Content marketing refers to the practice of creating specific strategies for conceptualizing, planning, creating, and sharing content for your brand.
As a startup, it goes without saying that you have many different things on your mind, and content marketing for startups might not be the first thing on your list.
However, it is an incredibly important part of your overall marketing plans and without it, you can have a hard time getting established or finding new business.
But why does content marketing for startups matter?
What are the steps to creating a content marketing strategy?
What are the best tactics for using your content?
In this article, we’ll answer those questions and help you understand what types of content are going to be best for your content marketing strategy.
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Is Content Marketing for Startups Important?
The short answer is yes.
The longer explanation deals with the significance of content as a lead-generation tool.
Many startups believe that content creation is a later-stage activity that can be delayed until other parts of their business, such as creating products, perfecting services, hiring employees, and working with customers, are developed.
However, the opposite is true.
Content is a powerful lead-generation tool that can help startups find new customers and build a client base.
By having your content strategy in place at the launch of your startup and developing it with your business growth, you can drive more leads and sales.
Other important benefits of content marketing for startups include:
Boosting your brand’s online presence
Establishing your brand as an authoritative and trustworthy industry expert
Increasing brand loyalty from customers
Growing your startup’s pages
Bringing in new leads and prospects who can be converted into customers
What are the Basic Steps for a Content Marketing Strategy?
There’s a lot more to creating a content marketing plan than throwing out different content pieces with your brand’s name on them.
A successful content marketing strategy will rely on well-planned, thought-out, and properly executed tactics.
Before you can begin planning those steps, however, you first need to create the foundation of a content marketing strategy.
In order to start your content marketing journey, there are a few basic steps that need to be followed so a strong base to build off of is put in place.
1. Establish Your Goals
Before you can start writing content and posting it, you need to have your end goals established.
Without clear goals, your content has no purpose and you don’t have any goalposts in place for whether a piece of content is successful or not.
Start by thinking broadly about what you want your content to accomplish.
Is it to bring awareness to your brand? Or is it to educate readers about a specific part of your services?
By knowing what you want your piece of content to accomplish, you can focus your creation process and define what success looks like.
2. Define Your Persona
Your personas are fictionalized representations of your ideal customers.
Personas are used to help you create a clear picture of who you want to market to and why they would be interested in the products or services you have to offer them.
By defining your personas, you can narrow down your audiences and create content that speaks directly to their needs and wants.
Things to include in your personas include:
Demographic information (age, gender, location, etc.)
Topics of interest
Personal and professional goals
Level of interest in your brand
Needs and wants
3. Research Your Competitors
Knowing what content your competition has found success with can be a great way to start content marketing for startups.
You can rely on others in your industry to learn what does and doesn’t work with your ideal audiences rather than trying to figure it out for yourself.
It also allows you to create benchmarks of where your startup stands in comparison to those who have been in business longer than your brand.
4. Complete Topic and Keyword Research
As you begin your content marketing efforts, it might seem overwhelming to pick what types of topics to focus on when creating content.
After all, there are plenty of things to talk about in your industry!
Before getting frustrated with the process, take a step back. Consider the very broad topics that will be of interest to your audiences, and work down from there on creating more specific ideas.
You should also do keyword research to see what search terms are used to look for information related to your industry, brand, products, or services.
That can also help you narrow down what specific search terms to focus your content creation around to get the most hits.
5. Review Your Existing Content
Even brand-new startups have some existing content.
Whether it’s sales sheets, product descriptions, or your website pages, there is some existing content you can examine.
Reviewing your existing content can help you find ideas and see what areas you’ve already covered.
Looking over your existing content can also help you determine if there are any content quality issues you need to address, or a specific brand voice and style you want to continue using in upcoming content pieces.
6. Devise Your Strategy
Once you’ve done the initial groundwork and planning for your content marketing, you can start to devise and build out your strategy.
Start by looking at your content topics and pick out which you want to focus on first.
You can then work on putting together a plan that creates content pieces that match your goals and targets the personas you want to bring into your startup through content marketing.
7. Plan Your Execution Steps
Once you’ve got your strategy framework in place, it’s time to go through the specific steps you’ll need to take in order to execute your strategy.
There are a few different considerations to take a look at, such as:
Channels and Resources
What channels are you going to use to distribute your content? Are you planning on utilizing social media, posting on other reputable sites, or optimizing your content for SEO?
Think about the different types of channels and resources you can use for your content distribution.
Content Marketing Sales Funnel
Content marketing should pull in new audiences and move them through your sales funnel until they convert to a customer.
Creating a smooth, seamless process to move customers through your funnel is an important part of building your audiences and gaining new customers.
Content Production Schedule
Your content needs to be on a production schedule. Without a well-planned schedule in place, you’re likely to fall behind in your content production and struggle to keep up.
Creating a content calendar that lays out exactly when content is created and published can be a big help.
Besides a content calendar, you can count with a group of ghostwriters to delegate the production of the pieces so you can deliver everything on time.
