2. Zapier: Targeted Content Marketing
Zapier, the popular SaaS integration platform, grew profoundly by employing targeted content marketing. They began in 2014 by writing content for every feature of Hangouts. They developed content for even those features that weren’t then documented by Google. They believed that if they were looking for those content, numerous others too were.
This marketing strategy generated more than 75,000 blog visits to Zapier in the first year. Today, it gets more than 1.25 million monthly visits. Statistics say that within 18 months of employing this growth tactic, its revenue multiplied by four times to reach $50 million. So, what you learn from Zapier is, before developing content, take the time to think about the potential problems your audience is facing and address those.
3. Amazon: Great Customer Experience
Amazon started gaining dominance in the retail niche in 1995. It was a period when online shopping wasn’t popular. Yet, the brand managed to earn billions of dollars every year. The growth strategy that worked for them was ensuring a great customer experience.
Amazon began by providing customers with a huge collection of books than was available in traditional bookstores. They also allowed customers to check the site and immediately know the availability of a book in stock. It is this convenience that let the brand succeed over well-established offline booksellers. Once they gained popularity, they expanded their horizons into other markets and grew their offerings.
How Small And Medium Companies Can Benefit From A Business Expansion
Different types of business expansion include purchasing new assets, opening new units, adding sales personnel, increasing advertising, adding franchises, entering new markets, providing new products or services, etc.
There are many benefits associated with the expansion of business, and it is something that small and medium businesses should think about when deciding to expand their operations, especially in other countries.
But before taking a look at the benefits, it is important for every entrepreneur to analyze the market conditions. The entrepreneur has to identify which markets are likely to show growth.
If the market conditions suggest that market competition will be on the rise, it is important to expand your business before others can grab the opportunity to take advantage of your expanding market.
1) Concentrate on new product development
This is necessary if you want to maintain your competitive edge over your competitors. By expanding globally, you can reach new markets without any problem. You can offer new products to existing customers and can make sure that new products get into the hands of as many consumers as possible. This will result in increased sales and profit for your company. You can start developing new products at any time and you can introduce them to the public as soon as they are ready for them. You can also expand your range of products and services globally and this will enable you to make maximum profits.
2) Increase customer base
Another benefit is that expanding globally will increase your customer base and this will, in turn, help you to grow your business. If you expand your business internationally, you will definitely have a more customer base and you can use this to your advantage. You can attract more customers from other countries and you can use their markets to promote your products and services.
Diversification is very important for small businesses because most of the time, they face certain difficulties such as limited resources, less capital, and low margins. On the other hand, if you are expanding internationally, you can diversify in several fields and you can easily make profits.
4) Increase brand awareness internationally
Expanding abroad is an important step for many small businesses, and this step can bring an important benefit in terms of brand awareness. Not only you will be able to attract customers that will buy your products, but also partners that can cooperate or invest in your company, helping you market the products and services in other countries.
6 Best Strategies For Business Expansion
But before doing that It is important for you to understand how business expansion strategies can change and develop along with your own company’s goals, objectives, and circumstances.
These strategies can also vary depending on the type of expansion you are contemplating. If you are expanding into a new market, you will require a different strategy than if you are simply expanding your company’s presence into a new location.
1) Market penetration Strategy
Market penetration refers to the percentage of the population that can access your business’s products or services. If you are able to market your business to a specific market segment, you can effectively increase the number of your customers or clients. One of the best ways to increase your market penetration is to market to potential customers who are not yet committed consumers. You can do this by launching local advertising campaigns. For example, if you are running a business that provides pest control, you can launch a campaign where you offer free chemical treatments to individuals who have pets. This will increase your market share because you are offering a service that is in high demand in the market.
2) Marketing and promotion
You need to make sure that you have a solid marketing and promotional strategy in place in order to maximize your market share. You can do this by creating strong customer loyalty to your business. This can be achieved by attracting new customers through various means. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a strong customer base.
By capturing a large number of new customers, you can expand your business faster because you will have more new customers to spread your business name to. One of the most effective ways to capture new customers is to create a website. A website is a great way to showcase the services that your business offers and to create the image of a professional business. If you are planning to expand abroad, you should also create a localized version of the website to have a better impact on the local customers.
3) Expansion into a new market
When a market becomes saturated with one type of product or service, there is a tendency for that market to begin to dry up. If you take a look at traditional business expansion, you may have noticed that many businesses have expanded into areas where they were previously unable to do business. This may be due to limited local market penetration, lower capital costs, higher returns, or a change in consumer preferences. Regardless of the cause of market saturation, you can use new market expansion strategies to help your business thrive.
4) Expand your business abroad
At some point, for businesses, the local market becomes saturated, and the only way to expand is to go abroad. This is a step that many companies are afraid of because it comes with challenges, but also many opportunities because you are able to sell your products or services to more users.
You should find local partners to manage part of your business operations and especially those aspects, like HR and payroll, that can cause you to lose money and being non-compliant with the local law. All aspects that can destroy your presence in the market.
In this specific situation, a PEO is the best solution for your business to outsource HR and payroll abroad, so you do not have any risk with the local laws and regulations when hiring and managing employees abroad.
