A good content marketing strategy is one of the best ways to reach your audience on a tight budget.
But before you begin writing those blog articles or filming a vlog that will pull your audience in, it’s essential to consider what you will get for your time and money. Spending them for the sake of producing content won’t get you far. But investing them in something that aligns with your mission and values just might.
Remember that even if you’re doing well, there’s always room for improvement. By adjusting your strategy, you could increase your ROI, spend less, or simply ensure you’re making the most of your content marketing budget.
If that’s what you’re after, here are a few tips on how to get the biggest bang for your buck.
Research and optimise
The only way to ensure you’re not losing money on content marketing is to do your homework before creating a strategy. And don’t think that doing the hard work once will be enough. You must be prepared to analyse, experiment, and adapt as necessary to see results.
First and foremost, be aware that all your marketing efforts must be curated to fit your audience. For example, Instagram has over one billion users. But it’s also important to remember that 29% of those users are aged 18-24, and 35% are aged 25-34. So if you aim to engage with Gen X or Baby Boomers, you’d better direct your attention towards publishing on Facebook, YouTube, or your blog. Age will further influence the form of content that works best, including length.
Once you’ve identified the forms you need to focus on, you’ll want to ensure your content reaches people. For the most part, this will include investing in SEO to increase your SERP rankings, boost brand authority, and generate more leads you can turn into customers. Don’t be afraid to combine your content with CTAs and lead magnets, as these will help you attain your desired results faster and with less money spent on PPC advertising.
Another thing to remember is that no matter what you do, you always need to follow the analytical data. Having popular content that doesn’t generate conversions means you need to find a way to utilise it better. Or, if what you’re doing isn’t being seen, perhaps you will need to rethink the keywords you’re targeting.
Use your budget reasonably.
Great content doesn’t have to be expensive to produce. If you don’t believe it, just look at this YouTube clip that compares the end product after paying several freelancers to edit a commercial. It doesn’t only show off the potential of outsourcing some of your content creation and gives an excellent example of how budget-friendly it can be to hire an expert to do a job.
More than anything else, consider the cost of your own work. Suppose you’re spending hours writing a mediocre blog post, while a professionally written one would set you back between £100-£125. In that case, quite frankly, you’re wasting your resources. Sure, some small businesses are working with minimal budgets. Still, even then, you can find ways to maximise what you already have.
You can share parts of your existing content on social media. Alternatively, you could repurpose what you have and give it a new form. A study can easily be transformed into an infographic, as shown in this post by Each night, giving it a new format that’s simple to understand and is guaranteed to be more engaging than simple text.
Find new platforms
Perhaps you’re doing business in a saturated industry where standing out from the competition is brutal. In this case, reaching customers could be expensive or impossible.
But, instead of spending hundreds of dollars boosting your Facebook posts, so your followers see them, why not take the conversation to a different place? Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. After all, you might find that publishing on a non-traditional platform (or in a different format) gets you better results for less.
How-tos and guides are the perfect examples of this. Take the Amazon repricing software developer, Aura. Their product is an intricate program that can seem intimidating to the average seller. However, by putting their how-to post in video format, they create a piece of content that’s easy to consume, engaging, and yields much better results than a lengthy blog post most people won’t take the time to read.
Another brand that uses video for the same purpose but with a much different approach is the brand. Their YouTube channel is also home to instructional videos, but here, the emphasis is not only on the instructions. Instead, they use the medium to establish the company’s identity through tone. This way, they’re simultaneously getting content that offers value and investing in their branding. That’s clever budgeting right there!
Choose your topics wisely.
One of the most expensive things you can do is invest in irrelevant content for your audience. Not only will it cost you money to produce, but it might also saturate your website in a way that draws away from your focus. So how do you solve this?
Well, there are two simple ways to create a profitable strategy. The first is to be picky with the topics you choose. Be sure to thoroughly research keywords and turn to communities such as Quora or Yahoo Answers for post ideas. You can even browse social media or look at what your competition is doing.
The second is to stay on top of current events with your own twist. For example, most websites have given attention to the COVID-19 pandemic in the past month. So, a page that targets senior citizens will want to cover the subject but with information relevant to their audience. This is precisely what the writers at Medical Alert Buyers Guide did in putting together a post that explores the effect of the virus on older people.
Don’t let yourself forget about customer retention.
Suppose you consider the evidence that e-commerce stores get 41% of their revenue from returning customers. In that case, skipping customer retention in your content marketing budget is a missed opportunity. After all, getting in touch with existing consumers could cost you next to nothing as long as you employ a few basic strategies.
For one, use email to share your posts. Whether you have put together a helpful blog article or created a funny meme, don’t miss the opportunity to drive traffic through your newsletter (which you can make for very little or no money).
Furthermore, use your social media. Combining content and social media strategies can yield excellent results while driving the cost down. For an example of a company doing this right, look at the dancewear brand Cloud & Victory, whose Instagram feed is filled with fun, niche-specific posts, inspirational messages, and original memes. Although their objective is to sell products, their strategy is to use content to generate exposure, raise brand awareness, and encourage familiarity. And these actions drive sales much better than paid promotions.
Even though it may seem like a lot of work, creating a content marketing budget that gets you more with less is entirely possible. So, instead of wasting money to make more at any cost, look at what you have and how to use it better. More often than not, you’ll find that simply repurposing or finding new platforms to promote existing posts is a budget-friendly option.
And then, once you’re ready to produce more, make sure you’re researching, picking relevant topics, and covering them in a way that will offer the best value to your audience. You’ll find that quality and originality will always get more organic reach – which is, ultimately, the best way to spend your budget.