What Types of Content Can Your Startup Create?
Content is a term used to describe a large number of different formats and versions of taking in information.
While there are dozens of content types out there, there are a few that are more valuable to startups than others. Those can include:
Case studies & testimonials
Social media posts
What are The Most Successful Ways of Content Marketing for Startups?
Now that you know how to create a content marketing plan and the different types of content that can be most beneficial to your startup, let’s talk about the most successful ways you can use content marketing for startups.
1. Search for New Industry Hot Topics
Looking up popular industry topics can be a big help for businesses that are just starting out.
Rather than trying to generate successful content topics by yourself, you can use what’s already worked as a jumping-off point.
Using SEO competitor tools or keyword tools, you can find the topics that are currently creating a buzz in your industry and create your own takes on those ideas.
That allows you to capitalize on viral ideas without needing to create them organically on your own.
2. Submit Guest Posts to Reputable & Trustworthy Sites
Creating backlinks and finding new audiences are both important parts of getting a new business venture off the ground.
By posting guest blogs on other trustworthy sites, you can bring in new traffic from those sources as well as create links back to your website.
Guest posts help you bring content to new audiences, as well as improve your SEO.
By having links referencing your site on trustworthy, authoritative sites, Google and other search engine algorithms will have more trust in your website, which can improve your SEO rankings.
3. Create Content that has Visual Appeal
What’s more interesting: a long, text-heavy blog post or an infographic with interactive elements and interesting graphics?
The answer should be obvious.
There’s truth to the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, and creating visually appealing content can bring a big boost in views for your brand.
While it’s true that some forms of visual content can be expensive, tools like Canva and online tutorials on YouTube can help you create great visual content without any design experience.
That can save you as you work on establishing your startup.
4. Involve Industry Influencers in Your Content Creation
Influencer marketing can be helpful in boosting your content creation and getting your content more views.
Industry influencers are people who hold significant sway in your area and have large, dedicated audiences who trust what they have to say and what brands they recommend.
By mentioning specific industry influencers in your content, you increase the chances that they will share your content or shoutout your brand without the need to pay for a contract.
You could also try giving them some free products, so they will give honest reviews and feedback to their audiences.
5. Promote All Your Content on Social Media
Social media can be a huge distribution tool for your content.
Along with regular social media content posts, you can use your social channels to promote all other content you create.
Have a new blog post? Post about it on social media! Have an upcoming webinar or product demo? Post about it on social media! Want to get the word out about a new sale? Post about it on social media!
6. Write About Niche Topics and Target Long-Tail Keywords
When you are starting to create a name for yourself, it can be hard to compete directly with the players who have been in the game for years.
Instead of trying to compete for the biggest keywords, try creating content about niche topics using long-tail keywords. That can help you gain a foothold even as a startup business.
7. Create the Perfect Posting Schedule
As you gain audiences and frequent viewership for your content, people come to expect that content at a certain time.
If you post on your blog weekly, but then skip a month, you’ll lose that viewership that you could rely on before. Consistency and a strong posting schedule are key.
You’ll also want to make sure you are posting at the ideal times for each content format.
For example, different social media platforms have different ideal times when more people are likely to see your posts.
Success Stories: How Content Marketing Works for Rock Content
If you want proof of how content marketing works for startups, look no further than Rock Content.
Over time, we implemented the best content marketing strategies for startups to grow and become a global influence in the field of digital marketing and content creation.
With 500 employees and over 8 million website visits, Rock Content has become a powerful marketing and technology experience for readers.
In fact, Rock Content was able to grow from $8 million in revenue in 2018 to $26 million just two years later.
One of our latest acquisitions is a testament to the dedication Rock Content has to content marketing.
WriterAccess is a freelance writing platform that connects businesses with qualified and experienced writers who can deliver outstanding content like blog posts, e-books, web copy, emails, research papers, social media posts, and much more.
To learn more about WriterAccess, try our 14-day free trial to see exactly what WriterAccess can do for you.
But Rock Content isn’t alone.
Many other startups have used similar content marketing tactics to become major industry brands and well-known names.
Take HubSpot, for example. While it might seem like this marketing giant was never a startup, there was a time they were not at the top of the search results pages.
Through their innovative and informative content, they’ve been able to grow to have over 75% of leads come in through content.
Another big brand that grew to success was Mint, a well-known personal finance app purchased by Intuit in 2009.
At the time, blogging still wasn’t adopted by all businesses, especially not those in industries like finance.
However, Mint decided to take a different approach than its competitors.
They created the MintLife blog and produced videos, news roundups, and informational tips for personal finance that no one else was doing.
This content strategy helped Mint rank high on search engines, all before the app was available to consumers.
Content marketing for startups isn’t just a good idea. It’s an essential step to establishing your new brand, gaining audiences, and growing your brand’s presence online.
It allows a startup to get ahead of competitors and claim the important digital real estate.
Without a strong content strategy plan, your startup might be playing catch-up rather than growing organically with content.