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Elena Terenteva

Content Marketing On A Budget #semrushchat

Elena Terenteva
Content Marketing On A Budget #semrushchat

Content is the most significant part of any marketing activity – it drives new leads, builds relationships and allows you to establish and share your brand. Yet often it happens that lack of budget prevents small companies from developing and implementing a strong content strategy.

In our latest Twitter chat, we wanted to learn how to create compelling content while keeping a company’s budget in mind. Let’s look at some money-saving tips for content marketers, advice on outsourcing, automation of some content processes and much more with our participants and special guest, content marketing consultant Brian Honigman, CEO of Honigman Media.

Bare content marketing minimum

Every business, however limited its resources are, wants to implement its content marketing strategy with the most success possible. Let's find out what the very minimum is for a successful start.

In the first place a business needs a platform to place the most important information about the company. “Product/services page and contact us/location page are the content essentials for small business” - Steve Hill ‏@epiclysteve. The best choice is a well-optimized website with quality content.

Another way to carry out your content strategy is to start a blog, which could either serve as an alternative to your website or an addition. A thoughtful blog with targeted and frequently updated content drives constant traffic and keeps your audience coming back.

Whatever means you choose for posting and distributing your content, an effective strategy starts with researching and understanding your audience and planning content that will resonate with them. As Denise Vereker ‏@DeniseVereker advises, "know what your audience wants to read about. No point writing about something they are not going to read.” 

Who are your target personas? What are their main concerns and pains? Provide them with help – start an FAQ section, provide comprehensive guides and create content that answers their questions and deals with their most common problems.

To learn more about planning your content marketing budget, check out this article shared by Brian Honigman ‏@BrianHonigman: How Much Should Your Content Marketing Really Cost.The bare minimum for content marketing Content distribution strategies Social media is deservedly considered the most powerful promotional channel. But what if your company doesn’t have enough followers to distribute content efficiently through social networks? There are plenty of websites that you can use to deliver your content to people who might be interested in it. As Reva Minkoff ‏@revaminkoff  advices: “Use sites that have existing audiences like @reddit and other content-based sites.”

A good way to reach your potential customers is to find out where they hang out online and interact with them via Twitter chats, forums, etc. Guest blogging on niche blogs is another solution, provided that you post quality, useful content.

You can also reach your audience through email marketing strategy and newsletters.

Collaborate with industry influencers that can distribute your content with their audiences. Interviews with experts, guest posts and webinars with expert guests are all perfect opportunities to engage influencers in content creation. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean a lengthy interview – almost any piece of content can be enriched with small quotes, tips and advice from relevant influencers.

You can develop a partnership on mutually beneficial terms not only with influencers but with other businesses: “They can share your blogs & you can give their customers special discounts (or some trade)” - Diana Mackie ‏@Diana_at_Work.

And don’t forget about your own company’s employees:

Content distribution strategies

Outsourcing content marketing processes

Doing everything on your own is hard. And sometimes, due to a lack of time, resources or knowledge, we have to outsource part of our working processes.

Not everyone is a talented writer, so in certain cases it would be wise to entrust creative writing to professionals, if you want quality content.” Content is better written by a real copywriter than most business owners.” - Express Writers @ExpWriters.

The same goes for graphics – visuals are more likely to catch the user’s eye and lead to more engagement when they’re created by professionals.

Whatever tasks you outsource to specialists, make sure you hire real professionals and always check quality.

Content marketing processes to outsource

Marketing automation software

According to our participants, content marketing automation in some processes is absolutely essential, as it allows you to devote more time and energy to tasks that need your attention and direct participation.

“Automation should allow you to be both productive and efficient, but it's important to always consider which steps to automate,” as Kairay Media ‏@KairayMedia points out. So what are the processes that can and should be automated?

Automating lead nurturing is a winning strategy especially for small businesses.

Here are some examples of marketing automation software that our Twitter chat participants recommend using:

Yet it would be a mistake to rely fully on automation forgetting that “marketing automation isn’t a robot to be left alone & manage your content marketing, more so a partner in your success.” - Brian Honigman ‏@BrianHonigman.

What’s more, automation in some processes brings much more harm than benefits. Avoid automation in any processes that need any kind of personalization.

Content marketing automation

Low-cost content marketing ideas

Now let’s consider a real-life example – a local automobile tire shop with a limited budget is planning its content strategy. What are the main steps to building a low-cost marketing campaign?

Start by finding out what your potential customers are looking for and what they want to know and “create content around these topics to address customers” - Brian Honigman ‏@BrianHonigman. Here is an example:

Publishing a variety of educational materials is a safe bet. Create different how-tos; upload short and engaging DIY videos that can spread like viral content. Give advice on how to pick the right tires, how to replace or maintain them, and so on. 

Offering useful teaching materials is not the only way to reach your audience – try creating something fun and catchy!

Brian Honigman ‏@BrianHonigman suggests “focusing on localized content as well, since local community is critical to a tire shop”. It’s always much easier to win the battle on the local field rather than trying to conquer the global one. Optimize your content, take part in local events, and list your company in local directories.

Another tip is to start a small PPC campaign:

Here are some suggestions for a marketing campaign plan:

Content marketing ideas for a local automobile tire shop Money-saving tips for small business content marketers  

Money-saving tips for content marketers

Elena Terenteva, Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush.

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