Startups are always looking for ways to grow their business, but they often don’t know where to start.
One of the areas that can make a big difference is content marketing.
It’s about creating and distributing valuable free or low-cost information to consumers, in order to engage with them and drive sales. It doesn’t cost very much money but it can have a positive impact on your business goals—such as traffic, revenue, and customer loyalty.
In this article, we’ll look at what content marketing is, and how it can help drive your business forward.
What is Content Marketing and Why Should You Care?
Content marketing is a type of digital marketing strategy that relies on the creation and distribution of content to attract future customers, leads, and sales. It’s an important part of the modern digital marketing mix for startups because it can help you achieve your business goals in many different ways.
This includes generating more traffic to your website, improving customer loyalty by providing valuable information about products and services, increasing brand awareness, driving conversion rates, or even boosting revenue if you’re using ads on other sites.
The Power of Startup Content Marketing
Content marketing isn’t as complicated as it sounds! It’s actually quite simple in its most basic form…you want to create content that people enjoy reading and will then share with friends to get the word out. That way, more people will be exposed to what you’re doing and have the opportunity to buy your product or service.
It’s important for startups to never underestimate the power of good content because if they do, they’re going to run into problems with generating leads and eventually with sales. It doesn’t cost very much money, but the potential to generate revenue and customer loyalty is huge.
Why Startups Should Invest in this Strategy
Startups will have differing priorities for content based on what they are trying to achieve with their marketing strategy. As an example, here are 4 reasons why many businesses invest in this strategy:
1) Generating traffic to your website
If you’re trying to get more search engine traffic for your startup, then one of the most important things you can do is create content that helps you rank higher on search engines. You don’t have to be the best at SEO to get a benefit because this type of content can also go viral with social media shares, which are also very valuable for traffic generation.
2) Building customer loyalty and brand awareness
If you want to build trust with your audience, then you have to give them valuable information that they will keep coming back for. This includes industry tips, product or service reviews, in-depth guides, and anything else your audience can benefit from on a regular basis.
3) Increasing conversions for your sales funnel
If you’re trying to get more people using your online course, software or service, you should create content that will help people get started with it. It could be a 10-video series on how to use it properly or an ebook about some of the best ways to optimize your workflows in this software.
4) Generating revenue from other businesses through advertising or affiliate marketing.
If you’re able to generate leads through content, then you’re also going to be generating revenue. In this case, it’s best if you can create a blog post and populate it with links to quality content on other websites that offer solutions your target audience would want. The process is called affiliate marketing because you are paid when the reader clicks on those links and buys the product or service.
For example, let’s say you have a blog and you write an article about fitness trackers. You could link to an online store that sells the most popular fitness trackers on your website. If someone buys one of those fitness trackers through your link, then you get paid a commission for it.
In all, investing in content marketing is a good idea for startups because you’re able to create a great return on investment and it will help you grow your customer base over time.
How to Make Content Marketing Work For Your Startup
It’s essential that startups have a plan for content marketing before they start creating content. The plan needs to include what you’ll be creating, how you’re going to create it, and when the content will be published.
Establish Your Content Marketing Process
A good place to start is by looking at your social media strategies and see how the different channels can help with your content marketing initiatives. This includes using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or other social media platforms to promote your products or services on autopilot.
Next, you should look at some of those competitors who are already doing this type of marketing successfully and see what kind of content they are generating that seems to be going well. You can then use their techniques as inspiration for what you want to do.
Identify Your Audience
Before you create your content, you should first identify your audience and think about what they want. Ask yourself:
- “Who am I targeting?”
- “What questions do they have?”
- “How often do they need new content in order to get value from it?”
Consider the personality of your audience and decide how you will create content for them. Should you create a formal blog post? Will it consist of quick tips, or mostly video content?
Consider Your KPI’s & Measure Your Success
You also need to figure out what type of goals you’re going to establish for determining how much of an impact your content is having. Not all startups can measure marketing metrics easily, especially if they are just getting started, but you should try to pick out at least a couple that you can look into on a regular basis.
For instance, are you trying to get more people to sign up for your newsletter? Are you trying to establish a certain number of followers or sales each month? Do you want to rank well on search engines like Google and Bing?
Once you’ve figured out what you want to achieve, then it should be easy to identify your KPIs.
If you have a website, for example, this might include how many people are visiting the site and where they’re coming from. You can also set up conversion tracking software on your website (like Google Analytics) so that you can keep track of how many people are checking out your site and where they’re going when they visit.
Or if you’re using social media, you can set up conversion tracking so that you can determine how many leads and sales result from each post.
Curate Your Content Marketing Tools
Fortunately for small startups, content marketers, and social media managers, there are a number of great tools to help you easily and effectively manage your content marketing. And if you find that some of them are not working for you, then it’s easy enough to swap them out with something else until you find what works best.
The following list covers a number of cool content marketing tools that every startup should have on hand:
- Buffer is a social media scheduler. You can easily schedule posts on all your social networks and it also includes an analytics section so you can see how effective your posts are at driving traffic to your website.
- Buffer also includes an editorial calendar, which is a great way to organize your posts in advance. You simply include all of your blog posts, tweets, or other content like videos you want to share on a certain date, and then Buffer will automatically release them for you when the time comes.
