Content marketing is one of the most important promotional strategies for early-stage startups. The reason is that it can be done without any capital and that it could give a great return on your invested time and effort if done well.
However, if you don’t adjust your content marketing strategy according to your capabilities and needs you are very likely to waste your time.
Here are a few mistakes that inexperienced founders often make when they decide to try out content marketing for the first time.
1. Investing Too Little Time Or Resources
Even though content marketing can be done with no money, it still requires time and resources to be effective. You need to be able to produce high-quality content consistently, and on top of that, you need to invest additional effort into promoting your content.
This is not something every early-stage startup can afford to do. If you have very little time on your hands then it might be better to invest it in developing, testing, and selling your product and to postpone content marketing for a later stage when you’ll be able to do it properly.
2. Focusing On Quantity Over Quality
Considering your limited time and resources, you’d often have to choose between quality and quantity, in which case quality should be your choice. Quantity is great, but when it comes to content quality is non-negotiable.
We live in the age of user-generated content – there is an ocean of stuff to read, watch, and listen to out there. This means that in order to stand out, you need to produce exceptionally good content for your target audience.
3. Having Unrealistic Quality Expectations
That said, as an early-stage startup you should put your quality expectations in the right context. High-quality content doesn’t necessarily need high production value. High production value is usually too expensive for early-stage startups, so you’ll have to provide enough value in another way – usually by saying original, useful, and interesting things about your subject matter.
High polish and high production value are two among many things that can make a piece of content successful, and by and large, they are not crucial. Considering their cost, they are not worth the investment while you are short on resources in the early startup stages..
4. Failing To Define A Target Audience
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to try to cater to a general audience. Instead, in the early startup stages you should focus on a niche that’s starved for good content, and you should put your unique twist on it.
You need to know who your ideal customer is, what their pain points are, and how your product or service can help them. This information will guide your content creation and ensure that it resonates with your target audience.
Clear targeting will make it much easier to promote your content, and the feedback and communication you receive will be much more productive for your product development efforts.
Last but not least – by choosing a niche you’d avoid direct competition with professionals with access to more resources.
5. Creating Content That Is Too Promotional
Your audience doesn’t want to be sold to at every turn; they want valuable, educational content that helps them solve problems or learn something new. Content marketing is usually at the beginning of the sales funnel. You need to provide value to your audience and to gain their trust first. You’d be able to get leads and convert them only as a result of that.
- Keep in mind that you’ll have to invest a considerable amount of time and effort in order to do content marketing properly
- Focus on quality over quantity, but learn to provide quality without consuming too many resources
- Target narrowly and promote your content deliberately
- Don’t sell too hard in most of your content pieces