So you are aware of the power you will have with content marketing. You see it as an effective tool that will lead your startup to success. Having decided to use content marketing is an important step. Next, you need to define how you will use it, which means you will need a content marketing strategy.
Strategy may sound a little too serious and you may already be tired of working on developing strategies at the beginning phase of your startup. This time, take “strategy” as a simple plan which includes the steps that will guide you through your startup’s content marketing journey. Feel free to follow these steps to develop your starter content marketing strategy:
Define your goal
What is your main goal in using content marketing as a marketing approach? What do you want to achieve with it? Answers may vary: building brand awareness, reaching new subscribers, increasing traffic to your website, converting visitors to customers etc. You may have several goals but you cannot achieve all of them once. Prioritize your goals and start from the initial one.
Make a research
As an entrepreneur you may be a bit too passionate about your product which keeps you from spending time for anything else. But research is one of the most important steps behind a product and marketing strategy. Start by researching the content in your industry. What kind of content is produced? What are people talking about? What’s troubling them? Research question and answer platforms like Quora. Also perform some keyword research. Later check out your competitors. Knowing more about the competition would help you to see how you can differentiate.
Define and segment your target audience
You need to provide accurate answers to your audience’s questions and offer effective solutions to their pain points. To do this, you need to know who they are. Try to define who your target audience is. Segment them into subgroups. Be as specific as you can. For example; in B2C; “women over the age of 25 with a master degree” or in B2B; “companies in software industry with 50+ employees.” You cannot target everybody at once. Being as specific as you can while narrowing the segments would help you understand your target audience better and provide them with the right solutions accordingly.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes
Consider what kind of questions your audience may have. Consider how they look for answers; what kind of keywords they use. And include these keywords in your content. Try to put yourself in your audience’s shoes, try to think like them. List the questions they may ask Google, try to find the results of their queries. What kind of content is shared as answers to their questions? Are there any gaps in these answers? How can you fill these gaps in a way that shoulder your audience’s burdens and ease their pains?
Make a list of the content types
After having a list about the main issues and pain points of your target audience, try to make a list of the content types which you can use to offer solutions. For example, some questions can be answered through an infographic, while some of them would need a more detailed explanation like a white paper. Try to find which content types are mostly used in your industry, what else can be used. Which of them is the easiest to start with? Which of them can work better to reflect your expertise in a way that satisfies your audience? Note that, options may vary according to industry and area of field. Main content types can be listed as; presentations, white papers, brochures, blog posts, articles, reports, e-books, infographics, data sheets, videos and so on…
Set the content distribution platforms
Even though you have valuable content, it does not mean anything unless you share it accurately. Using the right content platform strengthens the influence of your content. There are two types of distribution platforms: First, the platforms that let you directly reach your followers and subscribers. These include your website, blog and social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. Second, the platforms that help you reach a broader target which is not limited with your followers. Most of these platforms work on a pay per click basis, which means you will not be charged unless someone clicks on your content. Some of the most important distribution platforms include; Outbrain, Nativo, Taboola, Onespot, Contently and Hubspot. Combining these two platform types can help you increase content distribution.
Define your metrics to measure your effort
Try to define right metrics to measure your efforts. Otherwise you can never certainly know if you are doing well or not. Having measurable metrics would help you track your efforts and evaluate the results accurately. Thus you can reset your goals in a way that would give better results or update the tools you use in a way that performs better. First, you need to determine the most relevant metrics for each piece of content. These can include number of followers, video views, retweets and wall posts. Second, you need to see if a specific piece of content leads audiences to take the necessary actions. These can include subscribing to your newsletter, opening your email, becoming a paid member or even buying your product or service.
By following these steps, you can have a framework which will guide you through your startup’s content marketing efforts. Thus you will find effective solutions when you face with content marketing challenges. And being effective at content marketing would make a remarkable contribution to overall success of your startup.