A content strategy consists of a great deal more than just figuring out what you’re going to post and when.
It’s the very foundation upon which your entire campaign is built. Think of it as a road map that pinpoints where your dream clients are, the time they’ll be there (most importantly) and marks the spot indicating the exact content they crave.
This is particularly important in the world of startups where you’ve got a long road to travel before you become the company you one day hope to become.
Despite this being such a mission-critical technique, it isn’t necessarily something that everyone understands.
According to one study, only 32% of marketers actually had a documented content strategy in place in 2016. A number that is curiously lower than the previous year, which was at 35%.
Despite this, most B2B marketers in particular use at least 13 different content marketing tactics, Something that can be difficult to make sense of without the right strategy in place.
Marketing on social media, email marketing, blog posts, white papers – all of it can be hard to keep track of if you’re flying blind.
If your startup is about to leap into the bold world of content marketing, there are a few key things you’ll need to keep in mind as you begin to develop a strategy of your own.
Distinguishing Your Brand Through Content Marketing
Above all else, the number one goal of your content marketing strategy as a startup should be “give the people what they want, when they want it, no exceptions.”
Analyze your audience and dig into what data you have to identify their needs.
Collect as much feedback from users as you possibly can.
Apply a niche skill-set and utilize that feedback to give visitors what they’re looking for on a consistent basis.
Don’t forget about video and visuals.
Visual marketing content is particularly helpful in terms of targeting millennials who can’t seem to get enough of things like video tutorials created by their favorite YouTuber, or succinct stories on Snapchat by brands like Refinery29, The Food Network, Mashable, Tastemade, and Vogue.
Not only does visual content increase a buyer’s overall understanding of your product by approximately 74%, but 80% of users will also remember your ad longer and more clearly.
Be sure to mix up your use of visual elements. Video tutorials are great, but don’t rely on just this one technique.
Startups are in a wonderful position to create useful content online with video that serves as both informational and educational material. Increasing brand awareness, providing value in a succinct manner, and driving preferred actions from potential customers.
Best Practices for Startups
When it comes to audience targeting, one thing you’ll want to do sooner rather than later is create personas to identify exactly who you’re aiming to reach with every piece of content.
Use the data you already have on your audience to break your strategy down into niche categories represented by buyer personas.
This allows you to get a better picture of the various verticals you’ll be serving, which in turn gives you someone to write for beyond everyone and anyone within your industry.
Target specific verticals with unique types of content as one group may respond well to the influential power of case studies, while another may prefer podcasts.
The Common Mistakes of Content Marketing for Startups
Finally, avoid a trap that far too many startup content marketers fall into: don’t focus on longer form content that focuses solely on how to use your product.
People don’t want to read instruction manuals and frankly, they don’t care about your brand yet. They want tips, tricks, best practices and secrets that will help them get ahead now.
White papers, webinars, case studies and other long-form content are great for guiding someone through the decision-making process (this is true for B2B buyers in particular), but if all you’re offering is a glorified instruction booklet you’re going to lose interest fast.
Following these basic rules of content marketing will help you build your startups reputation and increase engagement rates.