What do content marketing and a McDonald’s hamburger have in common? They’re both inexpensive!
Let’s get real, here.
You should not be spending huge amounts of money on creating content. But you should be creating huge amounts of content!
So how does this work?
Although it’s easy for big companies to spend large amounts on content marketing, you as a small business don’t have to!
There are tons of low budget content marketing ideas out there, and we are going to share our favorites with you right now.
Content marketing is any type of content (blogs, photos, videos, posts, etc.) that you post online for your followers or potential customers to share, like, or comment on.
Believe it or not, content marketing is a driving force behind sales.
Because good content captures a customer’s attention while also making your brand memorable.
It is a huge component in your marketing strategy that helps to build brand awareness and recognition.
So that the next time a potential customer needs to buy a product, your company is at the top of the list.
Building rapport with potential customers or cold leads can pose a challenge.
These people have never heard of your company and do not know why they should choose your business over another.
Where do you even begin?
This is where our low budget content marketing ideas come into play!
9 Low Budget Content Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
1. Create A Blog
You may have been told to write blog posts for your business. But do you know all of the reasons blogging is beneficial to your brand?
This is essential and the only thing it will cost is your time.
Blogs can help answer questions like an in-depth FAQ section for your customers.
They can also help to tell your brand story and share with customers what your company is passionate about.
Blogs are one of the best content marketing ideas where you can easily connect and engage with your audience.
If you use WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly, etc. it is super easy to create a blog section.
If your site is in HTML it’s a little tricky, but sites like WordPress can easily be integrated.
All you need to do is create a subdomain for your blog like yourbusiness.com/blog.
Then it will be easy to house all of your blogs here and they won’t interfere with your website. It will also make posting them less of a headache.
Pro Tip: Write short blogs as well as long ones.
Entertain your site visitors by adding photos or even video and graphic components to your blog posts.
The point of a blog is to provide people with truly interesting content.
You want to make them stay on your website long enough for search engines to deem your site important and move you up in rankings.
See…there actually is a method to the madness.
Whatever you write, make sure your blog is accessible and easy to find.
Link it on your home page and all other pages on your site.
If you don’t do this people will have a difficult time finding your blog pages. And search engines won’t be able to rank these pages on your site.
Our blog is easily visible on the homepage and includes some of our top articles towards the top of the page.
There are engaging titles that capture the attention of viewers and encourage them to click to read more.
If you want your blog content to be seen you need to have catchy topics or titles because the goal is to get people to click and spend time reading your content.
Many people associate social media with advertising.
But you are probably already using social media channels to show off your content or link to your website or blog.
Posting on social media at least once a week takes a small amount of time out of your week, but the benefits can be huge!
Social media posts are a great way to share content because you can combine them with our other content marketing ideas!
They do not have to be extravagant.
They can be as simple as sharing a blog post you have written or posting content that reflects your brand’s style or values.
Some examples of types of content that you can post include:
- User-generated content
- Live streams
- Client testimonials
- How-To videos/articles
We’ll go more in-depth with some of these content marketing ideas and how you can utilize them to grow your business!
Once you create this content you can spread the word by posting it on social media.
Pro Tip: Ask your followers for feedback on your content. Tell them to share their thoughts in the comments section.
This is a sure way to gauge how you are doing with your content marketing ideas.
This is also a great way to get your followers engaging with you and each other.
It allows you to build a community which in turn can increase your brand awareness and create lifelong customers.
If you want to grow your follower base and engagement rates quickly and efficiently, hire a social media marketing company to do it for you.
You won’t have to worry about the content, publishing, SEO, or any other parts of the content marketing process and can spend more time focusing on your business.
3. User-Generated Content
This is quite possibly one of the cheapest content marketing ideas we have. User-generated content is FREE and relatively effortless.
All you have to do is repost or reblog. How can you encourage your followers to create content for you to repost?
Here are some ideas.
- Run a contest.
People love contests where they can win something and did you know that giving away free stuff can actually make you money online?
Check out one of the contests we launched for a bleach company, it generated a 430% follower increase and 112% revenue growth!
- Straight up tell people you want to use their content. People love it when brands reply to them or use their photos!
