Beehive Startups hosts a series called Startup Conversations each month. The latest edition, located at Holodeck, focused on content marketing. The featured speakers were Chris Bennett, CEO of 97th Floor and Kyle Monson of Knock Twice. The conversation was moderated by Jeff Lind also of Knock Twice.
The discussion began by defining content marketing which is the process of communicating with prospects and customers without directly selling. Content marketing can happen on any channel ranging from TV to radio to social media. Invoices can even be used to market content. Content marketing can be purposed to raise brand awareness or lead generation.
For startups, content marketing is particularly challenging and usually involves messaging on channels that already have an audience. Content is channel dependent. As an example, one wouldn’t use articles for YouTube. It’s also challenging for startups to get media coverage for content, so they really have to be creative or work with an agency that has contacts interested in their content.
Another part of the discussion included publishing in an authentic voice. Too many cooks spoil the broth. It was mentioned they felt Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election because of his Twitter account. Each tweet needed sign-off from 22 different individuals. They also mentioned the creepiness factor of messaging that seems too artificial. Things like typos, jargon and colloquialisms can soften and authenticate messaging.
Media falls into three types of categories; owned, paid and earned. Owned media are channels the company owns/runs like websites and Facebook pages. Paid media are channels like Google Adwords, banner ads, content distribution and other advertising. Earned media is content generated from third parties like news media, reviews and fans. One interesting tip was to use paid for earned. In other words, if someone writes about you, use ads to drive traffic to that content.
For startups considering content marketing it was advised they look at 90 day, 180 day and one year objectives. Branding campaigns may need to pivot to lead generation and vice versa.
Tip of the night? Make sure your content works on all platforms, especially mobile.
Some resources for startups mentioned included Denny’s twitter account for style and content ideas, the Think with Google blog for marketers, simplymeasured for social tracking and moz.com for a number of online analytic tools.
Check with Beehive Startups for their next Startup Conversation event.