Getting started in content marketing, especially if you’re working at a startup, can seem daunting. It involves more than simply creating stimulating, engaging blog posts, videos, and infographics to drive sales, which is difficult enough as it is, but also you have to be an expert in spreading awareness across the digital world.
Beyond writing enjoyable copy or creating high-quality visuals, you have to integrate the use of content management tools, website data, and social media algorithms to boost your content’s performance. Many hats must be worn if you want your content marketing strategy to be successful.
It also requires a lot of self-scrutiny. How is your content research strategy panning out? Does your content live up to expectations? Can you analyze the reasons why something was a failure while something else was a success? Are sales goals ultimately being met? Those people who are able to understand both sides of content marketing, the creative and analytical, will be the ones to truly harness the power of content creation.
If you can do that, you will be sure to see enormous gains as your company grows. Studies suggest content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, yet it generates three times as many leads. Large companies can afford to spend money on both old and modern methods of marketing, but startups have to be more innovative. Here are some simple yet crucial content marketing tips for startup companies.
Set Clear Content Marketing Goals
It’s a common mistake among startups, which may not have a clearly defined content marketing strategy. Creating content without defining a goal and losing steam after dumping resources into something that demands to be fed constantly without seeing much results can drive anybody crazy. What you need to do is figure out how to measure success in a meaningful and achievable way. Decide what your key performance indicators will be and go from there. Remember that sales, not website traffic or shares on social media, should be the main goal.
Here are a few simple steps to help you set clear content marketing goals.
Find Your Target
What do you want to achieve with content marketing? Let’s say you want to be a thought leader in your industry in order to boost your reputation as an influencer in your field. Boom! Now you have a goal in mind. Stay focused and do what needs to be done to achieve this status.
Make Goals Measurable
It’s important to make sure your goals can be measured. This gives you an opportunity to find out what things work and what can be improved. It also has a positive psychological effect. If you can see the results of your hard work, it encourages you to continue growing and push even harder. You get to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Continuing with the example above—you want to be a thought leader—it’s possible to measure success by counting the number of times you’ve been tapped for information or to be a source for a news story. As your reputation continues to grow, you will also be able to track how many conversions were made from different inbound channels.
Goals Must Be Achievable
Always aim high, but try to stay realistic. It would be fantastic if you could make $1 million in your first month, but, honestly, is it within the realm of possibility? If you set goals that are achievable, you can test to see if your strategy is actually working without being deflated. Historical data is a safe way to come up with a realistic strategy.
Stick With Relevant Goals
Social media shares can be a great way to promote your brand and increase exposure, but at the end of the day retweets on Twitter and Facebook likes don’t actually make you money. It’s great if you can establish a large following and get the word out about your product or service, but social media stats aren’t always a useful metric. Driving traffic to your site is one thing, but making sales is another.
Give Yourself a Deadline
Stick to a timeline with your goals. By defining a time frame for your content marketing strategy, you can always take a step back and evaluate whether or not you’re where you need to be. If you’re too far off your target, consider switching things up to hurry everything along.
Defining success should be straightforward. Set a sales goal and a time frame. If you haven’t met your goal, you need to figure out the reason why.