In business, the old saying is, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying.” More than just a silly cliched saying, this is a fundamental truth of the business world. Every business, no matter how big or small, is trying to grow.
But business growth doesn’t just happen on its own.
It’s the result of an impeccable strategy designed to launch a company into the stratosphere. The tactics businesses have used for years as part of their growth strategies have fallen out of date as the world moves further into the digital age.
That begs the question, how can you form a growth strategy that meets our modern digital needs while propelling your business upward and onward?
In this article, we’ll highlight a series of steps you can take to form a digital growth strategy and emerge head and shoulders above your largest competitors.
But first, you might be wondering …
What is a growth strategy?
A growth strategy is a business plan that highlights how a company plans to overcome set challenges in the present and future to facilitate growth.
Growth can mean different things for different companies. For some, it means reaching new markets and bringing in more revenue. For others, growth can be acquiring more social media followers or gathering more subscribers to a video series.
No matter what growth means for you, a growth strategy will help you meet your goals and move your company in the right direction. These strategies involve internal processes, marketing, content rollout strategies, messaging-style, prospecting, and more.
Having a growth strategy in place is also crucial to increasing your business’ value. Especially if you plan on selling your company in the future or bringing on investors.
Investors look for businesses with established growth plans and proof that the company is moving in the right direction toward their growth goals.
But before we take a look at how to create and manage a growth plan, let’s review how growth strategies have evolved.
How have growth strategies changed in the digital age?
Over the past two decades, we have witnessed a digital revolution in the business world.
At first, it seemed focused on entertainment, but today the digital world is an integral part of businesses of all sizes. It doesn't matter if your brand sells linen suits, delta 8 products, or competitor analysis tools. Promoting them all will require you to master digital marketing, social media, SEO, and many other new areas.
Using digital technologies is as important for growth for eCommerce stores and SaaS brands, as well as websites that serve as a database or placement platform. For example, Salarship has to do digital marketing, website optimization, and multi-channel marketing to stay current and attract job seekers and employers.
People's attention turned away from print and TV to focus on social media, including Facebook and YouTube.
Additionally, a new marketing juggernaut arrived on the scene, and an entire new industry was created around it - SEO (search engine optimization). Companies began fighting for supremacy on popular search engines like Google, and engaged in an online struggle to hit the top of the results page for relevant keywords.
To grow as a business, your strategy needs to shift, embracing these digital technologies and new marketing methods.
Next, we'll show you how to do that.
8 steps to manage your digital growth strategy
And without further ado, here are eight steps to help you create and manage your digital growth strategy.
1. Determine your goals
The first thing you’ll have to do when sitting down to craft your growth strategy is decide what you’re trying to accomplish.
Sure, the easy answer to that question is “growth,” but what exactly does growth look like for you? Your goals should be specific, with benchmark numbers attached that are realistic.
For instance, your goal could be to increase profits by 15% in the fourth quarter. That’s a realistic goal focused on a clear finish line.
When highlighting your goals, you don’t have to lay out how you’re going to reach them yet. You simply have to state what you’re looking to achieve. Once you know that, you can start building your growth roadmap to success.
2. Identify KPIs
Your key performance indicators are the metrics you’ll measure to determine your success or failure. When forming your growth plan, once you’ve laid out your goals, you have to figure out your KPIs to accurately measure them.
Some common KPIs for tracking success in the digital world include:
- Click through rate
- Conversion rate
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Employee satisfaction
- Page views
- Web traffic sources
- SEO rank
- And many more
3. Work with SEO professionals
SEO should be a major component of your digital growth strategy, with pre-determined keyword targets laid out beforehand.
But [SEO takes a lot of time and effort]/blog/is-seo-cost-effective-in-2023/). It’s not an overnight fix that’ll start paying dividends right away. On top of that, it’s a process that’s constantly changing due to shifts in Google’s search algorithm. Staying on top of these changes can feel like a full-time job.
That’s why you should work with someone who's full-time job is in the SEO world. You can do this by working with trained SEO professionals who understand what it takes to become number one and stay there.
For instance, you could hire an in-house dedicated SEO specialist or work with a third-party contractor. Choose an agency or a freelance SEO strategist working independently.
Unless you’re an SEO expert with the time to devote to running a campaign, consider working with outside professionals who can help you exceed your SEO KPIs.
4. Constantly track digital insights
As your growth plan continues, you’ll need to closely track your KPIs. It’s not enough to just check how things went at the end of the campaign. By checking routinely, you can change direction in the middle of your plan if you notice that things aren’t working.
