The Cost of Content Marketing for Startups

free lunchFrom the outside looking in, content marketing seems like an attractive opportunity for startups.

On the plus side of the ledger, content marketing can establish startups as thought leaders and domain experts, it can provide potential and existing customers with relevant and interesting information, and it can drive search engine optimization.

This is why startups are so enthusiastic about content marketing but there is a key variable that can’t be ignored: the “cost” of creating content to drive marketing.

There are two elements to cost: people and money. Both consume a startup’s most valuable resources: time and cash. But the hard truth is there’s no way around spending time or cash to embrace content marketing.

For startups, it comes down to figuring out who is going to create the content. It could be someone internal who has good writing skills. It could be a contractor or agency, or it could be new hire.

So what’s the right option?

It comes down to how much content has to be created to meet the needs of target audiences. In some markets, a wide variety of content has to be pumped out. In others, a more focused approach is viable.

Once the needs are determined, it comes down to deciding what kind of content to create. It could be a blog, videos, a monthly newsletter, case studies or white papers.

Whatever the medium, an investment (time and/or people) will need to be made. As important, a startup needs to commit itself to making a steady investment given content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.

For startups not quite sure about what content to create, the safest route may be a blog for a variety of reasons.

Out of the gate, a blog provides a startup with the opportunity to provide insight, expertise and information, as well as search engine juice.

As important, a blog can become an effective “engine” that can generate re-purposed content for other channels such as case studies, white papers and a newsletter.

Another benefit of a blog is it can be supported by multiple people, who can offer different perspectives. At the same time, it can also be a way for a startup to nurture corporate culture by getting many people involved in a marketing and sales program.

The bottom line: is content marketing is not an easy proposition for startups because there is a cost involved. As much as content marketing is appealing, every startups needs to assess whether there is enough of a ROI to jump on the bandwagon.

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