When it comes to running your own startup, the prospect of finding success can seem pretty grim. According to statistics, about 90% of startups fail, and that failure rate is about the same across all industries. There are many reasons why some startup companies might go belly up, including lack of managerial qualifications, inexperienced founders, and failure to reach the right people.
Another reason for startup failure is the lack of a clear content marketing strategy. And in 2022, there is no excuse for not having one.
Your startup, regardless of how skilled your employees are or how great your product or service is, is not going to get in front of the eyes of your target audience by itself. This is where content marketing comes in. Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, but it generates three times more leads.
To help you out, we have put together a list of things you need to do to develop a killer content marketing strategy. You’ll also find some useful examples, so read on.
Researching your target audience and creating a buyer persona will help you figure out who’s going to be buying your product. Obviously, demographic data is a good start, but you need to go beyond that and look at their biggest challenges, pain points, and their interests.
How do you find all of this?
Well, the simplest way would be to ask them using polls, surveys, and focus groups. You can also check out where they hang out online, check your competitors’ followers, and use the data gathered by analytics software.
One of the best examples of defining a buyer persona is Coca-Cola’s original “Share a Coke” campaign launched back in 2011 in Australia, which used personalized Coke bottles. The genius thing about this campaign is that it allowed the company to reach 42% of the population with just 150 different names on their bottles. Plus, they invited everyone to buy a Coke for someone else as well, not just themselves.
Image source: https://us.coca-cola.com/store/
Great content allows you to:
- engage your audience
- raise awareness about your brand
- boost your SEO
- establish your startup as a thought leader in the industry
Covering every single channel is almost impossible, so you need to decide at least on those that are relevant to your niche and your audience. As for content type, you can’t go wrong with blogs, images, videos, and infographics. Those are the top four formats leveraged by marketers.
For a great content marketing example, take a look at how Somnifix uses its blog not just to promote its products, which help stop snoring, but also to publish useful, actionable content that allows readers to improve the quality of their sleep through other methods, such as proper dieting and exercise. You will also find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the science of sleep, snoring, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders, as well as possible solutions for each.
Image source: https://somnifix.com/blogs/snews
Audiences are tired of being pitched to, which is why so many startups are turning to influencers for collaboration. This can be very effective because your audience gets to hear about your product from someone who is relatable to them rather than some corporate entity.
However, an even better option would be to share success stories featuring your customers. This not only provides social proof but also makes your startup come off as genuine.
BaseLang, an online platform for teaching Spanish, used social proof to its advantage by sharing actual customer testimonials. The platform even came up with a branded hashtag, #BaseLangStories, to spread the word across its social media accounts, which is quite similar to what Coca-Cola did with the #shareacoke campaign.
Image source: https://baselang.com/blog/success-stories/adam/
The best approach to executing your content marketing strategy would be to create a calendar that contains all there is to know about:
- the type of content you will be producing
- frequency of publishing
- publishing dates
- relevant links and keywords
- promotional plans that include distribution channels and budget
How often should you publish? HubSpot has done a fair bit of research on this, and they suggest 3-4 content pieces per week for smaller businesses looking to boost organic traffic, while larger ones should publish 4-5 times weekly.
As for boosting brand awareness, shoot for 1-2 times a week if you’re running a smaller startup, or 3-4 times a week if you’ve got a bigger organization. Of course, feel free to adjust your content calendar based on the specifics of your business and your target audience. Just try and remain consistent in terms of quality and quantity.
Image source: https://www.hubspot.com/
After doing all of the above, your startup will reap the benefits, but you’ll have very little use of them in the long run if you aren’t tracking your KPIs. Sure, it’s great that you have awesome content, but you need to determine what is and what isn’t working and why. Using the information gathered through analytics, you can eliminate parts of your content marketing strategy that aren’t working and focus on those that are bringing real results.
