By Jessica Davis

Contrary to popular belief, content marketing does not require huge budgets and a large amount of manual effort. This is why many small companies depend solely on content marketing and social media marketing to promote their brands. In fact, the popularity of content marketing arose from the fact that it is a very cost effective form of marketing. Here are five content marketing strategies that require almost no budget and offer maximum returns.

  1. Use customers to create content. User generated content is all the rage now. This is because user generated content is highly regarded on social media platforms and requires almost no effort and money from the company’s side to create. For example, you can create a slogan contest or a contest for the best stories on your Facebook page and ask people for submissions. You can then publish their content for days, weeks and even months all while generating a lot of buzz and connecting with your fans and customers.
  2. Convert your products into material for content. Long form articles and blog posts are not the only form of content. Images are some of the most effective forms of content and are very shareworthy. But this doesn’t mean that you have to hire the best photographers or graphic designers to create stunning images. Make sure your product is unique and stand out. For example, many cafés are using latte art to make their cup of coffee worth taking a picture of. People are impressed by the patterns on their coffee foams and take pictures and upload them. Bakeries and cupcake companies are also using interesting and quirky frosting to make their products flashbulb-worthy.
  3. Encourage your staff to create content. Why depend on external content creators, when you have a whole in-house team to do so. You can ask your staff to take pictures when they are wearing unique uniforms or costumes. Encourage them to engage with fans and customers on social media platforms and allow them to post on your website. Many companies have staff members putting up posts about unique recipes with company products, pictures of loyal customers, etc.
  4. Convert content into other forms. You may have a lot of written content for your company and no other forms of content. Also, you don’t want to spend all that money coming up with new types of content. Not to worry. You can repurpose your old content. For example, you can take your old articles and blog posts and convert them into an ebook that you can then give away to people visiting your website.
  5. Newsjack. Just heard a compelling story? Noticed that a certain news item is trending? Use its popularity to your advantage with the help of newsjacking. This means that you take the original story and spin it in a way that makes it relevant to you business or product while capitalizing on the buzz around the original item. Take for example the Oreo cookie image about the blackout at the Superbowl. A simple newsjacked article or image costs almost nothing to produce.           

Jessica Davis is a content strategist with Godot Media – a leading content writing services company. She works closely with other article writers at Godot, creating engaging content for the company’s clients. Her other interests, besides content and social media marketing, are technology, sports and fashion. @godotmedia