The question is not whether you should do content marketing, but how good your content is.
Before you start creating your content you should know what type of content you’re going to publish or how that content should look like.
Along the way, you’ll face dilemmas such as whether to hire someone to create content for your or do it yourself.
Also, when it comes to promoting the content, there are many options and you’ll need to decide where to put your focus on.
Publishing valuable content is something that startups simply must do. Your audience will learn about your company through the content you publish.
So, instead of talking about the importance of content marketing, in this blog post I’m going to answer the critical questions about content marketing for startups.
Just like everything in content marketing, and business in general, choosing the type of content for your business depend on many factors.
Still, the type of business should be the strongest factor to determine your content. But the choice isn’t always clear.
For example, if your customers are tourists, then writing articles about attractive destinations seems like an obvious choice, but if you’re in the trucking industry, then you might wonder what type of content you should create.
However, the fact that B2C companies that blog generate nearly 90% more leads than those who don’t, tells you that with blogs, you can make the difference.
So, even if you produce some videos or other content types, it’s most likely that your focus will be on writing blog posts.
Therefore from now on, in this blog post, I’ll refer to a writing blog posts as a piece of content that startups should create.
Whatever content you create, the business orientation will strongly determine how the content should look like.
The nature of the content in B2B and B2C businesses will be different because the business orientation is different on almost every level.
Indiamart nicely compared how B2B marketing is different from B2C.
The blog posts for B2B’s are so different than blog posts for B2C’s, that I personally consider them different types of content.
Here is one example of a typical B2B blog post.
Can you imagine that any consumer would be interested in the headline called SEO Above the Funnel? Me neither. But the anyone interested in SEO will love it.
Now take a look at B2C example.
Who is interested to read the theories ending of Game of Thrones? Better ask who isn’t. Can you see what I’m trying to say? The both examples are articles, but apart from that, there are no connecting dots.
A B2B article has a business tone all over it and provides the solution for very specific problem whereas B2C article is for the wide audience.
Another question is how long the blog posts should be. Let’s see what content gets shared on social networks.
Content length with 3000 and more words are shared a lot more than those fewer words.
Personally, I find very interesting that content with fewer than 2000 words is more shared than content with 2000-3000 words, that apparently don’t get shares at all.
Obviously, an in depth articles are recognized as the most valuable, which makes perfect sense.
People want solutions and guides in one place, and such things are impossible to put in blog posts of few hundreds of words.
To generate ideas for your content it’s much better to use some of many available tools instead of making up new ideas on your own.
There are many reasons for this. The fact that you simply can’t know what your customers are looking for, without using tools, is probably the strongest argument.
So, here are the tools and how to use them to help you in finding ideas for your content.
This is a free alternative to Google Adwords Planner that can help you with keyword suggestions, and it doesn’t require creating an account.
Go to the Keywordtool.io and type the phrase related to your business and click on the search icon.
You’ll get the results in Suggestions and Questions tabs.
To get insights about Search Volume, CPC and AdWords Competition you’ll need to sign up for Keyword Tool Pro, but at this point, you won’t need that much. Why?
Among the results, especially in Questions tab, you can find keywords with more than four words popularly called long tail keywords.
For startups with limited budget long tail keywords are the chance to breakthrough with your content. I’ll get back to this later on.
Quora is the most visited site for answering the questions related to all kinds of topics.
For you, it’s a great chance to find hot questions related to your industry.
On Quora.com as you type your search term you’ll get popular topics suggestions.
Whatever topic you choose, you’ll find tons of questions that you can use as your content idea.
In case of content marketing, there were 3.4k questions under the topic of Content Marketing.
It’s hard to find a bigger pool of ideas than that, don’t you agree?
You’ve probably heard, or you definitely will once you dive into content marketing world, that Google Planner tends to push the high competitive keywords.
That’s because of enormous profit they make from their advertising system. Whether that’s true or not, Ubersuggest is the tool you can use to add more keywords to your list.
After all, they claim that they quickly provide keywords not available in Google Keyword Planner.
Simply paste the keyword you like and click on suggest.
It will add words to the term you’ve typed and order them alphabetically.
It’ll look something like this.