Five9 was able to build a campaign around its eBook and drive four times as many leads and three times as many deals as they did in their previous campaign. Instead of focusing on their product and its features, they created a buyer-centric eBook called “Practical/Tactical: A Guide to Maximizing Agent Efficiency.” It drove so many new leads that their head of marketing had to turn off the notifications. By tracking the performance of their content before and after they published the eBook, they were able to use those numbers for their future campaigns.
Image source: https://content.marketingsherpa.com/heap/cs/five9/3.htm
Although content marketing involves a lot of work, your startup will definitely benefit from it as long as you have a solid strategy to lean on. We hope that you will find the advice presented in this article helpful and that you will implement it while building your own content marketing strategy. Good luck!
How to Grow a Successful Small Business
A business doesn’t turn into a success overnight. It is up to you to ensure that it adapts to the dynamic and constantly evolving global landscape and establishes itself in the relevant market. But this is easier said than done. Most people believe that setting up a business means turning on computers, opening doors, and making money. However, succeeding in establishing and growing a business requires ample effort, as well as excellent organizational and planning skills.
Below are some tips that can help you to successfully grow your business.
1. Focus on Core Demographics
Many business owners believe that the most secure and quickest way to grow a business is to expand into new markets or pursue different audiences for existing products. An approach like this can do more damage than good, watering down your appeal to core demographics as well. Keep in mind that your target market is already predisposed to the products or services you offer. In order to encourage higher sales from them, you will only need to make minimal marketing efforts.
If you are unclear about who your falls into your core audience, evaluating data could be a good place to start. Go through the information about your existing customers and come up with a profile that explains core demographics.
2. Audit Your Business
One of the ways to effectively grow your business includes conducting a business audit to understand its strengths and weaknesses. In such cases, customer feedback can be a valuable asset to help you assess the areas where you can lack and improve upon. Auditing your team’s performance can also help evaluate the efficiency of your business operations.
According to the CST Group, one of the renowned business audit firms in Northern Virginia, it is also vital to get your finances audited before making critical business decisions. This is especially important since growing a business will require funds, and hiring professionals can make your life easier.
3. Leverage Social Media
Every marketer worth their salt is aware that social media is one of the best available resources when it comes to growing a business. It accounts for more than 50% of new brand discovery, with social media users projected to grow to 4.4 billion in 2025. Paid social media advertising is one of the primary channels used by businesses across the globe to promote their products and services to key demographics.
4. Attend Networking Events
Increasing brand visibility ensures that it is at the top of the customer’s mind when they make purchase decisions. It is also a helpful way to attract new customers and can easily be achieved by attending networking events. Keep an eye on local professional bodies that organize networking events, and make sure you are in attendance to get the word out about your products and services. Here is how you can be a part of such events:
- Meeting other business owners and forging connections
- Becoming a speaker due to industry expertise
- Setting up a booth to promote your business
5. Keep Detailed Records
Keeping detailed records is a tedious and dull task, but that does not minimize its importance. Record management allows you to assess your financial standing, retain customer feedback and information, and be aware of any potential challenges you could face in the future.
Using this information and having it in one place allows you to create relevant strategies for your business and make key decisions. It also gives you the chance to evaluate potential challenges and come up with ways to overcome them.
6. Set Up a Sales Funnel
Your sales funnel can be helpful if you want to take your business to the next level, as it gives you firsthand insight into the mind of a potential or existing customer. A sales funnel aids in mapping the journey of the customer from start to finish.
When a customer sets foot in your store or visits your website, they are at the top of the funnel. When they successfully convert, they have made their way through the funnel and are now at the end. As a business, it is up to you to focus on getting the customer to the finish line. This means coming up with innovative ways to make a sale. You could offer a discount or a gift card or obtain their details to regularly update them about key changes in your business.
7. Be Organized
Being organized is directly linked to the progress of your business. In order to be successful in growing your business, you will need to keep track of tasks to accomplish and the work that has already been done. This helps you avoid needless stress and stay on top of things. While it may sound simple, staying organized helps ensure that you do not forget any item on your to-do list, no matter how big or small it is.
