How to Get Started with Content Marketing for Startups

Interested in starting content marketing for your business? Here are a few quick tips to help you start implementing today!

Getting the ball rolling on your marketing strategy can seem very overwhelming in the beginning. Especially if you’re an entrepreneur starting a new business and running in every direction possible. You know that your business needs to have a presence online to have a chance of success but where to start? 

I’ve been making content for social media for over 2 years now with a healthy amount of mistakes – even to this day I’m still learning. This article will help you skip over some of my biggest mistakes and help you get started today with marketing your business online.

5 Tips to help you get started with content marketing today

Hey, I’m Alan Armstrong, the founder of The Strong Startup. I started this company in Feb 2020 with the goal of helping entrepreneurs like you get access to the best free entrepreneurship education there is. 

At the time I realized that video was (and possibly already was) the future and the best possible way to create the impact I wanted. So I dove headfirst into the waters of content marketing making a tonne of mistakes along the way but staying as consistent as possible for over 2 years and still going strong. 

Over that time I’ve learned some valuable lessons which I’ll share with you in this article to help you improve the visibility and community around your business. 

1. Why one social media channel is better than many

In the very beginning, I tried to implement a full marketing plan across multiple social media channels. Big mistake.

Sometimes the vision of where we want to be gets mixed up with where we are right now. That was me in the early days – killing myself trying to repost all my content across multiple channels. 

In the end, I got frustrated with the lack of views and growth on my channels and gave up for a few months. 

I managed to get back on track by simplifying my strategy. I started a 30-day TikTok challenge. One short 30-sec video every single day on only 1 channel, TikTok. This helped me gain the momentum and confidence I needed to grow. I could focus on my specific audience on this platform and tailor the content for them without being distracted or stressed about posting on 5 other social media platforms.

Thanks to this strategy of focusing on 1 social media platform I managed to iterate my content fast to something my audience really loved. I grew exponentially and now TikTok is my biggest platform with close to 100k followers at the time of writing. 

Once I got comfortable making content on TikTok I started to adapt these daily videos for other platforms one at a time.

Select only 1 social media channel to start with, preferably a channel where your target customers are active.

Of course, don’t forget to register your username on all other channels even if you don’t use them right away. 

2. To start, build your initial audience for free 

All of my social media growth has been completely organic (free) to date – you can do the same.

You’re probably already comfortable with 1 or two social media platforms through your personal use. Pick a platform and content format that you’re comfortable with.

Research a few other big accounts in your niche that are posting regularly on your selected platform. The goal is not to copy them but to get inspiration for the type of content that works on the platform. 

You can grow for free on any social media platform but two amazing channels to grow exponentially are TikTok and LinkedIn. Without any paid advertising you can grow like crazy on these platforms, reach 100s of thousands of your customers and drive massive amounts of traffic to your business. 

The best part of organic growth is that you can already start even before you have a product or service ready to sell. This helps you build trust with your potential customers first through delivering valuable content. 

You can even start by using your own personal brand if you prefer. LinkedIn is a perfect example of a platform where your personal brand can be used very effectively to grow your business.

Why you shouldn’t do paid advertising just yet

A quick word of warning on spending any money on marketing right now, especially if you don’t have any significant revenue yet. 

The main risk relates to the fact that you probably do not yet know how to communicate effectively with your audiences on different platforms. Content marketing is not a one-size-fits-all deal. Every platform requires a slightly different twist on your content as the audiences differ. 

Before spending any real money on paid advertising give free content marketing a few weeks or months. You’ll learn quickly what resonates best with your audience and once you nail down that unique content formula you’ll be better able to effectively utilize paid advertising when you’re ready. 

If you are pre-revenue and still want to spend money on marketing  I personally believe that it’s best to invest in people instead of paid advertising. Hire a part-time or freelancer content marketing professional to help you get started. 

3. Give your audience something to do & somewhere to go

Just like when you’re pitching your business idea it’s vital that each piece of content you create has a clear call to action. 

In one sense people need to be very directly told what to do when they’re engaging with your content. Ask them directly to follow you, comment below with an answer, subscribe to your channel, or visit this website for more info. 

This call to action is absolutely critical – I cannot emphasize this enough. Try it for yourself and post a question on LinkedIn or any other social media platform. If your question is engaging enough people will respond. The more direct you are the more likely you’ll engage your audience. Keep in mind that engagement is the key metric you should be striving for. 

The call to action gives your audience something to do (it engages them) and giving them somewhere to GO is just as important. 

The general aim of your content should be to drive people somewhere where you can potentially sell to them (either now or later on). 

Try to capture your audience with a newsletter, resource page, blog, or event page to bring them closer to your business. Social media can provide a massive amount of value to your audience but it’s the carrot and the stick is them buying from your business. So make it easy for them to be able to learn more about your business.

The easiest way to do this is by having an attractive bio on your social media profile pages. Insert a relevant link for your newsletter signup or link directly to your website so your audience can easily find your business. 

4. Deliver Value with your content, for free

The best examples of content marketing are companies that share knowledge for free.

Continuously post content that is valuable for your community or audience. Some founders struggle to know what content to post. Always think about what might be useful or valuable for your customers and don’t forget that as a founder you have a certain level of expertise in a given area. Share what you know. 

Share knowledge about your startup field or your own expertise, show behind the scenes, discuss your progress and challenges, and start a conversation around your business area not just on your product.

For a truly amazing example of a company that does this splendidly check Slidebean. They make more revenue through their YouTube channel than through their main business (presentation software among other things).

5. Select a very specific Target Audience 

Clarity is the key to being effective with content marketing. Similar to the first tip I gave about picking one social media channel to start try to avoid simply targeting “everyone” and try to get specific about your target audience. 

When you target everyone, just like when you try to start posting on every social media platform, you’ll dilute the impact of your content. 

Your social media audience should be very similar to your ideal customer profile. Describe your ideal customer as one specific person & build content for them.

This will help you empathize with your audience and potential customers.

For an excellent example of how specific you may need to get when defining your audience check out this amazing tweet thread from Nathan Barry CEO of ConvertKit on how niching down with his target audience helped his company grow exponentially. 

Getting started is the hardest part. 

There is a lot of fear and obstacles in the way of starting content marketing. Entrepreneurs worry a lot about their brand and ruining customer relations with content that is not perfect. 

There is no perfect. Getting started today is simply the best thing that you could do. Gaining that experience is priceless and you’ve more to lose by not posting that posting. 

I hope these tips help you get started with content marketing today.

Feel free to reach out via email if you’ve got any questions: Chat with me

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