There is a lot of talk about the effectiveness of content marketing for startups. And while I don’t doubt that it has some effect for some, I am firmly in the camp where I would advice anyone to up their game significantly, if they want to do content.
Because there is som much ‘blah’ put there that’s just not interesting at all.
Compare it to a party, where you meet someone you have never met before. You talk casually.
What’s the most interesting conversation?
The one where the guy across from you just babble on in banal terms without even making the slightest effort to understand whether you’re interested or even paying attention.
Or the one who actually engages in a conversation, brings new perspectives to something you care about or at the very least can relate to and leave you wiser and eager to know more?
Of course you would choose the latter one.
And that’s my point:
Content marketing is the first one. Thinly disguised as being ‘customer centric’ it is essentially about the sender and demonstrates a lack of understanding and/or real interest in who you are and what challenges you are facing. Basically, it doesn’t care.
The latter one is content where you from an angle of curiosity explore the field, you’re working in making sure that you bring fresh perspectives to your field and basically is worth the time and investment for others to follow and engage with.
That kind of content doesn’t need to be hard to produce. It just takes someone who knows what he or she is talking about and with a willingness to write about it from time to time and a openness towards getting it out there and potentially get some interesting feedback.
It’s an approach that doesn’t fit very well with outsourcing to an agency, because it takes knowledge, real insights and – crucially – the authenticity and presence that you can only bring to the table, when the one putting the content out there is deeply immersed into the field herself – day in, day out.
That’s what will make it interesting and worth following. And that is what could be a great and efficient building block for building and nurturing relationships.
If you can go that route, you have a number of potential advantages looking at you compared to your competitors, who stick with the old, ineffective content marketing playbook:
You can essentially become a real thought leader. You can get valuable feedback from customers and other constituents that can have an impact on your business. And ultimately you can drive new leads to the business that will both be worth significantly more over time from a commercial point of view but will also be way cheaper to connect with than other means of advertising.
Because all it takes is essentially your insights, willingness to share and openness towards connecting.