In the past 8 years we have tried exactly 34 different options for implementing content marketing in our business venture. Finally we decided to focus exclusively on the 5 strategies that have given us the best results, allowing us to reach more than 21,500,000 unique users with a presence in 5 countries throughout Latin America.
In this article we would like to share each one of these strategies, together with the knowledge we have acquired over the years.
1. We strive to create content for our company, but let us not forget about our personal brand
One of the biggest lessons learned over the past 24 months was in understanding that the content marketing we create as a company should not necessarily be disconnected from the most important thing: the founding team.
Just the opposite, it is the most important.
When a company is about to decide on a content marketing strategy, the first thing that they should do is assign a person responsible for taking this area forward. Without a doubt, the best option is for this person to be one of the founders, who can express all of their knowledge as well as their sense of belonging to the project (instead of hiring an outside consultant or marketing specialist).
One example of this is what the software company MOZ does through their founder Rand Fishkin, who is exclusively in charge of being the official visual face, making not just their personal brand highly recognizable in the industry, but also the creator of the content, when in today’s world the founder is usually identified with a role such as CEO, CTO or COO. Furthermore, Rand was previously the CEO of MOZ and decided to delegate his work in order to focus on what was most important for his company: generating valuable content for their clients and to be the undisputed point of reference in the company.
And this is excellent from any viewpoint because there really will be no one better for this role who possesses the exact mix of passion, commitment and knowledge than the company’s owner.
Note: Think about how inappropriate it feels when we read content on the internet and the author is labeled as “Administrator” or “Contributor”. People were born with a need to interact with other real people, not with companies.
2. New generation of Frequently Asked Questions
There is a big error I see time and time again in every new business venture, the habit of copying big companies without taking the time to think: how can we improve? This is a bad habit.
The reality is that traditional organizations provide a FAQs section so that the users can consult their questions there, with the goal of having them avoid contacting the call center (which represents an additional cost).
However, as a business venture, the most important thing is responding personally to each one of the questions and/or suggestions that the new clients have with the goal being to learn from them and thus in turn be able to better our product. And the interesting thing here is that we can also use this as content marketing.
For example, we can create a section for questions and answers, where any user can type in a question and then we proceed in answering their question in a maximum of 1 hour.
Over time, this organically produces two positive effects: first is the ability to create content which can in turn be indexed by search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo!, showing the answers to new users who have the same questions. Additionally, it transmits trust to our potential clients who are considering using our products as they can see our commitment in answering correctly and on time.
3. Content Marketing: it is much more than talking about our product
Personally, one of the most significant lessons that we have had in the past years was in understanding that content marketing should go beyond just exposing our product. An example of this is TreeHouse, an online educational platform that even shares their work culture:
As it can be seen, this company creates content about their way of working, even sharing in other sections about how they hire new engineers or their internal organizational structure.
Without having to go far, I came to know this company based on their system of working only 4 days a week and today, I, and many others, do not just know that TreeHouse exists, but also what they do.
All of us who have online business ventures know that the content is the most important, so we must take advantage of and encourage ourselves to share all of our knowledge, which is without a doubt the best way that our start-up can be made known and grow.
4. Content Marketing through “Product Placement” in social networks
When we work on content marketing, we should not forget the fact that since we are a start-up we have the ability to talk to each one of our clients personally, even know them, and do things with them from the beginning that are not necessarily scalable in the future.
For this reason, creating content on social networks by having our clients display our products publicly is an excellent strategy. One example of this is the business venture Bluestone Lane.
We should not waste the unique advantage of having a local reach with our work, converting each one of our early adopters in evangelists for our company.
5. Creating value in our work context
Lastly, we feel there is an enormous potential in sharing knowledge over the Internet. An excellent example of this point is Buffer, an application allows you to organize your agenda in order to publish automatically to social networks.
They were able to obtain more than 100,000 users through content marketing with a presence in 200 published digital articles, increasing their daily subscriptions over 70%.
All of this was achieved with exactly zero dollars invested in publicity. But who make this possible? As we saw in the first point of this article, it was one of their founders, Leo Widrich, simply sharing what they were learning day after day with their application. And as we saw in point 3, they share much more than their product, because they even make publicly known their revenue, values, emails, prices, clients, salaries, etc.
- The content we create is for the users, not for searchers, everything must be based on what the clients need. Content creates a connection with the clients and our work team and business venture, which is a key to success over the long haul.
- We do not just create content that is comprised of text; a good investment is working with videos, infographics and slides.
- It is not just about creating content, we should also invest time and dedication in their diffusion. Even if the content is excellent, the users will not come by themselves. The best thing for starting off is to use our client base through email marketing and also through the company’s social network.