Except for keyword ideas you’ll also have insights about Search Volume and CPC.
You saw how with a help of tools you can generate tons of ideas for content on your own in short time. That was an easy part.
Creating a content is another step. The real dilemma is whether to hire a professional or to do it yourself. If you chose to hire a pro you need be aware of the costs.
Here is some info about online marketing content writer salary in the U.S.
According to this research, total pay goes from $30,207 to $69,268 annually.
This is what you can expect if you hire a worker in the house to do it a full-time job. Another alternative is to outsource.
Here are the most popular places to outsource:
You’ll see that price for hiring a native speaker usually starts from $25 per hour. Also, it depends on things like content length, workers experience, research and more.
That's why prices may vary from $25 to $200 per blog post. You know your budget, but I believe that as a startup business you should consider creating content yourself.
As I said at the before, it's the most likely that your content will be writing blog posts. It’s a process that takes some time.
At the beginning, you’ll be slower, but over the time you’ll figure out how to speed up the process.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to write a quality post in less than two hours. When you reach the level to pull it off within a working day, you can say that you become efficient.
Here is how they do it at Buffer.
Obviously, they spend slightly less than 3 hours of effective time. I think that’s incredibly fast.
Let’s see how long it takes for Orbit Media Studios to write an average blog post.
The results are similar to Buffer.
Notice how over the years, the average time spent on writing blog posts has increased.
These results are average, and every post requires its own time and sometimes it will take significantly more time.
Take a look.
As I said before, there is a point where you won’t be able to cut the time without losing the quality.
Now you probably ask yourself how much blog posts do you need to make an impact.
Here is what HubSpot say about it.
Looking at Indexed Traffic you can see that companies with more than 16 blog posts got 3.5 times more traffic than those who publish less than 4 blog posts on monthly basis.
So the math is clear - the more blogs you publish the more traffic you’ll get.
However, don’t lose the quality of your content or otherwise, you’ll spend your time for nothing.
Why? With low-quality content, you won’t get good links, the bounce rate will be too high and Google will shortly recognize it as a rubbish and you won’t get anywhere near top rankings.
In this situation, the number of blog posts won’t do any good.
So again, create only valuable content. That’s the only way to make an impact.
In order to reach high ranks creating valuable content is half of the work. Another half is doing search engine optimization - SEO.
Now SEO is work that requires time and knowledge. Notice from the picture that you can optimize keywords, on-page factors, and technical stuff.
But the good news is that you could do is a lot on your own. You can learn here how to do quick SEO audit.
Earlier, I said that long-tail keywords should be your goal.
That goes both for organic ranks and paid ads on Google.
Long-tail keywords have lower costs and a higher probability of conversions. I’ve already shown how to find them.
Apart from search engine optimization and paid ads on Google, social networks are the place to where you should promote your content because that's where people are spending a lot of their time.
Here is how much time Americans spend on social networks every day, according to Sproutsocial.
Here are some more stats to point out just how good marketing opportunity social media is.
If you decide to promote your content on Facebook, I believe that these Facebook advertising tips will be the most helpful.
Also, I think you should learn how to gain more followers on Twitter, especially if your startup is B2B.
All the promotions and optimizations that you do, usually have the same goal - getting the leads and building your email lists.
Sending emails is marketing channel that allows personal approach which makes the difference. Plus, the fact is that people regularly check their emails.
Although sending emails is one of the oldest ways of reaching out the customers on the Internet, it’s still the most efficient marketing channel and that won’t change anytime soon.
When we say content, the first thing that comes to our minds are blogs, and we easily forget that content also includes videos, infographics, statistics reports and more.
If you can make good engaging videos or create some stunning infographics, that would be great.
Consider that as a bonus because it can bring you many benefits like quality links, more leads and more.
However, don’t stop publishing quality blog posts. Write an in depth actionable articles, so that your audience recognize your content as valuable.
Of course, you’ll need to do SEO to make the most of it. This where using long-tail keywords will be very useful. You saw it here how you can easily find it with help of different tools.
In the end, I want to say that you'll probably need to be patient. Sometimes it takes few hundreds of blog posts to make the difference, but eventually, it will worth it.