Building a content marketing plan on a modest budget may seem like a daunting task, but it’s feasible. Whether you have always had a tight budget or faced recent reductions, it’s crucial to make decisions for the highest positive impact on your company. These eight tips will help you do that.
1. Perform an Online Content Audit
There’s a good chance that you already have a wealth of existing content available to use on your website. However, it may be time to update it. Carrying out a content audit is an excellent way to assess the current situation. This approach also leads to a better customer experience because it lets you become aware of incorrect or misleading material, as well as broken links.
Create a spreadsheet to list all the URLs associated with content on your site. Then, create several categories, such as keep, discard, update and combine. The pieces in the last category are those you could consolidate, including shorter posts with the same theme. Make sure to update your spreadsheet when producing new content. Seeing everything in one easily accessible place reveals more about your current needs.
2. Base Your Efforts on Audience Needs and Requests
Having a tight budget makes it vital to come up with material that resonates with your audience since there is little room for error. Listening to your customers is an excellent way to maximize your creation efforts by focusing on the things people truly want to see. For example, what are your audience’s pain points? Which questions come to mind when they research your products and services? What kind of content would help people most?
You can get answers to many of those questions by remaining open to audience feedback. People often use social media or blog comments to clarify which topics they’d like you to discuss in more depth. Examining past metrics is also worthwhile, especially if you can see which pieces of content got shared or commented on the most. Prioritizing audience needs is an excellent way to improve your content strategy while keeping people satisfied and showing them you offer relevance.
3. Put Time Into Content Curation
Curated content can be ideal for including in your marketing mix — especially when you lack the time and budget to come up with a steady stream of original stuff. Curation does not mean finding interesting material online and passing it off as yours. It entails locating high-quality information related to your industry and providing commentary about it before mentioning it came from elsewhere.
For example, you might say, “We loved this author’s take on the future of artificial intelligence! His opinion on the use of AI in medicine is fascinating and mirrors our own views.” Taking this approach provides you with the chance to inform your audience through expert insights without setting aside the time required to create full posts. It also gives the impression that you’re up to date on the newest developments in your industry.
4. Ensure That the Content Supports Your Brand Identity
Any content you create should strengthen your brand identity. This includes the visual elements that make your brand unique and memorable in consumers’ minds. For example, using a specific font and color scheme with every piece supports the brand identity. If your content plan includes making videos, you might insert a logo graphic at the end of the clip.
Strong visual branding is a critical part of helping people in the target market recognize your brand. Since it also ties into the more intangible aspects, like your mission and values, consumers can have positive associations with your company whenever they see the visual characteristics. The great thing about choosing to stick to your brand identity in marketing is that it shouldn’t cost extra money but merely requires some forethought.
5. Strive for Regularity When Creating Your Plan
Some company representatives become overeager with their content intentions. They think that creating as much as possible is the best approach, and then realize they’re trying to do more than they can handle. The ideal process is to figure out how much content you can comfortably produce regularly. Along with that, focus on the kinds of posts you can do well within the available budget.
It’s far better if people see one blog post each week or short social media posts each day rather than a flurry of content for a week or two, followed by days or weeks of nothing new. That’s because research shows people must see and interact with your brand 15 times before recognizing the name. Offering content regularly improves the audience’s experience because it sets expectations and proves you can uphold them.
6. Repurpose Your Content
Repurposing your existing content is an excellent practice to do on a budget because it reduces the time and money spent. You can make the most of your content by giving it a new life. If you went through a content audit as suggested earlier, now is a great time to refer to it and see what you can reuse.
For example, if there is a long blog post with several sections related to one theme, you might turn each section into a more in-depth post of its own. This approach saves you from coming up with a topic from scratch, and it means you can probably work faster due to expanding on existing ideas. Another option is to turn the content into a new format. If one of your blog posts performed exceptionally well, think about making a video based on it.
7. Work With Guest Bloggers
The internet is full of writers who would love to create content for your site in exchange for the exposure provided by a byline and bio. Relying on them could help you get more content for your site without hiring a team or finding time to write it within your already-stretched schedule. Creating a page on your website where you offer people the chance to write for you is a great start for spreading the word.
It’s also essential to create a style guide. Writers will then know to follow the same specifics about punctuation, word choices, tone, topics to avoid and more. Making a style guide should also drastically cut down on the time you take to review each piece before publishing it. You can create an incentive by mentioning that you’ll notice and give more writing opportunities to people who produce high-quality work according to the style guide.
8. Break Your Content Plan Into Time Blocks
Trying to plan your whole content schedule for the next few months or longer can quickly become overwhelming. However, it’s a smart thing to do. You can check that you’re providing the audience with an enticing mixture of content and not wasting your budget on stuff that’s too similar.
Start by determining what kind of content gets published and where each day, week and month. After that, assign responsibility for producing the posts if possible. That way, you’ll see where you stand as far as staffing needs and notice if certain content needs require help from guest contributors.
Planning Content Thoughtfully Gets Results
You may initially see your limited budget as a major obstacle. However, these eight suggestions will encourage you to work out how to produce and plan for content in methodical ways. You can keep your audience interested and help your company succeed regardless of how much money you spend.
Lexie is a digital nomad and graphic designer. If she’s not traveling to various parts of the country, you can find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.