Developing an effective content marketing strategy on a limited budget is tricky.
Despite that, most founders and marketers know that a solid content strategy can have huge benefits for your business. In fact, according to a 2018 report, companies are nearly 4 times more likely to generate a higher ROI for every dollar spent on inbound vs outbound marketing.
But, if you’re a small business with a limited budget, ‘doing’ your content marketing well is no mean feat.
Luckily, even the most stretched marketing-team-of-one can nail content marketing. Here are 8 simple (and low budget) content marketing tips for small businesses to help you do just that.
Know your niche
If you do one thing before you dive into your content marketing activities, make it this: know your audience.
Pull together some very simple buyer or user personas to help you imagine the consumers of your content as real people. Give them names, refer to them when you’re planning, and write for them.
Get to know the intimate needs, desires, pain-points and fears of your audience. Do everything you can in your content strategy to speak directly to those lived experiences, or all your efforts could just be a wasted effort.
You could spend a whole week crafting the most laser-sharp piece of cornerstone content - but unless it’s something your audience actually want to consume, that’ll be time down the drain.
Remember: content is not king; relevant content is.
Create a documented content marketing plan
Here’s a crazy stat: companies who document their marketing strategy are 538% more likely to report success than those who don’t.
They’re also 242% more likely to reach their intended audience.
Those stats are further compounded when marketers also document their processes. The same study found that as soon as clear and tangible metrics are set, companies are 429% more likely to report success with their content marketing strategy.
Why? Because knowing what success looks like means that you can measure and improve.
Focus on quality over quantity
If you don’t have the time to post every content every day, then focus on settling into a streamlined process that allows you to consistently post quality content.
Don’t just push out content for the sake of it. Think critically about whether it will actually provide value to your intended audience. If it will be useful. If it will be shareable.
If your masses of content are just producing white noise in an already crowded information space, you could actually be harming your ability to reach people and build meaningful relationships with them.
Don’t do it.
Make it evergreen
Invest in great content that survives the test of time. If you create time-specific content, think about how you can continually update it so that it remains relevant, even 5 years from now.
Great-quality, timeless content (known as evergreen content) will drive traffic to your site month after month, year after year. So it’s worth investing in the very best quality of long-form content that you can, future you will thank you for it!
Use the same content in different ways
Content doesn’t have to be a one-off thing. If you invest in one piece of very long-form, evergreen content, then think about how you can package it up into bite size chunks of content.
We’re talking infographics, 10 second videos, quotes and any other visual shareable content that you can repurpose over and over again. There are so many apps that’ll have you crafting professional looking social visuals in minutes.
With a little planning, that one, long piece of content could turn into hundreds of smaller pieces of snackable content to fuel your social channels, saving you countless hours !
Create active distribution channels
When you have produced your content, don’t just let it stagnate. Find a distribution channel that makes sense for your audience, and fuel it with the content you’ve invested in.
If you have limited resources, it helps to pick one channel and do it really well, and then scale as and when you have the time to spread your efforts more widely.
If you do pick a social channel to focus on, then make every effort to make your content go viral.
Not sure how to do that? Here’s an article to help you take the internet by storm.
Make it visual
If you want people with an increasingly short attention span to pay attention to your content, you have to make it visual. The stats speak for themselves: A visual more than doubles engagement on Facebook posts.
Getting beautiful visuals to accompany your content doesn’t have to break the bank. There are ways you can make beautiful-looking content on a limited budget:
- Sites like Unsplash and Pexels are your friend. Featuring thousands of beautiful images, all royalty free, you can set yourself up with professional visuals in seconds.
- For just a few dollars, you can buy all kinds of gadgetry to spice up your iPhone images. Clip-on lighting, stabilisers, and simple-to-use image templates are all readily available to purchase online, and will have you crafting your own beautiful-looking DIY images in no time.
Crafting great quality content that will actually move the needle for your business takes time. If you simply don’t have it - there are partners who can support you through the process. If you need help powering your content marketing machine, sites like Scribly.io can take care of the end-to-end marketing strategy, from keyword research, through to SEO optimisation and content production, all for a simple flat-monthly fee.
Marketing on a limited budget is possible. Plan ahead, be goal oriented you are guaranteed to make the most out of every dollar you spend.