Content and SEO are equally as important… But which do you start with? We asked 60+ experts to share the strategy they prioritize—and why.
Content Marketing | Jun 25
Jessica Malnik on November 16, 2020 (last modified on November 17, 2020) • 38 minute read
I’ll get straight to the point with this one.
Many times, growing your brand’s presence through content marketing can feel like an uphill battle, especially if you’re low on cash.
However, this doesn’t mean you should stop doing content marketing.
You see, the beauty of content marketing is that your investment is based on time rather than cash. Even if you are on a shoestring budget, with the right strategy in place, and our actionable tips, you can set the stage for a booming business.
Are you ready to learn how to do content marketing on a budget? Let’s dive in.
There is no one-size-fits-all budget for content marketing. While some companies invest millions of dollars building out an entire media company within their organization, others leverage their existing team and resources and do everything in-house on the cheap.
However, when you are on a budget, it brings some unique challenges. Among our contributors, the hardest part of running content on a budget is scaling publishing frequency, maintaining a high-quality standard, and hiring writers.
While there is no one-size-fits-approach, a good rule of thumb is to spend roughly 5-7% of your revenue on marketing if you are doing less than $5 million in annual revenue.
If you plan to delegate out any of the content creation (i.e., writing, video production, etc.), you tend to get what you pay for.
For example, there can be a big difference in content quality between a $30 blog writer and a $300 writer.
Now let’s dive into 44 actionable tips provided by nearly 70 content marketing experts.
“Focus is paramount,” says Paul Burke of SimpleSlides.co. “When you don’t have a ton of money to invest in marketing, you’re better off focusing on doing one thing really well – whether that be blogs, YouTube videos, or even TikToks. Find that one lane you can dominate until you have more money to diversify channels.”
Carla Diaz of Broadband Search says, “When you have a lot to spend, you can broaden where you use that budget, but when you don’t have a lot of leeways, you need to focus your efforts specifically on where it’ll work best for you.
For example, you might need to focus on one specific social media platform rather than spreading your efforts over multiple because that might be where your target audience is most likely to interact with your brand.”
Nikola Roza of Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined adds, “Don’t make a mistake of trying to be everywhere at once.
Being everywhere is a strategy reserved for big brands with big staff (HubSpot is a prime example of such behemoths). But if you try to copy them with your limited budget, you’ll spread yourself too thin, and you won’t get the results you want.
Instead, focus on one thing and master it completely.
And the sign that you’ve mastered it is when you’re getting wild success with it.”
“Look for leverage,” says Alex Birkett of Omniscient Digital. “This is something companies with big budgets should also do, but for scrappy players, it’s imperative.
No, not everyone can hire a full team of SEOs, writers, and designers to publish high-quality content with high frequency.
However, when I’m strapped for time and money, I look for where I can get the most bang for my buck. With content, that’s typically done with repurposing.
So, for example, one could spend 30-60 minutes recording an interview or monologue (and post it to YouTube or a podcast), and then hire a freelancer to turn that into a blog post (using tools like Clearscope to optimize for SEO), and then further distribute on social platforms and directories. You drastically decrease the cost of content while extending its potential reach.”
“No matter how much bandwidth or budget you have for content marketing, be sure you’re always spending about half of it on optimization,” says Andrew Siskind of Salted Stone. “A well-managed ongoing optimization process lets you significantly increase the LTV of the content you’ve already invested in creating.”
“Repurpose,” says Jacqueline Crane of Relic Agency. “Content doesn’t have to be written and used once; create content that can be broken down into various pieces, used in multiple other mediums, and reused in multiple ways to create numerous messages for your audience.”
Kinga Edwards of Brainy Bees says, “Instead of investing in creating more and more content that nobody really reads, invest in content repurposing and redistribution. Take a look at what you’ve recently published and identify a few forms that you could make of it – be it a podcast, short video, a series of social media posts. Recognize some new platforms and ways of reaching your target audience. You may be surprised how much you can get done without putting another dime in the jukebox!”
Anu Ramani of Isoline Communications adds, “Think of atomizing long-form content like white papers into blogs, videos, and social assets, revisit and update older, outdated pieces, turn prose content into graphics.”
Chris Wilks of BrandExtract agrees, “Look for opportunities to repurpose content. A podcast is great, but if you can transcribe and edit it, it also becomes an article and a few social posts.”
There are countless ways to repurpose and remix existing content. Here are a handful of examples.
