July 29, 2015
In the old days of marketing, if you had to attract customers on a dime, you were in hot water, because you couldn’t hire anything for a dime. Luckily, the Internet came along and made it easy to plan and execute a marketing strategy on a budget. With a little money and a lot of know-how you can create a marketing plan that is able to spread the word of your products, services, and business at a minimal cost to you. So how do you go about marketing on a small budget?
Marketing can be Expensive
Marketing budgets for some companies can reach into the seven-figures. That’s great news for marketing firms, but horrible news for those of us who plan to build our marketing success on a shoestring. Content marketing is the most efficient way to make use of your marketing budget, but you have to be aware of the attached cost. Many articles have been written about the cost of content marketing and how it can be prohibitive to small companies. The truth of the matter is content marketing isn’t all that expensive. With a little bit of know-how you can develop content that is competitive and inexpensive.
How to do Content Marketing on a Budget
The fact of the matter is, content marketing is nowhere near as expensive as the large-budget companies make it out to be. Even a company with a fraction of the budget of larger companies can get content marketing done to a satisfactory level in order to spread their message and promote their brand. There are a number of extremely frugal methods of content marketing that are far more value than you pay for them.
For example, start a blog. Blogs are cheap to maintain and it’s relatively easy to find information to blog about. Having a member of staff dedicated to the blog can help you to free up your resources and avoid having to pay someone else for content marketing purposes. Your blog should be built on your site’s main domain and should focus on the things that your company does or sharing information that is pertinent to your industry. Eventually, with a little effort, you may even be considered an authority site on the niche you are writing for.
It is essential that you update your blog regularly. At first, updating may be limited by your time schedule, but by utilizing useful applications like Buffer, you can plan out your posting schedule in advance and queue up posts to be released whenever necessary. In order to find things to post regularly, you must have a constant stream of incoming content; but if content is so expensive to produce, then how are you going to get content to share on a regular basis?
Sourcing Content on a Dime
Many small businesses have taken to content marketing as a way to promote their business. How they get content on a budget is by leveraging their resources to figure out how they can utilize their time to make great marketing content. Among the tried and tested methods of continual content generation are:
- Producing the Content Yourself: Probably the most cost effective method of developing new content is to make it yourself. If you are planning on going this route, then you should be aware of the things you need to know to produce good content. There are a lot of articles written about what makes good content, but the thing that you must keep in mind is that your content production should be based around what your audience wants. Understanding your audience allows you to produce content effectively and efficiently and enables you to engage your audience in discussion.
- Content Curation: Another method of having posting fodder for your blog is to curate posts from other users. This does not mean copying another blog’s post word for word and placing it on your blog. That is plagiarism and is likely to make it even harder for you to get your page noticed by search engines. What content curation is based on is finding articles on the industry or niche your blog is based on and making critiques or explaining them in simpler terms for your readers. It’s a good source of information for your readers, but more importantly, it’s a never-ending source of content for your blog.
Is Budget Content Marketing Worth It?
In a word, yes. Even though the turnover will never be as much as the turnover from professionally designed and managed content marketing solutions, it’s basically getting more out of it than what you put in. That makes it a steal of a deal. Many people would love to get something for nothing and in essence a budget marketing strategy does just that, getting you traffic for time and effort, not a bad tradeoff. It should be noted that if you plan to do content marketing as your budget solution then you should try to do it right since it would serve to do more harm than good if you don’t understand what you’re doing thoroughly.
Dan Steiner is a technology entrepreneur, freelance writer, and content marketer. He currently runs Avila Web Firm, a California-based web design and internet marketing agency. His work has been featured by a number of media outlets, including Forbes, Business.com, Yahoo, HuffingtonPost, and a number of others.