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Content Marketing for Startups

John Doherty —  July 2, 2012
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On Wednesday June 27th, Distilled NYC held a meetup entitled “Marketing Your Startup”. We had around 100 people in attendance, some regulars and many first-time attendees, at Zocdoc headquarters in Soho.

I spoke alongside Tom Critchlow and Dan Shure, both of whom gave great talks on “A Startup Content Marketing Plan” and “Thought Leadership Marketing for Startups“.

In my presentation, I attempted to show WHY startups should care about content marketing by speaking a language they understand (users, money) and tying it back to what many SEOs understand (rankings, traffic, links). I showed some examples (DollarShaveClub’s link velocity) and then examples of startups who could do more with content (Instagram, Mint), as well as startups who have done it pretty well (Oyster, BufferApp, WePay).

Finally, I gave the following six steps to moving forward with content as a startup (including a pro-tip that you need to look through the presentation for):

  • Step 1: Don’t Talk About Yourself – http://johnfdoherty.wpengine.com/ brand-voice-marketing/
  • Step 2: Audience – http://www.seomoz.org/blog/keyword-level-demographics
  • Step 3: Competitor Research – [keyword phrase] + guide How to [keyword phrase] https://seogadget.co.uk/content- strategy-generator-tool-v2-update/
  • Step 4: Prioritize, Resourcize,Calendarize – Start small. Get a dedicated resource (pro tip next slide) to produce one piece of difficult-to-replicate content. Create a calendar of consistent material. Your first won’t get many links. Your second will get more. Your third will do better.
  • Step 5: Do The Hard Work Do The Big Work (Seth Godin)
  • Step 6: Outreach – Remember these guys? Now it’s time for outreach. Email Social media PR http://www.seomoz.org/blog/outreach-for-linkbuilding-whiteboard- friday

Here’s the whole presentation. I hope you enjoy it.

John Doherty


Founder of Credo, I'm formerly the Senior Growth Marketing Manager at Trulia Rentals. Previous to Trulia Rentals I ran marketing at HotPads.com. Previous to that I worked at Distilled for 2+ years as an online marketing consultant. In my spare time I shoot lifestyle photography, ski, rock climb, and update my Twitter account.

2 responses to Content Marketing for Startups

  1. Hi John,

    I’m not usually a fan of presentations without the audio with it because they usually loose a lot of the context. However, your presentation is so clear the way it is here. It’s educational and to the point. Great job and thank you for sharing it.


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  1. Quora - July 9, 2012

    What are some best marketing practices for startups?…

    I also did a post about content marketing for startups here – http://johnfdoherty.wpengine.com/content-marketing-startups/ All startups should invest in building an email list primarily. Square away your SEO and do really big cool stuff that will get you li…