“Record a video podcast and get the transcript,” says Kyle Smith of BrandExtract. “You’ll have a podcast, bite-size pieces of video content, and a future blog post all from a single investment of time. Spend 50% of your energy creating great content and 50% on repurposing it to increase its visibility.”
Lachlan Kirkwood of ClickThrough says, “If you’ve recorded a 3-minute video, it’s possible to repurpose some of the key takeaways as shorter video snippets, quote image posts, or even as bite-sized podcast episodes.
This allows you to get more out of the original work without having to create new content constantly.”
Andrew Ruditser of Maxburst adds, “One way we repurpose our content is through our blog posts. It is important to take advantage of old blog posts by updating their keywords and content, so Google continues to rank them. If your blog posts are too outdated, they will go unnoticed by Google and your users.
Updating blogs with newer/updated information gives you the opportunity to re-share posts that you know already interests your users without starting from scratch. Using repurposed content within your content campaign can help you generate traffic and increase your conversions without paying a price.”
This strategy doesn’t just work for short-form videos and podcasts. It can also work well for webinars.
Spencer Grover of LevelJump says, “That one webinar/podcast episode should net you 2-3 blog posts, 4-5 social video posts, a SlideShare deck, and a LinkedIn carousel post — all of which can be repurposed into paid advertising.”
Another popular format to repurpose is blog posts and emails.
Chelsea Baldwin of Business Bitch, LLC, says, “Turn that super-engaging part of your email newsletter into a blog post.
Take the script from a how-to video, and turn it into a multi-email freebie “course” for a lead magnet.
Use an inexpensive tool like Recurpost or MeetEdgar to shuffle through your content for you, so you’re not constantly spending time updating a Buffer queue or creating new content: because you’re getting WAY more shelf life out of your old stuff.
Take written testimonials, and make a visual version of them to share.
Re-send a great email from two years ago that your audience loved. (Yes, it really is okay to do that… most people won’t remember, you’ll have plenty of new people, and even the people who do remember you love you enough not to mind!)
Take information from a podcast interview, and turn it into 2-3 relevant blog posts.
You’d be shocked at the kind of stuff you can create (& how effective it is) when you start thinking with a repurposing mindset, and it’s SO MUCH CHEAPER than creating everything from scratch!”
Nate Rodriguez of LIFTOFF Digital says, “Create each article with a specific keyword in mind. Don’t wait till after the article is created to optimize it for SEO. It won’t work that way. Instead, start with data-driven keyword research to find suitable keywords, then and only then pick one keyword from your list and create an article to rank for that specific keyword.”
Tyler Tafelsky adds, “While I always bake SEO into the content marketing programs I run, this premise alone can help propel success organically and requires little investment outside of the cost to develop the content. Leveraging keyword data and search trends to help instruct content marketing programs is an effective best practice to get the most from your efforts with little to no budget.”
“Taking advantage of free tools can help you to produce successful, data-led content marketing on a budget,” says Rachel Handley of Glass Digital.
“Answer the Public uses autocomplete data from search engines like Google to show informational queries related to any given keyword. This means that you can identify questions that your potential customers are asking and then produce content that answers them. In many cases, because the keywords are so niche and specific, there’s very low competition in ranking.
AlsoAsked.com provides similar insights by scraping ‘People Also Asked’ boxes on Google search results pages. Helpfully, these questions are grouped by topic, which can help you produce more in-depth informational content.
The Keywords Everywhere browser extension provides ‘People Also Search For’ information whenever you search in Google. This can help find informational queries that aren’t phrased as questions and provide content inspiration when you aren’t necessarily looking for it.
Producing trend-led content is another great way to gain a competitive edge on a low budget, and there are lots of free tools to help you identify hot topics before your rivals. I’d recommend bookmarking the Google Daily Search Trends page, as well as using the tool to regularly search for ‘Rising’ topics related to your business. Exploding Topics and Search Trends by SEO Monitor can also help you to identify growing keywords and start producing relevant content before anyone else.”
Related: The 38 Best Content Marketing Tools
“Being a successful content marketer doesn’t mean you’ve got a big budget,” says Casey Crane of The SSL Store. “You can use the tools you already have to your advantage. For example, if you’re using WordPress for your blog, create strong, targeted content that solves customer pain points. There, you can create new content and manage, update, and reoptimize old content.
You can use your smartphone to create short, engaging videos that provide value to your customers. These videos can be shared not only on your blog but also on your social media channels and general website. The only thing this will really cost you is your time.”
