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4 Keys to Boosting Your Growth Rate in 2017 Customer acquisition is a long-term process, so get started now.

By Ehsan Jahandarpour Edited by Dan Bova

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To grow your business, you need to focus on growth-hacking strategies such as optimizing your conversion rate, creating an irresistible offer and automating your digital marketing campaign. But how will you get there?

Great strategies rely on great tools and techniques to support your work. Here are four tactics to help you connect with consumers more effectively and build stronger relationships that will position your brand to attract even more customers.

1. Customer engagement.

Although more than 90 percent of the web is text, visuals help companies attract more customers. The brain registers visual content more quickly than it can process text. From infographics to memes and emoji, people use visuals to convey meaning. Your consumers prefer interactive methods to communicate with their own friends, family, and even clients.

To engage potential customers, connect with them in real time. Bringing them into the conversation helps them feel involved. Tools such as Click Meeting can help you conduct live webinars and other live events to educate, entertain, and invite feedback from your audience. While you can set up a paid webinar, it's better to use these opportunities as lead magnets to build a relationship with your audience.

Afterward, follow-up is a must. Reach out to participants through email marketing strategies. It's essential you initiate that touchpoint as soon as possible after your event. Otherwise, you risk losing your recently acquired lead.

Related Offer: Get a 60-day free trial to email marketing platform Constant Contact.

2. Customer-generated content.

Brand credibility is crucial because online shoppers weigh reputation and reviews very seriously. Industry experts are taking notice. Hubspot, Shopify and Thirdlove recently partnered with Yotpo to launch a free growth course for ecommerce business. Leaders from presenting companies discussed actionable strategies to help entrepreneurs scale their organizations.

Griffin Thall, co-founder of Pura Vida Bracelets, put it this way: "The No. 1 most important rule of social is that you need to keep your audience interested. If people are watching a boring channel, they're going to change it."

Many businesses spend a fortune on advertising campaigns but fail to recognize the huge impact that word-of-mouth has on company development. You must remember your brand is not about your logo, user experience or design elements. Instead, your brand represents your values. Since having a solid brand image is essential to your growth, managing your online reputation should be among your top priorities.

Related: Capitalize on Trends But Stand Firm on Your Identity

Here's a rule of thumb: Listen to customers' feedback and enhance your product to offer great customer experience. You can leverage user-generated content insights to take your business to the next level. Tools such as Yotpo allow you to collect real reviews and showcase them on your landing pages. Just make sure never to get involved in the unethical practice of buying followers or reviews. These never represent the real customer's perspective, and they won't help you achieve success through your growth plan.

3. Customer behavior.

Engaging with customers is good, but it's not enough. Many customers leave your website without letting you know what put them off. Many marketers rely on analytics and quantitative data-gathering to solve these issues. But quantitative data won't tell you how your customers feel about your brand.

To tackle such issues, you can use Qualaroo or other tools to conduct a survey on your least-performing pages. Input the exact questions you want your customers to address, and collect firsthand information. Then apply your qualitative and quantitative data to analyze patterns and optimize your landing pages for higher conversion.

Related: 4 Forgotten Aspects of a High-Conversion Homepage

4. Customer acquisition.

Once you understand your customers' behavior patterns and have optimized your pages, it's time to focus on customer journey optimization. This ensures that visitors are lead to to the right landing page within your overall website.

This often means guiding different sources of traffic to different landing pages, each designed around the needs of a specific segment within your customer base. Generalizing content at this point will have a sharply negative impact on your business.

To make sure you're presenting the right kind of information in the right way, try a service such as VWO to conduct A/B testing. The data you gain can help you improve the customer experience and translate into a higher customer-acquisition rate.

Related: How to Test Different Versions of Your Website in Six Easy Steps

The right tools for the job can enable you to execute the appropriate strategies -- saving time and other precious resources. Remember, growth hacking isn't like paid advertising with its immediate results. Instead, embrace a mindset that growth is a long-term, ongoing and always-evolving process.
Ehsan Jahandarpour

Growth hacking Influencer and Start-up Coach

Ehsan Jahandarpour is a startup coach and growth hacker. He helps companies like Microsoft, PETRONAS, and BBDO grow their business. 

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