Looking back at when TribeBoost finally started to show traction and serious growth — the hindsight is very clear.
As soon as we took content marketing seriously — our growth took off.
Maybe this was a coincidence…but I do not think it was.
Content marketing done with effort and thought might be the biggest bang for the buck marketing practice for a new startup.
In the startup world, you don’t have the luxury of wasting time or resources. Everything you do and every resource you allot needs be thought-out, worthwhile, and intentional.
So as you prepare to build a content marketing plan, make sure you are prepared and educated on the best practices that will effectively build awareness and generate leads.
Assign Goals for the Content
Content marketing, like most everything else, works better with a plan.
Your content marketing strategy starts by identifying your goals.
What do you want to happen as a result of your content creation?
You may want to say “make sales.” Sure, sales are always the end goal, but work on being more specific and concrete.
Think about the small steps that lead toward sales. Then, identify a few goals that you can build your content around.
Entertain So Readers Share
Create content that is so enjoyable and emotionally appealing that readers are compelled to share it with their friends or followers. This will help you get more exposure and get in front of new audiences.
Educate So Readers Share
Use your content to teach your audience something they want to know about your industry. Make the resource so useful and helpful that your audience will feel compelled to share it with others they know who are interested in your industry. This also helps spread awareness.
Educate So You Are Positioned as an Authority
Creating in-depth educational resources will also show off your knowledge of your industry — positioning you as a professional, authority, or leader in your industry.
Educate So Readers Buy
Create another type of educational content that teaches readers about your industry, products, or services. The purpose of this content is to help lead potential customers along the buyer’s journey by answering questions about what you do or sell or by explaining the benefits of what you do or sell.
Impress So Readers Opt-In
When you create extremely educational or entertaining content that readers have to have, you can use it as a bargaining chip. You can require readers to provide you with their information before accessing the content. Readers don’t mind giving up their email address in exchange for a great piece of content. This, in turn, helps you generate leads and grow your email list.
Do not create content just to fill your blog pages. Assign a primary goal to each piece of content so that the content can produce real, measurable results.
So What Do We Write About?
First you need to have empathy about your audience.
- What are they concerned about?
- What do they struggle with?
- What do they want to learn more about?
- How can you help them?
Content marketing done well focuses on the client and their needs. Do not base your content on what you want to write about.
There is a tool I often use before determining what to write about next.
Using Buzzsumo to Pick Your Next Post
I will walk you through how I use BuzzSumo to pick things to write about.
Let’s say you know that Startup Marketing is a key issue for your audience.
Enter that term into a search within BuzzSumo.
Next make sure your parameters are optimized.
I like to search for articles within the past year.
And I like to only look through other blog posts and guest posts.
Usually using these parameters I will get some interesting suggestions.
The bonus is that these have proven to be topics that people are interested in.
Look at these results for our search. There are some good suggestions here.
Within these results I look for articles that were shared a lot but are flawed:
- Too short without enough detail
- Out of date content
- Poorly written
- Missing important facts or elements
- Just text, is not visual enough
- On a very poorly designed or ugly blog
A few other ways to start brainstorming ideas for your blog posts:
- Answer Questions > Create content that answers the most frequently asked questions about your business.
- Curate Resources > Pull together a long list of resources that are related to your industry.
- Tell a Story > Show the human side of your business by telling how you got started, sharing a personal experience with a product or brand related to your industry, etc.
- Go Behind the Scenes > Show people how you conduct business by giving a backstage look at your business, team, and/or process.
- Share Interesting Facts or Stats > People love interesting facts, so put together some interesting (and if possible jaw-dropping) facts or stats about a topic related to your industry.
- Deliver News > Share any new or exciting news about your business or industry.
When it comes to creating content, there are endless topic ideas and dozens of ways to deliver, but there is one major strategy — keep your reader in mind.
All other rules and strategies can be broken or stretched if it makes sense for your specific target audience. So, make sure that you really know your ideal customer and then create everything as big as an eBook or as small as a Tweet with that person in mind.
Create the Content
When it comes to content creation, you aren’t boxed into one type of delivery. There are multiple ways that you can deliver your content.
Content can be in the form of:
- Blog Posts
- White Papers
- Case Studies
- Social Media Posts
- Social Media Custom Graphics
The options can be a little overwhelming at first. So pick out two or three content forms that you are going to focus on.
I suggest you start with what you are good at and like to do.
I love the written word, so I mostly focus on writing.
I also believe that the SEO benefits on blog posts are better compared to things like video, infographics, etc. A well-indexed blog post can deliver daily traffic to your site YEARS after it was posted.
Amplify the Content
Once you create your content, you need to amplify that content to make sure that people see it.
Share It In Your Newsletter
If you consistently generate content, disperse that content to your followers through a regular newsletter that you send weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Share It Through Social Media
If you have spent time building a following of targeted social media followers, you already have a built-in audience who is craving content about your brand, business, or industry.
Deliver it as soon as you publish.
Run Paid Promotions on Social Media. If you aren’t getting the traction you want to see, consider using paid promotions on social media to really give your content legs.
Place Content In Its Natural Habitat. Upload and publish your content in places where users go to find that style of information.
- Upload videos to YouTube and/or Vimeo.
- Upload slideshows or presentations to Slideshare.
- Upload podcasts to iTunes.
- Submit infographics to Visual.ly.
- Submit apps to iTunes.
Get Your Post Included In a Link Round Up
A link round up is a list of interesting or valuable articles that a website curates on a particular topic. Search for link round ups in your industry. Then, submit a valuable piece of content you create to the publisher so that they may include the post in their next round up.
Use these strategies for amplifying your content, but always remember — you do not want to amplify low-quality content. Always put in the time, energy, and resources required to create awesome content that readers will love.
That will help accelerate the amplification process as users will spread the content on their own.
If you start and build your content marketing strategy around goal-oriented, high-quality content that is amplified and shared, you can effectively build brand awareness, generate valuable leads, and expand the reach of your startup one piece of content at a time.
Did you enjoy our guide to content marketing for startups? Let us know what you think on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tribeboost.