Video is quickly becoming the dominant form of content online. Views, shares and uploads of video are accelerating at a breakneck pace. Many forms of existing content, such as blog posts and how-to articles, are also pivoting to video rather than text-based formats.
People simply can’t get enough of video!
For business owners, video content can be a key part of their strategy to earn new customers and grow their company. Video marketing has started to offer incredible returns on investment for companies of all sizes. Adding a video to your website product pages can increase conversions by 80%! That’s probably why 83% of business owners say that video offers great ROI.
To help your company get started using video effectively and using it to grow your revenues, consider the following five helpful tips below. You’ll learn why video is such an important asset and how to use it in a way to maximize your positive results.
Start Simple With Slide Shows
Some business owners may think they don’t have the resources to even bother with video. These limited resources can include time, money, creativity or even patience.
What these entrepreneurs should realize is that video does not have to be a big-budget affair in order to be highly polished and visually appealing. In fact, you can start instantly making videos for free right now and have them ready to upload in seconds.
There are dozens upon dozens of free video makers online designed for this exact purpose. Many offer options for combining text and images to create a dynamic slideshow. These videos are nearly effortless to make, yet they are still immersive and look professional.
Great options to get started making your own slideshow style videos include Renderforest and Adobe Spark Video. Both are free with a registered account. They also utilize great-looking templates, so you don’t have to be Spielberg-level genius to create your first videos. Simply pick from the options, input your own text or photos, and let the program do the rest.
Examples of great text-based videos include:
Repurposing existing blogs or content pages as short videos
Creating a quick explainer to get people excited about what you have to offer
Revealing interesting information or “#MondayMotivation” style inspiration related to your area of business
Giving a “thank you” to your existing customers
Announcing big things on the way, such as a new product or event
Creating videos like these can get you in the habit of thinking visually rather than textually, which can help you earn more views and raise interest in your business offerings.
Create Product Reviews or Descriptions of Your Core Services
Once you feel comfortable to start investing more into your video content, descriptive videos are the way to go. Short 1-2 minute videos giving an overview of the products or services you offer can significantly improve awareness and interest.
When reviewing products, stay focused on features and key selling points the consumer is most likely to care about. Think about it as a resource, not an ad. Do your best to compare this product to others, helping your customers get an idea of the range of options available to them.
For a great example, check out motorcycle accessory retailer RevZilla. Pages for products like this $300 backpack explain exactly what the product is supposed to be used for, what its most notable features are, and what separates it from other available options. After watching a video like that, someone may not only understand why they might want a $300 backpack but have a serious desire to buy one after realizing just how much it offers.
For service-oriented explainer videos, try to think of it as a presentation. You’re walking the visitor through what your service offers and how it benefits them. Many of these videos start off by revealing a specific pain point that the product solves before moving into key benefits or competitive differentiators.
If you need a way to warm up to this type of content, try doing it live. You can broadcast a Facebook Live post, for instance, where you have a Q&A with your audience or offer a live demonstration of what you do. Going through the motions in a low-stakes environment like this can give you an idea of what to do for a more polished version down the road.
Personify Your Brand Through Video Marketing Content
Video content isn’t just good for information — that’s why only a slim margin of movies are documentaries, after all! The rest aim to give viewers an emotional experience or to tell an engrossing story.
Video is particularly great at these emotion-focused concepts because it combines several of our senses at once. Through powerful images, mood-appropriate music, and clever editing techniques, you can communicate the soul of your brand in surprisingly subtle ways.
To see what we mean, take a look at this charming ad from the tourism board for the Faroe Islands. It manages to reveal many things that make the Faroe Islands and its people so special without ever stepping into outright advertisement. The subject is interesting, it’s well filmed, and something people can relate to instantly.
Videos like these are great for solidifying your branding and generating awareness from your audiences. Since people are able to remember 95% of what they see in a video — compared to just 10% of the text they read — videos like these help keep your business top-of-mind. That way, you earn more recommendations and sales while forging strong positive associations to your unique brand values and personality.
