What is content marketing for tech startups?
Content marketing is a marketing strategy that consists of creating, publishing, and distributing valuable content that is related to the activities of your tech startup and aims to attract, engage, and retain both existing customers and new ones.
More concretely, it’s the strategy behind the creation and distribution of types of content such as blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, lead magnets, videos, webinars, and so on.
When done right, content marketing can help raise brand awareness and bring in new leads on a consistent basis, regardless of whether you’re targeting B2B buyers or a B2C audience.
Why tech startups should have a content marketing strategy
Established tech companies have built credibility over the years and while they usually still invest heavily in marketing, they can also rely on their brand reputation to get people to buy. As a tech startup, you still need to raise brand awareness and build your reputation. On top of that, you have the additional challenge of providing information in such a way that your product can be understood by everyone in your target audience.
That’s where content marketing comes in.
By creating interesting, educational, or even entertaining content, you can establish your business as a thought leader and show your target audience how you stand out within the tech industry. Maybe you operate in a more transparent way, offer a simpler alternative to what’s already on the market, or distinguish your tech company with a modern look and casual language in a niche full of tech dinosaurs.
Your content marketing strategy can help communicate all of these brand points in a consistent way and attract the audience these points speak to.
On top of that, high-quality content can be a great lead generator. Optimized blog articles bring in site visitors, well-crafted social media content gets shared, and interesting YouTube videos make people want to learn more about you.
Good content brings in leads, but for that to happen, you need a solid plan. Out content marketing tips below will help you create just that.
How to create a content marketing plan for your tech company
1. Have clear content marketing goals
You’re convinced. You want to invest in content marketing to build credibility, grow your brand name, and bring in more leads. Now, you need to define what success looks like.
You may get the sense that tech buyers start to know, like, and trust your brand, but how will you measure this? And what % of increase in leads is enough to deem your content marketing a successful lead generator?
Setting clear goals is crucial for your tech company to be able to determine whether your content marketing efforts are paying off and whether you need to tweak some things or cut some and double down on others.
Your exact goals depend on where your technology startup is at now and what its specific business goals are, but here are a few examples of content marketing goals you could set:
- increase site traffic by x% and convert y% of that traffic
- get x blog posts to rank on page 1 of Google within 6 months
- increase email list signups by x%
2. Research your tech buyers
To create content that attracts tech buyers, you need to know who these buyers are. Who benefits most from your solution? Are you selling to the CEO, the Head of Innovation, the Marketing Manager, or the Director of Cyber Security?
Perhaps, the decision-makers you need to convince rely on their staff to suggest new technologies and it’s those influencers you need to reach.
Create buyer personas of the people that benefit from your product and the level of influence they have on the buying process. Make a note of what their pain points are and how your product solves those. Then, find out where these people get their information from and what type of information it is they’re looking for.
Because they are looking. 78% of IT buyers said they needed guidance when making technology purchases and 67% of them said they’re more likely to buy from a business that offers that guidance throughout the buyer journey.
3. Create a sustainable blog content strategy
There are many publishing and social media platforms your tech startup can create content on, and while a site like Medium or a platform like YouTube can be great traffic drivers, you don’t own the which means your subject to their whims.
You do, however, own your email list and company blog. The former requires tech buyers to give you their email address before you can actually send them your content but the latter is open and out there for everyone to find.
Therein lies the power of a company blog.
For your company blog to become a brand-building, lead-generating machine, you need a sustainable content strategy that consists of these things:
1. A keyword map
When people search for a term in Google, the results appearing on the first page are articles that have been optimized to rank for that specific term. Some terms get searched for a lot, others… not so much.
That means it’s key to find out which terms or keywords you should optimize your blog content for to reach your target audience. But that’s not all.
You also want to make sure that when you write an article on, for example, the possible use cases of AI in database management, tech buyers searching for information about that topic will find your article. Unfortunately, not all of these people will use the same search term when they’re googling, and that’s where a keyword map comes in.
By doing thorough keyword research, you can create a keyword map that tells you which focus keywords to optimize your articles for, and which secondary keywords to also include. A good keyword map will also ensure that you’re not limiting your chances of ranking well by targeting the same keyword with different blog posts. It’s the plan you need to make before you can start writing.
Once you have your keyword map, you can create a content calendar that specifies when you’ll be publishing new content pieces.
2. Focus on the overlap between your audience’s interests and your solution
This is also known as the content core and it points to the type of content that both captures your audience’s attention and generates demand for your product.
Content that’s in line with your audience’s interests but not with what your selling, will generate traffic but not leads. Content that’s purely promotional might generate some leads at first, but it won’t be long before your audience loses interest. After all, you’re not offering them anything of value.
When you focus on your content core and make sure the content you produce offers high-quality information, an increase in traffic will mean a proportionate increase in leads.
3. The time, money, and team to execute your strategy
A great content marketing strategy is worth nothing if you can’t also make it happen. Great content marketing takes time, and if you’ve never done it before, you’ll also need to calculate in learning time.
That’s why it’s important to figure out what type of content marketing is most likely to move the needle for your tech startup and whether you should do it all in-house or outsource (part of) it.
If you’ve never created a content strategy before, it’s a good idea to hire a specialized agency. This allows you to keep focusing on your core tasks while knowing you’ll get a strategy that works. At Flow SEO, we can help you with this. Get in touch for more information.
Content creation is another job you can easily outsource and it’s often more cost-effective to work with a freelancer who knows how to write an engaging article than to hire a full-time team member.
Lastly, take into account the cost of marketing tools you may need to achieve your goals, such as social media scheduling tools or keyword research tools.
Whether you decide to hire a marketing agency, work with freelancers, or do everything yourself, make sure that your approach is sustainable in the long run both for what concerns your budget and your workload.
4. Create a content distribution plan
Now that you know what types of content you’ll create, who you’re creating it for, how you’ll get it to rank, and what it should achieve, you need to develop a content distribution plan.
“A content distribution plan? But I’m already optimizing my articles for Google!”
That’s great, but there’s more you can do to get traction faster:
- consistently share your articles on social media
- promote them in your newsletter
- build backlinks to them through guest posting, podcast appearances, and brand mentions
To know which social media channels to share your content on, go back to your tech buyer personas. Where do they spend their time online? That’s where you need to be. If they spend a lot of time on Linkedin but rarely check Facebook groups, focus on Linkedin and leave Facebook as an optional channel to test at a later point.
Building backlinks, on the other hand, is not optional. The more relevant sites are pointing to yours, the higher Google will think of your brand, and the easier it will become to rank those content pieces you’ve worked so hard on. At Flow SEO, we offer various types of link building as a service. Send us a message and we’ll be happy to tell you more about that.
5. Test, track, improve, and repeat
We already mentioned how important it is to set goals for your content marketing strategy. There’s only one way to know whether you reach those goals and that’s by tracking the performance of your strategy.
There are four groups of metrics you want to keep an eye on:
1. Engagement metrics: these metrics have to do with where and how your audience consumes your content and whether they then do something with it. They include:
- which channels people spend the most time consuming your content
- which type of content they spend the most time consuming
- which type of content gets the most comments and shares
- which channels have the most success at getting comments and shares for your content
2. Lead metrics: these metrics measure how successful your content is at generating new leads for your tech startup. They include:
- organic traffic
- social media traffic
- email signups
- call inquiries and contact form submissions coming from your content pieces
3. Sales metrics: these metrics track how successful your content is at producing leads that then also turn into sales. They include:
- % of organic traffic that turned into customers
- % of social media traffic that turned into customers
- % email subscribers that turned into customers
- % of call inquiries and contact form submissions that led to sales
Once you have this data, you can start running tests on different parts of your content marketing puzzle to improve your overall results.
Start your content marketing today
Just like trust in your company, good content marketing takes some time to build. Your competitors might be reading this blog post at the exact same time you are, or already have a strategy in place.
Make sure you carve out your own spot in the tech industry and become a thought leader by showcasing your industry expertise and making sure potential tech buyers can find you.
Not sure where to start? Get in touch and we’ll help you craft a plan.