Founder and CEO of JMG Public Relations, an award-winning PR firm for innovators and their mission driven startup companies.
“Content is king,” Bill Gates famously wrote in 1996 in an essay of the same name. Even though he wrote this prior to the rise of social media, fast forward 25 years and the sentiment still holds true. I believe that creating content is one of the single most important strategies a business, especially a startup, should implement into its long-term business model.
These days, no matter where you look you will find content; whether it’s in the form of blogs, articles, newsletters, tweets, visual graphics, videos, social media platforms or streaming apps. Every time you open your phone, you’re being fed content. When it comes to generating content, the goal is to engage with the audience, build loyalty and trust, and gain more followers. Especially in the digital world we live in, now more than ever, content is the driving force behind everything we do.
Startups And Content
For startup companies, it can be difficult to not only grow but remain successful. Therefore, it is essential that startups work hard to create and establish relationships with their audience and media outlets by providing knowledge and information.
Being a standout in your niche can help fuel growth and position you as an expert within your respective field. People trust experts and hire them based on their knowledge.
Overall, when thinking about content, your focus should be on generating high-quality pieces that touch upon three key points; make sure the content is interesting, engaging and valuable.
The internet is overrun with information, which is why you don’t want what you say to get lost in a sea of other similar work. When planning your content, think about the overall message and how you can share that with your audience in a way that is different from the competition.
As part of making sure what you relay is well thought out, strategic planning is essential. And this starts with consistency. In fact, generating quality content should begin even before day one, and creating content is not something companies should do once they’re off the ground and operating. This aspect should be as important as the PR strategy you put into place.
Well-written content has the ability to educate, persuade and inform the audience. In the process, you’re developing the brand’s image and allowing people to recognize who you are. Especially for new companies, it’s vital that you keep your audience up to date on relevant news. If a brand isn’t producing content, how will followers know what you’re trying to convey?
Here are a few aspects of publishing content that startup companies should prioritize:
Web trafficking can be doubled by generating good content. By increasing the traffic, consumers are able to find you more easily. Google prioritizes fresh content; therefore, it is important to update what’s on your website on a consistent basis.
Building brand awareness is one of the more difficult tasks for startup companies. Part of the process involves getting people to recognize your name along with showing your audience what exactly makes your company unique. Being recognized is extremely important for a startup company in the infancy stage.
Brand awareness can be more easily built through engaging and insightful content. I especially recommend new companies create blog posts as a tool for brand awareness. Make sure when producing content to treat each piece as if it is the only thing people will associate with your brand.
In business, loyalty is important. It has the power to increase profits, improve sales success and allow for sustainable growth. It’s one thing to establish connections, but it’s another to turn those connections into a loyal following. When you nurture and maintain the relationships and provide something of value, people are going to continue to engage with your brand and recommend it to family and friends.
Building A Reputation
As you create more content, you will begin to establish yourself as an expert and someone who understands the business and consumer.
When creating content, examine the marketplace and think about what your audience is looking for and the best way in which you can assist. Whether your content answers questions, provides solutions or gives step-by-step tutorials, you want to create value by providing the audience all of the information they need.
Leverage your professional and personal successes and experiences. Telling your story and sharing insights in an effort to help out others will more than likely position you as a thought leader without even trying.
Thought leadership is all about the expression of ideas that demonstrate your expertise in a particular field, area or topic. By building up your library of content, you’ll be laying the foundation to being recognized as an expert source.
Expressing Your Personality
The beauty of content is that it allows you to express your brand’s personality. Blogs are an example of an outlet where you can express yourself, share information and give the audience a glimpse into who you are as an individual. People connect with others when they can find a similarity and something relatable, so don’t be afraid to open yourself up.
If you come from a place of honesty and humility and take into consideration the audience you’re speaking to, the process of creating content will feel like second nature.
The benefits of sharing content are vast and the ways in which it can be shared are endless. From the different media outlets to the various social media platforms, taking content in whatever form it’s produced and customizing it for the different outlets expands your reach.
It opens doors for even the smallest businesses because anyone can publish online. As Bill Gates pointed out in his essay, “No company is too small to participate.”
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