While we’d all love to have an unlimited budget for content marketing, the reality is that most brands don’t start with an unrestricted spend. However, you don’t need an endless supply of funds to make your content marketing generate value. So, how can you promote content on a shoestring budget?
Let’s look at some proven ways to boost your content’s reach and influence, without breaking the bank.
Content Marketing Can Be Expensive
Although there’s no standard level of spending for “good” content, many enterprises opt to spend big on content development, content strategy, and content promotion. Some estimates put the cost at as much as $50,000 per month! And the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), the majority (57%) of content marketers said they would increase their budget in 2019.
So how can you possibly compete with the giants that have all this money to spend? Well, you don’t need to; this level of resources is not necessary to promote content well.
Content Marketing Fundamentals
There are several fundamental things you need to do internally before you get to the point of promotion. These components don’t necessarily cost a lot of money. Instead, it’s about organizing your efforts and using the resources you already have.
You already have access to subject matter experts (SMEs). These SMEs can provide you with great ideas and insights into your customer’s needs, enabling you to develop content that’s relevant and meaningful.
- Create an editorial calendar based on SME feedback and your own intel into what’s going on in your industry. With an editorial calendar, you’ll plan out topics and themes.
- Next, develop a content calendar, which is different to your editorial calendar. The editorial calendar is for conception. A content calendar includes all the details of how you’ll take ideas and develop them on the way to becoming ready-to-publish content.
- Provide your content team access to content analytics. With this data, they’ll be able to understand how content performs and opportunities to improve the next piece or leverage what’s already working.
With these foundational pieces of content marketing in place, it’s time to build a plan to promote content regularly.
Promoting Content on Little to No Budget
Content promotion isn’t only about generating website traffic; it’s also about engagement with your audience. While traffic is great, conversions are better. So, seek to improve this rate most of all.
Deliver High-Value Content
Promoting mediocre content will only get you so far, even if you have plenty of budget. If your content doesn’t tackle real challenges and deliver real answers, then it will likely fall flat with your audience. Thus, the ideas that make it onto your content calendar must provide high value to the reader.
When your content is killer, it’s much more likely to be consumed and shared — having a compelling title hook matters as well. In fact, only two out of 10 people will read past the headline. So, you need to grab from the get-go.
You need to ensure your content includes ideas and messages that are easy to grasp. Don’t weigh down your content with hard to understand language or concepts.
Use Email Marketing Strategically
Email marketing is still a strong channel for content marketing. However, developing email marketing campaigns to promote content isn’t always easy and can be time-consuming. Rely on automation to help you.
One of the simplest things you can do is to set up an email that leverages your website’s RSS feed to automatically send your subscribers new blog posts when they’re published. It’s a quick nudge to those who have opted-in that you’ve got something new to share.
You can also automate different emails based on the behavior of a prospect. For example, if they become a new subscriber, send them a “welcome” email that sets the tone for your relationship. It should be long on substance and short on salesy language.
Spice Up Content with Outstanding Visuals
There are many tools available to create outstanding visuals. Most of these tools are affordable and very straightforward to use, as well. So, if you don’t have a graphic designer on staff, you’re not going to be relegated to using subpar visuals.
Content that has impactful imagery is consumed at a much higher rate than content that does not. Humans are, after all, visual creatures. Adding professional visuals that help you tell the story or bring facts to life can significantly improve engagement.
Engage Your Target Audience in Nontraditional Channels
There are channels that you probably aren’t using right now, but your audience is seeking solutions here. There are social media groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that your target buyers are a part of, and where they often ask questions about how to solve their problems. Finding these groups, and posting educational content here, can improve your brand’s thought leadership position.
Another example of a nontraditional channel is Quora. There is tremendous traffic potential on this Q&A site! Users post questions, and others attempt to answer them. Look for relevant questions about your solution or industry, then post content that will provide value based on your findings. And if you don’t have content that matches these queries? Create some!
Be Consistent and Involved on Social Media
Simply using social media as a publishing channel isn’t enough. You must have a social media marketing strategy that focuses on consistent frequency, engagement and actions. And if you don’t have the budget for paid ads/boosts, then you’ll want to focus on regular organic engagement to inspire your followers to interact with your brand.
The more your followers feel engaged, the more likely they are to share your content, which expands your reach. You should post consistently and respond in near real-time to comments or questions. A few of our favorite, inexpensive tools include Quuu Promote and Revive Old Posts, an automated sharing plugin for WordPress.
You can get even more leverage from social media by joining groups where your buyers are participating, listen to any social media mentions and jump into relevant conversations, and use hashtags that make your content more discoverable based on popular, related keywords.
Content promotion doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. Focusing on these tips should improve your content’s reach and performance even without a huge investment. Want more tips on content marketing? Subscribe to the DivvyHQ blog today.