How hot startups build their brands with content marketing

Linh Dao
Journalist

When it comes to content marketing, or anything marketing, large corporations have the upper hand over cash-strapped start-ups. However, the smaller players have fewer short-term constraints and bureaucratic layers. How do they play these to their advantage?

Let’s look at how the top start-ups of 2015/2016 approach content marketing to elevate their brands.

 

Koala

This is one of Australia’s hottest start-ups who disrupted the mattress industry with a unique foam technology, a four-hour shipping turnaround and a mission to help save koalas.

The Great Australian Sleep Report – the equivalent of a whitepaper/ebook in the B2B world – lays out the pain points Koala set out to solve perfectly.

 

 

Their Counting Koalas blog revolves around themes that their prospects and customers are interested in: Bedroom, entertainment, food, hacks, health, sleep.

A notable example is the monthly Netflix guide, which ties in with their brand voice - casual, fun, modern, sometimes tongue-in-cheek.

 

Harry's

This competitor of the Dollar Shave Club is determined to disrupt the men shaving industry, acquiring a million customers in two years. Their successful launch was the work of social media, email and influencer marketing.

To keep the momentum rolling and save on expensive advertising, Harry’s regularly publishes content in their magazine-style blog called Five O’Clock.

With a clear editorial mission, their content aims to help readers get ready every day and live a well-groomed life.

Below is a screenshot from their monthly curated music playlist, which links to their Spotify account. This works in several ways:

  • People may stumble upon Harry’s when listening to music on a third-party site.

  • Their millennial audience associates the brand with the music they like and thus, form a favourable impression.

  • People find value in the content, keep coming back for more, which may help their user retention.

 

 

Betterment

The largest start-up in wealth management wants to be the “self-driving car for your money.” Nonetheless, they have a dedicated resources section filled with helpful investment advice, interactive tools for both novices and more advanced users.

In addition to those top funnel content pieces, original research embedded in their whitepapers serves as mid/bottom funnel content.

 

Source: Betterment

Source: Betterment

 

Running alongside is a newsletter with a clear value proposition of helping readers “lead a smarter financial life.”

Determined to avoid the usual perception of financial institutions as non-transparent, the start-up has stories about their growth, strategy, culture as well as technical details behind their engineering. Notice how they inject a human-focused tone into their content?

 

Groove

Groove is a helpdesk software targeted at small businesses who need help with customer support. They are one of those software as a service (SaaS) businesses that go big on content marketing, just like Buffer, Slack, HubSpot to name a few.

The stories about Groove’s journey to $500k in monthly revenue help portray them as a genuine, relatable figure to their target customers. Moreover, their blog also contains actionable tips on customer service, weekly Q&A, interviews with famous founders & CEOs.

Groove’s content marketing machine works hard to build brand awareness and engagement. Look at the stats for some of their guest blog posts below.

 

 

Summary

What do these start-ups have in common? They work relentlessly to produce engaging content, experiment with innovative formats and leverage influencers as much as they can.


Follow Linh on Twitter: @LinhContent


Linh Dao
Author

A content marketer with journalism background helping businesses tap the power of strategic storytelling.

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