No money for startup marketing. What to do?

Leo Widrich started BufferApp in 2010 with an aim to help people manage their social media accounts through one window. In addition it would allow people to schedule their posts any time in future.

He started with a very basic app which worked only with twitter initially. With no money to market his product, he worked out a unique strategy to build interest around his product.

He started writing for his startup blog as well as guest posts for other popular blogs over internet. He wrote on various topics ranging from social media marketing, consumer pain in managing social media, scheduling content for busy professionals, as well as building brand and revenue generation through social media.

Along with this, he started writing about his product journey and how Buffer helps solve consumer pain of managing social media accounts.

With in first 9 months of launch, he wrote close to 150 guest posts which brought 100,000 users back to his product. He started writing 1-2 posts per week and than gradually increased to 3-4 posts per week and finally he averaged 1-2 posts per day.

Initially the traffic was low due to the quality of content and reach but as he kept on churning out content week on week, he got better. He made lot of relations with other bloggers and social media experts which further helped him reach to wider audience.

This simple approach of writing regular and quality content on his blog and guest blogging brought Buffer a significant traction. As per them more than 70% of the traffic is generated through their content. As people like the content, they share over social media and it becomes a viral loop. In last 5 years, Buffer has raised millions of dollars in funding and acquired millions of users.

Leo Widrich did nothing especial but only content marketing to make his startup a success. He did not pay any money on marketing but only traded his time.

So what is content marketing?

Content marketing simply means creating and sharing epic shit & free content to attract and convert prospective users into customers. This also involves retaining them as repeat buyers.

Content that you create and share should be of very high quality and in your domain. It should be in line with your product strategy and ultimately help connect your users with your product.

Content should be so good that people should feel compelled to share it and become a loyal audience. In addition regular content will enable them to keep coming back to your product again and again for the intended value. A fraction of these users will than convert into a paying customers (hopefully).

So how can I do content marketing?

Content marketing can be done in many different ways. Most simple form is to write blog on your own website or do guest blogging.

In addition there are many different types of content that you can create to deliver value. Some of them are

  • eBooks
  • Courses
  • Podcasts
  • Email newsletters
  • Guides
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • Reports
  • Interviews
  • Infographics
  • Tutorials
  • Videos

Irrespective of the content type you choose to create, your main goal should be to create epic shit content. Internet is full of mediocre content. User’s should really get some value after consuming content. They should use the value for their own growth. That’s when they will like and share it.

You do no have to create all kind of content. Start with one type and build momentum. You can then try other types and measure success. You may need to bring experts to create special type of content like video’s, infographics etc.

Once you create a content, start sharing it on social media and with your network of friends, family and users. Share it many time during the day and week, so that you can expand reach.

Engage with your audience by keeping an eye on the comments and feedback. Respond to them in timely manner. This will further aid in your content marketing.

To know more about each of the content type, you can check out this awesome post by QuickSprout

Here are few resources on content marketing for reference