes that would eventually happen within the application.

The log filled with updates is the best way to start.

This is also beneficial to you because you can see how many users have waited for certain updates and their activity afterward.

Implement push notifications and pop-ups for your users when adding or changing specific features within the app.

You can even have some fun with it as well.

medium mobile app update

Mobile Marketing Tip 22: Feature A Hub For “Wish List” And “Coming Soon”

Users want to be heard.

If you want to make sure that your customers know they are being taken care of and heard, create a wish list or a list of features that will be coming soon to the app.

Keeping users updated with all of the features that are yet to arrive on the app is a perfect way to maintain a steady download number.

You can have a feedback button or a request button where people will not only leave their reviews but will also ask for updates and have their questions answered.

This is a perfect way to have them stay on board and continue using your app.

Make the difference they are looking for in other apps and make it more accessible and easy to use on yours – they will definitely love this feature.

loop product road map

SUMMARY

And there you have it, friends!

22 mobile app marketing tips that’ll help you take your app from zero to hero.

After research and development, expansion is critical.

Use all your connections, relevant platforms, browsers, and tools while discovering new ones that’ll help you maximize your reach.

From there you’ll want to get feedback so that you can improve your product and level up yourself from the competition.

If you have any questions about how to launch your mobile app or need help with mobile app marketing and mobile app development, feel free to call us at 1.888.593.4159 

 

growth marketing toronto

Toronto SEO Guide: Why Businesses Need A Local SEO Agency

By Growth Kolony Blog, Growth Marketing Agency Toronto, Local SEO, SEO No Comments

Toronto SEO Guide: Why Businesses Need A Local SEO Agency In Toronto And How To Find One

By: Growth Kolony

Did you know: 88% of consumers who do a local search visit a store within 24 hours.

So if you’re looking to land more local leads and turn online traffic into real foot traffic, find a local growth marketing agency in Toronto.

Without question, getting found on local search engines like Google is one of the most effective ways your business can drive more local leads to your store.

Yet with 46% of Google searches being local searches, over 56% of local businesses fail to claim their Google My Business.

Why?

In this local SEO Toronto guide you will learn:  

– What exactly is local SEO?

– How local SEO in Toronto works 

– How local SEO helps Toronto businesses with online sales

– How much should you pay for local SEO in Toronto

– How to hire a local SEO agency in Toronto

– How to pick the right local SEO package

What Is Local SEO? 

Local SEO is an online marketing strategy that optimizes landing pages and websites for local searches with the objective of increasing local visibility.

They do this by targeting local customers at the perfect time while they search for local products and services when they need them.

A local SEO agency will help a business target customers on popular search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Apple Maps, to just to name a few resources, and help businesses drive traffic and lead by ranking them for relevant search terms for a local region.

How Toronto Local SEO Works?

Toronto local SEO works just like local SEO in any other region.

Search engines rely on search signals to retrieve the most relevant local data from local search results.

Local search data includes local content on local landing pages, Google Maps, social media profile signals, online reviews, citations, directories, and other properties that help search engines prioritize the best local search results for target users.  

When a user searches for a particular keyword, you’ll find the local SEO results at the top, also known in the SEO industry as the Google Local “Snack Pack”.

These results normally show above organic results.

local snack packThe main difference between local SEO and organic SEO results is that local SEO strategies target a URL with a specific location; like a brick-and-mortar location, whereas organic results focus on ranking websites that may not have a brick-and-mortar location.

How Local SEO Helps Your Toronto Business With Sales?

With 97% of users and customers using search engines before making a purchase on a product or service locally, the opportunities for online lead generation through local SEO are lucrative. 

According to one study, the Google Local Snack Pack get 33% of the overall search traffic.

This means any Toronto business that ranks in local search, will take home its share of the local SEO market pie.

Just imagine getting 33% of the impressions every day and month.

On the other side, when you fail to rank on page one in local search, you’ll miss out on a world of opportunities.

Because 91.5% of Google users ignore page 2 of Google. 

How Much Does Local SEO Cost In Toronto?

Being a top local growth marketing agency in Toronto that’s ranked in the top local SEO three-pack, we often get asked, “how much does SEO cost?”

