So you’re pre-launch — way, way pre-launch. It may be too early for traditional marketing, but the time for content marketing is now.
Content marketing uses the channels you already own to provide value to the people you want to attract. Those people could be product testers or customer validation interview subjects — or even investors.
Is your start-up at the concept, product development, or testing stage? Here are the reasons to go ahead and launch content marketing:
Execute on Any Budget, Even None
Building a start-up means wearing many hats. You may not love writing and designing, but for a short while, you can reach out of your comfort zone. They're not such specialized skills that you can’t do a “good enough” job for now. And creating the content yourself means it costs nothing but time. If you can demonstrate true commercial viability, you may be able to find a freelancer to work for equity, at least in part.
Overcome Regional Barriers
Hey Heartland and Southern tech, good news! Because content marketing is often digital, it's a great tool to reach beyond your geographic market. You can even use targeting strategies on social media and Google AdWords to reach people who live in very specific locations or share specific characteristics (the demographics and interests of your ideal client).
Prepare for Advertising and PR
To make effective use of expensive media spots or the attention of journalists and influencers, you first need to figure out your brand’s identity. You need to establish your target market, articulate your customer journey, and sketch out your messaging. Those are also the basic steps for strategic content marketing.
Prepare for Launch
The steps for content marketing also align with exercises for user research and configuration. Steve Blank, the founder of the Lean Startup Movement, teaches that early-stage companies must craft formal hypotheses about topics like value proposition and customer segments—and then test those hypotheses through research. Strategic content marketing requires the same thing.
Make Real Connections
Social media isn’t just a pillar of content marketing. Social is a tool for building real-world relationships. By monitoring your feeds, you’ll learn (in an organic way) what value really means for content in your industry. You’ll create your own social content to effectively engage with influencers, investors, and users. And by doing so, you’ll take the first step in making connections to earn media coverage and raise funds.
Get Found by People Searching for Innovation
High-quality original content, a dynamic site, social engagement, and the resulting backlinks will all help improve search engine optimization. That means you’ll move higher up in search results before you even develop a focused SEO strategy.
For more tips on effective content marketing, see Model Content's white paper on balancing long-form and shareable content in the tech industry.
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