content marketing

Content Marketing for Startups: How to start using it?

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.

Why Content Marketing Can Be the Key to Your Startup’s Success?

The key to your startup's success_.jpg

Content marketing has become a bit of a buzzword lately. From small businesses to branded organizations and from B2B’s to B2Cs, a growing number of businesses direct their attention to content marketing. Although any organization can achieve benefits from content marketing somehow, it pays startups by saving them from the difficulty of making a start with traditional marketing strategies.

Many startups have already realized the importance of content marketing. According to the results of WPCurve’s survey targeting startups and investigating how they approach content marketing, 89% of startups are using content marketing, 70% of them are happy with content marketing and content marketing is an important growth channel for 66% of startups.

By adopting an effective content marketing strategy, you can easily overcome main challenges many other startups face. Content marketing which requires you to consistently create and distribute valuable information for your target audience can make different contributions to your overall success.

Create awareness with minimum cost

As a startup one of the prior things you need to accomplish is pulling people’s attention in order to create awareness. Although traditional advertising is the first option that comes to mind as far as awareness concerned, it can be hard-to-reach for many startups due to limited marketing budget. On the other hand content marketing constitutes a cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising which provides the exposure you require to create awareness. Many of the distribution channels you may choose to deliver your content do not even require you to pay a fee thanks to ubiquitous digital publishing opportunities.

Invest in yourself

In order to create high quality content consistently, you will need to expand your knowledge by using various resources. Learning new things will help you understand the expectations of your target audience and find right answers to their questions. By doing so you will not only invest in yourself by continuous learning but also overcome the challenge of finding content topics. Creating valuable content on a regular basis will help your startup establish itself as an expert in its field in the long run.

Build strong relationships

Knowing pain points and expectations of your target audience and producing content accordingly helps you educate and engage them. Regularly updated content not only gives your target audience a reason to visit your website again but also attracts new visitors and engages them on a regular basis. Continuous interaction with your audience means continuous feedback and new content opportunities that exactly match their needs. Providing them the information they require, contributes to a strong relationship between you and your target audience.  

Differentiate your startup

Content marketing requires a customer-oriented approach rather than an egocentric approach that focuses on product and services. In other words instead of bragging about how great your products are and trying to convince them why customers should choose you against your competitors; the only way to differentiate is understanding your customers better and answering their needs accordingly. By providing valuable and informative content you can establish yourself as an expert in your field and differentiate your startup with the knowledge you have and the powerful insights you provide.

Develop a long-term strategy

Content marketing requires creating valuable content in a way that reflects knowledge and area of expertise or solves customers’ pain points. It also requires a process that includes ongoing listening, continuous learning and evaluation and problem solving. Every piece you write to create a valuable content takes you a step further by teaching you something new and giving you the chance to understand your target audience better and to provide solutions that match their needs. This continuous effort will help you to adopt a long-term strategy will eventually evolve. 

Startups often face with many obstacles at the very beginning of their journey. While dealing with financial concerns, time-management issues and the pressure of new responsibilities, they also need to adopt the most convenient marketing approach that will carry their startup to success. Content marketing arise as an effective method which makes different contributions to overall success of startups by helping them to create awareness, build strong relationships and differentiate.