Growth Marketing for Early Stage Startups: Q and A with Growth Marketing Expert Sindhu Biswal

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Startups are exciting places to be– there’s a dream, huge potential, and a great future. But, to achieve this, startups undergo various ups and downs during their life cycle. One of the first things a startup does early on is to look into growth marketing– well you’ve got to reach your customer to gain the moolah, isn’t it?

But first, what is growth marketing and how is it different from traditional marketing?

With traditional marketing, businesses leverage print, television or radio to reach and convert people in your target audience. However, traditional marketing tends to underdeliver, as it is one of the oldest forms of marketing and the majority of consumers today rely on digital channels when deciding on their next purchase.

Growth marketing, however, takes a broad approach for reaching and converting your target audience, as well as maximizing your client retention rates. It makes use of a variety of channels including digital to engage with potential and current clients.

So, how do early-stage startups go about growth? Do you create a separate budget for your marketing efforts or focus only on social media, or do you rely on ads? Here are the key takeaways from our Q and A session with expert Sindhu Biswal.

About Sindhu Biswal

At the age of 22, he co-founded Dogether- A Facebook and NASSCOM selected startup, where he built his team and expanded the business from one city to four. He also worked with PayTM Insider to promote several events. He is currently working with digital media channels of PocketAces— FilterCopy, Dice Media and Gobble.

Snippets from our Q & A Session on Growth Marketing

What are a few growth marketing tips for early-stage startups, especially in 2020? 

  • While you are still trying to figure out things, avoid creating a marketing budget and go all out on awareness campaigns
  • Begin by creating multiple user personas
  • Test every persona and see how each interacts with you
  • Fix your own matrix before deciding on a particular persona or trying to acquire them
  • Don’t make the blunder of assuming a specific persona as your target audience based on your initial research

How can startups organically gain their first 100, 1000, 10k users or customers?

Treat your social media page just like you would a user persona by specifying who the product/service is for. This helps you define the hashtags you are going to use, the kind of language you are going to be using

  • Use short video content (<1 min) as these are easily shareable
  • Focus on shareable content and depend on those if you are low on funding 
  • Meme marketing could be an excellent addition to any business’s social media strategy

What are some essential copywriting tips that have worked for you on social media?

  • Irrespective of the number of teams handling the branding of your brand, ensure that brand tonality is uniform across all media. Different tonalities dilute the branding
  • Emoticons work really well and bring life to your copy
  • Create humanised content. If the first 4-5 words are not talking to ‘you’, the customer won’t be interested
  • Make different copies for different ad sets with each having a diverse target audience

Where do you think copywriting stands in the whole marketing set up? Do you recommend writing copy yourself or outsourcing it?

  • The person or team writing the copy must understand what your brand stands for 
  • Every content writer must start understanding how marketing works
  • When a marketer writes content, he/she puts in a lot of empathy in the copy as he/she understands who the audience is
  • When a writer writes copy, he/she looks at grammar, language, and lesser focus on empathy
  • Content writers entering the copywriting space must understand analytics and basically how content marketing works

How can startups continue paid subscriptions and also acquire new users at the same time?

  • Promote a video/ article/infographic etc., instead of promoting the medium or company as a whole
  • Strike when the iron is hot –promote when the demand is high
  • Create value in your content to increase retention as well as acquisition

In the initial stages, don’t focus too much on the new users each month but rather focus on the customers who have been with you for a while. 

  • Interact more with them via retention and reactivation campaigns

If a new startup is doing well with new users, but their retention is taking a hit, what advice would you give them?

  • Stop your campaign and revisit your audience
  • Evaluate if there is an expectation vs reality gap
  • Understand where the bounce happening
  • Connect with your customers one-to-one basis; segregate your customers based on their needs/requirements
  • Connect with customers as a friend – ask for open-ended feedbacks

Wrapping Up

Getting a startup off the ground requires immense patience and perseverance. But this journey is made simpler when we get advice from experienced industry professionals such as Sindhu Biswal.

Thank you for your insights and actionable tips that you provided, Sindhu!

We will continue to share such informative discussions, interactive sessions and Q and As with industry experts to help you and your organisation decode all things marketing and achieve growth. Watch this space for more Q and A sessions!