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Content Driven Growth for Startups: A complete guide

What is the best way to promote an emerging startup?

Many founders mistakenly think the best thing to do is go directly through the ads or any paid advertising method. Spend the entire budget on a marketing campaign for ads on Google, YouTube and any other social network. 

And we get it; it seems intuitive to bet on these strategies first and foremost, but in reality, for any startup, it is best to create content so that your overall design is more sustained.

The idea in principle with your startup is that it begins to gain notoriety through Content Driven Growth since creating informative or entertaining pieces will make people learn more about your project and how to use it.

In this article, we provide you with a complete guide so that you can create a Content Growth Driven strategy. We will discuss the step-by-step process to put it together, the best content formats and much more. If you are interested, keep scrolling!

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Why do startups need Content Marketing?

As you begin to promote your startup, people need information about it to be interested. Within your niche, if it's a big or medium market, all of your competitors will talk about their best option, and the same old marketing argument will convince no customer.

Rather than selling from the beginning, you have to give reasons for people to be more interested in what your startup offers and you can do this with content. Content ads value to your proposal, and you can use it to:

  • Educate your audience about your niche: By creating blog posts, e-books or any source of information, you can teach your audience more about your industry, which in the end has two effects on them. First, they get the information they need and start choosing you as a source of valuable information, which will increase your value. Secondly, as they perceive you as a reliable source, they will also be interested in asking for your services or buying from you.
  • Entertain: Customers don't just use the internet for buying; they also want the content to engage and interact with. In this case, startups like Netflix or Spotify are clear examples of where content matters the most for people to subscribe. Nevertheless, you don't need to be in the entertaining niche to create engaging content for audiences. Instead, you can show through content what is the fun or exciting side of your startup area and drive new customers to it.

These pieces of content have long-term value, as all of this can be evergreen if you choose your topics correctly. As we write this article about Content Driven Growth for startups, the information we give in it can be valuable for many months or years to come, and even startup founders can revisit it to get more insights into their company's strategy. 

With a good Content Driven Growth strategy, you can achieve many goals for your startup:

  • Drive more organic traffic to your website
  • Augment your conversions or sales
  • Achieve a sustainable growth
  • Create a community for your company
  • Promote brand awareness
  • Make your brand more visible with SEO

If you need more content, there is no science in creating an ad campaign, as people won't have too much to check on. Paid advertising is a valuable strategy for any startup, but you should have something to show before opting for it.

And as a startup founder, we understand that you may be dealing with other aspects like funding or looking for investors. Nevertheless, the great benefit of content marketing is that it's more affordable, as traditional advertising methods are way more expensive. For example:

If you need more help as a startup founder, check our articles on:

How can content drive growth for startups?

In Lenny's Newsletter on Content Driven Growth, we find a fascinating view of how content can drive growth for startups.

The post points out that there as a business, you must determine what aspect you want to focus on, separating SEO vs Virality. On the one hand, SEO makes your startup more popular by making it more friendly for search engine queries, so you create content for them. On the virality aspect, your users generate that content, and then people consume it and reshare it. For example, a blog like ours could be SEO content, while content from platforms like Reddit gets viral due to the constant creation and interaction between its users.

To explain more clearly, Lenny breaks down five driven content growth strategies and exemplifies them with some startups. These strategies are:

  • User-Generated SEO-Optimized (UGSO): In this case, users create content that Google finds and put on their organic searches. This type of content can be seen in forums like 
    Quora or 
  • Editorially-Generated SEO-Optimized (EGSO)Your startup employees create content for your website to rank for your chosen keywords. Codedesign can be an example of this driven growth strategy, as other blogs like 
  • Data-Generated SEO-Optimized (DGSO): This is a combination of UGC and editorial where your company generates individual pages off on your UGC and proprietary, all done automatically. Companies like 
    Yelp, and 
    Grubhub use this data-driven growth strategy.
  • User-Generated Virality-Optimized (UGVO): In this strategy, your users share content with their friends, and then those share it with others generating a virality effect. This is what we see in famous social media platforms like TikTok.
  • Editorially-Generated Virality-Optimized (EGVO): In this case, the startup looks to create content through their employees or founders to make it viral. This type of content is considered brand building or thought leadership. A good example is viral-oriented creators like 
    Mr. Beast or 
    Superhuman's early blog posts.

How to create a Content Growth Driven strategy for your startup?

Now we get to the most exciting part, where we will show you how you can create a Content Growth Driven strategy for your startup. Please pay close attention to every tip and adapt it to your startup's niche and business model. Read this complete guide on digital marketing funnel and then choose the right digital marketing channel for your business.

Build the foundations of your startup's Content Strategy.

Before going strong on your strategy, getting some foundational issues ready is helpful. Among the essential aspects for startups, you should ensure that every stakeholder is on the same page and you have all assets in order.

Get your stakeholders in tune with your plan.

As a startup founder, all your investors, CEO and any other contributor must be in tune with your strategy and what resources you'd need to succeed.

