Content marketing is not a “secret” or a “hack” anymore. For success in the online business space, content marketing has become an absolute necessity. Studies show that content marketing produces thrice as many leads as paid advertising campaigns with the same budget.
While it is true that content marketing has enormous potential as a marketing strategy, creating and executing an ROI-driven content marketing strategy isn’t an easy task. This is especially true for bootstrapped startups working with limited resources.
Content marketing plays a role in multiple areas of your business. However, it all begins on your website. Starting here is a great idea for beginner startup owners looking to kickstarting their content marketing efforts.
Your website content can be used to establish a brand identity, boost SEO performance, build credibility and trust, and present your business as an industry authority in front of visitors.
Actionable Information: Why Your Blog Matters
While every aspect of your website (homepage, product pages, and other landing pages) is important for your online presence, your blog is the top priority from a content marketing perspective.
This is because most people using search engines are looking for information. In many cases, this curiosity leads them to the realization that they require a paid product or service to solve a problem in their life.
This information—what your potential customers are looking for—is what needs to come through in the blog section of your website.
There are dozens of guides available on the web that talk about the step-by-step process of creating a business blog. While many of these contain some truly actionable information, there isn’t much content that talks about the specific problems startups face when producing high-quality, impactful, and result-driven content for their website.
Now, let's take a quick look at some of the challenges businesses face when producign content for their blogs:
Challenges Startups Face With On-Site Content Production
- Lack Of Time: Most startups struggle with a lack of time. There aren’t enough hours in the day for content when you have to manage clients, vendors, and your own growth.
- Lack Of Resources: Most startups operate with limited resources: this constrains how much they can invest outside core operating expenses.
- Lack Of Budget: A limited budget makes every aspect of running a business more challenging, and content production is not an exception.
- Lack Of A Solid Strategy: Since most businesses aren’t marketing businesses, content isn’t an area of expertise. This makes it difficult to create and follow a structured approach to producing content.
If you identify with any of the above statements, this article is for you. In the following sections, we’ll be sharing simple and actionable tips that any startup can employ to overcome content production challenges.
However, before we begin, it’s important to note that this article doesn’t contain any “hacks” that will drive overnight results. Content marketing doesn’t work like that. It takes time and consistent effort to drive results.
Employ these tips, be patient, and be consistent with your content marketing strategy. Don’t give up because once the leads (and traffic) start pouring in, the results will be well beyond your expectations.
With that in mind, let’s dive in!
Share Content In Bulk
You might be thinking, “If I had the capacity to create bulk content, I wouldn’t be reading this article.” And you wouldn’t be wrong.
However, creating content in bulk is extremely difficult, especially if you are working with minimal resources and manpower. However, there are some ways to increase your content quantity without overloading your schedule and budget.
Leverage Content Syndication to Bulk Up Your Blog
One option is content syndication. Also known as content curation, this is the practice of using your own platform, in this case, your website, to publish someone’s else’s original content. Content syndication isn’t plagiarism. It’s a collaboration between your business and writers that ensure attribution and credit go where they need to.
Tools to Utilize: Free Plagiarism Checker
Content syndication is a great way to populate your website with informative, entertaining, and relevant content that your audience can enjoy.
Create Original Content to Drive Lead Generation
While content syndication is a proven strategy, you cannot expect to drive reliable results by only sharing others’ content. You have to produce original content. There is no way around that.
Content Pillars and Topic Clusters
There is however, a way to ensure you (virtually) never run out of content ideas and don’t have to constantly worry about coming up with relevant information with your audience: creating content pillars.
Content pillars are broad brackets of industry-relevant information. For instance, for a marketing website, content pillars will be topics like copywriting, search engine optimization, and social media marketing (among others).
Now, each of these are very broad subjects with several in-depth sub-topics that are worth discussion. These content pillars help your website get indexed and hopefully, eventually ranked for high volume and high competition keywords.
Let’s come back to the sub-topics within your website’s content pillars: these are called topic clusters. For instance, within the search engine optimization content pillar, link building can be a topic cluster. Within this cluster, there can be a number of specialized topics that your website can talk about, like email marketing for link building, or best practices, and so on. These topics help your website rank for low competition long tail keywords.
It’s a great idea to use this strategy to come up with several industry-relevant topics at once. This means you won’t have to brainstorm every time you or someone from your team starts writing an article.
