Most business owners understand the potential of content marketing—at least in hypothetical terms. Sure, you could make a big impact on your audience, if you had the time and resources to develop new blog posts every day, produce blockbuster-quality videos, and engage your users on social media 24/7. The problem is, very few businesses can actually do that—and smaller companies are especially limited in their content marketing resource allocation.
That doesn’t mean you can’t employ content marketing effectively, though. You don’t have to choose between breaking the bank and neglecting content marketing altogether. You can make prudent, judicious decisions to develop and deploy content in a cost-effective manner.
Start with Your Costs
A good place to begin is by evaluating how much money it actually costs you to produce a piece of content—a blog, a video, a white paper, or what have you. Either get a quote from your freelance writer, or calculate about how much time it will take you to develop the content yourself. Assign a rough cost estimate to each type of content you might produce.
Then get a baseline of which content is most effective. There are plenty of metrics you can use. Look at social sharing, website traffic analytics, the Facebook posts that tend to get likes and comments—any statistics you can look at to determine which types of content are effective for your brand and which are not.
Comparing costs to total efficacy can help you winnow the content types you might employ—and show you some direction you’re better off just forgetting. If it costs you a ton of money to make a video and nobody ever shares or responds to your videos, for instance, then that’s obviously a non-starter, at least for now.
Focus on Quality
A common misconception is that you have to produce a ton of new content every week or even every day for content marketing to be effective. While consistency is key, quality is ultimately more important than quantity. It is both more affordable and more effective to draft one really killer, engaging blog post each week than it is to bang out five or six suboptimal ones.
Schedule some time on your calendar to really focus on coming up with killer content—maybe two hours every Thursday morning, for instance. If you end up writing three killer posts in that timeframe, great! But if you only come up with one really good one, that’s fine too.
Curate and Recycle
Remember that not every piece of content you deploy has to be original work. Content curation is a hallmark of effective content marketing. Sharing relevant articles from other sources can help build your authority and enhance your thought leadership—just so long as you sprinkle in some original posts, too.
You can also save money by recycling and repurposing content. A great blog post can be broken down into a series of tweets or even used as a video script. If you have some really engaging content, don’t squander it. Use it more than once!
Think always in terms of your goals, your costs, and your content quality. Those are the key concerns for any small business looking to leverage content marketing effectively—without going over-budget in the process.