If your small business has yet to take advantage of content marketing, it's high-time you do. Even the simplest content marketing tactic can go a long way in taking your business to the next level of success.
And contrary to what you have likely heard before, here are three things you don't have to do to gain a competitive edge with content marketing.
Something as simple as creating a blog can multiply your monthly lead generation.
So, let's keep it simple and look at four ways you can integrate content marketing into your current operations and reap the benefits of cost-efficient content creation.
It's Start With Social Media
The first way to integrate content marketing into your current marketing agenda is likely a way you have already been taking advantage of -- posting to social media.
Posting to social media about your company increases brand awareness and it helps establish a voice for your brand.
When making posts, it's essential that they are in congruence with all other marketing aspects, meaning they harmonize and maintain the same voice and tone your other marketing tactics convey.
To enhance the content marketing effectiveness of your social media posts, start including relevant keywords. Google and other search engines crawl social media posts (as long as they are set to Public) and if they index a post for a certain keyword, this will help expand brand awareness.
You can easily hire a professional content creator to create search engine optimization (SEO)-friendly social media posts for you. And since these posts tend to be quite short, hiring a content creator to create them is going to be extremely cost-efficient. We'll talk more about the rates of a professional content creator in a few minutes.
You Need a Blog
Hopefully, you already have a website, and if you don't, you need one, like now!
There should be a tab button at the top of your website's homepage titled Blog.
Your blog is where you tell your story. It's where you engage readers with valuable information that lets them get to know your brand.
Ideally, you will want to publish a new blog posting at least once every other day.
Did you know a 2017 study focused on content marketing discovered blogs with 16 new published posts each month will generate at least 350 new site visits each month?
In addition to increasing your site's traffic, you'll also be increasing inbound leads.
If only five percent of the 350 new site visitors convert into a lead, that's 17 new leads each month. And if only 30% of those new leads convert into actual customers with an average purchase price of $200, that's an increase in your monthly revenue of $1,020. And there's a good chance these new customers will convert into returning customers as long as you provide a pleasant customer experience (CX).
Imagine how much your revenue can increase if you publish 30 new posts a month.
A Picture Is Actually Worth a Million Words
When you're creating all those blog posts we just talked about in the section above, you're going to want to make sure they are long posts.
From an SEO standpoint, the more words, the better. Google loves content that is at least 1,500 words in length. It also loves content that includes images or videos.
For Google, it's all about the user experience, just like for your brand, it's all about the CX. And when images are incorporated into the blog posts you share, this helps website visitors have a better understanding of the message you are trying to convey.
Images also help break up the text, making it easier for the reader to digest the chunks of text that precede and follow each image.
For a 1,500-word blog post, you should try to incorporate at least three pics. And don't worry about dishing out money for those images.
Using Flickr Creative Commons and other free-to-use photo databases make it easy to use pictures without fretting about copyright infringement. But, if you can incorporate your own images into your content, this is going to provide an even better user experience.
For each image you use, don't forget to add an image caption; this will further boost the SEO value of the pictures because search engines crawl these captions.
You'll also want to make sure the file names of the images you use incorporate relevant keywords along with a hyphen after the keyword followed by a one- to two-word description of the subject being discussed.
Furthermore, the title attribute of the image and its alt tags should include the keyword you are targeting. Don't know what all of this means? That's fine because you can easily outsource the creation of these tags, captions, and file names to a content creation specialist. Here is a very helpful article on optimizing images for SEO purposes.
Hire the Right Content Creator
Our last tip for easily and affordably integrating content marketing into your overall operations is to hire the right content creator.
Remember earlier when we pointed out that you don't have to spend thousands on content creation each month, that's exactly what we meant.
There are a lot of reputable digital marketing agencies out there that can provide fantastic results. The only problem with big-time, full-service marketing agencies is they tend to direct their services toward multi-million dollar companies. And who can blame them? Those are the companies who can afford to pay $5k, $10k, $20k a month on content creation.
But what about the small businesses who are limited by budget constraints? Are they out of luck when it comes to integrating content marketing into their overall operations? The answer is no, and here's why.
Content creation is affordable when you hire the right content creator. Forget about paying one to two cents a word for content creation; this will land you with content that doesn't focus on keywords and is full of fluff.
An experienced content creator who understands inbound and outbound marketing will charge at least five cents a word, and you're more than likely going to pay upward of 10 cents a word for content that lands results. Still yet, this is still really affordable when you break it down.
Let's use the following monthly content creation strategy as an example:
4 blog 1,500-word blog posts (you're going to post one each week)
30 50-word social media posts (you're going to post one each day)
These four blog posts at 10 cents a word are going to cost you $600. The social media posts are going to cost you $150.
Even better is when you're paying 10 cents a word, you can ask for images to be included with relevant captions, alt tags, title attributes, and file names and the writer won't likely charge any additional fees. At this rate, a writer will happily include your requests.
Most importantly, at 10 cents a word, you can rest easy knowing you are receiving quality content from a content creator who has been in the industry for many years.
You're not going to find these rates with a large digital marketing agency. You'll need to do a search for content creators who work on an independent basis, operating their own small content creation businesses.
Independent content creators tend to cost much less than services from a large digital advertising agency because they work remotely. Their overhead expenses are close to $0 a month. All they have to pay for is Internet and a computer.
You can also look for quality writers who provide work through content agencies like Writer Access, nDash, or Ebyline. The only downside to these sites is they will charge an additional fee.
Writer Access, for example, can connect you with quality writers (I'm a writer on the platform), but in addition to what you pay the writer, there's a 30% fee to Writer Access.
It works out like this. You put in an order that has a total cost of $200. The writer makes $140 and Writer Access gets to keep $60. Still yet, it's a very good platform to find quality writers because all of them have gone through extensive evaluations to ensure they provide top-quality work.
Another aspect to consider when finding a writer through Writer Access is that once you find a writer you want to establish a long-term relationship with, you're stuck communicating with the client through the Writer Access platform. Unless you want to pay a hefty buy-out fee, you can't work with the writer independently, meaning you are always going to pay the 30% fee to Writer Access to continue ordering content from the writer.
As we outlined above, it's very possible to find quality writers who work independently. You just have to search for them. Luckily for you, you've already found one right here.
And most importantly, now you know that you don't have to dish out thousands a month to start integrating content marketing into your overall marketing agenda.
To learn more about hiring a content creator for under $1,000 a month to handle your content marketing needs, contact Whitney White today.
With a deep passion for writing, Whitney has met the needs of more than 12,000 clients.