5 +1 Make-or-Break Content Marketing Tips for Startups
Content marketing is a complex field. If you want to write an article to reach your business goals, you need to be the creative guy and the number guy at the same time.
The creative part involves coming up with an enjoyable copy and quality visuals. Unfortunately, engaging emotions isn’t enough. You also have to integrate tech tool and data to boost your article's performance.
Here comes the number guy: How many results will your keyword trigger? How do your competitors perform. How do you perform? What is the article’s CTR? What is its Conversion Rate? And how about the ROI?
Those people who understand both parts of content marketing - the creative and the analytical - will truly harness the power of content creation.
Why should you invest in content marketing?
According to statistics, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing yet it attracts three times more leads. This is what’s officially known as “a pretty convincing number.”
Big, well established companies can afford paid PR activities and spend millions on ads but most of them still produce content for good reason. So they can get the most out of their massive ad budget.
Content Marketing Tips from Intellyo
1. Set clear content marketing goals
It's a pretty common problem: startups start writing articles without defining an actual goal, and lose steam after they’ve committed tons of resources to an ‘endless’ cause. In order to measure success you need to decide what your main KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is. Traffic to your website or shares on social media are not the main KPIs!
To get started, Set SMART Goals. Smart goals are defined as:
Ask yourself what you want to achieve. Supposing you want to become a thought leader in your field to boost your reputation as a consultant. Now you have a goal in mind.
Defining goals that can be measured are important to see what works and what could be improved. This practice also has a psychological side effect. Seeing actual growth in hard numbers will encourage you to push harder and feel a sense of success.
Continuing with the consultancy example above, you may decide to measure success by tracking how many consultations have been booked through your website. With the appropriate parameters, you’ll clearly see how many conversions came through different inbound channels.
Shoot for the stars but stay rational. It would be amazing if you could get 1000 clients in a month but you need to be honest with yourself. Is this goal realistic?
Set achievable goals so you can test if your strategy actually works. Use historical data to define a doable strategy.
The number of Facebook likes or Twitter followers you have is not a very useful metric. Of course, social shares are an opportunity to go viral and drive crazy amounts of traffic to your website. But this should be understood as the exception, and not the rule.
Choose the KPIs that actually make money. Period.
Your goal needs a deadline. By defining a time frame your marketing strategy can plan and prioritize the steps needed to reach your desired outcome.
What could be a great SMART goal?
Let's say that you want to increase the number of bookings on your website by 10% over the next 2 months. Defining success is straightforward. If you haven't reached your goal you need to find the reason why. If you have, give yourself a pat on the shoulder!
2. Create content for customer intent
Use these tools to figure out what questions your audience is asking. (Obviously, to do so you need a clearly defined buyer persona). This kind of research makes sure that you’re not pushing useless stuff into the ether.
- Search Console, SemRush: Go to your account and see what keywords you are ranking for. If you find words ranking just lower than the first 10th places, that means that Google has acknowledge that you are relevant for the users' queries. All you need to do now is to give a little push. Write an article based on keywords you are ranking for to perform even better.
- Google Trends: Explore topics to understand what's trending.
- BuzzSumo: Discover the most popular articles and use the Skyscraper technique to write better content.
3. Create a killer content marketing strategy
Your content strategy plan is an important part of your marketing efforts. Without that it's difficult to be organized. Using a framework helps you stay consistent and write about topics with a long-term vision instead of an ad-hoc train of thought.
- Decide which CMS you want to use
Whether it’s Wordpress or Wix, choose the interface and price point that works best for you. If you don’t want to set up a platform, you can even cut an extra corner by sharing content on Medium first.
Intellyo allows you to easily collaborate with your the team by assigning each member different roles and tasks. If you’re working with contributors, they can easily work on their own articles on your platform without getting access to your entire content archive.
- Brainstorming to come up with headlines
Have a session with co-workers from the marketing and sales department and come up with different topics. Just start throwing words in. The topics don't need to be logical. The point of this process is to activate your brains' creative part and come up with those off the wall ideas that just might work, without your rational self getting in the way.
- What type of content you want to produce
Each channel requires different topics and formats when it comes to content. Generate content for each stage of the buyer's journey and use CTAs to capture the leads. Use a content matrix to define what stage the content supports and share it with your audience in the appropriate context.
- Distribute on social media
Do some hashtag research, post your article on Facebook, your video on Instagram and YouTube, your infographics on Pinterest. Try to cover all relevant social channels for each piece of content to reach your audience.
4. Use content calendar
Without planning you’re just scrambling. Scheduling blog posts helps you create suitable content for each media channel. This is especially useful when you want to build a series of educational material.
5. Build relationships
Startups are often on a tight budget. That's why you need to get creative. Normally there is no money for PR, you need to get influencers to talk about you for free. The best way to do this is to build relationships, help them out, and maybe even win an IOU from them.
Where can you build relationships?
+1 Be consistent
Inevitably, content creation kind of becomes a huge hassle but it pays off in the long term. Startups need to adapt flexible and sustainable solutions to survive past day one. In the beginning, cold calls and advertising probably brings more results than backlinks and social shares, but with a consistent content strategy, you can pave the way for an economical future marketing funnel.