Startups have many things to consider when it comes to marketing a business.
Once they have their online fundamentals, such as a well-designed and optimized website and appropriate social media channels, they may not be sure what to do next to create their marketing strategy.
Or, they implement it but don't have a strategy, so it's not productive.
This article will explain why you need to develop a content marketing strategy and the steps to make one.
Reasons to develop a content marketing strategy for your startups.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing strategy that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and reliable content to attract and retain a specific audience and drive profitable customer action.
It is essential because it helps you build trust with your audience, with 70% of customers would learn about a company through an article than an advertisement.
It can increase conversions, communicate with customers, and generate leads.
Here are 11 steps on creating a content marketing strategy that'll help you grow your startups.
1. Gather your Marketing Team
Gathering your marketing team is the first step to create an effective marketing strategy.
It would be best to have an effective marketing team working for you right from start to finish. Marketing teams may look different, depending on startup to startup.
Here are some of the common roles of a marketing team:
- Marketing Strategists: They plan the content your team will develop.
- Content Writers: They creatively use their skills and write content that will represent your startup.
- Content Editors: They proofread the content created by content writers and ensure that it is accurate.
- Content Promoters: They promote content by distributing and marketing it on various platforms.
- Visual Designers: They produce graphic content such as creating ad layouts to social media graphics as per your startup's needs.
- Videographers: They make and edit video content according to your startup's needs.
- Content Analysts: They analyse the performance of content and find out what is working and what isn't.
- Tech Experts: They can write code, handle website hosting, maintain websites, and optimise marketing funnels for your startup.
2. Know your Goals
Knowing your goals is a must when creating an effective content strategy.
You need to identify and focus on the essential, ensuring that your content marketing strategy remains on track and helps you improve your startup.
Make sure all of your content marketing goals are SMART.
- Specific: Describe your goals in detail so that your team can complete tasks accurately. The more detailed your goal, the more you'll be able to comprehend the steps required to achieve it.
- Measurable: You need to prove that you're making progress toward your goals. You can do this by making your targets measurable by assigning numerical values to them.
- Achievable: Consider whether you can accomplish your goals right now or whether there are any additional preparation measures you can take. For example, consider if your team will be able to meet the deadlines given to them.
- Relevant: Your goals should align with long-term goals. Consider why your goals are important to you and how it will help you achieve your long-term goals that will be beneficial for your startup.
- Time-based: Having a deadline can help you stay motivated and prioritise your goals.
3. List Down Your Startup's Mission Statement
Listing down your startup's mission statement is a great way to create an effective strategy. This helps you to focus on what's important and what's not to stay on track.
A content marketing mission statement includes:
- Your target audience - It's essential that you know and understands your target audience. It would be challenging to create content that caters to the needs and wants of those for whom you are making it if you do not know whom you are creating it. You also won't be able to develop any leads if your content isn't beneficial to readers.
- The content you'll use to reach them (blogging, videos, social media, emails, etc.)
- What they'll get in return
Here are some mission statement examples from notable companies:
- Facebook: Connect with friends and the world around you.
- LinkedIn: Create economic opportunities for every member of the global workforce.
- Dunkin': To be always the desired place for great coffee beverages and delicious doughnuts & bakery products to enjoy with family and friends.
4. Establishing KPIs
Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are a collection of quantifiable metrics used to assess a company's overall long-term success. They are used to evaluate a company's strategic, financial, and operational accomplishments, particularly those of other companies in the same industry.
Again, making goals specific and measurable is the best way to accomplish them.
One way to do this is by setting KPIs for an effective content marketing strategy.
Having KPIs helps you know when you've met your objectives. It can detail to you what you want to achieve in various aspects of digital marketing such as revenue, sales, traffic, and SEO.
- A Measure – Every KPI must have one, with the best KPIs having more expressive measures.
- A Target – Every KPI should have a target that corresponds to the measure and the time period of your goal. This is usually a numerical value that you're aiming for.
- A Data Source – Every KPI must have an identified data source to ensure no ambiguities with how they are being measured and monitored.
- Reporting Frequency – While different KPIs will need various reporting, a good rule to follow is to report on them at least once a month.
Here are some examples of KPIs:
- Achieve a particular revenue target within a month, quarter, or year.
- Increase the number of people who sign up for your lead magnet to indicate that you're receiving more high-quality leads.
- Increase the number of new email subscribers by a certain amount.
- Increase the number of visitors to your site and the number of people who interact with your content.
5. Create your content marketing persona.
A marketing persona is a fictional, composite character representing a particular product or service's target customer. They assist you in focusing your time on qualified leads, guiding product development to suit the needs of your target customers, and coordinating all work within your company (from marketing to sales to service).
With marketing personas, you can tailor your content, marketing, product creation, and services to address your target audience's needs, behaviors, and concerns.
