Organic Growth – 5 Strategies to Drive Sustainable Growth

Jonas Sickler SEO Manager
Key Points
  • Organic growth is the process of growing your company internally using your own resources, capabilities, expertise, marketing, content, relationships.
  • Marketing activities that drive exponential organic growth are more cost effective and sustainable than inorganic growth strategies.
  • Leverage SEO to unite, amplify and compound your organic growth initiatives.

As a company leader, your top two concerns are reducing risk and accelerating business growth. In this article, I’ll address the latter. But, there’s more than one type of growth to consider — organic growth and inorganic. 

So, how do you transform your business into a high-growth brand without exposing your company to greater risk?

Invest in organic growth. The result is a high-ROI, self-compounding revenue model that strengthens over time.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through five strategies to build an organic growth business that consistently delivers shareholder value.

Make compounding business investments

Think of organic growth in business like compounding investments that produce long-term results.

For example, an organic ecosystem of content, SEO, PR, word-of-mouth, emails, and social media produces a flywheel effect. With an omni-channel marketing strategy, you can use all aspects of the ecosystem to amplify your value proposition and increase organic sales.

And those benefits keep coming. Each time you invest, you then reap the returns repeatedly over the coming years.

A strong organic growth rate comes from having one eye on what’s right in front of you and one eye to the future.

Organic growth vs. inorganic growth

What is organic growth?

Organic Growth

Definition

Organic growth (internal growth) is the process of expanding your business through your own strategic efforts, resources, capabilities, expertise, marketing, content, relationships, etc.

What is inorganic growth?

Inorganic growth (external growth) is essentially buying growth. This can come in the form of paid media, such as display, native, and search ads. Or, it can come in the form of mergers and corporate acquisitions. Facebook purchasing WhatsApp ($22 billion) and Instagram ($1 billion) is a prime example of a company spending massive amounts of money to drive inorganic growth.

The advantages of organic growth

A strong organic growth strategy sets your business up for long-term success. When you compare PPC and SEO, organic marketing results continue to compound in stark contrast to paid advertising. In the world of paid, revenue hits zero as soon as you stop shoveling money into the engine.

As for using corporate mergers and acquisitions to break into new markets or launch new product lines, the results can be mixed. Ken Favaro, David Meer, and Samrat Sharma wrote in the Harvard Business Review:

Yes, it is theoretically possible to make acquisitions that are justified by cost synergies alone, and to do this forever. But research suggests that in only 36% of acquisitions do companies realize enough cost savings to cover the premium they’ve paid; in the other 64%, annual total shareholder returns are, on average, negative 2%. Investors can clearly distinguish between companies that have realized substantial organic growth from their acquisitions and those that have simply gotten bigger. Sooner or later, even the most dedicated acquirer must work out how to generate strong organic growth.

Harvard Business Review

In other words, even if you have the funds to keep purchasing clicks and acquiring companies, you’ll eventually need to figure out how to grow your company organically.

Accelerate Organic GrowthSet the bar so high your competitors can’t touch you.Learn More

5 Strategies to fuel organic growth

Next, I’ll reveal how to achieve organic growth with five proven, powerful strategies. 

1. Unite and amplify your marketing mix through SEO

SEO increases marketing ROI

SEO is the single most effective organic growth marketing strategy. The reality is that organic search is the only marketing channel that increases in value over time. Even if your SEO budget remains relatively fixed, the amount of traffic and revenue you generate goes up. That’s because improved rankings leads to greater visibility which translates to more backlinks which improves visibility, and so on.

That’s how SEO delivers better marketing ROI.

Compare this to channels like PPC, where you get a fixed, temporary, more modest return on ad spend. In other words, you get no more — or no less — than what you pay for.

In fact, Google openly acknowledges that the ROI on SEO is 5.3X compared to just 2X for paid search advertising.

Beyond that, you can also leverage SEO to improve brand awareness and sentiment, leading to greater brand equity. As a result, you’ll reduce reputational risk and control your messaging more effectively.

Align with the way your audience thinks

Why is organic search so effective at driving growth? One of the big reasons is that it exactly mirrors the way your audience is thinking at the precise moment they are most receptive to your message. If you want to be a customer-focused organization, using SEO as the foundation underlying all of your marketing is a good place to start.

In addition, SEO is one of the few marketing strategies that doesn’t disrupt the customer experience. When you’re listening to a podcast and an ad comes on, the ad disrupts your listening experience. When you’re skimming Facebook and you see an ad, it doesn’t enhance your experience, it interrupts it.

Done right, SEO allows you to come alongside potential customers and provide them with content, answers, and solutions that actually help them and support their buyer journey. SEO delivers the scaffolding in support of achieving their objectives.

Improve customer lifetime value

According to a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting, “SEO does more than just drive traffic to your site; an SEO strategy applied across marketing functions can improve your brand’s reputation, reduce negative mentions, and improve lifetime customer value”.

SEO provides customers with the perfect answers to their questions at each stage of the funnel at precisely the right moment. This is just one example of digital customer experience that you can improve through SEO. As a result, you’ll drive higher customer loyalty and greater LTV.

Read our article about how to improve CLV for stronger business results.

2. Develop engaging content

If you want to stand out in a crowded market, develop differentiated content. One key is that it should be high-value, memorable, and different from others in your space.

Think about Red Bull. They’ve established their reputation as the drink for extreme sports by cranking out a barrage of compelling, attention-grabbing content. From videos of soapbox cars crashing to clips of skateboarders in Ethiopia, the company is constantly publishing something new and interesting.

