Why did we start a blog long before we launched our startup? Well, it certainly wasn’t because we needed something to do until our site was launched!
Considering the disruptive nature of our startup in the area of online recruitment, we recognised early that having a blog presence needed to be more than just showing what wacky funsters our tech team were.
A blog could give us an opportunity to ‘poke our nose out’ without having our platform completed, and that was a pretty important to thing for us to be able to do.
What we have found is that a relatively simple blog implementation can give you much more, than what is often seen as, ‘extra work’ for the content team.
From what we’ve learned, here are some things to consider about running a blog before your startup has launched. These are some of the things that we used our pre-launch blog for.
Documenting lessons and insights
It is easy to get swept up in the tornado of working in a start-up. Manny of the things you discover along the way not only allow you to share knowledge with the rest of your team, but those external to the group. We feel our blog has also developed into a bit of a ‘time capsule’ that we will look back on one day and go “awwwww!”
Fine tuning your brand tone
While you can be saying all the right things about your brand and no one will argue with you, but you are not necessarily going to get a standing ovation either.
How you say it, can make all the difference.
Our blog has allowed us to trial various writing tones and, to test what personality we are developing for the brand.
When you have multiple people blogging, it may be that certain parts of the business adopt different personalities. Starting the blog early meant that it was a matter of discovering who was passionate about what topics then, giving them the opportunities to flesh out those ideas and run with it.
However, I highly recommend having one detailed oriented person do all the final editing for each article.
Creating interest and anticipation
The times of unveiling a never-before-seen product are pretty much gone. There are so many tools that allow you to create digital previews and sneak peeks to drive this anticipation.
Our blog gave us the chance to go into more detail about how MS Gooroo will change online IT recruitment and career management. We have a technically sophisticated audience too, so where other readers may find the ‘how’ of what we were building was a bit of a yawn, our target love analytics, data science, and flux capacitors!
Creating social media content
We created our social media channels at the same time as our blog, but didn’t want to just fill them with shots of our ‘super exciting’ production meetings or content from partners.
Our blog articles gave us something more substantial to post about, other than the countdown to launch. The insights from dev work have been great hook statements for social media feeds that lead to our blog articles.
We wanted to represent the months of work, thought processes, and due diligence behind MS Gooroo (insert your preferred road, path, journey analogy).
Whether the reader is a potential staff member, investor or partner, revealing the work being done without the finished product, gives comfort that your team are in this for the long haul.
Leveraging an asset
What does a start-up with limited media, brand awareness or member base have to offer a potential new partner?
However, through our blog we could provide value to other brands by writing articles/product reviews, making partnership announcements, share links to events and expose them to a small, but highly engaged, market awaiting our release.
Identifying brand ambassadors
Actively courting respected professionals in your field that are prepared to attach themselves to you is tricky enough and requires ongoing outreach, not to mention deep pockets.
A blog that attracts conversations and comments can lead to discovering ambassadors in a more organic way.
If someone is already engaging with you because they are interested or passionate about what you will be offering, then why not investigate how a more formal arrangement can benefit you both (assuming they are the right person for your brand).
And, in the world of start-ups, it’s a winner. Plus, it gave us the chance to build SEO love.
I suggest doing a Google search of your company and some key terms to see what comes up.
This will help you develop and important list of key phrases you may want to integrate into your blog articles regularly, so long as it makes sense.
So this all sounds great, but in the end it really comes down to writing and discussing topics you think will resonate with your customers.
Here is my 333 exercise to get you going with blogging.
Identify three members of your team that are working on different parts of your business, one may be operational, one may be in marketing and, one may be from product development.
Get each of them to draft three article ideas. Then, work with them to get one published every three weeks across the next three months
I know that is four 3s but three of anything visually more appealing.
It’s an easy formula to remember and you will start to create a catalogue of articles you can draw on, then when the three months is up you start again!
(Image source: Bigstock)
Carl Joseph is GM of Product at MS Gooroo and is passionate about how human behaviours and software interact, after years managing teams that bridge the human and technical divide. He enjoys working on curly intellectual but pragmatic problems, which he finds handy as he is currently finishing his Masters of Science in Astronomy.