The Bootstrapper’s Guide To Content Marketing for Startups

August 19, 2016

12:35 pm

Content marketing is considered one of the most affordable ways to drive traffic and ultimately revenue to your startup. However, when you give it a closer look, you may discover the “not-so-hidden” costs of producing and promoting your own content. Great writers charge respective rates for their services and a $5 blog post won’t bring you any attention. Social media marketing tools and ads also cost money, as does the majority of additional analytics apps.

So what’s a bootstrapper to do? Make your small budget stretch as far as possible with these handy hacks:

Optimize Your Blogging Expenses

Blogging is technically free, but first – you need a platform to host your blog (for instance if you are launching an app-only solution). Then you’ll need someone to write those blog posts if putting words together isn’t quite your thing. Also don’t forget about adding visuals, formatting and uploading the texts, and most importantly promoting those blog posts afterwards. Here’s how you can solve this riddle:

Use a free website builder to create a simple blog

KixGo offers a great selection of modern, free, mobile-optimized website templates, free hosting and even some discounted domain names.

Use a 3rd party platform 

Sites like Medium give you additional exposure to their community. Seth Godin are among the many publishers you can mingle with.

Hire an editor

You’ll be able to hone your writing voice, structuring the content and catching those pesky grammar mistakes.

Use free stock photos, screenshots and custom diagrams 

This will help you to spice up your texts and to share on social media. Pexels and StockSnap are the good places to check for visuals. Piktochart and Canva will help you to design additional materials for free.

Quality over quantity 

Don’t waste your time on short “filler” posts and publishing them just for the sake of doing so. Maybe you’ll manage to crack just 3-4 posts per month, but if those would be really solid ones – the ROIs would be respective.

Amplify Your Content Reach Without Ads

Creating content marketing materials is just part of the deal. You need to focus on the “marketing” element too a.k.a. attracting those eyeballs to what you are saying. This could be particularly challenging when you don’t have an audience yet. So, here are some strategies to consider:

Piggyback on existing audiences

No matter how weird or “boring” your niche is there’s always a community out there interested in it. You can market your content in relevant Facebook or LinkedIn groups, pin it to Pinterest group boards or mention it in your replies on Quora. Don’t forget to be relevant and respective, as no one likes blunt self-promoters and spammers.

Automate sharing to social media 

IFTTT recipes will help yo manage this in an affordable and effective way. You can also schedule limited posting with Buffer for free.

Focus on one platform at a time
Don’t try to simultaneously grow all your social networks or those that are now “hot” e.g. Snapchat. When the time and budgets are limited, it’s worth focusing on leveraging one platfrom for leads.
Don’t ignore SEO

Bei strategic with keyword research for each post. Optimize your content accordingly to bring your business a constant stream of new clients from search. It may take awhile to your efforts payoff, but it’s an essential strategy for long-term success.

Focus on growing your email base

Create an attractive incentive to sign up or offer beta/early bird access to your product for email subscribers. Schedule a weekly/monthly newsletter featuring your content and other useful product tips.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She’s slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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