Let’s get one thing clear right off the bat: We all wish we had an unlimited budget for everything. And in today’s world, anything that has to do with marketing has the potential to become expensive. In fact, it’s reported that a full site audit can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $25,000.
Luckily, content marketing doesn’t have to be that expensive. And knowing how to do content marketing on a budget is one of the cheapest ways to drive traffic to your company website.
So if you’re part of a small-to-medium-sized business, don’t stress over your content marketing budget. We have some helpful tips that will prevent you from needing to win the lottery in order to market your business effectively.
How to Do Content Marketing on a Budget
Allocating your budget for a digital marketing strategy may leave you feeling stuffed -- just how many different areas need a slice of the pie? But trying to be everywhere to everyone almost always leads to a B2B content marketing strategy falling short.
So if you’re attempting online content marketing on a budget, take note of these tips:
- Start blogging
- Create a posting schedule
- Take advantage of in-house brainpower
- Look at your competitors for content ideas
- Work with a marketing agency
Creating a hub on your website to post content is one of the best ways to naturally improve your SEO (without paying). And starting your own blog costs next to nothing aside from adding to your root domain. In other words, your content marketing ROI has the potential to be huge.
Content marketing best practices will tell you to link your blog to your main website page, in the main navigation bar at the top. This will make it easier for visitors to find your blog, and will prevent you from needing a whole new domain.
Create a Posting Schedule
Creating a content posting schedule gives you an estimate of how much time you need to spend on producing content each day, week, or month. And depending on how much time and effort it takes for you to post a blog, video, or other content piece this can help you balance your budget.
The ROI in digital marketing can be extremely favorable for your business, especially when you’re spending next to nothing on content marketing. Creating a consistent posting schedule will give you an accurate estimate to include in your content marketing budget.
Take Advantage of In-House Brainpower
Hiring a writer or using the services of an online freelance platform can lose value if the work is of poor quality or the writer has a poor understanding of your industry/product.
Take advantage of any in-house expertise you may have in your company. If you’re a manufacturer, get your engineers’ insight on tips that could help their next customer.
As for the writing itself, anyone with experience in writing, or someone who understands SEO best practices, will work just fine. If you can form a small team to take care of your content, they can take on the process together, including editing, topic creation, and blog design.
There is an abundance of content marketing writing tips that can help make the process easier. Just make sure you have the time and resources to create content consistently -- if not, you’d better find a reliable third-party partner. (More on this below.)
Check Out Your Competitors for Content Ideas
There are many free and paid versions of SEO software that gives you access to a bunch of fancy keyword tools. These are excellent resources for ID’ing good topics, but if you don’t have the money or skill level to use them, try checking out your competitors.
Make a short list of all your top competitors. See which ones rank better by searching for relevant key phrases in Google. For example, if you’re a precision machining company that specializes in medical products, those could be:
- Precision machining
- Small parts manufacturing
- Medical device design
Beyond that, start scrolling through their blog sections (if they have one) and see what they’re writing about. Jot down any ideas you generate from this -- just remember not to copy!
p80 Tip: While you look through your competitor’s blogs, keep an eye out for any design features that stand out. The visual appeal of your blog -- images, videos, and charts -- plays a big role in its readability.
Work With a Marketing Agency
If you don’t have the in-house expertise, or simply lack the time to do your own content marketing, consider working with a digital marketing agency.
Although this route can be a tad more expensive up-front, a digital marketing agency can work with your budget to assist you with your content marketing -- from strategizing to implementing.
A marketing firm will handle all things content for you, including:
- Keyword research
- Mapping out content
- Producing content
- Proofreading and SEO optimization
- Publishing content
- Conversion rate optimization
- Promotion (social media, email)
- Reporting and analysis
In short, while you may pay more up front, a content marketing agency will better understand how to get your content ranking in Google and in front of the right eyeballs.
Know the Essentials
Feeling ready to take on your own content marketing? By following these tips above, you’ll be on the path to success and will know how to manage a digital marketing budget for a small business, helping you improve your overall online marketing ROI.
If you’re considering instead outsourcing the work to an inbound marketing agency, check out the case study below. It uses data and a real-life example to show what to expect when you combine a reasonable budget with SEO and strategy expertise: