10 Incredible Tips to Leverage Content Marketing on a Budget

Every company that needs to establish a strong online presence spends on content marketing. This includes blog posts, Q and As, social media marketing, infographics, banners, etc. They’re all very good investments to target a niche audience.

Content marketing is much more economical and convenient to create than a billboard or a video, or a TV ad. Hence, small businesses can use it to their advantage to generate more traffic and thus, more sales.

However, as with everything, content marketing has gotten more expensive with time. While larger businesses are thinking about expanding their content marketing budgets, small businesses can’t afford to do that. While 39% of companies hope to increase their content marketing spending, their smaller rivals don’t have deep enough pockets.

As its saturation has grown all over the internet, quality content marketing is getting harder to come by. Boost your ROI and improve your online footprint without drowning in the bits and bytes is becoming harder. Hence, small businesses need to adopt a strategy that suits their goals and their budget. That’s the only way to most effectively improve their sales, and still make profits.

So here are 10 tips for small businesses to help them leverage content marketing on a budget.

Prioritize Content with Goals

You must ask yourself what kind of customer you’re going for, and what you’re selling. A product or service, whatever it is, needs to be built for a niche customer. Yes, there are some things which can be sold to every single person on the planet, including food and clothes. However, even in those categories, there are sub-divisions. Nothing is built for the entire market.

What you need to extract from this knowledge is that your content marketing should be focused on your niche audience. It should be aligned with reaching the people that are your most likely potential customers. More importantly, your marketing should try to achieve your goals. If you want to build a brand, focus on that. If you want to increase sales, build a great sales funnel. If you want to expand your online footprint through social media, focus on that.

You must pick a focus. If you don’t, you will inevitably waste hundreds or even thousands of dollars without purpose. Know that it’s excellent to experiment. However, doing so without purpose, is wasting valuable time, money, and effort; none of which can be returned.

Don’t Fix What Isn’t Broken

Small businesses typically can’t waste any capital at all, so they need to be focused on their goals. They need to know what works best for their niche audience and stick to it. Doing it like the McDonald’s brothers Dick and Mac did. 87% of the sales from their restaurant were burgers and fries. So they concentrated on making that their business model.

Hence, whatever is working for your small business’ content marketing, double down and lean in. If your blog posts are being read by thousands every day, double down. If your social media posts are driving the vast majority of impressions, then concentrate on them. If your biggest pull is your infographics or visual marketing, then go for more of that.

All in all, you shouldn’t try to fix what isn’t broken.

Keep Learning from Past Failures and Successes

Past Failures and SuccessesIf you’re wondering why failure is placed before success above, it’s because the former is a better teacher. Knowing what doesn’t work allows you to dispense with the confusion and concentrate on what really matters. Successes are only truly visible to you when you learn from the past.

Learning from past failures and successes in the content marketing world means that you pay attention to analytics. It means taking in to account channel metrics, as well as A/B testing. Raw speculation and heaping praise on methods that seem to work well goes nowhere. If you want to know what hard statistics and analytics can really do, go watch Moneyball. If stats can change baseball, they can change anything. This approach will save you more money, and earn you more money.

Looking for the best keywords, adopting the best graphics and mobile optimization can only take you so far though. You need to not only look at your own failures, but those of others. And that takes us to the next tip.

Copy a Great Strategy from Competitors

Great StrategyThere’s always something to learn from your competitors. Your rivals will always teach you more than your friends. That’s because your friends and colleagues will help you at your own game. Since your rivals are actively working against you, poking holes in their plans will help you see the board more clearly.

Content marketing includes A/B testing for a reason. You never know what’s going to work one way or another. Human psychology works in mysterious ways. Hence, when your competitors lock on to something that works, don’t let it go. Learn from it, adopt it, or be inspired by it.

Even an overview of the fonts, colors, language, and keywords they used could help you learn something. If their strategy works for you, you can tweak it to make it your own. If not, you can analyze why it didn’t work for you, and learning something. Everything is a learning opportunity. Since you didn’t invest any money devising the strategy though, you learn quicker why it worked or didn’t.

Duplicate Content in Different Ways

You should duplicate content in different waysYou don’t always need to come up with totally original content. You can recycle old posts with a new twist. This doesn’t require much effort or investment since you’re just duplicating your old content. However, you shouldn’t completely copy it, of course. That doesn’t make Google happy and defeats the purpose of a new post.

Instead, try to turn old content in to a new type of post. You can compile a lot of facts used in one article into an infographic. You can summarize another article through a video. You can also follow up on an old article with some new research or add to it through an opinion based post.

Any of these ideas can work. However, the post needs to be different enough to be characterized as such by Google. Otherwise, its similarity may be noted as self-plagiarism.

You should hire content writers to make this easier for you. They are well versed in recycling or redesigning content for repeated posting. They will help project your old content in a new light. They will help boost your old content so that it is relevant for the current audience.

Use Pay Per Click Advertising for the Necessary Strategies

Pay Per Click Advertising Pay per click advertising can seemingly defeat the purpose of saving money for a small business. However, in the most competitive advertising spaces, it is necessary. There have been various surveys that prove people think of pay per click advertising as an effective way to find results. Google Ads receive 65% of clicks that started with buying keywords. That’s compared with 35% of the clicks that organic results receive.

