Organic growth is the preferable way to grow any kind of business because of its efficiency. Instead of paying for leads through social media or display ads or spending lots of money on sponsorships and other traditional methods, organic growth happens from business activity not explicitly carried out to bring in new customers. For example, a company that posts on social media and grows its business with inbound inquiries on the network Referrals (sometimes called word of mouth marketing) are one of the best forms of organic growth because they require zero effort from your team.
As desirable as it may be, the big challenge with organic growth is measurability. It’s tough to track certain organic growth channels like the word of mouth referrals mentioned above, or the number of people who become interested in your products or services from your content.An organic growth formula should be less about specific metrics and targets and more about the actions you and your team take to drive growth. Click To Tweet
A better approach to an organic business growth formula is managing your leading indicators. In other words, an organic growth formula should be less about specific metrics and targets and more about the actions you and your team take to drive growth. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be concerned about the results of your efforts to drive organic growth – it’s just that you probably won’t be as rigidly focused on ROI and metrics as you might be investing in four or five figures into an ad campaign.
The first part of the formula for successful organic growth is determining which channels make the most sense for your organization.
Choosing the right methods
Depending on the nature of your business and its offering, there are several different options you can pursue as a cornerstone for your organic growth.
Creating a business blog has moved beyond a forward-thinking idea for growing a business online and become a staple for any company that wants to grow online. Content marketing has become the standard for organic growth, and blogging is one of the most utilized tools within this discipline. It’s also a relatively accessible option – all it takes to start a blog is a website and a content management system (CMS) with blog capabilities, such as WordPress or Drupal.
According to statistics from HubSpot, marketers that prioritize blogging experience 13x the ROI of companies that don’t. While you’ll likely need to invest some money (or at least time) into blogging, it’s far less expensive than some inorganic options and can bring your business many benefits besides customer growth:
- Establishes authority in your industry, making your business a voice people come to trust for news and analysis
- Increases search engine rankings. Search engines are preferable to new content, and most marketers engage in strategic keyword optimization to help improve rankings even further
- Creates another avenue for shareable content. Many conversations and trends in all sorts of industries have come about as a result of impactful blog posts. If it’s good enough, your blog content can become the type of shareable asset that helps organizations gain exposure online
In the early days of networks like Facebook and Twitter, social media was an excellent place for organic growth. Simply by creating a profile and posting content related to your industry, you could attract customers and prospects without a significant investment in advertising.
Unfortunately, things have changed. The huge growth of social media and digital advertising as a business model has led these companies to double down on pushing users towards paying for ads on their platform to get in front of the right people. This has happened most noticeably on Facebook over the last five years. In 2018, Facebook announced they would be making changes to their algorithms so users would receive less business content and more updates on friends and family.
However, that’s not to say social media isn’t a viable platform to use for organic growth. Although they might not be as powerful as paid advertisements, strategies like hashtagging, influencer collaboration, and giveaways are still effective to help you grow your business on social media. If your focus is mainly on organic growth, you might also consider pursuing a presence on one of the newer networks without as large of an emphasis on paid campaigns.
The final category of organic growth we’ll talk about here is what comes to mind first for many people. Almost everyone knows someone who has built a business solely based on word-of-mouth referrals. It’s especially popular in professional services fields like real estate, law, and accounting. The big challenge with referrals is how difficult they are to generate and track consistently.
There are a few tactics that can help here. First, make it a habit to ask for referrals. Some companies encourage their customer support team to include a referral link in their email signatures or social media profiles. Others might include it as part of an automated feedback survey sent out monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Another good strategy is to incentivize referrals. Many companies offer a percentage discount or even a gift card for clients that connect them with others they end up working with. And finally, you can encourage everyone at your business to ask for referrals, not just the customer service or sales team. Even a prospect that doesn’t end up working with you can be a good source for referrals.
Tracking organic growth
Choosing the right methods to pursue organic growth is only part of the equation. To solidify your formula for organic business growth, you also need a way to track this growth. As mentioned, organic growth is considered more challenging to track and measure, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
A solid CRM will go a long way towards helping you track and manage referrals. You can view contacts by their place in the sales pipeline, keep a record of how they started doing business with you, and see how often you’ve reached out to them for a referral. Most modern CRMs will integrate well with a marketing automation platform, which can help you apply what you learn by tracking organic growth performance. Over time, you can use these tools to iterate your campaigns and make them more relevant to your target audience.
The last word on organic growth formulas
We’ve gone over some of the most popular methods to grow a business organically and offered some advice on quantifying this growth. If you can be creative and select only the elements that work for your business, you can make many different channels work for organic growth. The key to any growth formula is using data to change it on the fly, depending on what has and hasn’t been working.
To ensure your marketing is adaptable and can consistently achieve organic growth, it’s important to have a knowledgeable voice heading up these efforts and directing your team towards success. If you’re looking for a partner that can help manage the resources you’re devoting to organic growth and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your marketing budget, we are here to help. The team at grwth.co has decades of combined experience helping clients across several different industries translate data and insights into effective marketing strategies. Fill out this form to contact us and learn more about how we can help.