No business can afford to ignore the power of content marketing. In fact, content marketing has become one of the most effective methods small businesses use to engage their audience and establish authority in their domain.

By Devesh Sharma


A recent survey by The Manifest among over 500 digital marketers revealed that 53 percent of small businesses are already investing their resources in content marketing.

Moreover, content marketing is the most cost-effective marketing strategy. According to an infographic by Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62 percent less than the traditional marketing tactics, yet generates three times the leads.


The startups mentioned in this post are living examples of how content marketing can skyrocket your success. Read on to learn a few insightful lessons from these creative startups that have successfully used content marketing to take the industry by storm.


Design Pickle: Leverage Established Audience by Guest Posting on Influential Blogs

Guest blogging continues to be the most effective inbound marketing strategy a startup can adopt. If you want to expand your professional network, improve social media following and online authority, and fortify your backlink profile you should start contributing content to other influential blogs, just like Design Pickle, an unlimited graphic design service.

The founder of Design Pickle, Russ Perry used guest blogging to get his content flowing and drive traffic to his site. His strategy included identifying high-quality blogging opportunities and pitching relevant content to them, thereby making his content visible to a large number of readers.

This simple strategy helped them target a whole new set of relevant audience on these authority sites, thereby driving quality traffic back to his site. In fact, using this effective blogging strategy the startup scaled to a million dollar revenue within 17 months of its launch. Impressive, isn’t it?


Greatist: Use Content Curation to Build a Passionate Audience

Greatist, a fitness internet media startup swears by content curation. Pumping high-quality curated content helped this startup boost its following on social media platforms and earn nearly two million unique visitors per month.


The fitness startup uses the hub and spoke strategy to add value and depth to its blog content. Observe how Greatist has a main piece of content (hub) on 31 smoothies that links to other sub-topic sections (spokes) containing healthy smoothie ideas offered by external and in-house bloggers.

The startup was recently acquired by Healthline; yet, we cannot help but notice how Derek Flanzraich’s content curation strategies built a strong brand equity and voice for Greatist in the consumer health information segment. Your Content Should Resonate with Your Audience is a SaaS company that helps startups and SMEs close sales deals. Instead of investing in traditional online marketing tactics, the firm focuses on uncovering the underlying issues faced by its audience, the salespeople.

Their content team continuously strives to offer solutions to the hopes, fears, and ambitions of their target audience. This simple strategy has helped Close earn millions of revenue in this competitive domain.

Notice how Close touches upon interesting topics, such as sales development, CRM, closing deals, and sales reporting that are bound to resonate with its target audience. Close’s blog has become the go-to destination for people looking for startup sales advice.


UnBounce: Visual Content Is Far More Effective Than Plain Text Content

When you scroll through your LinkedIn newsfeed, which content will you read first, a lengthy post or an eye-catching infographic? Without a doubt, an infographic is more likely to attract more eyeballs.

Visuals are easier to process and aren’t intimidating like a long post with plain text. Hence, an occasional infographic, meme, or video can go a long way in making your content stand out from the competition. In fact, a study conducted by OkDork and BuzzSumo reveals that posts containing infographics receive more social shares than any other content type.

Unbounce’s co-founder, Oli Gardner believes in mixing long-form content with visual content marketing to offer unique and engaging content to your audience. He has also used this tactic to present visually-appealing content pertaining to their product.

Notice how the Unbounce team puts a huge focus on visuals while writing content pertaining to their own niche, landing page optimization.

The result? The startup receives 140,000 unique visitors per month and crossed an annual revenue of USD 25 million last year.

So, if you plan to start a blog, make sure you incorporate appealing and value-adding visuals in the form of infographics and charts to make your post clickable.


Wistia: Adding Humor in Your Content Strategy=LOL (Lots of Leads)

Wistia is a video hosting software that helps businesses create, manage, and share videos. It’s blog, Wistia Learning Center, offers high-quality videos, images, and posts for their target audience. However, Wistia soon learned that infusing humor into the content can impact readers cognitively and emotionally and evoke a ‘feel good’ response in them.

The startup effectively uses humor in its posts and videos to humanize their content and generate more engagements and leads.


Buffer: Tap the FOMO Element

Buffer’s co-founder, LeoWidrich conducted an in-depth analysis of what goes into making a piece of content go viral. One of the first things he found was that addressing the fear of missing out (FOMO) is a big trigger in getting the target audience interested in a post.

Notice how Buffer uses the FOMO element in most of its posts to persuade its audience to read or share the article.

Summing Up

Content marketing is a lot more than merely posting content on your blog and promoting it. There’s a lot of content out there! Without a solid content marketing strategy, your content is bound to get lost in a sea of content available online.

The startups mentioned above have gone out of their way to make content marketing work for them. Use their experience and learnings to steer your business towards success.

Devesh Sharma is a WordPress enthusiast and founder of Ecommerce Booth, a blog which focuses on Unbiased Reviews, Comparison, and In-depth Tutorials.

Content stock photo by Ivelin Radkov/Shutterstock