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According to the Content Marketing Institute, 28% of B2C marketing budgets are allocated to content marketing, and 55% of B2C marketers plan to increase their content marketing in 2013. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say that a B2C company had a 2013 marketing budget of $1,000 – there are some small businesses out there that cap at that – this means they have $280 they can dedicate to content marketing. Imagine them trying to hire a great freelance writer to create blog posts, articles or a white paper, $280 isn’t going to get them very far! So what’s a SMB with a tight content marketing budget to do? Here are 3 ways SMBs can make the most of a shoestring content marketing budget:
One great way to get more for less with your content marketing budget is to reuse what you’ve got. To be clear, I’m not suggesting you spin the same blog post out to a dozen different article sharing sites, but you can take existing content and repurpose it for a new platform. For instance, evergreen blog posts can be used as stories in your company’s newsletter. Or a presentation your President gave at an industry conference last year can be sliced and diced into a dozen shorter videos, uploaded to YouTube, and then posted to all your social profiles. That white paper you blew last year’s content marketing budget on? Break that sucker down into multiple blog posts, articles and guest blog posts to use as needed. Content recycling is a great way to get more content without having to spend a dime.
You may not have the budget to produce two new, informative blog posts a day to keep your site supplied with fresh content, but there are plenty of ways to work around that. A great way to keep content fresh and not spend any money is to create roundup blog posts that pull from top blogs and news sites in your industry. These roundup posts shouldn’t overshadow your own content, but one or two a month helps keep things from getting stale and looking like you’ve abandoned your company blog to the wolves. When you promote these roundup posts on Twitter be sure to include @authorsname in your tweet so they know you are sharing their content! You might get a thank you tweet, a retweet and maybe even some new followers. Sharing other people’s content is a great way to start building a rapport with some of the influential thought leaders in your industry.
Not every business owner or SMB marketer is going to be a great writer by trade – and that’s okay – but just because you aren’t a great writer doesn’t mean you don’t have someone in-house that is, and sometimes it’s the person you’d least expect. Find out which of your employees has an English, writing, journalism, or communications background (they tend to draw the most writing talent) and see what they can come up with! Also keep in mind that your employees have tons of great information and knowledge that can turn into dozens of blog topics. You don’t need to waste a lot of time, energy or money coming up with new topics when you’re sitting on a content marketing goldmine in-house. Even if they aren’t writers themselves be sure your employees share their knowledge with the person responsible for content creation and put their expertise to work!
Content is too important to your long term SEO and overall online marketing success to push to the backburner. Even if you have hardly any content marketing budget at your disposal make sure you do the most with what you’ve got. If your budget only allows for one blog post a week then make sure it’s the best blog post you can put out each and every time. Yes, publishing more content gives you more to work with and leverage for your SEO but quality will almost always trump quantity. Make it count!
Shawna Wright is a senior SEO specialist at Boston search marketing firm Brick Marketing. She is also Brick Marketing’s SEO instructor for the company’s full-day SEO workshops that are hosted in major cities across the US. Follow Shawna Wright on Twitter.