3 Startups that Built an Excellent Content Marketing Strategy

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Thinking about which low-cost, maximum-return-on-investment content marketing? Here are some strategies that can help you grow your startup. We have just the answer for you, packaged as five proven strategies from other startups that have been in the trenches and come up with success.

Along with the content marketing strategies that have worked for startups past and present (that is, companies that were startups in the past and those that are today), we will share the conclusions of each strategy. So today you will also take home 10 key messages from six content stories.

Ready? Dig in.

1-Catalyst’s Humor-Based Content Approach

Catalyst is a customer success platform that has been garnering huge engagement in their content, including DMs applauding their work according to their team.

To sum up their approach: Catalyst has defined a living brand personality that leverages memes and humor to engage its audience.

Essentially, Catalyst has leveraged three main content formats:

The entire content marketing strategy relies on fun, personality-driven content – something the team says its competitors have tried to emulate but failed, as humor is not built into their brand’s personality.

Take a look at this meme on Catalyst’s LinkedIn, for example:

See that the post is not only fun but also relates to the struggles of the startup’s target audience (people in the customer success industry).

Similarly, Catalyst runs a funny and sarcastic post, The Unicorns, that pokes fun at tech trends relevant to its audience.

But how can the team know what resonates with their target audience? I asked them and they shared that their content strategy is based on asking their audience with the entire organization by channeling topics to the marketing team.

So a topic approved to cover usually comes from a CSM exchange that you talked to a client about and it seemed like a potential topic to cover. In other words, all departments collaborate to share content ideas. Meaning: Content topics come from people dealing with the customer, not just the marketing department.

Speaking of which, the marketing team also pays attention to relevant keywords to target and SEO best practices. However, the focus is more on value than chasing keywords to rank. This makes sense, as delivering a good content experience is becoming a leading ranking factor.

Catalyst Content Marketing Strategy Conclusions

Define a strong brand personality

Decide what makes you ‘you: is it humor or wit? Translate your personality into your content from day one so that your audience recognizes it in the voice of your brand or in the voice you use to create content. Remember: a strong personality can help you stand out from your competitors and leave a memorable impression.

For more inspiration on brand personality, check out Dollar Shave Club’s Personality-Based Marketing.

Get content ideas from customer-facing teams

Whether it’s the sales team or the customer service department, ask them to share what their target audience is talking about: their struggles, weaknesses, victories, etc. Making sure all teams are aligned on content creation helps you create better quality and engagement. content that will hook your audience as it is relevant to them.

2. Mio’s SEO-Driven Content Marketing Strategy

Mio, an integration that lets you use Microsoft Teams without leaving Slack, has focused on blogging and search engine optimization to bring your weekly blog visits from 48 readers to 150,000 weekly blog visits.

So how did they do it? Mio’s Director of Content Marketing and Communications Dominic Kent details his content walkthrough here, but I’ll share an introduction below.

Essentially, the Austin-based startup decided on three main content formats:

  1. Blog posts as it is the most popular form of content to appear at the top of any search engine (at the time of this writing).
  2. Independent research offered as closed content with great value.
  3. Annual infographics (one or two a year). However, to ensure that these infographics are worth investing in, the team makes sure that the topic of the infographic is relevant to their community.

Mio’s content strategy is SEO-driven, starting with keyword research to discover topics to target based on their volume and likelihood of becoming a high-converting piece. Your approach here: You don’t exactly produce blog posts just for your clients, you also target a wider audience. How? Creating content that covers multiple angles.

To further ensure that Mio’s blog is always in the direction set for them, Dominic turns to Google Trends to identify the timeless nature of a given topic.

What’s more, before working on any issue, the team also themselves: “Can we do an excellent job with this?”

Dominic also focuses his content strategy heavily on a few more things:

The content is updated

This means that they focus on optimizing blog content that gains good traction. Case in point: The 56 Best Microsoft Teams Features blog post originally featured 18 features, was upgraded to 25 features, and now has 56 features.

