Team Script shares a few tips on how to maximize your content marketing budget strategy!
Content marketing budget plays an increasingly larger role in determining the success of your digital branding strategy. In an era where customers are bombarded with intrusive and irrelevant advertisements every day, digital advertising has become less effective to generate conversions. Not only do the customers subconsciously tune out online advertisements, but they also proactively look for ways to filter and avoid such content. From installing Adblock to disabling pop-up ads in their browser setting, customers view advertisements as an unreliable avenue to find the right brands to patronize.
So what can businesses do to entice customers to make a purchase, then?
This is where content marketing comes into the picture. More customers now turn to content to find information about the products and services that match their needs. The great thing about content marketing is that you can produce great content while still keeping your budget to a minimum. In comparison to traditional marketing, content marketing costs 62% less and creates three times as many leads. It also yields conversion rates that are six times higher than outbound marketing methods.
Why is Content Marketing so Valuable?
The value of content marketing goes beyond the mere calculation of the cost-to-return ratio. With content marketing, you can also establish a better rapport with your target audience organically as you present them with content that they deem useful—propping up yourself as the voice of authority in your industry.
But digital content marketing also presents a unique problem as well. Since there are myriad digital platforms out there that businesses use to get noticed, they face a stiff competition to create high-quality content. In this saturated market, businesses that spend much of their marketing budget on multi-dimensional branding strategies, from influencer-based marketing with the help of brand ambassador to experiential marketing, can easily get the upper hand. But don’t worry, whether you are a small business strapped for cash or a startup trying to bootstrap your way up, there are several marketing tactics you can employ to maximize your conversion results. Here are four tips you can follow to gain higher output with a small budget:
1. Pivot Your Content Marketing Budget on Producing High-quality Content
Content marketing is often considered as one of the most cost-efficient marketing tactics to increase your bottom line. Depending on the quality of your output, content marketing can act as the great equalizer between large and small companies vying to convert the same market demographics. While indeed you need good investments to procure the right technology to execute your content strategy, creativity and ingenuity have an even larger influence on how to get eyeballs on your content. A 2017 study on B2B content marketing had shown that 85% of the surveyed businesses attribute their successful marketing strategies to their content quality—followed by strategy development and adjustment at 72%.
Producing high-quality content is incredibly helpful to maximize the efficacy of your content marketing budget. Think of your content as a small investment you put into your customers. It serves as an educational and informational tool to cultivate leads and conversions. In the long run, your content can help your customers form greater affinity to your brand. Gaining their trust in your industry knowledge is crucial since they are more likely to prefer your value offerings over your competitors.
Developing a consistent content strategy
To achieve stronger brand loyalty, you need to portion much of your content budget to market research. Although it seems tricky at first glance, there are many ways you can create well-researched content on a shoestring budget. Some things you need to consider include:
- Keeping yourself informed on the latest trends in your industry by closely monitoring the news. You don’t have to spend your fiscal resources on subscription if you find it too cumbersome. Following trustworthy publications on your social media would suffice.
- Interacting with your customers on social media to gain more in-depth market insights. Customers would often leave some valuable feedback by reaching out to you on social media, either in your post or in your message inbox. Even better, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are now equipped with a feature that allows you to conduct a 24-hour survey. While this isn’t as effective as more elaborate surveys and studies, it can at least provide you with a better view of the customers’ real-time sentiments towards your brand.
- Getting an idea of what your competitors and industry influencers are currently doing by monitoring their activities on social media. Monitoring their strategies will help you actualize your position in the market and readjust your strategy easily according to needs.
- Investing your resources more in building audience personas based on the data that you acquire from your social media metrics.
- Harnessing the power of SEO and SEM by finding out search keywords that are most relevant to your business.
2. Prioritize Your Content Marketing Budget for Your Primary Needs
Let’s begin with a startling finding, first. According to SiriusData, more than 70% of the content produced by B2B marketing teams goes unused. Such a high rate of unused content bleakly signifies that most marketers fail to allocate their resources and time properly. It also shows the disparity between the content goals set by marketers and customers’ actual needs for media gratification.
Marketers can easily avoid such a mishap by suppressing the urge to barrage customers with content assets just for the sake of acquiring short bursts of web traffic. Hence, before jumping straight into content creation, businesses must know how to identify areas in their current content strategy that can potentially attract more prospects for engagement. This varies from one business to another.
To illustrate, a digital startup with no prior industry insights must prioritize content for initial persona research. You can base this research on their basic demographics, interests, content preference, and pain points. Meanwhile, a household brand may focus more on building a content strategy that leverages customer experience to gain more loyal following and better market exposure.
