For startups, content marketing is one of the best cost-effective marketing strategies. With content marketing, startups can start with little to no marketing budget and produce content that is valuable for their target audiences. There are numerous examples of startups who have honed in on content marketing as their primary marketing strategy to gain customers for their business. A prominent recent example of this is Nerdwallet, a startup that recently IPO’d and now has a valuation of over $1.5 billion. Nerdwallet relied heavily on content marketing to drive all of their traffic and grow their customer base in their first five years.
Startups often use the latest content marketing tools like social media automation tools, APIs, scripts, and even AI-driven content tools, but traditional content marketing is often much more effective. Although startups are aware of how valuable content marketing is, the specific marketing strategies to use to drive traffic and revenue are still unclear to most businesses.
1. Write SEO-optimized blog content
The first step that a startup can take to use content marketing is to start publishing SEO-optimized blog content for their niche. Starting to publish on your blog is an extremely easy way to start content marketing and it is the most effective long-term strategy to increase your traffic and get customers. With SEO-optimized content, you can target specific keywords that your audience is searching for and get targeted traffic to your site. If you do this for all the relevant queries in your niche, you can start attracting thousands of organic visitors to your site every month.
The first step in writing SEO-optimized content is using a keyword research service. Examples of this include tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush. With these tools you can get an accurate estimation of the keyword volume, the difficulty of the keyword and other data points. This will help you find low competition keywords that your site can easily rank for and you can start getting initial traffic to your site.
Also read: Top WordPress SEO Plugins 2022
Once you’ve started to create a list of keywords you want to target, you can start drafting blog posts. It’s vital to focus on one set of related keywords per blog post; this will help Google understand what you’re trying to rank for and this will ultimately improve your rankings. Your startup should focus on creating blog content for your specific audience, which means narrowing the topics you write about. The more you write about a specific topic, the more topical authority you will gain and you can rank better for more keywords. If you’re too lost with the SEO terminology in terms of ranking in the SERPs and best tools to use, you might want to work with a content marketing agency to produce high-quality and proven results.
2. Utilize case studies
An underutilized content marketing strategy is using case studies. As a startup, you will not have the brand recognition and trust of customers because most customers do not know what your company does. Even if you write great content about topics related to your customers, a customer may still be unsure if you’re able to help meet their needs. The best way to showcase your expertise is to write case studies on how your company solved customer pain points. Doing a deep dive on how you identified, approached and solved a customer’s problem will help establish your credibility and gain the trust of your customers. Some of the ways you can maximize your impact with case studies include:
Include the background and story of your customer
Although case studies are highly analytical and solution-oriented, you must set the stage for your customer. In the beginning portion of your case study, take some time to discuss the persona of your customer and the problem they were having. If you’re a startup in the B2B agriculture niche, an example of this would be: “X company is in the B2B agriculture industry and they were facing major supply chain issues due to COVID restrictions”. Your background doesn’t need to be super lengthy, but taking a short paragraph to identify the customer will help other customers envision your company helping them.
Share the solution/results early on
Case studies can be very lengthy and boring for many customers. Sharing the results of the case study in the first page allows the customer to see the problem and solution with just a quick glance. If they are interested in the case study, they can go and explore the details and see how your company approached the problem. This is a good strategy to increase the engagement on your case studies and ultimately attract more customers.
3. Guest posting on industry-leading websites
A great content marketing strategy is sharing your expertise on industry-leading websites. With guest posting, you can leverage the audience of the website that you are posting on. Instead of waiting months or years to build a loyal following, you can start writing guest posts on relevant topics on authority sites in your industry.
Guest posting can lead to immediate revenue for your business with the right strategy. If you make a targeted list of where your ideal customers go to read content, you can gain leads by guest posting on the right site. For example, if your ideal buyer persona for your startup is chief technology officers (CTOs), you should aim to guest post on topics on site that they frequent. Examples of sites you can aim to guest post on include Hacker News, Crunchbase, CIO Journal and VMware.
By guest posting on these types of sites, you can get immediate eyeballs from your target audience and you can link back to your landing pages and contact information. Many startups use guest posting and other press release methods to gain traffic to their websites and get their first batch of customers. Additionally, this is great for SEO because you can improve the domain authority of your site by getting backlinks to your website.
These are just some of the ways you can start leveraging content marketing to gain traffic and revenue to your startup. To learn more about how to improve your content marketing, read this blog post on how to build a content strategy.
Ali Ali is a freelance writer and blogger at alisquared.co. He enjoys writing about marketing, freelancing and building an online business.