Everyone related to the business world craves for a way to grow in rapid ways. However, most of these business ventures fail. The reason? More often than not, it’s due to the lack of traction channels.
What usually happens is that entrepreneurs get carried away by random things they see or hear about. When I first read Traction, one of the top growth hacking books by Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares, the authors made clear that things that might not work for you in your first steps may work later – and vice versa.
Traction Book covers the main 19 channels that can drive traffic:
- Viral Marketing
- Public Relations
- Unconventional PR
- Search Engine Marketing
- Social & Display Ads
- Offline Ads
- Search Engine Optimization
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Engineering as Marketing
- Targeting Blogs
- Business Development
- Affiliate Programs
- Existing Platforms
- Trade Shows
- Offline Events
- Speaking Engagements
- Community Building
This very Infographic is a visual representation of these 19 channels we made for you:
1. Viral Marketing
What if a user brings on board the next one? Well, this is what Viral Marketing is about: finding a way to bring conversions by luring your existing users to share your awesomeness with their family, friends, and colleagues – in most occasions by rewarding them to do so.
2. Public Relations
Traditional media invaded the Internet, following the hype of the last decade. Being included in big publications still works – bringing great results. People enjoy the freedom that Reddit and Product Hunt offer but still, they’re bound on the trend-setting media publications. Just make sure you always make it to the news!
3. Unconventional PR
Do stunts and treat your customers outrageously well, and word will spread. This is not something for the weak-hearted – a lot of people may hate you but in the meantime, you can create enough buzz for your thing to taker off. Ryan Holiday can assure you of that.
4. Search Engine Marketing
You can reach hundreds of millions of people by advertising on search engines. Everyone’s familiar with Google AdWords nowadays, and a lot of people claim they know how to do it. Beware, as you can spend a lot of money on low-quality customers. Do your homework!
5. Social & Display Ads
Let’s face it. We, the people, love social media. We also love communities and websites closely related to our taste. Our inhabitation on such platforms revolutionized advertising in general, creating new fields for marketers and companies to earn big time. You have just to find where your clients hang out.
6. Offline Ads
Before going nuts on how old-fashioned TV or billboards is, you should calculate the time you spend surfing on your mobile while being on your couch with the TV playing or in the Underground surrounded by big @ass billboards. Chances are you’ve searched something you heard or saw while in the aforementioned situations.
7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of getting traffic from “free”, “organic”, “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines. In other words, it’s the method to make it on the top of search engines for the keywords you are trying to rank. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon!
8. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a marketing approach focused on creating and distributing helpful, applicable, and consistent content to attract and retain your target users and, ultimately, to drive conversions for your product, service, or business in general. Articles, guides, infographics, and webinars have something in common; they generate a revenue stream!
9. Email Marketing
Doing Email Marketing is to use a series of automated, personalized emails for the sake of increasing sales. Many players out there do fantastic things, crafting irresistible-to-click subject lines, as part of their main sales strategy aiming to boost conversions.
10. Engineering as Marketing
Allocating your engineering resources on building free tools that make your prospects’ life easier is a proven and a rather successful method of acquiring customers. Hubspot, for instance, based its whole early traction on tools like Website and Twitter Grader and continues until today with the Free CRM.
11. Targeting Blogs
A lot of people get frustrated when mining for their first users. The truth is that you can get the first wave of them just by targeting blogs they already read. Contacting those blogs for guest posts, coverage or just to place your company’s badge might get you where you ought to be.
12. Business Development
“You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” is a phrase that recaps in the most accurate way. By building partnerships you can reach hundreds, thousands, or millions of customers, in ways that benefit both parties. You can go for a Standard Partnership, Joint Venture, or Licensing. And Oh, Google used it as an initial traction channel.
Generate leads, evaluate them and convert them into paying customers. That’s sales, and sales are pretty useful when your product is expensive and requires interpersonal interaction before purchase To scale things up you need a sales model that will not only apply to your prospects’ problems but also enhance your product development.
14. Affiliate Programs
How about getting others to sell your products by letting them keep a percentage of the earnings for doing so? Affiliate programs are used by tons of companies for over 15 years becoming one of the Internet’s traditions. More or less it’s like Business Development, but on this occasion, the partnership is between a company and an individual.
15. Existing Platforms
Social media changed the way we perceive reality, digital advertising, and marketing. It’s only natural for companies to use them as the core of their functionality. Building an audience from scratch can be a pain in the @ss. Facebook has 1.25bn people ready to love you. That’s exactly what the guys on Zynga said to themselves.
16. Trade Shows
Trade Shows offer the chance for your company to show off its products in person to business insiders and get you close to prospects that could be ridiculously interested in what you do. It’s a great opportunity to make major announcements, seal partnerships or just build interest around what you do.
17. Offline Events
Sponsoring or running offline events could get you a lot of traction. It’s an opportunity for you to engage with potential customers about their problems. You see, unlike online advertising which might not work well with some people, giving them a chance to meet you can be way more effective.
18. Speaking Engagements
Educational articles, guides, and webinars provide great value and might bring you back customers. But the thing that people enjoy the most is attending educational events. Getting to know your prospects in person and proving your value, gets you one step closer to converting them into paying customers.
19. Community Building
Building a community is all about investing in connections among your users, fostering those relationships, and helping them bring more people into your company’s circle Your goal should be to create an army of evangelists – passionate users that tell other people about how awesome your product is.
Early Traction for Startups
Early startup traction can mean the difference between success or failure – especially if you are a startup.
Having early traction is a sign that you have a product that people want to use. Also, early startup traction acts as insurance for VCs and their investment.
- Ensure you have product-market fit
- Start a pre-launch campaign
- How to boost a pre-launch campaign for early startup traction
- Crowdfund your product
- Build an email list
- Integrate a referral program
- Use growth hacking to grow your company
Theodore has a 15-year experience in running successful and profitable software products. During his free time, he coaches and consults startups. His career includes managerial posts for companies both in Greece and abroad and he has significant skills on intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship.