Successful content marketing can be a challenging strategy to master, even for the largest organizations. Throw this strategy to a business with a strict budget and minimal resources, and you can likely expect an uphill battle.
While creating content can be a challenge in itself, it’s often what you do with the content after it’s been published that determines its effectiveness. When budget is an issue, you should tactfully maneuver your available resources by creating a smarter distribution strategy that aligns with your needs and ensures that you’re getting the most use out of your content efforts.
Below are four low-cost distribution tactics that can help best utilize your resources and improve your content-marketing strategy moving forward.
1. Repurpose long-form content
For many marketers, creating long-form content is a big time investment and can tax several departments’ resources. It can take upwards of six weeks, or even longer to publish a well-researched white paper, ebook or other type of in depth content in many cases.
While most marketers understand the core value of long form content, few understand how to best extend the life of this content through repurposing tactics.
Once you have published in-depth content, you can use key elements mentioned within throughout the original piece of content to develop content for other channels such as social posts, podcasts, webinars, SlideShares, infographics and video series, along with others.
For example, a white paper with seven chapters could be broken into seven different blog articles explaining each section with more clarity, quotes from the paper could be used in social posts and main sections could be discussed in an open forum webinar, to name a few options.
Repurposing content can help you reach a wider audience, get more mileage from your ideas and ensure that you are developing content that considers the format that your audience is interested in.
2. Establish syndication relationships
To begin reaching a larger audience with a limited budget, you can get your content syndicated with popular publishers or social influencers within your industry to share with their audiences. While there is no sure-fire way to guarantee a syndication partnership with a major publisher, there are a few tips that could help you pitch your content.
First, identify publishers who share content that aligns with your target market’s interests and then develop content that meets the expectations of both audiences. For example, a tech company could write a detailed article about their industry that also meets the interests of The Huffington Post, The Next Web, TechCrunch or even the Entrepreneur readers.
It’s important to first establish a rapport with your editors and not start the conversation with an ask, but instead focus on what value you can provide them to help reach their goals. With this approach in mind, it’s more likely you’ll be able to establish long-term relationships with these editors. Once you feel comfortable, then you can share your content with an editor from the desired publisher and give the rights to republish the content to their readers.
Syndicated content can be a cost effective method to extend the reach of your content efforts while also providing third party validation, increasing industry authority, driving new traffic to your branded content and improving your search engine optimization through quality backlinks.
3. Consider low-cost paid promotions
With organic reach and engagement metrics on social media becoming increasingly underwhelming, simply publishing content on your social channels is often not enough to develop an engaging audience, drive conversions or meet other marketing benchmarks.
Even with a very limited budget you should still consider using paid distribution tactics to promote your content, particularly any content that has been proven to drive revenue or create sales opportunities.
In my experience, it’s best to experiment with Facebook ads, LinkedIn sponsored updates or Pinterest promoted pins first to determine which avenues best fulfill your business goals and align with your budget concerns. These are my first choice since they’ve been proven to drive results for business of all sizes and budgets, while there’s been doubt surrounding other social advertising platforms like Twitter, for example.
At first, use a limited budget across each advertising platform to minimize your financial risk and focus on establishing methods to measure the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. This can ensure your team quickly understands which channels are most effective for your business without spending too much of your budget at once.
Once you have developed a strategy that produces positive return, you can begin scaling your efforts and maximizing the effectiveness of your best content across paid ads on social.
4. Curate relevant content
Creating content can often times get pretty pricey and many organizations with a limited budget struggle to have original content published on all of their networks each day. This can create gaps in their editorial calendar and even lead to missed opportunities to engage with their audience.
To overcome any gaps in your content strategy, you should republish or curate content from industry thought leaders, social influencers, your customers or even content from other businesses within your space — as long as it also aligns with the interests of your customer base and as long as it is done sparingly.
By adding a content curation strategy to your marketing tactics, you can make sure that you have a consistent stream of relevant content to share with your audience without having to break the bank on producing original content daily. You should always have more original content then curated, but curation is an effective technique for filling the gaps in your calendar as well as building relationships with others in your industry.