Use Video to Climb to the Top of Search Results
People love video, and search engines want to accommodate people. So, naturally, search engines now love video!
Make sure the video offers value to the audience and not just the search engine, though. “Tricky” practices like just shoehorning content into a poorly made video show up on Google’s behavioral data, and over time the algorithm will likely be refined to punish such habits.
So, create good videos that fit naturally within your content, and reap benefits from both audiences and the increase in traffic thanks to search engines.
Be Your Own Harshest Critic
Producing video can help you quickly stand out among your competitors, but that can mean “standing out” in a negative way if your quality is poor.
Here’s a few simple tips to help improve your video quality:
Use a tripod. Even smartphone cameras can look great when they have a stable mount.
Provide lots of light sources on your subject. Cameras look much less blurry when they’re focused on something bathed in light. Use floor lamps or professional lighting setups to get the look you need.
Be aware of your background. Modern cameras are so easy to use because they auto-focus, but this can mean focusing on the wrong subject if you have something distracting or more brightly lit in the background.
Have great sound quality. Poor sound can sometimes hurt a video worse than poor camera quality. Invest in a clippable mic or a directional make, and don’t film in locations with lots of background noise or echo.
Be patient, experiment, and set lofty goals to improve your content over time. If you can do that while caring about your audience, you are setting the stage for your business’s video marketing success!
Social media has profoundly changed the way we all use the internet, and that includes how businesses interact with their customers.
In the years since platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn were first introduced, they have evolved from an occasional distraction to the focal point of many people’s internet browsing. Conversations and content that used to be spread across multiple sites can all now be found in the same place: your social media newsfeed.
Businesses that ignore this transition face a harsh reality. Social media is often the first thing people check when they go online, and it may even be the only thing they check on any given day. Without a presence on social media, your business may very well be invisible!
That’s why many businesses, such as art installation company studioSPACEnyc, have a social-first approach to their online presence. “If we look at the analytics of the website and how many people view my Instagram account, we’ll see 200 a day on Instagram and 15 on my website,” says its owner, Jacob Fisher.
Not being on social media also means you miss out on huge opportunities for advertising, customer support, boosting performance for your marketing campaigns and much more.
To help you understand why so many companies and small businesses take their social media marketing strategy seriously, consider the following five essential benefits and capabilities it provides below.
Everyone’s on Social Media, Giving You Opportunities for Huge Reach and Impressions
The first thing to understand about making your business active on social media is that you’re hardly shouting into an empty room. Facebook alone has 2.2 billion users worldwide, and 83% of U.S. adults under 50 have a Facebook account. Even among those 65 and up, 41% are active on at least one social platform.
Suffice it to say that’s there’s huge audiences at stake! While it may take a few weeks or months to find your footing, there is no shortage of potential exposure. Companies that create the right type of content and form an engagement strategy can quickly amass a following. This can happen especially fast when you leverage your existing network of friends and customers.
Just think of it as “word of mouth” transitioning to the digital age. By being available for mentions, shares and engagement on social media, you can create thousands of chances a day for new customers to discover you and existing customers to get reminded about what makes your business great.
Social Media Creates Effective New Advertising Channels
Exposure to your brand on social media doesn’t just have to happen by accident. Each social media platform has its own set of powerful advertising tools that can be used to directly put your business in front of its most valuable audiences. Millions of businesses rely on these tools to drive their marketing goals, which is why social media spending nearly doubled to $31 billion from 2014 to 2016 and increased by an estimated 26% in 2017.
Facebook and Instagram, for instance, have incredible audience targeting capabilities for their ad campaigns. Local businesses can select demographics and geographic areas that perfectly fit the qualities of their most loyal customers. A new bakery can target people in their city or in certain neighborhoods, and it can even find people who recently announced their engagement!
These highly specific targeting tools ensure you’re not just sending out ads to people who won’t become customers. You also directly expose people to your business offerings within the same stream of content they browse every day.
Since the organic posts you create can also be “boosted” while using targeting, you can leverage paid social media to grow your reach beyond people who already like and follow your page.
The data you generate from these ads also creates valuable insights for how to make both your organic and paid marketing more effective. “Paid boosting can help the organic social team discover what works much faster and also play into paid ad creative ideas,” explains Depesh Mandalia of SMCommerce.
Opens a New Communication Channel for 1:1 Conversations and Support
Businesses on social media can deftly juggle marketing and advertising with more meaningful outreach to their audiences and loyal customers. Answering people’s questions and participating in conversations can put your business top-of-mind any time they need the services you offer.
Being able to wow people during these interactions pays off big, too. 71% of people who have a positive interaction with a business over social media say they’re likely to recommend that business to their peers. And since nearly three times as many people trust peer recommendations over ads, demonstrating how much you care via social counts for a lot.
Your opportunities for engagement don’t even have to be direct, either. One video game publisher searched for phrases similar to “I want the new [game name] but it’s too expensive” and saved all the users who made the comment. When the game went on sale, they reached out directly to these people, helping them sell over 70,000 copies of the game.
So get creative, listen intently, and seize every chance you have to make a good impression through the highly public social platforms.
Social Ties Together Your Other Marketing Channels
The majority of businesses consider social media “essential” for marketing, beating out every other form of advertising out there. And it’s not just because of the capabilities described above, either. It’s really because social media tends to tie together all the other channels you use in a seamless way.
For example, you can:
Post content to lead people back to your website.
Announce a new product, promotion, event, or free demo
Share your local cable ad, or overlay a radio ad over an image slideshow.
Create contests to earn email signups or email followers
Gather data on the performance for certain types of content before investing heavily in something like pamphlets, print ads, or search engine marketing
All of these activities have the effect of increasing the return on investment for your marketing spending. You get to dramatically increase the exposure for your content while creating a pathway towards your other marketing channels and campaigns.
In this way, social media can reinforce just about everything your brand does while serving as your friendly, highly public face.
Using Social Media Marketing Ensures You Keep Pace With Your Competition
All the above benefits can make a significant difference when it comes to your business’s ability to earn new customers, clinch sales, and stay in touch with your most loyal repeat clients.
But, more importantly, if you’re not doing these things your competition likely will be. Ignoring the potential of social media basically leaves countless opportunities on the table — opportunities others can hungrily scoop up right from underneath your nose.
So take social media seriously, and don’t give your competition a foothold to develop more meaningful relationships with your best customers. Form a strategy, stay vigilant for chances to engage, create outstanding content, and let social media be the scaffold that makes your overall marketing apparatus stronger.
Ready to learn more about making social media work for your unique marketing goals? Drop us a line, and we’ll answer any questions you have and tell you how to get started creating some killer campaigns.
Generating ideas for your content marketing strategy can be extremely tough. It gets even harder when you focus so much on your brand goals that you get tunnel vision. Fortunately, there are plenty of brands out there doing an amazing job with content marketing and getting great results.
You should totally steal from them. Really.
Think of it as evolution rather than imitation. You see what works for them, and try to put your own twist on it. As you measure results, you refine your campaigns over time to become a better version more-suited for your unique branding and goals. If you’re doing it right, someone will steal from you someday.
To get you inspired by others’ inspiration, here are five amazing content marketing campaign strategies that are completely worth ripping off.
Focus on Storytelling and Client Successes
Some content fails to hit the mark because it’s too deeply embedded within the brand. It lacks a human touch, and people may therefore end up trusting the messages less.
To come across as more authentic, pull back. Think less about your brand or product and more about what your particular solution does. Or, focus on a pain point it solves.
An amazingly creative example of this is the Fixodent video “Saving Aslan”. It covers the struggles of a gorgeous white lion who suffered from a loss of his canine. To save the lion and ensure he enjoys a good quality of life, Fixodent sponsored wildlife activists efforts to perform surgery on the lion.
The video hits tons of high points: emotion, gorgeous animals, environmental advocacy, people performing powerful acts of kindness, redemption. It has all of the ingredients to go viral, and it communicates a parallel message to the branding without beating you over the head with it.
