The First 3 Types of Content to Create When Starting a Company
We’re living in an entrepreneurial age where anyone with a solid idea and roadmap for making it a reality can start their own business. This means every company founder is different — some may come from a marketing background and build marketing strategy into their business plan from day one.
For others, marketing is something they’d rather put off until closer to launch day. For entrepreneurs falling into the latter category, when that day comes, there’s a good chance a moment of panic follows.
On the one hand, everything you could possibly want to know about marketing is available to you online. On the other hand, that’s kind of the problem.
What do you reallyneed to successfully launch and maintain momentum from a marketing perspective? Automated email campaigns? Video? Social media profiles? A blog?
The general answer: all of the above. But you don’t need all of them right this second. If you’re strapped for time (and we’re going to assume as someone launching a business — you are), there are three places you should invest your energy to get your marketing strategy up and running before launch.
This may be a no-brainer, but having a professional, responsive and fleshed-out website is non-negotiable.
Think about your own online experiences — when searching the web for a new product or even somewhere to grab dinner, you’re unlikely to trust a company without a website, or even worse, a poorly designed website.
Luckily, sourcing an affordable, responsive website is easy and accessible these days, whether you choose to hire a developer and designer for a customized site or simply purchase a template and hosting package from a company like BigCommerce or Squarespace.
Pre-plan all of the information your site will need to host before choosing a template or design. This will help you figure out how your site and menus should be structured, how your visitors will experience the site and what types of additional functionality, such as ecommerce capabilities, your site may need.
Just as important as the design of your site is the content explaining your company. When drafting page copy, here are a few best practices to keep in mind:
- Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What would you need to know if you were considering purchasing a product or service like yours? Consider how your customers are going to navigate your site and how they need to digest information about your company, goals, offerings and more to ensure your copy is user-friendly.
- Keep it scannable and easy to digest. You have a limited amount of time to attract and retain the attention of a site visitor. Don’t bore them with paragraphs of small text; keep your site easy to read by using subheads, callouts, bulleted or numbered lists, and brief descriptions. Make sure to put the most important information near the top of each section of text.
- Use details and keywords. What search terms will customers be using to find a company like yours? Incorporate those keywords into your page copy to boost your site in organic search results. This will also help visitors know you are offering exactly what they’re looking for.
A premium content piece
There are many ways to attract potential customers, but first you’ll want to have a plan in place for how you’re going to track and keep up with those leads once they interact with your brand. Building an email list early on can pave the way for all of your other marketing efforts, and a great way to do this is by offering a premium content piece.
Examples of this could include an informative ebook, research study or white paper that speaks to your prospective customer. However, the sky’s truly the limit on how creative you can get, and considering how many pieces of content make their way to the average reader today, providing value in a creative way is key to driving clicks.
Once created, don’t expect traffic to come flocking; you must promote it. Post it (and repurpose it) on social media sites, linked within advertisements and incorporated into your email signature.
You can also create a homepage popup advertising the piece or a landing page that requires the visitor to input personal contact information to download and read the piece. On your popups and landing pages, use bold images to grab viewers’ attention and clear calls to action to download the piece.
Testimonial or proof points
It can be tough to build case studies or testimonials when you’re brand new, but offering some sort of proof of the standard of your work can be invaluable for those early sales.
Even if you’ve had very few (or no) customers, there are ways to get creative to incorporate third-party feedback into your marketing strategy.
Did you create a minimum viable product before jumping in with both feet into your new business? Those who tested or collaborated with you on your MVP are potential testimonial interviewees.
Are you truly changing the game in your respective industry? Source statistics or quotes from experts in your field that support the idea that your products or services are the next big thing or most innovative solution for your audience members.
If you’re truly desperate for interviews, you could also offer a free trial or sample of your offerings to customers in exchange for their participation in case study.
There’s a reason most businesses have entire departments dedicated to marketing strategy and implementation; it’s vital for expanding brand awareness, growing your audience and staying up to date with the many ways marketing can help you meet business goals.
But if you’re just starting out, there are certainly ways to bootstrap your marketing, even without a full team. Start with the basics to get your web presence up and running, and stay tuned to this blog for more DIY marketing tips.