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What is Content Marketing and Why Do Startups Need it?
By christine|Last Updated: April 8, 2015|5 min read|
As an entrepreneur, leader and decision maker in your industry, you are probably forced to divide the productive moments of your life amongst a dazzling array of both related and unrelated activities. Topping the list is probably a need to sustain your enterprise and stay ahead of your competitors by generating sales, leads and conversions. One way to generate traffic to your website is through content marketing. If you are just getting started, here is a detailed analysis on content marketing for startups.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a form of online marketing whose focus is not on advertising, but on sustained engagement with your target audience. Its primary objective is to help customers and prospects find answers to their questions, some of which may actually revolve around a problem they are actively trying to solve (spoiler alert: a problem your company can solve!). Content marketing not only helps you to market your products to people already looking to buy, but also helps you build your brand and reputation.
Why engage in content marketing?
Many prospective customers are looking for information that solves a problem, not an immediate sales pitch. Apart from helping you to provide information on the products or services you are offering, content marketing also helps you achieve credibility, authority and trust from your customers. Content marketing helps you solve the Know, Like and Trust problems in the following ways.
Most people are usually hesitant to do business with a company they have come across for the first time. Creating free, informative content that they are likely to find on the web is an excellent way to inform people what your business is about.
Typically, if the content is valuable, people will begin to like your business. This gain in affection will consequently increase the number of visitors to your site, and probably new sales.
If you are offering quality products or services, those people who purchase from you will trust you enough to jump at your latest upgrades or releases.
How to realize success from content marketing
By now, you probably understand what content marketing is, and why it is important for startups. However, in order for you to realize success from content marketing, it is important you follow the tips below.
Produce and curate quality content
One of the best ways to achieve success from your content marketing is to create quality content. Quality content should be original, grammatically correct, and provide essential information to your target audience. You can enhance your content creation skills by branching out from simple blogs to infographics, videos, and other visual materials. Other than generating more original content, you can also opt to embark on content curation. Content curation involves finding, aggregating and annotating content from different reliable sources. By doing so, you can transform your site into a one-stop venue for everything that is relevant to your target audience.
It is essential to make your content as interactive as possible. Rather than being a mere source of information, your content should serve as a forum for you and your audience to participate in a healthy exchange of feedback. Instead of using your campaign to merely draw in comments and suggestions, you can transform it into a much more interactive place. For instance, you can allow your readers to submit their own content. After some deliberation, you can then publish the best submissions on your site. In addition, you can run a contest, which will encourage your audience to engage more with your site.
Provide Up-to-date Content
Another way to step up content marketing for entrepreneurs is to provide up-to-date content. Do not settle for redundant topics, and always be on the lookout for any emerging issues and trends in your field. It is advisable you use a different idea generation tools such as Feedly, Quora, and Inbound to come up with good new topics for your content. Social media sites like Facebook, Twiter, Reddit and Alltop are also excellent sources of current events and latest trends.
Practice other content marketing strategies
You can enhance your content marketing campaign if you utilize other online marketing strategies. Techniques such as SEO and other inbound marketing channels can help you increase traffic to your website during the preliminary steps of your content marketing. This is vital for new sites, as it enables you to use growth hacking for your site. Some of the inbound channels you can use to generate more traffic include:
If done well, YouTube can help you drive a lot of traffic to your site. Nobody would want to watch a boring video. If you cannot do your video well, there is always the possibility of teaming up with folks who can offer something good.
If you are a startup in the B2B space, it is advisable you try out SlideShare. Even though SlideShare has fewer visitors compared to other inbound channels such as Facebook and Twitter, it outperforms those other channels on visitor quality by a large margin.
Podcasting can also increase traffic to your site, especially if you manage to hit the top of your section in iTunes for a few days.
There are many other techniques you can use to realize success from content marketing. However, with a good knowledge of the tips above, you will certainly get the most from your content marketing.