You know that you need to create great content to compete, but you just don’t have the resources. Sound familiar? Then you’ll be happy to know that content marketing is possible, even on a shoestring budget.
In fact, sometimes you’ll even end up with better content by hacking things and taking the creative approach instead of shelling out top dollar on an elaborate marketing campaign.
Keep reading to discover seven powerful hacks for content marketing on a budget.
1. Turn customer service emails into blog posts
One of the easiest content marketing tips you can use to drive more traffic is to publish content you already have – and might not even realize you have.
How many times have you written long how- to emails to customers, helping them troubleshoot specific problems? With a small amount of editing to add an introduction and conclusion, those emails could all become blog posts!
2. Recycle & revitalize your content
No, I don’t mean toss it in the wastebasket! Think of your “greatest hits,” your best-performing blog posts. If those topics were so successful, chances are, they’d also do well as slide decks, videos, or newsletter content.
Is any of your content tied to a certain year, or has it been made irrelevant by recent changes in the industry? Particularly, has any of this content done well in the past but seen wavering traffic in recent times?
If so, a little TLC could make for a great, up-to-date resource again. Once you update the content, share it out via your newsletter and social platforms to let people know about the new updates.
For a more in-depth look at how to refresh content, check out our helpful tips here.
3. Consider outsourcing your content creation
If effective content marketing feels out of reach not just because of the cost, but because of a lack of time, it would be wise to consider outsourcing your content creation.
I know what you’re thinking: outsourcing costs money. However, if you find the right freelancer, you may find that the benefits of getting more content out at a higher frequency balances out the cost – and serve to convince the powers that be to increase your marketing budget.
4. Create curated resource lists
People love lists. There’s just something about of intrigue they generate combined with the way our brains like to organize information that makes a good list post so clickable, so shareable.
A curated resource list is even easier – you are literally just filling a post with information sourced from a variety of experts, and linking back to where you found it. In some cases, you barely need to write anything original at all, though I would recommend you write at least an introduction and conclusion.
Here are just a few ideas for curated resource lists to get you started:
- The biggest influencers in your industry to follow on Twitter.
- The best quotes about your topic.
- The most surprising statistics about your industry.
- The best articles – this week, this month, or all-time.
- The best video content, slide decks, or infographics.
- A news round-up of your industry – check out ours.
Those are just a few ideas – there are so many more to choose from.
Curated lists are great for earning shares and mentions from industry leaders. The more items in the list, the better. Source: Campaign Monitor.
Want to take this content marketing hack even further? Contact each industry expert, company, or other resource you mention in the post. If you’re lucky (and you ask nicely), they might decide to share it or even link to it from their own website.
And curated content lists aren’t the only content marketing trends you can hop on with limited resources.
5. Earn more high-quality links
Are you creating awesome content and just not enough people are seeing it? You might just need more high-quality links pointing to it.
Search engines like Google use links as a signifier of trust. The more trust you’ve earned to your website and to particular pages, the higher you will rank for relevant terms. This can happen naturally, especially if your content is already ranking, but sometimes you need to give it a little push to get started.
Reach out to websites that have created related content and suggest that they link to your resource, which goes really into depth on a particular point they’ve made. Or, find an outdated or less in-depth piece of content about your topic that has earned a lot of links, and reach out to the websites linking to it to suggest they update the link to your new, up-to-date guide.
6. Optimize for search engines
Some of these hacks are great for quick wins, but if you want to make it in the long term with content marketing on a budget, you have to think about SEO.
You could write a book about all the ways you can optimize your content (and believe me, people have), but the essentials are pretty basic and easy to apply, whatever the situation. Always have a target keyword phrase in mind for every post, and weave this phrase into the copy several times, including the headline, first paragraph, conclusion, and a subheading if possible.
Link related pieces of content on your own site together, so search engines (and people!) can easily make their way between similar articles.
If you use WordPress, consider installing an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO for further advice customized to your content. If you want some tips from an influencer in this area, we recommend you look to Brian Dean at backlinko.
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that gives SEO suggestions based on traffic signals. Source: WP Engine.
7. Give something away
People love free stuff. Although this hack does require giving away some products, if you promote your giveaway in the right places you will drum up more than enough buzz to make up for the cost of the prize.
For best results, give away something that is specifically of interest to your target audience. A $500 Amazon gift card is an incredible prize, but there’s no focus there to ensure that you are only reaching the audience you want to reach.
Try reaching out to influencers in your industry before your giveaway to see if the prize would pique their interest and if they would be willing to share it with their own followers. The term “influencer” might get your budgeting hackles up, but bear in mind that micro-influencers are actually highly effective–and obviously much less expensive–than the big names in your industry.
Don’t let a lack of resources hold you back. Great content marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, especially if you can make every penny count. With a little creativity, hard work, and strategic thinking, you can create content that goes above and beyond for a fraction of the cost an agency might charge you.