Another great example comes from REI. It’s Co-Op Journal site highlights feats and lifestyles for people who live to have outdoor adventures. The stories are human-focused and promise to show readers things they’ve never seen before: a powerful recipe to draw clicks. People get inspired, they learn a lesson, and they get to learn about new heroes worth keeping track of.
You don’t have to be quite as ambitious as these two brands to find your own version of storytelling success. Just take a step back to focus on your clients or the difference you make in the world.
Tell a great story. Highlight great things happening in your industry. Demonstrate what your philosophy or business approach can do. Clicks will naturally follow.
Crowdsourcing is an brilliant way to win engagement, improve the appeal of your content, and develop relationships with your audience.
Airbnb, for instance, combines storytelling with crowdsourcing. They let their own user base tell them what makes the platform special, and then they add a layer of gloss to the story so that it fits their brand standards. The stories end up coming across as more authentic and interesting as a result.
Coca Cola let people submit entire marketing campaign ideas for a slew of their campaigns.
You don’t have to have huge audiences to get this type of traction, though. Simply let people feel like they are participating in something and that their voice matters.
A stellar example would be to highlight a particular community or organization through crowd input. Or, you could donate to charity and let people decide on their favorite cause. Campaign strategies like these build momentum as they continue and have huge payoffs when people see their own ideas come to life.
Be Quirky, Go Viral
For a time, brands tried oh-so-hard to be weird with mixed results.
Yet, weird, humorous and unusual content often gets the most attention through social channels.
The key to success with this strategy is to approach content like a normal social user would. Think about what would be genuinely be funny, intriguing, or at very least worth a closer look. Let go of your professionalism (but don’t be offensive!), and see what happens when you let your own interests or weird ideas come to life.
Denny’s has found huge success with the strategy. Quirky posts like this Twitter photo earn tons of attention and retweets. They barely have anything to do with a traditional ad goal, but they get people interacting.
An auteur-type strategy works especially well if your content can find appeal within a niche community. Arby’s use of packaging and branded imagery to create artistic references to video games, anime, and popular pop culture franchises has been a huge hit with online communities.
People go online for good art and entertaining content, after all. Give them something they would love to see, but keep your brand visible so that people understand a connection is there.
Create a Subtly Branded Publication to Build Trust
Not to give you whiplash, but this strategy is in many ways the opposite of the above one. Rather than offering amusing or beautiful diversions, your content can become one of the most trusted and valued resources among your audiences.
American Express’s small business blog expands on this concept even further. In addition to advice and introductory information, they provide news, highlight success stories, and offer opinions on important matters in the small business community.
The true mark of success for these blogs is that people will readily link to them and click on them in search results without bracing themselves for an ad pitch. Provide value. Satisfy your audience’s needs. If you can, they will trust you wholeheartedly.
Collaborate With Micro-Influencers
Now is the time to stop ignoring micro-influencers.
Chances are almost 100% that there is someone in your field with more followers and perceived authority than you. Your job is to locate these influencers and find some way to collaborate with them.
A “collaboration” can be something as simple as a request to share your content or review something you send them. A subtle way to do this is to include a quote or reference to the person in a piece of content and tag them when promoting the content on social media.
Collaboration can go much deeper than that, though. Many makeup companies are finding huge success by partnering with YouTube channels that offer makeup tips and reviews, for instance.
Every business idea is an iteration on something that came before it, and that includes content marketing strategies. By using the above ideas or looking to the examples to come up with your own, you can branch out and try new things.
As social media marketing has taken off, many agencies have made a substantial living from specializing in social media management, monitoring, and social advertising. These agencies could scale their operations and expand their profitability even further if they add on content writing services to the packages they offer.
Why? Because putting content marketing and social media services together makes perfect sense. They’re both an incredibly important component to the digital face of a brand. They both have a goal of building audiences, shaping perception, and generating awareness. They both intuitively lead towards key stages of a brand’s marketing funnel.
And, perhaps most importantly, they both take a ton of time and effort to handle! The most tempting add-on services for marketing clients are things that they simply don’t have the bandwidth to take on themselves, after all.
