A marketer’s job has changed a lot in the past 5 years or so. With the advent of Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing, the old outbound methods like advertising, events etc. has started losing its charm. It does not mean they are not effective; it’s just that audiences now have access to tools to block out messages via those mediums.
It is imperative for the modern marketer to become an expert in content marketing and other inbound methodologies to put the right messages in front of the right personas. But the hard fact is that it is easier said than done. Content Marketing is not an easy task to achieve mastery in. It takes persistence, loads of experimentation and a “never give up” attitude.
My favourite quote for this is one from my favourite person- The one and only Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute.
“Good content marketing makes a person stop, read, think, and behave differently.”
So content marketing, if you put in the efforts, is the best way to grab the attention of your target audience. In this post, I would like to share 10 tips which startup and SMB marketers can follow to achieve content marketing mastery.
1. Find out what your audience needs
As a content marketer, your primary goal is to understand what your target audience needs to solve their challenges. Solve their challenges through the content you produce. As a startup or SMB marketer, your success is assured if you can produce helpful resources for your audience and it makes them achieve their goals with ease. Make your prospects thank you for all the awesome helpful content you produce for them.
2. Find out your audience’s watering holes
Find out where your target audience goes for gathering information which can help them. What do they read? Which are their favourite content sources? Do they post their questions somewhere? What or who do they depend on vital information about their challenges and industry?
Find these out and make sure you make use of those avenues for your content as well.
3. Find out what your competition is already doing
Another tip is to find out what your competition is already doing when it comes to content marketing. What type of content are they putting out? What formats are working for them? What are the topics they are producing content on?
All these tips can help you plan a better content strategy for your startup or SMB.
4. Don’t try to do everything
This is one of the major mistakes startups and SMBs makes when it comes to content marketing efforts. When they start off the journey, they start up all social media channels. They try to make all sorts of content- blog posts, intro videos, infographics and anything they can think of.
The thing they forget is the content marketing journey is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It requires persistence and it is better to scale up as you move on. Try 2–3 content formats/ channels and build on it.
5. Keep experimenting
As an extension to the previous tip, every startup and SMB marketer should always be experimenting when it comes to content marketing. It is a field which is continuously evolving- new channels, mediums, and formats popping up every day. So as a marketer, it is your duty to try out new things and track the results. If something is not working, move to the next and keep experimenting. For some startups, blog posts will be enough whereas some may find animated intro videos working for them.
6. Share what you produce
I have read it somewhere that one should share the content they produce as if their lives depend on that. It makes complete sense to me because unless you share what you produce, all your efforts will go in vain. I also say share shamelessly. What I mean by that is share every valuable piece of content you produce multiple times on all your digital platforms.
Also, make sure you are tracking which content piece is working for you and which is not.
7. Stay in touch with what’s happening
Many times marketers feel the pressure of keeping up with the pace at which content needs to be generated or developed. One of the best tips for this is to stay on top of happenings in your industry. This will educate you about any latest happenings which you can leverage for your next content piece. It can be even from an adjacent industry too as long as it makes sense to your target audience.
8. Use tools wherever possible
Another tip for every content marketer is to employ tools wherever it makes sense. There are cost-effective tools available for content production. For example, Goanimate for animated videos, Canva for graphics and much more. There are awesome tools for content sharing and analytics like Buffer, Hootsuite etc. So wherever it can save you time and money, make sure you select the right tool and use it.
9. Piggyback on Influencers
Influencer marketing is a buzzword these days. Influencers are individuals who can make a huge difference to your content marketing performance. One shout out from them can boost your content reach many folds. So put in some efforts to identify the right influencers for your industry or product and connect with them. Gain their confidence and take their help to get that additional mileage for your marketing efforts.
10. Be aspirational
The last tip for every startup and SMB marketer will be to always remain aspirational when it comes to your content marketing tactics. Always try to produce new formats of content and keep experimenting. There is no one way to ensured success as far as content marketing is concerned. Understand your audience and keep hustling.