There is an industry range floating around of between $300/month – $10 000+/month with averages between $1000 – $2000/month. 

Of course, you get what you pay for.

There are some agencies who will even offer $99/month to land more volume of clients and only do an hour of work every month.

And there are also agencies that overcharge and still do little work, which is why many business owners out there are skeptical of the SEO industry.

There are a wide range of plans out there, and it’s easy for an untechnical-savvy user to get hoodwinked.

But each website is different and each local agency SEO will operate differently as well.

The price of local SEO also determines how fast you want to “work the system” and use it to your advantage.

There are 3 main local SEO plans Toronto businesses often consider:

  • Automated: This is where your SEO agency will use in-house software to automatically submit your website to relevant local directories and citations. It’s more of a band-aid solution to a gunshot wound.
  • Small Scale: This is an SEO strategy that works for one location. It’ll help your location rank higher in search results and drive more online leads.
  • Comprehensive: This is where your SEO agency will take control of website management, link-building campaigns, citations, mobile SEO, online reputation management, social media and content marketing and including custom reporting. 

All three local SEO plans do make a difference and eventually in most cases businesses with more than one location will go with the Comprehensive option, which includes all of the above and more; accelerating the overall local SEO ranking process.

How Much Should You Budget For Local SEO In Toronto?

It’s best practice for every business to allocate 5% – 35% of their overall annual revenues to growth marketing.

Since we’re in a digitally-dominant world and growth marketing is less expensive than traditional marketing, take 50% – 90% of your marketing budget and use that number for growth marketing which includes local SEO.

Other elements like overall company size and level of competition play a role in how much you should invest in local SEO and your local SEO agency in Toronto should be able to read the market, show you the data, and give you an accurate monthly estimation.

How To Hire A Local SEO Agency In Toronto?

Learning how to find the right local SEO agency in Toronto is a lot easier said than done. 

There are a lot of local SEO agencies out there who work without certifications while offering a world of promises at a too-good-to-be-true rate.

Sure it’s a great rate but it’s also a money grab and a huge waste of precious time.

The time that could be spent on real growth.

Before you jump into a contract with the first local SEO agency you engage with, it’s best to create a shortlist of options. 

Tip #1: Make sure that your local SEO agency has SEO credentials 

Any good and reliable local SEO agency will have Google or Bing badges and certificates. 

Make sure your local SEO agency at the very least has their Google certificate.

Tip #2: Does the local SEO agency have case studies?

Your local SEO agency should have at least a handful of links and examples of clients that they have worked on in the past. 

After you get the list of URLs, make sure that these websites are ranked in local search and are ranked for keywords with local regional modifiers.

Also, look if they have been able to get local Google reviews for their client websites as well.

Tip #3: Is the SEO agency organically ranked for keywords?

It’s a red flag when the SEO agency you plan to hire fails to provide evidence of keyword ranking.

Do your research and see if the potential SEO service provider you plan to hire has a local digital footprint on sites like Google, Bing, Yelp, and Clutch to just to name a few resources. 

Tip #4: Ask if your local SEO agency practices white-hat SEO

When search engines like Google spot pages and websites committing black-hat SEO, they often remove them from search results.

This is the last thing you want to happen when running a business today. 

Before you hire any local SEO agency, make sure that they agree to abide by the Google Webmasters guidelines.

Tip #5: Ask your local SEO agency what you will expect in the report

One of the big issues when businesses first get into local SEO is that they do not understand what to expect, nor know what kind of reports they should receive. 

Sure SEO is an investment at the start.

But after 3 months you should see some noticeable progress in traffic, rankings and overall goal conversions.

If you’re going to spend money, you’ll need to know where your money is going so let’s make sure you get your local SEO agency to report the following at the very least:

  • Keyword rankings report for each local location; 
  • Traffic report for each location, including conversion rates, leads or sales. 

How Do You Pick The Right Local SEO Package? 

Picking the right local SEO package should be aligned with your overall objectives and goals. 

This depends on how competitive your market is, your budget, the size of your company, and many other local SEO ranking elements. 

