There’s marketing, and then there’s content marketing, a niche that’s becoming more and more relevant in a digital era. Startups especially need to make the most of content marketing as a means to draw in customers, clients and visitors on a variety of platforms. “Content marketing” can be found just about anywhere from startup company websites to Facebook pages, email newsletters and tweets. However, there’s a right and wrong way to approach content marketing, especially as a startup.
Established companies can afford to take a few more risks because if one content marketing strategy doesn’t pan out, they still have solid footing. For those just getting started, you’re not just marketing, but also building a brand and reputation. As such, it’s crucial to follow eight musts for startup content marketing. This will put your business on the path to garner the right attention from the right markets.
1. Write to your audience
The tone and style of the content should be directed towards your key demographics. For example, you’d adopt a very different approach marketing to teens as opposed to baby boomers. When your audience is diverse, it’s a good idea to lean towards the conservative side. Ideally, you have different platforms (such as LinkedIn LNKD +0.91% vs. Tumblr) so that you can adapt your content.
2. There’s no such thing as too much proofreading
Get as many eyes on the content before it’s published as possible. In an ideal world, you’ll have a marketing editor on the team or secured as a contractor.
3. Cover topics that will perform
It takes a skilled content writer to make the most of your efforts, so don’t depend on the college intern who’s majoring in writing. Writing for businesses is a key area that gets overlooked or delegated because it seems easy. It’s anything but, and not just anyone (or any writer) has what it takes.
James Parsons, founder of Blogpros, a content marketing and blog management company, agrees. “We really have to put ourselves in the shoes of our client’s potential customers; know what they’re searching, and write great content that caters to those searches. Without that key element, you aren’t going to get the powerful exposure that most businesses are looking for”.
4. Embrace white space
People will be reading online content on a number of devices such as smartphones and tablets. They need white space to breathe, so don’t be afraid to put content in short, digestible chunks. Big blocks of text will turn readers off.
5. Season text with images
“Content marketing” often refers to text, but it can also be infographics, videos or images. A good mix of all these elements can engage readers and draw them in. More and more, marketers are leading towards images instead of text.
6. Build consistency
As a startup, you’re probably still figuring out your brand, message and style. As this develops, make sure your content aligns with it. It should look like it’s written from the same entity, your company, and should showcase consistency throughout.
7. Provide the right amount of content
Figuring out what the right amount is depends on your startup and the platform. Emailed newsletters should be sent once per month, but Facebook postings can happen about three times per week. Do your research.
8. Have something to say
Finally, content should be entertaining and/or informative. If you don’t have something to say, wait until you do. It’s clear when content is fluff and your startup deserves better.
I’m a tech, social media and environmental addict. I’ve also written for many major publishers such as National Geographic, Technorati and The Huffington Post. I have also worked with a variety of different startups around the globe as well as larger advertising agencies in the United States and the UK. I currently live in San Francisco where I attend as many tech and business conferences as possible to gain more knowledge and transfer my knowledge to other people. If you ever want to find me in my free time look for the nearest disc golf course or dog park where I frequently take my dog, Zeus.