Low Cost Content Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses

Emma Siemasko on Content marketing,


Content marketing is the perfect channel for small businesses. With relatively few resources, you can use content to educate your audience and encourage them down your sales funnel.

Developing, creating and promoting content may seem expensive, but it turns out that there are many low cost options out there for you. As content marketing has proven more and more effective, small companies have found creative ways to create programs that fit within their budget.

Today, we’re sharing some low cost content marketing solutions for small business. Whether you have an in-house content marketer, or you’re a marketing manager tasked with exploring content, you can leverage these ideas to help take your program to the next level.

Start a blog

Starting a blog won’t cost you much at all. You can easily add a blog to your existing website using WordPress, and it’s now simpler than ever to buy an inexpensive theme (for about $50) and customize the blog yourself.

Once you set up a blog, you’ll be able to write about topics that are relevant to your audience. If you’re not much of a writer, you can encourage your team to contribute or hire a professional freelance writer to help you out.

Make a lengthy list of topics

Coming up with topics for your content marketing program can be tough, but it all comes down to understanding your audience and what their challenges are.

For example, if your small business sells bridal shoes, you’ll want to create content that addresses the questions that arise for brides. Brides might wonder which shoes will best match their dress, and might be curious about how to choose shoes that are both stylish and comfortable. You can write blog posts on these topics.

Content Topics

  • When in doubt, educate your audience. People come to your small business because you are an expert in a particular field. Your content marketing should prove your expertise. Come up with a list of topics that you know a lot about, then share what you know.

  • Don’t create content that is overly promotional. If readers feel that all you’re doing is talking about yourself and trying to make a sale, they won’t read your content.

  • Get tangential. Not everything you write has to be an exact fit for what you do-- you just want to show that you’re knowledgeable about the industry. If you sell bridal shoes, you can also create content about bridal hair and makeup, as well as weddings in general.

Automate the sales funnel

When someone signs up for your newsletter or to take a demo, what happens afterwards? If your sales team reaches out every time, you’re wasting valuable resources. This process can be automated with software.

For example, when someone asks for more information via your website, they can automatically receive a series of emails with relevant information. First, they might receive an email that outlines your packages and how you work with customers. Then, they might receive an email with a success story.

Encourage your team to contribute

No one knows your business than the people on your team, and they have a diverse range of experience that they can share on your company blog. One low cost content marketing solution is to have your team contribute to the blog on a weekly or monthly basis.

If people on your staff don’t feel confident about writing, you can always interview them to learn about their perspective, and write blog posts on their behalf. In this way, they’ll contribute their expertise even if they don’t have the time, energy, or writing skills to put something together.

Partner with other businesses

Other small businesses are in the same situation as you are. They want to make as much of an impact as possible at a low cost. Because of this, you should consider partnering with other businesses-- large and small-- to reach a new audience.

The best bet is to partner with a business who sells a complementary product to the same audience as you do. For example, if you sell sports apparel, you might partner with a local team. Fanatics.com partnered with Notre Dame, an American collegiate football team, for a promotion:

Get the right tools

Finally, you can run a low cost content marketing program with the right tools. Many of the best tools out there are free or inexpensive. Here are some of our favorites:

Jumplead -- offers online sales and marketing software for inbound marketing

WordPress -- offers blogging capabilities

Trello -- offers project management and editorial calendar tools

Trello

Google Keyword Planner -- offers a sense of what terms people are searching for

Google Docs -- offers a free word processing for you and collaborators in the cloud

Having the right tools will make it easier to run a content marketing program that works for your small business.

Content marketing is the perfect channel for small businesses. With relatively few resources, you can use content to educate your audience and encourage them down your sales funnel.

Developing, creating and promoting content may seem expensive, but it turns out that there are many low cost options out there for you. As content marketing has proven more and more effective, small companies have found creative ways to create programs that fit within their budget.

Today, we’re sharing some low cost content marketing solutions for small business. Whether you have an in-house content marketer, or you’re a marketing manager tasked with exploring content, you can leverage these ideas to help take your program to the next level.

Start a blog

Starting a blog won’t cost you much at all. You can easily add a blog to your existing website using WordPress, and it’s now simpler than ever to buy an inexpensive theme (for about $50) and customize the blog yourself.

Once you set up a blog, you’ll be able to write about topics that are relevant to your audience. If you’re not much of a writer, you can encourage your team to contribute or hire a professional freelance writer to help you out.

Make a lengthy list of topics

Coming up with topics for your content marketing program can be tough, but it all comes down to understanding your audience and what their challenges are.

For example, if your small business sells bridal shoes, you’ll want to create content that addresses the questions that arise for brides. Brides might wonder which shoes will best match their dress, and might be curious about how to choose shoes that are both stylish and comfortable. You can write blog posts on these topics.

Content Topics

  • When in doubt, educate your audience. People come to your small business because you are an expert in a particular field. Your content marketing should prove your expertise. Come up with a list of topics that you know a lot about, then share what you know.

  • Don’t create content that is overly promotional. If readers feel that all you’re doing is talking about yourself and trying to make a sale, they won’t read your content.

  • Get tangential. Not everything you write has to be an exact fit for what you do-- you just want to show that you’re knowledgeable about the industry. If you sell bridal shoes, you can also create content about bridal hair and makeup, as well as weddings in general.

Automate the sales funnel

When someone signs up for your newsletter or to take a demo, what happens afterwards? If your sales team reaches out every time, you’re wasting valuable resources. This process can be automated with software.

For example, when someone asks for more information via your website, they can automatically receive a series of emails with relevant information. First, they might receive an email that outlines your packages and how you work with customers. Then, they might receive an email with a success story.

Encourage your team to contribute

No one knows your business than the people on your team, and they have a diverse range of experience that they can share on your company blog. One low cost content marketing solution is to have your team contribute to the blog on a weekly or monthly basis.

If people on your staff don’t feel confident about writing, you can always interview them to learn about their perspective, and write blog posts on their behalf. In this way, they’ll contribute their expertise even if they don’t have the time, energy, or writing skills to put something together.

Partner with other businesses

Other small businesses are in the same situation as you are. They want to make as much of an impact as possible at a low cost. Because of this, you should consider partnering with other businesses-- large and small-- to reach a new audience.

The best bet is to partner with a business who sells a complementary product to the same audience as you do. For example, if you sell sports apparel, you might partner with a local team. Fanatics.com partnered with Notre Dame, an American collegiate football team, for a promotion:

Get the right tools

Finally, you can run a low cost content marketing program with the right tools. Many of the best tools out there are free or inexpensive. Here are some of our favorites:

Jumplead -- offers online sales and marketing software for inbound marketing

WordPress -- offers blogging capabilities

Trello -- offers project management and editorial calendar tools

Trello

Google Keyword Planner -- offers a sense of what terms people are searching for

Google Docs -- offers a free word processing for you and collaborators in the cloud

Having the right tools will make it easier to run a content marketing program that works for your small business.

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