The SEO agency should be able to narrow down your budget, expectations, key performance indicators, and marketing goals and put you in the right slot best suited for your special case. 

Summary

50% of users who perform a local search result in an offline purchase within 24 hours.

Finding the right SEO agency in Toronto is crucial to growth and the search process is similar to finding the right mechanic.

When you let SEO agencies review your site, they should be able to diagnose the underlying issues, offer solutions to your problem, and show you reports to back everything up. 

Before you commit, make sure to follow our quick list of tips on how to find the right local SEO agency in Toronto.

Like with all industries, you’ll find the good, the bad, and the ugly.

If you have any questions about SEO in Toronto and getting ranked on page 1 Google feel free to call us at 1.888.593.4159 or chat with us in real-time on Twitter.

growth marketing toronto

8 Social Media Growth Success Stories

By Growth Hacking, Growth Kolony Blog, Social Media No Comments

8 Social Media Growth Success Stories From Reputable Brands

By: Growth Kolony

All it takes is one social media campaign to go from zero to hero.

But it’s a lot easier said than done.

Building an engaging social media community takes commitment and consistency.

And of course, one successful campaign can help make quick gains and accelerate your growth process.

Below we highlight 8 social media growth success stories from reputable brands that can give you some ideas for your next growth brainstorm session.

Let’s get right into it.

Simple, Eye-Catching, Starbucks

When Starbucks first introduced its Unicorn Frappuccino, they did an amazing job promoting it on Instagram.

Unicorn Frappuccino is basically a colourful cup of coffee that changes colour while you are drinking it.

Of course, their specific targeting did half of the work.

The product is just the perfect thing to post on social media (specifically Instagram) and appeals to groups like teenagers who are highly active on Instagram, and of course, the millennials who do not want to miss out on all the latest trends.

It is an amazing strategy and in the end, it did wonders for the new cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Wix Getting Into The Mix

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrrxRk-YeQ

When Wix decided to cash out 5 million US dollars for a 30-second advertisement during the Super Bowl, they also needed to make sure that the ad would reach as many people as possible.

They reached their target audience by targeting various media channels.

Naturally, when the advert aired through all media (including YouTube and Facebook), the traffic and reach accelerated growth within 24 hours by millions of likes, subscribers, and followers.

One thing we can learn from this approach is that it is easy to appeal to the younger demographics by using social media.

IHOP’s Guessing Game

Well this is an original way to engage with your customers and followers.

IHOP managed to do something pretty amazing with the help of a little mystery.

The International House of Pancakes decided to mix things up and try its luck with burgers.

The way they decided to announce this is through the power of Twitter.

They checked with Twitter to see if they can change their name from IHOP to IHOB, and leave their followers guessing for a little while what the letter B stood for.

The traffic and engagement they received from that one post on Instagram reached thousands of people, and even intrigued some famous burger brands!

You can only assume that their gimmick was so successful, the sale numbers for the burgers multiplied four times!

Around The World With Airbnb

A couple of years ago, when Airbnb was still not that widespread throughout the entire world, they decided to make a campaign that included potential customers.

Within a 24-hour window, people were able to go live on social media and show the amazing things they can do, see and experience in a certain part of the world.

This contributed to incredible traffic on their site, increased the need for a thrilling experience, and did Airbnb quite a good job!

Their target audience was people in their late twenties and thirties with a wanderlust spirit and thirst for traveling.

Casper Goes Everywhere

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DvlgV3DUUs&feature=emb_title

If you want to get through a wider target audience, just do what Casper did.

They decided to go with the approach of one post everywhere.

Since they were aware that their preferred target group uses various social media channels, they created posts with identical content and shared them across all social media channels.

Their Sleep Channel episodes had a small teaser on several platforms (this is a channel that helps listeners doze off very easily) and did their promotion in this specific way.

The results were incredible since the buzz they created with their cross-promoting content resulted in simplifying things for them by bringing the customers to their front door.

Summer With Red Bull

When you want to increase the sales of a specific product, you need to focus on targeted marketing.

This is what Red Bull did with their summer edition tropical drink on the Australian market.