Case in point, on October 14th 2012, Red Bull launched its marketing campaign called Stratos—featuring Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner jumping off the stratosphere from a small capsule. The entire stunt was spectated by millions of people around the globe on YouTube Livestream.
The video garnered the highest viewing traffic for any live stream broadcast on the platform. Such an experiential content strategy would only work for brands that have established strong market positioning and deep-rooted brand association with specific activities (extreme sports in the case for Red Bull).
Therefore, allocate your marketing budget based on your primary needs first before moving to your secondary and tertiary objectives.
3. Start Building Your Mailing List
Even as social media quickly rises to popularity, the use of email in content marketing hasn’t waned. Billions of emails are being exchanged daily, with roughly 47% of those coming from the business sector. At least 61% of online adults use email on an average day to communicate—spending roughly 13 of their working hours each week to check their email inbox.
Email is such a perfect marketing tool to use because it enables companies to interact with their customers on a much more personal level. By using email, you can segment your target audience based on different categories and personalize your key strategies accordingly. The numbers tell the story.
According to MarketingSherpa, 72% of people mentioned email as their preferred medium to receive any promotional content. In fact, 70% of email readers access their accounts to search for a deal, discount, or a coupon. As such, it is no secret that email guarantees good returns on investment—earning you roughly $44 for every $1 spent on email marketing.
Thanks to its high level of personalization, email marketing can maximize your content marketing budget tremendously. It also increases your chances to convert first-time visitors into returning readers. A study by Nielsen Norman Group corroborates this—showing that newsletters remain a popular medium for businesses to grow and maintain relationships with customers even in times when they don’t make any purchase. This means that you can actually reconnect with your existing customers by simply sharing your content with them via email. With all the amazing features that email possesses, you will be remiss not to incorporate it in your next marketing strategy.
So, always focus on amassing more email subscriptions for your newsletters!
4. Document Your Content Assets
If you haven’t documented your content assets, then you must start doing it now. Keeping tabs on all the content you have produced enables you to view the overall trends in the market over time. Recognizing the changes in your content creation is critical to the development of your future strategy since you gain useful insights into what kinds of content that your audience prefers.
Having well-documented content assets also makes it easier for you to identify the right target audience and the appropriate content distribution for each audience segment. After all, different demographics have developed their own predilections as to what platforms they prefer for their media consumption. Acquiring such refined insights—albeit difficult at times—will greatly help you build a loyal customer base. At least, 54% of most effective B2B companies have documented their content marketing strategy. This is a far cry from B2C marketers, with only 33%.
Prevent inflated content marketing budget by repurposing content
Documenting your content strategy will make it easier for you to repurpose your existing assets down the line. As such, it will help you cut down the monetary cost and time required in content production. There are many ways you can repurpose your content. Here are some of them:
- Create highly engaging infographics from your existing blog posts. You can use these infographics to attract customers on your social media platforms, like LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Convert some of your existing articles into pillar posts by expanding them into several different topics. To gain better leads and conversions, you must provide inbound links in your pillar posts.
- Diversify your content assets by producing topical content in multiple different formats. For example, you can create a blog post, an infographic, a slideshow, and a short video all in one go by adjusting your research to these different formats accordingly.
- Piece together your existing content assets into a book or a case study. You can do this by splicing up different articles with similar themes and topics in one medium. Generally, it takes approximately four long-form articles to make 20 to 30 pages of a book.
Stretch Your Budget to its Limit
Budgeting your content marketing strategy can be tricky. Even if you have a cost estimation ready, you may not always stick to your budget plan for future expenses. The reason for this is that your audience can be finicky when it comes to their media consumption preferences. Some of your content may not receive the desired results, and thus you must fine-tune your strategy accordingly. That is why you need to keep your budgeting plan flexible to make room for changes. But as you go along in your endeavor, you will acquire more insights to refine your future strategy.
We also understand that not every company affords the luxury to have a content marketing budget ready at their disposal. Some of them may even think of content marketing as an afterthought only entertained once everything else is settled. Some don’t even have a content strategy altogether.
Nonetheless, we strongly encourage more companies to start putting more thoughts into content marketing, especially if they want to compete with other businesses in the digital realm. Creating a well-planned content marketing strategy doesn’t always have to be expensive. Internet is abundant with cheaper and sometimes free resources to make your content marketing strategy work. For instance, you can customize your own content domain for free on WordPress and disseminate your assets through Facebook. You can also stretch your budget by maximizing the efficiency of your content production, as suggested above.
Research your industry properly and let your creativity run wild, and surely you are on the right track!