We all know that creating relevant and credible content is the cornerstone of digital marketing. It’s what builds our brand, develops consumer trust, and demonstrates our authority. Good content is even more critical for startups. However, it’s easy for a startup to feel outgunned when it comes to the resources of established enterprises.
Fortunately, there are plenty of easily available excellent resources out there for new businesses. Most of these offer a free basic model with scalable features. You can try something at no cost, and when your business grows, you can upgrade your package. This pricing structure means the resource providers still profit, so the quality doesn’t drop.
There are content resources for everything- from design to blogging, and below we’re going to cover our top picks.
Content Management System – Medium
Ex-Twitter CEO, Ev Williams, launched Medium back in 2012. It operates as a blogging platform, CMS, and community wrapped into one package.
Medium is free to use for publishers, with only readers being required to pay for premium subscriptions.
We discuss how to master the art of content ideation.
Design – Canva
The visual appeal of your content is just as important as the information it contains. Luckily, you don’t have to be a Photoshop whizz these days to make your content stand out from the crowd.
Canva is an incredibly powerful tool with an interface anybody can learn to use quickly. From business cards and brochures to social media banners and product mockups, Canva can handle them all.
The free version is a great starting point, and premium packages start at under $13 per month. For a paid plan, you’ll get access to thousands of stock images and unique graphics. It even comes with an intuitive automatic resizing feature.
Organisation – Evernote
Great content marketing strategies have one key thing in common – they’re extremely well organised. Ideas can change and evolve, but without proper
Evernote lets you brainstorm and keep track of all of your content ideas. You can access the software on any device and share your notes with colleagues. Evernote also features built-in integration with platforms like Slack and Google Drive.
You can use basic Evernote for free, but we’d suggest trialling their Business plan.
Social Media – Buffer
The downside of social media marketing is that it’s inefficient. You can create all your content in advance, but then you need to post it manually. Posting across multiple channels according to your content calendar is inconvenient at best. This is where Buffer excels.
Buffer allows you to automate the entire social media posting process. You can lay out your calendar and posts in advance and let Buffer follow your schedule.
Buffer’s free plan is a great place to start. It allows you to post from one profile across three social networks of your choice. On each network, you can schedule 10 posts in advance. If your business relies heavily on social media, we recommend trialling an upgrade. The most premium plan allows you to plan 2000 posts in advance across up to 25 social networks. This makes it ideal for companies of almost any size.
Email Marketing – MailChimp
Email marketing is critical to overcoming the limitations of social media. It allows you to create a proper funnel to control the content you send to consumers. As a startup, you shouldn’t be looking further than MailChimp.
No email marketing platform offers as many features as MailChimp. Their free plan includes over 40, including templates, personalised forms, and social media sharing buttons. You can start off with up to 2000 contacts, and upgrade to over 200,000. When you grow, you can even take advantage of their CRM, A/B testing, and custom-coded templates.
Learning – YouTube
While it may sound obvious, never underestimate the power of YouTube. There’s no better free resource for marketing tutorials anywhere online. You can find instructions, advice, and inspiration in no time. You’ll even find hundreds of tutorials for making the most of the other resources we’ve listed above.
All of these resources have alternatives. You may try one out and feel it just doesn’t suit your business needs. You may find the free plan doesn’t offer enough, but the paid plan offers too much. In this case, there’s no harm in looking elsewhere. However, we’d always recommend starting with these before moving on.
If you’re curious to learn more about content marketing and PR or want to speak to a SYNC consultant about starting your brand’s PR journey, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article has been updated on 10 June 2020