Hi, Our startup company is in a very stable place, there are 70 paying customers for two years in a very crowded field. Our clients see amazing results and we have quite a few advantages over competitors. Now we are at the point that we want to invest in marketing and think if anyone managed to figure out the best marketing channel for them without wasting a lot of money on testings, we think Google or Facebook. What do you think? We can’t start with both.
Well done for reaching this stage - not an easy task.
A few marketing options:
1. Give an incentive to your existing customers to promote your services. For example, you can offer them a once off discount or 1 month premium package for each customer they bring (it all depends on your services). Or, you could just ask them. Either way, this is basically free advertising, and customers are in a much better position to pursued potential customers.
2. There is no one answer - FB or Google. It depends on your product, your target audience (their age, location, profession...for example, if they're in China Google and FB are less relevant..). your budget, the conversion rate and CPA on each of these platforms...button line, the best method is to run 2 simultaneous campaigns, which would be as similar as possible, and test to see where the results are better.
I can connect you with a Google Advertising expert if you like.
I've successfully helped over 350 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david
The answer here depends on what resources you have, who your audience is and what you want to achieve.
Also people use Facebook differently in different countries and regions so there's a cultural influence here as well. Also you mention Google or Facebook but both offer a wide array of options for a campaign with different benefits and challenges.
The key question here though is which is most effective in reaching your particular audience and how much will it cost you to acquire a new customer. We call that the Cost of Customer Acquisition or CCA. So say for example you buy clicks on Google Ads and these cost you $1 per click (called the Cost per Click or CPC).
Then let's say your conversion rate to gain a customer was 2% (called the Conversion Rate or CR). This would mean that to gain each customer would cost you $50.
The question here is does that give you a profit and can you achieve better with another platform eg Facebook?
If you can only afford one platform, then try one and see what your Cost of Customer Acquisition is. Spend an amount you can afford for a limited period of time. Then test the other channel and do the same.
Then ask yourself two questions 1. Did I make a profit on both? 2. Which one made the most profit? Then go with the one that made you the most profit.
It is worth mentioning that due to something called Quality Score, your bid prices will be more efficient over time with Google Ads, therefore you will spend less to earn more.
But being on top of understanding what you're receiving for what you invest called the Return on Investment (ROI) or what you spend which is called the Return on Spend (ROS) is vital for all start-ups to survive and succeed.
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Hope this helps and very best of luck to you with your business.
I can only talk from my experience which is with eCommerce company, but the way I see it Google & Facebook needs to be approached from a different perspective:
- Facebook is perfect if you have a brand that is "exciting" where you can create video or image that will make people react and learn about your products. Maybe a how-to video, or a customer testimonial talking about your product for example?
- Google on the other end is better when you are selling something that people search for. For example, if you are a startup company selling notebook, a lot of people will be searching for that on Google so it's easy to appears at the top of the search result and get this search traffic.
Most of the time you will have a "main" traffic sources and other complementary. For me it's Facebook 90% and Google 10%.
I'd like to learn more about your startup and the field you operate so that I can give more actionable advice base on your situation.
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For a startup, it is undoubtedly a milestone that you have bagged a decent number of customers who are keeping your business on. Congratulations!
Further to answer your question about picking the first best fitted marketing channel for growth, I would strongly recommend ‘SEO’ as one of the best marketing channel, based on my research and experience. Let me give you come insights regarding my choice -
- SEO is easy to plan and gives you a much wider online presence as compared to other channels.
- Today, search engines are the largest platforms for any business to build their presence, reach their prospective clients, grow their audience and customer base.
- You can target and reach a large number of relevant audience for your business. SEO helps a business attract this audience and bring it to your website.
In simple words - How does SEO works?
Firstly, it helps a business identity the right audience or searchers who are relevant and interested in their products and services. Knowing this is the first step for any kind of marketing, and this way one better plan how and whom to target. This is done with the help of keyword research. Searchers use keywords to find information or products on search engines. When you target those keywords in your website then you can target those searchers. And they become your targeted audience. This helps you plan better for your online success with SEO.
Secondly, SEO optimizes your website for those keywords to help you in two ways. One, it helps in ranking of those keywords on top pages. Only the keywords that rank on the first page of search engines get the share of traffic from that keyword. Second, when you optimize your web page for a keyword, you optimize it for what your visitor is looking for. So you can serve those visitors better when they visit your page. This helps in better conversion and helps in generating leads from the traffic.
Third and important thing SEO does for your online success is make your website rank higher for your targeted keywords with various off page SEO activities.
Above should be enough for you to decipher if SEO is apt for growth of your business.
Further I would like to add, that as per Brian Balfour (renowned growth hacker), there are 5 scalable growth channels.
1) SEO: Mint, Hubspot
2) SEM / DISPLAY: TripAdvisor and other online comparison sites with high LTV eg. car insurance
3) FACEBOOOK: Zygna, Instagram, Upworthy
4) VIRAL / WORD OF MOUTH: Uber, Snapchat, Evernote, Groupon
5) SALES / PARTNERSHIPS: Salesforce, Oracle, IBM, PayPal
The most successful startups of the last decade, have scaled to millions of users globally by tapping into 1 or max 2 of these channels.
Hence you are right, it is not wise to start with both (GOOGLE/ FB). Above channels have played a key role in growth. However, you are the best judge for which one best fits your market and target audience.
In case, you need assistance in knowing the right channel for your business. Please feel free to share your business details with me to guide you through the best fitted channel of marketing for your business growth. I am just a phone call away.
Congratulations on getting your start-up to the next level. I can relate to how difficult it is to get to that position.
As others have stated, Facebook* should be treated differently than Google. Google helps connect you to people actively looking for your product or service, while Facebook enables you to expose your product or service to people unaware of it.
Although a Google presence (organic or paid) is essential, starting with Facebook can provide useful data (keywords) that can be applied towards your Google presence later. Facebook will also help determine the interest in your product in the market. Facebook is relatively inexpensive to begin with and easier to use than Google.
I also recommend starting small with your advertising on Facebook. Experiment often and always be testing to improve. Once you find a formula that works for your business, you can begin investing more money into a proven campaign. You can run effective test campaigns as low as $50 for a few days.
I hope that helped and congratulations again on growing your start-up. If you would like more guidance or tips that apply to your unique situation, I would be happy to help. In the meantime, enjoy your growth and stay healthy!
*Although Facebook is the largest social channel, it's not for everyone. Your audience should ultimately dictate which channel to use.
I agree that the answer here is always going to be "it depends". I will say the biggest mistake many companies make is assuming they should just start on FB and Google as it's often times is actually not the best place to start and an easy way to burn cash fast. The most important question to ask is where are your customers coming from today, where are your potential future customers (maybe same place your existing ones are?), and then start there. Don't try to reinvent the wheel for your company. I'd recommend leaning into how you've already build a successful base and maxing out there as I'm sure those customers didn't just appear from thin air :)
If your cautious of burning cash in marketing channels you're not comfortable with, I'd always recommend starting with affiliate marketing. It's a zero risk way to grow your company profitably without putting dollars at risk. This is one of the areas I focus a lot in if you'd like to chat further on it https://clarity.fm/stevenkrinberg1/expertise/affiliate-marketing-to-grow-fast-and-profitably