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Startup Content Marketing Strategy Explained (in the SIMPLEST Form)

Updated: Apr 12

Hello, I'm Simon Zaku and welcome to my website and blog. According to Content Marketing Institute, 55% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers have said they’re unclear about what an effective content marketing strategy looks like. These includes SaaS startups, founders and marketers!

It is literally everywhere on the internet today, but what does an effective startup content marketing strategy or plan to look like?

What does it actually look like to build an effective content marketing strategy for your startup, business, or agency?

(In this article, I am going to highlight what this really is from my experience working with several companies as a content marketer .)

There’s so much content out there today preaching about all the good results and ROI (10000s of traffic with a 2%-10% signup rates) that comes with implementing an effective content marketing plan for your business.

But should you just begin creating blog content educating customers on how your software or product works and how you can help them?

Here are two (2) things;

  • Content marketing MUST take your readers on a marketing or sales journey.

  • There’s NO ONE perfect content marketing strategy that fits all.

Being in the digital space, you must understand that content can be the base-pillar of your entire marketing plan. But to attain this, your content must be able to accomplish two (2) things:

  1. Inform your customers about your products or services.

  2. Educate your customers with niche-related information that isn’t necessarily directly promoting your product.

A Startup Content Marketing Strategy: Here’s an Overview of What it Entails.

As a business, your number goal (or dream) is to acquire and retain paid customers or clients to your system – your content marketing must be able to accomplish this. Each idea you flesh out must be able to;

  • Solve (or answer) a problem or concern.

  • Take your potential customers on a buyer’s journey (marketing funnel).

  • Enlighten them on how your software can help solve these problems.

  • Get them to try your service and swipe their cards monthly.

In my previous blog post, I carefully discussed the three (3) principles I follow every single time when creating content for a company blog. I use a strategy that I call ‘the 3 E’s of writing high converting blog content’.

Every content piece must;

  1. Excite your target market to read.

  2. Educate them.

  3. Entice them to purchase your products or sign-up for your service.

The digital market is developing into one of the largest branches of the internet economy and content marketing as a marketing channel is really important.

There’s just more than enough reasons to use content marketing to grow your sales.

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing – In fact, with a proper content marketing strategy for your company, you may not even need to spend a dime on social media ads.

Interestingly enough, only 39% of B2B marketers say they have a documented content marketing strategy.

Without a plan, there’s definitely no goals you can hit.

Here’s what an effective content marketing strategy must look to achieve:

  1. Must increase brand awareness for your products or services (direct traffic and social mentions).

  2. Attract and convert readers into trial users, leads and eventually paying customers.

  3. Improve search rankings (longer term goal).

  4. Build a community around your brand (guest posting, social media communities).

  5. Tell stories that connect with your customers’.

“Okay. Let’s set up the Buffer blog. Let’s write about interesting things that are in the social media space so people find it interesting” – Leo Widrich, co-founder, Buffer.

#1. An Effective Content Marketing Strategy Must Be Able to Attract Leads and Email Sign-Ups and Customers) on Auti-Pilot.

Lead generation is one of the biggest returns you can ever get from your content marketing efforts.

Your content plan must have in place certain ways to attract email sign-ups daily from your content pieces.

To be clear, you could have a company blog OR an educational blog for your business.

What is the Difference Between a Company-Blog and an Educational-Blog (and which attracts more leads)?

Basically, an educational blog simply educates your readers with industry related content. These are content forms like;

  • ‘How to’ posts

  • ‘Why’ posts

  • Ultimate Guides

  • Detailed infographics.

On the other hand, a company blog focuses on updating your customers about company updates, new software features, job openings, employee updates and other company related news.

Now should businesses run educational or company blogs?

For your business blog to efficiently generate leads, your content plan must convert readers into email sign-ups and hopefully paying customers. This is mostly possible with an educational blog.

The big question now is;

“Does this mean every business, agency or startup looking to get email sign-ups must run an educational blog?”

Research reveals that blogs that educate gain 14% more organic traffic Vs company-focused blogs.

This indicates that company blogs do generate traffic, hence leads but educational blogs gain 14% more on average.

Think about it;

How would you reach out to 100s of users to read your blog post about your employees or new company updates?

Pretty difficult right?

It is way easier to reach out to 100s of users and influencer and say;

“Hey, I’m Simon, founder of XYZ. I just wrote a detailed blog content on ABC and I genuinely think it will help you do GHI in just 4 weeks”

Get the idea?

