Content marketing · Startups

What advice would you give a new startup that wants to start content marketing?

Sunil Rajaraman Board of Advisors at Telepathic Inc.

May 27th, 2015

I just did an interview on the FD Blog and in it I mention a) starting a blog day one and b) consistency of good content as two of the biggest things startups overlook. Would love to hear what others have learned.
A great idea is 1% of the work. Execution is the other 99%. In this course, we’ll teach you how to conduct market analysis, create an MVP and pivot (if needed), launch your business, survey customers, iterate your product/service based on feedback, and gain traction quickly.

Dennis Yu Director of Business Development at Society6

May 27th, 2015

First of all, love the interview. To the point and no fluffs.
I agree with starting blogs from day one or any type of content platform to get the message and products out. As far as "good content", I think that is subjective. But as long as it is honest, authentic to the brand and the creator, and tells a heck of a story then it will attract the readers who resonate and feel it's GOOD.

Kristin Tynski SVP Product Development at Sapio

May 27th, 2015

It 100% depends on the goals of the startup. What audiences are you trying to reach, where do those audiences spend most of their time? What social channels are important to your target audience? What topics/subject areas are meaningful to them. 

After that, consider what your KPI's and long term goals are for your startup. Are you looking for new user acquisition, brand visibility, community building, etc.? All of these factors would influence the direction you take with your content and promotion efforts. 

For most startups, content marketing can probably best be leveraged for large scale PR wins. If you are capable of creating content with a news hook (something large publishers find compelling enough to talk about), you can create large sharing cascades if you can drum up interest in your content through targeted digital PR and influencer outreach. This type of content marketing can drive results in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

1. Brand visibility (which can drive new user acquisition, especially for apps or SaaS companies
2. High authority linkbuilding and social sharing, two key factors in improving a websites authority, and thus organic rankings. For companies relying on organic search traffic, this is especially essential. 
3. Direct sales. This type of content marketing usually means pushing your content to more tightly controled audiences (usually through very targeted paid channels like Facebook ads) The content for this is often much more sales directed (though it must still provide good value). Things like whitepapers, case studies, industry thought leadership, etc. is what applies here. 

There is much more to all of this obviously, but it all starts with very carefully defining short and longterm marketing goals, and then devising an effective strategy around those goals and associated target audiences. 

You can email me at Kristin@frac.tl, if you would like some more info, or to see what can be done by an agency that understands the ins and outs of content marketing, with case studies and examples to prove it, check out www.frac.tl

Diane Kaston Director of Retail Business Development at E-commerce Jewelry Start Up

May 27th, 2015

content needs to have an honest and original voice and be of service to your customers, they need to want to read it and not to view it as one more sales promo, by using content to highlight the core values of your brand you create readership

Anonymous

May 27th, 2015

Number 1, make sure you're telling a story. People love a connection and that is what makes someone share a link. Also, tailor your social media posts to that audience and platform. The same article can be posted, but maybe needs to be positioned differently depending on where you're posting it.

Anonymous

May 27th, 2015

Sunil - awesome feature on the FD blog. You gave some great advice I know I'll use in the future. 

I've learned working at newer startups that all hands are always on deck, which means that even the devs pitch in with content in the beginning. That being said, my first piece of advice would be to have a company-wide brainstorm session once / week (or another frequency that works for you) where everyone comes together to discuss relevant content ideas for your specific product/service. That was the norm at my first startup and it helped us greatly increase the diversity in our content, and thus the audience we were able to reach. 

L. Marshall-Smith

May 27th, 2015

I agree that content is crucial straight from the get go.  Be sure it is relevant to your product/service and offers some kind of benefit to the reader.  Lists are good.  For example:

The top five reasons why this is better than that.
or
Ten tips to help.......
or 
Seven headlines that always work.
Etc.

This way, the reader is learning about your product, but is taking away useful and actionable items. They may even bookmark the article.  They will appreciate the value add and remember you and your product/service for it.


Marc Duke CMO in a box giving marketing support to start ups

May 27th, 2015

Quality will out as will relevance. Don't be shy to refer to existing independent content ultimately content is a means of connecting with your stakeholders internal and external. Don't underestimate how much time you will need to devote to it and the need to stick with it

Alex Horoshkevich Co Founder/CEO – Freemlance | Freelance Marketer

May 29th, 2015

Content marketing is a great thing, really. But wht your purpose? Just create some unique piece of content and.. what? You are new company, noone knows you and trust you. So it's logic to establish stromg network to share your content, your expertise. It could include communities with target audience, specific blogs, forums. Also you have to meet new people who can help you with promotion your brand and your content. Start guest posting (great example - KISSMetricks blog). You can find these people through LinkedIn, or Twitter, or Quora. In my point of view, have good human relations with a lot of people is a key to success. 
For the last, people make things for other people, not for machines.