Content marketing is one of the most popular and cost-efficient marketing strategies available, but that doesn’t mean that it’s cheap. If you want to execute a high-quality strategy, you’ll need to invest heavily, either in in-house personnel or experienced external firms capable of producing excellent work.
Thankfully, there are some money-saving tricks you can use to cut your costs without sacrificing the quality of your campaign, but you won’t find too many people talking about them — either because they don’t want to share their secrets, or because they can be exploited and used the wrong way.
I’ve found the following seven strategies to be incredibly useful, and I hope you will too:
1. Reuse your old content.
I know what you’re thinking: This is a bad idea. And it is, if you do it the wrong way. Let’s say you had a successful blog post a year or two ago about some evergreen topic in your industry. Obviously, this is a piece that had the power to attract lots of people to your blog, or earn you more than its share of conversions. So why not revisit that power by reposting this content?
Obviously, you can’t just repost the same article every month and hope to see new results. But there are viable options. As long as you wait at least a year before reposting, you can probably get away with a total republication.
If you’re reposting before that, consider changing the headline, rearranging the internal sections and making edits to the body content so it “feels” like a new article. Just be sure you don’t change the URL where it’s published, or you’ll risk losing any SEO equity the article has built up.
2. Reimagine your content in new mediums.
If you have a successful article on your blog, reimagine that article appearing in different mediums. For example, you might convert the data in your article to infographic form, or you might go over some of the highlights in a video.
You could even use your article as a chapter in a larger ebook, or cut it up into snippets that you can then use across social media — such as tweets or Facebook posts.
3. Don’t just publish your content; promote it in order to succeed.
Brainstorming ideas for content, creating content, editing it and publishing it are all just steps on the path to content marketing success, but many marketers think their job is done after publication.
According to Eric Siu, my fellow Entrepreneur contributor and the CEO of Single Grain, you should be spending 20 percent of your time on content creation and 80 on content promotion. For starters, showcase your piece across all your main social media channels. You can send paid ads to it, conduct influencer marketing, submit it to Reddit and StumbleUpon and build internal links to it, among many options for promotion. I’ve outlined these steps in Content Unleashed: The Ultimate Guide to Promoting Your Published Content.
4. Create a monthly series.
One of the most time-consuming elements of your content marketing campaign is coming up with new ideas; you’ll have to brainstorm new topics, research them and find a way to present them favorably to your target audience.
But you can save time (and therefore money) by creating a monthly series, which you can turn into templates for future work. For example, each month you might highlight a different influencer in your industry, or have a “101” series that explains basic topics to newcomers.
5. Try conducting interviews.
Interviews are one of the most powerful types of content you can create. Assuming you’re working with an influencer, you’ll get additional exposure and a reputation boost for your work, and it won’t take you much time or resources to get started.
Entry-level video and audio equipment is reasonably affordable, and all you have to do in advance of the interview is prepare some questions you want to ask. Then, you can convert the interview into any medium you’d like (including video, audio feeds and written transcripts).
6. Invite guest contributors.
Consider inviting guest contributors to your blog. There are untold numbers of aspiring writers out there who would love the chance to gain exposure and credibility through guest posting, and many of them have excellent quality work to share.
You’ll get the benefit of original, well-written posts for your blog; the writers will get the benefit of increased exposure; and you won’t have to pay a dollar for the transaction (though you’ll want to spend some time editing this content).
7. Crowdsource your content.
If you aren’t interested in making an open call to guest authors outside your company, you could crowdsource your blog’s content internally. Ask members of your team to write up an occasional blog post about a topic they think would be interesting to your customers.
You’ll get a diverse range of topics and unique perspectives, and you won’t have to spend much extra time or money to get them.
Any cost-saving measure you introduce in a marketing campaign does have the potential to be abused. If used irresponsibly, it could cheapen the quality of your work or even compromise the reputation of your brand.
However, all these tactics have the potential to be used without negative consequences — so long as you keep quality and user satisfaction as your top priorities.
Employ them cautiously at first, so you have room to grow and adapt, but don’t hesitate to keep looking for new ways to cut costs responsibly; it’s one of the best ways to improve the overall ROI of your content marketing campaign.