If you don’t have the bandwidth, either, then don’t fret! There are plenty of options for outsourcing content production that can make your packages more well-rounded and your company more profitable.
These are just a taste of the biggest reasons why adding content services onto your social marketing packages makes a ton of sense. Learn more about how content writing benefits you and your clients in profound ways by considering the top five reasons below.
Content Services Can Encompass a Wide Range of Offerings, Rounding Out Your Company’s Value Proposition
Firstly, let’s cover all that content services can encompass:
Web page creation
Landing page creation
Email marketing content creation
Writing product descriptions
Developing premium assets, like white papers and ebooks
Outside of the content writing itself, your agency can also offer search engine optimization (SEO), analytics monitoring/reporting, conversion rate optimization, and content promotion.
Or, you could just narrow everything down to one service, like contributing to someone’s blog. The versatility and broad focus of content writing — coupled with its need for talent and attention to detail — make it an incredibly expansive service to add to your existing client packages.
Content Packages Refer to Specific Services and Have Easy-to-Measure Milestones
Social media management can be difficult to price for some clients because each situation has different demands. Some clients just want a content queue lined up, for instance, while others want full interaction, monitoring, and engagement-driving tasks performed in order to keep their social presence appealing. Often, there’s no telling how many hours to charge for or what a fair set fee might be.
With content, the services are much simpler to quantify by comparison. Each client gets to order a set number of articles per month, or they can order a package of a bunch of articles at once up-front. You can add on discrete amounts for things like uploading content, including photos, tweaking SEO, and generating performance reports.
Compared to social media, these services and the expected results can be easily understood between agency and client. This makes them a much smaller “ask” and a highly appealing value-add service.
Put together: your clients know exactly what they’re getting, and you know exactly what to charge them. This arrangement is highly convenient and facilitates stronger — and more profitable — business relationships.
Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing Reinforce Each Other in Intuitive Ways
If you’re posting content on social media for your clients, where does that content come from?
Without a regular company blog, for instance, the brand’s social channels are stuck sharing article content from outside sources or posting only bite-sized content, like photos. These forms of social content are both effective, but they can leave a feeling of something missing if left by themselves. There’s a noticeable absence of the brand having something to say.
Creating content, however, provides deeper value than what most bite-sized social content can offer. Your content can answer questions your audience has or provide information to help them make important decisions. “By communicating thought leadership you become part of the conversation, early in the consumer journey. You allow your audience to get to know you,” observes Michael Brenner of Marketing Insider Group.
Put simply: blog content makes your client’s social media channels more interesting and more valuable to their audiences.
Content can also serve as the next step for audiences that engage on social. For instance, someone clicking on a cool image teasing a great infographic can be lead to a landing page containing not just the infographic but also a really strong call to action.
On the flip side, social media services are the perfect way to promote branded content.
Like a great movie and delicious, salty popcorn, each one reinforces the other and creates a positive feedback loop bigger than the sum of its parts.
Content Marketing Helps Your Clients Achieve Their Conversion Goals Late in the Customer Journey
Social media marketing is absolutely stellar at two things:
Generating brand awareness
Nurturing deeper relationships among audiences, including both new leads and loyal customers
However, social media arguably lacks the tools needed to convert someone to the later steps of a customer journey. “Shoppers aren’t flocking to social platforms to buy,” explains eMarketer, “but social media plays an important role in the early phases along the path to purchase, as a research tool and general influence.”
The bottom line is that social media has trouble getting people to take action outside the platform. As mentioned above, great content can bridge that gap for your clients. This strategy creates a gentler customer journey, with less friction between steps and the promise of value during each phase.
Let’s consider the example of someone clicking on an infographic preview and arriving on a landing page again. What if the landing page promised a free white paper on the subject that’s available if the visitor signs up to receive it via email?
Now, that visitor is officially on the client’s marketing list, and they can receive emails nurturing them further along their path to purchase. Basically, you’re lubricating the sides of their marketing funnel.
