19 growth hacking and traction strategies for real-life companies – WAU

Yes, Digital Marketing is full of jargon and we all confess, sometimes it is difficult to differentiate a pronunciation from SEO / CEO, the lead from the lead or if TOFU will be the vegetarian option of lunch or the classification of this post. So it might not seem like a very encouraging proposition when we talk about Traction, another American term. […]

Yes, Digital Marketing is full of jargon and we all confess, sometimes it is difficult to differentiate a pronunciation from SEO / CEO, the lead from the lead or if TOFU will be the vegetarian option of lunch or the classification of this post.

So it might not seem like a very exciting proposition when we talk about Traction, another american term.

Well then, let’s try to make it easier? Traction is nothing but traction, something that will drive the engines of companies and startups for growth.

It’s the pamphlet you get on the sign and the viral from the next unicorn startup that keeps popping up in your feed.

It is simply the channels and ways that companies find to grow and acquire customers, strategically organized.

Ok, but isn’t that the same as marketing?

And when do the 19 forms promised in the title arrive?

I will answer those questions now!

Marketing vs. Traction

In the book that may be your next bedside, Traction – A Startup Guide to Getting Customers, there is no clear differentiation between marketing and traction. In fact, the most concise definition is:

Traction is growth ” (Traction is growth).

Paul Graham

See, we would not be irresponsible to say that marketing is not growth. What a traction is growth-oriented marketing. When evaluating traction channels, we need to think about numbers, because without metrics there is no investment.

Channels may not look great, but they need to work. And believe me, it is not because everyone in your segment is betting on display media that your growth will be there.

Therefore, Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares interviewed more than 30 founders of startups to define the 19 useful traction channels for companies of any size and write the book that gives rise to this post.

But first, an exercise

In saying in the title that we wanted to approach the concept of traction in real life, we were not kidding.

We took examples of challenging companies and products to exemplify each channel, so we were able to demonstrate that from that pamphlet to the viral video, if you select the right channels and control the risk and success variables, you can expect growth in any segment.

So that it is not obvious and this text tries to fulfill its claim to be memorable, know:

Dr. House: he is not an ordinary doctor, but he may be Lupus. Our Dr. House does not serve patients, but doctors who need help defining diagnoses. A laboratory that serves other pathology laboratories.

Mr. McDonald: will not ask you if you want extra mayonnaise. In fact, our old McDonald’s has developed a new way of preserving food, a package that maintains the temperature of snacks for many hours and sells to the largest fast food franchises in the world.

and Mrs. Engines: thought cars? So do we, but Ms. Motores has an e-commerce for pumps for pools, artesian wells and engines for small industries.

(Because if you want to think about traction, you need to get off autopilot.)

The 19 channels of traction and growth hacking

With our products defined, we need to remember that most owners or founding partners always have one intuition or another about which channels they want to bet on, and this is true even for content marketing.

The natural thing is to think about SEO, a good social media and email marketing strategy, until we find out what events, like RD Summit, can do for us.

Remember if: traction is not common sense.

Therefore, it is not possible to predict with certainty which channels will work best. Until the first test results come out, your chances of taking a full webinar on your industry or a Carreta Hurricane test are the same, and none should be underestimated.

So, let’s go to the channels, in free translation:

1. Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is not synonymous with viral video.

Viral marketing is growing your user base by encouraging existing ones to recommend the product.

Need examples?

Think about campaigns to bring your friend and win an extra gift, when you share your Uber code to get discounts when someone downloads the app or when you invited everyone to join Dropbox to get more space.

Want to see how they can work for our characters?

Dr. House: Offer special conditions for doctors with CRM in the same state, just enter the number to have a discount on some diagnoses or membership.

Mr. McDonald: Recommend other franchises and gain special conditions when shipping packages.

Mrs. Engines: E-commerces are one of the most conducive platforms for viral marketing.

Although discount codes and sending an offer to a friend may not seem as appealing to engines, wait until they are announced at industry events.

2. Public Relations

It looks like rice and beans, but don’t doubt what a good PR can do for you.

