As is the case with all aspects of marketing at a startup, spinning up content production is tough. Getting it distributed to the right audience (or any audience for that matter) is even tougher, especially in the early stages.
While every startup can scale content production, organically build an online community and executive digital PR campaigns, VC-backed startups with cash on hand can employ more aggressive strategies for content distribution. Consider one of these three ideas to supercharge your efforts:
1. Hire One Well-Known Evangelist
Australian design startup Canva recently made a huge splash when they announced that former Apple luminary Guy Kawasaki would be joining their company as “Chief Evangelist.” Not only did the initial announcement put a spotlight on Canva, but Kawasaki continues to promote the brand through his widely-followed social media channels.
— Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki) June 2, 2014
When looking for an evangelist, be sure it’s someone whose personal brand or past experience relates well to your product or service. Your distribution efforts may fall flat if the fit isn’t good (people will notice). The better the fit, the more likely it is that the evangelist can also help you create new content as well as distribute it.
If you can’t land one big fish, consider identifying and leveraging several industry influencers. They can act as a force-multiplier for your distribution efforts, especially if you involve them in the content creation process.
2. Co-Opt An Existing Content Property
One of the best ways to fail at creating viral content is to try to create viral content. Luckily, there are numerous existing viral brand properties that you can piggy-back off—for the right price.
Cable network AMC recently partnered with Fine Bros, makers of the popular YouTube series Kids React, to promote their new series Halt and Catch Fire.
In the episode, the kids react to old computers—a relevant topic, considering the AMC series is set against the backdrop of the 1980s personal computer industry wars.
Rather than trying to create their own viral content from scratch, AMC simply co-opted an existing and well-known brand property. President Obama utilized the same tactic when he appeared on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, which resulted in a huge traffic boost to Healthcare.gov. BuzzFeed, for example, routinely partners with brands looking to produce and promote viral content.
This is a model I expect to see savvy marketers adopt in the future. With the myriad Web comics, podcasts and video series out there (just to name a few media), there’s a big opportunity for new startups with cash but who may not yet have an audience.
3. Give Your Content a Paid Boost
Paid advertising is a great way to get your content in front of readers who aren’t yet familiar with your brand. It’s especially useful for long-form content you’ve invested a lot of time and money in creating.
Between paid search (Google AdWords) and social media advertising, there are many avenues to choose. Facebook ads, for example, let you drill down into detailed demographics. Be sure to experiment with budgets, ad copy and calls-to-action to craft the most compelling ad.
Paid promotion can extend the shelf-life of your content and automate your distribution efforts, freeing up your time for supplementary personal outreach.
If you work in marketing at a startup, share your content distribution do’s and don’ts in the comments below!
Image credit: Danny Baza Blas