Content strategy for cleantech startups

Most cleantech companies know there’s value in producing engaging content around their company or technology. But what’s the right strategy when your real focus is filing patents, raising investment and developing your technology? Here are our thoughts on content strategy for cleantech startups, drawing on our experience spending the last six years delivering for some of the most exciting companies in the sector.

First of all, can we all please agree…

It’s never ok to produce bad quality content

It’s ok that you’re not producing Oscar winning films and your news stories aren’t getting more hits that the Daily Mail. But that does not mean it’s ok to produce embarrassingly bad content.

When people see your content, they make judgements about your company and your potential. Poor quality content makes them think: ‘they’re small; they don’t have the resources; they don’t know what they’re doing; they’re not worth paying attention to.’

So what should you do?

1. Think about your message

WHAT are you trying to say? Your message and your communication challenges are going to define the right content strategy for your business.

Maybe your technology is hard to understand. An accessible and attractive diagram might be the most useful piece of content for you right now.

Maybe your ‘story’ — the heart and soul of what you’re all about — matters most. Film is a great way to capture that.

Maybe your challenge is building trust with customers and gaining recognition as a new player in an existing market. You need a sustained PR strategy.

2. Think about your audience

Once you understand WHAT you need to say, you need to think about WHO you need to say it to. What will be most effective for that audience?

Customers may want to see film case studies. Investors may be looking for sustained PR coverage. Potential partners might need a technology brochure.

Thinking about your audience also helps define the tone of your content. Are you speaking to a well defined market? Then you just need to focus on how your solution is different. But if your technology is so new that no one understands it, then you need to create content that explains it and why it’s an important breakthrough.

3. Increase the value of the content you invest in

When your time and money is limited, you can’t do everything you would like to. So it’s important to draw the maximum value from any content you do create.

Maybe there’s a clever way to appeal to more than one audience in one piece of content. A case study film can be made to appeal to potential new customers while also demonstrating to investors that your technology is well received.

If you’ve produced a beautiful diagram to show how your technology is used, look for as many opportunities as you can to use it. Include it in your brochure, website, presentations, and sales sheets.

4. Build a content distribution strategy

So you’ve made a great film (it was one of ours right?). It sums up your technology, it shows great feedback from customers and it includes all of your key messages. Time to sit back and watch the order roll in? No. Time to distribute.

Investing in good content is the first step. But don’t waste that investment by doing nothing with it. You need to think about who is going to consume it. Where will they see it? What will they do once they’ve watched or read it? How does it link back to you? How do you convert that interest?

5. Update your content as you grow

Hopefully you’re ready to put this advice into action. Go for it. Maybe we’re telling you stuff you already know. Good for you. Either way, a final word of warning. Your content needs to develop alongside your company.

The way your content represents you is how the market will perceive you. Even if you’ve long since moved into a much bigger facility, have 20 members of staff and have branched out into multiple new applications.

The faster your company grows, the more you need to focus on creating and evolving your content. It takes work but let’s face it, it’s a nice problem to have!