The Significance of Content Marketing for Start-Ups
Ever since the technological boom, markets have seen a significant rise in “innovative products”. With so many companies and products for the customer to choose from, what sets an organization apart, is how they project themselves – their content marketing marketing strategies. This article views at marketing with special attention on start-ups.
Starting a business is exhilarating. A new successful business is a result of years of hard work behind the scenes. Every business requires a push and this push in other terms is called marketing. Thus, emerged a new term called start-up marketing. Simply put start-up marketing is a unique functional challenge because of the limited resources whether it’s time, money, or talent.
It is necessary to be sure of every effort taken, no matter how small or big. Every step taken must be well planned and flawlessly executed. This task is made even more difficult; because traditional marketing strategies don’t always work in today’s business arena. Start-up marketing is a science of combining two right and appropriate channels: Content marketing and public relations. In this article, I will first start by giving the proper techniques and methods of marketing for start-ups, as told by former specialists, and then follow this with an example.
Establishing a Solid Content Marketing Foundation for Start-Ups
The first step in marketing is to lay a Foundation. A successful start-up marketing strategy requires a strong foundation. When it comes to marketing for a product or service the first base must be understood. It is easy for start-up founders to believe that the whole world will love their products, but the reality is that, only a small portion of the population is interested in the product. The first essential and important information that every marketer must understand is that, if you try to market a start-up to everyone, you waste both time and money.
The key is to identify a niche target market and go after that market share aggressively. The four factors that are to be considered while Choosing a market are:
a. Market Size
b. Market Wealth
c. Market Competition
d. Value Proposition
Grasping Market Dynamics for Effective Content Marketing
Market Size encompasses the target regional demographic and the potential customers in the target market. Market Wealth, on the other hand, pertains to the amount of money that consumers can spend on the product. When it comes to Market Competition, it involves assessing the number of competitors in the same industry and analyzing their strategies. Value proposition refers to the added value of the product and uniqueness of the product, in comparison to other products in the market.
Crafting an Effective Keyword Strategy
The second stage refers to the Defining Keyword stage. In this stage, the company should build a list of words or phrases that are highly relevant to the brand. First a core keyword list should be made. This list comprises of three to four words that completely summarise what the start-up does. For example, Onboardly’s core keyword list is: customer acquisition, content marketing and start-up public relations. The core keyword list is usually based on the value proposition of the start-up. The next step is to expand the core keyword list to include
Secondary keywords. Secondary keywords are more specific. For example, content marketing is the core keyword from earlier. The secondary keywords might include corporate blogging, blogging best practices, email marketing, etc. The stage health spring in more traffic to the start-up website. The core keywords should be run through Google Keyword Tool and Uber Suggest. The best keywords identified through those tools will then be classified based on low competition and high traffic. In other words, a lot of people are searching for these words but very few results are displayed in search engines.
Setting Clear Success Metrics and Budget Planning
The next stage is called the Defining Success stage. Success is different for every start-up. The level of success achieved by various start-ups vary from their definition of success. Some start-ups may achieve more than the level of success hoped for. And some may not even reach their target success level. It is important that every start-up defines the level of success rigidly and in the early stages of the start-up. It is better to write it down and send it to the entire team. Each employee in the start-up should be aware of the definition of the success and should be prepared to work towards it. It is important to stay consistent. The method of defining success does not matter. What does matter, is if the company can reach the success definition identifies earlier.
The next step is determining a budget. At the end of the day it all comes down to money and profit. How much can you afford to spend on your start-up marketing strategy? This question plaques the minds of every start-up business. It is important to remember that inbound marketing leads cost 61% less than outbound marketing leads. This does not imply that inbound marketing leads are free. It is important to set a budget early in the game and accept the limitations. 57% of start-up marketing managers do not base their marketing budget on any return on investment analysis.
A start-up has limited funds. It is important to carefully plan the division of the budget. They might be a few key areas of marketing which have profited the business more than the others. Research Analysis will help marketing specialists to delve deeper into these strategies and focus on those aspects which will help them attain more potential customers.
Maximizing Content on Social Media
Promoting a start-up’s content and reaching potential customers is highly popular through social media. This platform is invaluable to start-ups for one main reason. Content promotion plans bring potential customers to the start-up companies’ website and thus, influences the influencers which generates thousands of new leads.
Selecting the Most Suitable Social Media Platforms
The first stage is to choose the right social media network. It is a common mistake of many start-ups to choose the same social media networks they engage on. Start-ups try to master every network and trying to master certain networks just because the competition is doing it.