5) Start a franchise
One of the best strategies for business expansion includes starting a franchise, which is a process in which you open a business in a location where there is a need and people are willing to invest money and energy into it. Franchises provide a controlled environment in which you can grow your business without worrying about competitors.
6) Enter a joint venture or acquisition agreement
Another strategy that can help your business is to enter into a joint venture or acquisition agreement with another business that has a larger market share. You can leverage your combined business’s strengths and obtain access to resources and markets that you would not otherwise be able to do.
Your business’s success depends upon having the best strategies for business expansion. You want to expand your business to the fullest extent possible so that you can serve a greater number of consumers and provide better customer service.
The key is to make strategic decisions that will yield the greatest results. You may have an idea for a business opportunity, but you should also consider expansion strategies that will allow you to realize your dream.
Even if it seems like a business idea that you cannot afford, you may be surprised at how soon you can afford it. Once you have started to expand, your business will continue to grow so you can retire with some peace of mind.
Growth strategy examples
We’ve rounded up some examples of companies that achieved growth through a seemingly small tactic that yielded enormous payoff. Each of these examples should be understood in the context of the company where they were executed. While you can’t copy and paste their success, there’s a lesson to be learned from each.
1. How Zapier grew signups by writing about other products
Zapier is all about integrations—it brings together tools across a user’s tech stack, allowing events in one tool to trigger events in another, from Asana to HubSpot to Buffer. The beauty of Zapier is it sort of disappears behind these other tools. But that raises an interesting question: How do you market an invisible tool?
Zapier leveraged its multifaceted product personality through content marketing. The team takes every new integration on Zapier as a new opportunity to build authority through search and to appeal to a new audience on its blog.
The company’s blog reads like a collective guide to hundreds of tools, with specific titles like “How to Quickly Append Text to a Note in Evernote or OneNote from Your Browser” and “How to Automatically Generate Charts and Reports in Google Sheets and Docs.” Zapier’s strategy is to subtly make itself a content destination for the audiences of all these different tools.
Takeaway: If you have a product with multiple use cases and integrations, try curating your content marketing around each use-case instead of aiming for a catch-all approach.
2. How LinkedIn grew its user base by inviting connections
Remember the days when people used to hand out business cards? (Oh, and then they needed to be reprinted every time your contact info changed). LinkedIn launched an online version of this process to maintain professional contacts while also employing a “six degrees of separation” concept for people to grow their networks.
LinkedIn built an Outlook plugin that would sift through users’ contacts. They then used email marketing to reach out to these contacts. If you were an early adopter on the platform, you probably remember being on the receiving end of this strategy: “So I [someone you know] found you while I was looking around the network. Let’s connect directly; I’m happy to help you with requests and forward things incoming. It will probably make both of our networks bigger.”
It became a cycle. This email would be sent out to the contacts of new users. Those contacts would sign up, and the email would go out to their contacts, and so on. LinkedIn found that a benchmark of four emails was needed before a user would sign up for a platform. Kind of a FOMO mentality among professionals. It worked: LinkedIn went from 500,000 users in 2004 to 2 million users in 2006.
3. How Airbnb continued to scale by simplifying user reviews
Airbnb’s origin story is one of the infamous growth hacking tales. Founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia knew their potential audience was already using Craigslist, so they engineered their own integration. This connection allowed hosts to double post their ads to Airbnb and Craigslist at the same time.
While this integration got Airbnb off its feet, it’s not what allowed the brand to keep growing. You know how you check out reviews of a product before you buy? The same is true for staying in someone else’s house. The company’s review system became a critical factor in drawing guests to the platform. For 50% of bookings, guests visit a host profile at least once before booking a trip, and hosts with more than 10 reviews are 10X more likely to receive bookings.
4. How AdRoll used Appcues modal windows to increase adoption to 60%
The Head of Growth at AdRoll wanted to experiment with in-app messaging in order to target the right AdRoll users more effectively. But growth experiments like this require rapid iteration. Engineers are better suited for longer development cycles, and adding in-app messaging would be a distraction.
So the team started using Appcues to create custom modal windows quickly and easily—and without input from their developers. With a no-code solution in place, AdRoll’s growth team could design and implement however many windows they needed to drive adoption of the features they were working on.
One feature that needed an adoption boost was AdRoll’s integration with Mailchimp (Mailchimp is making all kinds of appearances in this article!). The feature allows users to retarget ads to their email subscribers in MailChimp. However, AdRoll found that very few users were actually making use of this integration.
Find the small changes that can lead to huge growth
None of these growth spurts happened by changing a whole company all at once. Instead, these teams found something small—a way in, a loophole, a detail—and carved out that space so growth could follow.
Whether you find a single feature in your product is the key to engaging users or you discover a north star metric that allows you to replicate success, pinpoint a target for your growth strategy and dig into it. Pay attention. Listen to your users. Notice what’s happening in your product and what could be better. Learning is your first step in defining your next growth strategy.
Eric heads up Marketing at Appcues. When he isn’t helping companies become more product-led, he’s likely to be found keeping up with his wife and two children, exploring the White Mountains, or fermenting things at home.