Having big bucks doesn’t automatically lead to getting big results.
Some companies may think that throwing lots of money at a project or business venture will guarantee them success and a better outcome than a business on a small budget, but they’re wrong; the fundamental principles behind effective content are the same regardless of budget.
If you know your audience well, businesses with any size budget can use that insight to create content that is relevant, timely and useful. If you haven’t nailed the content marketing basics, a flashy and high-budget approach may only lead to a high-profile fail.
Does successful content marketing have to be expensive?
A survey has found that 65% of companies believe content marketing is too expensive, and only 34% have a budget solely for the purpose of content marketing. However, there are plenty of ways to create and implement an effective content strategy without breaking the bank.
Let’s take a look at some budget-friendly ways to make the most out of a content marketing strategy:
Blog, blog and blog away
Having a strong company blog can spark the beginning of any content marketing mission. A blog is a free platform to share content and can be developed over time. Here are some key things to remember:
Link your blog site to your main company domain. By creating a separate domain, you won’t benefit from an SEO boost - another of the many positive side-effects of a solid content strategy
Make sure your visitors and readers can easily locate the blog from the company homepage, such as a button along the top navigation menu. Check out wordpress.com for a straightforward and low-cost content management system - it’s one of the easiest and most versatile platforms out there
The main benefit of starting a business blog to kick-start your content marketing is that it can cost next to nothing. The most simple and basic of blogs can be designed in minutes and, if you want a more detailed or branded design, you could hire someone at a relatively low cost to get you started.
Sourcing the content
The next step is to consider where to get your content from.
Whilst some companies with larger budgets may opt to use copywriting agencies or freelancers to create content, this can be an expensive method. So why not write content yourself?
A general rule for good content marketing is to post content once a week, on any topic relevant to your business and customers. Be sure to include key SEO terms in your content to help improve your Google ranking and help people find your blog posts; in turn, this will lead to more traffic to your website.
Whilst posting once a week doesn’t seem like much, the research, planning and writing of a post can be timely. Why not consider asking other team members or even guest bloggers to create content, too? Not only will this reduce the pressure for you, it will also lead to different writing styles and opinions featuring on your blog that will keep your readers engaged and attract new ones.
Repurpose your content
Firstly, always share the link to blog posts across your company’s social media channels. Then, consider other ways you can repurpose blog content; this could be turning a post into a video, slideshow or perhaps even a podcast.
Bringing a good idea to life can be tricky, but once you have this idea down on paper you can save time by repurposing the idea into other formats to engage your audience. These alternatives don’t have to be costly, though. Posting a video on YouTube discussing the key arguments from a blog post is entirely free!
Think about your timing
Essentially, if you regularly post on your blog and link key SEO terms into your posts, you are ‘content marketing’ - congrats!
However, you need to think about taking it to the next level - without going over budget - by putting thought into what you post and when. There are lots of resources available on the internet, such as content calendars and content planning guides, that can help you with this but it doesn’t need to be complicated - or costly.
What makes content most valuable for your readers is if you consider a meaningful schedule; populate your calendar with key dates or awareness days relevant to your industry and customers and you already have a great starting point for coming up with creative, interesting and contextual ideas. This process involves minimal costs but can have a big impact as it shows your brand to be current, organised and thoughtful. This type of planning also makes your content more shareable!
So there you have it…
With the help of these four steps, you can hopefully see that content marketing isn’t simply for businesses with big bucks - it’s a strategy that can be utilised by all. If you remember to post content that is relevant to your audience, readers and customers at relevant times, you’ll soon be seeing your web traffic and click through rates increase.