Content marketing is increasingly becoming core of any Sales, PR, and Marketing strategy, and if you roll in the cycle of digital marketing pros and enthusiast, ‘storytelling’ is one buzzword that trended in 2014 – a fairly ‘new’ way of engaging with prospective and current customers in other to generate leads and make sales respectively.
Mirror this to a startup and it becomes evident that blogging which happens to be the go-to place or better yet warehouse for any content to be used for marketing purposes – driven on to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al – is one not to be taken for granted.
So why should startup founders get on the blogging train with the likes of Jason Njoku of IrokoTV, Mark Essien of Hotels.ng, and Iyin Aboyeji of Andela?
1. Free, Cheap, and Affordable
It does not cost you anything to set up a blog on platforms that offer free hosting. Some good ones include WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and Medium. All you need is an email address and you have a blog up and running in a few minutes with your startup name, and cool theme.
Should you decide to go for a self-hosted blog, simply go for either blog.yourstartup.com or yourstartup.com/blogand this very much falls in the affordable range, especially since bootstrapping or going lean is increasingly becoming the order of the day.
2. Show You know your stuff
Thought-leadership is one thing every startup founder must exhibit. With a blog you can show you have a good grasp of the space you are playing in, the product you are offering, and lessons you learn along the way. These are not only of value to consumers but also current and prospective investors as that is one way they learn about you.
3. Every business is a media business first
I’m a big fan of Gary Veynerchuck and one of his many quotes is that ‘Every business is first a media business.’ It’s not until when you start thinking this way that you’d unlock the power of storytelling – marketing the right way in our current world.
So if your startup is in the business of selling airtime, or empowering people to better manage their budgets, or even if you play in the e-commerce space, you’re first in the media business; thus the need to create, share, and promote content via different media channels including blogging.
4. Engaging with stakeholders
Blogging is one way of engaging with different stakeholders – including supplier, partners, sponsors, investors, and most importantly customers. Although a blog can easily be seen as a content repository and thus a one-way flow of information from a startup to whoever is on the other end, content on the blog can be used to engage through commenting apps like Disqus or livefyre – both of which allows for community-like discussions as well as by sharing on through other social media channels. This makes blogging simultaneously a cost effective consumer experience tool and a research tool.
5. A source of generating leads
The bottom line of any startup is to make profit, which comes from revenue made from sales. However you only make sales when you convert leads to paying customers. One of way of generating leads is by blogging.
So if any of the other four reasons do not convince you to start a blog for your startup, then this should. You can generate leads from sharing valuable contents that informs, entertains, and engages with current and prospective customers.
There you have it folks.
Ready. Aim. Blog!