We thought it might be helpful to put together a content marketing tips playbook.
If you’ve just started a new startup, it’s hard to promote your content.
We know this as we’ve been in these very same shoes.
The content marketing tips that we’re sharing today, could be just what you’re looking for.
We reached out to over thirty founders, to find out their content marketing tips.
They’ll be sharing some useful content marketing tricks that you might be able to apply to your projects.
It’s important to look at a variety of ways to promote your content and brand for the long-term, not the short.
Here’s what over thirty founders, reporters, and digital marketers had to say about their content marketing tips.
Content Marketing Tips From Over 30 Founders and Reporters
Dawson Whitfield, CEO of Logojoy
- Create and implement a great content mix of articles highlighting industry trends, topics that interest your key audience, and run special spotlights on your amazing customers and CSR practices (people love a blog that offers a great variety of useful resources).
- Break down the most successful, high traffic articles and use that content on social media.
- Mix up how you format articles. That means short words, longer lengths, pure photo posts with captions etc. Keep readers “surprised” what you are posting next.
Vladimir Gendelman, Founder & CEO of Company Folders
Develop these three habits when creating content:
- Your writing should be honest and authentic, reflecting your voice.
- Use language that anyone can understand.
- Proofread. Don’t use bad grammar in an effort to sound casual because it will only hurt your credibility in the end.
- The primary way we promote our content is across our social media handles, from which we have a 2.2M following. We post our product regularly to our Instagram and re-post influencer snaps.
- The more fun and engaging content are posted to our Snapchat story, and we love posting short product videos on Facebook.
- YouTube is the fastest growing source of content, so we have a videographer dedicated to posting one piece of quality content per week.
- PLUS, we’ve recently re-launched our blog, which is gaining fantastic traction, and (when we remember), we give Pinterest and LinkedIn some love!
Jeremy Liddle, Co-founder of CapitalPitch
- Make sure you pick the right platform. For instance, CapitalPitch has much more success and engagement on LinkedIn vs facebook due to the nature of our target market being mature investors and founders.
- Once you know the right platforms, start communities where you can control the distribution of your content and also aggregate other people’s valuable content (credibility by association).
- Build relationships within other communities to co-publish and/or co-promote content.
January Barnes, Co-founder at ParlayMe
Focus on good storytelling – yes pretty pictures help too but taking audiences on an experiential adventure also helps. A great tool to achieve authenticity and immersive content is video. It allows audiences to feel as if they are part of the adventure.
Be diverse – I’m not a niche blogger – instead I cover many areas from fashion, music, travel to tech – this keeps the content fresh and always a surprise to audiences – remember to keep people guessing – routine and consistency in content creation is necessary but also creating an element of surprise goes a long way too.
- Give people a reason to come back to your blog, Instagram or YouTube channel – quality over quantity and creating curated content is key – we live in an on-demand society but that doesn’t mean you have to post everything in real-time – it’s more important to get it right then get it in real time.
- Spread yourself far – some people are Facebook junkies whilst others only like Instagram and then others only use Twitter – unfortunately you need to be everywhere and if so you need to understand the platform and the different nuisances to marketing across them – they all require a different approach but a consistent voice.
Dean McPherson, Co-founder at Paperform
- I recommend getting involved with Medium publications – there are quite a few decent sized publications on different topics on Medium.
- I reached out to have some of my writing published in a Medium publication with a 50,000 following.
- Most Medium publications are invite-only, it’s better to only write about specific topics and to contact the editor.
- From what I’ve experienced, if you can write, and it’s on topic – they’ll be more than happy to publish.
Bozena Pieiazek, Social Media and Outreach Manager at Typeform
- Employee Advocacy: When you’re first starting out, your employees are your most valuable brand evangelists. Making sure you have engaged and social media active employees can help boost your startup’s online presence, as well as spread your content more easily.
- Collaborations: Collaborate with other startups, influencers or guest bloggers are good ways to not only make the distribution of your content easier but also to produce better content.
- 10x Content: One of the best ways to create buzz around your articles, is to produce 10x content. If you deliver high-quality and extraordinary content, the distribution should take care of itself.
