Building a startup from scratch is tough business. Creating the foundation is difficult and time-consuming – and what would all of that hard work amount to without people knowing about your business?
I’ll tell you. A waste.
Enter – content marketing.
Content marketing is a sustainable and cost-effective tool to get your product or service in front of your top prospects. Creating blog pieces on your website and distributing them across your social channels can cut your marketing strategy budget spending down drastically.
Heck, Codefuel.com says that some studies suggest digital ad spending will soar to $242.80 billion by 2024.
While spending money on advertisements will always be necessary, you can definitely drop that cost down and help your overall budget with content marketing.
Need a quick intro to content marketing? Here’s a video from Ahrefs.com with the rundown:
Not so bad right? Content marketing can be the keystone of your startup’s marketing plan, without breaking the bank. This is done by:
- Utilizing standard SEO/SEM practices
- Creating quality content people want to read
- Distributing content via social media and website platforms
By repeating these processes over time you can increase your long-term organic engagements to your website. While ads provide short-term results, content marketing is in it for the long haul for your startup.
“It’s organic content, guides, lead magnets, and video content marketing that have a much longer-term effect. They can bring in traffic for your business for years, potentially.”
- Companies spend A LOT (even too much) on advertising
- Content marketing is a sustainable way to create new traffic to your website
- Building an organic audience over time can be more efficient and better for your bottom dollar than exclusively using paid advertising
How to Use Content Marketing for your Startup
What’s the hardest part of doing anything? Starting! Much like your startup, we have to start with a strong foundation.
While you may be intimidated at first, you don’t have to go into content marketing blind. There are some tried and true methods to getting off the ground with content marketing.
Here’s the rundown on the most important pieces of the content marketing puzzle:
This is our personal favorite at Marketing Insider Group. Blog writing is the easiest way to get organic hits on your website by creating quality pieces that those who fall into your customer profile are already searching for.
This process is especially beneficial for top-of-the-funnel prospects seeking information before they purchase. Creating context about why they need your item and leading them to the conclusion is key.
For example, let’s say your startup sells grilling aprons. Creating content focused on keywords like recipes or grills will bring your target prospects (grillers) to your site. As they read your blog, they’ll realize “wow, I DO need a grilling apron for all this brisket I’m cooking!”
Some articles you’d write using this example would be:
The 15 Best Tools for your Grill
Top BBQ Recipes for the Summer
What Sauces are Best for Grilling?
This isn’t just for selling products – the same idea applies to selling services too! If you’re trying to gain clients for say, your real estate business, some article ideas include:
What to Look For When Buying a House
10 Things First-Time Homeowners Get Wrong
Best Places to Live In (Your Area Here)
By producing the answers to questions your prospective clients already have, you are creating a direct connection to your site and services through your blog writing.
The more you get into a rhythm with content creation the quicker you’ll get a read on how often to post. Ideally, you want to be pumping out this new content daily. The effectiveness of your blogging increases exponentially when you go from publishing 1x per week to 4x.
Source: Marketing Insider Group
Following SEO/SEM Practices
Remember, it’s not just the content itself, but how you write it out. SEO/SEM practices are everything. They are how you make sure your articles rank above your competitors when prospects are searching for information.
Some quick steps to improving your SEO rankings are:
- Modifying your URLs
- Utilizing keywords and keyword research in your content
- Designing your page for the most user-friendly experience
- Using different tools and software to make the process easier
An added bonus of using SEO tools is the ability to measure your progress through content marketing automation. We’ll come back to this concept later, but by utilizing distribution software you can ensure your content is performing optimally.
If SEO intimidates you, you can always hire writers that already have the know-how to do it for you. This practice can elevate your content overall, not just with search engine optimization.
By seeking the best writers for your staff or as a consultant, you can take all the guesswork out of proper content marketing.
Creating content that will naturally rank higher is the most important step to an effective content marketing campaign. But, you can give that content a little boost by sending it out to as many pairs of eyes as possible.
This is done in a couple of different ways.
The first is by utilizing your social media platforms. If you aren’t using your brand as a means to have a voice in whatever community you’re targeting, you’re behind the curve.
Social media gives you a chance to establish a brand voice and lend a level of authenticity to your business. By knowing where the people are and interacting with them, you’re already ahead of the competition that isn’t in the know.
Creating content highlighting your specialists is an easy way for clients to see your expertise in action – building rapport between you and the community.
Different platforms have different etiquette. For example, LinkedIn is more professional, and the frequency of posting is usually best at one article per day. Twitter feeds cycle through so rapidly that you can share your content multiple times a day to your followers.
Remember, this distribution strategy is most effective when you already regularly maintain your social media accounts. Using your content calendar to space out your content is key. If you aren’t already putting the work in, get to it!
There are also sites like Constant Contact and Mailchimp that can use your email lists to your advantage, sending your content directly to your customers. This adds another little boost to your overall traffic and SEO rankings.
Set Your Goals and Meet Them
Measuring success is subjective to each startup, and key metrics can be extremely different from each other. Do you want to have more overall clicks than last quarter? What about what happens after the viewer clicks your article – are they converting to a new customer? How many are/aren’t?
These are all just examples. Brainstorm what success in a content marketing campaign looks like to YOU. After all, it’s your startup!
Here are a few metrics to look at when measuring the success of your content marketing campaign:
Traffic is about pageviews and users. Services like Google analytics can give you an accurate read of this data. It also helps you see exactly where your views are coming from.
Views are great, but what happens after the initial click? Is the reader just leafing through your website? Are they sharing it? Are they actually purchasing your product or scheduling your services?
The conversion rate shows how many prospects are becoming customers. This metric is the real shining gem of your content marketing efforts! Converting prospects should be your number one goal with content marketing.
Seeing how your organic search rankings are performing is crucial to a healthy content marketing strategy. Keywords drive your content because the higher you rank with keywords, the higher you are on Google’s search results. Be honest: when was the last time you clicked the seventh link down?
Get After It!
Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to pull it all together. Indeed, by putting these pieces together you can create an effective content marketing plan for your Startup.
If you’re looking for more help marketing your startup, read more on killerstartups.com!