Marketing 101: Creating Engagement Through Content


The term “marketing” may trigger thoughts of catchy taglines and captivating visuals for you. And while these are important parts of a successful marketing campaign — especially in the age of social media — linking back to something more robust is a critical step. Generating content for your startup’s website or blog can really solidify a marketing campaign.

But anything worth doing is worth doing right, as the phrase goes — and content marketing is no exception. “Content marketing can really help with a startup’s name recognition and lead generation,” says Meagan Nolte, senior publication strategist at Influence & Co. “But to see the ROI, you have to be patient and prepared to play the long game.”

Here are three steps for getting your startup’s content marketing campaign off the ground.

Find Your Niche

You’re probably already aware of how important your value proposition is — it’s about what makes your offering stand out from the competition. Nolte says the same thought process applies to your content offerings as well. What does your startup have to say that differentiates your brand?

“Doing the research beforehand to see the conversations that are already out there is important,” Nolte says. The first step in a content marketing campaign is to identify the questions in your field that you can bring the most value to. Then, once you know what content you’re offering, you have to find a place to host that content. “It’s really hard to start any content marketing efforts if there’s no website to direct traffic back to,” Nolte says.

Step It Up with Strategy

The most effective content reels people in with valuable additions to ongoing conversations. Your baseline content offerings should tell readers where you stand in those existing conversations. “You want to demonstrate your industry knowledge and experiences in an easily readable format,” Nolte says. “This helps you to establish trust and credibility with potential leads, clients and even investors.”

Another critical strategic step is finding your audience. It doesn’t matter how great your content is if no one sees it. Typically, sharing on your business’ social channels is the best way to move content. But depending on your industry, certain social channels will be more effective than others, Nolte says. “Some target audiences are more active on Twitter, while others are most active on LinkedIn,” she says. “Save some time by doing preliminary research to figure out where these conversations are happening organically.”

Create a Content-Generating Process

The best way to keep your content goals on track is through an editorial calendar. This means first determining how many articles you plan to write and promote per week. One article per week is a solid starting point, but consistency is key. Planning out the topics for each month and writing some articles in advance can help take the pressure off. “Having your team brainstorm a bank of ideas and articles is a great practice,” Nolte says. “It helps you determine what you’re going to be working on over the next few months and gives you wiggle room in case one of them doesn’t work out.”

When it comes to actually writing the content, some members of your team may be more hesitant than others. When brainstorming, give the person who suggested an idea the chance to decide whether to write it. “Reconnect with the person who came up with the idea, and if they want to write it, bring them on board,” Nolte says. “But if that team member would prefer to be on the sidelines, don’t push them to contribute if they’re not excited about it.” Nolte suggests giving your team members exposure to the writing process to help them gain confidence in their ideas and voice.

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