Content Marketing for Startups: How to Reach Critical Mass
Why Content Marketing Is Important for Startups
Content marketing is less expensive and straightforward compared to most other marketing strategies, making it a good component of a marketing strategy for startup companies looking to establish themselves on a small budget. Whereas other content might involve multi-stage planning and a significant input of cash to get even preliminary results, it usually doesn’t take as much organization or money to give your startup company a blog, an email newsletter, or an Instagram account. The hardest part will probably be deciding which channels you want to prioritize, and after that you can begin whipping up the pieces that will drive traffic to your website, build awareness, or perform other functions for your business as you see fit.
There are a number of reasons you should commit to producing some kind of content for your startup. First of all, it helps you avoid the catch-22 many startups might find themselves in when considering paid media: they can’t afford many ads to increase sales until the sales bring in revenue to pay for the ads. You can sidestep this by building awareness of your brand with content that will catch incremental increases in organic searches. Second, without content to influence SEO rankings, no one is likely to find your business online, and upwards of 70% of people want to research a company online before they will support it. Third, the content you produce will help your company find its voice, differentiate itself from its competitors, and develop a foundation through trial and error for its future messaging. Once you have your startup content strategy set, don’t be afraid to get right to work. Preparation is important, but after a certain point, the best or only way to learn is to use the baby-bird-flying-for-the-first-time method: you fall out of the nest and you start flapping.
Content marketing for startups isn’t rocket science, but it does require patience, focus and consistency. Publishing a blog post now and then, when you feel like it, will not be enough to alter the drift of the Internet in your favor. You’ll want to be intentional with your content, publish it on a regular schedule, and measure the results so you can make changes if need be. Feeling intimidated? Don’t worry. In this article, we’ll break down how to start content marketing so your startup has a chance to end up where you always dreamed it could.
How to Start Content Marketing for Startups
Content strategy for startups usually begins small. You can’t cover every possible avenue of publication, and what avenues are available to you will most likely be home to competition with deeper roots than yours. So in the very beginning, maybe you publish a couple blog posts, and they get minimal, or no traffic. Your email newsletter has an open rate lower than the discounted windowless basement office you’re sending it from. Keep at it. With each new piece and each new sign of consumer interest in your offerings that search engines register, your authority in the space grows, and it becomes easier to get your content placed higher, sooner, in SEO rankings. This creates a virtuous cycle of organic interest in your company, with traffic driving rankings and rankings driving traffic.
Content marketing for startups is a bit like investing in the stock market: although you do want to evaluate and revise your tactics continually, if you put too much emphasis on day-to-day fluctuations, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. Be patient, stay the course, focus on putting out content that people would want to look at, and pay more attention to trends over time. In addition, there are a few guidelines you can keep in mind to tip the scales toward success:
Include Images and Video
Content with images does better in terms of engagement than content with text alone. Content with video does better still. Over 80% of web traffic today is directed toward video, and people have an easier time remembering video content than other kinds. Take advantage of this trend by shooting Q&A videos, company origin stories, product demos, meet-the-team promos, and any other cinematic creations you can dream up. The signs are that these kinds of videos will be an integral part of a good content marketing strategy for startups and firmly-established companies alike in the years ahead.
Guest Blogs and Partnerships
In the very beginning of your startup’s content marketing journey, it can feel impossible to gain traction. One of the best ways to help your company form relationships in a new space is to get an introduction from one of the locals, so to speak. Find a company that is well-established, with a sizable audience who might have some tangential interest in your product or service, and work to get public approval by that company. Reach out and see if they’d let you write a guest blog on their site, with a backlink to yours. Tag them in a relevant social media post and see if they’ll share it on their own page. Think of your startup’s content strategy like you would a face-to-face human interaction: if you just walk up and try to introduce yourself into a group, it might not go well, but if you have a contact who will vouch for you, the whole process becomes much easier.
Social media is a good avenue to explore in content marketing for startups. It gives you access to vast audiences who you would not connect with otherwise, and this can be very valuable for top-of-funnel awareness building. Maybe you make a few posts tagging an influencer whose audience overlaps with your target demographic, hoping they’ll share the post. Maybe you look for trending news stories in your industry, on major media outlets’ pages, and leave comments. The only limit on your approach here is your creativity.
Marketing Strategy for Tech Startups
There are a couple points we should note about content marketing for tech startups specifically. Communications strategies for tech companies tend to deviate a bit from the strategies that are most successful in other industries, and this is also true for companies at the beginning of their lifespan. One recommendation we can make is to find an emotional core for your product or service. This can be a challenge for many tech-driven entrepreneurs, but adding some humanity to your company’s story can raise the ceiling you’re growing toward, allowing your company to transcend the role of a niche product or service and potentially become a household name.
In the same vein, make sure to strike a balance in your tech startup content strategy between being too technical and being too fluffy. You want to show your technical authority in the field you’re serving, but if your content is so detailed that laypeople’s eyes will glaze over as soon as they see it, you’re going to lose leads.
Finally, you may want to commit to a “magazine” approach to content, which means that rather than trying to publish content that will be relevant for all time, you follow trends and react to current events. In an industry that is evolving at an ever-accelerating rate, what is reliable information today may be obsolete or completely untrue tomorrow.
Reach Startup Content Critical Mass With Us
Giving a startup momentum is exhilarating, stressful, a ton of work, and it can change your life forever. If you want to take that journey alongside communications experts who know the way, get in touch with us.