For this process, make sure to:

  • Be honest with them and explain clearly what are your plans
  • Explain the benefits of content marketing }
  • Share what metrics a KPIs you will use to measure your strategy success.
  • Set realistic expectations

Align your content with your customer journey.

Many startups fail with their content strategy by posting meaningless content across all their channels without considering their customer journey. Every company must have a rough outline of how customers usually interact with their brand and, thus, be able to plan what content is most aligned with the customer's needs during each post of their journey.

In their main journey stage, the introductory content is valuable to attract their interest. Now, when they subscribe to an email list, it is good to show them new offers or success stories so they can see the benefits of your startup.

In this case, it is good that you take into consideration aspects such as:

  • Be clear about your branding and positioning.
  • Have a well-built brand voice to have homogeneous messaging within all your channels. This is especially good if you want to create an omnichannel strategy.
  • Create conversion paths such as CTA and demos, or get a free trial.
  • Design follow-up workflows to keep in touch with leads that interact with your content. Email marketing is a good option for this. You can read our articles on the topic.
  • Establish analytics to evaluate the performance of your content. You can learn more about analytics and its importance in this article.

Mix your content with your business model.

For any startup, it is necessary to know how its business model works to create content that adapts to it. The idea is that you can create pieces that generate tangible results from the point where you are currently, and for that, you must know aspects of your company, such as:

  • Team: Who is your team? What are their skills? Will you need to train them on specific techniques? 
  • Revenue: How much Monthly Recurring Revenue are you getting?
  • Budget: How is your marketing budget for the following months? 
    How are your burn rate, runway and growth rate performing?
  • Competition: Who are your competitors? What are their advantages over your startup and vice versa? What is your unique value proposition, meaning what makes you different from them?
  • Pricing: Is your price aligned with market expectations? Are you too cheap or slightly overpriced? 
  • Marketing: What are your channels? Who is your audience? What are your goals with content? What is working, and what should you improve or cut out?

After all this process, the next step is to set clear and realistic goals based on what you have and what you can achieve with your skills available.

Set a limited deadline and choose key performance indicators to measure your success. Check these Amazon FBA tips to grow your business and see how optimising your Amazon listing could help you grow. 

Study your audience on a deep level.

Knowing our audience is the ABC of marketing. It is the starting point to understand what they want from us and how we can facilitate it.

Understanding your audience goes from grouping them into groups of person buyers. These are "avatars" with characteristics of your ideal client and gather characteristics such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Amount of income
  • Preferences
  • Hobbies

After this, we must know their pain points: What moves them to seek your service? What usually is their problem, and how can you solve it?

Finally, when we talk about startups, they usually go for two market models: 

  1. The one that sells directly to consumers (B2C)
  2. The one who sells to companies or workers, B2B.

In the first model, B2C, the purchase process is more direct. We can see it in e-commerce or any other type of service that goes directly to the consumer.

On the other hand, B2B seeks to help companies so that their business can grow even more. Here, the buying process is often longer, as decision-makers must first assess whether your startup's solution is a good fit for their needs and goals. Here, what matters most is how your startup can help them have a higher return on investment.

Whatever your model, the good thing about knowing them in depth is that you can understand what obstacles or needs they have throughout your entire sales funnel and, thus, locate the content that best suits each of their requirements in each face.

Focus on SEO.

SEO is the daily bread for all online businesses. Suppose you decide to enter the great ecosystem of the world wide web. In that case, you must make your content suitable for search engines and your audience's queries. In this way, your content will be the first to answer their questions or resolve their problems, and thus you will gain more users interested in what your startup produces.

To define the SEO process, we will explain it in steps, starting with...

The topics.

Once you know your audience, you can already have an outline of their interests concerning your service.

In this way, the next step is to organize all these central topics to develop content based on them.

It is good to mention that we have not yet dealt with keywords since they are not the base of this strategy but rather one of its branches.

You see, Google values that you develop the topics well within your pieces of content more than you compete for keywords and place them repetitively and shamelessly within your productions.

The idea is to develop a topic well enough, then spice it up with...

The Keywords.

We have come to another of the terms we repeatedly repeat in digital marketing.

The keywords are those terms of interest that users usually write when searching for topics related to the issues above.

Keyword research platforms such as Google Ads or Ubbersuggest give you an inventory of the most searched terms to choose the most appropriate ones.

Now, as a budding startup, it is not advisable to aim for the bad highs since there is no point in competing in those "higher leagues." The keywords indicated are among those that have decent search volume and medium to low difficulty.

Read this guide on E-commerce supply chain and voice search optimization.

Long tail keywords or phrases.

More than finding the right keywords, you need to capture user queries. Users don't search for topics in keywords or anything else. Humans like to talk about ideas, that is, a complete sentence.

In this way, you must include these key phrases within your article so that Google itself can understand what the article is about and that when giving results for a search, it places your startup's content as a solution.

In this way, for example, the keyword of this article is Content Driven Growth for Startups. This could even be considered a long tail keyword, but throughout the article, we have seasoned said keyword with other key phrases such as:

  • Why do startups need Content Marketing?
  • How can content drive growth for startups?
  • How to create a Content Growth Driven strategy for your startup?

