A lot of marketers have skyscraping ideas. Strategies that would transform their companies forever.
But unfortunately, the budget often falls short. And if you’re in the same shoes, not to worry, because most small companies are suffering from this.
To fight the budget-block, you can utilize some smart content marketing strategies. Strategies that suit your budget (not the Fortune 500 companies), and skyrocket your ROI.
And amazingly – content marketing can land you massive business, with very little investment.
That said, while we won’t need a massive budget, we will need to follow the strategies consistently.
Let’s jump into the strategies:
1. Influencer marketing
According to Mediakix:
- 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective
- 71% of marketers found influencer marketing traffic quality as good as other sources
- 89% of marketers found its ROI equally good or better than other marketing channels
In their infographic, they showcased the effectiveness of influencer marketing:
Although paid, influencer marketing is incredibly personalized, resonates with the audience, and increases ROI.
While influencer marketing campaigns can vary, all businesses can use this. And although not limited to Instagram, this strategy is high-impact on this visual-first platform. And it’s even surpassing the growth speed of organic traffic. Convince & Convert agrees:
Plus, Shane Barker recently published an article on Business2Community explaining why it is still effective:
You don’t need to complicate the process:
- Find influencers in the same space
- Send them a message asking for rates
- Go ahead and do it if the budget aligns
Some of the biggest companies are leveraging influencer marketing perfectly.
However, a ton of companies are not. They would rather hire a content marketing team to get the same results.
That’s where you outsmart them by messaging influencers and saving money. Gary Vaynerchuk crushed that on this video:
And since influencers already have a follower base, it will inflate your following as well.
Influencers can also create high-impact content for a fraction of the cost most big companies spend.
That said, before you panic – “I can’t be blowing money on kids on Instagram” – remember, micro-influencers tend to have the most engaged audience.
So utilize their massive potential.
2. Book writing
“Fat content will become the focus of marketers everywhere.” ~ Jesse Noyes, Senior Director of Organic & Content Marketing, Zenefits.
Here’s a report by Orbit Media:
Further, according to serpIQ’s study, top-rated posts tend to range over 2000 words.
Brian Dean also performed an experiment that advocates the same – longer content trumps shorter.
So let me ask you – ever considered writing a book on your niche? If not, then you really should.
People see book authors as massive authorities on the topic.
This authority and awareness will help you land and close more clients, thereby, skyrocket your ROI.
That said, even with all the benefits, books can be excruciatingly hard to put together.
Sure, you can collaborate with a professional writer to help you on the book. Just like Will Smith found Mark Manson. However, remember – even such collaborations also require a lot of time and energy.
Once finished, you can plaster your name and company on it.
You can sell the book on Amazon. You can also give it away in exchange for emails, as Neil Patel did when growing QuickSprout.com:
You can also diversify your book content into blog posts, podcasts, slides, quizzes and even videos.
Just about everybody is underestimating the content marketing power of books, despite the amazing track record and potential.
That’s where you can cash in.
3. Content diversification
Andrew Dennis – content marketing specialist from Page One Power – covered the importance of content diversification on SEJ:
Let’s discuss the importance even further.
Creating content is just the beginning. Distributing is what gets you exposure.
There are 3 types of content mainly. Written, audio and video.
People consume these 3 types on several platforms. And if you can fill those platforms with your content, you can squeeze the most impact out of your pieces.
You should leverage as many platforms as you can. Personally, I use Facebook the most, followed by Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Emails, press releases, and guest posts help to get more eyeballs on your content too.
Without diversification, we are leaving a lot of attention and growth on the table. The more content you put out, the more eyeballs you attract. Here’s a study by HubSpot advocating that:
According to them, businesses that blog 16+ times a month get a huge 3.5x more traffic compared to competitors that do it once a week or month.
Social media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk is the prime example of using all the platforms for distribution:
He is doing books, videos, PDFs, blog posts, direct texts, podcasts, graphics, infographics, memes, GIFs, and much much more.
He is distributing them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, all podcast channels, and more.
Neil Patel discusses effective distribution further here:
Action Tip: Check out this list of tested platforms to help amplify your content reach by rockstar content marketer Chintan Zalani.
4. Big content on narrow untouched topics
Most websites cover vast topics like:
- Top 10 Ways To Become A Better Writer
- Top 10 Books To Supercharge Your Copywriting Skills
- Top 10 Digital Marketing Experts
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, they serve as amazing pillar articles. However, they are also impossibly competitive to rank and stand out for.
That said – how about these laser-focused topics:
- Why Hand-copying Is The Quickest Way To Become A Better Writer
- Everything About John Carlton’s Book “Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel”
- Why Neil Patel Is The Best Digital Marketing Expert Out There
Covering smaller topics gets you backlinks, attention, and search traffic. They come with smaller search competition. And you have the chance to go in-depth on them too.
And in-depth content comes with a lot of benefits:
And when you touch untouched topics, you become a pioneer in the industry.
So why not adapt that fill-in-the-gaps content mindset?
Content marketing expert Chintan Zalani puts it here amazingly:
5. Industry leader mentioning
Chances are, you’ve seen expert round-ups before. These are the prime examples of industry leader mentions. Here’s how these posts look:
Such collections of thoughts are crammed with value.
And you can create these round-ups yourself.
Simply hit up the industry leaders in an email asking your questions. Most of them will reply because it will give them exposure too.
