The Top 7 Strategies for Producing Content on a Budget
In the world of content marketing, there are two priorities you need to accomplish: quality and quantity. Quality is most important, as large volumes of thin or redundant content won’t do anything for you. But if you can produce large volumes of great, unique, valuable, well-researched content, you’ll be in a good position to drive thousands of visitors to your site.
There’s one big problem with achieving this. Finding the talent (or the time) necessary to produce good content carries a major cost—you could pay hundreds of dollars a post or spend countless hours pursuing that production. On a high-quantity scale, those costs skyrocket.
Still, there are strategies you can use to produce great content even on the smallest budget:
1. Write what you know.
Instead of trying to learn new topics or perform bold new research right away, save some time by writing about what you already know. Chances are, you know your industry very well and you have some interesting opinions and ideas that other people would like to read. Produce content that communicates those opinions and ideas to your followers; it shouldn’t take much time or extra effort. Of course, as you develop your content strategy, you will want to push into new territory—this is only a temporary measure to get you started with a limited budget.
2. Leverage the power of outside authorities.
Instead of writing all the content yourself (or paying for someone to do it), work out mutually beneficial relationships with other writers and authorities in your space. Your blog represents valuable real estate that many online writers would love to use as a platform for their own content—let them! They’ll get the power of brand exposure and extra links, and you’ll get free content that will attract people to your site. The only caveat here is that you’ll need to find writers and sources capable of producing great content aligned with your brand’s core mission and target audience.
3. Don’t get fancy with multimedia content.
In a modern content marketing strategy, written content is rarely enough. Audiences are demanding images, infographics, videos, and even audio pieces in addition to written material. Working with a videographer or graphic designer can be expensive, so try producing multimedia content with the resources you can easily obtain. Your phone has a camera, so start using it—take photos of your office, your equipment, or step-by-step photos to accompany a how-to article. Take video of yourself speaking, or as a demonstration of something relevant to your company. Sometimes the simplest productions work the best.
4. Use interns and recent college grads to help out.
A content marketing expert with 10 years of experience will almost undoubtedly be able to provide you with tons of great content, but there’s going to be a hefty price tag. On the other hand, interns and recent college grads will be able to work for a much lower cost, but the quality of work will need a little supervision. Still, with proper direction and a little extra patience, even completely inexperienced youngsters can turn into great content marketers in their own right—and in addition to whatever you’re paying them, they’ll get valuable work experience and their name on any work they produce. It’s a pretty good deal all around.
5. Recycle posts in new forms.
First, a warning—Google hates to see duplicate content. Reusing an old post, in any deliberate or exact way, will probably earn you a penalty. Still, there are ways to recycle or repurpose older content, so long as you do so in new forms. For example, if you write a long research post covering a certain topic in exhaustive detail, you can break that up into smaller, more digestible chunks to serve as quick-reference blog posts. Alternatively, you can chain together some of your most popular blog posts into a larger, anthology-like compendium to offer as a downloadable whitepaper. Leverage the information you already have in as many forms as you can manage.
6. Focus on distribution.
In the early stages of your content campaign, producing large volumes of great content is going to be an issue. However, if you have even just a handful of great pieces, you can focus your efforts on distribution to increase the reach and value of those selected works. For example, you can work on syndicating them on a greater range of different social media networks, or you can shop them around to the highest authority outside sources you can find (as guest posts). This will still take some time, but it can help you make the most of your limited initial runs.
7. Let your customers do some of the work.
If you have a great product and a bit of a reputation on social media, it shouldn’t be too hard to get your customers to produce some content for you. Offer a competition for your followers in exchange for their user-created material; for example, you could give away a valuable free product to the user who creates the best video showcasing your brand in some way. The video content they create can be leveraged as a part of your strategy, and you’ll get some great attention in the meantime. You could also host a forum or similar collaborative content area on your site, provided you have enough initial traffic to keep it going. In this case, you’ll have to get the ball rolling with some of your own material (and supervision during the first few weeks and months).
Put these strategies into practice for your own content campaign, and you’ll find that you don’t need tens of thousands of dollars to run an efficient and effective campaign. Obviously, if you have the money to invest and you invest it wisely, the additional capital can help support your overall efforts. But if you’re just getting started or you’re a small business with capital woes, those financial hurdles shouldn’t stop you from starting to build a great content empire.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.
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