10 Ways You Can Go About Crafting a Content Marketing Strategy for Startups

Not all content marketing campaigns produce a decent ROI. A badly conducted campaign does nothing but giving a job to content writers. A well-conducted content marketing campaign is 7 times better than paid advertising when it comes to growing unique website traffic.

It’s also one of the easiest ways to quickly show authority on the web for new companies. Here’s how you craft a professional content marketing strategy for your startup.

Know your audience

It’s impossible to stress this enough. Knowing your audience is key to success in everything, from product creation to content marketing strategy. Knowing everything about what your audience is, what they think, when problems do they have, will help you craft both strategy and content.

Before you start your content marketing campaign, you have to learn the following about your clients:

  • How old are they?
  • Do they have kids?
  • Where do they live?
  • What kind of job do they have?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • What are their habits?
  • What are their values?
  • What are they interested in regarding your product?
  • What problems are they solving with it?
  • Where do they look for information?

Even though this list seems long, it’s far from conclusive. You’ll discover more questions you need answering as you go along. Here’s how you can find this information about your prospective clients.

  • Your website statistics
  • Google search statistics
  • Social media statistics
  • Manual social media analysis
  • Personal interviews

Every source will take you a lot of time to fully analyze and understand, but you can’t skip any of them. You need both quantitative and qualitative data to get the full picture. For instance, you can use social media data on age and marital status to create a representative poll to study manually. This will give you a clearer idea of what peoples’ values are. A combination of brainstorming, personal interviews, and their analysis will let you understand the reasons people buy your products.

Don’t stop there. Segment your audience into similar groups and use that data to create user profiles. Create a fictional character for each big group to visualize different motivations for purchase and different interests on your website. Your content marketing department will later use them to make the content fit the audience and create a better customer experience.

Figure out your voice

Consistency is a big factor in content marketing. Your text has to have a unique voice that communicates your values. Depending on what kind of brand image you want to show to the world, your writing can be very dry and full of jargonizes, or upbeat and funny like you see on Buzzfeed.

The voice should also match the content. You probably can’t pull off a funny tone in a 2000-word guide on taxation for SMEs. Same as you can’t make a piece of content on how to manage to live with a noisy roommate too dry and official.

Set the goals

You may think that content marketing is all about creativity. It’s not. Like any other marketing technique, it’s about driving sales. You can’t measure how good are your efforts unless you set the goals first.

The problem with content marketing is that it often influences sales indirectly. For instance, a customer googles “landscape design inspirations” and finds your article. Few people who read this article are going to end up buying landscape design services.

However, they’re going to share the article across the web, link to it, increase traffic, and promote your other, more converting pages. This means the article did help your sales just so slightly, but it doesn’t show.

How do you manage that? You set two types of goals. Set content-related goals like the number of visits and social media shares to see how well each piece of content performs. Then, set business goals like ebook downloads and sales to see how well does content influence your bottom line.

Select the right keywords

While Google crawlers are not your primary audience, you need to optimize your content strategy for keywords. Make sure you pick a diverse set of keywords.

Sure, your main page should be  focused on a set of high-performing, commercial keywords. Let your content focus on longer, informational ones. If you’re running a landscape design agency, your main page should contain keywords like “landscape design services” and “landscape design company.”

Your content should focus on long-tail keywords like “landscape design essentials” or “what do I need to do landscape design DIY.” These keywords may not have the amount of traffic your main keywords have, but they’re easier to rank for. Combined, hundreds of these keywords will bring you more traffic than commercial ones.

Content for every sale funnel stage

Not every piece of content is going to give you a qualified lead. It’s not because some are better and some are worse. Not every piece of content is aimed at an audience that’s looking for a purchase.

In the landscape design example, people who are reading about landscape design DIY are probably not interested in hiring a company to do the design for them. Some of the ones who read about design inspiration may consider it. The ones who read the piece of content on signs of a bad landscape design company are looking for a purchase.

You need to take peoples’ intent into account when creating a content marketing strategy. Give each tier of the sales funnels proper content to interest them and push them down towards the next stage of the funnel. It’s a small step from awareness to being interested in your company, but a huge one from awareness to making a purchase.

The type of content

The form is just as important as the content itself. Decide on what content you’re producing to match the audience, their stage in the sales funnel, and the media. Here are your most basic options:

  • Guide
  • List
  • Checklist
  • Op-ed
  • Case study
  • E-book
  • Podcast
  • Infographic
  • Video
  • Meme

Content calendar

No content marketing strategy is going to work without a master plan. Even if all you need to do is produce one piece of content a week, it helps to know what you need to write two months before you have to. It gives you the time to prepare a quality 

Quality control

Your writers can be masters of penmanship, but even the pros make mistakes. Control the quality of the content before you put it out there. After all, your company’s reputation depends on it.

Hire an editor or use free tools like Grammarly, Proessaywriter, or Typely to make sure your content is of stellar quality.

Multichannel distribution

Writing a great piece of content is hard. But it’s way easier than letting it be heard in the vast stream of information that the internet produces today. You have to know the key platforms where your customers are looking for information.

Depending on the industry, it can be social media or certain blog websites that cater to the audience similar to yours. Consider paid ads on social media, using influencers, and contacting webmasters of these websites to repost your content. Email marketing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways of distributing content, so you should work on increasing the number of your newsletter subscribers.

Measure performance

How do you measure the performance of something that may not result in a direct sale? The answer is multichannel attribution. Instead of looking for direct conversions, find correlations between conversions and consuming content. It’s easier to do if you have a CRM that allows you to monitor user activity.

If users who ended up making a purchase read a lot of certain types of content, it’s a good sign. If people who read another type of content completely ignore your CTA that urges them to go further down the sales funnel, it can be an opportunity for optimization.

Conclusion

Content marketing does include hiring creatives, but its effectiveness relies upon measurements and calculations. You need to research your audience before writing and distributing content. As you go through your editorial calendar, look for key performance indicators to see if it’s performing well enough and change both your content and your strategy as you get better at it.

 

James Riddle

James Riddle

James Riddle is a freelance writer with a passion for new technologies, marketing trends and branding strategies. He is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it?s always important to broaden horizons. That`s why James develops and improves his skills throughout the writing process to help and inspire people.
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