How to Build a Successful Construction Business?
For the most part, growing a construction business requires similar practices as when running other types of enterprises. You need to secure low-interest funds, make intelligent, proactive decisions, and hire the best experts. However, there are also certain construction-specific practices, such as understanding the local market and trends.
In this article, we’ll take a look at all the things that can grow your company and prepare it for the future.
Hire based on character
As with any other business, your construction company will only go as far as your employees take it. Not only should you focus on professionals with excellent education and background, but you should also find people with the right mindset. This is especially true if you’re a young company and are building the team from the ground up (no pun intended).
Having veterans with the right attitude will set the tone for your juniors. While this might not seem important at first, it will have a significant impact when scaling the business. As you’ll likely encounter numerous obstacles along the way, you’ll need people who can keep the spirits up when going gets tough.
Focus on safety
Safety is the main keyword in the construction business. Your managers need to track compliance and introduce safety protocols, ensuring all your most valuable assets are protected. As you well know, safety is crucial at the construction site, and lack thereof is usually the main reason behind major delays.
To stay on the safe side, you’ll also need to assign roles on the site. Ideally, you should always have a few seniors on-site overseeing projects and ensuring that everyone behaves according to predetermined policies. Emphasis on safety will not only protect your workers but will also protect your brand from disastrous lawsuits.
Enhance client experience
Many people don’t understand the importance of a positive user experience for building companies. The best way to grow a small brand is through word-of-mouth by continuously providing excellent service to the customers.
One of your main tasks is to create effective channels of communication. Your partners should always be in the loop with the projects’ progress and whether there are any changes to the deadliness.
Improving reputation isn’t only crucial for onboarding and retention; it can also have a major impact on future efficiency. In other words, if you build a good reputation within the industry, prospective customers will feel at ease working with you. As a result, they will give you much more leeway during the projects and won’t bother you as much.
Monitor cash flow
Without a positive cash flow, you will have a hard time maintaining operational efficiency. The reason is that healthy cash flow can help you patch direct overhead and any other unpredictable, indirect expenses. Most importantly, you need healthy finances so that you’re almost never affected by delayed customer payments
While the cash flow topic is a complex one, it mainly comes down to frugal behavior. Construction companies that buy materials at a reasonable price and pay lower salaries for top talent are usually the ones that perform the best. To stay on top of things, we also recommend that you invest in quality financial software.
Outsourcing has become a common practice in almost any business, including construction. Although you should have a team of construction experts in the office, you can outsource all other departments. For example, you can spend money on construction accounting services, HR, and a marketing team.
There are several things that make outsourcing such a fantastic solution. Besides the fact you can save a lot of money, it also allows you to delegate activities. Just imagine how much you’d have to spend to form an internal accounting or marketing team. By opting for external providers, you can focus on the things that you do best, which will eventually have a positive impact on your profitability.
Invest in marketing
Building relationships and relying on word-of-mouth can only get you so far. Getting the initial traction is especially hard if you had limited contacts before getting into business. The success of a new construction company usually hinges on marketing, whether we’re talking about digital or traditional solutions.
Processes like search engine optimization, social media marketing, and paid advertising can make a major difference in how quickly you develop. Even traditional solutions, like billboards and cold calling, might work for your brand. Then again, it all depends on your marketing goals and overall business strategy.
Besides attracting the initial prospects, marketing also plays an important role in scaling a business. Promotional activities like search engine optimization can boost clients’ brand awareness and build you up as one of the most authoritative companies in the wider area.
How To Build Lasting Partnerships As A Construction Startup
Building construction partnerships isn’t just a strategic move; it’s a crucial ingredient to your success. Partnerships provide a firm foundation for growth, bringing in a wealth of expertise, resources, and industry connections that can help you and your constructions grow quickly. The importance of these partnerships extends beyond tangible resources. In an industry as project-driven and multidisciplinary as construction, the value of having reliable partners who understand your vision cannot be overstated.