They created an incredible Instagram post that looked refreshing, which made the customers associate the Red Bull drink with their favourite summer cocktail or drink.

This cast a wide net over the entire continent that captured all customers in one go.

The shiny colours and good branding associated the product with freshness, especially during those hot summer days, resulted in revenue they might have not expected – reaching millions of customers!

A Pop Of Colour At The Museum of Ice Cream

The unconventional approach that the Museum of Ice Cream had was use Instagram as a platform where they extended their stores and presence.

This is how they made the products more appealing to customers, adding plenty of colour and being more attractive to the eye.

They used their Instagram presence to accumulate an organic reach of 280 million!

Also, they focused on customers sharing their colourful experience, which furthermore resulted in sharing experiences and connecting with more and more people.

The Genius-ness Behind Taco Bell

To have a marketing team such as the one Taco Bell has would be a blessing for all businesses, don’t you think?

They decided to team up with Snapchat in order to create a taco filter and honour the holiday Cinco de Mayo.

By creating more than just a buzz around their tacos and celebrating a large holiday, Taco Bell managed to – wait for it – break the Snapchat record with their filter!

The taco face filter became one of the most viewed filters ever, generating about 224 million views in a single day.

Taco Bell was living the dream with just one move in the right social media direction.

If you have a specific vision about your company and your product, make sure to check all options the different social media platforms can provide, and see which option would suit you best!

Plunge into the creative process, do some strategic planning and make sure you get the most out of social media.

We believe that this is one of the most amazing ways of reaching out and creating a customer engagement so large, your head will spin!

Until next post, good luck fellow growth marketers!

If you have any questions about growth marketing and growing your online business feel free to call us at 1.888.593.4159 or chat with us in real-time on Twitter.

artificial intelligence

8 Powerful Ways You Can Use AI In Marketing

By Growth Hacking, AI Marketing, Artificial Intelligence, Growth Kolony Blog, Growth Marketing Agency Toronto, Tools No Comments

8 Powerful Ways You Can Use AI In Marketing

By: Growth Kolony

Using AI in marketing gives your business an unfair advantage.

So today we’re going to look into some of the most effective ways businesses are leveraging the power of AI in their marketing.

Let’s get right into it.

Chatbots

There’s a lot of buzz around chatbots, they have become a popular topic for good reason.

Chatbots allow businesses to communicate with a customer 24/7 in a fluid way, even when human representatives are unavailable.

With 80% of users likely to start a conversation with a brand on Facebook messenger, having a chatbot available to customers gives businesses a leg up over competitors without chatbots.

They prevent users from bouncing off the landing page and navigating elsewhere.

A number of companies have found success using chatbots and thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP), chatbots are able to solve customer problems without having to transfer customers to a human representative.

Content And Product Recommendations

In today’s growth marketing landscape relevancy is king.

This is why digital marketing outperforms traditional marketing. Businesses can show ads and products — in all their forms — to a relevant audience at the right time throughout the customer journey.

With AI-powered clustering, marketers can improve on relevancy and suggestive selling.

Here’s where brands use customer behavior data to anticipate future customer behaviors.

Amazon is a perfect example of how a business leverages AI-powered clustering.

They use AI-powered clustering to show customers relevant products to their customers.

Not only that, but Amazon also shows complementary products that other customers have bought with the product that you are interested in buying.

The same goes for publishers of content.

Publishers can use an AI-powered tool like IDIO, to read user behavior and suggest relevant content to users in the future throughout their customer journey.

Predictive Analysis

ai marketing predictive

Predictive analysis is the term that describes the method of using data that you presently have to predict future trends.

AI can be used to analyze data sets — in this particular case-specific dates — in order to predict purchasing trends that will come up in the future.

This is a complex task but with the help of artificial intelligence, businesses can automate the process and make decisions much quicker and with more accuracy.

Predictive analysis is normally applied in e-commerce to find a pattern in the buying habits of a customer and it can then be used to determine when the customer is going to repeat a purchase; improving intuitive customer service.

For instance, imagine that you own an online store that sells supplements for bodybuilders.

