Tag Archives: Advertising

Startups’ Secret Marketing Weapon: Blogging

For startups, customer acquisition ain’t what it used to be.

Apple effectively ended ad targeting last year. Google plans to do something similar in 2023.

Without targeting, you could be advertising a US woman’s underwear brand to men in Germany. Those precious marketing dollars go…poof.

But some startups have found a secret weapon. Hint: you’re reading one right now.

Blogging for Customer Acquisition

Every day, your potential customers are searching Google to find solutions to their problems. You can help solve their immediate problem, while subtly directing them toward your service.

Let’s look at a startup with an excellent blog: Capbase. (I’m a small investor in the company.)

Capbase makes software to incorporate, manage your cap table (list of company owners), handle employee stock options and a lot more.


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Capbase’s potential customer may be a new founder who isn’t sure how to get started. How do I incorporate, or pitch investors?

So the company wrote an excellent article on the do’s and don’ts of investor pitches. This helps solve a problem a new founder is likely to have.

At the same time, Capbase subtly introduces them to its software. This platform can solve the problems they’ll have in the near future, like incorporating and issuing stock options.

Keeping it Fresh

Notice that Capbase doesn’t just have a bunch of text posts by a single author. It has a mix of authors with different perspectives, and even includes podcasts to keep things interesting.

So how can you come up with topics?

Think about problems your potential customers might be having. You can even interview current customers to find out.

Or if your startup is solving a problem you’ve had yourself, draw inspiration from your own life!

Evergreen topics are best. Provide content that will be useful years from now, rather than topical commentary that will be outdated in days.

This helps you capture traffic in the long term.

Keeping it Consistent

You should publish articles on the same days, regularly. If every day is too much, try Tuesday and Thursday, for example.

The key is consistent new content.

Readers like it. So do Google search algorithms.

Wrap Up

Online ads are not as well targeted as they once were, and are only likely to get worse. Meanwhile, a search shows user intent.

If I search “how to pitch investors,” I’m probably a startup founder at the early stage. So, I’m an ideal Capbase customer.

If I search “how to meditate,” I’m already interested in meditation. Perfect time for an app like Calm to slide in and give me some tips, while also making me aware of their product.

A company blog can deliver more customers than online ads while costing far less. Master it and stop handing your money to trillion dollar corporations that provide little in return.


Do you have a company blog?

If so, what have you learned from writing it? If not, why not?

Let me know in the comments at the bottom!

More on tech:

How to Write a Deal Memo

How to Ace a 3 Minute Pitch

The Lean Startup

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Photo: “Kendra” by c.a.s.e.y is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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Fundrise

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I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy!

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Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $15 on your first order. 

The Biggest Challenges for Startups Now

Lately, I keep seeing startups running into the same problems.

As an angel investor, I work hand in hand with numerous startups. I also see presentations and deal memos from hundreds more.

Let’s dig into some of the biggest challenges they have in common:

Recruiting

The labor market is red hot, especially for top tech talent.

So how can you get an edge in recruiting? One tactic I’m seeing successful startups use is hiring worldwide.

The pandemic has most of us working remotely anyhow, so an engineer being in Canada or India is less a barrier than before.

Startups probably don’t have the resources in house to handle the complicated legal and tax implications. But fortunately, International Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) can help.

These companies hire your employees, wherever they are, and handle all the regulatory issues. You just cut them a check.

So you’ve got the tax and legal down pat…but how do you get that amazing engineer to accept your offer?

Amazon sends a gift to prospective employees who do well in interviews. They generally choose the “book bomb,” or a bunch of books they think the prospect will like.

I might favor some yummy food through SnackMagic or Goldbelly. 🙂

CAC Expansion with the iOS 14 Update

For consumer companies in particular, the iOS 14 update stung. iOS devices now prompt users to block ad tracking, and most do.

If you were advertising on Facebook or Instagram, that tracking data helped get your ads in front of the right people.

Let’s say you are a D2C underwear brand for women and only ship in the US. Without tracking, you could be spending your precious ad dollars advertising to men in Germany!

The upshot: Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) expansion. The cost to get a new customer increased by 3x or more at a lot of companies I’ve seen.

So what should you do?

How about YouTube ads? One successful startup I saw recently doubled their YouTube ad spend with a mere 5% increase in CAC.

Users on platforms like YouTube are often searching for something, not scrolling through a feed. There’s greater intentionality.

If they’re searching for information on women’s underwear, you know that they could be a good prospective customer, and you can show your ad.

This would be even more true for search engine ads.

Another great option is influencer marketing. Platforms like GRIN or Outfit Talent make it easy to find and pay influencers whose audiences are interested in products like yours.

Wrap-up

Being a founder can be lonely. You always want to tell everyone “how great things are going.”

Being an investor is different. You see countless companies struggling with the same issues.

So know that you’re not alone and there are good solutions! The main thing is to keep trying.

I hope this was helpful to someone. And if you have any feedback, please leave it in the comments at the bottom.

Have a great weekend everyone!

More on tech:

3D Printing a Human Ear

Why I Just Invested in Capbase, The Startup in a Box

Inside a Startup Accelerator Demo Day

Note: I am not an investor in any of the companies mentioned

Photo: “defeat” by katiew is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If you found this post interesting, please share it on Twitter/Facebook/etc. using the buttons at the bottom of the page. This helps more people find the blog! 

Save Money on Stuff I Use:

Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

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Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account.

Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order.