How to Create an Effective Content Strategy for Your Startup that Will Help You Take the Business World by Storm
Content strategy for startups is a whole different science to most business marketing. How? It’s all about establishing a relationship with your audience and building your brand. You have to incorporate all the right channels, creating effective content, and outreaching it to get coverage in your industry.
Research Your Audience
Until it’s crystal clear who your audience is, you will not be able to make valuable content for them.
Start working on your content strategy by creating a hypothetical customer or ‘buyer persona.’ Ask some key questions about this hypothetical person, such as:
- What is their knowledge of your industry/sector?
- What is their background (age, income, job, etc.)?
- What are their goals (relevant to your business)?
- What are their pain points?
- What content do they consume (videos, blogs, emails)?
- What channels do they use to find that content?
Creating a hypothetical persona can help you understand your audience, answer their questions, and give them better content.
A case study by MarketingSherpa found that buyer personas had a huge impact on their marketing success:
- Visit length increased by 900 percent.
- Marketing-generated revenue increased by 171 percent.
- Email open rate increased by 111 percent.
- Number of pages visited increased by 100 percent.
Perform a Content Audit
Conducting a content audit is not exactly a glamorous task, in fact, it’s one most marketers dread. However, it does have a lot of value and is an essential part of startup content strategy.
A content audit can provide you with a ton of insights that you can use in your content marketing strategy.
What startups should look for when conducting a content audit:
- Content quality and performance
- What content is driving conversions.
- Set a standard for good quality content within your startup.
- Discover content gaps
- Are there topics your audience want to learn about that you aren’t covering?
- What topics are your competitors covering that you aren’t?
- User experience
- Think about content from your users’ perspective.
- Give your content structure and make sure you are directing them to their next piece of content using CTAs.
- Identify content that can be repurposed
- If you have a piece of well-performing content, think about what other channels you could repurpose it for (i.e., blog to video).
- Are pages ranking for their keywords?
- Remove thin content that can harm SEO.
Did you know? Thirty percent (3 million pages) of Microsoft’s content had never been read. A fact they never figured out until a content strategist conducted an audit and enabled them to start removing the irrelevant content.
If you’re a brand new startup and don’t have any content to audit, try looking at your competitors content and how well that is performing. You obviously don’t have access to their analytics but can still measure the success of their content strategy by things like search engine rankings and social shares.
Creating Great Content
You might be thinking that this one is obvious, well it is. Any startup content strategy needs to include the creation of great content. Now that you’ve made it through the difficult task of gathering your data and creating your personas, you can move onto the fun part of actually creating content.
All the information you have gathered about your audience, content, and competitors gives you the insights you need to create valuable content for your audience in a unique way.
Put together a core content marketing strategy outlining the channels you will use and your key message. Then begin to put together a content calendar addressing topics you will cover over time and what business goal each content piece should help you achieve.
Digital PR and Outreach
An element of content strategy often overlooked by startups is digital PR and outreach. You’ve created great content, but how are you going to get your audience to see it?
Outreach to publications relevant to your industry or publications your audience engage with and pitch your content to one of their journalists. Getting your content on these sites can be massively beneficial to your startup in a number of ways:
- Build your audience and create brand awareness.
- Generate relevant backlinks to your site, which will improve SEO.
- Establish yourself as knowledgeable about your industry.
- Generate referral traffic to your site.
SEO leads have a 14.6 percent close rate according to iMforza, just showing that it’s vital to get your content ranking well in search engines. Outreach and link building is one of the best ways to help a piece of content’s SEO, so once you’ve created your content don’t just forget about it, keep pushing it to help you reach new audiences.
Incorporating a Content Translation Strategy
If you are a startup looking towards international audiences, another step in your content strategy will be accelerating your content’s reach through translation.
Translation means you can provide an omnichannel experience across all countries giving a seamless experience for buyers in any language. Your content is used to assist buyers in their buyer’s journey and thus needs to be in a language they understand.
A report by Donald A. DePalma, Robert G. Stewart and Vijayalaxmi Hegde called “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy” found that 60 percent of non-English speaking consumers never or rarely buy from sites not in their language. If you have created great content, translating it opens you up to a whole range of new buyers and can help your startup expand globally.
Learn more about how translation can help your content marketing strategy in our white paper “Using Translation to Connect With and Engage Multilingual Audiences”.