Content (marketing) is king! We show you how you can use content to create targeted long-term marketing for you company and what the term “content marketing” actually entails.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing refers to the strategic scheduling, creation, and distribution of content tailored for a specific target audience with the goal to position your brand, acquire potential customers and sway them towards a certain action (usually, buying your product) creating customer loyalty in the process.
Opposed to classical marketing that often advertises the product or the service offered by your company, content marketing strongly focuses on the target audience’s wishes and wants.
Content marketing includes many different types of free content, e.g.
- blog posts
- social media posts and articles
- ebooks …
- … and many more
Why Is Content Marketing Important For Your Startup?
Already in 1891, Dr. Oetker – today one of our partners in our B2B ecosystem – started printing recipes on their products thereby creating added value for their customers and strong emotional ties to the company. And thus, the foundation for modern-day contenting was laid!
In our current marketing landscape, classical advertising receives less and less attention which makes the principle behind content marketing all the more important. By applying this principle you can convey your message using content that is tailored precisely to address your potential customers’ problems. Consequently, your target audience exhibits more interaction with your message and your product than if you had “clobbered” them with pure product advertisement.
Targeted content marketing also achieves
- long-lasting and strong customer loyalty. In the long-term, content marketing might cost significantly less than classical advertisement.
- better SEO performance resulting in more visibility for your and your startup.
- more bang for your buck. You can achieve high-impact results with a small marketing budget.
A good example for a successful content marketing campaign in the world of startups is Hubspot. You might not be able to imagine it today but Hubspot started out as a young startup in 2006 before they had their dramatic growth spurt thanks to innovative high-quality content such as whitepapers, case studies, and ebooks. To receive these free items, users just had to provide their data which automatically made them leads. So, Hubspot generated 75% of all their leads through freely available content. That’s content marketing at its best!
How Can You Use Content Marketing In Your Startup?
Generally, content marketing follows different, recurring steps:
First, precisely define the goals of your communication efforts, your target audience(s), and the core message of your brand
Based on your strategy, create first content ideas, prioritize them, and write a content publishing schedule. Think carefully which KPIs you are going to use to measure the success of your efforts.
Carefully produce your content. You should always be mindful that you tell a consistent company story that is built on your core messages.
Publish the content using the best suitable channels
Evaluate the performance of your contents and, if necessary, adapt with your strategy and refine the contents accordingly.
How Can You Define Your Target Adience?
What you need to do to be able to correctly target your audience with your message and to produce the right content addressing real customers problems is to define a so-called Buyer Persona for your startup. Buyer Personae are fictitous characters which represent specific target audiences. To define such a Buyer Persona, you have to create a profile for every target audience using the following demographic data:
age, place of residence, job, income level, interests/hobbys, life goals, personal values.
This data can be complemented by additional metrics which might be relevant for your specific target audience – such as media usage or job experience. Gathering all these data requires market research or polling/interviewing your existing customer base.
The Right Kind Of Storytelling For Your Content Marketing
By now, you know what an important lever content marketing can be in your customer communication and how you can determine Buyer Personae to create targeted content. The next step requires thinking on how to best produce your contents. The decisive factor in your content marketing is the right storytelling.
Why storytelling? Our brain processes knowledge best if it is part of an easily understood story. We are programmed to recognize information patterns and imbue them with meaning. This is something you should be aware of when you create content because, of course, you want your message to reach your customers.
Since the average human attention span is becoming shorter, you should keep your story also accordingly short. The shorter and more concise your story the better the message will stick in the heads of your target audience.
However, it’s not that easy to establish good storytelling. Take storytelling seriously! Every good story follows a pattern and is logically constructed. It should contain essential coomponents such as:
- Core message & goal formation
What do you want to achieve with your story? What’s the core message?
Who is the protagonist of your story? Who can the audience relate to best?
A good story always features a problem or a conflict. Yours should be based on the real problems that your Buyer Personae are facing.
The most popular end to a story is, of course, the Happy End – the conflict is resolved.
The core principle of every story and the foundation of every company storytelling is the “Golden Circle”; a model made famous by Simon Sinek. He described his model in three core questions that the communication department absolutely must anser:
- Why do you do what you? (motivation/values)
- How do you do what you? (processes/approach)
- What do you do? What exactly are you offering (product/service)?
Storytelling gives you the opportunity to tell people about the “Why“ of your startup and your product. Well-produced content becomes the decisive factor of your content marketing and thus the ultimate vehicle for communicating your company values.
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