Successfully launching your startup requires planning and lots of it. And marketing your startup is no mean feat. From researching your keywords, to setting a content marketing strategy, to coordinating with your PR team, to establishing a social media presence, to syncing with your ‘influential’ friends, there is a lot to do.
How you maximize the online (and offline) community will ultimately dictate the success of your marketing efforts. Below, we discuss the first stage of startup marketing, generating a keyword list and putting it to work for you.
Remember, this takes time and money. Startup marketing is for hustlers, not the feint of heart.
Using your keyword list, discover unique ways to mix and match the top terms used to search for your company. If you sell SaaS subscriptions to small business accountants, find the head and long tail keyword terms people are searching for, like small business accounting software or monthly accounting services.
Most of this research can be done using Google’s Keyword Tool.
When you type in ‘Small business accounting software’, the list will populate showing you the most searched terms by month and their competition value. Mid to long tail keywords with a few hundred to a few thousand monthly searches will rank more easily and convert better than the highest volume/competition keywords.
From that list, you can discover other blog topic ideas. Remember, when creating content, whether it’s for your blog, Facebook or Twitter, it’s always important to start with the headline. From this list, here are examples of topic headlines you could use:
1. The Best Accounting Software for Your Startup
2. Accounting Software Programs For Your Business
3. Bookeeping Tips for Startups
4. 12 Startup Bookkeeping Hacks
Need help? Check out these tips for writing compelling headline: Magnetic Headlines.
Come up with 20-30 variations for blog topics from this list and write them down. You can use these topic ideas for blog posts and Facebook updates.
Tracking Your Keywords
Next, create Google Alerts and SocialMentions for these key terms. Skim the headlines and content to see what other people are reading and interested in. Copy Blogger explains this well in his post 50 Can’t Fail Techniques For Finding Great Topic Ideas.
SocialMention is a great tool because it shows you the sentiment and related keywords around your target keywords. In the example below, top keywords around “small business accounting” include software, services, accounting, businesses.
These keywords don’t always have to be used as blog titles, though, and can be inserted strategically throughout your blog post. Keep in mind that the Title/Headline is what people see first, and if you can’t generate interest there, they certainly will not read your post.
After doing this exercise for a few weeks, you’ll be surprised at the terms people use to find your website and blog. These terms will change over time as well, so keep referring back to your alerts and the Google Keyword Tool to iterate.
Once you have a solid understanding of the keyword variations people in your community are using, collaborate with your team to create mindmaps around other topic ideas. This will help you shape your next step in the content creation process: Creating entertaining and shareable content.
Survey Your Customers
Another great way to get even more keywords and ways to chat about your product or service is to survey your customers. Using a service like SurveyMonkey, create a segmented list of those who are actively using your product/service and ask them the following questions:
1. How would you describe Company ABC to your friends?
2. Who do you think is the ideal Company ABC customer?
From these two questions alone, you will get enough data to know how your customers are describing you and who they think should use your product/service. The results may make you rethink your keyword list, but you’ll also get some stellar marketing messaging you can use for your site, social networks, and advertisements.
In following these steps; Creating a keyword list, tracking your keywords and surveying your customers, you will create a foundation for a great content marketing plan. Want to learn more on startup marketing, check out our Udemy course Social Marketing For Startups.