Best Content Strategy For Startups
You will never be able to market your products and services without a correct content strategy. Gone are the days when customers could be manipulated into making major purchase decisions. The Internet has empowered buyers to research brands inside-out and then make an educated and well-rounded purchase.
The success of your start-up heavily depends on the online reputation and presence your craft in the digital space and why not? More than 50% of the world population is online! You can’t afford to stay behind in the cut-throat online competition of garnering your customer’s attention. Obviously, gathering this attention is the first step. Your content needs to be engaging, presentable, valuable and relevant enough to convince the readers to take desired actions. Just not that, you need to be relentless in putting such efforts to mark yourself an industry leader! The importance of an effective content strategy can be emphasized enough.
Content marketing is the only kind of marketing that is left in the present world scenario. For reasons very obvious, it is more effective than any kind of traditional marketing to achieve the objectives of a start-up. Content strategy is a subset of content marketing.
If you have a new start-up, chances are high that you have budget and time constraints. An exhaustive content strategy will help you combat these constraints. You do not need to spend a dime in crafting a workable and practical content strategy. When you are new in the market and developing your empire from scratch, all the time in the world will not seem enough. But an effective content strategy will extremely help you in staying organized and delivering the work at hand within the deadline.
Everyone out there is marketing their products and services by putting out content. But mostly, the return of such efforts is almost nothing. This is exactly where most startups fail. Do not expect to achieve your goals, if you do not have a well-documented content strategy. You also need to understand that even if you correctly approach content marketing, the results will not show up soon. A strong will to be in the game for the long haul is actually the key!
Here, I enlist the key aspects you need to keep in mind before crafting a workable content strategy for your start-up:
Save time and money:
You can start marketing your business with zero budget with the help of an effective content strategy. There are many free web tools and plugins you can use to get started. The key is to discover these relevant free-of-cost tools that you can fully use to your advantage to craft high-quality and valuable content.
For starters, Google docs for creating, sharing, editing content with your teammates and WordPress for online publication are the first two things that you should accommodate in the list of the tools you will ever need for effective writing.
You can always step up from the free tools to their paid plans as your startup grows.
The second thing is to pan out a workable plan with a practical execution strategy. Planning ahead will save time, energy and spare you the horror of unbearable stress. This can only happen if you are willing to stay focused to deliver content in bulk under a particular deadline, in one go. This will increase the quality and volume of the content that is produced.
Understand your readers:
You can only develop great content when you know your customers.
What are their needs, desires, fears, and points of frustration?
What are the characteristics of your product and services that address these emotions?
Creating content that revolves around these points will garner the attention of your readers enough to subtly push them to read your content and finally understand how your services will be of any help to them.
Once you establish a feeling of empathy and convince your readers that you understand their problem and further work on normalizing the emotions they feel with the help of your write-ups, you win their trust and increase the chances of them converting into full-time customers as they come to terms with the fact that your organization is worth their time, money and attention.
You also need to create a hypothetical persona of your potential customers. This persona should include the genders, place of residence, annual income, educational qualification, general interests, preferences and if possible, also past purchasing patterns.
To really understand your readers, you have to get in touch with them. You can put out a questionnaire on a Google form and share its link on your social media handles or individually message/e-mail your potential customers. You can also humbly request to directly interview them according to their convenience and honestly make an effort to understand their behavioural patterns.
A hypothetical persona that you have created of your potential customer should be refined from time to time based on the results of your direct interaction with them. This will further sharpen your understanding of the kind of content you need to put on the website to win your readers and convince them to take desired actions.
Document the kind of content you have already published.
Even If you have published content in the past that has not produced desired results, document it! Use MS-Excel or even Google sheets to record your work in detail. Before having a clear understanding of what kind of content needs to be put up in the future, it is really important that you are conscious about the content that is already out on your website. A careful study of the type of past content and even more careful comparison of it with the feedback report of the needs and desires of the potential customers will immensely help in filling up the gaps that have played a major role in producing undesirable outcomes.
Pre-planning and making a list of the type of content that needs to be published in the future is a very important part of an effective content strategy.
If you are entirely new to putting up content every now and then, it’s even better! Do not ignore the importance of properly documenting your work. Understand that it is also a big part of a workable content strategy.
Another thing to keep a proper record of is the metrics. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of tracking and storing the outreach of your work. You should carefully study the reports by the absolutely free Google Analytics to further understand the dynamics of how effective your content strategy is proving to be. It is important that you constructively analyze the outcomes and further recognize loopholes, if any and create a finer strategy to fill it up.
Load your content with free-of-cost value
To get recognized in this extremely competitive digital arena, it is very crucial that you stand out of the crowd and produce high-quality content that is just not engaging and presentable, but also extremely valuable for its readers. Whatever is your industry, a content strategy that includes putting up valuable, well-developed resources that will help its readers, will always produce desirable results. It can be anything from email scripts to relevant templates, calculators or a simple tool that makes the lives of the potential customers easy. An exhaustive list of helpful websites or details of relevant experts that will shed more light on the subject can also be considered a part of a workable content strategy.
Maintain editorial calendar and guidelines
Effective patterns when repeated over and over again help in achieving desired goals. A workable content strategy for start-ups needs exhaustive planning. Whether it is a whole team on board or you are sailing the ship alone, a proper crafted time-table including the type of content; its word limit, research material, structure and of course the deadline within which it needs to created, published and distributed through the different channels is very important if you want your content strategy to actually produce results that matter.
A practical editorial guideline also plays a very significant role in maintaining your credibility as an organization. These guidelines include the tone, style, and originality of the write-ups and also the rigidness to publish content as frequently as possible. There is no doubt that the quality of the content matters but in the present era where the competition is really high, the volume of content and the frequency with which it is published, makes a huge difference in increasing the visibility of your brand and its website.
It will usually take time before you can see remarkable results even if you implement your content strategy effectively. Do not give up! You need to have a strong will, patience and an open-minded approach to whatever comes your way. Giving up is a choice and so is being in the game for the long haul.