Craig Reardon, Managing Director at The E Team
- Probably the most valuable blogging tip of all is to become a ‘guest blogger’ for a high profile website or publication. This approach has three benefits:
- They promote your blog to tens of thousands readers.
- Their site ranks well with Google. Meaning your inbound link works much harder for you than your own site.
- The more popular the website, the higher your credibility.
Ben Lindsay, Head of Operations at GoRepp
- In the early days of blog posting, a cheap and easy way to potentially gain access to new readers is to create a mutually beneficial relationship with an already reputable blogger.
- Maybe try doing a summary of the week quoting multiple bloggers with a two sentence summary of their posts.
- Once you have done this, just send your new post to them and see what they think. And, ask if they’d be willing to share it.
- One day, you might get the chance to guest write on their blog!
Neville Medhora, Founder of Kopywriting Kourse
- I like keeping a big list of articles I want to write, and then ranking them in order of what will be the most helpful (and also the most fun for me)!
- To come up with ideas I often use this little formula I made up:
[TOPIC]+ [LIFE] = [EMAIL].
- You can generate a whole list of ideas based on this formula in this handy email list idea generator. Whenever clients ask “what should I write about??” … I point them to that generator and they instantly get 125 ideas.
- Get ideas from Referral GrowthJam to find out what successful companies have done to grow their business and see how you can apply this to yours.
- I like to share my content to Inbound, HackerNews, GrowthHackers and GrowthHackers France.
- In my opinion content marketing is most effective when your piece of content is organically shared (or at least appears to be). Compared to promoting articles, blog posts, etc. directly on platforms such as Facebook or Twitter I regularly use a service called Quuu. With Quuu people sign up to have their social sharing curated by the platform and subscribe to particular categories, such as Tech, Startups, Marketing, etc. If you then promote your content through Quuu (for around $10 – $30), your content is then natively shared by hundreds of users. So far I have found that the engagement from this form of promotion is higher and cheaper than promoting a post or link directly.
Alistair Bentley, Founder of Simply Wall St.
- Canva has one of the best articles on content marketing. It talks about how they increased Design Schools traffic to 1 million visits (with downloadable templates that they used).
- Knackmap relies heavily on content marketing. We want to ensure that we educate our visitors on our the benefits of using our product. Things like how businesses can utilize social media for their goals.
- Take full advantage of article submission sites like Inbound, Reddit, GrowthHackers and so on to seed your content.
- Build up your personal network on sites like Linkedin and Facebook. You can do this by being active online.
- Use an automation tool like Knackmap or Buffer to get your content out across your various social media channels in high volume.
- Re-promoting content is totally OK. Focus on creating great content and don’t be afraid to share it a lot.
Alex Golub, CEO at CROmmunity
- Method One: With the relevant keywords in your article, got to Buzzsumo and find other similar articles. Make sure to double check that you don’t have any duplicates. Import the list of users in MassPlanner, and then send them a Twitter message to invite them to read your article.
- Method Two: Get into a Slack group and download MouseRecorder. Program it to: Click on users –> Click on message box –> Paste your message –> Send.
- It’s a sharing mindset: We’ve found ways to automate the 80% part. I know these two methods are kind of spammy, but they do get a lot of engagement as they look like a ‘personal message.’ The guys that consider it ‘spammy’ are good people and will tell you to stop. Thank them for their feedback, respect their wishes and stop.
Stephen Yoon, Digital Marketing Strategist at LegalVision
- People are inundated with messages from all over the internet, and many of these get lost in delivery. Understanding what drives your customers to make purchasing decisions is important. At LegalVision, we use ‘buying personas’ to touch on their pain points and style our content marketing strategy.
Susan Johnston, Founder of New Media Film Festival
Aaron Hanson, Founder of Startuplister
- Slack communities: You can use Slacklist to find relevant communities to your product – request access, and join them.
- Use either BuzzSumo or AHREF’s Content Explorer and input relevant keywords to your content. The results will display the most shared content. Then, you can target the users that have shared or liked this content (which inevitably should be similar to yours).
James Hutchinson, Head of Business & Technology at Sling & Stone
- I’ve seen many do this across Medium, which is a great platform for publishing content in a beautiful, easily readable and findable way.
- Content creators can no longer afford to only publish content and wait for the audience to come to them — they need to actively seek out their audience and market content in an appropriate way.
