Content marketing is a fast, cost-effective way for startups to engage in a successful marketing strategy. It’s easy to start, but because content marketing is open to anyone and everyone, the expectations, and standards for engaging with it are high. You may wonder, “is content marketing for startups even worth my time?” The answer is yes, it is. You just have to stay smart and create a plan that helps you break through the repetitive pieces to stand out in your industry. In this article, we’re covering topics to help with that, like:
Content marketing for startups is a promotional and advertising strategy for your company. It focuses on sharing informational, educational, or otherwise valuable ideas and content with your audience rather than directly promoting products or services. You can use content marketing to help you meet business goals and build an audience. You can do that by creating pieces that are fresh that your audience wants to read or view based on their topics of interest.
Content marketing has the potential to expose your company to a wide audience and generate many leads, and later, sales. It’s a long-term strategy that can help your organic search and keep your brand relevant online for an extended period. Content marketing can be low-cost to start and it’s a strategy that you have a lot of control over. You can choose what you create, where you share it, and how you use each piece to interact with your audience.
Your content marketing strategy is only as effective as the leads it brings you. You can create all the content in the world, but if nobody is looking at it, it doesn’t matter. That’s why starting with content marketing early, from your startup phase, is great because over time you’ll learn more about your audience, what they want, and what works. The longer you engage in content marketing, the more you can learn and improve.
There are plenty of different kinds of content that you can add to your strategy. Some types include:
Use these steps to plan a content marketing strategy for your business:
Before you can create a content marketing strategy for your startup, have a team to execute it. Your team may be just you, or you may manage a small staff, but your team can grow. It’s important to know who you have on staff at any point, and what they can do. Look for people who can fill these roles:
For a startup, some of your team members may take on multiple roles. If you have a small team, you may also consider outsourcing some of these responsibilities to freelancers or content marketing agencies. For example, at CopyPress, we have an expert team of writers, editors, and designers available to help you in the areas of content marketing where you need an additional boost.
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Setting content marketing goals at the beginning of your strategy helps align your team and establishes why you’re engaging in the process at all. They also help you measure the success of your campaigns when they end. Your goals have two parts: objectives and measurable targets, or key performance indicators (KPIs). The objective is why you’re engaging in content marketing. These parts may be broad, for example, wanting to attract more customers or wanting to open a brick-and-mortar location.
The KPIs are something you can measure and track with data and statistics. They’re the actionable ways you’re going to make your objectives happen. For example, if your objective is to attract more customers, then your KPI may be to publish 20 pieces of content in Q2 on all your digital channels.
You create content to develop, excite, and engage your audience. But to do that, you have to know who they are first. Determining who to target with your content can make it easier to choose topics, keywords, and other factors that pull in the right leads. Some things to learn about your audience include:
Your topics and keywords drive your content. They’re the ideas that get you started and help you target what your audience wants and needs from your company or industry. Startups can make their mark away from the dominant players in an industry by writing about niche topics. These may be ones people haven’t covered before or that have very little information out there on the internet. Picking niche topics helps lower the level of competition you have to rank on search engines for your keywords. They also help establish your brand as an information authority in the industry.
To find these niche topics, request your report from CopyPress’s content analysis tool. This report can tell how your content compares to three of your top competitors. It also gives you suggestions for missed opportunity topics and keywords in your niche to develop the content your audience craves. Once you read the report, schedule a free call with CopyPress to learn more about our team and how we’re able to create the content you need to differentiate yourself from your competition.
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Use your audience research to choose which content types work best for your business. Besides your audience, your team and your budget may play a role in deciding which content to create. Remember, you can always expand your content offerings as you get more comfortable with content marketing and after you become more established in your field.
You can also use your audience research to choose the right promotional channels for your content. You can use free or paid channels, which is helpful and adaptable for companies of all budgets. Some promotional channels you may consider include:
Once you know what you’re writing about and who you want to see it, you can start creating content. Focus on key factors to make your content the best it can be, including:
After you’ve written, designed, edited, and approved your content, it’s time to share it on the right distribution channels. On owned media channels, you control all aspects of the look and feel of your posts. If you choose social media or third-party distribution, you may have to follow certain guidelines for publishing and posting to use that service. No matter which channels you choose, it’s important to use a schedule and automated tools to help your team post in the right places at the right times.
Once your brand’s content is out in the world, you can start measuring how it performs. Track the KPIs from your goals. The more KPIs you meet, the more likely it is that you’re on the right path to achieving those broader goals. You can use analytics programs like Google Analytics, or the native ones built into social media sites, to track the metrics on your content.
Use these tips to help make your content marketing successful:
Content marketing is a long-term strategy that can go through many evolutions over the lifecycle of your business. When you’re starting with content marketing, you don’t have to engage with every channel from the beginning, especially if your budget is small. Try to create a balance of long-term channels and short-term campaigns. The long-term channels, like social media or SEO, are the ones that keep your audience engaged in your brand.
Short-term campaigns, like PPC ads or paying to boost your content on social media, may help you gain the immediate interest of your target audience because of its better reach. Using both strategies can help you establish your brand followers, but also sustain them and your content strategy as you scale it larger in the future.
When you’re working to establish an audience, and even once you’ve already attracted them, consistency is key to content marketing success. Producing content regularly helps build trust in your brand. But consistency doesn’t mean you have to post every day, or multiple times a day. You just need to create a predictable publishing schedule that works for you and your team. Create a content calendar to plan out when and where you intend to share content to make it easier to stay consistent.
Related: When To Post Content on Social Media
Content marketing for any business works best when you understand your target audience and what they want. You can meet their needs with your messaging. Depending on the channel and the segment of your audience you’re trying to meet, your message may differ. For example, if you’re running a public relations content campaign, your target audience is the journalists who are going to receive your press releases and relay them to the public. Work on crafting messages for different segments of your audience so that your information appeals to the right people at the right time.
When running a startup, it’s important to work smarter, not harder. Your time and money have value, but they may also have limits. You can use the same content ideas, or even the same pieces of content, for multiple channels. For example, you may create a blog post about the top 10 reasons to design and share infographics. You can repurpose that list into a video, or use it as a discussion topic on a podcast.
Here are answers to some common questions about content marketing for startups:
Yes, you can still engage in content marketing, even if you haven’t opened for business yet. Marketers and researchers sometimes use content marketing to gauge audience interest before launching a new product or service. You can do the same to get people interested in or excited about your brand before it’s even public. This can help you start on a better, more stable footing in the industry once you do launch since you’ll already have an audience.
Start with the type of content that’s easiest for you to create and is most appealing to your audience. The exact type may be different for each company. It’s helpful to use what you’ve learned from audience research as a guide. But it’s also important to acknowledge the skills of your team and what they do well. For example, if you have an exceptional graphic designer, it might make sense to first create infographics or custom images. Remember, the goal is to provide value to your audience. As long as you’re doing that, any content type can work.
Content marketing can help you capture demand and build your audience as a startup. If you’re looking for help, turn to CopyPress. Start a call with us today and learn how we create and share quality content to put your business on the map in your industry.
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