As businesses of all sizes are collapsing all around the world, many people will be considering starting again from scratch in a post Covid 19 world. For start-ups, content marketing can be one of the biggest challenges as you are yet to establish a reputation and generally speaking, you will not have an existing customer base to communicate with. This means you need to design your content strategy in a way that both establishes your brand identity while also creating enough mass appeal and interests to encourage sales or subscriptions. In this article, Probella discuss some of the most effective content marketing strategies for start-ups in 2020.
Plan content in advance
Reactive content strategies can be effective for established businesses, but this approach looks slapdash and disorganised if you are a start-up. In order to create a good impression, you need to make sure that you have a steady flow of high quality, relevant content that sums up your ethos and communicates your message to your customers clearly. Take the time plan the kind articles, videos, or blog posts that you want to share over the first few months of the business’ life. A break in content can be disastrous, especially for those who are still establishing themselves.
Consistency is key
When you are first starting out, the first few pieces of content you release are the equivalent to you making a first impression in a job interview or meeting. You need to make sure that your message is consistent, clear, and easy to understand. Remember that as a start-up business, the public do not know what to expect from you and are yet to form a clear idea of who you are and what you are about. All content that’s related to your business needs to have an air of consistency about it, whether this is through tone of voice, graphical presentation or delivery style is up to you, but content that seems disjointed and inconsistent will rarely do you many favours as a start-up.
Links to other businesses in your sector
We understand that the essence of business is competition, but no start-up can operate in a vacuum. Links with other, relevant businesses in your sector not only provides opportunities for things like networking and collaborative working but also helps your customers to associate you with established organisations they know and trust. Guest blogging, collaborations on video content, podcasts and streaming content can all be great ways of introducing yourself to a potential customer or client base. Similarly, capitalising on twitter’s retweet culture could do you a lot of favours. Just remember to screen your followers carefully, there are as many bots and shady accounts out there as legitimate businesses.
Embrace new technology when you can afford to
Twitch and Zoom are incredibly popular due to recent events but platforms like this are not always necessary for every business. When you’re first starting out, every single penny of your marketing budget should be used as effectively as possible, so if paying for a premium account that you never use or considering livestreaming just so you can prove you’re ahead of the curve, we would recommend reviewing your strategy with a matter of urgency. A well-managed and closely monitored Facebook and Instagram page will often win you far more followers than a series of videos or livestreaming events when you are a start-up. People need time to accept your brand and they also need time to get used to the way you communicate. Keep it simple at first and unless you specialise in video production and livestreaming, save this until you have a healthy number of followers on your socials.
Consider Soft Launches and Gradual Reveals
The element of surprise and attracting a lot of attention are well worn traits of many start-up campaigns but they are not always the most effective. With so many businesses vying for attention on social media and other platforms, fatigue quickly sets in amongst the public. Soft launches and gradual reveals are a way of simultaneously showing off your new products or services while monitoring the performance of your marketing strategy. Rolling out a product to a select number of people or sticking to just one or two platforms can be a good way of doing this as it allows you to limit any potential mistakes from being exposed to a large number of people. It also means you can adjust as you go, improving and tweaking things like tone of voice or graphical style depending on the type of reaction you have experienced.
Ensure Your Brand is Fully Formed Before You Launch
Ideas are exciting and it can be tempting rush out content for the sake of generating a buzz, especially if you are passionate about what your business does. This can be one of the biggest mistakes start-ups make in terms of content strategy. A muddy, confused or otherwise unclear brand identity will damage your reputation permanently. Always take the time to view your campaign content through customer’s eyes and always ask for feedback from sources that are outside of your business. Even if you do not like what you hear, this kind of criticism is invaluable to rectifying any problems with your brand before it goes public.
Do not try to be controversial for its own sake
The disruptive start-up is a phrase that makes most marketing professionals shudder. Doing things in an unorthodox way is one thing but trying to be controversial for its own sake is quite another. When start-ups deliberately try to court controversy for its own sake, they inevitably look desperate and unprofessional. Try to lead with your product, your services, or your brand, rather than simply trying to turn heads because you are not afraid to use shock tactics.
Start-ups need to establish themselves as businesses that are worthy of attention for the right reasons and your content strategy must reflect that. Attracting people to your website or social media page with well crafted, informative articles, innovative video content and quality design work will always be more effective than sheer volume.