As a new business owner, you have lots on your plate and very little time, let alone financial resources. Once you’ve started your business, you need to find your target customers and make them want to buy from you. That’s where content marketing comes in.
Digital marketing is said to be the great equalizer, where a startup can compete effectively with larger, more established businesses. But if you own a new business, you have to know where to put in your time, energy and money, or you will find yourself spinning your wheels.
Digital marketing for new business
Obviously, you need a secure, mobile-responsive website that promotes your brand and communicates why potential customers should use your services or purchase your products over those of your competition. But that is not enough. Unlike the movie, “Field of Dreams,” you can’t just build it, because “they” won’t come unless “they” know you exist and have a good reason to spend their time and money on your products or services.
So, how can you make sure that your target customers find you?
There are several digital marketing strategies to implement, including:
- Search engine optimization
- Content marketing
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Display advertising
- Social media marketing
- Paid social media advertising
- Video marketing
Each of the above strategies requires time and money, two things that startups do not have in abundance. Choosing the right digital marketing strategy depends a lot on your particular business, as well as your financial resources. Obviously, if you can afford it, you would do well to retain a reputable digital marketing agency that can guide you in determining and implementing the best online marketing strategies for your business.
But for many new entrepreneurs, money is in short supply and you have to act now or your business will die on the vine.
DIY content marketing for startups
This is for the DIYers who want to use content marketing as a means to promote their businesses. If that sounds like you, and you can allocate the time (even if it is between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m.), you can develop and implement an effective content marketing strategy that will drive customers to your business without costing you an arm and a leg.
Here is what you need to get started and drive sales:
Blog early and often
Your website should already have the basics covered: a clear description of your brand, including who you are and what you do; and a list of your products and services with clear descriptions of each one and what makes you different, better, best.
Use your blog to expand on that, and tell your story. Consider long-form content for your blog posts. Data shows that longer blog posts (well over 2,000 words) tend to occupy the top spots in Google search results. Talk about why you started the business, what inspires you, your customers, how you help people, what makes your products or services the best out there, etc.
Get your customers to talk about their experiences with your product or service and build those testimonials into your blog posts. Doing so will demonstrate your thought leadership in your area of expertise.
Go beyond written content
Set up your smartphone and record yourself talking about each of the above topics on video. Upload the videos to YouTube and embed them in your blog posts to make them more dynamic, interesting and shareable.
Record your customers describing their experience with your company from a “man on the street” perspective, and share them on social media.
Record audio interviews with your customers talking about your startup’s products and services, and turn them into podcasts. Not only will this put your company in front of potential new customers, it will generate backlinks to your website and blog, which will help you with SEO.
Use an online freelance marketplace like Fiverr to find graphic artists to create infographics that you can embed on your own blog and share on social media. Yes, there is a cost for this, but it is affordable even for startups.
Contact other businesses in your community and offer to contribute guest content to their blog. In exchange, allow them to contribute to yours, as well. Give them some visual content (video, graphics, etc.) to make it more likely that their customers will notice your content and be inclined to share it.
In today’s digital marketplace, content is indeed king. As a new business, it is your obligation to yourself and your other stakeholders to use digital content creation to your advantage. Jump in with both feet! It won’t cost you a fortune, and you will reap the benefits shortly after you get started.