Public relations consists of making your product known to the general public, mainly through the media and influential people.

Think of launches, articles in major newspapers and even press conferences.

Dr. House: Nobody likes to talk about epidemics. But a pathology lab can build its credibility by identifying them more quickly and using the press to address the issue.

Mr. McDonald: A package that makes a sandwich last for hours? It doesn’t have to be a cover story, but there are several websites, newspapers, magazines and a world of hamburger lovers interested in testing and publicizing something about the subject.

Mrs. Engines: There is always room for matters of sustainability and engine efficiency, as well as the dissemination of statistics on productivity in the industry.

3. Unconventional Public Relations

This is a difficult translation for “Unconventional PR”, but this is where people who love the term “out of the box” come together. And yes, here viral videos are more appropriate.

This channel is dedicated to exceptional actions, such as making chocolate rain and making small actions to please consumers, such as sending handwritten notes.

Everything that impresses and can easily attract attention.

Dr. House: Viral videos seem ironic when we talk about … Viruses, but they can make a big impact when talking about the rapid proliferation of diseases and I’m sure it would be shared in the feed of any curiously concerned security relative.

Mr. McDonald: The idea of ​​a package that doesn’t let your snack cool down is attractive enough, but we can improve that by challenging people on the street to experiment and record their reactions.

Mrs. Engines: Good storytelling moves people. You see, Mrs. Motores sells engines in practice, but it impacts the lives of many workers, discovering their perspective can be useful.


SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, and yes, it is different from SEO.

SEM could be briefly summarized in Adwords. But it would be a terrible read of what search engine advertising can do for a company.

We cannot deny that most investments are Google-centric, but there is a lot that can be done besides choosing keywords and investing a lot of money without looking at the return.

General rule: When making an ad, never dispense with keyword research competition.

If your keyword does not exist because you created an innovative product, it may not be interesting to start with SEM, but with a patent and organic traffic.

Don’t just rely on paid traffic and channels that you can’t control.

And don’t forget that there are other search engines that need to be taken into account, such as better prices, seasonal searches for Black Friday and even in app stores.

Dr. House: People have a lot of questions about health and insist on taking them out via the internet, but in addition to the ads on Google, you need to remember that YouTube is the second most important search engine on the internet. Who knows, it is possible to impact a doctor or an end patient (never call a client!), Over there?

Mr. McDonald: As it is not exactly a cafeteria, Mr. McDonald cannot go around investing in restaurant keywords or geolocation, but he can research which are the most sought after by people interested in opening food franchises or snack bars.

Mrs. Engines: From e-commerce, Mrs. Engines must have already tried ads on Adwords, but it is important that you not only invest in the keywords long tail as you do not want to be confused with car engines, but follow the ads: in addition to CPC ( cost-per-click), what is the true CPA (cost per acquisition) of your ad efforts?

5. Advertisements on social networks and display media

Self-explanatory, right? Well, only if you went beyond Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and vanity metrics. There are many ways to advertise online and conversion rates and niche sites cannot be ignored.

It is important to remember that each media has its particularity – and that goes beyond the size of the image. Good campaigns are not simply deployed in other media, but designed to work in the ones that give the most results.

Dr. House: You need to be careful. There are specific rules defined by the Federal Council of Medicine on online advertising, but you can take advantage of the pieces produced ethically by other traction channels – such as registration of Unconventional Public Relations – and use them wisely in Ads.

Mr. McDonald: Mr. McDonald’s product has come a long way on its own, but we all need to understand that advertising is generally understood as interruption. It is not for nothing that the “Skip ad” button exists.

If you have a good product, make it an entertainment to be consumed. Turn around on YouTube 5s and prove that until the end of the video, the final customer’s sandwich will remain warm.

Mrs. Engines: Good luck to make an engine stand out in the Facebook feed, competing with kittens, memes and much more expensive ads. But if we are talking about e-commerce, remarketing is always an option, as well as display ads on specialized forums.

6. Offline media

Not having a television at home is a choice, but it does not reflect the habit of the London market.

