Content Marketing: Is it possible with a budget of £0?
Content Marketing has been a buzzword for a few years now. The internet is inundated with content from blogs, company websites, FAQs and more – in fact in 2013 there were already 152,000 blogs on the internet. So why do it if you are just contributing to the noise?
Should you even bother with Content Marketing if you don’t have a budget for it?
Content marketing should be about delivering value to your customer. For example, you own a MOT Garage. You place an advert in the local paper, or online with popular car websites, advertising your MOT services. This is sales, and would be considered interruptive marketing – because your messaging disrupts what the person was doing.
615 million devices now use Ad Blocking technology, a sure sign that users are getting tired of having their time interrupted with marketing.
Now imagine you blog about the typical reasons a car might fail it’s MOT, and warning signs to look out for. This information is both relevant to your business and your customers. It helps them to understand the MOT process, and may potentially save them money if they spot a warning sign and get it fixed prior to their MOT. This is an excellent example of content marketing, because you are adding value, without pushing your service/product on the reader.
Your blogs weren’t actively selling your business, just sharing information that could be interesting to your customers. Someone reading that blog might be reminded that their MOT is coming up. They might even decide to book with your garage – as a thank you for the helpful advice.
Small business that blog get 126% more lead growth than small business that don’t.
Of course content marketing isn’t just blogging. Writing articles to be used on other sites, or writing an e-book to give away for free in exchange for lead form completion – these are all content marketing too.
Is it really possible to do Content Marketing with no budget?
Well. No budget for distribution costs, at least – it will still cost you your time and energy.
I’ll give you an example of some content marketing that had a distribution budget of £0. The series of articles I produced for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, answering the questions of landlords and tenants, had no budget allocated for distribution. Instead it was promoted via Social Media, and Newsletter mailings.
The series was promoted using a custom hashtag so that we could track conversation on Social Media, and had a branded graphic custom made to match the article by our wonderful in house Graphic Designer.
In the six months that I wrote the series, the website gained over 100,000 views of the blogs. On Twitter the information about the content was shared by other industry leaders – all leading back to the blogs on our website. This spread the message that we were the place to go to get the answers you needed.
I also combined some of the articles to create larger articles covering a set subject and these were published in a trade magazine. This helped to boost our presence even further.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme are still producing articles in this series. Content Marketing has helped them to appear top in google searches for answers to key tenancy related questions.
So there you have it, by utilising platforms you already have access to such as Social Media, and Email Newsletters, you can create a successful Content Marketing Campaign without needing to spend a penny!