Content marketing takes a ton of work and resources – but it can be extremely profitable in the long run.
Some companies can experience massive ROI from content marketing. Look at major brands and their online presence, do you think they’re content marketing because they have to—or because their Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) knows the company gets a great return on its content marketing strategy?
Source: Smart Insights
The major problem marketers and communicators starting out on their own is a tight budget. Marketers and corporate communicators need to make quality content on a shoestring budget – and doing that isn’t cheap.
Most folks try to take carry the burden of creating content on their own, but your time is money.
The good news is that it’s possible to make great content without the budget of a Nike or Nabisco.
This post will help startups, small businesses and professionals to make effective online content on the cheap.
Here are 5 tips that will help you make great content without breaking the bank.
1. It’s All About Quality
Marketers and communications professionals think daily blogging is the way to go, because so many major content creators are posting daily.
It’s better to write one amazing post rather than 6-7 mediocre posts per week. Make sure your posts are filled with important information that offers real value to your readers.
The secret to growth in online marketing is quality over quantity.
Tim Ferriss began his website and blog by creating quality posts rather than focusing on multiple posts per day:
If you can publish more than one great post—fantastic! But always start with quality.
Creators of great content must have a vision and push past their desire to create daily—yet mediocre—content.
Save time and focus on creating amazing posts. Visitors will read them, link to them and share them.
Try to get the most bang for your buck, but don’t go too far.
Don’t waste time on creating custom images that don’t add value to your post or waste extra time formatting or trying to get the post “perfect” because you have extra time.
Do things that give you a return, in marketing, PR and life – it’s all about ROI.
2. Repurpose Content
You don’t always have to make content from scratch. Repurpose existing content in your arsenal.
This means you can use existing content you created – like a blog post – and use that content to create a slideshow, infographic or podcast.
This means you don’t have to spend extra time on researching your topic, since you already have the information. Need images? Just use the ones you already created for new content, like Facebook or Twitter images.
You cut the time it takes to create content by over 50% and reach multiple social media and online audiences in the process.
Sounds like a win/win?
Most content can be repurposed—blog posts can be turned into infographics which can be turned into slideshows or videos. The videos you create can then be turned shareable GIFs.
Look at all the media items that can be repurposed and created from one blog post!
3. Don’t Use Every Social Media Platform
Rookie marketers and communicators try to use every social platform at once. Not a good idea.
Creating marketing content takes a lot of time, resources and promotion.
Twenty percent of your content creation efforts make up 80% of your success. Find parts of your content that don’t add value and eliminate them immediately.
With small budgets, focus on tactics that give you the best ROI. Rather than focusing on getting more social media followers or going to trade shows, focus on the techniques that give you the most conversions, like email marketing:
Don’t just work hard—work smart.
4. Focus On The Long Tail
You can’t fight head-to-head against companies with big budgets. Try to beat Starbucks Coffee in its marketing effort, you might as well throw money down the toilet.
Use your meager budget to focus on long tail keywords in your content marketing and advertising. This way, you avoid a head-to-head fight with well-funded competitors.
Long tail keywords help you rank higher in search engines and often have less competitors vying for them.
Here’s an example for a possible long tail keyword if you’re marketing coffee:
It will take time, but you will see traffic come your way over a slower—but steadier—period of time. You’ll have a monopoly over a very specific keyword, which will make your traffic grow, along with your email subscriber list.
Over time, you’ll get more revenue, which means you’ll also grow your marketing budget.
Focus on profitable niche markets with little competition and capture audiences with strategically targeted long tail keywords.
Forget about outsourcing and paying freelance writers, get guest-bloggers to write your content for free.
Guest-posters will write for you in exchange for promoting their own products or website promotions.
Create a page for guest-posters so they can read about the benefits of posting on your blog or social media site.
Here’s a screenshot of a portion of Tim Ferriss’ guest-post page:
Incentivize guest posters by offering them your blog traffic in exchange for sales or marketing data – like email subscribers, links and internet popularity. In turn, make sure to demand high quality posts that stand up to the rigorous expectations of your own marketing or outreach campaign’s goals.
In Tim Ferriss’ case, he gets a lot of traffic, so it would be wise if his audience is one that would purchase your product or read your blog:
Also, make sure to provide guest-posters a way to contact you and make sure to inform them about the type of blog content you want guest-posted on your site.
Finally, read competitors’ sites for great articles from guest-bloggers and directly reach out to writers.
6. Be A Smart Promoter
Content creators with limited budgets need to know they’re getting the most value for time spent promoting their content. Spend most of your time focusing what gives you the most traffic or conversions.
There are two quick and easy ways to do this:
A. Reach Out To Email Subscribers
Email subscribers opted-in to receive your marketing and are most likely to share or create conversions.
For example, whenever you post—send an email out to your subscriber list letting them know about your new article.
This strategy works wonders and takes a maximum of 15 minutes to do.
B. Contact Existing Social Media Sharers of Your Content
People sometimes don’t like to sign up for email updates, but they like your social media presence.
Just look at who re-tweeted your posts or shared them. Then private message those people and let them know you’re thankful for their support – and let them know about your new post and ask if they’d be kind enough to share your new content with their audience.
Most people will do it.
This is the simplest and easiest way to do it. Once you get a larger following, there are kinds sorts of social media tools, like SocialMention (free) or Sysomos (paid), that can help you find influencers.
Focus on creating quality with your small budget.
Using just two or three of these tips will help make your marketing or communications outreach efforts more efficient.
If you have any other ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I love hearing from my readers!