The Ultimate Guidebook on Content Marketing for Startups
Startup marketing is tricky. With budget constraints and fierce competition, marketing your startup requires watertight strategies coupled with smart execution. In the hustle bustle of all the paid promotions and advertisements, many startup founders miss out on the sheer potential that content marketing offers.
When creating your startup marketing plan, it is essential to include and dedicate enough bandwidth for content marketing. Did you know that 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy? Not only is content marketing an affordable and highly-effective marketing technique, but if done right, it doubles up as a solid brand building activity.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing refers to a marketing strategy which involves creating content in the form of blogs, press releases, video content, social media posts, newsletters, email marketing campaigns, to name a few. The idea behind doing this activity is to connect and engage with your target audience with well-crafted and relevant information that adds value to the reader and increases your brand’s exposure.
Why does a startup need content marketing?
Content marketing is the best way to brand your startup as an industry leader in your niche. Regularly publishing articles and blog posts in tandem with your core forte will make your website and brand a credible and trustworthy entity. You can build authority with valuable content and label yourself as an expert in the particular field you write about.
For instance, if you are a tech startup that offers augmented reality solutions, you can write about:
- How AR works
- How AR is applicable to various industries
- The impact of AR in everyday lives
- The future of AR and where it’s going
- Tips for freelance AR developers
What's a Website? Now that you have a domain name, you're going to need a website. If you're not familiar with what a website is, it's basically a page or a series of related pages that loads up after you type in a domain name in the internet browser.
Here’s how a successful online content marketing campaign can catapult your startup to blossom into an industry expert.
When a potential customer lands on your website or blog, the first thing they will want to gauge is what sets you apart from the competition. A solid online content marketing strategy will enable your brand to come across as an expert in your niche and thereby increase your brand awareness and build credibility.
Value-driven high-quality content will enable your brand to actively engage with your customers. Produce content that addresses common issues or tips and tricks or guidelines that will help your target audience clearly understand the subject matter.
If you are an eCommerce startup, addressing common problems that eCommerce founders face when setting up an online store and how they can be solved is a great way for your brand to better engage with your target audience.
As a startup, nobody knows who you are. Smartly craft your content marketing strategy to talk about who you are, what your brand personality is like, what customers say about your work, and your ability to troubleshoot problems. Another way to build trust through content is to feature guest posts on your blog and vice-versa.
When it comes to building a truly meaningful brand and marketing your startup, content marketing serves as the most effective and cost-friendly ammunition in your arsenal of marketing tools. A study has found that website conversions rate is nearly 6 times higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters.
Being a cost-effective strategy that trumps all other forms of traditional paid ads, publishing original content that is rich in keywords and high-quality in terms of the context it provides, is a big win for your startup.
4. Improve Your Website's Performance Inspired to use visual content on your website? You should be, but before anything else, you need to know one thing: If unoptimized, high-resolution images can single-handedly slow your website down to a crawl. And once your website's loading time exceeds three seconds, you could lose up to of your potential leads.
Where and How Do You Start with Content Marketing?
Now that you’ve been soaked with information on why content marketing is good for your startup, the next logical point to address is how and where do you start building a content marketing strategy.
Consider the following steps when building a content marketing strategy.
Define Your Audience
Before you start writing content for your startup, you need to clearly identify who your target audience is. This will help you craft content based on their behavior, problems, preferences, needs, and requirements. Identifying your target market will also help you to figure out which platforms to create and distribute content on.
If your target market is a younger audience, then social media posts, YouTube videos may work well. For an older audience, perhaps a long-form blog with illustrative images will work better than social media posts.
A smart way to identify what will work is to check what your competitors are doing. If it works for them, it will probably work for you too. Another trick is to develop a customer persona and write for them. This will help you write convincing content since you know what the customer wants.
Lastly, you can go with not having a strategy at all and simply write relevant and value-driven articles about your industry.
Build a content marketing plan of action
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you need to build a plan of action that primarily should answer the following questions.
- What are your goals?
- What is your theme/topic of focus?
- How will you track and measure your progress?
- How much of a role will social media play in promoting content?
- Will you write guest posts or post primarily on your blog? Or do both?
- Will you send out a monthly newsletter? Or carry out periodic email marketing?
- What methods of content marketing should you test first?
Answers to these questions will depend on your industry niche. However, having answers to these fundamental questions is key to crafting a successful content marketing strategy.
Plan your keywords
The sole purpose of creating content is to get more people to land on your website or blog. The key to a powerful SEO strategy is keyword rich content that will enable your website to rank higher. Once you start ranking high for relevant keywords, more people will come across your brand.
You need to identify what keywords your startup should be using in order to rank high on search engines. Again, you can study what your competitors are doing and follow suit. Or you can use nifty tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc. to search for the most relevant keywords for your core competency.
You can also use an SEO Yoast plug-in for your WordPress website.
Use the right tools
Content marketing is all about quality writing. Without quality, your content will not add any value to your brand or marketing strategy. To tighten all the loose ends and make your content compelling enough for customers to convert, you can use the following tools:
- Grammarly (To keep a check on your grammar and punctuations)
- Evernote (To store all your ideas and sources neatly in one place)
- Hemingway (To edit your content and make it crisp)
- Buzzsumo (To help you with topics and finding influencers)
- SEMrush (To help you with keywords, topic research, and SEO template creation)
- AnswerThePublic (To help you find relevant topics and questions)
These are some of the many tools that will surely help to boost your content marketing efforts.
Marketing your startup is as much fun as it is daunting. However, with content marketing, your startup can quickly establish itself as a well-known brand and a leader in your niche.
If you are an up and coming startup looking to get marketing support at some of the world’s leading tech and startup events, sign up with the Startup League now!