Construction projects will involve many stakeholders like architects and engineers, as well as suppliers and the local population. Navigating these waters and the complex labyrinth of regulations will require strong alliances, underpinned by mutual trust and respect.
Strong Partnerships Build Mutal Success
Building strong relationships with commercial construction partners begins with careful partner selection. Start by researching potential partners to determine their reliability, reputation, and alignment with your startup’s goals.
Begin the relationship with open, honest communication set the tone for a successful partnership. Share your business plan, discuss potential projects, and listen attentively to their needs and expectations. Be honest about being a startup, sell your vision and enthusiasm, and be truthful about your work experience and qualifications.
Don’t forget to formalize your partnerships through legal contracts. These should clearly define the terms of the relationship, including roles, responsibilities, and conflict resolution procedures. Having this formal agreement safeguards the interests of both parties and reduces the potential for misunderstandings.
Always aim for mutually beneficial relationships, and know how the project will benefit your partners. Make sure that each partnership brings value to both your startup and to your partner, this balance will be the cornerstone of a strong, enduring relationship.
Finding The Right Match
The most important partnerships in the construction industry are with systems designers and installers. HVAC, electrical, and IT installations are crucial components of all types of construction, and their quality will leave a lasting impression.
To establish these partnerships, begin by researching potential service providers and evaluate their reputation, expertise, and pricing. HTS New York is an independent, build-to-order HVAC company that is committed to sharing in the success of its partners. They understand that working with their clients and construction partners to design and install high-quality HVAC systems in commercial projects benefits all parties. Better business means bigger business, for you and your partners.
When you negotiate a partnership agreement with any company it should define roles, responsibilities, and expectations, and ensure that both of you share a common understanding of quality standards and timelines. Building a strong partnership with another company requires ongoing communication and mutual respect. Stay engaged, respond promptly to inquiries, and provide feedback. Cultivating this relationship will add value to your projects, enhancing both client satisfaction and your business’s reputation; two key factors for a successful construction startup.
Living In A Material World
Selecting the right construction material suppliers is a critical step when starting your construction business. The quality of materials used in your projects will directly impact the final product, client satisfaction, and your company’s reputation.
Start the selection process by conducting thorough research on potential suppliers. Look at their pricing, delivery times, product quality, and consistency of supply. Check their customer reviews and industry reputation. Ideally, your chosen supplier should have a robust supply chain that can withstand unexpected disruptions.
Once you’ve chosen a supplier, make your expectations clear from the beginning. Communicate your needs, timelines, and quality standards. Discuss contingency plans for potential disruptions in the supply chain too.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with your supplier is equally important. Regular communication, prompt payments, and respect for their expertise can foster a strong, long-lasting partnership. Remember to show appreciation for their role in your projects and seek their input on ways to improve efficiency or reduce costs.
Stay informed about their product range and any new innovations they introduce. This information can help you provide better solutions for your clients, further enhancing your construction startup’s reputation and competitiveness.
Building Lasting Relationships
Ensuring the longevity of your partnerships in the construction industry isn’t merely about maintaining a status quo. It involves constant nurturing, evolution, and shared growth. As your startup matures, so should your relationships with your partners.
One of the essential techniques for sustaining long-term partnerships is clear and consistent communication. Regularly update your partners on project progress, changes, and potential challenges. Make sure to listen to their feedback and concerns as well. This two-way communication creates trust and helps to nip potential issues in the bud.
Mutually beneficial relationships last longer. Continually seek ways to add value to your partners. Whether it’s by offering timely payments, recommending their services to other businesses, or supporting their growth initiatives, showing appreciation and support strengthens the partnership.
Before you start a project, build some relationships. You will be able to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time with the right help, without compromising on quality. Nothing builds a reputation in the construction industry faster than delivering a high-quality product in a timely fashion. Start networking before you get working, and your construction startup is destined to be a success.
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