- Others have used Storyful to collate tweets and creative narratives as events unfold on Twitter, which is a fantastic way of quickly writing stories as they break.
- I think the little old email is proving a good way to build a new audience quickly — tech journalist Owen Williams from The Next Web created his personal newsletter called Chargd, and from all accounts, it’s quickly grown to a sizable audience. It may not be high-tech, but it’s actually using an existing platform to bring content-to-niche audiences more widely, which is what journalists need to do in the modern world.
- So obviously number one for me in the past years is RefreshBox (disclosure, my side project), in which I created a newsletter consisting of my weekly best crowdfunding reads Weekly Crowdfunding Pearls – or; discover newsletters with content curated by giants like Nobel prize winners, people from Google, Harvard and more.
- My second favorite website is Quibb; a place people share what they read for work. Another place that works for me is HackerNews, a great place to discover and share content, mainly for the tech industry.
- The number one content marketing tip for me is my newsletter. Every blog or piece of content should provide some value to your subscribers. To get it going, tell your mailing list if they share it they will get something from you (ex. A discount, a coupon code, free goodies, etc.). It can be whatever but do incentivize everyone to share.
- Many people underestimate the power of LinkedIn groups. There are many groups with over 100,000 plus active members. Although, you should be smart about how you share it.
- The second thing that you should do is publish a short “preview” of the post via LinkedIn pulse. That means your whole network will get a notification. Then some might open the shorter version of the article – and (again) if you motivate them to continue reading, many will continue to your website blog.
- Share your content to Facebook groups. This one is quite straightforward, but it’s honestly a bit overused by many startups and people trying to sell something. So either you have to have a great title or you need to have a compelling visuals. Otherwise, just go with FB promoted posts and promote it to your target group (interest, custom audience, lookalikes, etc.)
Gina Baldassarre, Reporter at StartupDaily
James Norquay, Director at Prosperity Media
Some great ways you can promote your own content include the following –
- Share content with your own followers – Your social media accounts, your email list also do not be shy to share it with your personal followers.
- Share the content on 3rd party sites – Find relevant Facebook groups where you can share the content, find relevant forum discussions where you can share the content, also look for discussions on sites like Quora.com where you can share relevant content.
- Paid to share your content – Pay to have your content shared via Adwords, Boost Facebook posts with links to your content, Buy space on other people’s email lists with a link to your content, Buy space on other people’s websites to promote your content and or pay influencers to share your content. You can also look at using paid content discovery tools such as Outbrain and Taboola to expand your content reach.
Also here’s a short SlideShare presentation I made with some actionable content marketing strategies you can use to grow traffic from SEO and Content for Startups. It’s based on my talk that I gave recently at StartCon.
Sue Anne Dunlevie, Founder of Successful Blogging
- Take 2 minutes to formulate an email and send it to 5 popular bloggers in your niche.
- Ask them to share your newest post with their audience.
- Doing blogger outreach this way is very useful for getting new eyeballs on your site and building up relationships with busy bloggers.
Alex Tassone, Product Manager AlexTassone
Camille Marie Marcon, Reporter at Founder’s Guide
- Tag people that you write about, that way it can be shared within their network too. It’s also a good way to build rapport with the person you just interviewed.
- Join syndication threads, but make sure that they are relevant to your article’s niche. Syndication threads help to drive traffic to your site – especially when members share your story on various social media channels.
- Create your own tagline when sharing content. Usually, people just click on the share button – and, don’t bother putting their caption. But I find that when you put your personal teaser or grab great quotes from the article – it increases the chances of people clicking on the link and reading the article.
Terrence Yang, Founder of Yang Ventures
- Post and answer questions on Bitcoin Q&A sites.
- Be active on Seriesa Quora, a blog curating the best stuff on how to raise a Series A.
Dr. Claudine Woo, Founder of Chew On This Storytelling
- Be brief – ‘Nuf said.
- Be bright – Make sure your content is useful and relevant.
- Be gone – Leave them wanting more.
Alex Scriven, Digital Marketing Executive at Digital Rhinos
- Broadcast on Whatsapp.
- Automatically post to all Facebook groups using Facebook group email ID (bot).
- Email members in Slack groups.
