The power of content marketing for startups
As a startup, taking the first steps into marketing can be daunting. Where should you start? What activity will be the best use of my time? If you’re limited on time or budget - and even if you’re not - a great place to start is content marketing.
Utilised as a consistent and long term strategy, content marketing can reap rewards for you across different facets of your business. Whether you’re creating advice pieces, blogs, case studies or commenting on what’s happening in your industry, there’s a range of ways that content can make a real impact on your business success.
Here’s just some of the powerful ways that content marketing can add value to your startup.
Build your profile
By creating blog content, case studies or advice pieces for your website or marketing collateral, you can showcase your expertise. Imagine it as the flesh on the bones of your service or product offering, or the colouring in of a black and white line drawing: it adds personality and story. This means it provides a chance for prospects to get to know you and understand that you’re the right person or organisation for the job.
It gives prospects a chance to learn not only where your expertise lies, but perhaps your vision, values, what you’re trying to achieve with your product or service and probably a bit more about you as an entrepreneur or company. Whether we can always tangibly see it or not, all of these things can play a part in buyer behaviour.
Improve search engine rankings
I couldn’t write about the power of content marketing without talking about SEO. In its simplest terms, the more you write about topics that are critical to your customers’ challenges on your website, the better this will serve you when you’re looking to climb the ranks on google searches.
Google will 'read' your content and inform its search engine accordingly, so using keywords throughout your content that are relevant to your business means that if your customers are using them as search terms on Google, you stand a higher chance of coming up in their results. Google continually checks websites for new content, so posting fresh insight regularly will also help you rise through the ranks.
Provide evidence for customers
If you’re a prospect browsing for something to buy or someone to work with, you want to gain confidence and trust in the vendor or organisation you are considering. Imagine if your prospect is able to read about a project you’ve recently worked on, or a customer you’ve just helped, or funding you’ve recently secured.
These types of content will all operate as proof that you can do the job at hand, and evidence that others have trusted you to do the same. The external recognition supports your cause: if those customers or organisations rated and trusted you then the chances are, the prospect can too.
Expand your marketing activity
Creating content for your website isn’t just going to help your website. It gives you material to share on your social media channels, send to contacts, and if you need to you can even utilise it for further marketing collateral.
If you have the time, you could even send it to some journalists writing for publications important to your target audience in a bid to get it published elsewhere! Content like advice articles have a long shelf life too, so you can continually share it with new audiences and make it work hard for you.
Give it a try!
Content really is the gift that keeps on giving. It may be that as an entrepreneur or startup owner, it feels daunting to get writing or maybe writing doesn’t feel like 'your thing', but the hardest bit is knowing how to get started. Why don’t you try brainstorming issues that your customers would care about or thinking about key milestones in your business you could talk about? Have you read any articles in the media recently that have interested you or inspired you? Share your thoughts and news with your prospects.
Start jotting down ideas, pieces of advice and nuggets of information and if need be, take a break and come back to it, then add more to what you have. The further you get the more you’ll get a feel for it and will know what you want to say. If you’re still not confident in your content, why don’t you get the advice of colleagues, contacts or partners you respect? Before you know, you’ll have some powerful content to share with the world.