7 content strategy tips for start-ups
We don’t often do this, but we are reposting an article that customers may find useful. This article is by Danny Chadburn of our friends over at iCrossing UK. You can find the original article at: http://connect.icrossing.co.uk/7-content-strategy-tips-startups_8902
The launch of your own business is an exciting time; the long nights mulling over the business plan, the countless branding tweaks and the prospect of being part of the start of something big.
There’s nothing to stop you making a big splash with your new business. You may have a genuinely life-changing proposition, but success ultimately relies on getting the attention of people likely to benefit from your site, and hopefully compelling them to spread the word far and wide.
Developing a content strategy for start-ups differs massively from an established organisation. You don’t have legacy content to consider revising or retiring, you don’t have multiple layers of management to deal with to make decisions, you don’t have reams of data to trawl through and analyse, and you don’t have time to be sat around in meeting rooms discussing how a content feature might impact your PR activities.
All you need to worry about is getting noticed, and these seven tips will set you on your way:
- Believe what you say
This isn’t a time to be timid or apologetic. If you don’t have faith in your business, nobody else will give you the time of day.
The benefits your audience will get from using or buying your service – actual benefits that you’ve identified, researched, tested and verified, not ones that you’ve plucked out of thin air – can be used to create a memorable message that everything you subsequently create refers back to.
- Tweak your tagline
The overall mission of your business should be neatly wrapped up in a concise statement to re-emphasise people’s perception of your business.
On your website, bolster this tagline with a relevant search friendly term and place it within your meta data. This makes it more likely that people will find your site and discover what you have to offer.
- Be selectively social
Head to any new start-up’s website and they’re likely to have performed the obligatory social sweep, setting up Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube accounts to sit alongside their blog. Building meaningful communities on these networks is a huge task and each requires a distinct communications approach and uniquely tailored content that will attract the right kind of people who hang out there.
Snapping up the usernames early on is a must, but you don’t necessarily have to use and publicise the platforms just because you own them; focus on one area in particular to begin with, then expand as you learn about your audience and discover what resonates with them.
- Scale content production
Many start-ups create masses of content from the get-go. Invariably, things quickly tail off as other business priorities, development needs or marketing ventures take precedence, meaning the river of content becomes a trickle.
A sustainable and scalable approach to content takes into account the dedicated resources required for creation, and puts emphasis on continued learning of what works and what doesn’t.
- Create signature content
A single idea executed well is better than 100 implemented badly. By creating useful content that’s indisputably yours, you’re producing a calling card – something for your audience to remember you by that they’ll keep coming back for.
Not every business can come up with a willitblend.com, but if you can produce something of use, value or interest at manageable intervals, you’ll start to develop real affinity with your customers. Whether it’s a weekly quiz or a quarterly ‘state of the industry’ infographic, build it, brand it and persist with it.
- Plan ahead
During your launch period you’ll hopefully be very busy; fulfilling orders, conducting countless media interviews and ironing out the inevitable bugs in your website. How are you going to find time to create good content?
If you’ve analysed your target audience – and if you’re launching a new business you certainly should have done – then you can make certain assumptions about the kind of content that will be of interest to them.
Populating a 12 month content plan based on this research and your marketing plan will save you from having to constantly be thinking of new ideas on newsletter deadline day, and you may even be able to prepare some of this content in advance so it’s ready to be released according to your schedule.
- Encourage content creators
In every business, each member of staff has a unique story to tell, and giving them an outlet is good practice. Make content development everybody’s responsibility as part of their job spec, with the necessary quality checks in place of course.
The content you produce defines the personality of your business, acting as the middleman between your products and your customers. Setting the right content foundations from the outset will result in many benefits further down the line as your business expands, helping you to share your on-going success story.