You’ve got your business model, a few key team members, some seed money, and above all that a glimmer of hope in your eyes. Those are the essentials, right? Content marketing is secondary and you can wait to set up your blog and social media accounts… right?
Time to update your definition of essentials, because in the 21st century, content marketing is one of the pillars of a successful modern business — especially for startups, who need it most.
If you think that’s a stretch, take a look at these 5 ways that content marketing can help ignite your startup's growth. You’ll see why a comprehensive content strategy right from the start is the best way to hit the ground running.
Exposure could be reasons 1-5 all on its own. Two of the biggest disadvantages startups suffer from are that people either don’t know they exist, or don’t trust them because they’re new. Content marketing solves both these problems by, to put it simply, getting your name out there.
A good content marketing strategy leads to good content, and people share good content. People also trust their friends over others, so having your content shared is a vote of confidence along with an introduction to new prospects.
In a study performed by Demand Metric, 70% of recipients said they prefer learning about a company through articles, such as blog posts.
Search Engine Optimization
Having your content appreciated and shared may be the primary way your content strategy attracts traffic, but it’s certainly not the only one. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a passive but powerful side effect of having more words on your site.
By choosing your content topics and wording carefully, you can cast a net out into the web to swoop up all those wayward searchers looking for a site just like yours.
SEO yields compounding returns, as well. The more you post, the more visitors you attract; the more visitors you attract, the higher your ranking on search engine results. This works especially well with “evergreen content,” or pieces about topics that people search for all the time as opposed to trends.
Humanizes Your Company
Compared to the empirical benefits like number of visitors or search page rankings, “humanizing your company” might seem flighty or impractical. If that’s how you feel, allow DemandMetric’s research to quantify the effects for you:
- 82% of people feel more positively about a company after reading their content.
- 60% of people enjoy reading content from brands they like.
- 72% of people say content help them form a relationship with a company.
- 70% of people say they develop closer connections to a company through their content.
No business short of a monopoly can be successful unless their clients and customers actually like them. Content marketing just gets you there faster.
Startups initially begin as faceless companies indistinguishable from all the other faceless companies of the world. Content marketing lets you establish your brand’s personality and individuality to set it apart from the crowd. Strategic choices like tone of voice, style of images, and topics you discuss all influence how customers view you.
No business is an island. Engagement and interaction are necessary for growing your business into a new weight class. Unlike advertisements and on-site copy, your site’s content creates the opportunity for actual interaction with your visitors: sharing, comments, or even just a more casual read.
Not just with customers, either. Content marketing opens many doors for collaborating with other brands and influencers. Article exchanges between two similar sites is a tried-and-true strategy for reaching new audiences and improving your own SEO through backlinking. Social media influencers can also do wonders for exposure and validation, especially for previously unknown startups.
More Cost Effective Than Advertising
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, but dollar-for-dollar, generates 3 times as many leads.
Let that sink in.
A startup on a tight budget can only afford to spend where the ROI is highest, and yet most of them throw their money into conventional advertising to raise awareness.
The problem with online advertising is banner blindness: 86% of people have already been conditioned to ignore banner ads without a second glance. While ads are good for short-term spikes among the 14% that can actually see them, content marketing performs better in the long-run… and at a fraction of the cost.
Is your content marketing up to the task? Have you fleshed out a clear content strategy? Have you dedicated enough time and resources to support it as your main generator of traffic? If nothing else, I hope you at least walk away knowing that content marketing has almost limitless potential, but only if you know how to activate it.
Do you have any questions about content marketing? Any strategies that worked for you that you’d like to share? Let me know by leaving a comment below or feel free to reach out to me directly.