Blog posts are an integral part of inbound content strategy, providing easily accessible information to our target personas, and driving them to our downloadable content. Getting a blog off the ground for a startup is a necessity to convert targets to leads, so let’s breakdown a simple set of steps to get started:
1. Build the infrastructure
Maintaining a blog requires a content management system, like WordPress. If you are using a marketing automation system, like Hubspot, it has built in blogging functionality. It is best to use that because it tightly integrates with the analytics, landing pages and CTA features.
Some blog systems have templates, and others may require you to code HTML, CSS and sometimes proprietary content management language from scratch to customize the blog the way you want. Designing a blog is a big project, similar to developing a website. You should plan to have a web developer be working on it for 6 weeks to include time for A/B testing different concepts.
The marketing and selling process does not stop once a prospect becomes a customer. Especially if your business has recurring revenue (i.e. customers pay monthly and can leave anytime) it is critical that you continue to market new products and valuable content to your customer base. To keep things simple, I categorize customer content marketing into 3 buckets:
Content about the space and industry
Content about how to maximize product value
Content that drives upsells of new products or services
Each of these is an important part of the customer marketing mix. Let’s break them down:
Brand can be a nebulous concept to wrap your head around. It’s an asset and wildly important to the success of most businesses. At the same time, it’s difficult to manage or pinpoint exactly what it is. To keep things simple, brand is a combination of the story and emotion that targets experience when hearing about or interacting with your company. There are tons of resources about the advanced strategies of building a brand, so let’s focus here on tactical steps a startup can take to begin. First, let’s break brand into two parts:
The visuals are what targets see when they interact with you: logo, graphics, content, website, advertisements, etc. The voice is what targets read and hear when they interact with you: sales demos, support calls, website copy, ebooks, etc. You need to make sure that both the visuals and voice are in tight alignment if you are creating an organized, cohesive brand. Let’s dig into the specifics: