If you’re a tech startup, your customers are everywhere -- which means your content needs to be everywhere too. But that doesn’t mean the content your company’s producing should be the same for every platform. Whether it’s on a blog, a social network, or even on mobile versus the web, today’s content is anything but one-size-fits-all. No matter what kind of startup you are, you’ve got to be conscious of where and how your audience connects with you -- and that means integrating your communication strategy.
However, many marketers are still struggling with this concept, as Laurie Sullivan noted in a recent MediaPost. According to a survey cited by Laurie, 1 in 4 marketers have no measurement for how one online media influences another. Even more confounding, half reported that their respective digital channels have separate owners (!!!), and it’s safe to assume a lot of them aren’t coordinating their efforts, either. Whenever you notice companies failing to communicate a similar message on different social channels, the cause is likely a poor content strategy -- or no strategy at all.
Looking for some easy ways to start integrating your own editorial process, and create vibrant interactions across all your major communication channels? Here’s some beginning tips we often recommend to clients:
Know your medium: Understand where your message is being consumed, and how to tailor content to each specific audience (it’s rarely the same). Your Facebook post about, say, your new developer contest, has to look different than your tweet about it. And while you’ll only want to post about updates on Facebook once in a day, you’ll want to tweet two or three times at peak hours for optimal click-through rates.
Use analytics: Knowing where your traffic comes from helps create a more effective content strategy. With a firm grasp on what does and doesn’t resonate, your content quickly becomes more valuable. While paid analytics services are obviously valuable assets, the free backend data that comes with your web and social properties, such as Google Analytics, are plenty suitable for the limited budgets of most startups in the initial phase.
Remove the content/advertising wall: Marketing content and advertising should be viewed together as part of the same plan, so the two entities can work to support one another. A successful content strategy actually incorporates both of these elements together to form united messaging in increasingly unique ways. So for instance, each tweet should link back to a blog post, and each Facebook post should tie in current ad copy.
This last point may require the most effort to implement, because there’s still a general feeling that marketing and advertising are entirely separate, siloed entities. For further reading, I strongly recommend this blueprint to successful native advertising from Rebecca Lieb of Altimeter. She explains what native advertising truly entails, the importance of a content strategy, how customized content is king, and how measuring results is imperative to success. Understanding all that is one thing, but successful implementation of this strategy often needs a trusted partner who can help you get started.
As for what startups should (and should not) communicate in their content, check out Zach’s post on avoiding communication mistakes.