If your company is just starting a content marketing strategy, you may not have an unlimited budget to pull from. The good news is that there are many cost-effective methods to establish a strong content marketing plan.
Done right, as your brand invests in quality content, you will see the benefits of it for years. Effective content strategies will help to generate leads, grow brand recognition, increase conversion rates, and improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Creating your company’s content plan can seem like an overwhelming task. Don’t let yourself get bogged down by the details! Here are 5 tips for achieving a winning content strategy without spending too much time or money.
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Small business owners may be tempted to work on content marketing tasks themselves, but keep in mind what is already on your plate and what your time is worth. There are many options for hiring out content management and creation tasks.
It may be that someone on your team already has content marketing experience or is an expert on the subjects you want to create content for. Ask around, and you may find a wealth of resources around you. A full-time in-house content person or team should really be the end goal, but it may not make the most sense if you are just starting out.
Hiring freelancers can be an economical and beneficial option. Freelancers give you access to an array of expertise in any subject matter imaginable without the commitment of hiring permanent team members. Just be sure to ask for past work examples and references from any freelancer you’re considering.
Consider an internship program if you’re operating near a college or university. Younger people often bring a solid understanding of the constant changes in social media operations and of new technologies. Internships can be mutually beneficial opportunities, allowing students to fulfill school requirements and gain valuable work experience.
A content marketing agency can help with content creation as well as marketing strategy. If it’s within your budget, an agency can elevate brand awareness by creating content such as infographics, focusing on SEO prioritization, and giving personalized expert consultation. An agency partnership is a good, long-term option for an established business.
2. Interact With Online Followers
An online community can provide you with a cost-effective method for generating leads and sales. As word-of-mouth recommendations will always mean the most to potential customers, it is important to gain followers and engage with them regularly.
Developing a relationship with your online community includes responding to public online comments and questions, quickly messaging followers who have any issues, keeping social posts and blogs up-to-date, developing a thorough email list, and sharing user-generated photos, reviews, and other content.
This last tip is also a highly low-cost method of generating new, quality content. Engage with your customer base, thank them for sharing, and they will be happy to assist with your marketing plan by sharing photos, videos, and reviews with their own followers!
3. Create Content Everywhere
Gone are the days of hiring professional photographers and stylists for every piece of usable content. Content creation can be low-cost, quick, and efficient. Most photos and videos these days are made on the go with the help of a cellular phone. Try not to overthink every post. Think more frequent, authentic, day-in-the-life or behind-the-scenes style content.
4. Repurpose Content
When you’ve done the research, paid for the imagery, and spent time designing a strong piece of content, it is a shame to only use it once. Instead, look at the ways your content pieces can be reposted and repurposed into other formats.
For example, a high-quality, well-researched blog post can be repurposed into many different forms. Consider creating a visually striking infographic. Readers are more likely to share infographics across social media platforms than text-based blog posts or articles. Another way of leveraging available content is by breaking it down into specific data points or ideas and sharing each point individually. Twitter is a great short-form content tool for this method.
Your potential customer base will most likely be made up of many different personalities who seek out content in different places. Those who aren’t on social media may be big on email newsletters or avid blog followers. Be sure that any content you’ve invested in will be used along all of your marketing avenues.
5. Watch ROI and Adjust as Needed
Keeping track of your Return on Investment (ROI) is vital to any marketing budget and strategy. You may see less than you will as your business grows when you are just starting out. This growth is normal and to be expected, so do not get discouraged.
Set your marketing goals and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) objectives before outlining your strategy. These KPIs may include the average order value from an e-commerce website, the number of downloads for an app, program, or content piece, the number of leads generated, user signups, or revenue connected to social or blog posts. Make it a priority to keep close track of all progress and any setbacks so that content marketing strategies can be adjusted for the best results.
One tangible indicator of content marketing success is search engine ranking. If your rankings are increasing, your plan is likely going well. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy and quality content creation go hand in hand.
Depending on your company’s size, goals, and budget, many content marketing options exist. Following these tips will help your brand find the best content strategy fit. Most importantly, keep all content creation relevant, informative and authentic.