Blog > 10 Tips For Great Content Marketing On A Budget
Posted By Create
Although content marketing (if this phrase means nothing to you, check out our introductory article here) can be as expensive as literally sending a man into space, the principles remain the same whether you've got millions in funding or just a couple of coppers to rub together.
The main thing to remember is that what you might not have in cash, you'll need to make up for in originality, creativity, effort and persistence.
Here I'll be sharing some tips on how you can create quality content and assess your strategy with a meagre budget or even no budget at all.
Create an ebook
If you have a great deal of knowledge or experience in a particular area, simply imparting this knowledge in the form of a free PDF ebook and sharing it with your audience should attract a lot of new customers. Don't feel you need to be too tied to your industry, either. Are you a childcare professional selling children's clothes wanting to write a book of tips for new parents? Go for it! If it's well-written, helpful and informative, your audience will share it and it will bring customers to your site!
Make an infographic
If you have a lot of customers signed up to your mailing list, why not send them a survey (SurveyMonkey offers a basic package for free) about something that would interest your audience? It could be topical or just fun! Then take the results and make an infographic (you could use a free online tool like infogr.am), an immediately accessible way of visually representing data. You could post this on your blog, encourage your audience to share it on social media or even send it out in a press release if you think the findings of your survey are pressworthy.
Film a funny video
Okay, this isn't as simple as filming a fake clip for You've Been Framed. Although viral videos and the like don't necessarily require high production values (see the recent Google Chrome adverts, some of which which look like amateur YouTube clips) it is important that you have an original idea.
Take inspiration from everyday life. If a funny thought occurs to you or you experience something unique, film it using your smartphone or digital camera. It doesn't even necessarily need to be connected to your industry. Upload the clip to YouTube and share the link with your audience. If they like it, try to film more like it. If not, try filming something else. You'll eventually make something that grabs your audience's attention and leads to more shares of your content and brand.
Write a guest blog
No-one does business in a vacuum. Sharing experiences and perspectives is what the web is all about, so if you're confidently blogging on your own site, reach out to other websites and blogs that cover your industry and suggest a couple of ideas you might have for a guest blog. Guest blogging like this can lead new audiences back to your site, and also provides you with yet more content to share with your customers.
Don't be tempted to reuse the content you wrote for the guest blog on your own blog, though! Search engines don't take kindly to duplicated content and your SEO ranking may be damaged.
Board a bandwagon
Although some things, like kittens and Justin Bieber, will always be popular on the web, others are uncertain and transitory. Trends may follow topical events in the news or just based around a popular joke or image that's doing the rounds on the web. Keep an eye on what's trending on Twitter and what's going on in the news.
If you see something you can relate to or can talk about with authority, make some content (e.g. picture, video, blog post, infographic) about it and send it out there into the web (making sure to include the right hashtag if you're using social media). Always have a calendar with national holidays and weeks handy so you can create content around these seasonal events well in advance.
Use your authority
Don't waste what you already have - your knowledge and experience. Pick a topic you can talk comfortably and knowledgeably about and go and make some content about it! Building your authority like this is good for Google as when it recognises that an online author has written a lot about a particular topic it starts to consider them a bit of an expert.
Appeal to emotions
It's all very well knowing a lot about something and talking about it, but what gets people interested in your content and makes them stay that way is whether or not it appeals to them on an emotional level. So try to provide a your personal perspective in your content.
Tell a story, present facts and thoughts in an unique way that will stay with people, or just create something memorable that will make someone feel happy, nostalgic, even shocked. Engaging with your audience emotionally should be at the forefront of all content marketing that you do.
Social media is free, so use it!
This horse has been pretty much been flogged to dust, but it's still worth reiterating. If you create content without building a following on social media with which to share it, you're entirely missing the point of content marketing. It's all about making nice things that entertain, inspire or just plain help people, with the aim being that your audience will share them in circles outside your current customer base. If you have no audience on social media, then your content is moot.
While we're on the subject, it's absolutely crucial that you add clear, recognisable icon links to your social media profiles on the home page of your website at the very least (try to add them to your website footer if possible, so they appear on every page). If you don't do this, your customers will never find your social media presence and will never get to see that awesome content you're creating.
Track your clicks
It's all very well checking your blog post's unique pageviews using Google Analytics, but to find out how successful your content has been on social media, use a link shortner like bit.ly. Bit.ly is particularly good because it's free and its reporting system is easy to use, clear and concise.
Just shorten your content's URL using bit.ly and make sure that you use this shortened URL whenever you share that piece of content on social media. Then you can go back to your bit.ly account later, see how many people have clicked that particular link and work out if that kind of content is getting you the shares and clicks you want on social media.
Feel free to experiment
Lastly, and I can't stress this enough: don't be afraid to try out different things or look a bit silly! Sure, it's important that you stick to your brand's ethical and moral values when creating content, but if you have an idea for some content that would entertain or interest you, that you would want to share with your friends, then go for it! Don't let your business head do all the thinking all the time!
It's great if you can associate quirky content with your brand and business, but even if not it's still worth a shot. If you've used some of the ideas I've listed above, your content was probably created for free anyway so what have you got to lose! You might just end up creating the next huge viral video clip, but even if you've just got your business on a few more people's radars in a way that stands out in the crowd, it's worth it.
I hope these tips and ideas for content marketing on a tight budget (or without a budget at all) have sparked an idea or two of your own. If you've seen or created some particularly clever content that you want to share with us, tweet us @create or add a link in the comments below!