Who doesn’t want to do effective content marketing on a budget? Content is the heart of modern marketing. There are a lot of benefits that a business can reap through quality and well-marketed content.
And, these content marketing benefits are true for B2C as well as B2B product and services.
According to Statista, content marketing revenue was reached 32.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up from 28 billion a year earlier. Why? Mainly, because businesses, whether big, medium or small, have started to take content marketing seriously.
They recognize that intrusive ads and in-your-face marketing are less effective than they used to be in attracting and converting customers.
Channels like social media give customers the ability to reject poor to average content in favor of transparent, friendly and engaging content. So, if you are confident about the quality of your content, the challenge lies in reaching the right audiences that are present on such advertising channels.
No wonder that the most successful B2B and B2C marketers allocate 40% and 26% of their total marketing budget respectively to market content (Content Marketing Institute). While content marketing budget is not an issue for big and even medium-size businesses, it may pose an obstacle to startups and small companies.
However, anyone can minimize the budget without compromising content marketing quality.
Here are seven tried and tested ways to create high-quality content marketing campaigns on a budget.
1. Evaluate everything
No marketing campaign can begin without self-evaluation. You must do a reality check of what do you have at present and what do you expect in the future. By doing so, you would save yourself from allocating an unnecessarily large content marketing budget at the start itself.
Start by evaluating:
- Goals: Decide monthly, six-monthly and yearly revenue goals. Then, decide how many social media subscribers, email subscribers, new sign-ups etc you target to achieve within the first week or month of starting content marketing.
- Current Situation: Do you already have content posted on the internet? If yes, assess how it is performing, what are the content gaps, does it feature in the search engine results and so on.
- Resources: What tools and technologies do you have in hand? Do you need to hire more people? Do you need in-house content creators or freelancers or unique talents for different varieties of content?
2. Research a lot
This step actually falls into the content creation stage of the entire marketing process. It is because if you don’t research well to create precise, informative, unique and engaging content, marketing it would push your spending to the drain.
So, what you need to research to keep your content marketing efforts on budget?
- Keywords: Use all great keyword research tools to feed your content with the precisely searchable queries. It would not only bring the content on the top of the search engine results, but would also create channels for the targeted audiences to find it. In fact, optimal keyword usage can reduce your marketing efforts significantly.
- Audiences: Know your content viewers, their needs and expectations and where do they look for the content. If your content is not marketed for the ‘right’ kind of audience, it would prove to be a costly affair.
- Competition: In order to be unique and better than your rivals, you need to keep a watch on the content they generate. It would not only inspire you for better marketing efforts, but also save you from being repetitive.
3. Choose the best
A number of choices you make in the process of content marketing can dramatically influence the outcomes and put your budget in the right direction. Keep your eyes open when you choose:
- Content-Type: While the old content types continue to be popular, many new ones are creating the right buzz as well. For example, social media posts, infographics, podcasts, videos, illustrations and interactive content (like quiz and survey) are currently the hot trends and you must cash on them.
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- Publishers: Why to waste money posting your content on low-traffic and low-authority platforms. Rather, choose sites and blogs that are ranking high and are popular and reliable among consistent viewers.
- Marketing Channels: Are you distributing your content on the right channels? Apart from the buzzing social media networks, focus on online community channels like Quora. The well-known audiovisual content channels too must feature in the list. After all, these are the places where the online audiences extensively hang out.
4. Quality over quantity
If you focus more on creating and marketing content in quantity, your marketing budget is sure to dry up soon. Instead, concentrate on providing quality that would not only keep a check on the budget, but would exploit the benefits in long terms. How to do it?
- Amazing Content: Don’t mind paying higher to create top-quality content that would be shared again and again. Such articles, blogs, and social media posts enjoy a long life and never go outdated.
- Post Frequency: Don’t bombard the marketing channels with content. Once you start engaging the audiences, promise them no more than 3-4 posts a week. It would keep them on the toe waiting for your quality content and would also utilize the budget optimally. Use tools like content marketing calendar to keep the track.
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- Cash on the ‘Performing’ Content: Consider that one of your blogs garners huge number of views and comments. Now, don’t mind paying to get it published on the paid platforms as it is bound to bring in more traffic to your site.
5. Review to save
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Analyzing and reviewing the marketed content not only improves its performance but also cuts down the unnecessary spending. In this context, you can also rely on the golden 80:20 rule.
The 80% of success would come from the 20% of the total marketing efforts you put in. In order to highlight these best 20% efforts, you must indulge in the process of content reviewing. The tools like Google Analytics would track down the performance of your content, allowing you to:
- Measure Popularity: How many times the content has been viewed? Out of the platforms where you marketed your content, which one has generated the more number of views, comments and leads? How many times the content has been shared? And, so on.
- Choose the Best: By periodically measuring the performance, you would have a clear idea about things like the best content types, the best channels and platforms and also the interests and expectations of the readers.
- Modify and Save: Obviously, you would modify your marketing strategy, focusing more on the best-performing ones and letting go the least-performing ones. In the end, you would have the best marketing knowledge and considerably saved budget.
6. Reuse… smartly
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Reuse, repurpose and recycle are the popular terms associated with environmental conservation. Surprisingly, these are also applicable to the discussion of how to market content in the budget. This process can start at the very beginning of content creation. Find out how:
- Create Evergreen Content: Rather than creating content which is time critical, opt for evergreen content which would hold the weight in the many years to come as well. If it is a quality content and gets popular, you can republish it on other platforms for the new viewers.
- Convert the Content: Articles can be converted into blogs, blogs in to social media posts, posts into videos and videos into infographics. Smartly, you can maintain the content’s mettle, but change its presentation and face to use it again and for the sole purpose of viewer engagement.
- Update the Content: Even if you can’t do without writing time-critical content, take out time to review it and update it to meet the changed scenarios. The efforts would be minimal and the budget would be saved.
However, make sure you stick to the rule of creating unique content and note the mere copies of the existing ones.
7. Keep scope for the future
Don’t be strict when you plan a budget for content marketing. You can follow each of the above strategies to utilize the allocated budget wisely. But then, there is nothing fixed when it comes to marketing for business. For example, what if you need to target a completely new batch of audiences where your existing content is not of much use. Here are some great tips:
- Start With What’s Essential: For a new business, you just need to try and test the content marketing strategies. At this point of time, start with the minimal budget and keep on adding to it with the passage of time. In this way, your future marketing budget requirements would be met conveniently.
- Market According to Demand: If you want to cater to your audience only during a season or a particular time of the year, why spend uselessly on content marketing throughout the year? Keep the campaign passive during off-seasons and accelerate its pace just before and during the peak times.
- Room for Changing Trends: As new trends and forms of content are being discovered, be ready to adopt them. For this, keep your content marketing budget reserved to welcome these changes.
As content marketing is never going to lose its worth, your business deserves to make the best out of it. You have just learned how a small budget can also accomplish respectable benefits, provided you align it with quality smartly. You can thrive in content marketing on a budget even if your business is small or just starting out.