Rhea Liu, Editor at China Tech Insights
Max Markson, CEO of Markson Sparks
- We share our content to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Google+ and LinkedIn.
- We also email our robust database of over 20,000 subscribers, which includes the BRW Rich 200.
Ryan Hoover, Founder of Product Hunt
- Currently, we share most of our content Twitter, Facebook and sometimes LinkedIn.
Nathan Chan, Founder of Foundr Mag
- So many people don’t know how much of an untapped source Instagram is for traffic! Last month it generated and extra 70K people to our site.
- We post our new podcast episodes to Product Hunt – it’s GOLD.
Marc Köhlbrugge, Founder of BetaList
- I typically use conventional places to share my content. I ask specific people in my network who’s perspective I value for feedback, and if they like the content I made generally they’ll share it with their network too.
- When people sign up for BetaList, we include a link to our origin story in the email confirmation. Not only does it make the email more interesting, it also gives more depth to our company.
- Shameless Plug: When I have an idea or request for a startup that I’d like someone to build or get a discussion about going I tweet it with the hashtag: #RequestforStartup – and it gets automatically distributed via Request for Startup.
Mike De’Shazer, Founder of Proof Dashboard
- I usually share content across Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.
- Quuu is an awesome service that provides content to your Buffer account, that gets automatically shared to your Twitter followers. It’s a great way to make sure that you always have interesting articles related to your industry. Even more awesome is that Quuu now has a promotion service, and for just a couple of bucks you can get your piece in front of those people on Twitter, helping initial exposure and getting the ball rolling on virility.
- TweetJukebox is an excellent way to build a database of tweets to use over and over in an automated method. You can add your articles to a database, then share it with everyone else on the system.
- You know how some news sites will have several suggested stories at the bottom, leading you to other websites? SumoMe Discover is a network you can join – and, by sharing other people’s content on your blog, your content gets shared too. They have over 150,000 + sites on their network.
Chalmers Brown, Co-founder of Due
- Provide useful content on your blog.
- Participate actively in Facebook groups and share your content occasionally.
- Write helpful answers on Quora.
Brijesh Mangla, Founder of Switched On Kids
- We do something a little different by focussing not so much on promoting our brand but creating relationships with our customers, and this is key. So, every time someone makes a purchase on our website, we send them a fun follow-up quiz to learn more about their wants.
- Be descriptive about what you’re sharing. For example, when I wrote a review on App Recap about an app called Momentum, I didn’t just tweet “Momentum” and the link. I described what it was as well, and I wrote something like “Momentum – A habit tracker for iOS and Mac.”
- You can go even further than this and maybe even write something like: “If you want to keep track of your habits in the New Year, check out Momentum!” It always helps when people understand what you’re sharing.
- Include images in your Tweets. It helps people to understand what you’re sharing and makes your Tweets more visible.
- I’ve done some research on hashtags and found that it’s best to use just two or three. Make sure that they are relevant. Hashtags like #WebDevelopment are beneficial because they define a particular topic, and people regularly search through these.
Will Wells, Founder of FoundersMedia
- We believe in creating a likable, easy-going brand which connects well with our audience. This means posting personally-curated and interesting content your target market will love.
- Put yourself in the shoes of your target market and think to yourself “what will make me follow this account? what content will interest me?”, then shape your content around this; whether it means posting lots of videos, quotes, articles or tips. Occasionally add in sales posts and this will help form genuine leads through to your site.
- It’s also important to look at each channel you’re promoting on and ensure you adapt your content accordingly. For example, we certainly come across more hipster on Instagram (with pictures of swanky cafes and social situations), whereas our LinkedIn feed consists mainly of news, updates, and tips. This doesn’t just apply to social media channels; tailor your content to the type of demographic on the channel in question.
Key Points to Consider:
- Post and pray doesn’t work. If you create amazing content, you should put in effort to promote it.
- We uncover a bunch of things you can do to promote your content: Quuu Promote, StumbleUpon, Reddit, HackerNews, TweetJukebox, AllTop, Ahrefs, Buzzsumo etc.
- You’ll find that a lot of the answers overlap. Things like guest posting and developing relationships with influencers. Everybody knows this, but most people don’t step outside of their comfort zone and act on this advice.