Content Marketing Agency

The Do’s and Don’ts when creating a content strategy for your startup

Ross Crawford
Ross Crawford/July 31, 2019

So you have finally set up properly optimised pages for your startup website. You have followed SEO guidelines and are now waiting with bated breath for your efforts to turn into tangible results. However, no matter where you turn to, you see no indicators of success. What could have gone wrong? Why aren’t your content properties, despite being well written and business specific, engaging users or ranking well as they should.

The biggest cause of content failure?

Without a proper strategy in place, no business can cut it in the long run. Likewise, your website should be anchored around a far-sighted content strategy that will see it through myriad challenges. Nothing is more detrimental to your business than a piece of ill-planned content. If you are a startup that produces a huge volume of content to no avail, you may be already familiar with some personal horror stories. Each of these stories is an opportunity squandered and time and money lost. What you and your business primarily need is a strategy-driven approach to content creation and promotion. The best part about creating quality content is that it wouldn’t cost you an arm and leg. On the contrary, by combining your specific business plan and our tried and tested content strategy guidelines, you can strategise your content right away. First up, start thinking and working like a content strategist.

Your rankings and keyword-driven content

First things first, keyword-driven content is not such a bad thing as long as it is not the only thing you are counting on for your startup website to rank. However, when you’re a startup company, a keyword-driven content should only become part of your broader content strategy. In order for your startup to be viable, there are many more important things you should leverage before you can focus exclusively on the content. But don’t worry, there’s a way for you to bring the best out of your content. Just follow our lead and you’ll be well on your way.

When you’re starting out, your website has neither the authority nor the link profile to effectively leverage your keyword-rich content.

  • Generic content posts will get you no results
  • Spend your valuable time creating valuable content
  • Create unique pieces that resonate with a niche audience
  • Publish original case studies that can inspire change in people

“The first, if not the most important, step is to try and be fundamentally different from every other content publisher out there.”

So instead of merely following suit by imitating what worked for others, you should develop content based on your research and business strategy.

Remember, a fine-tuned content strategy could well be the difference between your startup hitting the ground running and falling short of its potential. Identifying your business goals and building a content strategy around your unique problem-solving skills will give you the edge over your competitors.

Bursting popular myths surrounding the web rankings of startups

For most startups, learning about their slim chances of ranking can be a hard pill to swallow. However, it is better to learn about it sooner as opposed to learning it the hard way.So here’s that unpalatable truth every startup wishes it could ignore:
Unless you have earned a steady influx of traffic and a loyal fan base, the authority of your website would be pretty weak. Meaning that your ranking chances are zero. On top of that most of the keyword-driven content is already dominated by industry big guns with decade-long experience of creating and promoting their branded content.

“Even long tail keywords have been captured and optimised by experienced brands.”

When you have low domain authority and poor link profile, then depending on the competition, it may even take three to five years for your brand keywords to rank on SERP. At this stage, what all startups need are exposure and brand awareness. Developing run-of-the-mill keyword-driven content is not going to help you achieve it.

Expanding your network connections

In the world of business, you are only as good as the quality of the connections you boast. The more people you have affiliations with, the better. When you operate within a closely-knit network where you vouch for each other’s content, you are essentially helping each grow. However, most startups don’t have the luxury of working in such a symbiotic environment. After all, most startups have little or no value to offer. Your connections play a critical role in helping you rank for desired niche keywords. Let’s look at some creative ways in which you can use content to build authority for your new website.

Publish well-researched pieces that offer unique perspectives

When you’re working with domain authority of 50 to 60, you can actually consider optimising the content accordingly. But that shouldn’t be your concern. You should conduct original research into topics that offer value to users. Hook your readers with compelling details while at the same time breaking the monotony by combining hard data and storytelling. This is a good way to make your content more share-worthy. You can create painstakingly researched surveys containing relevant questions, and run campaigns for them on social media channels.

You will be surprised to see the fundamental change these small initiatives can bring about in improving website authority.

Interviewing influencers and building your connections

Interviews are always a delight to read. Things get a lot more engaging when interviewees are famous people in the industry. Readers are interested in learning about unique perspectives on topics. With a diverse range of opinions on display, there is a greater chance of interviews being discussed more widely on social media.

Well, what about the small-time startups with no connections to their name?

Just reach out to experts and ask them for their views on emerging trends. Make sure to keep things simple.  You should simply give a shout to the people involved. There is always a likelihood of them sharing the interviews and discussing it among themselves. When the interview is ready to be published, send them a copy, thanking them for their time and participation. Don’t bother asking them to share the content. After all, if they like what they see, they will surely share it themselves without your request.

Identifying and understanding your primary audience

Before creating a content strategy you should at least create a semi-fictional representation of your ideal audience. Define the persona of the target audience using different types of metrics. You can easily search and select from the wide range of persona template available online. The best way to keep your theorised persona as close to the ideal audience as possible is by asking these basic questions:

  • How much knowledge does your audience have of your service, product or industry
  • What are the main issues faced by the target audience and how they are related to your business
  • Do they have solutions to their problems? If not, how can you solve them?
  • What type of content they look up online and read? Articles? Blogs? Videos?
  • What are the sources where they find such content?

Content-Strategy

Creating an efficient workflow for the editorial process

You may be part of a cross-functional team where everybody has different views about how content should be. Everyone from your CEO to developer and designer may like to weigh in on the subject matter. Well, that’s going to be difficult to manage. When you have to take into account myriad opinions, it is always bound to leave you with some confusion. You can save your precious time and spare yourself the trouble of filtering through a cacophony of opinions. Just create a standard workflow that can really streamline the editorial process with minimal effort. Each stage will require the intervention of a single person or collaboration between selected individuals. You can determine the amount of time allowed for the completion of different sections. This way, you will have a more flexible workflow within the team, and more importantly, save you some time.

With a smarter strategic approach to content creation, your startup will grow in the right direction.

The first step toward creating a strong content strategy for your fledgeling startup is by dispensing with the popular notion; that more is better.

Anyone who can follow these basic dos and don’ts of content marketing while putting in some extra effort can take their startup to the next level. For those founders who want some professional assistance, Mr Digital is always on-hand with their unique approach to creating an industry-specific content strategy. 

LET’S BUILD SOMETHING GREAT TOGETHER

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