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Kick Your Startups’ Content Marketing up a Notch with These Kickass Tips

 

Kick Your Startups’ Content Marketing up a Notch with These Kickass Tips

Content is nothing more than blah blah blah unless you know why you’re creating it, who it’s for, and precisely what you plan to achieve from it.

As if you don’t already have enough to do. There’s tweaking the deck to add the latest traction figures for next week’s pitch, and the meeting this afternoon to look at wire frames for the Android version of the app … not to mention somebody’s got to get over to Costco and buy more cases of Red Bull for the programmers.

Oh yeah, and content. Because that’s how the world finds startups. That’s how the world finds everybody. It’s how strangers become leads, who turn into prospects, who become customers. Because content isn’t a spotlight, it’s a homing beacon. It kicks ass when it works. It’s a black hole when it doesn’t. So, what’s the secret to keeping it kick ass?

KISS. Keep It Simple…Sweetie (or whatever S-word you want to pick). It’s certainly not stupid. Stupid people don’t do startups, right?

Plot your course

Contrary to what people tell you, creating content isn’t the hardest part. It’s getting clear on your goals. Don’t sit there and shake your head going, “well duh.” Because of course you have an idea. But do you have an actual documented content marketing strategy? The Content Marketing Institute has research showing that only about one in three companies do.

Content is nothing more than blah blah blah unless you know why you’re creating it, who it’s for, and precisely what you plan to achieve from it.

Not who, but why

Is your content focused on your customers? Sure, you need to know who they are. You should be creating personas, so when you write, you’re getting it right. But first, you need to take a big step backward.

People are not searching for you. They’re searching for information about a problem they want to solve. They want confirmation that their problem is real. They want more information about the problem. And then they want perspective on how to solve the problem. What part of creating content about who you are and what you do speaks to these needs?

You’re wasting your time if your content focuses on customers instead of what they want to get done.

CUS

It’s an acronym that stands for Clickable, Useful, and Shareable. That’s what your content has to be if you want it to have any impact for your startup. What’s in it for them? How does it make them better informed about the problem they have?

Content is storytelling. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post, an infographic, or an explainer video. Think about the first thing you can remember as a child. Was it a story? Think about it. Some stories like fairy tales have endured for hundreds of years. Legends have lasted for thousands.

Don’t stop promoting

It takes a lot of time and effort to create content, and you need lots of it. The better it is at offering perspective and being CUS-worthy, the more of it your customers will demand.

So, it’s possible that by the time you’re ready to share content … you’re basically done with it. Put on your big girl panties and get back in the kitchen. You’re just getting started. What’s your promotion strategy? You’ve got an actual documented strategy, and you march right down it with check marks next to each tactic for every piece of content you produce. Awesome.

Measure your ROI

This has nothing to do with how much you pay – if you do – to have content created. It has everything to do with what the content is doing for you. And, you aren’t getting the full picture unless you’re pushing the traction of the content against four key metrics:

  • Consumption
  • Sharing
  • Lead generation
  • Sales

Measuring the popularity of your content isn’t enough. Viral content as little or no ROI if it doesn’t generate leads or sales. This means your content must be crafted to have a measurable connection to leads and sales.

Content marketing is key to your startup’s success. People talk to people. They tell each other stories. These stories are our social currency. When you create clickable, useful, shareable content, you’re dealing in the currency that creates a return on your investment.