Jan 16, 2023
Startup Growth
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 min read

5 Steps to Teach Yourself Growth Marketing (Part II)

Without customers there is no business. So how does an owner drive new customers to their startup, or keep existing ones engaged? The answer is simple: Growth marketing.

It’s not a secret that growth marketing is a valuable skillset to possess in the current job market. Taking a look at LinkedIn in October of 2022 for the available jobs with the search phrase “growth marketing”, shows that there are more than 50,000 openings spread across a variety of employers from small startups to 30,000-employee behemoths like Uber

The inevitable next question becomes, how does one learn the skills for growth marketing?  I am here to tell you that the best growth marketing course isn’t an actual course.

As a growth marketer who has honed this craft for the past decade and been exposed to countless courses, I can confidently attest that with this subject, doing is the best form of learning. However, I am not saying you need to immediately join a series-A startup or land a growth marketing role at a large corporation, who can then afford to teach you. 

Instead, I have broken down how you can teach yourself growth marketing in five easy steps. Sit back, relax, and I hope you will enjoy this series!

Teach Yourself Growth Marketing-Part II: Launching a paid acquisition channel

In part two of my five-part series (Teach Yourself Growth Marketing), I will teach you how to set up a paid acquisition channel to drive online traffic and, ultimately, conversions (aka consumer purchases) to a landing page. For the entirety of this series, we will use the example of learning growth marketing with a direct-to-consumer (D2C) athletic supplement brand.

Picking a paid acquisition channel

Even with the most premium product on the market, most consumers aren’t going to magically discover its existence on your website. This is where paid acquisition is most effective – in educating and driving consumer interest to your products. When deciding which paid acquisition channel to launch, there is one key aspect you must consider: your target demographic. Where are your target consumers spending their time online? Are they scrolling through TikTok or reading an article on LinkedIn? Once you can answer this question, it will make selecting the first channel to launch quite easy.

In the event that your target demographic is already on numerous acquisition channels, you can choose Facebook or Google as your first channel. Both of these two platforms are considered the duopoly in paid acquisition and will be the best primer for learning how to manage paid social media and paid search channels.

For our athletic supplement brand, any paid social channel (Facebook, TikTok, etc.) would be an ideal place to showcase the product. Our target demographics are men and women between the ages of 22 - 40. With that in mind, let’s begin by building a Facebook campaign.

Setting Facebook acquisition up 

If you’re just getting started performing a Facebook acquisition in 2022, the largest advantage is that so much of the targeting has become automated. Just a few years ago, much of the campaign creation relied on the inputs of interests and behaviors of prospective customers so that Facebook would know who to then target. During the years I spent at Postmates, I transitioned our Facebook account structure from 40-50 campaigns down to five. What gave me this ability was leveraging “open targeting”, which enables Facebook to find the best consumers without any user input. 

Instead of going through a step-by-step of how to launch your first campaign, I’ll be going through what to think about during the setup. It’s vital to consider the following facets of your first campaign before setting it live:

  • Creative best practices
  • Strong messaging

When consumers are scrolling through their Facebook feed, you have a few seconds to hook their attention with the creative messaging you select. This is what I believe to be the last remaining lever on Facebook that requires immense thought and attention to succeed. What’s more is that messaging and creative tactics are constantly evolving as consumers eventually become numb to even the most original of advertising trends. Currently, user-generated-content (UGC) is the prevailing and most performant type of creative on Facebook. These are the types of videos where people film themselves in a “selfie-style” way talking about their experiences with a product.

For the first few creative assets you launch with, be sure to leverage Facebook’s Ad Library to draw inspiration from your competitors. It’s much wiser to lean into those trends that have likely already been battle-tested. When looking through examples, also pay close attention to the text they have used. It’s common to leverage both emojis and is imperative to include a clear call-to-action.

Continuing the athletic supplement example, we could consider having a few people create 15-second videos talking about how their lives have changed after taking the daily pills and use those as our assets. There are platforms such as Billo or Backstage that can help you find talent to film these videos for you.

Making sure attribution is perfect

Along with creative best practices, attribution is something that is consistently changing over time due to evolving privacy regulations coming from both governments and major companies such as Apple.

Thankfully, Facebook possesses a seamless method for setting up attribution in the “Events Manager” section of the Ads Manager. After installing the base pixel code to a landing page, there’s an option to launch a tool that tags events based on button clicks or page views. Once this tool is launched you simply run a few tests, confirm that the events have been published on Facebook and launch your first campaign!

Metrics to keep an eye on

It may seem daunting to see so many metrics in Facebook’s Ads Manager, but these are the most important ones to keep track of from the start:

  • Spend
  • Click through rate (CTR)
  • Conversion rate (CVR)
  • Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
  • Cost per result

Of all metrics on the dashboard, you’ll most likely be drawn to cost per result, because it measures how much you are paying for each conversion. However, it’s equally important to look at some of the metrics that contribute to the cost per result, such as the CTR.

When you start to think about optimizing your ads, the CTR, CVR, and CPM will help separate the winners from the losers. Maybe you have an ad that has a very high CTR (many consumers are clicking), but a very low CVR (those same consumers aren’t converting). Is your ad misleading to the consumers? Do all your ads have similarly low CVRs? If so, perhaps the low conversion rate has something to do with your landing page? My purpose for asking these hypothetical questions is to get you to start thinking about what you should be asking when you are finally running your own campaign.

I will leave you with some benchmark data from AdBraze about all the industries that buy ads on Facebook:

  • CTR: 0.91%
  • CVR (ad click > conversion): 9.21%

Now that you have launched your first campaign, we'll go through running your first experimentation tests in part four of this series!

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