Its Monday morning 6:00 a.m. and you get out of bed and start getting ready to go to work at your startup. You have so much on your mind including working on refining your product, looking at resources or customer feedback, looking at different revenue streams or costs structures, and looking at how you can better work with your partners.
Every day is a grind until you are in a position of positive cash flow that is generated from paying customers, who are the lifeblood of your business. It’s just as much hard work to maintain your startup but once you are in a position of positive cash flow, at least you can sleep a little better at night.
So how do you get customers with your limited budget? Do you spend money on TV advertising or print or even cold calling? How about letter box drops or even sending emails to your subscribers with offers?
Well this is 2013, we have TIVO which you can use to record TV, RSS readers to read content from websites, caller ids to block cold calling, recycling to throw away letter box drops and finally the delete key for emails.
Well you see human behavior is changing. Depending on your market, your customers are either online on Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. Your customers are using devices such as tablets and smart phones to read and share content and even making purchases. What I am trying to say is that customers are getting smarter with the way they make their purchasing decisions and you need to realize that there are more efficient and creative ways out there to better market your product.
So what do you do? How do you make sure that as a startup every single last dollar you spend on your marketing goes a long way?
Well I suggest you look into Content Marketing to help you acquire new customers online. You can check out my previous article on Content Marketing for brands to learn more. However, today I want to share with you a process to conduct Content Marketing for startups.
1. Identify your keywords – Choosing the right keywords is one of the most important aspects of creating content for your website. You can use the same list of keywords through your main website and also in Social Media when you are sharing your own content or curating content. Your aim is to build a list of keywords that is relevant to your product or services that you work on day and night. A few good ways to find keywords is to do a brainstorming session with your team and ask the question “What keywords would people type in Google to search for our product”. You can also use free tools such as Uber Suggest and Google Keyword Tool that will give you an approximate monthly search volume for your keywords in Google. You can also use your existing analytics data to see the keywords people are using to access your website.
2. Create and Optimise Content – Once you have a list of keywords and their search volume, you need to group the keywords into categories and these can be used as categories for your website. You can use the list of keywords to create relevant content for different pages of your website.
Once you create your content then you also need to optimise that content. To do this, you should map out the keywords for separate URLs for your website and make sure you use those keywords in the Title Tag, Meta Description tag and within the content of that particular page on the site.
Optimising your content will help search engines determine what your page is about and hence index your content for the relevant searches that users are performing.
Also, a tip about when creating content for your blog, think about creating something awesome, unique and valuable that users would want to link to and share on different social media platforms organically. Go to Youtube and check out the viral videos by “Dollar Shave Club”, “Will it Blend Videos by Blendtec” and “Old Spice Videos”. These are great examples of brands using video to create awesome content that includes their products. The above three brands have seen an increase in brand exposure, links to their website which helps them with rankings in search engines and more importantly paying customers. So think outside the box when you are looking at creating content.
Another tip is to think about setting up an editorial calendar 3 months in advance so you know the topics you want to write about and create a little description or write down ideas on what to include in these topics.
3. Promote your Content – It’s just not enough to create awesome content and sit there and wait for relevant traffic to flood to your website. You have to go out and promote your content. This may include promoting your content through your Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Hacker News and Reddit accounts.
4. Guest Posting – Another way to promote your ideas is to search for relevant blogs in your niche in order to provide them with your guest posts. Guest Posts should be relevant and you should provide value to the users through your content for the blog that you are guest posting for. When creating guest posts always think of the user first and try your best to educate them. Guest Posts can help you increase your branding and product positioning. It can also help you acquire links and drive traffic back to your website which will hopefully turn into paying customers so it’s really important to target the relevant blogs in your niche and offer awesome content to them.
5. Hire Bloggers or Influencers – Another strategy Startups can use is to hire bloggers or Influencers in their niche to write content for their blog. You can contact them through their Website or Twitter or Facebook or even Youtube. You can suggest the topics that you would like them to write about through the keyword research that you have performed. This will help introduce your product to the blogger or Influencers audience as well.
6. Track and Iterate – If you haven’t already, make sure that you have setup analytics so that you can track the traffic to your website. You want to track how your content has performed; what guest posts have brought in traffic and how much traffic and what did the traffic do once they landed on your website.
You also want to setup goals for your website in analytics whether they are tracking how many sales you made on a monthly basis or tracking leads on how many visitors watched your video or downloaded that awesome FREE pdf that you created. All of this should be recorded and you can use the data to iterate things on a monthly basis, which will help you, improve your Content Marketing and help your Startup acquire customers online.
Hopefully the above process will help startups get into content marketing and start creating awesome content because we are all here waiting to see, hear, read and share that content with our community.