How can early-stage fintech startups approach content marketing? Mai Fenton, CMO at the London-based insurtech Superscript, answers this and shares her first-hand experience and tips in the discussion below.
Content marketing is often the go-to channel for early-stage startups with limited funding.
Indeed, based on your target audience, when well thought-through, content can work wonders in generating brand discovery and driving quality traffic to your site.
I was invited to answer questions around this topic by startup founders at a recent event. There were notable common themes, which afterward prompted me to organise my thoughts and distill them into this short summary.
Here is my viewpoint on the common questions about content marketing for startups:
Should I exclusively write content for search engines?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) allows your website to be found, so it’s important to write search engine-optimised content for your pages to index correctly and rank in search results. Creating content around the keywords your audience is searching for will help you improve your visibility in search engines, which in turn will contribute to driving more traffic to your website.
SEO should form a big part of your content strategy, however, it is important to remember that writing for search engines isn’t the only way to attract potential prospects to your site. You can drive brand or product discovery and consideration through different types of content: product pages, blog articles, case studies, how-to guides and ebooks, videos, podcasts and so on… Some of this content will help you show in search engines results pages (SERPs), some of it will be discoverable via other channels such as social media.
The beauty of content marketing is that you can cast your net wide and attract your audience at different stages of the buyer journey: they may be in the market for your product or service now, or they may be later. This last point is important.
Search tends to attract people ‘mid funnel’ i.e. closer to purchase intent. But by understanding your audience needs at the top of the funnel, you can develop content for those who might not be ready or in need to buy just yet but could be later. They are still prospects, they are just at an earlier stage in the purchase journey than search prospects.
That said, optimising for SEO and fulfilling user needs are increasingly the same thing, so there is less distinction. If you are really creating the right content for your audience, based on the data you have about them, 9 times out of 10 that will perform well in search.
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How can I attract traffic to my site through content if no one is searching for the problem my product is solving?
You have identified a need, and your product is a solution to the problem that prevents the need from being satisfied. So get under the skin of your target audience and ideal customer profile (ICP), their needs and what they are trying to achieve.
If there is no search volume specific to the problem you’ve identified, look into your customer research, talk to your existing customers and find people who fit your ICP through your network and connections. Then try to uncover how they frame their struggle, what they are doing to solve the problem, what alternatives they consider, what else they do to alleviate their need and where they look for information and help. It’s important to listen and ask questions to dig deep into the functional, emotional and social outcomes (keep asking ‘why’).
Those insights will help you find new search terms and related/adjacent topics. They will inform better messaging and help you craft stories and content using customer language around pain points, benefits and outcomes.