It’s been a long day of work and I plop myself in front of my computer to relax on YouTube. When I click on a video, the first thing that comes up: an advertisement. I groan and look away. I hate ads. You probably do too. The Internet has made it possible for ads to follow us everywhere we go. The result? We are extremely annoyed when we see advertisements.
That’s why “content marketing” has become such a buzzword. In a nutshell, you create and share valuable, relevant, and consistent information to reach the audience you eventually want to sell to. The most common forms of content marketing include building a social media following and running a blog. Imagine watching a YouTube video that you WANT to watch but the video is made by a company.
I’m here to show you how you can take advantage of content marketing even as a small startup.
Picking the Content and Battlefield
As a good startup founder, you know who your target audience is and what problems they face. Get a pen and paper and make a list of all the problems that your customers or users face. Also make a list of all the things they are interested in. Your content marketing plan will focus on the things you just wrote down. Next is figuring out the right platform for you. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin. A common mistake is doing 5 platforms at once. Each platform and method requires your attention to make it done well. Choose 1 or 2 and focus on it.
You have a lot of options for where you want your content to go. Here are some of the main ones that you can try:
- Medium: This is particularly good for B2B companies. A lot of smart business and startup people are on Medium. You also get to tap into the existing community and won’t need to grow from scratch. You can customize your page with your branding.
- Comma (Commaful): Good for targeting the college and high school age demographics. The team is very responsive and actively helps brands with content marketing if you reach out. Their creator tool also can generate beautiful videos to share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and make your brand look hip.
- YouNow: They have created a number of teen stars. If you’re good on camera and targeting 13-18 year olds, give this live streaming site a try!
- YouTube: If you’re energetic and good on camera, then YouTube may be for you! These are especially good for “how to’s” that require visuals. You will need a good camera or web cam.
- Tsu: Tsu is a social network platform similar to Facebook, but distributes part of its ad revenue with its users. There are many sub-categories to post to and most are very active, making it a good target for content.
- Twitter: You should use Twitter to help distribute your content regardless of if this is your main channel, but Twitter is very diverse. Figure out what your audience likes and post things that align with their interests.
- Anchor: If you’re an audio kind of person, Anchor is great for making short podcasts. The audience skews towards tech and business right now and it’s very easy to share on Anchor.
- Instagram: Good especially if you’re targeting teenagers. Engagement is very high here but you will need to figure out how to make good photos for the content. Commaful from above may be able to help with some of the video content.
- Your Own Blog: You will need to figure out how to grow your traffic and worry about building the site, but you get far more control if you make your own blog.
- Figure out which ones help you reach your audience best. Try some out and see what works for you. Then go all-in on the ones that work.
Crafting Viral Content
Once you have the strategy and platform, it’s time to brainstorm ideas for your snackable content. When it comes to content marketing, don’t optimize for the number of times you can plug your company. Optimize for sharing and trust. If the post looks like an advertisement, people will not read it. Many people think that optimizing for sharing means to make your share buttons bigger. Or putting the share button 5 centimeters to the right. What really drives sharing is the content.