3 content marketing tips for startups

Content marketing is one of the most important marketing tools you need to have in your toolbox as a startup founder.

The first reason is that content marketing has near-zero start-up capital requirements, which is extremely valuable in the early start-up stages where the resources you need to invest in your project consist mostly of the time and effort of your founding team.

The second reason is that content is a great way to engage with your target audience and better understand their wants and needs. After all, in the early stages of startup, your main goal is to iterate on your offering and find the product-market fit. So, if your marketing strategy gives you information that helps you in pursuit of PMF, then it generates additional value.

So here are three important tips for doing effective content marketing as a startup:

1. Create value, don’t blatantly advertise

The competition for people’s attention today is extremely fierce. No one would invest time in consuming content that they don’t really find interesting or useful.

For this reason, you need to think about your content the same way you think about your product. Why would people want to eat it? What value does it bring them?

You can only think about how to advertise your brand and product after you get good answers to these two questions, and you have to be careful. If your content feels like blatant advertising, it would turn people off, which means it wouldn’t generate any promotional value anyway.

It’s a good idea to research the competition for content available to your target customers on different platforms and think about whether you see any holes in the content market that you can enter.

2. Genuinely engage with the community

Assuming you are starting from scratch – i.e. you don’t have an audience yet, then you should think about how you start gaining your first subscribers/followers.

One of the best ways to do this is to truly engage with the community. Participate in forums relevant to your industry (e.g. subreddits) and/or interact with content from other creators on social media and YouTube.

Don’t engage just to plug in your own content – again, you need to create value. Share your interesting opinions and experiences.

This way, people who come across you on other content and find you interesting could follow you and become the first active advocates for your content.

Getting the first active subscribers and advocates for your content is a crucial step because the engagement they give you sends positive signals to the algorithms of the distribution platforms you use. This in turn increases the chances of your content being promoted algorithmically.

3. Focus on one medium and one distribution channel

We’ve already mentioned that you don’t have access to a lot of capital in the early start-up stages. Your time, however, is also limited. Getting good enough with a medium and a distribution channel is hard enough, so it’s a big mistake to try to do too much with too few resources. Simplicity and focus are your allies as a startup founder – don’t spread yourself too thin.

To ensure that your content marketing efforts are successful, you need to ensure that your content, as well as your promotional strategies, are the best in your niche.

To make this a realistic goal, you need to focus as much as possible – a distribution channel and support is the way to go in the early stages.

Once you grow up, you can afford to hire experts in other media and channels, but even then, it’s not a good idea to spread your efforts too thinly.

“Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left.” —Seth Godin

Content marketing for startups has its specifics that you need to be aware of if you intend to invest in this marketing strategy for your business. In short, creating value, genuinely engaging with the community, and focusing your efforts as much as possible is a recipe for success.