How to create a content strategy with a limited budget

content marketing strategy

It happens even to large organisations that they don’t have enough funds to invest in content marketing. A limited budget, however, doesn’t have to mean a flawed or weak strategy. You can be in charge of this aspect even with a small amount of money.

Below we discuss the ways to achieve that – to ensure proper content creation and distribution when you lack a big company’s budget.

Small budget content marketing – a paradox?

Our experience has taught us that small business marketing can work very well with just a smart online content strategy and a modest budget. It’s not a paradox. It doesn’t always take heaps of money to make it work. When you completely outsource this task to a professional firm, you firstly gain loads of time for other business operations. Plus, you can discuss the costs in advance, and thus you know where you’re standing. As you no longer have to do that work yourself, there will be no more editorial calendars, no more SEO work, writer selection, writer changes and so on. You will also be free to control the costs by choosing how much will be done: from one or two posts per week to an entire strategy containing promotional campaigns, guest posting, social media, link building, etc.

The main rule of content creation regardless of business level

There is one thing that online businesses should never ignore, regardless of their size and ambitions. The basic rule is never to be boring. Boredom is the number one factor that chases readers away. Boring content is disappointing. It doesn’t matter whether you have a rich blog or just a few phrases here and there. You must make it creative and catchy. This is why so many small businesses hire content professionals to work for them. They are aware of the impact of compelling, well-written text with a helpful, intriguing, entertaining, high-value message.

What is the cost of content marketing?

To some businesses, such service may seem expensive. Is it really worth the money? Can it be made cheaper? The answer is usually yes for both. Content marketing is, after all, quickly growing as a business – because it’s needed and it works. Its incredible rise from one year to another indicates its valuable contribution to online success. Professionals involved in this strive to create truly useful content adapted to whichever niche the client represents. This takes a considerable amount of skill and previous work experience. They not only create but also distribute content to the main places on the web. The process also involves different stages in the beginning, such as keyword research, market and competitor analysis. It all takes time and can be the congruent efforts of various professionals. It is also possible to have a one-member “team” to do all the work. In any case, these are the reasons why it cannot be too cheap. In the end, though, you know you have top-notch content, written by specialists who’ve done this before and helped other businesses grow. If you look at their portfolio, you may instantly be convinced that the service is good for you.

Successful content marketing on a small budget

Content creation and marketing is not just about promoting a business. It empowers a brand and builds a rapport with the public, gathering leads and turning these into customers. It is a way to engage the crowds – or some very targeted demographics. It builds up your brand, reinforces it and makes it more engaging. Begin with a very simple content audit to find out where you stand: your strengths, weaknesses and best areas of improvement. It will offer you guidance on what to keep, what to delete or to update. Besides, you will identify the channels that work best instead of going for all of the existing ones. For example, not every social media platform will create results for you; learn to focus only on that which is relevant. Stay within only what you can manage. It’s best to opt for a platform you can easily handle instead of a popular but complicated one, with which you won’t be able to keep up. If you try to maintain a presence on every channel, you risk becoming exhausted and completely neglecting some of these. To avoid making your schedule an infernal or impossible one, it is vital to note the importance of a content creation team. You may outsource the work to people you don’t know, but then you might be forced to change the person again and again. Collaborating with a content team implies a long-term commitment; they become familiar with your business, can track its progress and continuously improve its strategy.

How to do more with less

Help yourself by understanding what you can do in order to simplify your mission and have better content with a smaller expenditure:

  • Identify the types of content you need. Research the market and figure out the best forms of content that help sell in your industry. You may also look at what your competitors are doing. Stick only to what provides results.
  • Define a highly targeted audience (your local community, a particular age group, gender, a range of professionals, a subculture, etc.).
  • Start a Pay-Per-Click campaign. This way, you won’t be wasting money. PPC means you only need to pay for any click that takes the viewer to your site.
  • Do a thorough keyword research. This will help you focus your efforts on a very specific target. If you know which keywords draw more traffic, or which are more relevant and easier to work with, then you can create content around these and stop wasting resources on many but irrelevant keywords.

When working with a digital agency or with professional content creators, these steps will usually be included in their work.

Defining your objectives and targets

What do you want to achieve? Whom are you writing for? Two essential questions that will dictate the type of content, the platform, the tone. Have a well-defined target audience and begin to engage it on a constant basis. Don’t attempt to speak for everyone and find a tone or topic that’s universally seductive – you won’t succeed. It’s best to select your audience group and write for them only. Then, your primary goal should be to understand their needs and what motivates them. When your content reflects that and responds to the challenges they face, it starts to get traffic.

How to lower the costs of content creation and marketing

To bring down the costs of such services, you can start by focusing on this aspect: create a blog section on your website and plan to post one new piece of content every week. This is a basic and lucrative method that anyone can implement. Hire a professional to cater to this blog on a weekly basis. A bigger content marketing plan can be so complex it’s downright intimidating. This is why so many give up on it. You may start with a bare minimum, though. Don’t create a separate blog with a new domain, however; just keep it on your website, under the same domain. Just create a new page titled and formatted as a blog. A content writer may create the blog posts for you, which is the minimal investment you can make. Be aware that these posts aren’t just to fill the space or match with some keywords. Crafting blog content requires refined skills. It means generating engaging, informative, unique, outstanding articles that benefit your readers. These need to speak, at a more or less subtle level, about your expertise, your business prowess, the quality of your products and services and so on. It’s like subtle promotional work.

Conclusion and advice

Content marketing on a budget is beneficial especially to startups. It usually is what takes a business from zero to a market sensation, to a strong brand with local or worldwide recognition. Start small and don’t worry about it. Once it begins to work its magic, you eventually come to notice you can allow a bigger budget for this. Not being able to afford content marketing at all can easily mean losing any chance at success on the Internet. Sure, investing in it may feel tricky at first, because you can’t know what the results will be. But once you begin to see those, it starts to make much more sense.

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