Understanding the Content Dynamics within Networks
This will only lead to the downfall of the start-up. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram are some of the most popular social networks sites today. All of them can be great content promotion and community building tools. Each of these tools has unique characteristics. Each social networking site works differently. The community takes, interprets, and shares content in different mannerisms. Reddit, is often referred to as a very guarded network and detests spammers. This itself gives the users a security when using the website for buying new products online.
Niche Audience Targeting Strategies
Start-up can just jump on, run some ads and expect people to share the content. It is necessary to be mindful of the network and community you’re trying to reach. Start-ups should consider the demographic of the social network itself, the customers and users of that social networking site. For example, Tumblr caters to young laid back audience who prefer sharing inspiring quotes and funny pictures.
Optimizing Posting Timing for Content Success
The second stage is Define the best time to post. In general, there is no specific time or perfect time to post. If your target audience are teenagers, morning and night might be the best times to post, during the school year. In the summer, there is no perfect time to post.
There are, however, some best practices (according to Dan Zarella).
In-Depth Content Marketing on Facebook
● Saturdays are best.
● 12 p.m. EST is the best time to share.
● 0.5 posts per day is the best frequency.
In-Depth Content Marketing on Twitter
● 5 p.m. EST is the best time to get a retweet.
● 1 to 4 link tweets per hour is the best frequency.
● Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays are best.
●The optimal times for tweeting in terms of clicks are 6 a.m, 12 p.m. EST, and 6 p.m. EST.
Fine-Tuning Keyword Usage for Content Optimization
The third stage is where the Keyword list is used. When it comes to social media, start-ups should use the keyword list to maximize the engagement efforts. If the target market is families, then start-ups should ensure that they focus on having family and shopping discussions on social media. The easiest way to do this is to use a social networking management tool like Hootsuite. That way you can set up search streams of your core keywords and sometimes, even the secondary keywords.
Harnessing the Power of Influencer Marketing
The next stage is to Create and use an influencer list. The best marketing technique online is to influence their influencer. It will take a long time for the start-up to develop a highly influential relationship with thousands of people. It is better to focus on connecting with people who already have that influence. A study showed that 78% of social media users said that posts by brands influenced their purchase behaviour moderately or highly. It is said that journalists and community leaders are great influencers. Start-ups should not limit themselves to celebrities only. It is easy to build an influencer list with a bit of market research.
Establishing a Strong Blogging Presence
The fifth stage is to Set up a blog. Setting up a blog can be quite simple. It is a matter of downloading the software, uploading it to your server and following the setup instructions. For example, WordPress is free and offers amazing plugins to the users. Once the blog is ready, it is necessary to think about the curb appeal. Start-ups should ask to take the help of professional designers to help design the blog and give it a small revamp. The start-up company should then invite ten friends to check out the design and offer feedback. This will help the start-up get a feel for the aesthetic appeal. Design is important as it relates to user experience, but it shouldn’t be all consuming. The company blog is about publishing great content, at the right time to the right people. The design should simply enhance that experience.
Crafting a Distinctive Content Marketing Approach
Jeremiah Owyang once said, “Build your network before you need them.”. A start-up can be successfully master the art and science of marketing, if they follow the above steps. It is necessary to not follow the steps of others blindly. Be different. Be unique. Stand Out. These are the goals of marketing. Marketing is the only tool that will make a start-up shine in comparison to existing and new companies. There is no other tool or technique that can be followed by start-ups.
Growth is the only metric of success and companies nowadays are looking for even more ingenious ways to attract more customers. To conclude, I would like to give apt example to support my article.
Shazam – “Spreading the Word Offline”
Music tech company Shazam came up with a neat marketing device to spread interest in its song-recognition app, while at the same time turning a problem to its advantage. Shazam’s app allows its users to identify songs they hear at clubs, on the radio or at parties by recording a snatch of the music and matching it to an online database. When there’s a lot of background noise it can be tough for the software to do its work, so Shazam encourages users to hold their smartphones up to the speakers.
It’s a neat trick. Others see smartphones brandished and ask, “what’s going on?” News of Shazam spreads quickly by word of mouth. The result – 500 million downloads.
HubSpot – “Taking the Inbound Train”
Blogging is often part of a larger inbound marketing strategy that uses content to draw customers to the website. US company HubSpot not only provides marketers with a set of tools to manage their inbound marketing activities, it also demonstrates the efficacy of its services by adopting its own pro-active content marketing strategies. Like many companies it posts regular blog posts while also providing added-value content in the form of e-books. However, one of HubSpot’s most successful strategies has been the provision of a free site-rating tool, known as the “Website Grader.” Put simply the tool allows users to see which parts of their sites are performing well or poorly. It’s a great freebie, but crucially it also directs traffic to HubSpot’s portfolio of services.