With AI you can find out how long it will take for the customer to consume the supplement and when more will be needed.

AI can be used to send an email to the customer just before the product has been consumed, reminding the customer to order more before it runs out.

Product Pricing

You can leverage AI to your advantage by letting it help you find out demand-based pricing.

What is demand-based pricing?

Demand-based pricing is pricing according to the amount of money people are willing to pay for your product or service, which can also change with time.

Let’s use the hotel industry as an example.

If you live in a city like Paris or Rome, you can expect that more people will be coming to your city during peak tourist season.

During the peak tourist season, there is high demand for hotels and people are willing to pay more.

If it is the offseason then demand is going to be lower and people are not going to be willing to pay as much as they would during peak season.

AI can be used to analyze these pricing trends and can give you dynamic pricing for your product or service; helping you maximize quarterly earnings.

Social Listening

ai social listening

If you want to improve and grow into different regions, you need to know what people think and say about your business.

This is where AI in social media marketing comes into play.

Businesses today are using tools like Meltwater to effectively streamline their social media listening.

Social media listening or monitoring is when brands track what users say about them on social media.

With the web being a seemingly infinite space, AI can be used to track brand mentions, conversations, and overall feedback that customers provide in real-time on one easy-to-access dashboard.

Search Engines

We take search engines for granted in 2019 but the truth is that behind the scenes a lot is going on and it all happens in a couple of seconds.

Google was the first to implement AI in search but since then other businesses have followed suit and used that model for their own site search engines.

One example that you may be familiar with is Amazon.

It is because of AI that both Google and Amazon are able to give users accurate search results when users are uncertain about what they search for.

It’s also worth noting that AI tools like Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant use search engine data to retrieve and refer answers to user queries.

This means businesses today can optimize for virtual assistants and voice search to improve overall traffic and sales.

Copywriting

jasper

While AI cannot write a political opinion piece, it is powerful enough to write unique subject headlines for email, product descriptions, and more.

A popular AI copywriting tool is Jasper.

With Jasper businesses can automate the writing process and avoid some of the aches and pains that come with writing copy.

It’s not perfect but it does help with the content marketing process.

Web Design

10 years ago businesses would need a designer in order to create a professional-looking website —  much has changed since then.

There are AI-powered online tools and site builders like The Grid that can help anyone with a startup idea make a site without learning how to code.

All business owners have to do is create the interface of the website — just like setting up building blocks — and then from there have AI write the code for them.

All the coding happens in the background without you knowing.

Of course, there are tradeoffs that come with every website builder, but, it’ll get something up if you need a website as soon as possible.

Summary

AI has come a long way since Alan Turing first tested a computer’s ability to behave intelligently.

Today we see AI being integrated across a wide range of departments, including marketing.

With AI, businesses can improve customer interactions, personalize the customer journey and experience, data mine faster, provide real-time customer assistance, predict outcomes and even create content.

If you have any questions about AI marketing or need help taking your online business to the next level feel free to call us at 1.888.593.4159 or chat with us in real-time on Twitter.

online reviews

Local SEO Tips: How To Get More Online Reviews And Improve SEO Ranking

By Growth Hacking, Growth Kolony Blog, Local SEO No Comments

It’s no secret that online reviews help improve SEO ranking.

On top of that, positive online reviews can increase conversion rates by as high as 270%.

With 90% of consumers reading online reviews before visiting a business, it’s never been more important for businesses today to have an online reviews strategy.

Below we highlight why online reviews are important and helpful tips that’ll take you from online reviews zero to hero.

Let’s get into it.

Why Are Online Reviews Important For Your Business

Most customers are social creatures.

They need validation from their peer group and the general public.

So when they don’t know what to buy, they go online and look for social proof and consult with an online community for social validation.

And online reviews play a big role in today’s digital world.

It’s commonplace to read and write one.

According to Search Engine Land, 70% of customers will fill out a review when asked.

Yet, there are a lot of business owners today who are hesitant to ask for reviews.

Search Engines Love Online Reviews

The more customer reviews your company gets, the more Google loves you.

Search engines show users the most relevant and most credible content for each search query.

