Content is the key to getting your business known and understood online. Greta Dunne from Marker Content explains how start-ups can do it on a shoe string budget.
Firstly, congratulations on your start-up. Setting even the smallest business up takes courage, so well done on taking that monumental step. Having a startup means knowing where every cent is going, so planning around advertising and marketing is vital.
Where many businesses, not just start-ups, make mistakes, is sinking money into Google Ads, social media boosts, and good old fashioned display advertisements.
“Writing about your business should be easy, it’s your bread and butter, your industry, your expertise – so who is it so hard? Because you’re not a writer, you’re an entrepreneur”
Unfortunately, with the increasing number of people using ad blockers (600 million), simple ads might not be the best way for you to utilise your marketing budget.
Content marketing has proven to be the most effective way to reach your customers. In fact, businesses that prioritise it generate three times as many leads and see 30% higher growth than those that don’t.
So how does content marketing work?
a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
What does that mean? Well, if you have a plumbing business and want to attract some new customers, instead of putting an ad up about how great your plumbing skills are, an article about how to check your pipes would give your existing customers value, while also attracting new customers, who appreciate your generosity of knowledge.
“While the impetus used to be on long, weighty blogs once a month, it’s now evolved to consistent outputs of relevant pieces that give instant value”
Now, we get it – writing about your business should be easy, it’s your bread and butter, your industry, your expertise – so who is it so hard?
Because you’re not a writer, you’re an entrepreneur and that’s enough work for anyone to manage without trying to deal with ‘blank page syndrome’.
So we know that putting out content works, but when the creative juices just aren’t flowing, how do you go about getting it? Here are a few options;
Contact an agency
Marketing/Content/Social Media – all of them should be offering content. This is a ‘safe’ bet as they probably churn out content for multiple clients across multiple industries. The down side? Agencies can be expensive, and their content teams working overtime to get the content out – you have to ask, are they experts in my industry? Where are they getting their information?
Maybe they are and maybe they will produce great copy, but back to the main worry of budget – probably not your best use of what you have.
2. Hire a content creator
This usually works initially, your content creator hire will bash out a few great articles for your LinkedIn pages and Newsletters and you’ll really value this team member – even if they are part time/freelancing. Fivrr, Upwork, and Freelancer are all great options to find individuals.
The issue here is that ultimately they are only producing content from one perspective, one writing style, one voice. While this might be helpful at the start, it can get monotonous and stale.
Much like any publication, your readers/customers like variety, which is where this option tends to fail. The choice is there, and you could find yourself a few steady contributors which can work well.
3. Outsource your content
You’ve probably used the likes of Unsplash or Shutterstock for your websites images, so you’re familiar with the stock content idea. In the same way, you can do this with articles.
Downloading editable articles on whatever your startup industry is in, is a great use of time and resources. You can download multiple articles at once and then retitle them, add an intro, add a conclusion, insert some links – customise it to make it your own. Marker Content is a great tool for this as they have over 15,000 contributors worldwide so plenty of variety.
Whichever way you decide to go, know that content marketing is now an essential tool for your start-up and not to be overlooked. While the impetus used to be on long, weighty blogs once a month, it’s now evolved to consistent outputs of relevant pieces that give instant value.