Digital marketing · Content strategy

What are your recommendations on Digital Marketing when starting a first company?

Eduardo Fonseca Cloud Provider | Azure & Unity 3d Developer | Senior .NET Software Engineer | MCTS

January 29th, 2016

When you are starting building your first company and digital presence
what do you recommend regarding content generation and social media strategy.

I have seen several discussions about what is best:
  • Create your own content vs hire a company to do it. Usually inclined to create your own content.

My concern is about the time consumption, since starting a business requires lots of time in many different areas:
  • Customer Research
  • Product/Services Development
  • Meetings & Networking
  • Digital Marketing

and so on.


How do a 2-3 person team successfully create high quality content if they all have a full time job.

I understand a marketing plan should be created one year in advance, but (correct me if I'm wrong),
the articles/post or any content shared should be created close to the date when it is going to be published,
since content created one year ago could be obsolete today

Pavlo Redko Digital Marketing

September 20th, 2017

I see two main approaches to consider:

1) is the Hubspot Product-Market and Model-Channel approach or Growth framework. It is good if you don't know your final product and you do marketing at the same time with development. Here is a big post.

2) Another approach is named as growthhacking or Bullseye framework. It is good for services which have already stable product. You think about channels, select best, test, and double / triple in case of success. You can google for more details. Do not find best link now.

Jenn Marie Freelance Evangelist & Coach, Content Marketing Specialist

January 29th, 2016

Hello Eduardo,

I recently dealt with this question when starting my company Freelance America. Because it is entirely digital, I needed to engage a digital marketing strategy while also doing customer research, and product and services development. I am a solopreneur with the assistance of two freelancers that share my vision. It can be overwhelming, especially when I have another digital company to manage as well as regular freelance writing clients.

Having said that here is my suggestion:

Outsource it.

I'm not saying that to self-promote. I am saying that founder to founder... I am perfectly capable of writing all of the content for my company. I am an expert at that. However, I am also an expert at knowing when other people are good at something as well. I write some of my content -- but I also  train other people to write the rest to my specifications. If I did not, I would not be able to launch a 2nd company while maintaining one and still freelancing.

I firmly believe that knowing how to leverage your resources is a huge difference between being a worker and being an entrepreneur.

Establish your brand voice, then find the perfect freelancer or agency to help with your content strategy. (Here's a great video on branding if you aren't familiar.) You can't and shouldn't try to do everything yourself.


Greg Harris Vice President of Sales & Marketing

January 29th, 2016

Social media and content are tactics...not marketing strategies. I always encourage people to write a marketing plan first. The plan should be scaled to what's possible but should assume you are full time launching your company. At some point you have to take the plunge and make this full time. Your plan should identify what you need to see first to decide the company is viable. Rather than put effort into social media and content, maybe you should focus on doing research to see if customers will respond. If they do, quit your job and go for it. If they don't you'll need to recraft your plan. Stop short of implementing a plan you can't sustain. Does that help? Greg ===================== Greg Harris

Gary May Founder and President of Interactive Marketing and Consulting Services (IM@CS)

January 29th, 2016

For starters, great perspective. While a standing content calendar or marketing strategy is good, in many of today's verticals content needs are more fluid. So keep in mind that you may have to go off plan, possibly regularly. We never plan more than quarterly for our clients (automotive).

Before the push of content, you may also want to ensure ALL of your SEO and social signals are in good order, so checking all of your local citations (are you rick-and-mortar?), links, creating landing pages, having a repository for content and other important facets are usually missed quite badly for startups.

You may want to have a partnership with an outside company/agency (as we are) versus all in-house. Many balanced approaches are most effective. It should also keep you abreast to important updates/changes in requirements, techniques and technology.

Wishing you success!

-Gary

Karan Bavandi Founder at Optimal Access

Last updated on September 21st, 2017

Great content, also called ever green content is never obsolete. It can work for you for ever.

Creating authority and building your SEO takes time. I recommend you start ASAP.

