Traditional companies have accepted the importance of regular blogging to maintain visibility and drive traffic to their sites. But most startups put blogging on the lower level of their priorities and budget, preferring to fight it out with the competition first than writing quality content for a blog.
One underutilized strategy for marketing your startup is to build its status as a thought leader. Thought leadership is not created overnight. It takes effort and perseverance, among other things. But the benefits for your brand are enormous. You gain the loyalty and trust of your customers and can easily capture new ones.
Follow these tips to make your blog be the go-to site for valuable, up-to-date insights and information in the industry you are in.
Support your content with research.
When you write for your blog, do a lot of research from credible sources to support your content. Remember to give due credit to your source. Make your post tell a powerful story and include unique ideas and perspectives to differentiate them from posts in other blogs or sites. Keep abreast with the latest developments and trends in the industry you belong to and write about them to keep your blog relevant. Back up your ideas with factual evidence.
Provoke your readers’ minds by giving out new information or ideas that go beyond the familiar. Open your mind to endless possibilities and explore growth in areas related to your industry. Link to trustworthy sites and improve your SEO. When your blog gets links from other sites, it increases your image as an authority figure and helps build you as a thought leader.
Maintain consistency in publishing posts.
You may post daily, weekly or two to three times per week. Keep to a consistent and regular publishing schedule without sacrificing the quality of your content. With this in mind, write with SEO as a goal.
A content marketing editorial calendar will be a huge help in organizing your blog posts and plan your content ahead of schedule. There are a lot of free editorial calendar templates. It’s a good start to familiarize yourself with the basic ones at no cost, then you can move on to tools that have added features. These calendars come in digital and print versions, depending on which one you are more comfortable with. The fully digital copies may have features not available in the hardcopy calendar.
Leverage the power of social media.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you know by now that even presidents of powerful nations use social media. Increase readership of your blog and exposure for your brand by sharing your posts on social media. Choose the social platform that best suits your target audience. Re-purpose old blogs with evergreen content by linking to new posts and sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. These sites are also channels for you to engage with readers and gain their trust and patronage.
LinkedIn is a recognized platform for professionals. Do not publish posts there that overtly sell your products. Articles in this social site should be informational and if possible, teach something new. You can build your image as a thought leader by demonstrating your knowledge and sharing it with others.
Network with influencers.
Build a network of people who believe in you and encourage them to share your posts in their own networks. Then identify the current thought leaders and influencers in your area of business and engage with them through comments on their blogs or by sharing their posts. This will help you introduce yourself to them and build a connection. If you are seen mingling with thought leaders, by association people will also perceive you as one.
Make the people who read your blog walk away feeling that they’ve learned from it. Thought leaders do not write about their product and its benefits. Rather, they provide valuable information that meet the needs of readers. They also provide other resources in the form of ebooks, tutorials and authoritative papers.
Many times too, if you’re writing original ideas and insights, you may be proven wrong. Do not hesitate to admit mistakes and acknowledge those who have told you about it. Humility is a sign of self-confidence, a trait that people look up to in thought leaders.
The past two years saw a rise in startup activity after a sharp drop in 2014. While this is exhilarating news, it also means fiercer competition. Startups today face a lot of challenges, not least among them raising awareness of their company and penetrating the market. Without a recognized brand and limited funds at hand, marketing your own new venture is a tough endeavor. Your startup can become an industry expert and get noticed by blogging with thought leadership as a goal.