How to Grow Your Business’ Online Presence: The Snowball Marketing Strategy

Learn About the Snowball Marketing Strategy to Know How to Grow Your Business’ Online Presence.

The marketing snowball effect is one of the most important concepts to understand if you want to use digital marketing to grow your business online. So, what is it? No one specifically mentioned the term “snowballing” to me. I just started using it because it perfectly illustrates the concept of growing your business online, but I have seen other people start to talk about marketing in these terms as well.

Imagine you’re at the top of a hill with a slight incline.

Your goal is to get an enormous snowball. It takes a while to get started. You start with a ball the size of your hands. It’s fairly challenging to effectively roll it until it gets a little larger. Once you start rolling, it goes a little faster, but it still takes a while. Once you pick up more and more snow, it starts moving quickly. And then you start pushing it down the hill. And it gains momentum. While at the start it took 15 seconds to add on a pound of snow, it’s now picking up a pound per second.

This is the image I want you to keep in mind as I talk about growing your business’ presence online

why the snowball marketing strategy will help you grow your business online

I’ll now tell a similar story, but this time with Instagram. I’m choosing this network because it has a plethora of ways to expand your reach. It may be easy getting your very first followers because you can request your friends and family, but beyond that…it becomes much more difficult.

We’re starting the snowball. What opportunities do we have to grow? Our post only has 9 likes, so we have almost no shot of reaching the explore page.

how to grow business' presence on instagram
Top 9 Posts for a #

If you show up in the top 9 posts for a given hashtag, that means not only do you show up at the top for people searching the hashtag but also, people who follow the hashtag can see your post show up in their feeds. But it’s going to be very challenging to show up in the top 9 for any hashtag with lots of followers.

This is a small snowball at the top of the mountain, and it takes a lot of effort to accumulate a pound of snow (followers).

We could also collaborate! Do some posts in collaboration with someone else, and tag each other. Then, that could point their followers to your channel.

You may have a close friend or relative with a decent-sized following who would be willing to collaborate. But, you can’t just approach someone with 15,000 followers and be like, “Hey, I’ll link all 100 of my followers to you if you link your 15,000 to me.” That’s likely not going to be of interest to them, even if you come up with the idea.

Not only are collaborations more challenging, if you ask a question in your post, but it is a bit more challenging to generate buzz, get people to tag friends, and get lots of comments and discussion. Fewer people are likely to tag others in a post because way fewer people will see it initially.

You have a small snowball. You’re early on in growing your online presence.

So, what can you do? A big first step is to like, comment, and engage with a ton of content and comments from your target market. Follow people whose channel you’d like to emulate. Interact with people leaving comments.

They’re already engaging with someone else’s content that’s like yours, so they may engage with you too.

Throw in your two cents. And also post interesting content consistently. Give people a reason to follow. Use at least 9 hashtags per post, but go for ones where you can reasonably be in the top 9. Respond to every comment you get. Value the people that you already have following you. It takes a while. It takes a lot of time and effort, but it is possible.

grow your online presence for your business on instagram
The Explore Page

Now, let’s imagine you’re trying to grow your Instagram account, but you currently have 20,000 engaged followers. A very large snowball. You’ve been at it for a while, and you want to increase your following.

What options do you have to grow your business’ Instagram Following?

You have lots of options.

Well, your posts get on average 1,200 likes, and it will be put in front of several thousand people. You can generate a huge discussion with a single post. And those thousands of people could potentially tag friends, which would expand the reach of your content further.

And now you have the potential to compete for hashtags with way more people following them and engaging on them. So, you could go for a hashtag with 150,000 posts, make it into the top 9, and get in front of thousands of additional people who are following or viewing the page of that hashtag.

Also, your chances of appearing on the explore page have gone up exponentially. So, you could have a post blow up on the explore page, and suddenly, everyone is finding it, and your followers go up insanely fast. And, you could pitch a collaboration to someone with 40,000 followers, and if you do most of the work and come up with ideas, they’ll be much more likely to be interested in getting in front of your audience of 20,000 engaged followers.

Now, it’s still important to be liking and commenting, and engaging with your audience when you grow bigger; however, can you see how this relates to the imagery of creating a snowball? When you already have a lot of followers (a large snowball), you have the necessary momentum to get even more followers much more easily.

I go through my entire Instagram hashtag strategy here:

The marketing snowball effect helps you grow your online presence on other social networks as well.

YouTube has its own trending page, and when you get more popular, you can rank for more competitive keywords—meaning potentially exponential growth. The more followers you have, the easier it is to get new ones.

Now, that exponential growth does taper off at a certain point. Selena Gomez has 144 million followers, but she couldn’t just quickly blast up to 500 million. However, getting started, it’s slow, but if you spend time creating, commenting, learning, and adapting, you can slowly get over the initial push to a few thousand followers. And once that happens, a lot more opportunities open up for your social media accounts to take off.

This is the reason why I tend to recommend that people not spend their time spread out over 10 different social networks. It’s like trying to start off 10 snowballs at once. If you’re not spending enough time committing to a single one, you can forever be stuck in that beginning push with all of them. It’s a balancing act, though.

Some people spent all their time and energy growing their Facebook page, and then Facebook changed their algorithm, killing those people’s organic reach and undoing all of their hard work. That’s why it’s good to spend at least some time on platforms that aren’t as volatile, such as your blog, e-mail list, and to some extent YouTube (they’ve made changes but nothing as drastic as on the other platforms).

Want to know how to really start to grow your online presence on YouTube? Follow my ultimate guide

When you blog, you don’t want to try and “cheat,” tricking Google by using too many keywords.

If you write the best piece of content on a topic consistently that people enjoy reading (and that answers people’s questions), you won’t have to worry about your work all going away. It’s a balancing act between spending the time on only one or two platforms so you can truly commit to growing a following, but not placing yourself in a situation where you’ve lost everything if your account gets banned or there’s an enormous shift in the social media platform’s algorithm.

If you write the best piece of content on a topic consistently that people enjoy reading (and that answers people’s questions), you won’t have to worry about your work all going away. It’s a balancing act between spending the time on only one or two platforms so you can truly commit to growing a following, but not placing yourself in a situation where you’ve lost everything if your account gets banned or there’s an enormous shift in the social media platform’s algorithm.

Want to know the best blog length? I cover that topic in this video.

The reason I feel like the marketing snowball effect is so crucial to understand, is a lot of small businesses never get into the momentum stage. They spend their time haphazardly jumping between platforms, but with never enough time, attention, or planning to build the momentum to a point where it has a significant impact on their business.

You see, you need to learn grow and adapt. If you want to grow your organic traffic, this helpful guide is a great resource:

It’s worth taking time to pinpoint where your time is best spent and then truly commit to growing that audience. That’s actually something that I help people with, so please reach out at if you’d like help figuring that out!

Conclusion: You have every tool you need to grow your business’ online presence

We’ve covered now only what the snowball marketing effect is, we’ve also looked at the ways that it will impact your online strategy.

It takes a great deal of time, effort, and commitment to grow an audience on one platform, much less several at the same time. It’s important to have patience and stick with content creation. Often, it’s slow to start, but once the momentum is gained, it’s so much easier to grow.

You’re able to rank for better search terms or hashtags. You have more viewers that can share, comment, and engage with your posts. The opportunities to collaborate or become highlighted or featured grow and increase. While it will always take work and effort, the beginning is the hardest part. Too many people give up when they’re just on the cusp of seeing real results.