23rd March, 2018
Startups have it drummed into them that content is the lifeblood of their brand’s positioning in the marketplace. But when a business owner is swamped with the day-to-day tasks, a well-researched blog post can fall down the ladder of importance.
Help is at hand.
These women know how content is king for any startup ‘telling its story’.
“Content is vital to build relationships with your business’s audience,” Holland told The Pulse.
“Publishing or sharing engaging, relevant content lets them know that you understand what they need. It helps to establish you as a partner rather than a provider.”
Lechat was a bit more pragmatic.
“When you’re speaking to a customer or the public, they’re looking at Google, social media and your competitors for opinions about you or your product,” she said.
“It’s important to own that conversation from day one.”
Creating regular posts on your website, for example, can improve your site’s SEO.
These posts showcase your company to people on different social media platforms. Better still, if they’re done right, your company can evolve as a thought leader in your business’ field.
But publishing articles sporadically won’t secure the results you’re after.
So, how do startups juggle their resources to make enough quality content to help shift the dial?
One way to generate content for your chosen platform (whether that’s blogging, social media or video) is to engage a third party to do it for you.
Holland’s tip for outsourcing content is that it short-circuits the danger of business owners being “too close” to their businesses.
“Someone has worked tirelessly to get their business off the ground and when it’s time to talk about it, they can be a little too close to their message,” she said. “It’s hard to step back and explain it to an audience who haven’t seen it before and still need to be convinced of the value.”
Lechat backed that sentiment. “A lot of founders live in their heads. The only way to validate their brand in the marketplace is to put that out in front of people – and that’s where content comes in.”
If you outsource shrewdly, the content marketer will capture what your company is about. The content will be riveting. It will shine a positive light on your business.
If you choose poorly, then you can be stuck with cookie-cutter content that wastes everybody’s time and potentially puts your audience offside.
“You’re definitely creating an opportunity for your competitors to appeal to the people whom you are failing to win over,” warned Holland.
But outsourcing content (or bringing an external writer onboard) can make a cash-strapped business cling to the money jar.
If you want to go down the DIY route, what should you keep in mind?
Lechat said a lot of founders could leverage the talents of their team to create content from different points of their business. It’s less intensive for the founder when staff step up to this task.
“Take a team-led approach to content and create a content culture,” she said. “Everybody on your team is aware of the importance of creating up-to-date, fresh content, and they are empowered to create content.”
For example, a customer service representative is often bubbling with great content ideas because customers and potential customers ask them questions all day. If they can write a blog post that answers the most frequently asked questions, they can take pressure off the founder.
Holland encourages business owners to stick with what they enjoy doing to avoid doing what they’re not good at. “It’s a bit like choosing a type of exercise – the best one is the one you’ll do,” she said.
“If you’re not a keen writer, you won’t enjoy writing a blog. You might find that using Instagram Stories is a better fit.
“Easy content wins are all about being resourceful and making the most of what you have.”
You can hear more from Holland and Lechat on content’s role in turbocharging your startup at the Masters Series by WeTeachMe at Inspire9 in Richmond on 28 March.