This doesn’t mean you should not publish company or news updates on your blog. In fact, I believe for your blog to succeed, it must be an educational/company blog.

Side Note: I’ll be posting a detailed, separate blog guide on deciding whether to run a company blog or an educational blog. I’d appreciate if you sign-up to my newsletter to get updated the moment I publish it. Click here to join my free content marketing forum for startup founders and marketers!

#2. An Effective Content Marketing Strategy Must Increase Your Startup Brand Awareness

Content marketing is an inbound marketing strategy thus should increase brand awareness for your brand. In essence, your content plan must focus on promoting each content piece you put out effectively.

Today, there is a lot of content been put out every day but how do you stand out?

Research shows customers read around 5-11 content pieces before making a purchase decision.

This portrays the effectiveness of content for digital business.

Content marketing has grown really popular in the last decade which has led to a massive growth in the number of startup content pieces put out everyday and an abrupt decrease in content quality now than ever.

Here’s the thing;

Your content pieces must be able to attract direct traffic and you know that!

Thing is, only quality content that adds value to people can attract any kind of traffic (direct, referral, social, SEO).

An effective content marketing strategy should highlight the following:

  • Content length for each piece.

  • Promotional strategies and channels for every content you publish.

  • Analytics and tools to measure attracted traffic (sources, forms, referrals).

  • Improve search rankings.

#3: A Successful Startup Content Strategy Must Boost Your SERPs (Search Engine Rankings).

Search marketing is a long term game and from my experience working with a couple of companies, new startups should focus more on direct, referral, and social traffic as they tend to yield faster (and sometimes better) results during the early stages of your new business.

An effective content marketing plan should include search engine optimization strategies to attract and build backlinks, optimize every post, run keyword research, and other useful SEO techniques that will gradually build your SEO power in the long run.

Truth is…

SEO may fail for you at the beginning!

SEO may take sometime. To gain dominance, it may take time to build backlinks and a strong domain profile to rank high.

These take time to happen.

And for these things to build, you must apply strategies, put out exceptional content and promote it like hell!

Rather than focusing solely on SEO, I personally always advise new startups to invest only about 10-20% of their time and investments to SEO while 80-90% of their time to building influence, joining communities, creating top notch content and adding immense value to their readers and customers.

#4: An Effective Content Strategy Must Tell Stories that Connect with Your Target Customers

A proper content marketing plan must tell stories and build a community around your business and brand culture – I believe these 2 work hand-in-hand.

People connect with stories and a great brand is remembered not by great features but by the stories their audience remembers them for.

Storytelling is key to selling anything and has always been this way.

Personally, I’ve found storytelling to be the most effective way to build a community around your brand and also convert readers to customers.

As opposed to that, a lot of digital businesses today depend on data statistics and analytics to convert customers through content.

Your content strategy should clearly define your brand message with a strong foundation that connects with your customers.

It is definitely not easy to say that buyers do not purchase products based on hard facts and data but building an emotional connection using powerful storytelling is an important strategy.

In fact, data and facts are powerful in B2B selling but your B2B strategy should have storytelling incorporated in your content pieces.

Your strategy should state what your brand mission is, why you do what you do, why you do what you do and in a way that resonates with your customers and target audience.

To build a community around your brand, other channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram should be introduced.

#5: Finally, an Effective Content Marketing Strategy Must be Diversified

Not all content pieces must be written – video, audio and other visual content formats are also effective.

“Instead of creating your content for potential customers, create it for influencers who are already reaching them.” – Rand Fishkin

In fact, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.

Also, 70% of the US population are familiar with the term ‘podcasting’ and 22% of the US population listen to podcasts at least every month.

These are fast growing platforms and could be a part of your content marketing plan.

In the startup space, content must be diversified into various forms for more impact and ROI.

Click here to join our free community forum for founders and marketers to access and download the "Top ROI-Focused Content Formats Your Startup Should Consider Branching Into" for FREE.

What content marketing plan do you have for your startup?

Do you have a documented content marketing strategy for your startup?

Finally, what’d you think about this post?

Let me know in the comments section so it can help me produce even better content.

Do not leave without joining our free community forum for startup founders and b2b marketers and get access to 17 content and marketing pdf files all for free.

Click here to request to join the free content marketing forum!

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