The founders we work with are super smart. They have all heard about inbound marketing, and they know why they need to focus on putting content on the web, just as soon as they possibly can. And if they haven't, we send them to read 5 Reasons to Start Content Marketing Before Your Product Launch. Then they certainly realize one of the most important things they can do is START softening the beachhead for their product launch with website content.
But our technology startup founders have very little time or money. Never fear. We can break content production down into 6 simple steps with none of them being all that technical or difficult
1. Find someone to help you.
Seriously, Let's revisit our premise: you as a technical entrepreneur have no time or money when you are pre-product launch, in your startup phase (pre seed or Series A). The smartest thing you can do is find someone to help you. Maybe someone who really cares about your success: like your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, daughter, brother, sister, niece, nephew. You get the general idea. There is someone in your life who will help you, or will help you for really cheap.
Here are the requirements: they can write, they can video, they can create basic graphics, they aren't afraid to edit, and they can post to the internet. For a young person, this is FANTASTIC resume-able experience.
If you happen to know a budding writer, or videographer so much the better. Put the word out via social media ... is there any kid out there who can help you? Do you have a local community college with a writing or journalism program? Leave no stone unturned. You need help! Make someone else accountable for content creation. Or you simply won't get it done.
2. Figure out what you want to talk about.
Sit down with your technical buddies and your new helper (let's call them your Content Manager), grab a couple of beers or a cup of coffee, pop open the laptop and just start brainstorming. There are no bad ideas. Use these topics to help with the brainstorming:
Who will use your product?
What problems does this person have that your product will solve?
How does your product solve this problem?
How would your target person solve their problem without your product?
What benefits will your product provide?
What are questions your target person might have about your product?
How can you answer customer's questions?
How much can your future customer expect to pay to solve this problem?
Do we have a case study about how our product is used or will be used?
and so on...
3. Pick a unifying topic to guide your content creation.
Here is the most important tip. Pick the topic that you want to provide in-depth information about. If you are building software for construction projects, figure out the broad topic that will be the main tree trunk that all your content will hang off, like "running construction projects effectively." You will have subtopics, like "construction project planning," "construction project software," "construction project plans," etc. Having a specific focus will eventually help you later.
The technical term for this is Pillar Page. There is a great, HubSpot article that explains this concept. It is important for you to conceptually understand this up front, because it will make your efforts so much more strategic and effective.
4. Set your content creation cadence.
We think posting content about once a week is absolutely fine in the beginning, and will help you lay the content foundation that you will thank us for later. Have your Content Manager write out all the content ideas and prioritize them from most important to least important. And then set the schedule and your expectations. If you want a post weekly, state it and tell your Content Manager to hold you to it!
5. Have your Content Manager video interview you about the topic of the week.
Just for one hour a week, get on Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom or face-to-face interview and talk about the topic of the week. Answer questions, elaborate, point out helpful internet resources. Make sure your Content Manager videos or records you. These videos and recordings can quickly and cheaply be transcribed using a service like Rev.com. YouTube also has the ability to make a "machine" transcription which may not be as accurate as a human transcription but will get the job done.
6. Use the videos as a basis to create content.
These video interviews can be blown up into so MANY content pieces:
The videos can be used to create blog posts. There is lots and lots of content out there about effective blog posts. We like ProBlogger for all kinds of tips.
The blog posts can eventually be strung together to make an ebook.
You may be nervous about simply winging videos that would later be used in your blog. You have a right to be. We found these Expert Tips to help you look good on video. Maybe try for more formal video after you become comfortable with the format.