This article offers a step-by-step guide to make your start-up content marketing plan as simple as possible. Because in the digital age, if you don’t have a content marketing plan, you won’t grow your start-up into a flourishing business.
For start-up businesses to survive in the 21st Century, you need to be visible online. A content strategy is the only way you can be found in search engines and social media networks.
And one more thing before we dive into this: modern consumers want information. They don’t want advertising. Remember that whenever you prepare a piece of content.
Step 1: Strategic positioning
First of all, you need to know where you sit within your market and the audience you intend to target. Make a note of your core message, brand promise and mission statement as this will steer the direction of your content marketing strategy.
Your key purpose for this step is to identify who the right audience is for your brand and why they should buy from you rather than your competitors. Be precise about your audience. A generic description is pointless.
Step 2: Brand Development
Branding is at the heart of all your content. It is essentially brand image that appeals to your audience. Select colours, font and images that best represent your business and provoke a reaction from your audience.
If you need help creating a brand identity, use our free resources on our blog or contact us for assistance. We ran a short series of articles about building a brand identity which starts here.
Step 3: Keyword planning
Keywords are needed for search engines to index your site so your audience can find you in search engines. The keywords you choose should relate to your business and ideally be identical to search terms your audience type into search engines.
It should be noted however, that search engines use semantic text. This means the algorithm can understand the context of information on any one page. Therefore, selecting keywords alone will not necessarily strengthen your content marketing plan.
The bulk of your keyword strategy should incorporate a list of longtail keyphrases. These are sentences that ask the same questions searchers are asking about your product. Longtail keyterms should include what, how, where, why, or when.
Step 4: Website Copy
The copy on your website is key to selling your products and services. Website copy should include SEO keywords in the headings and subheadings (h-tags), evoke an emotional response and compel readers to take action.
In order to appeal to your audience, you need to understand their pain points. What can you do for them that will make their lives better or resolve a particular problem? Tell them exactly what they need to know in a voice they can trust.
Step 5: Tell your story
People want to know a brand before they can trust them. Consider your own experiences when using the internet. It takes time to trust an online company.
Online start-ups are essentially faceless businesses and because of the amount of dishonesty in the world today, it is difficult for consumers to trust online brands.
The way to break down these barriers is to show your audience who you are and what you are doing. Tell your story in your about us page and publish content on your website that proves you are a legitimate business. Take a look at these examples of how start-ups are using content to build trust.
Step 6: Build a blog
Although blogs require maintenance, investment and time, they are the foundations on which you build a content marketing strategy. Blogs help to improve your SEO ranking, drive traffic and attract an audience.
According to statistics produced by Hubspot, companies that keep a blog on their website receive 67% more leads and receive 97% more inbound links. If you want to be found in search engines, you need a blog filled with top-notch content.
Create an online profile
For any online company to flourish, you have to be active on multiple online forums and build a profile. Consumers do not trust brands or traditional advertising and want a two-way conversation.
Even as a start-up, you have to make yourself available, transparent and active. Utilise at least one social media network (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) and contribute content to at least one social media forum (e.g Medium, Quora).
If your start-up is in a specialist field, consider contributing content to industry magazine and influencer bloggers. This will pitch your brand to a wider audience and position you as a leader in your field.
If you need any help designing a content marketing plan, don’t hesitate to content Brand Development.