Also, PPC ads are very effective at driving sales. A survey by Unbounce shows that PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors. Stats like these show that PPC ads are a boon in the most competitive spaces. They can help save a ton on content promotion and creation. They can also improve the overall marketing ROI of a company.

This doesn’t mean that PPC ads should be a top priority, of course. Organic building of authority and identity online always lasts longer. However, the ability of PPC to push a specific message can’t be denied.

Begin Building Your Own Authority by Leveraging Google E-A-T

Google E-A-T was introduced in 2018. It emphasized a lot of new ways that content creators could use to improve their authority online. The acronym stood for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. Hence, the update was geared towards making online search results more reliable and trustworthy for its users. This would ensure that the users would get information only from authoritative sources that have a history of delivering on quality and accuracy.

Using this strategy to slowly improve your search results ranking is a great way to leverage content marketing. Not only will it improve your ROI in the future, but also save money. Here’s how you can do it.

Make Your Blog Posts Useful and Actionable

Most online search results that are useful and actionable generate more traffic. This is because they’re filled with information that can actually prove valuable. Hence, focusing on generating content that fits that description should be a top priority. Sure, description and great writing should also be a focus. However, highlighting how exactly something is useful for a key demographic is paramount to improving its reach and ranking.

Build Authority through Personalized Profiles

Google E-A-T places a lot of emphasis on authority and trustworthiness. However, this doesn’t mean that only the New York Times and the Economist will be promoted vigorously. It means that thousands or possible hundreds of thousands of niches will be chosen for their track record.

To cash in on this opportunity, it’s important to associate your content with a particular profile or an identity. If an author is recognized by Google as popular with regards to a specific niche, it will be categorized thus. Over time, as the content is continuously posted by that author or profile, the authority will increase. That will have a significant impact on how searches are categorized for that specific niche. With this strategy, at least you’ll build a strong identity that will influence search results.

Reference Other Authoritative Websites for Link Building

In order to build your own authority, you will need to reference other authoritative sites as well. Referencing other sites like the New York Times, Time Magazine, Ars Technica, or the Verge will help rank your site higher. You can piggyback off those sources to boost your own traffic. You will be categorized as favoring high quality sources over low quality ones. That will automatically boost your authority.

Invest in a Small, But Capable Graphic Design Team

Graphic design, great visuals, and videos all generate more clicks and impressions than just text. This is because visuals are generally more stimulating than text. The more saturated that your content is with visuals the better.

Of course, saturating it with irrelevant images isn’t a great way to start. Yet, the most relevant images can get you better SEO ROI and generate greater interest. Images and videos prove very useful when you generate listicles, or how-to articles, or DIY pieces. They also prove useful when you’re doing long articles about complex things. The visuals help hold the attention of individuals through the rows of black and white text.

You can go about this in one of two ways. You can hire your own graphics team, or you can hire content writing services to do the same thing.

Create Different Types of Written Content

You shouldn’t just settle for articles and blog posts or social media posts. You should also consider going for visual posts as well as infographics and videos. Creating all types of text-based content can improve your ROI.

Take, for instance, infographics. They’re 30 times more likely to be read than an article that contains only text. Also consider Q&As. They contain an element of audience participation. They involve the audience and allow them to be part of the conversation. This helps to build a better relationship with your audience through your content.

You can also try to conduct interviews with different influencers or experts in your field. This will give you great content without the need to work on it yourself. You can do a lot with the different answers given by the expert. You can turn the interview in to a multi-part series. You can also turn the interview in to different infographics, or visual posts, or quotes.

Think about other ways to leverage content marketing that are not just text-based. Listicles, quizzes, surveys, opinion polls, etc., all involve the audience. They’re great ways to pull in the audience participating and improve engagement. Plus, they don’t cost much.

Use Positive Comments as a Feedback Loop

Knowing what to promote is hard when you don’t consider any feedback. This doesn’t need to be just the impressions or views or page visits that you get. This could be the shares that your content gets or the comments beneath it.

In fact, comments may be the best way to gauge how passionately your audience is responding to a post. If the response is positive, or even if it is mixed, you can use that as a launching point. You could turn that in to a series of posts to engage your audience. You could also use those comments to post similar content. Finally, you could also use the content to generate different polls or quizzes about points that were discussed in the comments. It all helps to engage the audience at a deeper level.

Define Different Customer Paths Early On

While all content needs to be promoted somehow, all of it doesn’t need to be promoted the same way. You should decide early on which type of content should be promoted through which channel. Short posts and visually engaging posts do well on social media. Text-based posts that are verbose do well on blogs and webpages. Others that are geared towards more video-based content are better promoted on Instagram and Snapchat.

However, that’s not all. Other content specifically made to sell products can also be promoted through PPCs, through keyword searches, organic growth, etc. Consider categorizing your content before you promote it. It’ll help you focus on what strategies you’re adopting and help save time.

Content marketing is a more challenging field today than ever before due to saturation. While more avenues and tools are open to the public for free use as well, saturation isn’t decreasing. Hence, categorizing businesses and marketing approaches to a niche is paramount. It’s the only way to reach your audience. Using these smart content marketing tips will help to improve your ROI, save money, time, and effort.

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