Futurestay, a startup on a mission to be the “Operating System for short-term rentals”, needed answers – and needed them fast.
Could Futurestay use FB/IG and Google Ads to scale on the path to Series A and beyond?
We got to work to find the answer.
It started with a sprint.
We deployed a proprietary method of rapid testing (called Sprint Testing) across FB/IG and Google to test and validate ideas over the span of 4 weeks.
This process allows us to come in, meet with the founders to quickly absorb their knowledge, then collaborate to find the right ideas to test.
While we always listen to our gut and intuition to form ideas, we let the data guide us to the best results – AKA our “winners.”
The end result of this process showed us that FB/IG could lead to highly cost-efficient lead acquisition (~$35). From here, it became clear that we needed to deploy a full funnel approach so that we weren’t focused on solely lead acquisition, but instead on user acquisition & activation.
And it grew to a full suite.
BNM & the founding team at Futurestay felt that our Growth Suite option was the natural next move to take.
Using the data and results generated from this initial phase, we knew that FB/IG would play a big role for FS moving forward, but we needed to audit the rest of their growth stack before moving forward.
We discovered a significant opportunity to tie frontend marketing data from Google Analytics to backend user activation data. This allowed us to quantify the value of the users we were acquiring. For example, we want FB/IG to prioritize users that are more likely to take certain actions inside the software after creating an account. This data allows ad platforms to be more accurate and efficient.
Due to the specific nature of FS’s target market, Google search ads are not the right fit because they are dominated by enterprise competitors driving up keyword costs. However, we uncovered a significant opportunity in Youtube; there is tons of relatively low-cost ad space available to their target audience.
Content & SEO
We were excited by what we uncovered when scouring the web for excellent content catering to FS’s target market – while there was indeed some content, none of it was excellent. We knew that all we needed to do was create the single greatest piece of content for a large cluster of keywords, and we could dominate the entire space while giving users an incredible experience. That’s why we decided to create The Futurestay Short-Term Rental Roadmap.
Paid Social (FB/IG)
After our success with FB/IG during the initial test phase, we knew that there was a lot of fruit just waiting to be harvested from this channel. We drafted plans for a full funnel approach that included:
»Acquiring users from cold traffic
»Retargeting users from our site that hadn’t yet converted
»Lead Magnets from our epic content piece
»Retargeting registered users that have gone cold
»Pushing along current users who hadn’t taken certain “in-platform” actions
Now that we understood exactly where futurestay was and what their competitors were doing, we prioritized the 4 sections above accordingly and got to work. Our ability to rapidly execute during this phase is where the “catalyst” part of Growth Catalyst comes into play.
In short, we:
»Rebuilt the entire marketing analytics set-up from scratch including new goals and events for all the desired user actions like registrations (on the frontend), and user actions (in the backend)
»Created video assets and campaigns for Google Search & Youtube to test the efficacy of the channel
»Built a truly epic content experience that generates meaningful traffic and serves current and prospective customers
»Built an entire paid social funnel that converts cold traffic to paying customers, and activates users down-funnel
All that was left to do was “flip the switch."
And that’s exactly what the third phase of our Growth Suite is designed to do.
This phase is all about launching all of our campaigns and assets, analyzing the data, and iterating to improve before going into a sustained growth phase.
After 90-days, the launch was a success and we gained key insights about the strategic direction for growth the company needed to take to hit it’s goals and secure funding for a series A (lead by BNM ventures, read more here).
Once the campaigns are stabilized and validated for scaling with as much data as possible in 90-days, we created a plan that served as a blueprint to scaling including spend amounts by channel over the next 12 months.
Futurestay is scaling.
S. Phillip Kennard
Working with Jeff and team was one of the best decisions I made as a growth stage CEO. His full-funnel approach helped us measure, understand and capture demand, and more importantly gave clear insights into where we could apply resources at scale to further accelerate growth.
Jeff is the enterprise grade “pocket CMO” you never knew you needed – you should be working with him right now to set your business up for the next stage of scale.