Several startups are setting aside a content marketing budget. In fact, on average about 28% of a company’s marketing budget is spent on content marketing. This shows that there is a serious use of content marketing to build a customer base. Startups and small businesses can excel in content marketing by trying the following strategies:
1. Understanding your audience
The most successful content marketers take a lot of time in researching about their audience. One of the mistakes that startups make is to focus too much on the general keyword in which their business operates. However, the most successful content marketers go deeper than that.
They are curious about the needs of their visitors. They go the extra mile to understand their needs, patterns of purchase, and problems. Eventually they build content that is engaging enough to meet the needs of their readers.
In your content creation efforts, do not stick to the general term. Find out more about your audience and what they find engaging, the specific issues they face in their industry among others. Build content that resonates with your audience on a personal level.
2. Building connections
To produce content consistently is great. However, if you are only creating and publishing content you are underselling yourself. Successful entrepreneurs work on building their connections with other companies as a back-linking strategy.
Most companies do not know that if you guest post you increase your audience. Guest posting comes out of the struggle to build connections. This is a struggle that all startups must contend with. Eventually, it gets easier to land a guest post or approach a large blog but in the early days you have to grind. As you get known in the industry, so does your startup.
Startups should ensure that for every 3 new pieces of content they publish on their blogs, the 4th one is posted on another company’s blog.
3. Diversify your content
It is crucial to keep your readers interested in reading your content. Writing content restricted within your niche is a surefire way to make your readers bored. This kills your content marketing strategy.
Startups that are successful in the content marketing tactic know that you have to spread your wings of content a bit further than your niche. Investigate and research on what similar or related niches your niche may have. Delve into what makes for great content in this spaces. Understand those demographics too.
What this gives you is an opportunity to interest your readers with content that they care about, giving them a break from your usual niche content and also pulling in more visitors from those niches related to yours.
4. Testing and experimenting
In no time, you will find that your content gives a good return on investment. You will also learn that if you continue to post that same content, on the same topic, in the same medium, and at that usual hour, you get a good number of readers.
Good content marketers reach at this point and settle. Great content marketers keep iterating and testing, and experimenting on various delivery strategies, topics, media, etc. While they would have chosen to stick to the method that already works, they chose to experiment further. These experiments result in data that they use to improve their content even further, ballooning their audiences and improving audience engagement.
Startups should never settle. When you think you have done well, question how better you can get. Experiment with various media of content, topics and delivery methods. Infographics could be the difference between 30k monthly visitors and 100k. Delivering your content through video instead of text could be your secret to a million monthly viewers rather than 20k monthly readers. Keep testing, iterating, and growing.
5. Quality over quantity
For startups that pay for content, it is better to spend $2,500 on 5 top-notch articles at the price of $500 each than spending the same amount on 50 ‘decent’ articles at the price of $50 each. There is a good chance that the 5 high quality articles will all rank and bring in more visitors than the 50 decent ones.
If you ask content marketing gurus, they will tell you that over 60% of their monthly traffic comes from the evergreen top-notch content on their website as compared to the occasional articles.
Startups should embrace quality. Quality means your content cannot easily be outranked by newer competitors too because it takes a special kind of content to beat a top-notch post in ranking. It is better to post an article of great quality per week than post many average articles every week.
6. Creatively stretch the dollars
It is important to get more than the value of the money you have as a startup. Can you get a cheaper but great writer remotely as compared to paying a full time salary in the office? Can you get a writer who will provide the value of $150 but accept $100? Better believe it that such writers do exist.
Can you bootstrap your writing and ensure everyone in the office creates content as an additional to their daily responsibilities? This means you get to save the dollars you would have spent on hiring a writer.
The goal is to get great value at a fraction of the actual cost. Startups that understand this manage to receive a huge ROI for a manageable budget.
7. Solid numbers
Do not judge the success of your content marketing based on subjective factors or generalized data. Extract numbers out of your campaign, analyse these and create reliable performance data and metric reports. These dissecting of numbers from your traffic will open up more insights. The analysis will show you strategies that are working better and which ones have the potential to grow your reader base.
Startups that create content based off solid data and analysis will most of the time grow faster in terms of readership and customer base because they understand what is at the core of their content creation.
Do you have any other strategies you would like to share? Leave them in the comments section below.