If a company is receiving a lot of love online, then you are more likely to show up on page one.

Online Reviews Serves Fresh Content

One of Google’s many algorithms is fresh content.

It often ranks websites by how relevant and up-to-date they are.

Google reviews also show users that your business is still in business and fresh and available and up-to-date.

While encouraging customers to leave a review, another great way to keep your website fresh is to update pages or blog regularly.

Online Reviews Gets You On The Local Pack

Google’s Local Pack are the businesses that show up under Google Ads.

Google will generally show the top 3 local businesses for each query.

It features contact information and their ratings.

For example, if you searched for a local service or product in a particular region like, “cafe near me” or in this particular case, “growth marketing toronto”, Google will show you the top 3 businesses in their Local Pack.

Online Reviews Make You Trustworthy

In today’s world, customers have more options than ever before.

So when they visit a store they generally have already done some homework online.

This is where online reviews help your business drive more foot traffic and convert more leads.

When your business has online reviews from real customers, it shows that your business is legitimate and has been validated and trusted by previous customers.

Online Review Tips And Tricks

1. Sign Up For A Google My Business Account

The first thing you want to do to increase your business reviews is to first make sure you can receive them in the first place.

For Google Reviews to be possible, your business needs to create a Google My Business account.

The process is simple.

Google even provides a guide to make sure any business owner – tech-savvy or not – can manage it.

Once your business account is verified, any customer that is looking for your business will find all the information they need. Like the following:

  • What you offer
  • Service options
  • The address
  • Opening hours
  • Menu
  • Website
  • Phone number
  • Reviews

It’s also worth noting that the number of online reviews and your current star rating is shown directly under your business name in the search results.

2. Encourage Customer Reviews

Most customers are aware of online reviews and that they can review businesses online; be it through Google, or another platform like Yelp.

But most of the time, customers are not incentivized to write an online review or prompted to do so. Don’t feel ashamed to remind people that the option is there.

It’s important not to make people feel pressured into leaving a review, but, planting the idea can be all that it takes.

As they leave your store, or after they make an online purchase, you can say something as simple as, “thanks for your purchase, and if you’re happy with it, feel free to leave a Google Review.” See? Not complicated, not pushy, but can ultimately lead to more sales and a higher ranking.

3. Don’t Be Discouraged By Negative Reviews 

The reality is, many people are going to look up your business with the sole intention of leaving an online review if they are not happy with their experience.

That’s the nature of the beast.

However, your aim should be to make sure the number of positive reviews is higher than the number of negative ones.

Don’t be discouraged by disgruntled customers.

Instead, use them as a learning opportunity to improve your products and services so you can prevent their issue from being one in the future.

You can also reply to negative reviews as well, share your side of the story and give readers context.

4. Don’t Be Fooled by All Positive Reviews

If you’ve been looking at your competition, frustrated at how they managed to achieve a perfect star rating across hundreds of reviews, then don’t be concerned.

According to research, a perfect score can actually decrease the trust of a business.

It sounds strange, but with the prevalence of fake reviews, having an average score of between 4.5 to 4.7 can make your business seem more trustworthy than one that achieves a perfect 5-star rating.

5. Reply To Google Reviews

A Harvard Business Review study found that if business owners respond to a customer review (be it a positive or negative one), they can see a rating increase.

Remember, you can learn a lot from all reviews that customers leave, so engaging with them on a public platform can have more of a positive impact than you might think.

Be transparent about any mistakes you may have made, and, thank them for taking the time to leave the review.

Ask questions if the information is unclear, and offer a solution to their problem.

You can even humanize the response by putting your name at the bottom of it.

Responding promptly is also quite important, for it shows your customer that you respect the decision they made to come forward and value what they have said.

6. Advertise That You Have A Reviewing Platform

If you’re struggling to drum up reviews for your Google My Business account, try positioning or marketing to your audience that your business has a reviews page.

You don’t have to take out a full-page ad in the newspaper, but small, discrete links in emails and on your website can often be enough.

Remember, you’re not trying to drum up a positive review, but a review in general.

By providing a link for people to click, you’re making it easy for customers to leave an online review.