Content marketing is a time-tested and proven method for using a website to build a business. By publishing high-quality content relevant to a company’s target market and using SEO to publicize it, a firm achieves a fantastic return on their marketing investment.
A successful content marketing campaign spreads awareness and the authority of your brand while delivering valuable leads that your team can convert into sales. Also, content marketing reduces the overall cost associated with each sale and thereby increase the profitability of your company.
The cost of content marketing causes concern for small businesses that must squeeze the most productivity from a small staff. Buying content or hiring additional talent to create content may seem impossible for you if you work on a tight budget. Rather than giving up, use the following tips to do content marketing on a tight budget:
- develop a tight content marketing strategy
- focus on quality over quantity
- use guest posts to augment your content
- start a blog
- promote your content
Have a Content Marketing Strategy
Creating and publishing content without a well-defined strategy adds to your costs and reduces the quality of your results. Doing so can also tarnish or dilute your brand. Before you start a content marketing campaign, you should have a strategy that includes some basic elements:
- Achievable and measurable goals that support your overall business plan. Start simple and make sure everyone on your team understands what they are trying to accomplish.
- Research that discovers the needs, problems, questions and desires of your readers. Your research should include a study of the content published by your competitors.
- Performance measures that help you determine the effectiveness of your content. You’ll need to know what you’re trying to accomplish.
- Decide what types of content you will produce and where you will publish it by learning the favorite venues of your target market.
- Schedule your content, so you have a steady flow of new material that keeps your audience coming back.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Content marketing on a tight budget requires you balance quantity with quality — not sacrificing just to produce content. Although, today’s SEO relies on producing quality content on a consistent basis, hence the balancing act.
Sometimes you waste money by rushing the production of content. Trying to accomplish much in as little time as possible results in a low-quality product that poorly reflects on your business. Instead, you and your team should focus on producing high-quality content, even if it takes extra time, so you get the maximum possible results from your effort.
As you focus on quality, from the perspective of writing mechanics and design, you should make sure to evaluate the results of your content to determine its quality. If you choose to use a third-party content provider, make sure you allow extra time to review the material before publishing it, even if you need to reduce the number of pieces published every week, you can still achieve your goals.
Accept Guest Posts
Diversify your blog by accepting guest posts from influencers and experts in your industry and market. In exchange for the contributions made by others, you offer them publicity by allowing them to describe who they are and provide a link that leads to their website. Ultimately, if you create a win-win scenario for guest bloggers, you get exciting material to publish while adding authority to your blog and your brand.
You don’t have to publish every guest post you receive. As always, review proposed material for quality and make sure it has relevance to the mission of your blog and company. If you have difficulty finding guest bloggers, keep tabs on your competitors’ websites. Someone who wrote for your competitor’s blog might also write for yours. Regardless of who your guest writers are, make sure they provide a link to your site from theirs. Doing so will bring more traffic to your site via SEO.
Start a Blog
In most cases, your blog will be the cornerstone of your content marketing effort.
And, you don’t have to spend much money to get your blog started, making it perfect for content marketing on a tight budget.
You can create your content by yourself to save the expense of paying a professional writer to do the work, if you’re on a really tight budget. Depending on the situation at your company, you might be able to share the load with your team members, if you can do so without overloading them or distracting them from their primary responsibilities. Remember, even with a tight budget, you have to balance content marketing with the other tasks necessary to run your business.
Try providing incentives for your employees who voluntarily accept the task of creating content for your blog. For example, you can give them a chance to telecommute to increase their productivity while reducing your overhead.
Hiring freelancers can also help you get the content you need, often for a price range of $20 to $30 per article or a firm like ours to manage the entire content marketing process from strategy to analytics.. Of course, you can also hire a remote worker whose sole responsibility is publishing content for your blog. Regardless of the option you choose, you might be surprised at how little your blog can cost.
Repurpose Existing Content
Content marketing on a tight budget requires getting the most from every piece of content.
Save time and money by repurposing content that you already published. You can, for example, adapt an article that you wrote into another format such as a slideshow or video. You can also re-write or update your older articles and republish them on your blog. Similarly, you can share snippets of your content on your social media channels to attract even more traffic. Your goal in repurposing content is to get the most out of your investment in research and design.
And, think beyond your own platforms when repurposing content. For instance, you might re-write a high-performing post then submit it as a guest post to reach additional consumers in your target market.
Repurposing content also saves time and often comes without additional financial costs.
- This cut your content creation time in half for each piece of repurposed content and doesn’t cost anything
- It can also expose your content to a different audience
- Instead of creating a new post from scratch, you can also use old content that is outdated and update it with current information
Promote Your Content
Once you have fantastic content, you need to make sure it reaches its intended audience.
If you don’t take an active role in promoting your content, it could sit idle and accomplish nothing. When you have a new blog post, for example, tweet about it and post links to it on Facebook. Of course, using social platforms not only reaches new audiences, it is great for SEO. But, using social platforms adds to the tasks for companies doing content marketing on a tight budget since building those platforms requires consistent effort and engagement on the platform.
Also, make sure your newsletter subscribers get at least an excerpt of the material and a chance to click a link to read the full blog post.
You can also boost your content by using one or more of the following tactics:
- Create landing pages that organize your content by topic or format.
- Segment your newsletter audience to connect users with the content you publish that has the most relevance to them.
- Use a variety of social media sites to expose your content to different audiences.
As you promote your business around the web and in traditional media, always promote yourself by leaving behind a link that leads to your content.
Although you might, at first, think that you can’t afford to orchestrate an effective campaign, you will find that careful planning and a diverse team of content creators gives you a low-cost stream of high-quality content that will captivate your audience.
Strategies such as repurposing your content and choosing a variety of promotional methods will increase the reach and utility of your investment, resulting in fantastic exposure for your brand that consistently results in increased sales and profits.
About the author:
Jill Phillips is a freelance writer from Buffalo, NY. She is an aspiring entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, who loves to share her insight on various topics. When she is not writing, Jill enjoys taking photos and hiking with her dog. Connect with Jill via Twitter.
Need marketing help?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get the 1st chapter of our book on digital marketing analytics – FREE, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.