Writing top-notch content for your business startup
A startup business takes an astronomical amount of mental space. There are locations and loans to consider, employees, processes, operations and overhead to tend to, and it is not uncommon for new entrepreneurs and business owners to offload one of the most important pieces of a business launch: content creation.
Content is credibility. Without a solid brand story, company values and principles, and clear idea of target audience, your potential customers and clients won’t know for sure if your service or product is the right choice for them.
Some steps to take before you approach content creation:
a. Gain target audience clarity
According to Justin P Lambert, author of a series of essays called The Content Marketing Hurricane, knowing your target audience is first priority. Your business is there to inspire your audience to take action. He recommends asking yourself the following questions about your target audience:
1. What do they already know?
2. What do they care about?
3. What pains do they suffer?
4. What questions do they have?
5. What do you want them to do when they are done? –What is your call to action?
A few ways to land on that target audience is to first figure out the audience demographic. It may be politically incorrect to categorize people according to wealth, gender, and level of education, however, in the case of marketing, it’s necessary in creating a brand persona; Writing content that speaks to a suburban-living, convenience-seeking mother is very different than talking to a city-dwelling male teenage aiming to look cool, for example.
b. Write your brand story first
This is the foundation of why you exist as a business. If your business was a character in the life of your ideal customer’s story, we would get to know that character through dialogue, behavior, choices, and narrative, the character’s values and principles. The way in which those values and principles are expressed, your style (conversational, academic, compassionate, etc.) of writing in your brand story is how the rest of your content should “sound.” For example, if you are conversational—the content that appears on your website, in your printed materials, on your blogs, etc. should match this same style.
c. Don’t be afraid to think outside the content box
Your content doesn’t have to be limited to words and sentences…don’t hold back when it comes to thinking up different and interesting ways to share your business’ message. Words, videos, livestreaming, audio, images. The ideas and the possibilities are endless. If you think your target audience is more one to respond to video than a blog or home page, experiment! Get creative on showing your audience why and how your product or service is right for them.
d. Choose the right content creator
The right choice might be your best friend or your neighbour, but those might also be the easy choice. No matter who you are hiring or trading a favour with, make sure your writer/content creator can be a sounding board with ideas and perspective and feedback , as much as they are a strong communicator.
e. The brand persona
Every marketer talks about the brand persona. The description of the ideal customer’s car, wardrobe, style of shoes, favourite book, daily routine. When you think about our favourite stories, they have strong, hero-like characters with flaws and needs and desires. If your business was to have characters, what would they desire? What lifestyle would they seek? How or what would they want to change in their lives? And how can your business help them do that?
An interesting way to think about content comes from entrepreneur, Erik Huberman, a top marketing influencer in digital marketing and e-commerce. He says when creating content ,
“ Take the position of who your client/customer is aspiring to be. It is good to create customer personas, but even more important is to create the persona they are looking towards your product to help them become.”
Remember, like your startup, many things will be by trial and error. As will be your content! Don’t be afraid to try new ways of getting your audience’s attention.