1 (888) 505-5689
Most content marketing advice is aimed at businesses who have a decent content marketing budget. It is easy to see results when you can drop thousands of dollars a month into high-end consultants, top-tier writers, and expensive tracking tools.
But what if you only have a few hundred dollars a month to spend on content marketing?
More specifically, what if you only have $200 a month to spend on content marketing? Will you still be able to see the benefits of content marketing if you don’t have a baller budget?
Yes, you can.
Will you be raking in six-figure sales? No, probably not. But, the plan outlined here will allow you to start where you are and build slowly. As you find success and see what type of content your audience responds to, you can slowly invest more resources.
According to CMI’s B2B Content Marketing 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, the average business spends 26% of their marketing budget on content marketing.
The companies that are most successful with content marketing spend 40% of their marketing budget on strategizing, creating content, and promoting content.
If you are just getting started, you may have a very small marketing budget. Does that mean that you can’t succeed at content marketing?
Not at all. It does mean you need to be much smart about where you spend your money.
Before we dig into the details, let’s cover some basic dos and don’ts of content marketing for less. Keep in mind, the goal here is to be successful at content marketing, not to waste your time and what little resources you do have.
It may take time to build a successful strategy, but content marketing is always a long-term strategy.
Ready to get started? Here are six steps to spend less than $200 a month in cash on your content marketing. Keep in mind, this does not count your time investment.
If you are working with a limited budget, you need to choose where you spend your resources carefully. Instead of trying to create 15 different types of content aimed at 15 different buyer personas, choose one or two of your largest audience niches to focus on.
For example, if your product is an organization app for families, don’t produce content on an obscure feature. (Unless you think promoting that feature will drive sales.) Instead, aim to create content that helps save a major problem most of your audience has.
Similarly, if most of your audience watches videos, don’t spend all your resources developing an e-book.
When you have a small budget, you have to be conservative. Start by producing content that has a high likelihood of being successful. Work with the resources you have readily available. Once you gain a bit of traction, then you can begin testing other approaches.
If your limited resources mean you can only produce one really awesome blog post a month, then publish one really awesome blog post a month.
Sure, you would likely see better results if you produced two really awesome blog posts a month. However, one amazing blog post a month will drive more engagement than two mediocre blog posts. Do not overextend yourself.
You can, however, look for opportunities in the form of easier to create content. After you build a process for publishing one amazing blog post a month and make it as efficient as possible, look content you can create with less effort.
For example, would your audience respond to a Facebook live or Instagram live video? Could you host a live Q&A session?
Not all content has to be earth-shattering. There is a place for both in-depth, meaty blog posts and more casual Facebook live videos where you cover an important news topic for your niche.
If you have a small budget, you need to make the most of every piece of content you create. Repurposing content allows you to get the most mileage out of every piece of content.
Why does repurposing content work so well? There are two reasons.
First, not everyone consumes content in the same way. For example, some people are fast readers and prefer blog posts or ebooks. Other people spend a lot of time commuting and like listening to podcasts. People learn differently, and their lifestyles might make it easier to consume one type of content over another.
Second, some social media algorithms give preference to certain types of content. Plus, not everyone will see everything you post. Facebook, for example, tends to give preference to videos hosted on Facebook. Instagram stories get more engagement than regular posts.
By repurposing content into different formats, you are giving your audience what they want and giving your content more opportunities to be seen.
Here are a few ways you can repurpose content.
When you repurpose content, try not to just throw up the exact same content. Instead, adjust the content slightly to fit the new format. For example, if you are writing a blog post based on a presentation you gave, add a bit more detail and include unique graphics. Small tweaks will help each piece of content offer value on its own.
The key to doing more with less money is to work as efficiently as possible. Building a workflow process will keep you organized and help you make your process as efficient as possible.
Here is how to streamline your content workflow:
Tools can be very effective at reducing inefficiencies, which is what we will cover in the next session.
When working with a small budget, the best use of your money is going to be for tools that allow you to work smarter and faster.
The right tools for you will depend on where your current resources are lacking. (For example, if you already have an amazing social media team, you won’t need to pay for social media tools.)
Here is a list of a few tools you should consider, based on your content marketing needs.
For $200 a month, you won’t be able to outsource the entire content process. However, you can outsource areas where your resources are limited.
Consider outsourcing the following areas of your content process:
Outsourcing doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you have a solid writer, you might choose to outsource image creation to produce unique, useful graphics for your posts. If you have no social media presence, you might choose to outsource that portion of the process.
When you have a small budget, the goal of outsourcing is to get the most value for your needs. This means you don’t want to hire a writer who claims they can write an in-depth 2500 word blog post for $50. For that rate, you aren’t going to get a good product.
If you have a solid (but not great) writer in-house, then consider outsourcing editing to polish the piece. Or, if you don’t have anyone who can write well, consider focusing on video or infographics.
So, how do you build content marketing on just $200 a month? I suggest splitting your money between tools and partial outsourcing to cover gaps in your resources.
For example, if you have someone who can edit content, then consider investing in a strong social media tool. If you don’t have a strong writer, then consider investing most of your money in a strong editor.
Businesses with a large content marketing budget are going to have more success with content marketing. Spending $200 a month on content marketing should not be a long-term plan for most brands, but a short-term strategy that will allow you to create a process and show you can drive revenue.
Once you have a good idea of what works, you can choose to bump up your budget or stick with what is working.