Budget Boundaries: Killer Content Marketing When Money Is Tight
While today’s world of content marketing isn’t as Wild West lawless as it used to be, it’s still safe to say the spectrum of options is long and varied. Whether your internal team handles your content needs (blogs, copywriting, etc.), you scour Fiverr looking for the most qualified candidate for one-off jobs, or you invest part of your budget into quality content marketing from a professional outside source, you get what you pay for.
With that in mind, it’s still possible to create killer content on a budget regardless of your method, but you have to be focused on what matters most to your brand success.
Find the Right Content Type for Your Brand
Brands and businesses often cut their content marketing budget back because they’ve stretched content efforts through too many avenues. The myth of needing a Facebook page still hasn’t quite died, and business blogs with one or two articles from a decade ago can still be found, but smart brand owners know that some content types just aren’t going to work for their particular product or service.
When you’re on a budget, it’s crucial to find the most appropriate and effective content type for your brand—the best bang for your buck, as they say. Is that social media? Is it blogging? Video, infographics, or podcasts? It’s up to you to determine what your brand will benefit from most, and it’s important that you do the research to justify spending when you’re pinching content marketing pennies. You want to avoid bad, content-killing habits.
Quality vs. Quantity
Hand-in-hand with the right content type for your brand, be sure your focus is always on quality over an excess of poor content. That doesn’t mean you can’t Tweet out something informative and entertaining every hour if that’s what your target market craves, but some brands will benefit more from a long-form eBook or 2,500-word blog article if it hits the right notes with the appropriate target audience. Forbes even suggests that we’ll see greater content length extremes by 2020. No matter which way you go, you want quality content.
Smart budgeting can also determine the quality and how often you share content. Is there a greater return (short-term or long-term) if you have an employee dedicated to social media all day or if you hire a writer for a single blog article? The answer is always subjective, because different brands benefit from different forms of content marketing.
Link Building & Guest Blogging
Link building campaigns and guest blogging opportunities may be content marketing 101, but they’re still effective methods for generating high quality, inexpensive content. It helps if you’ve already established relationships with industry leaders, but you’d be surprised how far a professional content request can go when it finds the right hands. Get into the habit of guest blogging and accepting guest blogs to and from respectable sites with brands that hit home with your target market.
When done well, guest blogs and linked content can create organic site traffic opportunities that are much more valuable than expensive outsourcing.
Outsource When Necessary
Outsourcing content needs and campaign components isn’t a bad thing. In fact, if you hire the right people at the right price, outsourced work can save you time and money. We don’t recommend jumping on the Fiverr bandwagon, but it never hurts to shop around for experienced content marketers who know what they’re doing, know how to meet client needs, and can work within your budget constraints. That said, nothing hurts a professional relationship more than undervaluing your content creators, so realize that great content isn’t going to be cheap.
Remember the fast, good, cheap principle: You can have only two at the same time. If you want content that’s good and you want it fast, it won’t be cheap. If you want content cheap and fast, it’s not going to be good. Keep this in mind as you look to outsource content marketing needs.
Don’t Sacrifice Your Content
Never decide that content marketing isn’t going to work. Today, consumers are more savvy than ever, and they appreciate quality content from brands they trust. You want to be one of those brands. The last thing you need to do is take a misstep into Poor-Quality Content Town and jeopardize the trust and goodwill you’ve established with your target audience. That means never publish or market poor-quality content if there’s a chance it could hurt your brand. Instead, invest the necessary time and money to guarantee high quality content on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean every hour or even every day because remember that content marketing needs are subjective. It’s your job to find the balance needed to create killer content on a budget.
Andrew is a word wizard/content creator extraordinaire who considers himself a bit of a dabbler. From writing to reading, exercise, outdoor exploration, art, music, photography, and even a little existentialism, it’s all color on the creative palette.