So you’re on your own in your content marketing efforts, a one-person show elected to hoist some of 2016’s top marketing concerns on your shoulders, heir apparent to your brand’s next big push into relevance and publicity, and success.
Welcome to the club. It’s a busy one.
And while running a content marketing strategy with limited resources (read: one person with no budget) can feel like squirting a water gun into the ocean and expecting to push back the waves, don’t worry. There are still plenty of opportunities to make a big impact.
Just remember a couple of things:
A) The popular advice — that if you blog consistently and with enough quality, the readership will come - isn’t true anymore. With little exception, launching your own blog with no team or budget and expecting a large readership to ever show up is incredibly unlikely, and
B) Your job isn’t to only create content; you’re building a content marketing machine.
With these two things in mind — and, of course, defined goals for your content marketing machine — you’re ready to start applying some small content marketing hacks that can create a big impact.
Here are five one-person content marketing hacks that can help you up your productivity.
1. Build relationships and become a permanent guest blogger
In a previous piece, I recommended moving the majority of your content efforts toward publishing on influential blogs, and I’m sticking by it.
Since you inevitably already have a good idea about who your audience is (and what and where they tend to read), dedicate a considerable amount of time each week to connecting with and pitching articles to those blogs.
You can work soft sells of your product into most of your articles, which will translate to big visibility (and big gains) in front of an ideal audience. Then, once you’ve impressed them with your article and how well it’s getting shared, keep in touch, pitch more articles, and slowly leverage a steady, predictable stream of gains from an audience you didn’t have to invest in earning.
2. Microtarget influencers to get content in front of people who matter
While you may not have the resources to push your awesome content in front of every audience member on Twitter, you definitely have the dollar or two it takes to get in front of influencers who can.
For example, by targeting Facebook and Twitter ad campaigns at people with certain jobs at certain businesses, you’re able to deliver your content directly to the few influencers you want. This can be advantageous if you’re looking to leverage content as a way to be “top of mind” when reaching out and asking favors, and often results in retweets or shares to massive audiences of exactly the people you’re looking for.
3. Leverage executive status for syndication opportunities
While, of course, it’s preferable to use content marketing for both business and personal brand gains, don’t be afraid to sacrifice yourself for the good of the team. After all, you don’t pay yourself, and titles like CEO & CMO mean something, even when the business is relatively unknown.
Don’t be afraid to write on behalf of your executives (with their permission, of course), especially when pitching publications like Martech Advisor, Inc, and others that might have an audience that is not only in your industry, but also values the authoritative voice of your C-suite. If you can find the right angle (one that agrees both with your business goals and the publication's content needs), you’ll land a regular, high-traffic gig that allows you to consistently push your messaging to a large, relevant audience.
4. Replicate your successes — literally
Once you’ve published a piece, the common sense response (especially as a one-person team) is “Okay, onto the next one.” But honestly, that isn’t the most efficient use of your time.
If that post is killing it — generating high traffic and garnering shares and likes on social — it’s worthwhile to take it further. Take the same idea and pitch it elsewhere. If, for example, you published in Inc, send the same pitch to Entrepreneur. Blogs that compete with one another typically want a part of the action (and a part of the audience), which means nothing but good stuff for you.
Just make sure that, if they accept it, you don’t send them exactly the same piece. The idea doesn't have to be original, but the content should be — write a new intro and modify the body text so that they don’t get punished by Google for duplicate content, and you don’t run the risk of irritating editors who can really help you and your business get ahead.
5. Put curated content to work
Curating content is a must for one-person content teams. It’s a great way to build brand presence, establish a point of view for your company, and earn social engagement and followers without actually creating anything.
But there’s no reason to stop there — even curated content can be used to generate leads or drive acquisition. Using a tool like Snip.ly, you can actually brand-over curated content, creating a popup with your logo, a call-to-action, and a link. You can even modify the CTA to try out new taglines or personalize it to the piece of content you’re sharing.
Sound aggressive? It is. But, ultimately, that’s what growth hacking is. And it works.
Do more with less
All one-person content shops probably wish they could grow an extra limb or two. The key, however, is figuring out what works, and directing your limited resources toward those tactics and channels.
Remember: you're building a machine, and that takes time. Increase your productivity, and your machine is sure to run more efficiently.