That’s where reporting and analytics come into play. You can use these valuable reports to keep track of your progress and results. For this purpose, you can use a report builder to consolidate your data so you can analyze information and improve your strategies more effectively going forward.
The kind of report you use is entirely up to you and depends on your personal preferences.
One great option to efficiently manage a strong growth strategy could be creating a Gantt chart, like the one pictured above.
A Gantt chart is a form of interactive data visualizationt that shows the timeline of a project. It shows individual tasks, resources, and remaining work to understand how far the project is along and if it's on schedule. You’ll be able to easily identify weak areas and adjust your growth strategy accordingly.
But Gantt charts are far from the only option available to you. You can use bar graphs, pie charts, text-based reports, or anything else that appeals to your preferences.
5. Assign clear team roles
If your growth strategy is going to be effective, every person on your staff needs to be clear on their individual role and the roles of everyone around them. A clear understanding of team member roles will ensure accountability to tasks so no one bumps up against someone else’s responsibilities.
Without clear team roles in place, you run the risk of costly confusion, which could set your productivity back exponentially. When everyone knows the proper chain of command and understands who they’re receiving work from and passing work on to, the entire operation moves more smoothly.
That means more gets done in less time, [saving on resources]/seo-guide/scaling/seo-agency-staffing-and-resource-management/) and pushing your company along the path to success.
Make sure to clearly define these roles in job descriptions, employee handbooks, and other operational process documents.
Give these materials to all team members and reference whenever there are questions. By having these roles defined in such a readily accessible place, you can do your part to prevent lapses in productivity.
6. Roll out a multi-channel strategy
One of the worst mistakes you can make as a business owner is focusing too much on only one growth channel. If you decide that your entire [growth strategy]/blog/how-to-create-a-digital-brand-strategy-for-optimal-growth/) will rely on your website and online store, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities.
Instead, adopt a multi-channel strategy, focusing your attention on various digital environments where you can reach your audience and facilitate explosive growth.
Include social media platforms your target audience frequents like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Also consider including email marketing, Google Ads, and social media advertisements in your strategy.
For example, if you own a content agency specializing in healthcare blog articles related to travel nursing, your multi-channel strategy might include:
- Optimizing your [blog page]/blog/15-blog-promotion-ideas-to-boost-traffic/) for keywords and phrases like “what is a travel nurse?”
- Running a paid advertising campaign through Google Ads targeting people searching the question referenced above
- Sharing carousel posts on Instagram with travel nursing tips on each slide
- Creating a series of segmented email campaigns walking readers through the travel nursing industry and sharing the latest industry insights
You can also run targeted social media ads specifically geared toward people who work in the healthcare industry and might need your services.
By adopting this multi-channel approach, you’ll be able to deliver your message to the right people at the right times, which will help you increase brand awareness and conversions alike.
7. Protect your online assets
Nothing can cut the legs out from under a growth plan quite like a cyberattack. If you’re not [protecting your online assets]/blog/why-is-cybersecurity-a-top-priority-in-digital-marketing/), you may risk undoing all of your hard work by falling victim to a hacking assault.
When bad actors access your sensitive data, it can damage your reputation, leaving you with bruised trust from your audience as you struggle to put the pieces back together.
You might think you’re covered from a security standpoint, but consider the last time you updated your cyber security measures. Hackers are constantly on the cutting edge of new tech, and if you’re not keeping up with them, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable.
Use a VPN or web application firewall to stop malicious traffic and prevent attacks on websites or web-based services. You might also consider taking a cybersecurity course and enrolling your employees in training to help keep your company safe.
Implementing solutions like these can help your company's web presence be stable and secure, which is important for maintaining a good reputation and avoiding data breaches or downtime.
8. Hold digital events
Networking will be a valuable part of your growth strategy, but networking today isn’t the same as it was years ago. Now, instead of traveling to events in Auckland or Cancun and having fun in the sun, many events have moved online.
Make it a point to both hold and attend these digital events.
Consider offering a free webinar that you can use for prospecting. When prospective customers want to attend, they simply have to provide their contact information and fill out a questionnaire about their needs. And bonus! You get to build up your email list with their contact details.
Creating and managing an effective growth strategy has become a MUST in the digital age.
Having a growth strategy in place is the first step toward long-term business success.
Are you ready to create a winning growth strategy?
- Determine your goals
- Identify your KPIs
- Work with SEO professionals
- Constantly track your digital insights
- Assign clear team roles
- Roll out a multi-channel marketing strategy
- Protect your online assets with robust security
- Hold digital events to gather leads
By keeping these eight helpful tips in mind, you’ll be able to grow your company and increase profits for years to come.
That’s it for today, friends.
To your success!