3-step content marketing formula that always works for startup growth
Let me reveal the secret of my content marketing. If it can work for me, it can work for you as well.
Below mentioned are three important steps for content marketing
The first step is defining customer persona.
You can never become a good content marketer unless you define and write down your customer persona. It should be in as much detail as possible.
Writing something like “My customer is in the age group of 25–30, male, living in metro city with an income of 50,000 per month” is not sufficient to define your customer persona. Every other company target those aged between 25 and 30 years because they have money in their pockets.
You have to find out something about your customer that other companies have ignored, or your competitors don’t know or even your customers don’t know about themselves.
Apart from customer demography and geography, you should know your customer behaviour.
Here are few points that I ask for defining customer persona.
- Demography – age, gender, location, work, income, major expenditures
- What he does on weekends (where he hangs around)
- Where you can find him online, where he spends most of his screen time? (his favourite social media channels, communities)
- Who are his friends
- What he reads
- Who he follows (celebrities, influencers)
- Who helps him take his decisions
- What he thinks just before sleeping
- What is the one thing that brings glitters into his eyes
- How much he spends on similar items like my product
- What is the biggest pain point of my customer that my product will solve
Once you collect all these information, you have only 10 per cent understanding of your customer. However, the remaining 90 per cent will come after your customer uses the product and provides feedback.
The second step of content marketing is defining your content type.
You can create content in the form of text, image, text+image, audio, and video. For example, blog articles, images, infographics, slideshow, animations, podcasts, songs (jingles), and videos.
Every form of content is powerful. But you cannot do everything at once. A startup has very limited resources. The only way to survive is finding the one thing that works best for you and put all your energies into the best channel. Select one or two content types and experiment with it.
Content marketing takes time, but once it starts working you will be surprised by the results.
You can start by doing something simple. Learn from your experiments and keep improving.
For me, text articles are simple to execute compared to infographics and videos. I start with writing articles that can tell a story to the customer. If I have a good understanding of my customers, then I can write exactly what my customer wants to listen. I can help my customers understand their problems and apply my solutions.
Figure out which articles are working and why. Re-use content of your best articles. Make slideshow, infographics, and videos of your proven content. Some people are comfortable in reading articles, some others get your message by looking at the images and everyone loves watching videos.
The third step is finding the right distribution channels.
You wrote an awesome article and published it on your blog, but no one reads your article other than your team members. Even your friends and family will not read unless they are your target audience.
If you are a content marketer, put 20 per cent of your effort in creating content and 80 per cent of your effort in promotions.
That does not mean you should reduce your efforts in content creation. Promotions will just act as an amplifier. Don’t ever compromise with the quality of your content. A good content can provide a unique experience to your readers.
For example, if you are spending five hours to write an article, then spend 20 hours promoting it. If you have money and spending 5,000 rupees in creating an article, spend 20,000 rupees in promotion.
Choose your distribution channels carefully. You can distribute your content on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Reddit, Blogger’s network, and discussion forums (find some in your niche).
Crack one distribution channel that has big percentage of your target audience. There is no benefit of tweeting if your customer is not on Twitter. There is no point of ignoring Instagram and Pinterest if your target audience spends most of time on sharing pictures.
A good content strategy will benefit you SEO. Search engines will not optimise your content unless you work hard on understanding the mechanisms of SEO. Every other company is competing on the keywords that your customer is searching on Google. If you want to come on top of Google search results, then you have to invest your time and money to do a better job than your competitors.
Your distribution channel will also give you signals of what kind of content you should create.
If you consider Facebook as your top distribution channel then you should create more videos than any other content type. How many videos you see in your Facebook newsfeed. More than 50 per cent, right? Facebook gives more preference to video content than images and text.
Videos and Facebook have one thing in common – Virality. You can get 1,000 per cent growth overnight if any of your videos becomes viral, and Facebook will help you because virality in its DNA. People love to share content on Facebook and it’s wise to invest your time in creating viral videos and test on Facebook.
Remember to start with customer persona, create quality content, don’t try more than two to three types of content at one time, always reproduce your best content, figure out one distribution channel for virality of your content, test-analyse-improve, and keep experimenting.