HubSpot is another great example. The HubSpot blog garners millions of organic search visits every month. By consistently publishing lengthy, detailed guides on a variety of marketing topics, they’ve driven massive organic growth for the company.

So, how can you create content that stands out from the crowd? There are a number of strategies you can use:

  • Instead of being bland and dry, evoke an emotional response
  • Create useful content that helps solve customer problems
  • Utilize “feel good” content that inspires or uplifts
  • Tell stories that resonate with customers
  • Include the element of surprise

For more ideas, read 8 Ways to Create Viral Content that Gets Shared Like Crazy.

3. Create new products or business models

If your organic growth has stagnated, creating new products or a new business model can jumpstart new growth. Shopify is a classic example of pivoting to create organic growth. The company started off selling snowboarding gear on a customer ecommerce site designed by cofounder Tobias Lütke. Eventually, they realized they could make more if they sold ecommerce software. Today they’re a multi-billion dollar company. 

Google started off purely as a search engine. Over the last two decades, they’ve added email, analytics, phones, operating systems, browsers, augmented reality, cloud services, advertising, and many more products to their lineup.

Amazon began by selling books online. Now, AWS servers power a large portion of the internet and generate more than $35 billion in annual revenue. 

Adobe had started out with graphics design and marketing software, and then exploded with growth upon the move to a subscription-based revenue model.

Apple moved away from selling products to an ecosystem-based business model, and went on to become one of the world’s most valuable companies.

Can you add new products or offerings to boost customer acquisition or upsell existing customers? Or, is there a new model you can adapt that will accelerate your revenue growth? 

4. Go big with digital marketing

tall black and white building with blue sky

You may be surprised to find out exactly what digital marketing is. When you fully deploy a robust digital strategy, you can unlock significant avenues for organic growth that you can’t get any other way.

With consumer shopping behavior rapidly shifting, and with employees working remotely, your business needs to undergo a seismic digital transformation. If you aren’t meeting your customers where they are, you’re relinquishing market share by the bucketload. Beyond the benefits of simply being present, going ALL IN on digital unlocks vital customer data to help you seamlessly track user behavior across every channel.

To succeed, however, you need a complete digital marketing plan.

You need to know what you want to achieve and who you’re selling to. You also need to identify your top marketing channels and tactics to fuel sales growth, as well as your budget allocations. On top of this, it’s important to include room in your budget for strategic experimentation and testing. 

When creating your plan, follow these steps:

  • Create SMART goals.
  • Define your audience segments and personas.
  • Perform a competitive landscape analysis.
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis of your own company.
  • Calculate your digital marketing budget.
  • Identify your most valuable marketing channels. 
  • Develop channel-specific marketing strategies and tactics.
  • Create a detailed marketing calendar.
  • Measure the results and KPIs and then optimize accordingly.
553% Increased AcquisitionsTerakeet increased monthly organic customer acquisitions by 553% within 19 Months.See How

5. Track metrics for SEO and marketing

It’s essential to track key marketing metrics so that you understand the drivers of your growth and where you need to optimize further. The metrics you track will depend on your specific growth goals. 

For example, you’ll likely want to track organic revenue, average order value, profitability, cash flow, and customer lifetime value. Beyond organic stats, you’ll want to keep your eye on market share. 

It’s important to have your fingers on the pulse of your overall business performance, as these metrics provide. But don’t stop there.

On a more granular level, make sure you’re tracking the most important SEO metrics. Focus on things like domain authority, keyword rankings, organic traffic, organic conversions, and referring domains.

If you’re running lead-gen campaigns, you’ll want to track things like MQLs, SQLs, cost per lead, cost per acquisition, and conversion rate.

As you track these metrics, look for strategic ways to optimize them for better performance. 

  • Can you structure your site differently for improved performance?
  • Where can you use SEO copywriting to improve your content rankings and drive more organic traffic?
  • Are you able to create new content that captivates your audience more effectively?
  • Can you optimize elements of your CTAs to increase your conversion rates?
  • Should you simplify opt-in forms to reduce friction and increase the number of leads you acquire?
  • Are your behavioral analytics revealing any friction in your website?
  • Where can you conduct A/B tests in the website?

On the path to organic growth

a mountain pathway

Organic growth doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the result of intentionally adopting strategies that work consistently, capitalizing on growth opportunities, and optimizing your efforts over time.

When SEO is at the core of your marketing, it allows you to constantly attract new organic search traffic and then provide individuals with exactly what they need at each stage of the buyer journey.

Unique content that targets customer search behavior is a key differentiator because it captures your audience’s attention when they’re actively seeking solutions. With new products, offerings, or models, you open up new, more profitable revenue streams. When you go all in on digital, you tap into the behavioral zeitgeist we’re now seeing among individuals and companies. And when you track metrics, you can optimize for continually better results.

This flywheel produces compounding results that can lead to exponential organic growth.

Crush Your Growth GoalsTerakeet helps Fortune 1000 brands blow past their growth goals.Let’s Talk

Organic growth FAQs

What is organic growth?

Organic growth (internal growth) is the process of expanding your business through your own strategic efforts, resources, capabilities, expertise, marketing, content, relationships, etc.

What is organic vs inorganic growth?

Organic growth is gradual, long-term, self-sustaining, and compounding similar to an investment. Inorganic growth is sudden, limited, and time-bound like a purchase with a fixed value.

What are the advantages of organic growth?

There are many benefits to organic growth. It has a competitive long-term ROI. It’s more sustainable than inorganic growth. Investments made in one area impact adjacent marketing channels.

How can you increase organic growth?

– Invest in SEO
– Develop engaging content
– Expand your products and services
– Go all in on digital marketing