You already know content marking is effective.
It brings prospects to your door, increases conversion rates, and can have a higher ROI than other types of advertising.
Unfortunately, good content can be expensive.
If you’re a start-up or a company with limited marketing funds, this can leave the benefits of content marketing frustratingly out of reach.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some ideas for how to use contenting marketing to grow your business without breaking the bank.
How to Do Content Marketing for Free
The cheapest way to do content marketing is simple: do it yourself. Doing your own content marketing has several benefits:
- It is free (not accounting for time).
- You can bring your expertise to your writing.
- You are in complete control of the entire process.
- You can publish on a moment's notice, without going through a planning process.
If you want to do content this way, getting set up is easy. You just need to start a blog on your company’s website. Once the blog is up and running, you can write and publish posts.
Of course, there are steps you can take to make your efforts more effective.
Create a Content Calendar
Designing a content calendar can help you post in a structured way. Publishing regular content means people are more likely to keep checking your blog as they know that there is a high chance there will be something to read.
A content calendar can encourage you to post more often. This is good as—unsurprisingly—blogs that publish more often get more traffic than equivalent blogs that don’t.
According to Hubspot, companies that post 15 times a month get five times more traffic than companies that don’t post at all.
In fact, the report makes it clear that—whether you are moving from zero posts a week to one post a week, or five posts a week to eight—the benefits continue to rise the more you blog.
Want a free content calendar template? You can download one right here.
The most important thing to do when creating content is to write high-quality posts about subjects you are an expert in that will appeal to your target audience.
You shouldn’t stuff your posts with keywords or write things just because the topics have a large search volume. If your posts aren’t high quality, they simply won’t rank on Google.
However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore SEO (SEO isn’t dead, it’s just changing).
It just means you should be careful about the search terms you choose. If you can find topics that you are both an expert in and that people are searching for—bonus points if the topics aren’t that competitive—you’ll have a lot more success than if you randomly fire out articles.
Write Long-Form Articles
Ok, maybe this point should be “write SOME long-form articles.”
Long form content is generally considered to be articles over 2,000 words long. It is often detailed guides to something the blog or business is an expert in.
Long-form posts are effective.
SerpLogic found that there is a direct relationship between long-form content and ranking highly in search results. Additionally, they discovered that there is a correlation between the length of an article and social media success.
While there is no reason for every post you write to be super long, adding the occasional long-form piece to your content plan can be an effective way to rank on Google.
The Problem With Doing Content Marketing Yourself
That is basically how you can do content marketing for free.
However, for some businesses, doing everything in-house may not be feasible. Even if you don’t have much money to spend, it may not make sense to sit down once a week and spend a whole day writing a long-form content piece.
You may find you can achieve a much higher ROI on your time if you focus on product development, sales, or managing your employees.
There is also the issue of expertise.
You may not know how to write compelling posts, devise a useful content calendar, or perform keyword research.
So, How Can You Get an Effective Content Marketing Strategy Without Breaking the Bank?
The obvious solution is to outsource the time-intensive elements of content creation; such as writing long blog posts, scheduling daily social posts, or creating visual content.
Companies like Scribly are staffed by professional writers who have the expertise to create compelling content for your business.
To be effective when outsourcing, you just need to have a plan and be clear about what you need—a killer brief can help with this.
Here are some things you should be sure you know before you outsource any content creation.
- The goals of your content strategy: Goals could include gain exposure, increase leads, build authority in your industry.
- The type of content you will use: Some content types you could consider are blog posts (long or short form), social posts, newsletters, eBooks, white papers, podcasts, webinars, and video. Most likely, you’ll choose a combination of the above.
- The platforms you will publish on: While much content will be self-hosted on your blog, you could also consider platforms like YouTube, Medium, LinkedIn, websites related to your business, or Vimeo.
- Keywords you will target: If you want to rank on Google, you’ll need to choose some keywords.
What Steps Should You Take Next?
Now you know a bit about how to do content marketing cheaply; the next step is to come up with a strategy. You can then decide if it is worth doing the whole thing yourself, or if you’d rather outsource certain parts of the plan.