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Why Content Marketing Is the Ideal and Affordable Branding Strategy for Every Start-Up Traditionally paid advertisements such as TV commercials, placing hoardings or radio advertisements have been considered as effective means for customer acquisitions. However, the same might not work for cash-strapped start-ups.

By Aparajita Choudhury

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How to remain cash positive is one of the many struggles that haunt start-ups from a very early stage. They spend ample amount of time in segregating the budget for paying salaries, office-leasing fees and ongoing operational costs. Amid all the backbreaking work to keep your venture growing, it's equally imperative to create awareness about your brand among the target audience.

Marketing is often considered as an expensive affair for early stage startups. Especially for those who calculate and estimate the return on investment before spending a single penny. Are you still scratching your head on how to market your start-up? I would save some time of yours by suggesting you take a plunge towards content marketing. If you choose the right words to describe your brand that can easily resonate to your customers' problems and requirements, selling your goods and services will reduce the hardship and save money on sales effort involved in the process.

Traditionally paid advertisementsAp such as TV commercials, placing hoardings or radio advertisements have been considered as effective means for customer acquisitions. However, the same might not work for cash-strapped start-ups.

When you enter the world of entrepreneurship, you find yourself wading hard to beat the competition and emerge as a leader in your sector. Achieving a leadership position becomes a challenging task, especially when you struggle to save every penny you earn.

If you want to build a brand and stick to your stipulated budget, then switch to content marketing. Here are some of the most effective ways to leverage content for brand building, generating leads and engaging with your prospective and existing customers:

Searching For Sector-specific Trending Topics

Primarily do random research on Google about the hot topics/trends of your industry. Are industry's thought leaders talking something new or eye-catching? The topic of ideas should be appealing and informative enough to grab the attention of your target audience. The next step is to leverage the keywords tools such as Google Trends to find out trending topics which will help you create a pipeline of ideas for content generation in the form of blogs or thought leadership articles. But the goal is to create fresh and unique content based on the trending topics which are targeted at your potential customers. For example, if you are offering preventive healthcare solutions for corporates, then it's appropriate to write something in the likes of how preventive healthcare solutions can reduce the expense of employee healthcare expenses and take care of the well-being of the employees.

Guest Blogging

New entrepreneurs and early stage startups always face the usual challenges of reaching out to their potential customers and grab a leading position in the market. You may have expertise in certain segments of your industry, but no one knows about it. Now how are you going to market yourself? The ideal solution is to write a thought leadership piece and get it published in reputed media publications/magazines. This approach will help you reach wider audiences much faster because of the publication's huge readership. Moreover, they also provide valuable backlinks which drive traffic for your website.

Visually Appealing Content

Whenever we scroll our social media pages or browse through a company's website, what catches our eye are the creative images, visual representation of the text, infographics or videos. Besides creating blog posts, start-ups should start creating more and more visual content. With the availability of various free and paid tools, it's no longer expensive to create visual content or explainer/informative videos for your products and services.

Consistency In Producing Content

You want your target customers to trust your brand and engage with your message. Start producing content regularly. It might not be possible to write blogs every day, because creating quality content requires in-depth research and thought process which takes time. But you can always have a pipeline of content and a specific timeline to upload blogs every week. For example, you can publish two blogs every week on your website and share it on social media. This practice will also be helpful in terms of updating your website regularly and engage with your audience.

Grab the Attention of Influencers!

Mention of influencers in your content piece will give relevant connection to your audience. Influencers have already established their names as subject matter experts in a niche or sector. So, people pay attention to whatever they say and therefore mentioning influencers will add value to your content and influence consumers' decision-making process. Now how to get influencers to notice you? Refer to the influencers' report or statement while creating content and tag them in social media posts. Comment something nice and influential on the influencers' post and share it with others. The goal is to have influencers follow you or share your content (because influencers have a huge number of followers) to increase the traffic on your website.

Social Media Marketing

When it comes to marketing for small businesses, establishing a social media presence is a must. Only uploading blogs might not drive users to your website but sharing the links of the blogs on social media will. First, you need to create a page on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter and start uploading relevant posts on a weekly basis. For effective social media management, you can schedule the 2-3 posts in advance to save the hassle of posting individually. The next logical question is how to increase the visibility of your social media posts. Always write an eye-catchy caption or description accompanied by a creative image while uploading content on social media. You can also choose the paid option to boost your posts and increase your reach.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a valuable and cost-effective tool for start-ups to grow their business. Create a mailing list of your target audience and start sending out creative and informative emails about your brand/products/services. The content or visuals should be intriguing enough for your users to spend some time in reading it. For example, you want to let your audience know about your special offerings or you want to share a piece of exciting news about your brand. Sending emailers regularly will keep your audience engaged, however, it is highly recommended not to spam their inbox by sending emails every day. To avoid being unsubscribed, it is more effective to send weekly or monthly e-mailers (depends on the pipeline of content) to keep up the momentum and increase the subscribers base.

A Right Content Marketing Strategy Is Inevitable!

Are you still waiting to raise funds to spend on marketing or brand building activities? The aforementioned content marketing tactics will save your time and money and enable you to achieve the coveted business goals. In today's digital era, you don't need a hefty amount and a huge pool of resources to drive your marketing goals. Be a wise decision-maker by leveraging the power of content marketing and free tools to add value to your content strategy.

Aparajita Choudhury

Founder, Hummingword


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