Understand And Produce A Variety Of Content Types
Speaking of articles, many businesses limit their content production to the written word. When talking about content, “type” means two thing. Content type can refer to the broad topics your blogs explore. But it can also refer to different content media and formats — from podcasts to videos to listicles and how-to’s to news.
Venturing into other content formats opens up new opportunities for content production. While blog posts and articles do have an important role in any holistic content strategy, limiting yourself to only producing these is not a good idea.
This is true for many reasons. For starters, search engines give preference to visual content these days. Moreover, most businesses out there don’t have avid readers as their audience. If this is the case, it’s important to understand that your audience prefers visual content over text-only content and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Thankfully, there are many content formats besides blog posts and articles that you can choose from:
Infographics: Infographics are a great way to share complex and possibly boring information in an engaging manner. As the name suggests, infographics combine information and graphics to communicate with the audience. Getting started with creating infographics is easier than you might think. There are several easy to use and, more importantly, free online tools that you can employ to create beautiful infographics.
Videos: With the rise of platforms like TikTok, it’s easy to see that audiences love video. The great thing is that producing videos is infinitely easier than it was a few years ago. With a smartphone, a tripod, and a few free video editing tools, anyone can create videos for their website and their brand. There are many types of videos to choose from- explainer videos, how-to videos, product demos: the list goes on. You might need professional help to succeed with some of these formats. However, with some practice, your own team should be able to create great how-to videos and even product demos.
Podcasts: Podcasts have existed for a long time (since the age of radio) but have gained special popularity in recent times. With the right kind of content, podcasts can turn out to be a great tool for creating a highly engaged online ‘tribe’ that loves your brand.
Just like blog posts, your videos, infographics and podcasts should cover a variety of topic types. The subjects you determined in the previous section (under topic clusters) can be used to brainstorm new content ideas.
Check out the Flying V Group Sage Executive Podcast!
Create a Practical Plan (and Stick to it)
While most businesses realize the importance of content marketing, many either lack a clear plan or don’t stick to it. This is despite the fact that creating a content plan doesn’t require special skills, or much time, even. You can find countless content plan creation guides online. Some of these are loaded with some very actionable and easy to follow information and steps.
The basic steps that all these guides cover include:
- Determining Goals: The first step, like any other marketing strategy, is to determine exactly what you want to achieve with your blog. Common goals are establishing your brand as an industry authority, driving more SEO traffic, and customer education.
- Understanding the Audience: Next, it is time to understand who your audience is and what their pain points are. This way, you will be able to create content that addresses these problems and is in turn, relatable to your audience.
- Determining Topics and Keywords: Circling back to what we talked about earlier, focus on content pillars and topic clusters to target high-volume keywords and lower-volume long-tail keywords.
- Create a Content Calendar: A content calendar is simply a calendar that lists out the days and times that are dedicated to producing content. You can utilize free calendar apps like Google Calendar to create your content calendar and share it with your team.
- Create Content: The final and most time consuming step of this process is to create the actual content.
Now, this process is truly straightforward, but most people get stuck with the last two steps. This is usually because they end up overestimating their ability to consistently produce content.
For this reason, when creating a content calendar, it is smart to be realistic about how much content you can produce. There is no magic number of ideal content pieces you can produce to achieve success.
The only secret to success with content marketing is consistency. If you think you can only produce one piece of content every week, that’s alright, as long as you’re consistent.
As time passes, your business grows and you hire new resources, you can alway amp up your content production and rethink your content plan.
Having a solid strategy for your startup website’s blog will give your future content marketing efforts a solid foundation to build upon. Even better, the benefits of producing great content go beyond content marketing. For instance, these days, connecting with prospects on LinkedIn is a great way to generate leads.
However, many people don’t find it appreciable when someone simply messages them with a sales pitch. In such a scenario, your website content articles can be a great way of striking up a conversation and inducing prospects into your LinkedIn lead generation funnel.
Thank you so much for reading How to Create an On-Site Content Plan for Startups. We really appreciate it! If you have any questions about our article, or can suggest any other topics you think we should explore, feel free to let us know.
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Sahil is the CEO and Founder of Rankwatch – a platform, which helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape. Sahil likes making creative products that can help in automation of mundane tasks and he can spend endless nights implementing new technologies and ideas. You can connect with him and the Rankwatch team on Facebook or Twitter.