This is a guest contribution by Arpit Sharma from SoftwareSuggest.com.
‘Content Marketing’ is a strategic marketing tactic, aimed at creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain clearly defined audience, in order to drive profitable customer action. The creation and sharing of media content, so as to acquire and retain customers, are included in it.
In a layman’s words, it is the art of communicating with the customers and prospects, without selling, in order to persuade them to buy the products.
For startups, this is the need of the hour, as it targets the drawing in of customers, clients and visitors, on a variety of platforms. Because of the limited resources, say time, money or talent, startups face many challenges.
It should be made certain that all the efforts, whether small or big, should be well planned and flawlessly executed. It should always be kept in mind that the traditional marketing strategies often fail to give the desired result. For start-ups, the secret is the proper combination of the right channels- Content Marketing and PR.
The following content marketing strategies are of utmost importance to start-ups.
Image Credit Flickr Joe The Goat Farmer
#1. Targeting: the right way of connecting to the right audience
Good vigilance of the customers to be targeted should be kept, and the change in tone and style should be incorporated accordingly. For example, marketing approach for a baby product should be different from that of a product to be targeted at the teens.
Content needs to be precise, attractive, entertaining and informative.
#2. Knowing the content type to be published
Content types are mainly of five main types. All the options should be considered, their advantages and disadvantages should also be studied and then an appropriate choice should be made.
- Blog: Blog set-up is a simple process. Apart from increasing SEO(Search Engine Optimization), blogs also build brand authority, creating better business relationship and driving more and more customers towards websites. An idea of what the audience wants to read should be chalked out, thus making the blogs interesting with weekly basis, shareable content.
- E-book and guides: Exchanging of free e-books and guides for name and e-mail address can be incorporated. A follow-up on people interested in e-books should be considered.
- Newsletter: Subscribing to your newsletters can be made quick and easy. Customers should be attracted through offer discount, promotion, contest, etc.
- Video: As we know videos are more appealing, making a direct impact on our mind. However, it should be kept simple. Can be put on our homepage and/or blog.
- Webinar: They create a direct contact with customers, as they help you to address them in live by making them hear your voice. Cross promoting videos can be done in our blog. You can have someone from your team performing live tweet, using a custom “#” hashtag, during the webinar.
#3. Right person for a better job
A good and skilled writer, understanding his job correctly, so as to target the prospective customers in the most comprehensive and effective way, is needed.
#4. Accurate topic list to be created
A right and perfect topic list, based on core keywords, for SEO(Search Engine Optimization) purpose, ensuring startups credibility with search engines is needed. To start with, about ten topic ideas for each keyword should be created, so as to have around thirty to forty topics. This stage should be followed by the writing process.
All these ideas needs to put in a calendar stating -when each is to be published, from whom it’s to be written, etc. These calendars can prove to be a good source for editorial schedules.
#5. Amalgamation of text, images and videos
A nice and attractive blend of videos, infographics and images, along with the text, impresses and attracts the readers.
#6. White spaces to be embraced
People mostly read content on devices such as smartphones and tablets, so white spaces are always a welcome, so as to allow people to breathe. Small blogs with white spaces make the content reading easy and attractive.
#7. Guest blogging
There are two aspects of guest blogging.
- Posting as a guest on popular blog: It helps gain reputation. We should look at the on-going blogging opportunity available in the target market. Blogs are mostly open to guest post. If not, tracking of the owner or editor of the blog should be done on a social media and a well drafted article should be sent to them.
- Getting an influential guest to post on your blog: A writer page of your own can be created, as well as, influential guest can be targeted, through social media or email ,to write on your blog. They can also be requested to promote your post on their network, so that your start-up becomes more and more known to people.
#8. The right amount of content
Good research work is needed. What to post? When to post? Which platform to post? For instance, Facebook postings can be done thrice a week whereas newsletters may be posted a few times monthly.
#9. Criticism is always welcome
Getting people’s ideas and rectifying any loophole, before the content is published, is always a good approach towards a better goal. Marketing editor or a team can be hired for this work.
The writing style should be consistent. Though, startups often tend to keep on figuring their brand, message and style time and again. Content, when put forward to customers, they should have a feeling that its coming from the same company.
#11. Capturing e-mails
- Email submits done by download for similar offers.
- Newsletters subscript targeting regular readers, making them know about the content and regular updates of our startups.
- Straight forward method of blog subscription.
For startups, where, a proper and effective vigilance on each and every step is of utmost importance, content marketing is an integral part of business. It plays a vital role in transforming a prospective customer into a real customer.