Today, content marketing is used by various businesses, both in size and in the direction of their activities. In some cases in the West, companies have a huge budget for the implementation of content marketing strategy, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. But in this article we will talk about companies that have a deficit budget for marketing in general and content marketing in particular.
Very often we hear from our clients: “What content marketing strategy do you intend to implement with our limited budget?”. One of the main advantages of content marketing is that you can work quite successfully with a limited budget. And we have argued this many times.
Consider a fairly typical scenario for small or medium-sized businesses: let's say you can allocate only 20-25 thousand rubles a month to promote your website with an agency engaged in outsourcing. This cost includes everything: the creation, editing and distribution of your content. How to achieve the best possible result in this situation?
Decide on the content you want to broadcast online.
The first thing you need to do is create a content plan (and the bigger the planning horizon, the better). In this regard, you need to decide what types of media content you want to use to implement various content marketing projects.
The advertising budget that you spend on the implementation of your content strategy depends directly on what type of content you are going to use and whether you will turn to outsourcing companies.
Consider the following types of content:
- Text content. Yes, text content can be very expensive, especially if it includes technical or research work, as well as if it involves some kind of conversion scenario (the so-called "selling texts"). But this is more the exception - in general, text content is one of the cheapest on the market. At the same time, text content is the main part of any content marketing strategy; this also needs to be taken into account.
- Infographics. Do you have a team of graphic designers specializing in infographics? Or do you need to contact an outsourcing company for this service? Talk to the designers or agencies involved in this area about how much it will cost to create infographics for your goals. Find out which payment option they prefer: hourly or single (per project)? This can significantly affect the overall budget of the project - do not forget, we are with you all about everything is only 20-25 thousand rubles.
- Video. Although video seems like an expensive communication tool, it doesn’t have to be that way. Believe it or not, but a video shot on a cell phone or an amateur digital camera can also be as effective as a video shot by a professional video operator. The question is, in fact, not in price, but in demand and communicative potential. If you want to make a high-quality video, your twenty-five thousand a month is clearly not enough. But if you can make a video yourself and edit it within your company, or even hire a freelance video editor or a low-cost agency, your money will be enough.
- A photo: Photos, like videos, can be expensive, but not necessary. Even photos taken on a cell phone can be excellent content, especially considering how many filters and photo editing applications exist now.
Make a budgeting plan
We would highly recommend you to make a project budgeting plan for the next 6-12 months, based on what types of content you decide to use. For example, you can choose the following action plan:
- To outsource the creation of two or four infographics during the year (15-30 thousand rubles per year).
- To outsource the creation of 2-4 quality reviews of your products or services (20-30 thousand rubles per year) with their distribution on thematic resources or third-party blogs with high attendance, but having your Central Asia.
- Blogging on the corporate website with a periodicity of one post per week (40-50 thousand rubles per year) using the hired editor.
- Hire a copywriter or agency to write 4 articles and 4 news per month for a corporate site (120-140 thousand rubles per year).
The result is from 195 to 250 thousand rubles. with our annual budget of 240-300 thousand. As you can see, we even have a reserve! What to do with it, we will try to say a little later.
Use time to the maximum
Although 24 hours a month may not seem like such a long period of time, it may become so if you use it to the maximum. For example, using the above example of using outsourcing services, you can spend your time on the following:
- One hour a week. Sketch an outline for a blog post and send it to the editor (read above) for revision. Then post it on the blog. It is highly recommended to choose a specific day of the week for this and always do this job on that day.
- Five hours per quarter. Take care of managing the above projects in outsourcing - it will be either an article or an infographic for distribution to third-party sites. They require your participation. Whatever the professional, your expertise on the subject is not enough. Supervise, work closely with your performers together.
- Two hours a week. Put work with performers so that you are sent to agree on the topic of articles and news for your site. At the same time, help your copywriters, tell them about what is better to write and how to better open the topic. Check personally written materials, make adjustments. Your readers need expertise, not beautiful words. And remember the main thing: if the texts are not needed by you personally, they will not be needed by anyone.
- 15 minutes a day. Reply to tweets, comments on the site, blog, social networks, etc. Interact with others, discuss your content. Be sociable talk to your audience. Feel free to admit your mistakes. (Here is an example: in this article the user gave us a useful comment, we immediately made changes to the text). It can be difficult at first, as it is easy to lose track of time on social networks. But in our case, the case of a budget deficit, we cannot afford such luxury - so discipline will be a prerequisite.
- One hour per month. Make new discoveries. Study the effectiveness of certain techniques of your or someone else's content marketing strategy. This will not only facilitate your understanding of the general trends in the market, but also allow you to make important amendments to your promotion strategy.
The result is approximately 27 hours per month. It is clear that it is very difficult to perfectly follow this schedule. But if you use the editorial calendar and draw up a plan for completing assignments, you yourself will be surprised at the results obtained.The most important thing is to follow this plan all the time. A content marketing explosion cannot be obtained without following your strategy with manic persistence. No retreats, build your brand, your company brick by brick from month to month. On a budget of 20-25 thousand rubles, this is also possible, but! But you need to understand one important thing - you personally need to supervise all the work, and dive deep enough into everything. Regardless of whether you are a business owner or a hired marketing and advertising manager.
If there is such an opportunity, you can ask your company's employees to take part in content marketing projects in order to achieve maximum results (your users need expertise!). Some of them may want to write for a corporate blog from time to time, realizing the benefits they can bring to both the company and your brand.
Some companies absolutely accidentally revealed the talents of very decent copywriters in those people who were least expected of it. Ask someone from the warehouse staff to write an article on supplies or an accountant to explain the financial aspect of a question, or the sales manager to talk about the most frequently asked questions in your business. Why not? Or you can arrange a contest for the post with the best traffic, received backlinks, etc., because sometimes a simple friendly competition can bring a whole stream of creative ideas.
Attract additional funds
In the example above, we managed to keep some of the funds from the allocated budget. How to use them?
For example, you can buy ads to promote your content on social networks. You can spend them on a serious study of your market (for example, at the end of the year). You can increase the number of created infographics. (If it is really good, you will be surprised at the high potential of this method of content to create uncontrolled replications, which means an increase in the number of audience contacts with your brand, do you remember to brand your infographic?).
Expand according to your budget.
If you are able to spend significantly more than 20-25 thousand rubles. per month and seven hours a week for the implementation of the content marketing strategy of your project, you can expand your plan - by using the amount of materials, as well as by using other types of content (mailing, presentations, video and audio podcasts, etc.) .
If you have more time for content marketing, try to use the "regular" resources to the maximum and devote more time to the promotion of content, its distribution and interaction with the audience.
Always evaluate success.
In a content marketing campaign, it is extremely important to measure its success in order to know what should (and should not) be done next time. Go through your monthly reports and determine which materials received a wide response in social networks (likes, retweets, sharing), which materials received natural links from other sites, which materials turned out to be more interesting for the existing audience of your site. Try to measure the success of your content marketing campaign in numbers. And here not to do without means of statistics. Content marketing is impossible without analytics.
There are many other ways to spend 20-25 thousand rubles. a month and seven hours a week to implement your content marketing strategy — all you have to do is find the one that best suits you and your audience.
One thing is certain: it can be done, and it can be a success. The fact that you have a limited budget for content marketing strategy does not mean that you will not succeed. Believe our experience. We had clients and with significantly smaller budgets. Among them are those who are now the market leader.
What advice would you give for implementing a content marketing strategy on a small budget? Write in the comments below.
P.S. Yes, and finally the most important thing. In our article there is no point on the allocation of the budget for the rental of reference mass. Guess why?