On today’s Internet, content is king. The days of being able to throw together a website and do some search engine optimization magic to get immediate traffic are over. Google and other search engines value high-quality content more than ever, and creating it is the key to your online success. Content creation has a high return on investment, helps tremendously with search engine optimization, and can bring you increased leads and sales. When compared to other methods of customer acquisition, it is typically much more profitable as well.
If your company has a large budget to work with in the content creation realm, that can significantly speed up the process of implementing your content plan. However, many companies don’t have the budget to pay for a great deal of custom content. Although you can definitely spend as much money as you want on content creation, there are ways to go about it that won’t bankrupt your company. In reality, you can create great content without spending a lot of money. In some cases, you can do it for almost nothing.
Content Marketing Strategy
While content marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, it can cost you a lot of wasted time and energy if you’re not careful. What do you want to accomplish with your content marketing strategy? Do you want to convey a certain image or voice for your brand? Are you hoping to educate people on a complex topic or generate some buzz and attention? Do you hope to get more leads, more visits to your website, or look like the authority in your area of expertise?
Set achievable goals in relation to your content strategy. Make sure that the goals are specific, written down and measurable. Using vague descriptions of what you want to accomplish will result in vague results. The more specific you can be, the more realistic your goals become.
Start doing some research. Think about the ideal person that you’re trying to reach with your content. What are they searching for? What are they hoping to accomplish? Look at their current pain points and what issues they are having. In addition to looking at the pain points of your ideal customer, you should also take a look at the types of content that your competitors are making. If you can make similar content, only better, your chances of success will increase substantially. You don’t have to recreate the wheel if you find something that’s working well.
Before getting started with the content creation, you should also figure out a way to measure your performance. If necessary, get some software that will track all of the key performance indicators (KPI) that will determine if you’re successful. Google Analytics is a free platform that does much of what you’ll need, but if it’s not what you are looking for, there are many other programs out there to choose from.
Spend some time thinking about how you will promote your content. Depending on your target customer and your region, you’ll want to make sure you choose the correct social media platform to work with.
Before you begin making the content, you should also create a content calendar. A content calendar will guide your content creation strategy and help you stay on task.
Starting a Blog
One of the most basic and most important steps you can take in content creation is starting a blog. It only takes a couple of minutes to get started on WordPress, and it is a very simple platform to use. Although you always have the option of hiring a copywriter to write your posts for you, it’s not always necessary. You can write the posts yourself. If you have a staff to work with, pick some with the best writing ability and take turns writing posts. The writing quality doesn’t have to be perfect to make a difference. The important thing is that you’re creating content and improving as you go.
If you are going to utilize the talents of your staff for writing, you should give them the option to do it from home. Working remotely can increase productivity and it will make them more likely to actually do it. Your employees may jump at the chance to do some work from home.
If you’re in a situation where you don’t have any employees and you don’t have the time, you could consider hiring a copywriter. It’s possible to get a quality post written for $20 to $30, depending on the level of depth required. If you’re going to do a lot of content, that adds up quickly, but it’s definitely better than not creating content at all.
Another option is to hire a staff writer. If you decide to go this route, consider letting them work from home. This will be less expensive than giving them office space.
Go for quality over quantity. Search engines love quality content and do not value quantity anymore. Try to repurpose existing content that you have into new content instead of coming up with it all from scratch. You can spin the same content into a few different formats.
For example, you could turn a blog post into a video, slideshow, or podcast. Instead of creating a new post from scratch, you can also use old content that is outdated and update it with current information. This can cut your content creation time in half for each piece of repurposed content and costs next to nothing.
Another great way to get content is to accept guest posts. Other bloggers may want to offer you a free piece of content to put on your blog in exchange for a link to their website. You don’t have to accept every pitch for an article, but you can pick some of the best to feature. Accept only high-quality writers who are willing to contribute in exchange for exposure.
You can make a page about guest posting on your site and even reach out to some other blogs. Consider writing guest posts on other blogs and link back to your own articles on your blog, this will help you build additional exposure.
Once you have content, it’s time to promote it. Share it on Facebook, tweet it, and post it to Instagram. If you have a mailing list, send it out. Use a variety of platforms to promote it. Visit other similar sites and comment about your content with a link. Get the word out.
Regardless of what kind of content you decide to create, focus on quality. Even if you’ve got a small budget to start with, content can take you from relative obscurity to a massively popular online brand. Focus on adding value in your content and the results will come.
About the author
Jen McKenzie is a freelance writer from New York, NY. She is fascinated by all things having to do with words, business, education and cutting-edge. When Jennifer is not busy writing, she enjoys taking long walks and spending time with her two pets Brando & Marlon. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie