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Content marketing is important for any business, especially startups. These are the four key reasons why, plus tips for how founders can capitalize.
You’ve probably heard this phrase ad nauseum: “No one ever got fired for buying from IBM.” It speaks to one of the greatest challenges for most startups: Winning the trust that comes with having an established, recognized brand.
If this describes you, content marketing can help. In fact, businesses that prioritize it generate three times as many leads and see 30% higher growth than those that don’t.
If you’re not convinced content marketing is for you, here are four reasons it’s important for businesses of all sizes — especially startups.
Related: Here’s How to Improve Your Business’s Content Marketing
B2B buyers now demand a purchasing experience that minimizes their direct interaction with brands and maximizes their reliance on digital channels for information.
A recent study by Gartner found that B2B customers spend approximately 5% of their total purchasing time interacting with a supplier, with the majority devoted to independent research.
New buying behaviors favor established brands by virtue of their name-brand recognition and perceived authority. Yet startups can compete by producing high-quality, relevant content. Studies show that 47% of B2B buyers say thought leadership made them discover and purchase from a company not among the established leaders of a specific niche.
To ensure your content reflects the needs and journey of your buyers:
Content only works if it speaks to your customer. To help guide you, always start with voice-of-customer data to drive content strategy and messaging. Their feedback should drive everything, with industry research and empirical evidence providing support.
Related: Content Marketing Quick-Start Guide: 3 Things Your B2B Startup Should Publish First
Today, analytics tools enable businesses to learn more about their target customer than ever before. Still, data analytics need content to drive value.
The more than 100 data points that Google Analytics tracks offer nothing if you can’t attract audiences to your website. All those social media metrics? They’re meaningless too without posts that drive impressions and engagement.
Content facilitates a learning process that enables your startup to survive and win. The more you produce, the more you find out about your target customer and what motivates them to take profitable action. This is important for any business, but especially startups.
To get the best insights from your content:
This last bullet matters most and surprisingly receives the least attention. If you capture analytics but never apply them, what’s the point? So, set weekly team meetings that evaluate content performance and focus on improvement.
Related: Why Your Startup Content-Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working
As technology-based products and services become more common, B2B buyers are increasingly using large and diverse teams to make a decision.
Buying groups tend to:
While these attributes favor established brands, startups can get more consideration. How? By developing thought leadership that attracts attention, demonstrates authority, and makes buying teams smarter.
To improve the chances your content resonates with diverse groups:
The above activities depend on factors specific to your business and niche, including your buyer’s product awareness and sophistication levels. Your buyer, and what drives them to convert, should drive everything you do.
Related: 5 Tips to Launch a Content Marketing Program Faster (and With Fewer Resources)
Brand recognition is an inherent weakness for most startups. Still, that doesn’t mean they can’t become a recognized name for their niche fast — with content marketing as their rocket fuel.
The fintech company Mint famously adopted a content marketing strategy that contributed to its rapid success. Before ever launching a product, it started a successful blog catering to its target customer and built an email list of 20,000 subscribers. It took them only three years to get acquired by Intuit for $170 million.
Building brand awareness is most important in the startup phase, and content marketing is the most cost-effective tool to accelerate the process.
To accelerate your brand building, leverage content marketing that can scale:
The exact content strategy you pick depends (again) on your buyer. But you should also take into consideration your internal strengths. If you’re a charismatic founder who naturally shines on stage, a keynote speech or video interview might offer the highest ROI.
All signs point to one big takeaway.
Content marketing is a reliable (and much-needed) vehicle to convince customers to take a chance on you.
So take a chance on it. Show the world why you’re better than all the job-saving IBMs out there.
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