Developing a Content Strategy for Start Up Businesses
Launching your own business is an exciting time; long nights mulling over business plans, developing your brand and tweaking it to the nth degree, and prospect of being part of the start of something big.
In theory there is nothing to stop you making a large impact 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.
Arguably, therefore, one of the most important considerations for your website must be content. 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.
Here are 7 tips to get you on your way
1. Have Conviction in Your Message
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. Communicate factual benefits that you’ve identified, researched, tested and verified, not ones that you’ve plucked out of thin air. Use these messages to create a memorable message that you can relate to in subsequent communications.
2. Develop a Tagline and Use It
Only use a tagline if it is going to genuinely add benefit to the brand, product or service. The overall mission of your business should be neatly wrapped up in a concise statement to re-emphasise people’s perception of your business.
You may chose to add this, in conjunction with a relevant search friendly term, within your meta data to help aid the natural search.
3. Be SMART with Social Media
Social Media is undoubtedly a brilliant tool to engage with your customer base. However, as with any other marketing channel you need to be SMART (specific, measured achievable, realistic, timely). You are likely to have performed the obligatory social sweep, setting up Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube accounts to sit alongside your blog. This isn’t necessarily the best strategy. Make sure that the social media channels are relevant. If you are B2B then the likes of facebook may not necessarily be the best channel for you, similarly with Twitter and B2C.Social Media Channels take time to build, and even more time to manage.
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.
4. Make Your Content Scalable
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.
There are also benefits to be had from an SEO point of view by maintaining fresh content on a regular basis on the site.
5. Create Content to Re-Engage Users
Try to develop something that is going to re-engage your users on a regular basis. This doesn’t need to be anything too fancy, 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.
6. Plan, Plan, Plan
During your launch period you’ll hopefully be very busy; managing your inventory, fulfilling orders, supporting other marketing channels and inevitably ironing out the bugs in your website. This shouldn’t stop you consistently creating good content though during this period.
A good idea whilst you are in the start up phase of your business is to create a 12 month content plan and develop as much additional content, based on your research and marketing plan as possible. This can be linked to blogs, emails and additional website content (possibly for services that you are launching later in the year).
Plan in advance and get ahead of the game!
7. Share The Workload
We have a policy here where we try to encourage every member of the team to write a blog once a month on the basis that it really helps to generate fresh content with a different perspective on each article.
Why not try the same in your 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.