- InboundWriter is great if you’re looking for an easy way to write quality content without having to hire a marketing agency. In order to get started using this tool, you’ll need to provide a few details about your business and you can then start creating content. This tool will then analyze the content that you’ve written and assign you different badges based on how well it was written, which will help you improve over time.
- If you’re just getting started with social media marketing, SmarterQueue can help. This tool allows you to post images straight into Facebook without having to first upload them to your computer.
- Scoop is a social media content sharing tool, which means that you can use this tool to find valuable and useful content on the internet and share it with others on Twitter or Facebook. This is great for getting your audience engaged and interested in reading what you have to say.
- As for scheduling tools, Hootsuite is one of the best. It’s a great choice for managing your social media marketing campaigns because you can post updates to multiple accounts at once and includes access to analytics so you can see how effective each post is in certain areas.
- Moz offers many useful tools that are geared toward helping startups succeed in SEO, and can enhance your overall content marketing efforts. The free tools include free keyword research, on-page optimization evaluation, and SEO audits.
So with all these amazing tools, it’s easy to see why startups should consider using content marketing. If you start utilizing social media on your own or partner up with a company that specializes in content marketing, then there’s no doubt that you’ll be well on your way to seeing an increase in your business’ success within a few short months.
Getting Creative With Content
There is a wide range of content that can be created for the purposes of startup marketing. These include:
- Blog posts
- Social media
- Slide decks
- Online courses that can generate leads
- Videos or animations illustrating the product in use
- Quick tip videos
- Ebooks about some of the best ways to optimize your workflows with a particular software
- Guides on how to use the product or service properly on a regular basis.
If you have any more ideas for content, then get creative and think of what would be valuable to your audience. You’ll need at least a few types of content to attract and keep them coming back for more.
Creating a Content Marketing Budget That Makes Sense
A content marketing budget should never be too far away from your reach– it’s a vital part of the structure of your advertising campaign. The first thing to do before coming up with a content budget is to make sure you know what your goals are for the short-term and long term. This will help you decide what type of content you need to create and how much it’ll cost to produce.
If you’re not sure about what type of content will work best, then consider figuring out what types of content your competitors are using. Think about the kind of specific needs that your audience has and think about potential solutions to those needs.
It might take some trial and error when creating your content marketing budget, but there are some basic factors that you should consider. These include:
- How much money do you have to invest in your campaign?
- What kind of relevant content can be produced with the content marketing dollars you have allocated, and how will it help you achieve your goals?
You’ll need a bit of back-and-forth between the two. Start by setting up a budget that makes the most sense for the type of content being created.
Calculating the Content Costs
There are several things that you need to be aware of when creating a content marketing budget. One thing to consider is how much money you have to invest in your campaign. This will help determine what kind of content can be produced with this money and how it might help optimize your goals.
Another factor to take into account is the production cost of different types of content. Blog posts and graphic design can both be on the expensive side, but there are also other types of content that are quite pricey as well, such as videos and animations.
However, keep in mind that there are content types that also cost next to nothing to create, such as quotes and quick tip videos. It all depends on what you need for your brand at the time. Content marketing is largely about having a strategy in place– so make sure you have a plan in place before doing anything else.
The next step is figuring out how to best budget your money. When creating a content marketing strategy it’s important to be aware of where you’re going to invest the most amount of money. If video is something that you want to include in your campaign, then keep this in mind when making financial preparations for your brand.
One easy way to get started is by taking a look at all the different ways you can create content. Think about which ones are easiest to produce and what kind of goals they’ll help you achieve in your business.
Also, take a look at how much money certain types of content cost on average compared to others. This will give you an idea of how much money each type should be allotted for within the budget itself.
Priorities For Those With Limited Marketing Budgets
The following is a list of some low-cost and easy ways to help you get started with your content marketing campaign. It’s important to note that not all content has to be expensive for it to be effective. You can start out by using free services such as Google Docs and Canva to help you with productivity tools and design, respectively.
- Video: This company offers users the opportunity to create professional videos without the need for any sound or audio equipment. Other companies such as Explaindio and GoAnimate are also a great way to utilize video without spending any money
- Print: If your audience is still into traditional print marketing, a lower-cost option you can use a service such as Vista Print to get started with your content marketing campaign and promote a product or brand.
- Email: Many people still want to receive emails from you, and the cost to produce and send a newsletter is also free. You can create one in Microsoft Excel or Google Docs, or use a service like Mailchimp and it doesn’t take much time to create.
With a little creativity, you can start out with low-cost solutions and work your way up to producing high-quality content. You just need to be creative when it comes to getting started with your budget for content marketing. You may also want to consider outsourcing production if you don’t have the time to do it yourself.
Content marketing is an incredibly valuable and cost-effective way to market your business. It’s a surefire win for startups who are looking to break into the digital space because it offers you so many opportunities: Content can be used as content marketing, lead generation, or even social media posts that will drive traffic back to your website.
The best part? Content creation doesn’t have to break the bank– in fact, there are plenty of low-budget options out there today that make creating professional-quality content accessible for any startup with limited resources. And while some may argue that time is more important than money when starting up a new business venture, I would counter by saying time equals money!
You want to spend less on production costs and more on driving traffic to your website by using the most effective channels available. This means you’ll have to do some serious research in order to identify what kind of content works and what doesn’t, and then turn that insight into actionable plans for your business.
If you’re looking for more resources about low-budget marketing ideas, check out these helpful resources!