According to the Content Marketing Institute, about 86% of B2C and 91% of B2B companies believe that content marketing is a key strategy to reach customers. A lot of digital marketing newbies believe that content marketing is expensive, and if you only have limited resources at your disposal, you may be asking yourself whether content marketing is worth the investment.
However, if you play your cards right, content marketing doesn’t have to break your budget. The key to leverage content marketing is to do an inventory of your existing content, make the most efficient and creative use of the content you do have, and work smarter instead of harder.
So let’s begin.
1. Do a Complete Content Audit
If you already have a website or blog that has been around for a while, the first thing you need to do is to find out how much content you already have, whether it is relevant, or if it can be repurposed. To organize all this information, you should create a simple spreadsheet that lists the URL and page titles of the content pages. Next, you should categorize your content on the basis of whether it needs to be removed, kept, or repurposed.
If time is of the essence, focus on the content that has the highest relevance to your viewers. This is particularly true for sites that have hundreds or thousands of pages that can take a while to sort.
2. Start a Blog
If you have a website but not much content that would provide value to your visitors, it is a good idea to create a blog. Make sure that you create the blog on the same root domain as your website so that any SEO benefits from it will be transferred to your entire website.
Creating a blog page does not cost you anything, and if you are using a CMS like WordPress, you can create a blog in less than 30 seconds!
Now, the next step is how to populate this blog page.
3. Find Guest Bloggers to Write Content
Of course, the most budget-friendly way to populate your blog is to write your own content. It won’t cost you anything but time and effort. However, many site owners do not have the time or even the inclination to create content for their site.
The next best solution is to solicit guest writers and cultivate relationships with influencers in your industry. If there is a blogger on social media that has a good rapport, you should try messaging them to write on your blog. Remember, though, that if your website does not generate good traffic, a mega-influencer may not want to write on your site.
Another way to get content is to add a “write for us” section on your website or blog. There are thousands of writers that are seeking places to publish their content, and you can welcome their pitches for content ideas.
4. Curate Content
If you have no content of your own, then leveraging other people’s content can be a good idea. That absolutely does not mean you should steal other people’s hard work. Rather, content curation is a legal and ethical content marketing practice that involves gathering and sharing content from different resources and adding your own opinions or narratives on the subject.
Make sure the curated content is relevant to your audience, and do not forget to give the writer credit for their work. This can help your readers find the best content easily on their subject of interest and increase their engagement.
5. Repurpose Content
Have existing content that you believe with some tweaks can make for an entertaining and engaging post? Do it. Have a post on Facebook that is getting a lot of likes and shares? Try adapting it for Instagram or even make it into a video format for your YouTube channel.
Finding opportunities to stretch your existing content over multiple channels gives the content more exposure as well as keeps your channels updated with fresh content.
6. Create Visual Content
Users are now more interested in checking out infographics, videos, and other visual content more so than text-based content. Creating good graphics can be tough if designing is not one of your strengths. That doesn’t mean you need to hire an expensive graphic designer.
Free web-based services like Canva and Infogram can help you make the most wonderful infographic and images, thanks to a huge variety of free and customizable templates and images. It does have some limitations, but even with fewer options, you can make surprisingly powerful visual content.
7. Shoot Mobile/ Web-Cam Videos
Video is the future of content marketing. But video-making equipment is very expensive and requires the use of skilled photographers and videographers. However, you don’t need all that. All you need is your smartphone or your webcam.
Although creating a video from your smartphone or webcam won’t get you the same HD results as a professional camera, it can create compelling videos. Armed with these simple tools, you can create engaging videos like Q & A sessions, behind-the-scene videos, and webinars for your viewers. This type of visual content does not require you to hire models or actors and can still create an engaging experience.
8. Schedule Posting
Don’t expect your website or blog to fare well if you post only when you feel like it. Posting should be done on a regular and predictable basis. If your visitors know that you will update your blog or post new content on social media at a certain time, they will be more likely to return for content. In addition, a consistent posting schedule enables the search engine to index your pages on a more frequent basis, improving your website’s chances of appearing on the results pages.
If you get comments on your posts, make sure you make an effort to reply to them so that your visitors know you care about what they say.
If you have a very busy schedule, you can find several free or low-cost online tools that can help schedule your post, get you organized, and save time.
9. Measure Your Success
You can only determine the success of your content marketing strategy by measuring it. Fortunately, Google Analytics is a free, intuitive, and very powerful platform that can help you gauge the performance of your content. Some of the most important metrics that you need to keep an eye on include natural/organic traffic, conversion rate, and bounce rate.
The above pointers are just a few steps to create a simple and low-cost content marketing strategy. Keep in mind though that like all digital marketing strategies, your content strategy will have to be evaluated regularly to find whether it is getting the desired results.
Try out a few tips from this list, and you should find that you are able to get a lot of things done on a low budget.
Dave Brown is a senior writer in the content writing services department of Content Development Pros. Before joining the company, he worked for several renowned websites and news publication companies, where he was given accolades and awards for his work. He also has extensive experience creating various types of content marketing strategies and blogs for small-and-medium enterprises. When he is not working, he loves to spend time with his wife and two beautiful daughters, watch vintage movies, or go skiing.