So, do not ignore offline media, because TV ads, radio spots, billboards, infomercials, newspapers and even the flyers you receive on the street have their impact.

Much is argued against the results of traditional media, which are difficult to measure. To this, my sincere wishes for happiness to reach audiences aged 55 or over in the segmentation via Facebook.

In addition, few technology companies use this channel, and where competition is less, there may be your opportunity, as well as the chance to make your product tangible. Check out this incredible Spotify campaign.

Dr. House: Have you ever heard of medical journals? They are journals directed to Regional Councils of Medicine, which even have photopoetry columns. I bet an ad about a pathology lab would work in that media.

It is not because we are talking about mass media that we need to dispense with segmentation.

Mr. McDonald: One of the small challenges of everyday life is getting home with the warm and intact drive-thru.

But the message can be reinforced along the way by going through an understandable average of billboards that encourage you to choose a chain that opts for packaging that leaves your hamburger warm until you return home.

As for stealing potatoes, no advertisement can do much.

Mrs. Engines: In London, there are large industrial centers. Coincidentally or not, due to interesting tax rates, they usually stay in inner cities, which bring together industries and closed condominiums.

Great for advertising on TV and local radio stations for industrial engines and artesian wells.

Point for Mrs. Motors.

7. SEO

The good old Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of appearing in the first results of a search on Google, but not at all costs.

To be listed, you need to understand how Google works and index results, and instead of trying to circumvent the mechanism, make your content intelligible to robots and the people who will access what you offer.

Dr. House: With the Advertising Manual of the CFM (Federal Council of Medicine) in your arms, it is possible to approach some exams, methodologies and diagnoses with the correct keywords, but also to understand Google itself as a competitor with the cards that make health searches more reliable.

Mr. McDonald: The B2B market makes SEO and ranking efforts a little more difficult, but it is always interesting to rank well for what these companies are looking for.

Menus? Overdelivering? Children’s gifts? Research and produce something that your client searches for and is in the results.

Mrs. Engines: SEO for e-commerce, always a challenge. But do the basics well: bet on good titles, good product descriptions, photos and in the case of products as specific as engines, instruction manuals, demo videos and user reviews will never be too much.

8. Content Marketing

One of the best channels that baptizes this blog. And while the Traction literature doesn’t go very far in content marketing other than blogging, we need to point out that you will need much more than good text to attract customers.

Please also do not limit yourself to articles and eBooks. Invest in webinars, infographics, videos, tests, podcasts and content in other media, such as apps.

Remember that producing content and educating your customer is far from being a boon or making your product expendable (if it was useful in the first place).

Dr. House: There are many scientific articles already produced by the medium, so to make the content generate results and not just a result of Science, it is necessary to structure the content in a sales funnel.

The content needs to bring the doctor and hospitals closer to a laboratory that will not only tell you about the new discoveries in medicine, but how to identify diseases and make the medical routine a more assertive task.

Mr. McDonald: The B2B market loves data and Mr. McDonald doesn’t just have to deliver packaging.

A well-done research on food consumption would already bring a good base of leads interested in serving warm snacks.

Mrs. Engines: Remember that strategy of filling the product pages with useful information, such as videos, instruction manuals and blogposts for better SEO? Content marketing done right with an emphasis on keywords.

A blog also wouldn’t go wrong to teach industry owners why they should consider switching engines in the first place.

Many traction channels can be complementary, take the opportunity to see what some can do for others while directing their investments to those that bring more results!

9. Email Marketing

Email marketing is not spam and it can be easy to forget about it, no matter how much you promise in the conversion box.

Emails were made to approach and convert with strategic messages and can be captured through landing pages and forms in exchange for relevant information.

So, when adopting the channel, think about your own mailbox. Which ones do you really open? Which ones you never managed to unsubscribe from? And which ones really led you to buy something?

The goal of email marketing is to make access to information and the flow of purchases closer to the lead, but to recognize your points of interaction so as not to be… uninteresting.

Dr. House: Emergencies arrive with the same frequency as emails, so a pathology laboratory should not bring problems, but solutions for the inbox.

