With the explosion of web-enabled smartphones in the early 2000s, people now consume content on a seemingly 24 hour basis. Social media has given people the ability to curate and share content however they see fit. Gone are the days of needing to buy a newspaper, or having to thumb through a magazine in line at the supermarket to see a celebrity’s latest photoshoot.
People can now access content when they want, wherever they want, so how do brands reach audiences in a way that can A) convert and B) provide value to their demographic?
For a long time, marketers relied on PPC advertising and SEM to get in front audiences. Now, with the emergence of content marketing, there’s no shortage of ways to spend marketing budget. However in my experience working with brands, I’ve noticed that content marketing programs can often become a case of missed opportunity. It’s important to realize that not every successful marketing strategy needs a hefty amount of marketing dollars to make it successful. Sometimes, it’s all about being a Marketing MacGyver.
With that in mind, here are five budget-friendly tips to consider when building out your content marketing strategy:
1. CHEAP LABOR
Unless you’re hiring interns exclusively for content-driven roles, having young, unpolished people writing content that will ultimately be the face of your brand is not ideal. The cheap labor I’m referring to are micro job platforms like Fiverr, SEOClerks, or PeoplePerHour.
For the uninitiated, these marketplaces revolve around people selling services for very low rates ($5 to $50) for a number of reasons that range from building up portfolios, to creating new business relationships. I personally have used Fiverr for a number of content pieces, including video explainers, infographics, copyediting, and even getting my own little avatar designed that I use everywhere. It’s important to read reviews before buying, but the quality will surprise you.
2. MEDIA RELATIONS
With an unrelenting demand for content, media editors simply can’t rely entirely on their writers to keep up. So they look to outside contributors. Aside from getting your bio in front of an established audience, the opportunities for SEO, brand promotion, and delivering linked traffic to your site can be a huge boon for your business.
Traditionally, the easiest way to build media relations is through a PR firm that has established relationships with editors. The only problem is small/medium-sized PR firms can range anywhere from $3K to 10K a month. However, there are ways to build a strategy around media relations for no cost at all. Dan Slagen wrote a great piece for Inbound.org on this and detailed it better than I ever could.
3. GUEST/PARTNER POSTS
Whether you’re posting on another blog or inviting a contributor to post on yours, guest content is an efficient way to generate fresh content and leverage new networks.
When working with guest contributors, it’s critical that you’re partnering with someone who shares a network that can benefit from your product. Look no further than Boston-based video technology company Wistia. On top of doing a terrific job producing in-house content, Wistia’s marketing team frequently collaborates with brands like Hubspot, Salesforce, and Scoop.it to produce campaigns that both of their audiences would be interested in.
If done right, partner generated content can maximize your brand’s reach bring value to your audience.
Producing a lot of content can be exhausting and time-consuming. But just because a piece is done and published doesn’t mean it’s reached the end of its value.
Your content marketing strategy should be fluid. Can that blog post from New Year's Eve where you talked about “X trends to look out for in 2016” be used this December to discuss what happened vs. what didn’t? Can you build an infographic around post topics that performed especially well?
“Going back to the well” is a really convenient way to get even more content developed. Convenience aside, the SEO value out of back-linking to other posts that you’ve written in the past alone is a nice bonus!
DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN 1 SOCIAL MEDIA BASKET
Unfortunately, your broadcasting reach is only as good as your network of followers and fans.
It seems like a good amount of people I’ve consulted for in the past just assume once you post something on Twitter, you just sit back and wait for the clicks to come in. If it were that simple, Twitter’s stock wouldn’t be down 60 percent this year. To promote your blog posts or content, focus more on email strategies while adding in clear-cut CTAs that invite users to share those posts on social media. At that point, you’re getting more eyeballs on your content while promoting your social networks.
Have any additional budget-friendly content marketing tricks that have worked well? Share them with me on Twitter: @TweetsByJMiller