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Why start-ups can’t afford to ignore the power of content mktg

It’s commonly said that nine out of 10 start-ups fail, and that only the most innovative products and services that hit multiple sweet spots will secure success.

But when it comes to taking your business from concept to launch, your marketing strategy has the power to make or break a new venture.
All too often the marketing approach of any business is dictated by budget, but splashing the cash on a multi-million-dollar television,
billboard and digital advertising blitz isn’t a guarantee of success.

Indeed, raising awareness of a start-up needs a very different approach to developing a campaign for an established brand.

The latter has the benefit of existing brand recognition, while most start-ups will be starting from scratch.

This means that many of the traditional, display-forms of advertising that reinforce or enhance existing consumer awareness aren’t always going to reap rewards for new ventures.

But that’s not a reason for despair; not only do start-ups have a blank canvas to work with, they also have what every brand wants – a positive new story to tell.

That’s why content marketing needs to be a fundamental part of the marketing mix. Not only does it allow a new brand to shape its story through engaging and valuable content, it also has the power to go viral in a matter minutes.

And as the number of people using adblockers continues to rise, furthering hampering the effectiveness of traditional advertising solutions, all the statistics show that content marketing leads to the biggest commercial impact on leads and sales.

Here are a few tips that start-ups need to consider when it comes to cracking content.

Content is king
This is easier said than done. After spending months and years relentlessly bringing a start-up to fruition, it’s hard to step inside the customer shoes. But it’s vital. Content isn’t just another platform to boost brand awareness, it’s a means to add value, insight and enjoyment to your target customer base through relevant editorial. So, for example, a new travel booking app could engage with potential consumers by crafting content around the world’s most ‘off the beaten track’ holidays, or ‘10 of the most unlikely holiday destinations for 2017’. Content should be short, snappy and stand out from the crowd with its humour or thought-provoking opinions.

Distribution is queen
Great content is one thing, but if nobody sees it you’ve wasted your time. Distribution needs to be fast, promoted across a multitude of social media channels and optimized for desktop, tablet and mobile formats. As more people access content of all descriptions across mobile devices, it’s vital that a brand’s content marketing offerings can be clearly viewed on smaller screens and not drain the consumer’s data. Furthermore, incorporating your content marketing into a broader native advertising strategy on platforms such as Yahoo is a great way to expand the reach of stories. This allows brands to devise truly creative and immersive campaigns expertly crafted to the target audience, not only in text format, but also via video, images and in-stream advertising. Many major companies have exploited this to great effect, and there’s no reasons why start-ups shouldn’t reap the rewards too.

But the customer is the priority
Everyone will love a good story, but don’t lose sight of the objective to boost the brand’s fortunes. Content marketing also provides great opportunities to secure tangible business benefits. At its most basic form you can drive traffic to an online store or booking page. But you can also offer additional content, vouchers or special offers to people who provide their data. Alternatively, invite the audience to share your content on your social media channels, or, even better, encourage them to craft your next content campaigns by sharing their stories.

We know nobody can guarantee the success of a start-up, but we are convinced that an expertly crafted content marketing campaign can ensure your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

Kuo Chia Fang

Kuo Chia Fang is Senior Director, APAC media solutions at Oath (AOL and Yahoo have combined under Verizon to form Oath).