Building Content for Startup Businesses
Branding and Targeting
Who are you? What are you selling? Why is your brand more awesome than others?
Customers should be able to find the answers to these three questions within a minute or two on your website. A startup business has unique advantages and disadvantages, so beginning with strong visual branding and a clear message is non-negotiable if you want to help customers identify your company, and connect with your product(s).
Your audience should define your voice, not the other way around. Know some things about the market you’re getting into before you start to build content. How old are your customers? How do they communicate with each other? What can they afford? What motivates them to buy from certain brands? A good marketing team knows it all begins with the right strategy, and will combine great design and a compelling voice to reach your customers effectively.
Purpose and Structure
What information is most important? Where should it go?
Placement of content on your website is nearly as important as the content itself. Users are accessing the internet via their mobile devices at an exponentially increasing rate, which means your website needs to be responsive. Additionally, the most important information should be easy to access, and the checkout should be streamlined.
Broken down to the most basic practical use of this knowledge, it’s important to be cutthroat with the amount of effort it takes to get to the main point…the checkout. In-depth and accessory information should be available to customers, but not the focal point of your homepage. Think of your website as real estate. Location, location, location! The most basic and important content should get the best real estate on your page. If a customer wants to know more about you or your products, the rest should be easy to find through clear and well-placed links, prompts, or buttons.
Information and Personality
What information do they need? What else might they find useful? How do you deliver it?
Different industries require different kinds of a content. A clothing company may want to consider a style blog. A tech company may want to provide how-to articles and webinars. Not every platform is appropriate for every business. If you want to start a Twitter account, for example, there should be a strategy and purpose separate from the strategy and purpose of your blog or website.
The video gaming market will access and consume information differently than the home decor market, for example. The platform and the voice of the content should reflect these differences. It’s also important to remember that your customers are human, and they’re probably in a hurry. Save the corny ad-speak and pushy sales tactics for infomercials. Content should be human. It should connect with your customers on a personal level, while still providing the information they want. If you aren’t providing enough intel about your product, you can be sure your competitor will.
SEO, Placement, and Relevancy
Where are people searching for information? What are they using? How are they asking?
These are questions often overlooked when creating web content. Getting seen on the internet is not as easy as it once was, and the algorithms evolve with the market. If a customer is looking for red earphones, for example, the wording they use, the search engine, their demographic, and your targeting efforts will all impact whether or not they ever find your website.
Do customers look up “red earphones,” “red headphones,” “headphones that are red,” “discount red headphones,” or any combination of these words and more? Are they using Bing or Google? Chrome or Internet Explorer? Have you used the right keywords in your blog? Believe it or not, this stuff determines whether or not your business will show up on those first couple pages on Google when your customer does a search. Trust us, you want to be on that first page.
There are tools for learning how to use keywords, meta descriptions, tags, and PPC to your advantage, so you can get your products seen, and your customers making conversions. The right marketing team will combine good strategy, content, design, development, advertising, and SEO to create a well-rounded digital product. Whether you build an internal team or choose to partner with a marketing firm, these elements are crucial to the success of your startup company.