Every small business owner knows that in order to succeed you need to connect with your target market and great content is a really good way to do that. If we think of marketing like fishing, then content is your bait (please don’t confuse this message with advocating link-bait!) It is just that what you put out there has to appeal to your ideal end-users in order for them to be attracted to your product or service.
If you want to create the best content marketing strategy there are a couple of steps to go through to make sure you are presenting the correct content for your audience.
Create a Beginning Content Strategy (and refine as you go)
You don’t have to break your mental bank here creating a tome; you just need to know approximately what kind of content you are going to produce and who you are producing it for. If your target market shops for wine, don’t create content about beer. If your target market loves Pinterest, don’t write articles for the newspaper. You can always branch out later if you find it wise, but in the beginning, when you are trying to execute on a low-cost marketing budget, you want to be as smart as possible with both your time and your money, so even if taking the time to draft a content strategy might seem like more work up-front, it will significantly reduce your workload over time and make your content more articulate and effective.
Answers these questions:
- Who is my audience?
- What type of content do they like/share?
- What is the best way to reach them?
Obtain/Produce The Right Content
Ok, so now you know to whom you are speaking and how you want to communicate with them. Now all you need is content. Depending on what your medium is there are some great ways to get content for low-cost or no-cost (except for your time).
Blogs/Articles – Fiverr.com is a good place to find people willing to make good blogs and articles on the cheap. Since the gigs start at $5, you can get good content in bulk if you find a writer you sync with. Upwork (formerly Odesk and Elance) is another resource to check. On this site you can tell people what you need and freelancers will bid on your job. You set the requirements and the cost to you and choose who you want to work with.
Videos – Get your phone out and record yourself talking about your product or business. Or, ask people to record short testimonials for you and then put those clips together with a song and you’ve got a great video for your marketing at almost no-cost. Powtoon.com is another fun option that you can use to make free animated explainer or demo videos.
SlideDecks – If you aren’t into doing videos, then put some slides together highlighting your product or business. Slideshare with HaikuDeck makes it really easy to create a good looking presentation. Make it quick and easy; slides need to be easy for people to mentally digest.
Infographics – Sign up for a free account at a site like Piktochart.com and use their templates to create your new infographics. They have templates you can use for free or you can upgrade to a month of a more expensive plan and create all the infographics at once. Gather all of your data and create away.
Advertisements – Most of the time the group you are buying ad space from will create your ad for you for free and this is usually a good low-cost option. Or, you can try 99designs.com to get crowdsourced graphics. Depending on what you are going for this may not be the cheapest option but graphic design is one thing that doesn’t come cheap if you want it done well. Consider spending a little more dough in this arena to get a much better product.
Mash-Up Old Content
Once you get a small backlog of content, take that content and turn it into new content. Take an article and turn it into a “Top 10” slide show. Take a series of blogs and publish a white paper. Take salient points from a video and make it into an infographic. There is a good chance that you will reach new people with each new piece of content and it never hurts for people to hear the same thing twice anyway.
Go back to your content strategy frequently to check in on where you started vs. what you are currently doing. Make sure you are tracking the engagement on your content and make adjustments when you see they are needed.