Content Marketing Can Be Outsourced, Allowing Your Operations to Scale Without Adding Burdensome Complexity
Hiring a full-time content writer for your agency can be a great option for establishing a consistent quality for your content, but it’s expensive! If you hope to add content services for several clients at once, you either have to hire several full-time writers — or hope the one you have has really fast typing skills.
The alternative is outsourcing your content writing tasks to freelancers or another agency. With the latter, you get accountability and access to scale without the hassles of having to constantly vet individual writers. For example, you can say “yes” to a package of 100 extra blogs for a month using your existing resources when you outsource to an agency.
You get to charge a set fee for your content writing services and turn a profit. Your clients receive a better-rounded marketing package that serves a broader range of their goals. They feel happier, you profit more, and you expand the types of contracts and clients you have access to.
If that sounds like an all-around win to you, then take a look at the content writing services we offer today!
Why start a business blog? What elements does your blog need to be effective? How can you capitalize most effectively on the marketing opportunities a blog creates?
We’ll answer all of these questions in our relatively brief but comprehensive content marketing and business blogging guide for start-ups below. You’ll learn some of the most important markers of quality for an effective blog, how to develop a content marketing strategy that translates blog traffic into real leads, and what factors promote your search ranking (SEO) success.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Why Bother With a Business Blog for Your Start-Up?
Simply put: a business blog is an effective tool for achieving all of your most important marketing goals. It can:
Augment your other marketing efforts
Warm people up to your brand
Generate awareness for your startup
Work people into the start of your marketing funnel
Help you develop relationships with loyal visitors
Creating a blog differs from traditional advertising techniques in that you expect the leads to come to you. This approach is referred to as “inbound marketing,” and it’s incredibly effective in an era where most of us are straight up burnt out on ads.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, small businesses that have a blog earn 126% more lead growth compared to businesses without one. A blog can also convince 61% of surveyed U.S. online consumers to make an eventual purchase. On top of that, HubSpot notes that blogs can earn your business 97% more inbound links, effectively multiplying your site’s traffic potential.
Since a start-up needs as much attention, awareness and clicks as possible, content marketing through a business blog seems like a no brainer!
So where should you start when planning your future blog? By planning and forming a strategy with your audience firmly in mind.
2. Conducting Audience Research
Your blog is first and foremost for your audience. If they hate or don’t care about what you’re writing (the second one’s actually worse!), then you won’t accomplish any of your business goals.
Search engine algorithms have also been refined over the past decade to provide results they think the audience will like. Things that hurt the audience experience, like writing misleading headlines or ripping off articles verbatim from other websites, therefore also tend to hurt your search engine ranking.
Writing for your audience is therefore essential to get the results you want from your blog.
There are a few research methods that can help you understand your audience better:
Common traits within your current prospecting list and lead opportunities (you can even survey them!)
Profiles of your competitors’ current client/customer list; these can also help you determine the subtle variations between their audiences and yours!
Research of audience traits on forums, popular industry blogs, and trending social topics related to your core business
There are many other ways of conducting market research to define your audience — including hiring a firm to do it for you outright — but your own customers and experience within your industry can often be your best resource.
3. Developing an Audience-Focused Blog Strategy Through Personas
Once you have a good view of your audience, separate them into a few key segments. Your segments should encompass all the shades within your audience’s buying tendencies, especially if different segments buy different products.
For example, maybe computer repair stores are ideal targets for the regular tier of your workbench and job ticketing software, but enterprise-employed IT heads are targets for your top-tier.
Using your segments, create buyer personas. These distill each of your segments into a single, imaginary person.
Now, write content for your personas! Pay close attention to the things your personas care about most and the type of content they seem to read most voraciously. Helpful topic prompts include questions they may have about your industry and “how to…” articles for alleviating related pain points.
Note that no piece of content will likely cover 100% of your buyer personas, and that’s ok! Just be sure to cover each equally (or in proportion to their priority) and provide a little something to encourage each one to read if they see your latest posts.