Elizabeth Weatherby of CSI Financial Group adds, “When you break down your business granularly, you’ll see that you can utilize what you have on a whole new level.
When you really dig deep into your business and your assets, you’ll find that you can highlight employees, office happenings, strategies, upcoming updates, relationships, and connections in your content output. Users love authentic, engaging content that provides value and peaks interest. Sometimes giving your consumers a peek into your business, and your brand values can go such a long way when it comes to producing content for your organization.”
“If this is your first time running a content marketing campaign, and you’re trying to show real ROI on your small budget, then I would suggest you turn to your sales team for inspiration,” says Tim Stobierski of Pepperland Marketing.
“What are the questions they find their prospects and leads asking for time and time again? What answers do they find themselves repeating dozens of times a week — or day? These questions are the perfect basis of your first content marketing campaign. By simply asking Sales, you’ll have everything you need to write content about a topic that you KNOW your prospects care about and that you KNOW can quickly lead to revenue because they reduce friction in the sales process.
Similarly, if your sales team has already answered this question multiple times by email, pamphlet, or some other format, then you’ve already likely got a solid base for the content itself, meaning you can turn it around quickly yourself and get it working for you, without needing to spend money or time hiring outside writers.
Once you’ve shown this initial ROI, it should become much easier to justify a real budget that would allow you to target more awareness stage keywords that could lead to substantial growth over time.”
AJ Alonzo of demandDrive adds, “The reps you have on the front lines generate a ton of information to inform your content strategy. Whether it be competitive intelligence, buyer sentiment, new pains & challenges, etc. – your SDRs have conversations on a daily basis that can help you create content that speaks to your audience. Use it!
The marketing team should be meeting with sales (and sales development) regularly to talk through these trends and come up with content ideas that address them.
This is all about establishing a tight process (which is free!). Uncover trends/insights, set up a communication channel between sales <> marketing, and create content based on those trends/insights.
Your audience wants to read/watch/listen to content that helps them address problems and overcome challenges. Don’t guess what those challenges are – listen to the team uncovering them and use it to your advantage.
Bonus tip: help your SDRs create their own content! They have all of this information at their disposal, and if you work with them to create content from the SDR point of view, you add another content channel to your arsenal. If you manage them well, it’ll be like running a team of mini-marketers.”
“Video doesn’t have to be slick,” says Autumn Sullivan of Mobilization Funding. “It has to be helpful. We record our CEO answering long-tail keyword queries and load them onto YouTube. We put the transcripts and videos on our blog for an SEO bonus, but the videos are the magic. They aren’t highly polished, but they are highly helpful for our audience. They are a great, low-cost lead generating tactic.”
“To create a killer content marketing strategy for your SEO, you have to start building more complex content structures in the form of topic clusters,” says Seth Skversky of LSEO. “A topic cluster is a hierarchy of content that is focused on one general subject. It summarizes the subject while calling attention to various subtopics associated with the main idea.
It’s worth mentioning that the topic cluster model of SEO content is a relatively new institution. Digital marketers have always had to adapt to how they work as Google gets smarter. Topic clusters are essentially the latest iteration of those adaptations for SEO content.”
“Your first focus should be all about getting traction, and that comes down to focusing on long-tail keywords (when it comes to blogging and YouTube marketing),” says James Canzanella of IM Nights.
“These are the terms that usually show up as having 0-10 searches per month, but usually come with a lot more traffic than that. Starting with terms like this will allow you to snow-ball your traffic and success where you’ll have a great platform to build up from.”
“One piece of advice I’d give to other marketing teams for running a successful content marketing program on a tight budget is to think outside of the box,” says Andrew Becks of Agency 301 Digital Media. “Rather than spending big money on niche content marketing placements, focus on creating authentic content that provides utility to your end-users, and with the right effort, you’ll find that a little budget goes a long way as users begin sharing your content organically, delivering earned media returns on top of your paid marketing efforts.”
“Play to the strengths of your team,” says Brent Sirvio of Impressa Solutions. “If your writers know a particular subject or audience, unleash that writer to channel their experience and insight; then, stay out of the way until it’s time to review and edit.
Know your client’s needs, and know what your content team can do.
A great team that specializes in, say, finance may not be so effective when discussing pharmaceuticals. It doesn’t mean they’re not a good team, borrowing from Herb Brooks, it means they’re not the right team.
While versatility is required to play the content game, not being intentional on both subject matter and team proficiencies just about guarantees inefficiency and cost overruns.”
“One of the best ways to consistently produce high-quality content on a tight budget is to standardize your content and use templates,” says Bruce Hogan of SoftwarePundit. “Whether for social media graphics or long-form blog articles, using templates streamlines operations and eliminates guesswork, which saves time and allows you to produce more with less.”
“Leverage your network to bring on quality and relevant guest posters,” says Hiba Amin of Soapbox. “As a team of one, it’s hard to produce great content pieces on my own consistently. Over the past year, I’ve met and built incredible relationships with other content marketers in the leadership and productivity space. So, instead of putting the pressure entirely on myself to write content, I use stricter guest post guidelines and invite other marketers to publish on our website.
Not only does this help strengthen our relationship, but it also strengthens the content engine at Soapbox. That’s because we’ll:
Michelle Devani of Lovedevani says, “Being aware of who you are providing services or products does not need a lot of resources. Providing relatable and valuable content for your audience can help you run a successful program without stretching your budget.”
“When choosing blog topics to write, target niche topics that are specific to your buying persona,” adds Jakub Rudnik of Shortlister. “Of course, you want to write the pillar page with massive search volume that ranks No. 1. But the time and effort to make it work, likely against many bigger competitors, won’t be a good use of your budget. Answer the questions that will be most beneficial to your buyers, even if there’s little search volume. The people that do find you will be high converting.”
Patrick Whatman of Spendesk says, “If the budget really is tight, it’s vital that you’re laser-focused on your buyers and what they need to know. I always advise people to start by answering this question: what’s the one thing that every prospective buyer should read to convince them to buy? If you have multiple use cases, start with the most urgent and highest value. If you have multiple personas, do the same.
Write that article, recognizing that it might not be a big win on Google or social. And then think about other content that will bring people to that piece of content.
It’s essentially starting with the Decision stage of the funnel and then working backward. It’s always tempting to start with Awareness because you can attack it from so many different angles. But once you know the decision point you want everyone to go through, you can steer your other content in that direction, and you’re confident that your pieces are helping the mission.
This also prevents you from tackling whole topic clusters or use cases that don’t really help the business. Keep it lean, to begin with.”
“Make sure you know exactly what you want to achieve with each piece of content you create,” says Ronit Levy of Simple SEO Systems. “This way, you can split up time and resources in a way that gets you the biggest return on your investment.”
“Study what your competition is doing,” says Melanie Musson of TexasCarInsurancePros.com. “Their successes can help you come up with a marketing plan without investing heavily in research. As your marketing plan starts paying off, you’ll be able to spend more on independent research, but you can get a good start by producing content on the same subjects as your competition.”
“Publishing content is just not enough,” says Paul Ronto of RunRepeat. “You have to get links to it for it to truly help your business. This doesn’t mean paying to promote it on social. This means doing outreach manually to get people to link and share your piece. This requires no budget and just time. It’s not easy, but it’s the number one thing you can do to help your content perform better. Find other sites that your content would be a good resource for and pitch it day and night!”
In fact, Michelle Tresemer of TGroup Marketing Method says, “Spend 20% of your time creating the content and 80% distributing it. You can do a lot more with your time by repurposing and distributing your content than by creating net new material.”
“The best thing marketing teams can do to run a successful content marketing program on a tight budget is to tap into the current employees of the company to not only help with the ideation around topics but to also contribute content themselves,” says David Haar of Hubbard Radio Phoenix + 2060 Digital. “Many will say they don’t have the time or the skill set to contribute to the company’s content, but it can be done, and I’ve seen it done incredibly well!
If the company embraces, rewards, and encourages this participation by the entire team to contribute content, great content will be generated. The people within the company know the products and services better than anyone else, and with some guidance and assistance, everyone can create content that will be seen as authoritative, helpful, and useful and will play a big role in the overall content marketing program.”
“Focus your efforts on living content pieces,” says Henry O’Loughlin of Buildremote. “These are ones that you can constantly update over time, so they’ll be improving each week without much effort. Companies with bigger budgets are more likely to write an article, have it rank, and then leave it alone. If you write an article on the same topic and constantly add to it, you’ll have a chance to outrank them over time.
This is my core strategy right now. Here is an example of a living content piece about companies going remote as a result of COVID. For the target keyword, it outranks CNN and NPR on page one of Google (without a budget and low page authority).”
