It can be frustrating working with a small marketing budget when you want to dream big, but you don’t have to let a meager budget restrict your success. With the help of a few creative solutions and a solid sense of frugality, you can develop and execute a comprehensive content marketing strategy without breaking the bank. Don’t allow limited funding to turn into an excuse for lousy content marketing. Instead, try out these suggestions for cutting costs without compromising quality or creativity.
Keep Content Marketing In-House
If you’re looking to stay within a smaller budget, do not outsource your social media planning, SEO practices, blogging, or any aspect of content marketing for your brand. Some companies can afford to completely outsource their content marketing campaigns to agencies that handle everything from setting up a blog to executing in-depth SEO practices, but is the cost really worth it? Sure, an agency can provide a certain level of expertise, but good content marketing also requires specialized knowledge of your industry, brand and products, something your business and in-house staff are leading experts in. If you’re a smaller organization or looking to cut costs, content marketing is definitely something that should be kept in-house.
Leverage Your Employees’ Expertise
Some of your most valuable resources as a content marketer are your colleagues—and not just the other marketers on your team. From experienced top-level executives to resourceful and eager interns, every member of your business should be petitioned to contribute to your content marketing strategy; contributions could include a feature piece for your blog from the CEO about the experience of running a company, or timely and entertaining tweets from the summer intern.
Encourage members of your company to write blog posts so your blog has a diverse perspective of expertise without spending too much money on hiring guest bloggers. Including posts by employees also invites your readers to meet the people behind the brand, thereby personalizing the experience as well as providing insight into your company culture.
Measure, Measure, Measure
Even if you develop a great content marketing strategy for cheap, it won’t contribute any value to your company if you don’t measure your results. Plus, carefully tracking ROIs helps ensure that no spending is being wasted on unfruitful efforts. The purpose of your content marketing is generally to increase brand awareness, a metric that is notoriously difficult to measure.
However, proxies such as Facebook likes, retweets, number of fans or followers, and time spent viewing a blog post can all reveal how well your content is resonating with your audience. And the most important sign of successful content marketing is improving metrics over time. Once you establish your brand’s presence online, you can also use tools like Google Analytics to track conversion rates and other metrics.
Take Advantage Of Free Resources & Platforms
You don’t need to spend tons of cash on online advertising or pay for suggested Facebook posts to garner attention online. The majority of social media sites are free to set up an account with and you only have to pay if you want to push certain ads or posts to other users of the site. Optimize your presence on various platforms used by your target audience to get as much free exposure as possible and save paid advertisements for strategic dates or special occasions when you really need that extra publicity.
Provide An Experience Worth Talking About
A less direct approach to content marketing is to give your customers and clients a good reason to discuss your brand on their own terms—both online and off. If you provide a positive experience that is also unique and memorable, your customers are more likely to discuss your brand on social media, follow you on twitter, Like you on Facebook or write a positive review online. You can create a customer experience worth sharing through distinctive branding and exceptional customer service, as well as interactive and engaging contests and promotions in-store and online.
You can also offer customer incentives, such as discounts or deals, for engaging with your brand on social media, as this will broaden your online audience and make your content marketing more worth the effort.
Another approach is to encourage brand advocates, either through providing excellent customer experiences or awesome company culture. If your employees are satisfied with their jobs and happy with the culture, they may begin acting as brand advocates online, thus providing another avenue of free and honest content marketing.
Small Budget Success
Although it can be challenging to work within a tight budget, there are cost-effective methods for content marketing that can make your business look like a million bucks. A small budget needn’t be a problem, as long as you’re willing to keep the work in-house and are able to galvanize your staff into participating and contributing, consistently measure and re-assess the results of your campaign, utilize free social media sites for promotion, and are able to get the online community buzzing with brand advocates who love your company and products.
A Hub is great bang for your buck, letting you curate and track all of your content in one centralized, shareable place. Start your free trial today.
About the Author
Emily is a freelance writer based in Toronto, Ontario who covers a range of topics from technology to travel. She holds a Bachelor in English Literature and Business from the University of Waterloo. No matter how many projects she is working on, Emily always finds time for baking, reading, and yoga.