Creating a marketing persona can be done in several ways.
Here are some tips and examples for gathering the information you need to develop marketing personas:
- Use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to conduct polls and surveys.
- Use form fields that capture important persona information when creating forms to use on your website.
- Send email surveys to your marketing database.
- Research how other startups do, how they interact with their customers, and vice versa.
6. Decide your content types.
After creating your marketing personas, think about the types of content you need to create.
Here are some of the content marketing types that you can create:
Blogging is one of the most common content marketing strategies for businesses, as marketers who prioritise blogging see 13-times the ROI compared to those who don't.
Ideally, your blog posts should be relevant, engaging and shareable, and may include various articles that are still connected to your startup.
Video Marketing is one of essential parts of any marketing strategy. It engages customers, keeps them on your site longer, and increases lead generation.
88% of video marketers also reported that videos give them a positive ROI.
Social Media Content Marketing
Social Media Content Marketing is one of the most common online practices, as 3.6 billion people used social media in 2020, and it is still expected to increase to nearly 4.41 billion by 2025.
With this marketing strategy, it's all about getting people to look and respond directly. You want them to feel engaged. You can use your social media analytics to determine if your audience would instead read a blog post, watch videos or listen to podcasts.
7. Assess your current position.
Perhaps the most critical step in creating an effective content marketing strategy is figuring out whether your content is helping you by measuring your efforts.
The only way to achieve consistent results, no matter what form of content you generate for which platform, is to know what works and what doesn't. And the only way to find out is to keep an eye on the contents you publish.
However, there's no way to know which types of content are successful and which ones need to be improved without analytics. Measuring allows you to evaluate the results of your content marketing strategy and improve your processes. Once your results improve, you can double your efforts and budget to achieve double the results. You will be able to scale the company as a result of this.
Here are some of the ways on how you can assess your position:
Doing a content audit.
This is the process of systematically analysing and assessing all the content on your website. This helps you identify the content (such as blog posts, guest posts, etc.) that needs to be improved or repurposed into new formats.
See How Your Content is Working
This involves assessing the usefulness of the content.
You'll be looking for metrics such as: if there are several inbound links to the content, if the information is widely shared, or the search engine ranking is for keywords associated with some of your content.
Identify Content Gaps
This is where you figure if there are gaps you can take advantage of.
This may involve keywords relevant to your niche that you aren't targeting with your content questions your target audience is asking that you aren't answering or content that is beginning to rank well but could still be improved.
Tools such as Ahrefs help you to conduct a content gap analysis.
8. Create a content calendar.
As part of creating an effective strategy is the need to create a content calendar.
A content calendar (or editorial calendar) is a written schedule of when and where you plan for new content to be published.
Content calendars usually consist of upcoming pieces, status reports, planned promotional activity, collaborations, and updates to existing content.
Tools like Asana can help you schedule different stages for your content development process.
Asana keeps all of your program's tasks coordinated and on track. You can use it to map, manage, monitor, and discuss your team's projects. It can also help you save time, reduce distractions, and work more efficiently.
9. Creating content.
Finally, it's time to choose a title from the content calendar and get to work on your content by writing or designing it. However, remember that the amount of content you create will depend on your resources, team size, market, and brand.
You'll also need to consider how to represent your brand's personality in the content you create at this stage. You may want to be formal, informal, or somewhere in between.
You have to strike a balance between demonstrating your knowledge and not patronizing your audience.
10. Distributing and marketing your content.
After you've worked on your content, you need to share, publish, and promote your content.
However, you should figure out where and how you'll publish and promote your material, as this should be handled correctly. Your time and resources might go to waste, and you won't get the results you want if it isn't.
When distributing and marketing your content, you can:
- Set a schedule for posting (or paying for) your content on your chosen distribution channels or social media while still making sure to follow the guidelines for the best times to post and share your content.
- Use email marketing in sharing your content with your subscribers.
- Notify any influencers listed in your content so that your content can be shared even further.
11. Measure your results.
The last step is to evaluate the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. Your content marketing is 'working?' if it's supporting your marketing and business goals.
Here are several ways on how you can use measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy:
- Examine the KPIs you developed at the start of your content marketing strategy to see what has changed and if you are meeting your goals.
- Check Google Analytics, your social media analytics dashboards, and your blog performance.
- Track email signups through your email marketing software.
Monitor your progress regularly (weekly, monthly, or quarterly), so you can create a benchmark and see which numbers you can improve.
From laying the groundwork for your strategy to adding tools to help you manage your content, content marketing strategy takes time, resources, and effort.
I hope this guide helped you develop an effective content marketing strategy for your startup.
However, if you have any questions, you can make an appointment with us today. You can speak to any of our team members who have experience and knowledge about the industry you're interested in.