By writing and answering these questions on our blog, we let Google understand more clearly what the article is about, and thus, when someone types any of these questions, there will be a better chance that our report will appear.

Ultimately, the ultimate goal of this SEO and keyword study is to understand what your audience needs so that I can create content that addresses all of those needs and questions.

Diversify content formats.

Now that you have your content ideas, it's time to convert them into whatever format you choose. Ultimately, the important thing is that your content is entertaining and easy for your users to consume since the increasing demand for digital content means that the attention span of any audience is too short. In this way, in the same way as when studying your audience, you must figure out what type of content they like most to spend time and resources on the correct ones. Let's see which are the most common formats. 


Blogs and articles are relatively easy to produce and do not require a significant investment beyond paying your team of writers, or if you are the one who writes, it ends up being completely free. Connecting directly to SEO, the written content is essential for Google to see what you're talking about, so you'll probably want to include it in your content plan. With blogs, you can:

  1. Promote a conversation with your audience.
  2. Establish leadership in your niche by giving high-value articles based on the knowledge of professionals.
  3. Educate your audience about.
  4. Answer questions and solve the pain points of your readers.
  5. Promote the mission and vision of your company.

Sales enablement.

Also known as bottom-of-the-funnel content, these pieces are targeted at users ready to purchase. It supports your sales team's efforts by giving them references they can rely on. This format can include the following:

  • Product details: features, capabilities and utility.
  • FAQs
  • Pricing
  • Subscription plans
  • Client onboarding content
  • Sell sheets

Case studies

Case studies are testimonials of your startup's worth, so you should consider them a critical format for your company's success.

Case studies are usually placed at the end of the funnel for those clients who want to reconfirm the effectiveness of your services further. These are success stories that you have had with clients, and they are cases that you must document with content so that they decide once and for all to choose you.

A separate example of this can be a review of your startup. People tend to research these types of formats in the final stages of their journey as it is only through the experience of another pleased customer that they can decide once and for all that your option is the best for them.

If you want to know a little more about our most recent achievements, check out:

Lead magnets

Lead magnets are pieces of content that require an email address to download. This format is fantastic for generating leads for your startup and growing your email list. It is crucial to have a good email list for your business as this is one of the most effective channels to keep your business relevant in your audience's feeds, in addition to promoting relationships between brand and consumer.

Among the most effective lead magnets you can get, we have:

  • Ebooks
  • Guides
  • Case Studies
  • Infographics
  • Gated videos
  • White papers

Choose your distribution channels.

With a content plan built, the next step is to choose the distribution channels for this.

When you have studied your audience enough, you know where they usually frequent online. The idea is that you don't spend just to spend on the extensive three social networks - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - or even on YouTube if your base audience does not frequent these sites. This is burning your money and effort in places that are not worth it, so it is better to eliminate them from your choice of channels.

Distribution channels go even further than just the ones mentioned above. We give you a list of them so you can better plan which ones you want to choose:

  • Owned channels: They are the media over which you have control, and we get options such as your blog, landing pages, social media platforms, and email lists, among other platforms.
  • Paid channels: These are those that we mentioned at the beginning of the article, the paid ads for which startups want to invest so much at their start. Already having a solid content base, you can opt for this option successfully. Among its possibilities are Search ads, social media ads, influencer marketing, sponsored content, and other promotional channels that cost money.
  • Earned channels: any channel over which you have no control, even on a paid basis. This refers more to the recognition your content can achieve, such as having a leader in your industry post your article on their networks or the backlinks you get from other blogs.

Once the channels are chosen, we recommend using automation tools such as Hootsuite that allow you to schedule all your content to be published and give you valuable insights about the best times to post, your interactions and even how your content is performing.

Now with the content in "the menu," you can see in a better way what is like and what is not, so you can modify and promote what works and change or eliminate what does not.

Repurpose your content.

Coming to the point, we want to empathize with you and understand that as a startup founder, this entire content creation process can seem quite overwhelming and time-consuming.

In the main steps of your venture, you may not have as much time for this entire process, and creating weekly or monthly content seems daunting.

But don't worry, relax; there is a way out of this, and this is to repurpose the pieces of content you already have.

For example, any blog idea you have can be taken to another format and even extended. This way, an article can be transformed into a more interactive and in-depth YouTube video or a podcast episode where experts give more insight.

It is good to point out that audiovisual content is one of the audience's favorites today, so opting for this repurposing is a winning strategy for your content strategy.

In the same way, you can re-adapt your formats to other formats such as infographics, ebooks and any other option that seems entertaining to your audience.

Final thoughts

The internet has sought to expand the experience of brands beyond receiving a product and a service. High connectivity forces brands to offer more valuable content and real-time user interactions.

That is why we establish the importance of having a good content marketing strategy for your startup since this will help you make your venture more visible and attractive to all audiences.

At Codedesign, we want to be a helping hand to all those founders starting their startups to achieve the business success they desire. If you want more advice, contact us!

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- Digital Agency
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