Content marketing gives you a vital opportunity to build the authority of your brand and increase its reach. In essence, this practice gives you a chance to publish content that meets the real-world problems of your prospects and customers while adding value to your audience. By using the following eight important content marketing rules for startups, you can attract the attention of the marketplace in ways that will build authority in your industry and attract relevant leads, prospects and customers for your new venture. #1. Identify your target audience. As part of your business plan, you should decide what type of customers you want your startup to reach. Not only will this rule help you supply relevant products and services but also it will guide your content marketing strategy. For the most part, you can use demographics such as age and income as well as personal preferences and life circumstances to define your audience. From there, you can understand the problems your customers face and position your company as the perfect solution. #2. Create a basic marketing strategy. After defining your audience, you can take the next step toward creating a basic marketing strategy that will connect your brand with the people whom you intend to serve. Your content marketing efforts will comprise part of that overarching plan. As you develop your tactics, use the characteristics and behaviors of your target audience to guide you. Additionally, you must identify and assess your competitors to learn from how they attempt to reach a similar audience. Use the information you collect to give your brand a voice that will speak directly to the members of your audience in terms that they can easily understand. As a rule, your content will speak in that voice and complement your other marketing tactics. #3. Define your keywords and SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) will help you attract online visitors that search for terms and queries that pertain to your brand. For the most part, your startup and brand are keywords that people might search for. Additionally, you should find the words and phrases used by the people you want to attract to your website. You can find these both by analyzing your industry and competitors and using the SEO tools provided by companies such as Google and Moz. When you have defined your set of keywords and phrases, integrate them naturally into your content. When you do this, search engine spiders will understand the nature of your content and display links to your site in relevant search engine results pages. #4. Give your brand a story. Every successful brand has a history that includes the circumstances that caused it to exist, the people behind it and its mission. This story gives your brand its identity and character and sets it apart from other companies in your industry. By integrating the story of your brand into your content marketing strategy, you bring your brand to life and give it character. As time passes, your content will extend your brand into the present and future. Continuing your story will present a human element to your brand that can endear your brand to your audience. Every article, video and graphic that you publish will contribute to the ongoing saga of your brand in addition to adding value to your target market. As a result, people will feel compelled to follow your brand. In fact, as prospects become customers, such loyalty will likely translate into customer loyalty. #5. Explore, brainstorm, discuss. Your role as a marketer has the potential of becoming boring and stale. Consequently, you can expect that your content will, at times, lose its pizzazz. Therefore, as a rule, you should always explore new content strategies. For example, if you tend to favor text-based content, consider a foray into the world of video. Similarly, you should brainstorm new topics to address in your content. To do this, assume the persona of your ideal customers and think about the challenges they face today that they didn’t face yesterday. Discussing your content strategy with your team can give you new perspectives and ideas that will increase both the depth and relevance of your brand. As you strive to think outside the box, keep an open mind. Your willingness to try new platforms and tactics will develop your skills as a marketer and open new opportunities for your startup. #6. Choose your social media platforms. Social media plays a vital role in every successful content marketing strategy. In the first place, it gives you a chance to interact with your target audience on a personal level. Of course, the effective use of social media requires much time and effort. Furthermore, some social media platforms can give you better access than others to your prospective customers. In order to optimize the use of your resources, use your market research to identify the social networks that your prospective customers prefer. Avoid the temptation to try to accommodate too many social sites. Instead, choose only the few that seem to offer the most potential for your startup. After considering popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, consider other sites such as Snapchat and Vimeo along with regional social networks such as VK. #7. Get the right content production tools. Content marketing requires both discipline and hard work. As a rule, you should always look for ways to simplify your job. Third-party content production tools can help. These services and applications can improve the quality and efficiency of your work. Aside from apps that score readability, manage social media accounts and schedule work generally can help any firm, make sure all the tools you choose contribute to your mission. If you don’t you could spend more time learning and managing applications than you use for producing content. While filling your toolbox, remember to include analytics and reporting tools that can help you track the performance of your content marketing program. Additionally, consider using resources that can help you identify relevant topics so that you always produce material that resonates with your audience. #8 Give, interact and don’t stop. Remember that your mission as a content marketer is to supply value to the community. As a result, your content should provide solutions, answers, “how-to” information and entertainment. Still, your mission calls you to continually engage your audience. Periodically unveil special offers and promotions that will stoke the interest of your loyal customers and attract the attention of new prospects. Additionally, share interesting content that your followers and customers post and interact by leaving feedback and asking questions. For the most part, consistency will be your key to content marketing success. Rather than engaging your audience with periodic gushes of content, maintain a steady online presence. As a result, you will project an air of trustworthiness and reliability that will lay a foundation for long-term growth. Let’s summarize so you can get to work 🙂 In conclusion, the above eight important content marketing rules for new companies will help you succeed in your new venture. Always identify and focus on your target market as you create a human look and feel for your brand. Use productivity tools to boost your effectiveness and, most of all, stay engaged with your prospects and customers.