2019 Go-To-Market Trend: Good Content Is King (or Queen)
4 Must-Do Rules To Create Great Marketing Content
By Tara Spalding and Kathy Eckel
Many startups, especially those who are bringing a technology to market in the B2B space, feel that finding their voice and expressing it well enough is such a daunting task. Distributed, commercialized enterprise software has been out for nearly half a century, and the biggest brands dominate the airwaves due to penetration, market share and messaging channel dominance.
But domination by established markets and established voices doesn’t necessarily mean that new startups can’t get their message out. It just means that new startups must do it differently and remain very consistent on what they say.
This requires planning with pinpoint accuracy and measurement to ensure effectiveness, and this is something that Hen House Ventures has been providing to startups for the last seven years.
Kathy Eckel, Hen House’s very own copywriter has guided eight software companies through this process over the past year. Her predictions for what startups should pay attention to, based upon the results that she’s seen in 2018 are very compelling.
Overall, Kathy thinks that as marketing budgets expand and communication technology advances for the incumbent brands, startups can still hop-scotch and win the attention of prospective buyers by following four steps: being different, being highly relevant to the reader, the messages should be easily memorable, and the message format is applicable to the channel upon which it’s disseminated.
Or to simplify -- good content is king.
No one debates the importance of content marketing. It brings awareness, educates, helps persuade users, and establishes trust. However, in today’s day and age and with the savviness of search spiders, AI and a variety of communication channels, the importance of consistent messaging and messaging strategy shouldn’t be underrated. Startups wanting to make an impression should meticulously plan their approach, tempo, tone. They should also put in ways to measure the messaging impact.
Let’s break down these points.
Make your solution message different than what’s commonly stated by the alternatives.
Kathy recommends that when messaging to your potential customers, you must be clear and concise, providing benefits and features upfront. Kathy states, “Startups should simplify their message around a single value point that they deliver - which has the most differentiation than what else is on the market.” Taking this advice helps find people who are experiencing that pain, and that value statement resonation will certainly connect with them personally.
When constructing this message however, avoid some common mistakes. “If your message is garbled or full of grammatical and spelling errors, potential customers will walk away because you will be perceived as unrelatable.” Kathy forewarns that people are too impatient and skeptical in established markets, and will quickly dismiss the startup’s brand in favor of the incumbent’s reputation-based trust.
The last aspect to this message is to NOT change it frequently as variance in messaging leads to confusion. “Messaging should be consistent. If your message changes mid-stream, potential customers will be confused,” says Kathy.
Be highly relevant to the reader.
Startups quickly fail by writing content that explains their technology instead of explaining how their technology benefits their ideal customer. Kathy recommends that material needs to be specific to the reader’s circumstance - acknowledging their (corporate) environment, reader’s goals/ objectives, reader’s frustrations, and existing reader’s habits. “By tailoring content that acknowledges the readers’ day-to-day operations, this will build a level of trust because the startup understands the reader’s predicament,” states Kathy. “Nothing fortifies brand recognition like empathy toward the reader’s situation.”
The message should be memorable.
Kathy is great at editing down content. We like working with her because her favorite keyboard stroke is hitting the delete key. She encourages startups to use this key as much as possible in 2019 because the readers’ time is dwindling to form a strong impression.
Put simply by Kathy, “Make sure your written message is clear/concise and correct. Don’t use words just to use them, as your message will become lost in your prolific prose.”
The message format is applicable to the channel that it’s disseminated upon.
There are 2.5 quintillion bytes of digital data created each day that is posted on the Internet; therefore, it’s important that when content is posted, it is appropriate for that channel and equally, that channel’s search algorithm. Kathy advises “While we have seemingly pushed keywords to the background, online content must be scannable to humans and searchable by search engine spiders. Professional copywriters understand how to take SEO terms that are attractive to spiders and then spin those words into material that’s attractive to the reader.“
For the startups that follow Kathy Eckel’s go-to-market content advice in 2019, she assures that the startup branding and marketing content will be polished and professional. This will create an advantage within the marketplace and help you attract the right clientele.
Read the other Hen House Ventures 2019 Go-To-Market Startup Trends.