4. Have a Sensible, Effective Keyword Strategy Based Around Persona Intent
Your keyword strategy should be an extension of the things that motivate your buyer personas. After all, keywords are intended to serve as signals for search engines related to queries, and they also send signals to human brains that “this is relevant to me and worth clicking.”
A good practice is to use a keyword generator tool to come up with a list of keywords related to your current website, your competitors’, or a generic subject prompt. Then, plan how each keyword would relate to your segment.
For instance, searching “IT ticket software” on the free tool keywordtool.io generates many related results, including “trouble ticket software open source.”
Using our two generalized buyer personas above, let’s imagine how two different segments might use this query:
General Manager of a Small Computer Repair Workshop
Searches “trouble ticket software open source” because they want a free tool and likely don’t have much of a budget
Motivation: get a free piece of software
Suggested content suited to intent: “8 Best Open Source Trouble Ticket Software Products”
Possible CTA: “…many open source tools are limited in their functions, though. See why going free could actually cost you by downloading our ‘5 Factors That Hurt Computer Repair Store Profitability’ now!”
Head of IT for a Medium to Large Corporation
Searches “trouble ticket software open source” because they are curious what is out there and want to weigh their options
Motivation: make the best choice for their organization, including both money spent and end results
Suggested content suited to intent: “Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Open Source Trouble Ticket Software”
Possible CTA: “…but our product offers several advantages over open source, even when considering cost. Watch our brief video to see the advantages XYZ Product offers!”
From this exercise, you can see that keywords can guide a lot more than just where you stuff things in your content. In fact, don’t keyword stuff at all, but instead, use intuitive keyword groups and variations on your focus keyword to get the best results.
So let keywords be a launching pad for playing into the search intent of keyword use, and segment your content ideas based on what motivates your buyers’ personas.
5. Make a Few Important Business Decisions
Knowing your audiences and the keywords they use as important intent signals are the most important foundational steps to starting your start-up’s blog.
After getting oriented, you can make a number of decisions with the end goal of satisfying your audience personas:
Will my blog be branded differently than my main site? Separating your blog with its own brand can help win your audience’s trust, but it adds complexity to your strategy. Consider the pros and cons as you research well-branded blogs like Adobe’s CMO.
How often will I publish? Your publication schedule is dictated by A) Your bandwidth, and B) The typical amount of news coverage in your industry. Also keep in mind your capacity to do “theme days,” such as posting a video every Friday recapping one of your most popular blogs.
Who can I network with to promote my content? Email and social will be effective channels for content promotion, but getting amplified by someone with a lot of traffic/followers is even better! Identify blogs that allow for syndicated content or submissions, and identify micro-influencers in your niche so you can write content they’d be likely to share. (Hint: it never hurts to quote that person and tag them when you share your blog!)
How will my blog lead to the next stage of my marketing funnel? Every blog concludes with a call to action (CTA). Strong CTAs command the reader with an action verb to perform a simple task that provides a concrete benefit. Tailor your CTAs to your segment and their approximate buyer stage. As a general rule of thumb:
If they are further away from a purchase, invite them to sign up to your mailing list to download premium content pieces.
If they are closer, invite them to get a quote, schedule a demo, or take a direct look at your product information.
6. Monitor, Measure, Analyze, and Optimize
Your blog will be an evolving creature that adapts to the signals your audience sends you.
Pay close attention to the data you get from readers, both on your website and with any promotional announcement, such as a social media post. Your data will reveal things like which headlines get the most clicks, which articles get the most shares, which CTAs convert most effectively, and overall which types of content people prefer.
Use this data to revisit your content strategy and tweak it to find better success over time.
Should You Outsource Your Start-Up Business Blog to a Writer or Content Agency?
Performing all of the above steps yourself can help you understand what your content needs to find success. But even then, you may wish for better performance, a more efficient process, or for someone to take the task of writing, publishing and promoting completely off your hands.
If this is the case, working with a content marketing agency could be the answer for you. They can use your research, branding, and guidelines to develop content suited to your unique flavor. Weigh your options, and then decide what will ultimately be best for your business and especially your audience.