Create a Content Strategy for Your Tech Startup
In a world of ever-evolving social media trends, many business owners feel overwhelmed when thinking about content marketing. Inventing a content strategy, a content plan, and hiring the necessary content creators to action on that strategy can be daunting.
We get it.
Thankfully, creating a content marketing strategy and a plan to achieve your goals isn’t as crazy complicated as it sounds. It is more scientific than most people originally believe and can be a fun way to engage with your target audience.
In this article, we’ll answer the following… “What is content?” “What is a content strategy?” “How do you make a content marketing plan?”
An Overview of Content
In a nutshell, content is anything created by your business to bring awareness to your brand, create relationships with your target audience, and provide value to your potential customers.
Content is not advertising. Let’s look at the reasons why.
The difference between content and advertising (otherwise known as traditional marketing) is simple. Content is created to promote engagement with a target audience and focuses on relationships. Whereas advertising focuses on promoting a product.
For example, a blog post can be created by a content creator. That blog post can then be leveraged by a marketer to create a Google advertisement. The advertisement itself is not content.
Also, content is different from advertising because content can be evergreen, while advertisements only bring value while they’re running.
For example, an evergreen blog post can bring in thousands of potential customers per year. An advertisement may run for a 2-month campaign and then render itself useless.
Finally, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3 times more leads. When thinking about building sustainable growth, content marketing always wins.
Content can be grouped into two distinct areas: Owned Content and External Content. A content marketing strategy will include a mix of the two.
When we say “owned content,” we mean…
Blog posts on your business’ website.
Website Pages - Landing page, About page, FAQ, Product page, etc.
User Manuals, Explainer Videos, Support Details, and other educational materials.
Backlinks to press mentions of your business.
When we say “external content,” we mean…
Social media posts - Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, etc.
Product descriptions on eCommerce websites - Amazon, Etsy, etc.
Podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Amazon Music
Guest blogs on other websites (written by you for another website).
Wondering which types of content are best for your brand? Here’s a glimpse into the most successful content types by format as reported by SEMRUSH:
Determine Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content strategy is a slice of the marketing strategy pie that focuses on growth and engagement. Basically, the creation of high-quality content and the strategic curation of that content increases your brand awareness in the market.
Content Strategy for Tech Startups
For technology startups, online visibility is key. Though, depending on your audience, other goals may take priority. Many tech startups are focusing on Growth Marketing versus traditional marketing strategies.
Growth marketing focuses on sustainable growth by testing different strategies and focusing on the metrics behind content. Having a growth marketing expert on your content marketing team will make sure you’re pivoting when necessary and creating the content that resonates with your target audience.
Unlike big companies, startups are a bit more limited in the content that they could reasonably create due to budget. A few ways to combat this limitation are:
Taking advantage of User-Generated Content (UGC) in your content marketing strategy is useful when your goal is to increase engagement. Using a single hashtag and creating content in response to a prompt set by your business is a great way to hear directly from your target audience and better frame the content you create going forward.
Offering guest bloggers space on your site's blog. This provides the guest blogger with a backlink and provides you with quality content related to your niche.
Guest blogging for other websites to increase your own site's online visibility through backlinks.
The Question All Startups Ask
As a startup founder, you may be asking yourself, “but we haven’t gone to market yet. Should I even worry about content creation at this point?”
To which most content marketers would answer with a resounding “YES!”
Creating content even before you’ve launched is essential to building a bit of hype prior to your launch. Also, making sure that you’re ranking high for your key words at launch shows you have authority and are a credible business.
Also, creating content before launch allows you to test out different angles, topics, and strategies to see what works and what doesn’t hit the mark for your target audience.
Check out our blog post, The Ultimate Content for Tech Startups, for more detail on how blogs can be leveraged by tech startups.
Create a Content Marketing Plan
Here are a few key steps to getting to rocking and rolling. These steps will help your team build a robust content marketing plan to align with your newly identified content strategy.
Step 1 - Identify Your Goal
Identifying your goal for a content marketing effort is the first step to a successful plan. There are many goals you could potentially set for your tech startup.
Here are a few common goals to consider:
Increase online visibility by ranking on search engines with SEO
Build credibility and authority as an expert in your industry
Gather leads for potential customers
Increase the engagement of your target audience
Improve your conversion rate
Step 2 - Build Your Audience Persona
Identifying your audience and building an audience persona is a valuable activity for any marketing team. An audience persona is the type of person you hope to attract with all of your content creation efforts.
An audience persona is a character or avatar of sorts that embodies your target audience. A persona can include the titles they hold, the pain points they have, their goals, their desires, and their fears. Your tech startup may have multiple audience personas depending on the features and products you provide
Understanding your audience personas will allow your marketing team to efficiently conduct keyword research and select keywords with the largest ROI.
Step 2 - Determine Your Brand Story
A brand story is used to communicate the value of your product or service, tugging at the audience’s emotions, and connecting with the audience on a personal level. A brand story must be authentic and align with the mission and brand voice of your business in order to build trust with your target audience.
Creating intriguing brand stories takes imagination and good story-telling skills. By determining your brand story, you can more easily think of content that aligns with your audience, your startup’s brand voice, and your business’ overall mission.
Step 3 - Your Owned Media Value Proposition
Your owned media are those platforms that you can control. This may be your website, your business’ podcast, or books that you create. What is the value that these owned media platforms bring to your audience?
By getting very specific on your owned media value proposition, you can get crystal clear on the type of content that you want to create for your content marketing effort.
Step 4 - Identify the Most Important Metrics
When creating a content marketing strategy, knowing which metrics to track throughout the campaign is vital to understanding the fruit of your labors. You can track these metrics through Google Analytics or similar tools.
Some of the top metrics that content marketers focus on are:
Engagement - Comments, Likes, Mentions, Shares, Requests for Additional Content
User Behavior - New & Returning Users, Pages Per Session, Traffic Sources, Page Views, Bounce Rate
SEO Changes - Organic Traffic, Backlinks, Keyword Rankings
Revenue - Conversions, New Leads, Cost Per Acquisition, or Content Marketing ROI
Step 5 - Conduct a Content Audit
Unless you’re a fresh startup, you likely have content that has already been created by your business. In this case, you may want to consider a content audit.
A content audit is conducted to look at all previously created content, understand the metrics behind each piece of content, and then make recommendations for either updating the content, deleting it, repurposing it, or creating content that fills gaps in knowledge.
After your content audit, you’ll have a better understanding of how to create your content marketing plan. This also helps you to baseline your content marketing effort before beginning.
Step 6 - Your Content Marketing Plan
Your content marketing plan will include a documented strategy as well as the tactical level timeline. Here is where your business will track every single piece of content you plan to create, the budget, and when it will be shared with your customers.
When creating a content marketing plan, have an understanding of the content creators you’ll need to engage with and potentially hire to feasibly execute on your content marketing plan. You may want to hire…
Video Content Creators
At the end of the day, a content marketing strategy is only as successful as the product-market fit of the product or service being promoted. A startup that understands their market and builds a product to serve the target audience’s pain points will find it much easier to achieve their goals through content marketing.
If you find that your content is achieving good engagement, but conversions are not increasing, you may not have a product-market fit. It is recommended to take a step back, understand which content is having the most success and rebuild your audience personas. This will help you to restructure or reframe some of the aspects of your product to better fit with your target market.
Ready to get started on your content marketing strategy? Contact us today for a free 15-minute consultation.