Limited budget for content marketing is commonplace among many small businesses.
While Coca-Cola’s ambitious Content 20/20 campaign serves as an excellent content marketing blueprint for major corporations, a campaign of the same magnitude likely isn’t in the cards for your small business. That’s not to say, however, that content marketing can’t still be effective.
The most important thing to consider, as a small business, is how to get more bang for your buck.
When determining how to approach content marketing for your small business, keep the following tips in mind.
Know your audience
Small businesses typically operate in niche areas. This inherently means that your target audience is seeking specific types of content.
Before you spend your entire marketing budget on content that doesn’t connect, talk to your customers and find out what they want to see.
To save a little money, collect customer names and email addresses at the point-of-sale. Compile a database of the info you collect and then use a free survey program to glean feedback as to the content they want to see.
I recommend the basic plan offered by SurveyMonkey. For zero dollars out of your pocket, you’ll be able to do the following:
- Create surveys with up to 10 questions
- Add descriptive text or images
- Receive up to 100 responses
- Use 3 collectors per survey
- Filter, compare or show (analyze rules) once per survey
100 responses should give you a good statistical sampling of your customer-base from which to gain insight. Take that insight and learn what types of content your customers want to see most.
Limiting the scope of your content marketing will not only help you connect better with your customers, it’ll help you save tons of cash that would otherwise be wasted on content that doesn’t resonate.
Understand your resources
Once you’ve got an idea of the type of content your customers want to see, it’s important that you understand what resources you have at your disposal.
Let’s say, for example, that your customers want to see infographics and blog articles. You’ll have to determine whether you’ve got that type of talent in house or whether it’ll be necessary to outsource.
Either option can work out in your favor.
If you’ve got a team of writers and graphic designers in house, by all means, use their talents. However, if you don’t have the budget to hire full-time or part-time team members to manage these tasks, outsourcing the work can be an affordable, effective option.
Hiring an agency or contractor to do the work can save you money by only requiring you to pay for the work you need done, rather than paying a salary, benefits and all that other stuff.
Make sure you ask for samples of work before you hire anyone. It’s important to know that the person or agency you hire knows what they’re doing. Anyone can say they do something well. Ask them to prove it.
Have a promotion plan
If never seen by its intended audience, the best content ever created is worthless. Don’t let this happen to you.
You’re budget is limited as it is, so it’s important that every piece of your content serves its intended purpose.
Try these effective, affordable methods of promoting your content:
- Collaborate with your stakeholders, employees, suppliers and others to share each other’s social media posts to gain more traction
- Write a blog article summarizing the content you’ve created
- Use a free version of a service like MailChimp to email the content to your customer-base in the form of a newsletter
- Create a contest where customers are entered in a drawing to receive a gift card or other prize for sharing your content
These are just a few ways you can promote your content without dipping deeper into your budget.
The above tips will help you save money and be successful in your content marketing.
Remember, just because you don’t have the budget of a major corporation doesn’t mean you can’t do content marketing effectively. As these tactics take hold, and your content begins to circulate, the additional revenue you’ll generate will allow you to increase your content marketing budget each year.
So start here, and then plan accordingly as you begin to see success from your efforts. Please feel free to share examples of small business marketing that you love in the comments section below.
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