I use ahrefs for connecting with influencers (search backlinks of your competitors), researching keywords and more. You can see some of the top ranking articles are a few years old.

Here is my research on marketing. You can find lots of great articles on growth hacking.

For networking work in shared space offices and lot of networking meetings.

Write How To blog posts. Curate and use your curated articles to build sky scraper type blogs. Here is our chrome extension called kurator.

David Albert Founder & Principal at GreyGoo

January 29th, 2016

Crawl before you walk. Even having a content strategy can be premature depending on the nature of your business, who your target audience is and figuring out the best way to attract them to your product or service. Some social channels can be a complete waste of time depending on your business model. I'd focus heavily on your own web presence first, making sure you have a website that checks all the SEO boxes and is optimized for leads, sales, conversions, whatever. Then I'd map out a marketing strategy.
A GREAT book you might want to check out is Traction: http://www.amazon.com/Traction-Startup-Achieve-Explosive-Customer/dp/1591848369/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454105694&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Traction%3A+A+Startup+Guide

Kasandra Clemente Founder/Director, Circle One Visionary Multi-Media Center

January 29th, 2016

Hi Eduardo, I'm in the same boat as you are--A business marketing start-up, even tho I've been developing my business plan for several years.  I was recently recommended to a social media marketer.  She and I had a recent one hour consult, which, even tho she got my ideas and purpose, I found that I already knew most of her advice.  However, time constraints are what makes this person valuable.  As you said in your comment, managing a business and personnel, plus daily tasks that come up, does not give me the time or freedom to focus on maintaining the marketing end of my business.  So I am going to be raising money specifically to pay her fees, which are not cheap.  I also suggested that she and I do a six month contract, that would delineate specifically what her services would be in exchange for her steep rates.  I think it's wise to even do a three month contract, so I do not feel obligated or hemmed in, if she turns out to not be as effective as she claims.  Hope this helps.  All the best, Kasandra

Andria Younger, MA

January 29th, 2016

Hi Eduardo, 
As a personal brand strategist who brands and position entrepreneurs and paid experts, I see this challenge a lot with my clients.  They get so focus on content and social media then don't build a solid foundation and no clear brand and marketing strategy.

Before you get to content and social media, you have to first build a solid foundation... a website (w blog) that has a clear brand message (who you are, what you do, and what's your story).  Producing random content for the sake of producing content doesn't generating leads, nor position you as a "go to" company for your industry.   Here a some tips that might help 3 Things Your Website Must Do to Communicate Your Personal Brand

Finally, don't get hook on you have to produce all your content yourself.  You need to build a team around you.  Even New York Times Best Selling authors have collaborators that help them write, edit, and polish, as well as manage social media and pr.

Best of luck! 

Andria Younger



Katie Opalinska Branding Services

Last updated on September 21st, 2017

I would recommend you create your own content (I'm assuming you're referring to imagery? Copywriting?) only if those are skills you truly possess (be honest with yourself). I've met with too many entrepreneurs that are brilliant product developers that simply don't have an eye for outstanding branding, nor the writing skills for adequate blog posts. That said, "create your own" or "hire a company" are not the only options. There's a middle ground. If you don't have a budget to hire an agency, you may outsource a single individual to take care of these things for you.

Patrina Mack Experts in global commercialization

January 29th, 2016

It's not clear what your new business does but sometimes a digital strategy is not that relevant if you have a B2B business.  It's more critical to get those early design partner wins to validate your solution which are often biz dev/direct sales types of activities.   Having said that if you really understand how your customers or your channels/partners want to learn about you (become aware of you as a solution) and how you are differentiated in the market place you will also identify the best go to market strategy.  Understanding the best strategy and the optimal budget is the preplanning work you need to do.   The implementation of the plan can be more opportunistic as others have suggested to take advantage of what's happening in the marketplace.   As long as you're clear about what your key sales messages for all the purchase influencers during the sales cycle you can easily outsource portions or all of your marketing to free you up for moving the business forward in other ways.