“Focus on maximizing the reach of your content once it’s published,” says Kyle Vamvouris of Vouris. “Content Marketers get trapped, focusing on the next piece and tend to neglect existing pieces. Leverage free distribution channels like LinkedIn, Facebook Groups, and Reddit. Use these channels often to promote past content before moving on to the next piece (where a lot of the cost is).”
“You need a content plan,” says Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging. “Go to Google Analytics. Under Look at Interests. This tells you the interests of your visitors. These are the topics you want to create new content about. Then, put those topics into a keyword research tool to ensure the number of monthly visitors is large, and the online competition for readership is small. You could look at sites like Exploding Topics, Google Trends, and Twitter to also make sure you are writing about topics of interest. Follow these free content marketing tips to boost your traffic.”
”Do exactly what Databox does,” says Johan Hajji of Upperkey. “Get as many insights and quotes as possible. Do expert roundups. This will help you to save time and ultimately money if you’re on a budget. This is a brilliant idea we are using now in the proptech industry.”
Datis Mohsenipour of HeyOrca adds, “The Databox team is masterful at this, so I’m sure they’ve got a ton of info they’ll share here. But crowdsourcing comes with so many benefits:
Tools like HARO and Qwoted will help you get the ball rolling on this one (for free).”
“Never compromise quality in the name of quantity,” says Ali Schroeder of Vye. “If your budget means you can write one really, really compelling piece of content or 10 pieces that might just fulfill a quota, always choose the former. Once you’ve created your single piece of content, there are many ways to repurpose it into other content to spread out its efficacy and intent.”
Umer Usman of Pumpkin Pet Insurance. agrees, “Having a tight budget should not limit you from content marketing success as long as you focus on quality over quantity. Instead of trying to create 50 good pieces of content, create 10 excellent, best-in-class content pieces.”
Muhammad Mateen Khan of PureVPN adds, ”One major source of wasted money is a failure to maximize the results from each piece of content. Marketers see successful bloggers posting 3-5 times a week and assume that they should too.
However, if you don’t have the budget to publish 3-5 great pieces of content, it’s pointless. You’ll end up publishing 3-5 okay posts instead.
Growth from content marketing comes from quality, not quantity. Each post should be as valuable as possible. You’re better off publishing one absolutely amazing piece of content per month than publishing 30 mediocre posts. If you can publish more than one great post—fantastic! But always start with quality.
A great example of this is Brian Dean at Backlinko. He’s been going for years now. On average, that works out to about one post a month. He’s also built a 6-figure business from it. How? Because every single post is amazing. Quality will always win.
But be smart, remember the 80/20 rule: When you’re dealing with a small budget, it’s always about getting the most bang for your buck.
In this case, it’s possible to take “high quality” too far.
The 80/20 rule says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts.
In this case, it means that 80% of the value of your content will come from 20% of the effort you put into creating it.
The main takeaway from this principle is that each extra bit of effort has diminishing results. By the time you’ve put in a solid amount of effort (say 80-90%) of what you’re capable of, you’ve pretty much maxed out the level of quality that you can get from a piece of content.
Resist the urge to go overboard by doing things like:
If you do those things, you’re spending time with no real return, which means you’re wasting part of your budget.
Aim for very high quality, but know when a piece of content is about as good as it’s going to get.”
For example, Hans van Gent of User Growth says, “Get off the hamster wheel of producing one or more blog posts per week. You don’t need 6 million pieces of content; you need 6 pieces that drive results.
So take the time to investigate the different topics in your content calendar, see if you have any shot of ranking on that number one spot of Google before you spend and waste time creating it.
Then create the best piece of content out there, and it doesn’t matter if it takes one week or two months to create it. Only hit that publish button when you know it is ten times better than the rest. Take your time; content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
When you hit that publish button, find different ways to use the same content, and repurpose it for all the different channels you’re active on. This way, you can hit two birds with one stone.
Make a summary of the article into a YouTube video, use the audio of the video for a podcast, use quotes from the articles to share on Instagram, etc., etc.
This way, you can promote the article (drive traffic) and have great content for your social channels at the same time.”
“Focus on getting the most out of each piece of content you produce,” says Alice Stevens of Best Company. “Ask yourself these questions: What are your target keywords for your article? How do you plan to expand your article’s reach on social media? How will your article stand out from similar articles? Is your unique offering and voice clear?