You can also use their quotes to increase the authority of your content – just the way I did in this post. That way, you won’t drown in content mediocrity.
And once you’ve used their insights to create content, let them know.
They often share the content with their follower base (usually by tweeting), which gets more shares then and often triggers a snowball effect. Landing YOU a ton of attention eventually:
Image Source: JeffBullas.com
6. Content humanization
Trying to sound overly professional can make your brand look bland. And that draws a fine line between you and your audience.
Sure, many people prefer strict business relationships, but humanized brands work for everybody.
Why do you think all the companies have an ‘About Us’ / ‘Who We Are’ page with all people smiling? Because it shows a personality, which helps them become a better option for clients.
Even major sites like Forbes and HuffPost use this:
- Show some humor
- Go behind-the-scenes
- Introduce employees
- Tell stories (more on this later)
All these will help your audience resonate with you.
Because it is hard to trust faceless brands. And that’s exactly why big companies hire top-tier celebrities to endorse their products and services. Here’s an amazing example by Montblanc:
However, most small businesses can’t afford the famous faces to endorse their solutions.
But don’t let that stop you from showing the human side of your business. There are numerous other ways to do that.
Margot Whitney explained that here:
Podcasts are highly engaging and they’re getting increasingly popular too:
Due to the lack of time and scope for multitasking, podcasts have caught on.
According to Statista projects:
By 2021, there will be more than 100 million podcast listeners in the United States alone.
Podcasts help increase your bottom-line:
So starting a regular podcast can build you an extremely engaged audience.
And since most companies haven’t tapped into podcasts, there’s less competition and more room for becoming an authority for you. You can leverage guest hosting to build your base too.
What’s more – producing podcasts is a breeze.
You can simply sit yourself down and rant for an hour on topics you’re most passionate about just like Joe Rogan:
Further, you don’t also need million-dollar accessories for it. There are many budget options out there.
And the usefulness of podcasts to your audience is enormous. It’s where the mind opens.
Check out this episode of Joe Rogan experience with Elon Musk:
Whiskey, legit samurai swords from the 1500s, lighting weed in studio, 20,000 flamethrowers which aren’t actually flamethrowers, auto-driving and genuinely dancing (YES, dancing) Tesla cars. DAMN!
Ideas are flying off the shelves in this podcast. You can do similar content too.
On top of that, you can also use the podcast script as a blog post too.
8. Continuous testing
Content is the number 1 pillar when building your brand. Which means its usefulness is crucial.
But nothing beats A/B testing to optimize your business.
You can determine the usefulness of content by monitoring the engagement metrics.
- How’s your engagement coming along?
- Are you getting comments, likes, and shares?
- Are the responses positive or negative?
If a certain type of content is clicking, offer more of that.
But don’t just stop there. Newness is important too to discover the likes of your audience.
By testing, you can understand:
- Which ads attract more clicks
- Which layout optimizes conversions
- Which elements help promote conversions
Neil Patel crushed the importance of testing in this video:
So keep testing what tickles their interest. And if something clicks, keep punching that out.
9. Data-driven content creation
According to Bodhi Resourcing, data is a necessity in content:
A lot of businesses create shallow, generic content – regurgitating the same things everybody else is.
Sure, trusting your intuitions and offering conventional insights are one thing. Utilizing your experienced thoughts is important too.
But creating technically accurate content is vital for earning trust. And trust fuels business.
That’s where data comes in.
According to Forbes, 66% of marketing data is used to improve offers, messages and content.
Even if the data isn’t 1000% correct, it is much better than random assumptions.
This content can help you ramp up your business deals.
Because you’re not weaving up facts from this air like others – you talk data.
10. Voice optimization
50% of the searches will be voice by 2020, according to ComScore and about 30% of the searches will be without a screen by 2020, according to Gartner.
Voice searches are emerging as the future. And while most companies are jumping onto it, most people are not.
This chart by IronPaper shows the surging popularity of voice:
Even though there’s very little competition in voice now, the competition will skyrocket soon, as it’s getting increasingly popular:
To optimize for voice, understanding human behavior is essential. Here are some quick ways:
- Using natural language in content
- Eradicating technical terms
- Adding lots of long-tail phrases
- Personalizing content for different localities
I saved the best for last.
According to Quantified Communications:
Research shows that messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts.
This is your brain on storytelling:
As you can see, stories grab attention. And in business, attention is everything.
Stories persuade, influence, inspire and bring change.
That said – we don’t need to become James Cameron and produce the next Avatar. Our simple goal is to feed people information, facts, data in the form of stories.
Here are some quick tips on effective storytelling:
- Drum up a reasonable amount of drama
- Speak against conventional content
- Be authentic and calm, it increases your authority
- Showcase flaws, it makes you look authentic
- Consider the consumer a friend sitting across the table in Starbucks
- Use storytelling frameworks
You can do it in text form, audio form, or video. Or even all at once.
If you aren’t the best at storytelling, you can watch and absorb it from the best. You can also hire a scriptwriter to do your content.
But putting out stories is inevitable.
All these insights might be overwhelming at the moment.
And it is okay if you don’t try them all at once.
You can pick a few, and include them in your content strategy.
Keep experimenting and see what suits you best.
How do you go about squeezing the most out of your content marketing efforts?
Let me know in the comments.
Guest author: Mehedi Hasan Shoab is a freelance content marketer helping businesses skyrocket. Want him to handle your work? See his website here.