A B2B Startup’s Guide to Content Marketing
- Posted by Marilena Kakkou
- On December 7, 2020
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing refers to online content such as blogs, press releases, social media posts, newsletters, opt-in email marketing campaigns, videos, and images that are posted online with the purpose of connecting and engaging with your target audience. It is thoughtful and relevant information that adds value—and in turn, increases your company’s exposure. Content marketing is not posting for the sake of posting—but posting to interact, engage, and leave your audience wanting to learn more.
At some point, every digital marketer has heard the saying “content is king,” and while a lot of both B2C and B2B companies make content a priority, the world of B2B tech startups still seems to hesitate in its commitment to creating content that works. In this post, we are going to cover a few reasons why B2B tech startups should be creating good content and how.
Why does it offer value for your B2B tech startup?
The B2B tech startup world is growing, with more and more companies being founded every day, all fighting for visibility and adoption by users. In such an actively competitive market, content marketing is not only affordable, but it is an effective form for reaching both your primary and secondary target audience.
Here are some crucial reasons why this matters to you.
Value and trust: Your clients want to be empowered before they invest in your product or service, they want to learn something from you. You are going to be seen as a brand that is competent, helpful, valuable, and most importantly, trustworthy when you publish content that meets their curiosity or helps them solve a problem in some way.
Customer education: Many B2B tech startups have highly specialized tech products, but that does not mean the audience necessarily understands that language. There are cases when the B2B tech buyers are more technical or have a technical background, but other times they instead have a business background. Content marketing can educate them, aid the buyer journey and make it easy for them to understand the value of the technology.
Customer engagement: Publishing content that invites commenting, sharing, and the chance for a conversation, is a massively helpful way of learning about your customers and their needs. Besides that, engagement provides a personality to your brand, giving your company a voice, opinion, and thought leadership.
A Cost-Effective Alternative to Traditional Advertising: As a startup, your marketing budget may have little room for traditional advertising. This means you need to find effective methods to market your startup, that will provide the exposure you require to get up and running. Studies suggest content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, yet it generates three times as many leads.
Talent recruitment: a very important objective for tech startups that are often struggling with attracting high-quality talents. Use your content and offer them insights about your brand’s credibility, vision, and company culture. Your content marketing strategy can help you attract new people and at the same time train the new people you hire without having to worry about standards and quality.
How to develop a Content Marketing Strategy
Having a content marketing strategy should be part of the foundation of your entire venture, and documenting your plan for creating digital content is central to your marketing efforts. It gives everything structure and keeps things organized while providing a framework to help you stay consistent.
- Define Content Marketing Objective(s)
To create a useful content marketing strategy, you need first to build your foundation. This starts with developing a mission, which will be guiding the specific goals that you aim to achieve through content marketing. Your content marketing objectives should align with your startup’s marketing and business goals. In principle, we have found that a good framework for your content marketing objectives is SMART goals.
- Identify Your Target Audience and where it is Online
You should know who your primary and secondary audience is. This will help you identify how to write and create your content in a manner that solves their needs. Once you have clearly defined your target audience, it is essential to find the online avenues they are most likely to frequent. What do businesses do? How do they get informed about innovation? How do they incorporate it in their pipeline?
- Decide On Content Types
Remember that content in 2020 is no longer about writing blog posts, but there are plenty of different content types that can be published in various different platforms. There are obviously YouTube videos, podcasts, Medium and many different forms of textual content (ebooks, research reports, case studies, white papers and so on).
- Develop Your Content Promotion Strategy and a Content Calendar
No matter how good and valuable your content is for your audience, it won’t bring any value to your business unless someone consumes it. So, how you promote the content is just as, if not even more important than the content development process. The most important channels to promote your content are SEO, email marketing and social media marketing. Once this is completed, creating an editorial calendar can give you a path to follow for a quarter of digital content production. It can also help you establish a publishing schedule and can help you decide how to spread out different types of content. Make sure your strategy produces no gaps.
- Establish KPIs to Measure Your Progress The last step of developing a content marketing strategy for your startup is to set up a system to measure your progress. That is, setting up KPIs to know whether your content marketing is on the right track. Your KPIs should be based on your content marketing objective (SMART Goals) you have established at the first step of your strategy plan. To measure your progress each quarter seems to be a realistic plan.
Content Marketing Tools
While no content marketing tool can replace a solid strategy and talented humans, getting the right tech stack can certainly help you get the job done better, easier, and more efficiently. There are hundreds of content marketing tools available, some free or cheap and some very expensive. You can find a list of some of the best resources for content marketing below.
WordPress: is the most widely used CMS in the world. At its core, WordPress is an open source CMS that allows you to host and build websites. You can self-host or host your site via WordPress.com. It also contains plugin architecture and a template system so you can customize any website to fit your business, blog, portfolio.
HubSpot: is a platform that provides a range of tools for content management, sales and marketing, and social media advertising. Hubspot goes way beyond simply setting up a website and editing its content, as much as delivering a wide-ranging toolkit to help improve conversions.
Airstory: If you do want to step up your writing and collaboration game, Airstory is a more powerful platform for writers. It helps you save quotes, images, and multimedia and drag and drop it into any application where you do writing. As such, it’s an incredible tool for collaboration, but also for writers who are working on longer form content
Grammarly: Grammarly’s digital writing assistant helps people write more clearly and effectively every day. Grammarly is mainly there to support your grammar errors and to make your content error-free.
Hemingway: The Hemingway App is a software editor designed to make your writing “bold and clear.” It’s like a spellchecker, but for style. It makes sure that your reader will focus on your message, not your prose.
Yoast: is a tool for writing SEO-focused content.
Ahrefs: is a SEO tool. It’s great for everything from tracking the rankings of your keywords to analyzing your competitors’ keywords and traffic and much more.
Trello: is a simple kanban and project management tool, which means it can be used for many purposes, like growth experiments, sales pipelines, and product feature roadmaps but as an editorial calendar tool, as well.
Airtable: Airtable is another project management tool, though it’s a little more complicated (though also customizable).
Google Analytics: a digital analytics platform so you can track business metrics.
HotJar: is a user experience analytics tool. It’s got some qualitative tools, such as on-site poll, surveys, and session replays. Where Google Analytics can help you uncover the “what” and “where” of user behavior, these tools can help you start to tiptoe into the “why.”
Canva: is a graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. This tool is great for all kinds of content marketing imagery, like social media images, blog cover photos, Twitter cover photos, etc.
Adobe Photoshop: is the gold standard. It’s great for editing photographs as well as creating images such as Facebook photos, blog cover photos, and even screenshot tutorials.
The Stocks.im: Most good content marketing includes imagery, so it only makes sense to include a stock photo site here in our list of content marketing tools. TheStocks.IM aggregates several free stock photo sites, including Unsplash (my favorite) and Pixabay.
Vidyard: Vidyard is a video marketing platform that helps you host, share, and promote video content on your website.
B2B tech startups need to put a focus on content creation because, if done right, it can yield incredible results. They also need to ensure that they put in time, effort, and creativity. Content marketing can be a cost-effective strategy to generate targeted traffic and leads, which can be very beneficial for any tech startup. With the steps we have discussed above, you should be able to create a successful content marketing strategy for your B2B tech startup and can effectively build your online presence, establish your position as the thought leader in your industry.