Since you’re putting a lot of effort into each content marketing piece with limited resources, get as much benefit as you can from each piece. The questions you ask yourself may be different based on your goals. Maybe you’re less concerned about driving traffic than you are about generating conversions.”
“Focus on your website’s search queries,” says Elijah Litscher of The Loop Marketing. “What questions are site visitors asking? What are they not finding? How can you put together a strategic content piece that answers their questions and establishes your site as a reliable source? By finding the answers to these questions swiftly, you’re able to focus on what your site visitors need and avoid spending time on fluff pieces.”
“Everyone loves graphs,” says Stan Tan of Selbys.net. “It is data-driven, linkable, and, most importantly, useful! They also don’t cost a lot to create. The most important thing about graphs is the data you put in, and the cost to that is just the cost of your time.”
“Record sales conversations with prospects and incorporate learnings from those conversations into your keyword research,” says Matt Kenny of Nectafy. “This will help you identify the most profitable keywords for your content strategy more quickly.”
“Play to that budget,” says Carma Levene of Carma The Social Chameleon. “What is your capacity to create, distribute, and measure your content efforts consistently? You don’t want to blow all of your small budget on a few TV quality videos and then run out of steam, so look at cheaper alternatives to creating content, like live broadcasting across social media or allowing influencers or users to create content for your brand so you only need to curate it. However you start, you’re going to need to keep it going, so play within your budgetary constraints from the get-go.”
“One tip to create content on a budget is to check what’s trending and successful in your industry,” says Jonathan Aufray of GrowthHackers. “Tools like Right Relevance and Buzzsumo can help you do just that. Then, you know what kind of content works and can focus on that. By focusing on creating content that brings results, you won’t need to create too much content.”
Dan Rawley of Twinkl Hive SEO Service adds, “When budgets are tight, taking full advantage of free audience research tools can give you the edge. For example, consider using free search trends tools such as Google Trends to discover suitable phrases to target through your content marketing, rather than more costly audience research methods like focus groups.”
“For each article you publish, write a high-level summary tailored to the most active subreddits in your niche,” says Peter Thaleikis of RankLetter. “Similarly, you can write a Twitter thread and finish with your article in the last tweet. Facebook Groups follow the same pattern. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the audience and actually provide value instead of just dumping your link.”
“Interviewing sectoral leaders and influencers,” says Murat Kaya of Shopney Inc.. “This idea worked great for us!
We were having a hardship to sustain our content frequency without compromising the overall quality. And the next commerce talks popped up as a bright idea.
It’s a series of written interviews with eCommerce technology thought leaders. Every month we invite a thought leader to the series and have an insightful talk with them.
It builds a great mutualistic relationship. They share their valuable ideas. And we obtain a great piece of content that answers important questions that our audience searches for. Besides, you learn from those influencers.
Hiring a writer who won’t be as qualified on a subject as an industry leader-influencer always has risks about the content’s quality. You won’t feel comfortable and maybe need to deal with long revision processes.
You don’t have such concerns when you interview a sectoral leader. Besides, they spread the content to their audiences and create additional traffic.”
“The best piece of advice I can give is to utilize remarketing,” says Darren Graham of 408 Media. “This targets your warmest audience. The most disheartening thing you can do is spend days or weeks creating a great piece of content only for no one to see it.
We advise our clients to set up a small retargeting campaign that promotes their content to anyone who visits their website. This helps build authority with potential customers who have visited and are shopping around but also reconfirms to their existing clients that they are current and have a real understanding of what’s next.
We’ve seen this particular tactic help with direct sales, social media growth, and increased consumption of content.”
“Remember at the heart of it what content marketing is and who we’re trying to approach – humans,” says Sarah-Louise Kelly of SLK Digital. “The heart of a solid content marketing strategy is humanity more than anything else, and this empathetic approach will be more successful than an automated service could provide. You’re at a disadvantage with a small budget, but it’s not insurmountable.”
“Invest in video content,” says Deepak Shukla of Pearl Lemon. “Research shows that websites with video elements have a much higher chance of getting ranked on Google search pages. Not only that, but visitors enjoy the personal connection, and it makes your product more relatable. Create dynamic explainer videos. These can be used on your home page, as well as your company’s social media accounts and Youtube channel – making them a cost-effective outreach method!”
“Find people who agree with your mission and feature their work,” says Emily Hackeling of Front. “It’s free! And builds a community of people who are interested in the same things. It’s genuine and real — and you’ll get ideas from people paving the way with new ideas.”
