Content is King

The difficult (but not impossible) task of content marketing for startups

Many startups have this issue, they want to play the long game and create a content marketing strategy that will bring the people in. These startups understand that they won’t see an ROI on it for months and that it’ll eventually help them in many ways. From helping them become authorities in their industries, to helping their SEO and getting themselves higher in the SERPs.

The problem in this is that it could be difficult for a startup to follow the process of content marketing cause they are such a new company. Also, they can’t afford to really pay someone to do it for them. I wanted to go through what startups might have to look at when it comes to putting together a content marketing strategy, and where they may fall over.

Getting Started

When it comes to putting together your strategy, you’ll need to understand two things:

  • Your goals for the content
  • Your mission statement

This automatically can be an issue for startups as they may not have time to put into understanding their goals and what their overall mission statement is. There is somewhat good news though, as your startup is solving a problem, yes?

This is something you can write about, to begin with as it’ll come with some pretty awesome benefits.

Finding your audience

One of the main things that writing about your problem can help your startup is building your its audience. This is a great way to start to see who engages with your content, and this may give you insights into who your first users could be.

If you write about specific problems that your features make easier, engagement metrics can help you decided what should be focused on. This will definitely help startups who are indecisive about the MVP or features for their version one launch.

If you haven’t launch either, this is another way to keep your perspective users engaged with you and your startup. Yes, you will also gain ‘Authority’ as well, but it’s trust that you can solve the problem that your potential users are interested in.

Builds your SEO

A technical benefit that will help you, in the long run, is what your content will do for your website’s optimisation. The continual traffic to your site will tell google that your site as some importance to certain people.

If you optimise your content (particularly articles) around certain keywords and don’t overdo it, you’ll start to rank organically in the SERPs. That’s a really good thing, especially if it’s keywords that your potential users are typing into google.

Set up a system

One of the main things that most founders (and some marketers, so don’t sweat too much) do after they start their content marketing is to let barriers get in the way. Some of these barriers could be the lack of time or just general inspiration to keep writing.

One thing that you should consider is setting up a system that has you continually researching, writing, and analysing your content. This can involve your team, but should definitely involve your audience/users.

Research

When researching, you want to go to your users (if you have any) and ask them questions around some of their problems you are trying to fix. To be fair, this should already be in your product build cycle anyway. If you have a limited/small amount of users, then ask questions to your audience as you grow.

The other way to do this is, of course, on the internet. There are many platforms on the internets that can help you come up with content ideas. Here are some of the ones I’ve used.

Also Asked — a new website that takes your search term and returns the ‘People also asked’ section in Google search.

Answer the Public — this tool brings Google’s autosuggest into a data visualisation setting.

Google Search Console — shows you your presence in Google’s SERPs and lets you dig deeper into what your audience might be searching when they land on your website.

Writing

Writing your content involves taking your research and then putting it together then tailoring it your audience. If it’s not tailored, you won’t get the same engagement and it will just sit there.

Now let’s talk about keywords, I beg you to not be annoying about it. You don’t need to shove a hundred different keywords into one article. You also don’t need to shove the same keyword into every sentence. Not only will it annoy your audience, but you’ll also be punished by the search engines.

You do want to target those keywords you spent a good time identifying but you want to keep the flow of the article natural. If you realise half-way through that you’re either a/ not using the keyword or b/ shoving the keyword in, you should stop.

You can then either continue writing the article that your accidentally writing (can still be a good thing) or start again with more of a focus on how to write with the keyword. Either way, you’re going to get an article that is still tailored to your audience.

Analysing

This is becoming my favourite part of the content, cause it is shown to be one of the most important parts. Without being able to analyse your content (be it blogs, ebooks, etc.) you’re just writing something, putting it out, and walking away.

Analytics gives you the insights you need to pinpoint what is working. Is your blog reaching your audience through google, or is audience mainly on your twitter? You won’t know unless you have something set up that can let you delve deep into the performance of your content.

It is hard though, and there are so many ways to analyse your content. The issue is you distribute your content across the entire internet through multiple channels. It then gets shared around and some times it’s even stolen (seriously?!).

The best piece of advice

Look, I’m pretty bad at taking my own advice but I’ve one hundred per cent been working on it and I’ve seen all the benefits that I’ve told others about. I know, however, that until you do it, you will see how content marketing can benefit your startup.

I would say though, just give it a go. It can fit perfectly into everything else you’re doing to build your startup.

Happy building, crying, and building some more.

Daniel is one of the co-founders of CoWryte, a startup building an end-to-end solution that lets time-poor content marketing professionals create content more efficiently.

Starting with blogs, the platform will let you create, publish, and then analyse your reach and engagement across the web and social media.

You can talk more about startups and content marketing with him on Twitter or LinkedIn

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