With the daily routine of professionals, it is necessary to think about not only the timing of the email, but also the responsiveness of the message.

Mr. McDonald: The B2B market has no time to waste. Probably half of Mr. McDonald’s leads have a serious inbox control problem, so he needs to find out when orders for snack bar supplies are made and prepare the ground by then.

Mrs. Engines: An e-commerce engine cannot insist so much on the periodicity of email marketing.

After all, you don’t buy an engine as often as a blouse. But reminders of maintenance dates, discount parts and usage tips guarantee authority right in the inbox.

10. Engineering as Marketing

A term that is little spoken and difficult to translate, Engineering as Marketing is building something to get qualified users.

It usually involves putting your programming team, IT and product to launch a tool, microsite or widget that has some common context with the service to get leads.

Do you know The Fantastic Personas Generator? That’s exactly what we’re talking about.

Dr. House: Okay, it’s hard to compete with IBM’s Watson, artificial intelligence that has managed to diagnose a rare type of leukemia.

But it would not be bad to have an online reference of tests to be ordered segmented by body organs, hormones, age groups … Just type a combination and see the list of the most recommended.

Mr. McDonald: There are several deliveries that promise to deliver warm food in time X.

For X to stop being an unknown, Mr. McDonald must provide a calculator that calculates the time that a food can be delivered and that lettuce will not be bad with its packaging.

Mrs. Engines: Would you give your email address to find out the return on investment (ROI) of an engine’s energy savings? Mrs. Motors’ prospective clients do.

11. Targeting Blogs

In free translation, “focus on popular blogs to reach new audiences”.

In good London, influencers and their niches.

But don’t just think about blogs, there are podcasts, Facebook groups, pages, etc. And for each sector, there is an influencer (and its price).

The best advice is: don’t try to force your product on an influencer. Most people like influencers because they empathize with their ideas, tastes and the personification of something they believe in or sympathize with.

Paying someone to talk about something like in an infomercial, if it is not intentional, it will not be good.

Dr. House: There are many health blogs. Many. Why not co-market with the most relevant ones? When you can’t win the fight for keywords, it’s better to make a guest post.

Mr. McDonald: The B2B market cannot rule out influencers or the perception of the final public. In the food sector, then, the ingredients, recipes and methods speak for themselves.

Therefore, inviting a Youtuber to test whether a package really preserves the temperature of the food can influence franchises to choose this type of solution.

Mrs. Engines: There are many forums and communities on industrial engines, believe me. Talking honestly with an active user and asking for an opinion on a product can go a long way.

It is no accident that I am emphasizing the question of honesty. There are few users willing to risk their reputations to sell a product and a false review does not scale as a traction channel.

12. BD

Business Development (BD) is a channel that tests the marketing limits of traction channels, but can be defined as “process of creating strategic relationships between your startup and a partner“.

It is basically the process of developing your business, acquiring a good user base and making smart partnerships, often thinking about the acquisition by major players in the market.

Dr. House: The partnership with large hospitals looks good. BD for Dr. House could be prospecting for large clinics, having slides, arguments, numbers and professionals ready to set up meetings and close deals.

Mr. McDonald: Living up to his name, depending on the interest in packaging, unit value and the effectiveness of the product, it is possible that Mr. McDonald gives exclusivity to a certain franchise of fast-food.

Mrs. Engines: E-commerces need a lot of badges to work: SSL, reliability seals and industry badges. Even better is to be indicated as a partner of the brand that you sell online and mainly, redirected from their website.

13. Sales

Exchange products or services for cash. Simple, right? Until the end of the month.

How is traction about scale, how to create sustainable sales processes? If my product is new, how do you find your first early adopter who is not your mother and her followers?

Count on your family and friends to talk about your product, but combine your advertising policy with an aggressive sales goal and follow your metrics.

To get off to a good start, review your business model. Read about Inside Sales. Find out how to make your customers walk the shopping journey more autonomously and check if they are compatible with the solution you offer before spending time, saliva and investment.

Offer trials, make the process less bureaucratic, if your service is not self service (yet), make your salespeople experts on the subject.