“If you’re looking into expanding your content to new mediums, start with stories or topics that can be translated easily across mediums before looking into the free (or inexpensive) platforms that are now available,” says Michael Huard of Iterable. “It saves on time and effort when planning out the full list of campaign assets you can pull from one centerpiece idea.”
“Re-posting (also known as syndication) of your content to websites, which allow you to define canonical URLs,” says Peter Jay of Startup Name Check. “These sites publish your original content next to other content on their site. This way, internal links point to your article on their site. The canonical URL makes sure the original content source (on your blog/website) receives the SEO benefits.”
Lauren Shroll of Camille Outside The Box adds, “Hands down, my number one tip would be to syndicate your content wherever possible to share across third party sites, such as Medium.com. Not only does this allow you to “repurpose” your content in republishing, but you also stretch further across the Internet to reach new prospective leads that find value in your content.”
“Trust your knowledge and do the writing yourself,” says Dorota Lysienia of LiveCareer. ”Many people think that they need professional writers to post content on their websites. They often forget about their broad industry knowledge and meaningful insights they can share with their audience. One way to run a successful content marketing program on a tight budget is to regularly share your professional expertise.
Writing content for a broader public might be overwhelming at first, but it gets easier with practice. My advice is to create a list of article titles planned for the upcoming month and write one article each week. It’s crucial to post your content regularly to improve your writing and start building first relationships with your readers.
Once you get more comfortable with creating content, you should also look at the top phrases your readers look for and familiarize yourself with keyword research. That way, your high-quality content will be easier to find, bring more traffic to your website, and boost your Google ranking.”
“One piece of advice that we would give to other marketing teams, and that we practice for our clients daily, is to focus on organic marketing tactics—keyword research, content marketing tools (e.g., SEMrush), and other SEO best practices,” says Madi Ballou of Green Apple Strategy. “This targeted strategy will have the highest return on investment because it enables you to drive traffic to your website organically, which lessens (but does not eliminate) the need for pay-per-click advertising and other paid tactics.
Build your strategy thoughtfully, ensuring that each piece has a defined purpose, focuses on one main keyword, and includes corresponding meta descriptions, headers, and alt tags. Each piece of content you create can not only drive traffic to your site but can also be used in various other channels. For example, a blog article can be showcased in social media and email marketing efforts or modified into podcast or webinar content. When you strategically develop your content marketing plan, you provide your clients with a myriad of ways to drive their customers to take action.”
“Focus on creating content – but in work smarter, not harder way,” says Sandy Viteri of Video Podcast Academy. “How? Launch a video podcast. Let’s say that instead of spending days ON ONE MEGA BLOG POST, you take ONE DAY to record FIVE video podcast episodes. You now have a podcast to share with your listeners, a video (macro and micro-videos) to post on your YouTube channel & cater to those who crave eye contact, and… for just a small investment (either using software or reaching out to freelancers), you have text transcripts of those five episodes that can easily be turned into multiple blog posts, Instagram posts, LinkedIn posts, infographics, and much, much more.. Leverage the Gary Vee formula – it’s how he creates upwards of 100 pieces of content every single day.”
“My biggest piece of advice is to keep notepads, journals, and phones close by so that they can write down/record the foundational thoughts and insights that make up a good content flow,” says David Adams of SirusDigital.com.
“The ability to consistently produce and publish good content is one of the most difficult challenges to overcome, especially with tighter budgets. In a situation where budgets are more flexible, one can hire writers or assistants and buy technical capability to aid in the production flow. Tighter budgets get felt the strongest where small groups (or individuals) are trying to wear and execute multiple roles. Problems like writer’s block become more acute when there are fewer people to whom you can delegate responsibilities.”
Finally, the last part of creating a content marketing strategy is tracking and measuring your performance. Get started with these 4 free dashboard templates for tracking and measuring content marketing performance.
Use this free Google Analytics Content Analysis dashboard template to see your most engaging posts.
This Content Improvement Dashboard gives you three key pieces of data that will help you improve the content on your site: your highest converting pages, your most-clicked keywords, and your CTRs by keyword.
This dashboard helps you quickly identify old blog posts you need to update by showing you which posts are losing organic search traffic and Google Search rankings.
This Blog Post Performance dashboard helps you monitor the performance—organic search traffic, Google Search rankings, CTRs, and conversions—of old blog posts you’ve recently updated
Content Marketing | Jun 25
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