Let’s say your company has a blog. You and your co-founders write and post relevant articles a few times per month, and you share these on your startup’s social channels. Maybe you are even working on an eBook or a podcast. So what’s next?
Your content marketing will be much more useful if you invest time in developing an intentional strategy. Luckily, content marketing is not rocket science, but it requires you to plan to reach your goals, rather than slapping together some Instagram copy at the last minute.
Here’s how to get started on a content strategy, even if you’re a busy entrepreneur.
Go beyond the blog; go for bylines.
When it comes to your content strategy, building SEO and growing your company’s reputation should come up high on your priority list. While blogging will help increase your visibility, a well-placed byline in a relevant publication can be a lynchpin in establishing your company as a thought leader in your industry and getting valuable backlinks to your site. You don’t need to have a full-blown PR strategy to get placed in a publication; work on developing a relationship with journalists in your field, then pitch your most interesting articles rather than posting them on your blog. For more tips on getting your startup into the news, check out our eBook 50 PR Hacks for Startups on Amazon.
Publish guest posts on partners’ blogs or publications.
If you’re not ready to write a column for TechCrunch, you can still reach beyond your audience through guest posts that you write for a partner company’s blog. For example, if you sell a software service, you could write an article for one of your clients’ blogs and let them write for your startup’s blog. Not only do you strengthen your relationship with your client, but you also help each other reach a new audience.
Use your website analytics to map your customer journey.
The content you create has two goals: to address your customer’s pain points and to position your company as a potential solution to their problems. Your content should move your customer along the path to purchasing your product or service, but first, you need to understand how clients are reaching you currently. What kind of content are they consuming most? How are they accessing that content? Track your metrics for a few days to learn how your customer behaves so you can design a more buyer-friendly content strategy.
Plan a distribution strategy.
Many founders are great at producing content, but they stumble when it is time to share their work with their prospects. In fact, although 53% of businesses know they should have a content distribution strategy, only 26% have implemented one. Recently, social media channels like Facebook and Instagram have drastically reduced the organic reach of business pages, which limits your ability to use these platforms as a free method of distributing content. There are still a lot of options for promoting and distributing your content, including email, social media, social media stories or live features, or even offline methods. Whatever you choose, make sure you plan carefully to align your distribution with your buyer journey.
Even if you are already engaging in content marketing, it is worth taking a step back to plan a deliberate strategy that connects your marketing to your business goals. However, you don’t need to write out a 50-page memorandum to develop a content marketing strategy that grows your startup. Remember that your content strategy is always a work in progress, and it will continue to evolve as your startup matures.