Building backlinks

Two main approaches the startup has taken are guest posting to relevant posts and contributing to HARO inquiries (requests from journalists to contribute expert knowledge to their articles).

Brand characteristics

In his content, Dominic features brands that provide backlinks and share the content of others with his social media audiences. This improves the chances of reaching a wider audience – better brand awareness.

Since a good content strategy is incomplete with a solid distribution plan, I also asked Dominic how they can get more attention to the startup’s content. To this end, Dominic suggests that startups develop a distribution strategy before producing content. This way, you get a checklist of the steps to follow to distribute your content.

Since startups don’t have a high-authority site, Dominic also recommends finding distribution routes outside of search engines, to begin with. For Mio, that was Medium, for example.

Conclusions of Mio’s content marketing strategy

Focus on building backlinks

Your ranking improves as domain high authority sites link to you. Since cold linking may not produce great results, consider writing guest posts, contributing to expert essays, and responding to HARO inquiries with thoughtful responses.

Also, be thoughtful about brand mentions or examples you include in your content. By mentioning a brand that shares content that features them on your social channels, you can access new audiences.

Content optimization and content production

Once you’ve published a bunch of content pieces, revisit them to review their performance. Find out what worked well, then update the article to keep it current and complete.

As Dominic told me, keep this in mind:

  • “When Your Content Performs Best, Do It Best
  • If your content sucks, make it better
  • If your content still sucks, get rid of it (and learn from it) “

3. Content strategy based on Venngage’s guestographics

While Venngage is no longer a startup, one of the approaches they took to growing their content strategy deserves to be mentioned here. In fact, if you’re a startup that relies heavily on using organic search to drive traffic (and sales, eventually), this strategy will come in handy.

Essentially, geographics are infographics that you design specifically for guest sites. By doing so, you can create links for difficult-to-promote pages or pages that require a specific anchor text link, such as sales pages.

For example, Venngage partnered with Mention and created an infographic for them with a request to add a line below the infographic that said “Create your own infographics for free with Venngage, the infographic maker.” Here the anchor text ‘the infographic maker’ is linked to your DIY design tool page.

Venngage created around 200 infographics like these for guest sites with their target audience, bringing them around 200,000 organic sessions per month to some of their highest converting pages.

So why did this approach work for the startup back then? Three reasons why:

I. Images attract

Most people trade text-based guest posts, which is why guest graphics is a very attractive and unique approach to link building. Using the Ahrefs content explorer, the Venngage team would find lists with lots of texts that were attracting decent traffic and throw them a guest infographic.

This meant that the destination site could increase its traffic by making its content visually appealing and Venngage would get a link.

II. The process is easy to scale

Venngage used its own ready-to-use layout tool and templates to create guest infographics. To streamline the process and reduce back-and-forth edits, they started requesting an outline for the guest site infographic copy before designing it.

III. Venngage showed what their tool did

Translation: They took the ‘show, don’t say anything’ approach. This meant that anyone learning about your tool through a guest site already had an idea of ​​what the tool can help you create. Therefore, improving the quality of the traffic that approaches them.

There’s also an added benefit to this backlink-building approach – you can easily build valuable relationships with the marketers in your target market. By staying in touch with the people you create guest infographics for, you can possibly unlock other opportunities.

Not to mention, you can enjoy additional brand visibility if a site you collaborated with shares the infographic with your audience on social media.

Venngage Content Marketing Strategy Conclusions

Use guest infographics to create backlinks

So far, we have seen that there are several approaches to link building. This means that if your startup content marketing strategy is SEO-focused, you’ll need to work on link building, whether that’s writing guest posts or creating infographics.

The guest infographic, however, is a unique approach. Landing sites that feature your ideal audience are less likely to reject the idea as it requires work on your part and they can easily improve traffic to your already ranked content.

And no, you don’t need to hire a graphic designer for this. Just get your hands on a design tool that offers free infographic templates and you’re done.

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