Content Marketing for Startups
Small businesses and startups can feel as if they are at a disadvantage in the content marketing world. Small budgets, no history, and usually no writers on staff can lead to one of two things: either there’s no content marketing at all or, worse, there’s a bunch of poorly planned, hastily created content that’s not getting the job done.
What to Do?
As a startup, you will need a few customers to get the ball rolling. However, with so many people turning to the internet to look for products and services, without a great web presence, you might have a hard time getting found. Establishing a content strategy—even a small one—will help you develop that presence that you can snowball into a long-term plan.
Where to Start?
The most important thing to understand before thinking about a content strategy is that bad content is worse than no content at all. Resist the urge to buy spun content or $5 blog posts just to get some words up on your website. You are much better off spending $50 on one quality piece of content than you are getting ten crappy ones for the same money.
To begin coming up with a plan, you have to first set some goals. Do you want to get the word out about your new business and start gaining some brand recognition, or do you want to start drawing in leads right away? Once you know where you want to go, you can start planning the route.
A Simple Site + Blog
I’ll be the first to tell you that a professionally designed website will always outperform a homemade one. Good web designers know how people tend to click through websites and what catches their attention. They understand how to use style, images, and color to create an environment that visitors like, and they have the technical know-how to get it done.
On the other hand, a thoughtfully created homemade website will always outperform a nonexistent one, and there are enough tools and templates out there that you should be able to get something together for little or no money. If you do go this route, promise me that you’ll hire a pro as soon as you have the budget. You will? Great!
You will need, at the very minimum, a home page that tells people who you are, a page that describes your products or services, and a blog. Post to your blog at least once per week with content that will help you reach your goals.
Social for a Song
If your startup is really strapped for cash, social media is still free to get started. Set up a Facebook and Twitter account, and add in Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn if your market is right for those outlets. You will still need great content for your updates, but coming up with a Facebook post might be more manageable for busy startups. Keep in mind, however, that breaking into the social market takes time if you don’t have the budget for promoting your posts and profiles. Social media plans also tend to work best if you have a blog or website to point visitors to to start generating leads so make sure you keep your expectations in check until you can round out your strategy.