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I’ve decided to apply content marketing to my company, I’ve created my strategy, but… if I don’t have followers, nor traffic and my brand isn’t known, how will readers find me?

The first answer that pops into a marketing manager’s head is paid media. In fact, paid media, whether they are Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, LinkedIn Ads or something else, are often applied. But, they are not the only options and may not be as effective when you weigh costs against benefits.

In this content, I would like to share some blog and initial content strategies that will help you reach your first readers and, from there, start growing consistently – after all, the growth curve follows a GP rather than an AP.

1) Invest in guest posts

I like to call guest posts a win-win-win (yes, three wins) negotiation. The guest who writes will have his/her name and content distributed to an audience that they probably wouldn’t reach otherwise. The host will have a different point of view, a different language and, possibly, zero costs to have new content on their channel. Lastly, the reader will have access to more quality content! The guest wins, the host wins, the reader wins – win-win-win.

If you are starting now, this is an excellent strategy for you! After all, your name (and your brand) will be attached to that content (which may also have some hyperlinks directing to your site/blog) and you will be giving your first steps to become an authority.

2) Join forums

Online forums are the Yahoo Answers you can trust! This is where the more specialized niches of the market use to talk, and ask their questions to their peers.  That is to say, this is the space in which professionals who probably have gone through the same struggles as you are going through use to share what they’ve learned. So that one doesn’t have to make mistakes to learn – and you can use this in your favor!

As forums are specific niches, they are a great place to position your brand as an authority on the topic, you need to be there! Take advantage of this free space to show that you can help people with their struggles. Answer the questions that are related to your company’s universe (especially if they are related to your product or service) and share your experience honestly. By doing that, you will create a network of very qualified people and get mentions and links redirecting straight to your site or blog!

3) Be aware of the social media of your niche

I like to highlight to companies, two important sentences when it comes to social media:

  1. You don’t have to be in every social media that exists in the universe.
  2. You don’t have to be in social media that you personally enjoy – but in the ones in which your audience interacts.

Now, take a moment to think about these statements. Isn’t it possible that your audience is in a group or social network that you never used personally? What social network would that be?

Pinterest, for example, is commonly overlooked as a business channel, although it has over 150 million users and 93% of active “pinners” said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases.

One example of a successful strategy using lesser known social media is the content marketing case of SaaStr, have you ever heard of them? Basically, their team started a content strategy by answering questions on Quora, a social network to share knowledge and understand the world. As the social network grew, so did SaaStr profile. When they reached over 10 million views, SaaStr created a blog replicating some of the questions (with the answers) already made.

Cool, right? In other words, the content was almost ready, it just had to be adapted to fit a blogpost format. Currently, SaaStr is one of the world’s biggest SaaS investment fund, they also host the world’s biggest SaaS event and have one of the most successful content strategies in the venture capital segment.

In which social network does your audience interact the most?

4) Develop co-marketing content

Another highly effective strategy to reach a larger audience at the beginning of your strategy is to join companies that are complementary to yours. Namely, companies that have a similar target-audience so that you can provide them with joint content.

For this partnership to be interesting to both sides, the company with the smaller leads base will do most of the work. The time put into the project will come as trade currency for the use of the leads base of the chosen partner. In this case, as you probably still don’t have a significant number of leads, you will possibly start investing more time than your marketing partner.

For example, you will be responsible for the production, review and text formatting of an e-book. Conversely, your partner, who has a lead base 10x bigger than yours, may be responsible only by publicizing the material. This is a way to balance the best in each part, and in the end, everybody wins, the leads included, who are going to have new quality content made by you!

in Conclusion

We never thought less of the potential or importance of a paid media strategy that is well implemented, but, we cannot rely only on that. After all, as we have seen in this post, there are a couple of low-cost, intelligent strategies that can yield even greater results than the ones from investment in ads!

What tips from this article will you put to use in your strategy? If you are planning to use or have already used one of them, share your experience with us in the comment section.

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