Startup Promotion and Content Marketing Strategy
Startup Promotion and Content Marketing Strategy
The major thing a young startup should protect itself from - statistics of failed projects. These vary, but almost all of them are capable of causing a light attack of depression in very enthusiastic entrepreneurs. It is possible that this is the first trial, the start-up initiation, which filters those with enough determination.
In the first three years 44% of start-ups close. Such disappointing data assembled the University of Tennessee in 2015 study year. And this is the "good" stats that we found.
Why startups close down operations? The reasons are many. For example, a young entrepreneur comes up with an excellent (so it seems) idea, which is not "fitted" into a business. Such examples are many. The idea fascinated the creator so much that he did not see the obvious: the inability to implement the business model in the current market environment. "It must work!" - he desperately convinces himself, and sometimes investors. The project is launched, but the money does not come. "However, now he has experience!" - the thing to say after the closure of the project?
It happens that someone, inspired by successful cases of foreign (mostly) companies, creates something similar, mistakenly believing that "it is all about the idea." At the same time, overlooking the amount of development work, marketing efforts, call center services and other "underwater stones", not to mention the characteristics of the market.
These common mistakes are seen by experienced investors at the pitch stage. There are methods for hypothesis testing, a number of market research papers and many articles written on this subject, but not all can be taken into consideration.
Organizational and managerial problems, lack of managerial training, sub-optimal teams - that is, perhaps, the most common cause of failure.
A startup is like a minefield where without a map there is the constant risk of explosion. Especially loud blasts happen usually in the marketing territory.
The creator of the new internet project is part of the environment (market), which are to be exploited. To do this, you need to understand what you will offer and to whom. Don’t be in a rush to say "Thank you, Cap!". For all the time working with startups, we have seen unusual situations where the company's founder and marketing director had different views regarding what’s the main product. The worst thing is that the sales department was trying to sell something else at the same time! It is interesting that in this sequence the startup’s product materialized from an abstraction (we sell freedom!) to a particular "piece of iron" in a beautiful package. It's an interesting moment to reflect on, considering at what level of management are ideas turned in revenues and why sales and marketing are not always collaborating. But let’s not get distracted!
The marketing strategy should be clearly spelled out in a document that can be edited in the future, but it should be a document, at least, a reminder that we all create and for whom. This is a map indicates the progress of the company at different stages of development.
In this document, among other things, there must be:
A clear understanding of the description of the product formulation and its unique characteristics;
The company's objectives;
Audience and its segments.
Only after studying the fundamentals, you can choose which channels you use, what budget will be needed, etc. etc.
In accordance with the model of Stven Blanc from his book "Four steps to enlightenment", a stage of consumer verification, when all marketing strategy hypotheses are tested, is a must in the development of a start-up. At this stage, you can get the first customers, and you can go back to the development of a marketing plan.
But if we can plan some marketing activities in advance?
The concept of "start-up" has many definitions, we like the one from Eric Rice: "Startup - an organization creating a new product or service under conditions of high uncertainty." Usually, we have a new product on the Internet, high risks, and incomprehensible market. In these conditions of content marketing - the channel, but rather an approach that can be called universal, and is needed even without calculating the normal parameters (channel depth, visitor value & conversion).
"Startup - an organization creating a new product or service in high uncertainty environments."
Content marketing - is the creation and distribution of useful & valuable content to the desired audience. In order to enjoy something new and incomprehensible (from the consumer's point of view - any startup), you must:
Be interested in it;
Know how to use it.
The first point relates to the birth of a marketing funnel (increase knowledge about the product), which gradually navigates away from your consumer purchases. The second point - it's educational materials that are packaged in the most interesting and unobtrusive form for the audience.
Both requests are met with the help of content marketing - the correct decision to promote new or complex products.
In the broadest sense, the scope of content marketing includes a variety of self-promotion tools, including email marketing. Automatic series of educational messages, which get new users, after registering with the service or mailing trigger - this is also content marketing, which can be called a mandatory program of any Internet service. On the Internet there are many companies, which are very efficient and nice to communicate with the user by means of newsletters.
Email-Marketing in the future will ensure your customer returns, but that is another topic.
Of course, important publications on websites with a predominance of the target audience, training videos and other materials that make life easier for future customers at different stages of the sales funnel.
Publications attract attention, raise awareness, provide the necessary level of communication with the market and the consumer and are the most important element of SEO, etc. The list of advantages of publications is big, but the disadvantage - one. It should be of a very high quality. It's not so much about the ideal text in terms of grammar, spelling and even style. Good publication within content marketing is the ability to write without advertising, to understand the general problem and have a good understanding of the product specificity.
In this sense, one can understand why founders of complex services are hesitant to work with freelancers or content agencies. But then, we must recognize that all the articles should be written exclusively by startups. To avoid this problem, a conversation interview with the author of the publication and a man who at least knows the marketing strategy (see. Above). For example, we, at Crowdholding always ask for a part of this strategy, which becomes the basis for the strategy of content marketing.
Blog and social
We unite these two channels intentionally here because in a startup, as they say in romantic films, it’s better to be together.
Company blog - another opportunity to be of interest to your audience, and thus to attract it and build loyalty. At the same time, a blog allows you to use the technical marketing opportunities, such as remarketing, promotion newsletter, content optimization for search engines, etc.
The connection of the blog and social media works for example in this way: You publish a post on the topic, interesting to your consumers and associated with the product. Link to a post placed in social media, and, in various iterations (text on Facebook, Infographics, Pinterest, Instagram Photos...). The same link is sent in the weekly newsletter. During the entire time, you collect visitor data, which you can use to create personalized advertising on social networks.
As a result, you increase traffic from social networks and turn readers into subscribers and boost the credibility of the brand as an expert.
Any startup - a story about the business. End of the story can be happy and not so much. Minimize risks is possible, having the right information about the market, intelligent team and sufficient resources. Startup Marketing involves strict adherence to strategy, but even at an early stage, it can be a solid base to start strong. If some of the channels and tools, you can select, count and predict only after the creation of strategies and testing, content marketing - is a universal approach crucial for every startup. The content strategy you can create in parallel with the product and it will be its first engine on the market.
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