Try these easy and effective content marketing tips to establish your brand image and build an audience. Even on a shoestring budget!
Most startups shy away from content marketing, assuming that it will be expensive and overwhelming.
We get queries and concerns from a lot of startups: “Is content marketing really worth the expense?” “We are bootstrapped. We are not ready for content marketing yet.” “How can startups manage funds for content marketing?”
The truth is, content marketing costs much less than half of conventional marketing and, if done right, generates about three times as many leads.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 88 percent of B2B companies were using content marketing. Why?
Because content marketing is the most efficient and highest ROI marketing vehicle for small and big businesses. Contrary to popular belief, you can spend as much or as little as you want on content marketing and still achieve your goals. What you need however is a long-term vision, clear goals and great content, of course.
Now that you are convinced that your bootstrapped startup needs content marketing, let’s see how easy and cost-efficient it can be to get started:
Set clear goals and measure them
- Understand your audience and their needs to reach your ideal customer and help target their pain points.
- Write clear goals. It could be improving visibility, generating brand awareness, improving traffic or increasing conversion rate.
- Break down a high-level goal into smaller measurable goals.
- Write down how you plan to achieve these goals. For example, if you need to improve brand awareness, you would need to post at least once a week, share your content on social media channels and reach out to an influencer in your niche.
- Measure the success of your strategy to understand and improve. It’s easy to take into account some high-level metrics with tools like Google Analytics. For brand awareness you could consider metrics like the number of readers, a number of page views, best-performing pages, and time on site.
Identify the most effective content type for your business
- There are tons of content types you can produce, including blog posts, videos, infographics, slideshows, e-books, and podcasts. Evaluate the performance of each type of content type by looking into your competitors’ posts and determining how much views each content type fetches for them on an average. But if you’re just starting out, a blog is the easiest way to get your content out there and start building your brand.
- Now reach out to freelancers or content marketing agencies and get quotes for top performing content type.
- This research will give you a ballpark figure for the expected cost.
- Do not settle for a writer because s/he is quoting a lesser price. Be sure to ask for a portfolio, previous works, and samples. Check if the work suits the style, tone, and quality you are looking for at the price.
- Start by going to the biggest platform for each type of content, for example for posting videos you could target YouTube.
Quality trumps quantity
This is where most startups make a mistake. You do not need to post every day in order to reach your goals. What you need is high-quality content that engages and entertains your audience. Keep in mind what value your content is providing your reader. Nobody wants to read an advertisement, self-appreciation, or a sales pitch.
What if I told you that it is possible to get good content for free? Yes, accepting guest posts is an easy way for content generation. The only catch is that it is difficult to find the right fit in terms of quality and purpose.
However, do not accept posts that do not match your requirements. To make things easier, create a page for guidelines on contributing guest posts along with topic ideas, format, and what to expect in return. Add a guest post page on your website to let writers know that you are accepting contributions and you are set. Contributors will find you when they do their potential research and start sending pitches.
Also, write guest posts yourself. If you get published on elite websites with a huge audience base, that increases your credibility.
Repurpose existing content
Get creative and use your existing content to create amazing posts or formats that will connect with your audience. For example, you might have a company brochure or About Us page, break that information into 10 social media posts to improve awareness about your brand.
This means that you research only once, reformat the same content, and target different channel audiences.
Content marketing needs patience and consistency. It is a very crucial step in establishing a brand image and building audience. Start with a strategic mindset, and get over the myth that it depends on a big budget.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
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