If your small business has yet to take advantage of content marketing, it's high time you did. Even the simplest content marketing tactic can go a long way toward 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.
• You don't have to spend thousands on content creation each month.
• You don't have to hire a full-time content marketing manager.
• And you most definitely don't have to be a marketing guru yourself.
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.
1. It's Start With Social Media
The first way to integrate content marketing into your current marketing agenda is by posting to social media.
Posting on social media about your company increases brand awareness and 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.
2. You Need a Blog
Hopefully, you already have a website, and if you don't, you need one 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 post 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 increase inbound leads.
If only five percent of the 350 new site visitors convert into leads, 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.
3. A Picture Is Actually Worth a Million Words
When you're creating all those blog posts we just talked about in the section above, 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 long and includes lots of images or videos.
For Google, it's all about the user experience. For your brand, it's all about the CX. When you incorporate images 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 pictures. And don't worry about dishing out money for those images.
Using Flickr Creative Commons and other free-to-use photo databases makes 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. A great way to make customized graphics is by using Adobe Express.
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 image.
Furthermore, the title attribute of the image and its alt tags should include your target keyword. 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.
4. 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 that they tend to direct their services toward multi-million-dollar companies. And who can blame them? Those are the companies that can afford to spend $5k, $10k, or $20k a month on content creation.
But what about small businesses that face financial limitations? 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, this is still really affordable when you break it down.
Let's use the following monthly content creation strategy as an example:
- 4 blog posts: 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, when you're paying 10 cents a word, you'll likely receive images 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 at 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 zero per month. All they have to pay for is the 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 that they will charge an additional fee.
nDash, 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 percentage fee for nDash's participation in the content creation process.
Another aspect to consider when finding a writer through some platforms is that once you find one that you want to establish a long-term relationship with, you're stuck communicating with the client through the platform.
Unless you want to pay a hefty buy-out fee, some platforms won't let you work with the writer independently, meaning you are always going to pay a percentage fee to continue ordering content from the writer.
As we already pointed out, 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 $1,500 a month to handle all of your content marketing needs, buy a content marketing package or contact us today.