Working for a digital marketing agency, I often meet companies that run an active corporate blog at high cost but still struggle to get any significant amount of traffic to their website. “No one reads my blog”, they complain. This situation is hardly a surprise given the common startup content marketing myth that simply writing a few posts that target some selected keywords will put you on track to exponential organic growth. WRONG! This content marketing strategy stopped working about 10 years when content shock set in meaning was more free content being published on the internet than we could possibly consume. Today, for almost any search query or question, we can find the entire first ranking page on Google plastered with pretty much the exact same answers and text. So what’s the solution to breaking through the content shock and making sure your blog gets read?
Let’s face it: we all love free stuff. If you’re starting a new business and looking to make the most every resource available to help you to scale quickly, a cost-efficient helping hand is even more valuable. Where you’re a startup that’s bootstrapping, scraping together funding from a friends-and-family round, or if you’ve just received a €14M funding round, you’ll need to be maximizing ROI whenever possible. That means, in the growth hacking race, free digital marketing tools for startups are becoming pivotal to success. They enable you to automate repetitive tasks to save time, leverage data analytics to optimize campaigns and get organized when managing an expanding team.
We wanted to gather the insider scoop on the best digital marketing tools out there, so we’ve asked entrepreneurs and marketing experts that specialize in startup marketing to share their top recommendations with you. Without further ado, here are the results
What Is A Style Guide And Why Is It Important
What Is A Style Guide?
A style guide is a road map that helps you to communicate your brand’s character and voice accurately, authentically and consistently. It can include anything from key company messaging, to specific terminology you use, to grammar, spelling and punctuation, to tonal elements like jokes and abbreviations. The idea is to standardize the way your brand speaks to its users in a centralised rulebook. This means all writers, whether they’re your marketing department, content marketing agency, tech lead or CEO, can follow it to ensure high-quality communications that are true to your brand personality at all times.
Fond followers of Bourbon have probably read our previous article about the basics of how to find great writers. With the help of that guide, you’ve hopefully now identified your buyer persona and selected the collaboration options that fit your budget and content writing needs. However, the most difficult challenge is still ahead: not only to have to locate writers in the first place, but you’ll need to ensure they are up to your required standards, are reliable, and fit with your company’s ethos and approach.
Thanks to the growing phenomenon of content shock, the buzzing skyscraper technique and with so many businesses producing content these days, there are new standards for your content. A typical blog post should be at least 1200 words if you want it to make an impact on your SEO, brand awareness or inbound marketing leads. Trying to squeeze high quality, relevant content into less than 600 words simply isn’t feasible, since these posts will be outperformed by more in-depth material.
Some might say that content is dead. Whilst it’s true that we’re experiencing a ‘content shock’ in which the volume of content per person online is growing each day, that doesn’t mean content isn’t useful – it just means businesses today have to up their game. To actually win through content marketing in today’s climate, and climb the ranks of SEO, it simply isn’t enough to produce short articles on topics that have been covered thousands of times. Instead, there’s more need than ever for high quality in content writing: it needs to add value to its audience and be of a higher standard than all the other content out there on the topic. You may find a solution in outsourcing your content marketing.
Building a relationship of trust with potential customers takes time and careful positioning. You want to start instilling confidence in your brand from day one, but you don’t want to force your products on your customers, or push them to give up personal information without good reason. With their mailbox full of newsletters and noise about other products, they’ll simply head elsewhere. Enter your lead magnet.
Lead magnets are all about converting traffic into leads. In other words, turning anonymous visitors into contacts with a name, email, phone number or similar. Great SEO can bring you more website traffic and some direct sales, but most visitors aren’t ready to buy. Lead magnets therefore help businesses nurture visitors until they’re ready to make the jump.
Lead Magnets allow you to deliver genuine value to potential customers, whilst simultaneously growing your email list, building your customer data, generating leads, and paving the way for a long-term customer relationship. They’re particularly effective if you’re a young tech startup without much customer data that’s looking to build authority rapidly through value-additive content.
For high growth startups and tech companies, content marketing has become an essential technique for building audiences and establishing brands. A recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute revealed that 91% of B2B respondents said they were engaged in content marketing, but only 65% said their overall success in the field has increased within the last year. Why is that? There are a number of common content marketing myths that are still preventing businesses from realizing the full impact of content for their brand in 2018. With so much misleading and confusing information out there, we’ll break down these misconceptions to show how you can build a content marketing strategy that allows you to carve out marketshare and position your brand as a beacon of experience and insight within your industry.
Cities are growing: by 2050, an estimated 66% of the global population will live in urban centers. Urban population growth, alongside other factors such as globalization, changing geopolitical landscapes and greater freedom of movement, is increasing demand for urban resources and services. It is also putting pressure on cities to develop their economies, optimize city-management and attract global talent. These challenges are also opportunities, however, in that they are providing the stimulus for a whole host of solutions that render cities not only more efficient and effective, but also more citizen-friendly.
In comparison to fully-grown, long-established companies, startups today face many unique challenges. For starters, as you figure out your product market, you might not have a clear customer profile in mind. That means the whole process of locating your target audience is a lot more complicated, since you can’t take advantage of existing data and trends. For startups, conducting audience research that’s in line with a marketing strategy can be tricky, but it’s certainly not impossible.
Right off the bat – if you have data you can build on, use it. Ideally, startups need to have a clear idea of who they are selling their product or service to, so that all information gathered is relevant and carefully directed. However, if that isn’t available to you, you’ll need to start from scratch. Luckily, we are here to show you how to get started: