Over the past few years, many startups have scaled using amazing content marketing strategy to become multi-million dollar businesses. It adds value to a business, engages the audience and builds trust and credibility. 

According to a survey, content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as compared to traditional marketing and costs 62% less. Content Marketing Institute puts it perfectly-With traditional marketing, you tell people you are a rockstar. With content marketing, you show them that you’re a rockstar.

Let’s have a look at four of the very popular startups that showed the world they’re the rockstars, with their unique and diverging content marketing strategy:

Startups With Amazing Content Marketing Strategy

1. Zomato 

When someone asks me about Indian startups with amazing content marketing strategy, the first name that pops in my head is of Zomato! And I’m sure many of you will agree with me on this. After all, Zomato always manages to nail it, with its creativity and uniqueness.

Founded in 2008, Zomato is a restaurant search, and discovery service providing in-depth information through autonomous reviews and ratings. It is operating globally in over 23 countries including US and Australia. Over the past few years, it has raised up to $225 million in funding. Apart from these impressive figures, the thing that resonates most with the audience is their out-of-the-box marketing.

Zomato tickles the funny bone, every time! Their ever so entertaining posts and excellent graphics on social media are sure to bring a smile on your face. Probably, that is why its fanbase never misses checking their updates, once they hit the timelines. Each of their posts displays a high degree of creativity and also, the rigorous ideation process its terrific design team undertakes. Their posts follow a minimalistic approach and are simple sans industrial jargons.

Furthermore, Zomato sticks to its niche. Being a startup of the food industry, they understand that their target audience is primarily foodies and thus they never deviate from the track. And it is amazing how successful they are in creating the connection between their service and the content they produce.

Taking advantage of a situation? Zomato knows it best. They never fail to come up with something witty and relevant around most occasions or trending topics/news. This makes sure that people stay engaged and share their content which is always fresh and topical, and most importantly, relatable. 

Moreover, they are great at having conversations with their user base on various social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram etc. And boy do they rule on Twitter. Maintaining a friendly equation with their audience has worked for them the best. According to a report from 2017, Zomato generated over 95% of revenues from ads. 

All its innovative and creative approach towards content marketing is sure to take Zomato very far.

2. Glossier

The journey of this startup from ‘Into the Gloss’ to ‘Glossier’ is sure to amaze you!

When Emily Weiss started her blog Into the Gloss back in 2010, she probably had no idea she’d be starting her own line of beauty products ‘Glossier’. And that too so freakishly popular it had a 10,000-people waiting list for two of its products! Over the years, Glossier has mastered content to build brand loyalty and success.

Into the Gloss when started, gained a lot of momentum and hence became the evergreen popular site for beauty mavens. It was all because of its unique content and how it engaged proactively with its audience and fanbase. That’s when the team took the leap from content to commerce and consequently launched its first product in 2014.

“Content is really our heart and soul, and we were really born out of content and the feedback we got from our audience.”, Weiss says. From the very start, her focus was thoughtful and engaging content that their audience could relate to. She made sure ITG brought something new to the plate that the other competitors didn’t have to offer.

It took Glossier 9 months to create its first product, and they kept their audience intrigued by sharing the behind-the-scenes pictures on Instagram before announcing the company. And interestingly enough their followers, without even knowing what Glossier was, reached 15,000!

Emily and her team make sure that every piece of their content brings value, has a purpose and not just there for the sake of it. For instance, every time they launched a new product, they released a story about how that product was developed along with the what and why of the ingredients used. Storytelling has in fact proved to be their secret weapon.

Another aspect of their amazing content marketing strategy is their way of interacting with customers and how loyal their fanbase is. Into the Gloss team is quite friendly with their audience when they interact with them via comments and emails. They develop their customer feedback loop actively and thus bring their customers to “business side”, which in turn, makes the customers feel important and valued. When their opinion is valued, they feel like they’re part of the brand, and this “two-way conversation” further builds trust and loyalty towards the company. 

Glossier makes an excellent example of what impact an engaging and highly devoted blog audience can have on eCcommerce business. And how communicating with fans and followers makes a brand personal and human, and one can’t really put a price on that.

This is how a well-planned content marketing strategy can skyrocket the success of your company!

3. Buffer

Buffer, another epic venture that started in a dorm room by two college friends and is now rocking the field of content marketing. Initially started as tweet scheduling app, Buffer turned into a social media scheduling application, simplifying social sharing once and for all. With more than 4.5 million registered users and over $14 million in annual revenue, it’s customer base ranges over 50 countries!

It is best known to the world as a platform to schedule, analyze and formulate social media strategies on social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus. Apart from this, the brand is acknowledged as content marketing trendsetter by many experts because of its unconventional approach. With an average of 2000+ shares per post, they have to be doing something right, don’t you think?

In the early days, one of the two co-founders Leo Widrich started the blog and producing content on his own with a frequency of about 2-3 articles per month (duh, the number increased gradually, of course). With a rigorous guest blogging campaign moderated by Wilrich, to accelerate the early growth, Buffer gained over 100,000 users in 10 months! So one of the takeaways from their successful content marketing strategy- Guest Blogging works wonders!

Another great shift in their strategy was when Wilrich got influenced by the views of Rand Fishkin (co-founder, Moz), on relevance scales, in one of Fishkin’s presentation on content marketing. “Instead of creating your content for potential customers, Fishkin advocated, create it for influencers who are already reaching them.”, Wilrich implemented this and Buffer targeted the content for people who already had an audience.

In an interview with Mixergy, he said: “It’s not for potential customers, it’s not for current customers, it’s for people who could potentially interact with potential customers”. And this sure turned out to be a success as Buffer’s blog posts quickly quadrupled their social reach from 250 shares per post to more than 1,000 shares per post. Amazing, isn’t it?

Kevan Lee, Buffer’s Content Crafter, revealed quite interesting hacks which their brand implements to stay ahead in the market. In an interview with Scripted, he talked about how content marketing tactics were responsible for almost all of their customer acquisition in the early days. Here are some tips that’ll probably help:

  • “Perhaps our biggest engagement booster on social media is simply posting regularly, according to a schedule.”, Lee said. They publish four articles per week on an average. Buffer sticks to a publishing schedule to maintain consistency which is a sure-fire way of establishing oneself as thought leaders.
  • The importance of using images in a post proves to be a key factor in helping a social media post stand out from the crowd. While, for Buffer, it led to a huge engagement. In some cases, the post with images got 150% more retweets! Amazing, isn’t it?
  • One other important of Buffer’s strategies for a social media post, which might seem trivial to some, is their catchy, clever headlines. That’s right, smart headline writing shouldn’t be underestimated. Here are some really cool headline formulas which Buffer itself implements.
  • In addition to that, the stories and blog posts that Buffer writes, typically contain 1500-2500 words and are very well-researched.

Buffer has become the ultimate, irreplaceable tool due to the right combination of content marketing strategy, growth hacking, and excellent product! 

4. Groove

This is another brilliant example of a smart content marketing strategy. And the journey of Groove is definitely going to leave you awestruck!

One of my favorite picks when it comes to amazing content marketing strategies is Groove. It is a simple tool for growing small businesses, that helps your team deliver personal customer support. It’s an easy-to-use tool without any clutter or complexities. Alex Turnbull started it about 3 years ago and there was a time when the startup almost died. What brought them back into action with a boom was their meticulous research and efforts on their content marketing strategy! 

During their downfall, they decided to spend all the time and resources on content marketing. Two months of research and interaction with successful bloggers made them realize where they went wrong. They were creating content for the wrong audience all along. As soon as they shifted their content strategy to writing about issues faced by small businesses, and focused more on solving those problems and customer service, their audience grew exponentially. And thus, soon the revenue followed. That’s why it is said that content marketing starts with your customers!

It is indeed very popular among content writing enthusiasts and B2B businesses because of its exciting and honest approach towards storytelling. You can learn how content writing doesn’t have to be boring, and how you can and need to stand out in this era of ever growing competition. Their blog posts are unique and oh so relatable. Recently, Alex Turnbull even wrote about the journey of Groove’s success, an honest confession of the ups and downs they faced. I recommend you to read it once, and you’ll get to learn how content marketing if used effectively can push your business to the epitome of success.

Turnbull dared to experiment, and always had the audience’s best interests in his mind. And results are quite apparent. Today, they have 6000+ paying customers and over 250,000 people read their content monthly. And the annual revenue? 5 million dollars! 

Started from the bottom, now they’re here! All of these startups and others like HubSpot, LeadPages, Kissmetrics etc have mastered the content in today’s internet marketing industry. Pay attention to the takeaways from their stories and experiences, learn from their mistakes and strengthen your own strategies. As the saying goes, it’s never too late! 

 Which of the 4 startups we shared impressed and inspired you the most? 

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