An effective content marketing strategy doesn't have to break the bank. The versatile nature of content marketing means any campaign or strategy can be tailored to suit the budget of your business.
This flexibility is behind the rising popularity of content marketing as an effective tool for businesses of any size and structure. No matter if you are a small startup, franchise or larger corporation, there will always be a combination of content and promotion to match your marketing needs and budgeting constraints.
Here are our top tips for content marketing success on a budget.
1) Clearly define your goals
Success can only be achieved if you know exactly what that looks like for you and your business.
Discuss the main aims of your content marketing strategy with your team. An improved bottom line and increased sales may seem like an obvious starting point. Brand awareness, customer retention and loyalty and user engagement are also vital to consolidating your business' marketshare and improving long term sales.
To really work out exactly what you want from your content marketing strategy, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) contributor, Neil Patel recommends, the SMART Goals approach. Set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals. To learn more about SMART Goals click here.
Clearly defined goals will help you to develop relevant and useful content that meets your marketing needs, saving you both time and money on unpublished or ineffective ideas.
2) Know your audience
"If you are going to focus on anything, it should be figuring out precisely who your best prospects are and then slavishly serving them everything they need to become your best customers," says this content marketer.
Hone in on your target market. Consider their social demographic make up - age, income, gender and socio economic status. Then take the time to really understand them - what types of media do they consume, where and how do they find their favourite content and what topics or information is likely to achieve the most engagement?
Content that adds value to your audience is exactly what boosts their affiliation to your brand, product, or service. An affiliation like this can result in increased brand awareness, loyalty and sales.
The temptation to dive right in is very real. Don't do it!
A haphazard approach to content marketing with a blog here, organic Facebook post there and the odd eDM is unlikely to garner any measurable results, let alone create sustained or measurable impact. No clear strategy can result in wasted time, content and of course funds.
Instead, take some time to consider what you have learnt about your target audience and how you can use this to match your marketing goals.
4) Build a content calendar
Now that you have made a plan, it is time to hold yourself to account.
A content calendar will ensure you keep up-to-date with your content creation schedule. It will also help you to plan for and execute the types of content you need, and to stay on top of when it will be published and where.
5) Pay for it
Not what you expected to hear when we mentioned content marketing on a budget?Probably not. The fact is, you can spend a lot of money creating content but, if no one sees it, it won’t amount to much return on your investment. So go that step extra and get it out there.
As social media algorithms change, the most effective means of giving your content the voice it deserves is via paid promotion. The organic reach of a Facebook post to your page is virtually redundant without a little boost.
Don’t be afraid to consider other options including Google AdWords - a great and economical tool if your aim is to boost website traffic or sales.
6) Crunch all that data
Once you have executed your well conceived strategy it is time to review your success. Take each campaign as a learning experience. Only 43% of B2C content marketers say they have a true understanding of the success of their content marketing efforts.
Based on your goals, consider consider what data can underpin your key performance indicators (KPIs). For many businesses this will include traffic, engagement rates and conversions. Examine what content your target market really engaged with and what just didn't work at all.
Better understanding your target market means an even more effective campaign the next time round.