Marketing

Why startups need to refine their marketing

Prateek Kumar | Updated on January 29, 2018

Getting it right Your audience will have different needs and consumption patterns. istockphoto.com/HAKINMHAN   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

A few compelling pieces of content with wide reach, and a consistent approach, will work to their advantage

The evolution of marketing is scary. It seems that whenever we tried to adapt to consumers’ tastes and preferences, they changed. One of the most powerful trends that has stayed out of this evolution is the emergence of content marketing. The trend of content marketing has become so widespread that over 85 per cent marketers are using it to gain customer attention and generate more sales.

Content marketing is certainly crucial for many brands, but for startups, it is the most important channel of growth. Start-ups such as Mint, founded by Aaron Patzer 10 years ago, is one of the pioneers in the field of artificial intelligence, and others such as Buffer and HubSpot have grown and scaled sound through their solid content marketing strategies. These businesses have also taught us that it is not a cakewalk to get results from content marketing.

The huge demand for content is resulting in mediocrity. There is already a pile of content available online to be consumed and your audience is always on the lookout for fresh, engaging content that can be shared frequently.

Startups can take these three steps to better customer engagement.

Start with knowing who you are writing for

Why are you taking the content marketing route and what do you aim to achieve through this? If your sole purpose is to drive people to buy more, then you should be investing more in creating compelling sales and marketing material such as brochures, e-mail campaigns and ad copies. However, if you are looking to establish a long-term relationship, increase customer loyalty and better brand recognition, long-form content that educates and gradually compels them into action, will go down well.

Provide them the information they would be interested in, rather than just delivering a straight sales pitch. To know what your target group (TG) would be interested in, get a deep understanding of who they are. Your audience will have different needs and consumption patterns. Some will be interested in a quick read, short-form content, whereas some will be interested in concrete information with some insights from industry leaders. Track their patterns and cater to them with better personalisation.

Know the type of content you should be creating

Knowing your TG is half the battle won. Now comes strategy. Your brand will be recognised by the type of content you create. First, make sure you have a strategy in place. Have a clear picture of the type of content you should be creating and how it should look. We’ve seen this buzz about short-form, live video content when every brand you can think of was trending with these viral videos. Facebook, Twitter and many other social platforms also gave priority to video content in their user feeds. Why did this shift from text to image and then video content even occur? It wasn’t definitely swift. It came with the shifting consumption pattern of consumers, change in habits and changing generations where millennials, backed by better broadband connectivity,smart devices and information overload, wanted to consume something in a fast and visually appealing way while brand scientists wanted to connect at emotional level while emotionally appealing to the creative left brain.

So, knowing your target audience well, identifying media trends and adapting accordingly will certainly pave your way to creating a buzz-worthy content marketing strategy. Even if you have a defined brand voice, evolve with time and experiment with your tonality, mediums and the type of content to connect with broader set of audience.

How and where to promote

Most businesses spend over 80 per cent of their time and effort creating the content and 20 per cent in promoting it, but it should be the reverse. You don’t create a pile of information and do little about it; rather, you create a few compelling stories and let them reach a broader space.

Narrow your selection to a few channels that suit your industry and the type of audience. There cannot be eight different channels, broadcasting the same content, providing similar results. Some platforms may provide greater visibility and accurate responses based on the type of content you are sharing and some may not. Know where your target audience spends most of their time and what form of content they like consuming on these platforms and then go about creating it.

Content marketing is certainly not a one-show game. It takes time to show results. You will have better and longer customer loyalty, higher brand recognition and organic sales coming in without much of push in the long run. The only catch is to never stop investing in it. The more consistent you are, the better results you will see.

Prateek Kumar is Founder and CEO, NeoNiche Integrated Solutions Pvt Ltd

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Published on January 29, 2018
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