Content powers your business. From building engagement and better relationships with your users to establishing authority in a particular niche and finding better visibility in the search engine results, content marketing helps with every aspect of your business.
Don’t believe us? See these stats:
Websites with blogs tend to have 434% more indexed pages than those without one. That means you can rank higher up than your competitor or connect with your target audience just by maintaining a good blog. Simple, right?
Also, content marketing generates about 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing techniques. This makes content a really appealing option for marketers.
However, making your content work can be challenging because there is a lot of competition in the content space.
The online landscape is overflowing with ‘advertisements’. Left, right and centre. You are certainly doing a good job as a marketer but this content overflow is only causing consumer fatigue. Your audience is ready to skip any content that smells like advertisement.
How do you engage these fatigued audience?
There is a much greater need to deliver useful content to the audience. And this challenge becomes even more daunting when you are working on a shoestring budget because 1) you can’t experiment with a lot of content formats and 2) you have to depend on secondary sources for your research.
But there are certain hacks you can use to crack the code to effective content marketing, even when doing it on a small budget:
1) Repurpose and Repromote
Consistent publishing is the key to staying in your audience’s radar. But when you are bound by a small budget, consistency might become a key issue. You might be only publishing new articles once a week, or posting social media updates occasionally.
A solution to this content deficit can be found in repurposing and repromoting.
While repurposing allows you to trim down your content creation efforts by helping you to churn out spin-offs of your existing content, content repromotion is a lot more simpler. All you gotta do is reshare old content on different platforms or repost old posts on later dates. These hacks help you net new audience.
For instance, you can employ the repurposing technique to your blogs and convert your best articles into infographics, videos (like this article has been converted into this video) or you can even extract key takeaways from your posts to create visual snippets which can then be shared on social platforms.
Of course, repurposing articles into visual content can very well burn a hole in your marketing budget, but the next tip can help you put out the flames.
2) Create your own visual creatives with free tools
In the age of short attention spans, your content strategy is incomplete without visuals. And acquiring resources, in terms of people (graphic designers, animators etc) and software can increase your content expenditure. But at the same time, visual content does hold the key to unlocking engagement. The cherry? There’s a way to producing great visual content without exceeding the estimate.
The process of infusing visuals in your content can be managed through the use of free tools.
Canva can be a great place to start. It offers a myriad of options for creating visual creatives. You can design infographics, platform specific social media posts. Additionally, this tool doesn’t come with the hassle of resizing as it provides a default size format specific to the platform for which you are creating the visual. Great, right?
Some other similar tools are Piktochart and Infogram. And let’s hear it out from you if you got some great content design tools on your radar.
3) Write guest posts and invite influencers or bloggers to write on yours too
Creating content for your own site only puts you in front of a specific audience. But being a guest writer for other sites can really help you gain more eyeballs for your content and build thought leadership too. In fact, a well-planned guest blogging strategy helped Buffer acquire about 100k customers.
But that’s not all. You can also create a space for guest blogging on your own site. Guest posts not only allow you to operate your content plan within a budget constraint but they also help you develop useful relationships.
Through a “Write for Us” section, you can open the door to new opportunities where you can collaborate with key influencers and industry experts, at no cost. In fact, it is the best way to ensure consistency on your blog.
However, one major hurdle here can be finding the right people in your niche. If you have a good existing relationship with an influencer, you can ask them to contribute. Or you can use social channels to reach out to relevant people. This process can take some time but it helps create great marketing results.
And, you don’t necessarily have to request for guest posts. You can also invite influencers and founders for an interview too. These interviews will turn more heads and readers love to dig these too.
4) For video, either choose the DIY route or find an affordable video partner
Videos are the most premium of the content formats and cherished by audience of all ages and walks of life.
There’s an ever increasing demand for video content. About 4x as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it.
But creation of video content can seem impossible when you have limited resources.
In fact, for most startups and small businesses, budget constraints often come in the way of video content. For these businesses to gain a level field with big companies, inclusion of videos in their content strategy has become crucial. So how can you make it work on a small budget?
DIY approach can be your answer. In fact, DIY video has helped many small businesses crack the code to success. And in case you want to cut down the expense on buying a camera and a mic, you can simply shoot the video using your smartphone.
The other choice is to find a video partner that can help you churn out great videos at a low budget. As the founder of a video marketing studio, I can tell you that there are a number of video production styles, from animation, live shoot, footage-based videos to typography and whiteboards, and all of these carry different price tags. Some, like typography and footage-based videos can even be produced at a price that will make your management team bursting with happiness.
5) Ensure that you optimise social distribution
The good news is that organic content distribution through social channels doesn’t cost a penny. Bad news is organic reach now suffers from saturation.
But if you manage your social distribution of content properly, you can surely reap great rewards from your content marketing plan. While multi-channel presence is beneficial, it is a good practice to restrict your efforts to those social channels which are working out well for your business.
This relevance can stem from the sphere you operate in. B2B brands prioritise LinkedIn as the most important while B2C brands heavily rely on Facebook.
When planning your content, it’s important to remember that the greater the number of platforms, greater is the need to produce more content. So choose the distribution platforms wisely to accommodate your marketing budget. And aim and shoot out the best content creatives to engage your audience. Also, plan out what would be the next step you want your audience to make? Ensure a funnel strategy or craft your consumer journey for conversions.
Content marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. With a strategic plan in place, you can optimise your content strategy within a small budget. At times, this might require you to roll up your own sleeves and become a visual content creator or a character in your video, but all of that can have a great pay off in the long run.