Don’t let the sale end in the contract, take care of your customers and see if you deliver what you promised, get reviews and improve. Exchange.

Dr. House: Monetized from the delivery and conduct of exams, Dr. House’s business could be sold more simply on the internet.

Special fields for doctors to document their samples could be filled out, printed and sent online.

Mr. McDonald: Don’t make me think. Just make sure the magic packages arrive when I need to.

Mr. McDonald could create ordering systems or manage inventory with his suppliers. Ended? There’s more going to your cafeteria door.

Mrs. Engines: E-commerce sales are conversions, right? But there are many paths that lead to the buy button.

Analyzing them incessantly and having incredible support to answer specific questions about engines will make sales a more natural process for Ms. Motors.

14. Affiliate Program

They look like complexes or reasons for “make money without leaving home” ads, but they are not.

Affiliate programs are simply a way of spreading sales, using your own customer base to sell more in exchange for some privileges, such as discounts, services, etc.

It is like giving the license to someone to sell or to indicate something of yours in exchange for something, a tactic widely used in e-commerce and infoproducts. Do you know the seller’s discount? That’s what we’re talking about.

If you thought it looked like viral marketing, up there, you got it right!

But contrary to the one-to-one recommendation, the affiliate program wants the middleman to get more users and make it a profitable activity, even paying monthly for sending leads and conversions.

Think of coupon sites, loyalty programs and content aggregators. Even sponsored newsletters have parameterized URLs for you (and many other people) to use their link to buy something.

Dr. House: Some healthcare affiliate programs have poor connotations. If you had an email in the early 2000s, you should receive a message to grow organs, to be cured by plants or anything like that.

The most ethical thing to recommend is to create loyalty plans for basic exam routines, such as check-ups at the beginning of the year, having parameterized banners on health sites, among others.

Mr. McDonald: To sell to food franchises, nothing better than having sales representatives in a good affiliate program. You just need to be careful with the percentages.

Since the role of the hamburger is a commodity, it is necessary to ensure interesting levels of profitability for Mr. McDonald and his affiliate friend.

Mrs. Engines: A good discounted URL can work wonders for any e-commerce, even for engines. Major players like Magazine Luiza already let their affiliates create their own hotsites with a selection of products, giving a percentage of the sale to the aggregator.

15. Existing platforms

Focus on platforms that already exist, such as Facebook, Instagram, Play Store, etc. To generate audience and leverage your growth. Even add-ons and plugins for browsers are worth (hi, AdBlock!).

Remember Colheita Feliz on Orkut? The developers must have been very happy and made a lot of money with Flash animations, until the social network declined.

There is a big difference between using existing platforms to grow and completely relying on them. Do not choose the second option.

The startup darling, Slack, started out this way, but it no longer depends on it to be installed.

Note: You can create products with an expiration date and within platforms, no problem.

Seasonal apps that are going to be uninstalled or made to run on Facebook are welcome and make the internet a better place, or almost.

They are only more fragile to the changes of time, algorithm and API key of the platform you have chosen. Track your investments well so you don’t lose out.

To the examples:

Dr. House: If there is no lab application to track results, it should be. And if it exists, it needs to be well ranked in stores.

Mr. McDonald: Use social media and take advantage of all the informality of the product to engage in memes. Think Burger King vs. McDonalds vs. Giraffas, this is your element.

Mrs. Engines: Be where your audience is. If there are groups on industrial engines and artesian wells, join, but do not treat the audience as a maneuver mass.

Everyone knows that member who just throws a link and leaves, and nobody likes it.

16. Trade Shows

It could be translated as “industry events”, but we would be confused by the next topic 17) Events. There is a reason for this differentiation.

Trade shows are the popular trade fairs, full of stands and products to offer. More than that, a unique opportunity to benchmark the competition, interact with customers and have contact with the press in niche sectors.

Remember to prepare not only the stand, but your service and a clear purpose to be there. Without a business perspective and a good audience, don’t invest.

No longer is it a place where visitors grab a bag of gifts, flyers and leave.

Dr. House: There is a world of conferences