Growing a business, whether physically or online, requires intelligent marketing practices. Regardless of your product or service quality, you can only penetrate the market if people know about your product. Among other marketing strategies, content marketing remains one of the most effective and preferred ones.
According to SEMrush, 91% of businesses use content marketing for a straightforward reason – it’s cost-effective. Therefore, knowing how content marketing works is crucial.
In this post, you’ll learn about:
- Why content marketing is important for startups, small and medium-sized setups
- Fundamentals of a successful content strategy
- How you can devise a successful content strategy
Besides being a cost-effective option, content marketing can help medium and small-sized businesses to:
- Build a brand name
- Enhance customer relationships
- Build a customer base
In many ways, it could be the missing piece of the puzzle for your marketing plans.
Here are some key points to understand why content marketing for startups is so important and how it can help them:
Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of content marketing is to let the people do the talking on your behalf. It is all about User-Generated Content (UGC), an excellent way to leverage your product across a wider audience.
When prospective buyers wish to purchase a product, they are likely to survey the internet for reviews and product recommendations. [Hint: Think of Amazon Product Reviews]
According to a survey, 90% of buyers read customer reviews before purchasing products. Likewise, nearly 62% of customers don’t buy from stores that hide customer reviews. So, what can you do?
Let your customers chip in with their thoughts and experiences about your company and your product. For example, they can create:
- Instagram posts
- Short videos, or
- Testimonials on third-party review sites
Besides showcasing these on your social profiles, you can post them on your website to get more attention. Later, you can repost such customer posts on your social pages, acknowledging their compliments and making them feel special.
Presenting your customer to the audience enhances your brand position and gives you more credibility as a business.
Medium and small-sized businesses face the constant challenge of managing their expenses for marketing and other business affairs.
Such companies have limited resources, so investing in expensive ads is not an option. Moreover, it can be challenging for small businesses to crack their way into the market through ads.
On the other hand, content marketing is 62% cheaper and offers multiple marketing options to business owners. It may not pay you overnight. But, in the long term, it can help improve business growth sustainably.
Due to a long-term approach, content marketing can yield more loyal customers. Plus, you can get more customers through referrals. This results in reduced marketing costs later.
Content like blogs, social media posts, and stories sell well in the digital space. They’re longer-lasting, less complicated, and cheaper than ads. Also, they give you higher returns than paid campaigns. Statistics suggest that 82% of businesses marketed through blogs had a positive ROI.
Content marketing aims at enhancing your presence on search engine platforms. The right keyword targeting can directly impact your website’s SEO. You should couple it up with quality user experience, readability, relevance, authority links, images, etc. Put them together and you’ve got a high probability of landing on Google’s first page. And this is crucial.
Did you know that over 90% of online users don’t go to Google’s second search result page? Hence, SEO optimization is the lifeblood of your content. A thoughtful, relevant, and tactfully placed content has the potential to bring organic traffic and convert more leads.
When you have an effective content marketing strategy in place, it will help you in:
- Driving up to 7.2 times more traffic to your website
- Enhance your brand identity
- Improve your conversion rate
So, what makes a content marketing strategy more effective? In this section, we will talk about the essential elements that guarantee success in the long term.
Your content must aim towards a demographic. If you don’t know your target audience, there is very little chance of succeeding with your content strategy. On the other hand, when you know clearly about your customer base, it’s easier to devise relevant content.
There are small or medium-sized businesses that think that anyone interested in their product is your audience. This is a highly generic analysis. Likewise, you can’t target everyone either. Here, picking your audience niche and being specific about your potential customers is essential. To do that, you must:
- Evaluate your customer base and find out their preferences
- Keep an eye on your competitors’ strategies
- Understand your audience demographics and parameters like age, gender, income, etc.
Clearly defined goals give you a clearer picture of where you want to see your business at a specific time. For instance, you might want to generate more leads, improve user engagement, etc. Integrating SMART goals is an excellent option for medium or small-sized businesses. Here, SMART stands for:
- Specific – Set detailed and clear goals. Avoid using generic terms while defining goals.
- Measurable – Measure the performance of your marketing strategies from the start.
- Attainable – Set achievable expectations, keeping your available resources and budget limitations in check.
- Realistic – Accept your current status and set realistic goals.
- Timely – Your goals must be time-bound to give you better measurability and help avoid wasting time.
With time, you would want your business to establish a stronger brand identity to stay ahead of your competitors. Therefore, establish a digital base and a brand message for your business regardless of your size.
Developing a brand identity means you must:
- Focus on a dedicated website
- Add visuals, taglines, and logo to your business identity
- Have a unique selling point and your brand voice.
When you establish yourself as a brand, you have a better chance to place yourself in a larger market and compete with more prominent brands. You can also integrate with your audience on social platforms.
For instance, if your customer base uses Facebook more, you must focus more on your presence on Facebook. Having a strong social presence is key to effective brand development.
Developing a successful content marketing strategy is a sophisticated process. So, if you can adhere to the following steps, there are more chances of success.
Clearly define your goals and communicate them to your team correctly. For instance, if your goal is to gain followers, your content must focus on how Instagram reels and posts work.
Studying your customer and market data is fundamental. The data helps you to understand the present product(s) and their unique selling points. You can evaluate your product based on your findings and identify its differential advantage.
Then you can reflect the same through your content.
- It can be an entirely new concept in the market, or
- It can be a unique aspect of an existing idea
This is only possible if you have sufficient data that helps you in concluding a specific outcome.
With data available at your fingertips, it’s now time to decide what type of content you want to make. You will determine a content type according to your audience’s preferences, whether it be videos, reels, posters, or written content.
For example, if your primary audience is on Instagram, you might want to try Instagram reels to get your message across.
With everything decided, it’s time to create content. Here, using the right tools and workforce to get the best content for your business is essential. Therefore, use professional services from freelancers if you don’t already have an in-house team for content creation.
Once the content is there, it’s time to start sharing your content. But one grave mistake businesses can make isolating the different content pieces from their website. Remember, you want people to land on your webpage.
So, ensure that your content on other social platforms syncs appropriately with your website. Ensure all platforms are updated with the latest content and add relevant links everywhere to make navigation easier.
It doesn’t matter if your content performs well initially. You must continually optimize it for SEO rankings. When websites run your content, keep a list of those who have published your videos and blogs for later.
You can set Google Alerts to get a notification whenever someone uses your content. This way, you can connect with the websites that didn’t link you back and ask them to include your link.
Having a content marketing strategy pays off in the long run. So, developing a system while keeping the core elements in mind can help achieve better results sooner. But, more importantly, it allows you to track and measure your efforts. This helps you improve and build a better brand identity for your small or medium-sized business.