This blog talks about some key points that our 20 Part Online Marketing Masterplan covers and some of the most FAQ we hear from business owners like you regarding managing your marketing and content on a budget, a very small budget, so… first off…
Do you need to spend a lot of money to create exceptional content?
You can, you can waste a LOT of money creating content but you don’t have to.
The entry point for publishing your content on the Internet is extremely low and that’s why we see so much inferior and second-rate content everywhere we look.
However, content that attracts and grows a relevant audience for your business and builds your reputation, reach and profit takes a little more focus but doesn’t have to break the bank.
Today we’re going to cover how to produce winning content on a budget. A really small budget.
The fact is, you don’t need to outspend the competition.
You need to outsmart them.
1. Gather ideas from all over.
This is probably the toughest part, time-wise.
It’s about seeing the world around you, both your business world and your personal life, this is the best source for ideas. Because when you’re creating content on a regular basis, the world can inspire your writing if you let it.
You can find content by seeing what your competitors are doing, trends within your business area, popular hashtags, news that relates to you, and so much more.
Google Alerts: https://www.google.co.uk/alerts is a great place for you to register to have Google send you notifications when news stories happen with keywords you chose or on topics you set. If you know about this you will know the power of being first when it comes to getting the news and sharing that hot-off-the-press story to your audience.
Once you transfer your mindset to one of constantly harvesting ideas, you’ll need a place to accumulate your ideas. Look for something you’ll always have on hand, whether it’s a small notebook you carry around or an app on your computer, my personal favorite is notes on Iphone, with the latest update IOS 9, they look super smart, easily shareable, and you can use it just like word, adding video, images and much more. Evernote is also a free option, that has a premium upgrade, and allows you to share notes and info across platforms and groups of people.
Make sure whatever you use it’s easy and fast to use, and use one and only one location to store ideas so you don’t have to track them down in more than one place.
2. Develop a plan and work it.
One reason why people churn out mediocre content is they approach the blank page like this: “Oh no, I need a post for tomorrow! What should I write about?”
When you develop a strategy for your content and keep your goals in mind, you eliminate the “I have no idea what to write about” problem. You see the holes in your content marketing efforts and write or record information to fill those holes.
If you’ve never spent time thinking through your content strategy, we’ve got help for you, referring back to point 1.
Keep your eyes open for good ideas ion other industries/sector’s niches and adapt for your audience. If you see a great concept why not make it work for you, don’t just rip it off, adapt and in the words of several entrepreneurs I know “Swipe and Deploy”…
Over time you will begin to accumulate a nice collection of different stories or talking points to post about, even if you don’t collect anything new, your audience loves a good image, video, or even just re mentioned something earlier in the year, you know what they want, so give it to them, just because it’s not totally fresh doesn’t mean someone new won’t find it interesting.
3. Hold yourself to high standards.
You can spot mediocre content from a distance because it usually has multipple speling and gramattical erors.
Fortunately, Stuart has been very generous over the years about sharing his techniques, so that those of us who can’t count on an editor to review our content can use some of her sophisticated methods for spotting and correcting the content errors that make our words seem less authoritative.
Aim for writing that’s clear, clean, and error-free.
But DON’T OBSSESS ABOUT IT! A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow and timely news story or content delivered at the most relevant moment will score a higher hit rate when it comes to creating trust, and therefore leads.
When you’re ready to go beyond the traditional “sleep on it and look at your writing with fresh eyes the next day” advice, study these types.
Follow these five steps after you’ve saved your current file, if you can be bothered or have time…
Make a copy of the document.
As you examine each sentence, highlight it with green, yellow, or red.
- Green, is the sentence is to your liking.
- Yellow, come back and review.
- Red, just delete and start again…
Edit the yellow and red areas.
Proofread each sentence from the beginning.
Stuart used to write for Radio 4 and said that the harshest editorial comments were usually the ones you most needed to hear. “Make it shorter and funnier” was a regular note…
So how do you make your content shorter and more relevant?
4. Add meaning with images.
Carefully planned, beautifully written, and meticulously edited content will help you retain the attention you want from your target audience but to get that immediate notice and grab people’s attention in the first place, do like news and magazine organisations do and tap into a completely different part of your site visitors’ brains by pairing your words with well-chosen images, or videos / GIFs.
Images are processed in a different part of our brains than words. Combining words and images on your pages will light up your site visitors visual processing centres, which helps you attract kinaesthetic and visual learners.
Adding the perfect image to your words is that extra step that many content creators can’t be bothered with. And as you’ll see in the posts above, it doesn’t take a lot of money to find the right image — just effort and practice. We even have a guide on hoe to create the perfect visual imagery to compliment your blog post… Simply comment below and we’ll send you the link.
Adding polls. questions, or a video which makes the viewer want to interact is also a really useful way to generate content at low/no cost.
5. Create a publishing schedule and stick to it.
Newspapers publish daily, magazines monthly, but they stick to their schedule hence the infamous journalistic “deadline”. Publishing content consistently builds trust. Your content becomes a reliable resource your readers can count on information they look forward to reading.
But how often should you publish? Three times a week? Once a week? Once a month?
Whenever you feel like it? (Don’t choose this one.)
We recommend you keep one important concept in mind when weighing your options
“Publish as often as you can create exceptional content.”
That said, if you’re just entering into the content marketing arena and you’ve created your content strategy, you’ll want to publish often enough to execute that strategy and populate your pages with searchable, shareable information.
You can always rely on and gain support from using management systems such as Buffer or Hootsuit if your business uses a lot of Social Media, these sites simplify the process by placing all your sites in one easy manageable location. They’re cheap too!
That’s why we recommend a minimum of one solid blog or podcast each week. This schedule should be achievable.
COST: £0 – £50
7. Track and test your results.
Many content marketers don’t make the time to do this step. Which is sad, because it’s so easy to get information about how your content is performing.
“Ignoring how your audience responds to your content is a missed opportunity.”
(A brilliant quote from David Ogilvy)
There’s plenty of testing software and tools out there, speak to Mister Metric and let us help you.
Just remember to mark the days and times on your calendar when you’ll review your content marketing results.
COST: £0 – £100
Just remember. Outthink, not Outspend.
Remarkable content doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to produce.
Use the tips here to outthink your competition. Set high standards for the content you produce. Your content marketing efforts will stand out from the crowd when you do.
Most people won’t put in the extra effort to make their content truly effective.
But you? Well, here you are at the end of this article, so you’re one of the special ones.
If you want more assistance or to view your opinion get in touch or comment below…