The first step here is to find a relevant photo or piece of content posted by one of your followers.
Repost it and then tell other users that they could see their content reposted too! This will encourage people to start tagging your business in their posts.
- Ask people to post photos of their weekend or create a fun hashtag around a day of the week to get followers excited about sharing content.
If you can bring personality to your brand, your followers will want to tag you in their social media posts and share their adventures with you.
This travel company uses its Instagram to promote content and photos that their users post.
It’s easy for them because they are free to use this content as long as they give credit to the original content creator.
And a lot of the time, your followers will create great content!
Just make sure that you sort out what is high quality versus low quality. You want to be sure your social media feeds are full of the best possible content.
Pro Tip: The only difficult part may be searching for quality content. But if you encourage users to use hashtags this will make your life much easier!
4. Client Testimonials
This is one of our content marketing ideas that you don’t need to put much effort in.
Did you ever think clients could write your content for you? They can with client testimonials!
Your only job is to encourage people to review your products or brand.
Don’t be shy when asking for reviews.
Customers know that reviews help you grow your business.
And if they have had a good experience with your business they will likely be glad to leave you a review or testimonial that you can post on your website.
This is a great way to encourage feedback and get reviews!
When potential customers are shopping for products online one of the deciding factors that they will look at is what other customers have to say about your product.
Yes, there will inevitably be bad reviews. Not every business is perfect and you can’t please everyone.
When bad reviews occur, make sure to handle them with care. Try to make the best of a bad situation.
When potential customers see that you have fixed the problem, this will humanize your brand and speak volumes of it.
5. Incorporate Video
You might be thinking that video is the most expensive of our content marketing ideas. Think again!
It’s easy to put together a short video or interview that is beneficial to your customers.
Videos allow your followers to consume information incredibly quickly without exerting too much energy.
This is especially important for millennial audiences and their need for instant gratification.
Here are some video ideas to get those creative juices flowing!
- Introduce yourself! Tell people what your business is all about. Having a face to put to a name is so important for your customers.
Once they see that real people are behind a brand, they can better relate to your products or services.
- Show off new products. Yes, you can show photos of your products but a video can show every angle as well as how to use your product.
This is your chance to show people why they need your product in their lives.
- Having a sale? Make a video about it! With video, you can use graphics and movement to create interesting and engaging content.
With all of these great video ideas, how are you going to go about shooting them on an incredibly low budget? Here’s a trick…
You can use Facebook live to broadcast to your followers for free!
They will see your video in real-time and you can answer their questions, engage with them, and more!
Your followers will receive a notification when you go live so you won’t need to worry about having your viewer’s attention.
This is what your live broadcast will look like. You can see your video in real-time as well as see comments and likes from your viewers.
When you are finished recording your video you can save it to your Facebook page so new followers can see it in the future.
Webinars are also an easy way to utilize video as well as grow your customer base.
Promote your webinar as a free class for people to get expert advice from you!
Get people to sign up for your webinar so that you can build your email list and continue to provide webinar viewers with content.
You don’t have to show your face if you don’t want to. Instead, build a slide deck to show your viewers the content that you talking about.
Similar to the one below that we did on Increasing Your Revenue Through SEO.
6. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a powerful content marketing idea that you can use to engage customers and increase your sales.
Your emails should be diverse. This means that not every email should be an attempt to sell your products or services.
You should send out interesting, relevant content to your subscribers every so often.
If you focus solely on sales emails your open and click-through rates will decline as your subscribers will become less interested in your content.
This is why high-quality content is so important. You want people to open your emails and then click through to your website.
Adobe sends their readers to content like this to engage them and get them to click on their website!
This particular email is a compilation of several blogs that may be helpful or interesting to the Adobe community.
They give subscribers snippets of their posts and encourage them to continue reading on their website.
This is why email marketing is very important.
Getting people to click through is important because it can impact your search engine rankings and…
…higher rankings tell searchers that you are a credible source for information!
Hashtags increase your discoverability on social media and can help promote your content.
Hashtag research is key when it comes to posting on social media.
You need to discover which hashtags are trending in your industry to be able to come up with the best content marketing ideas or topics.
You should also pick niche hashtags that are trending but not so popular that you post will get lost.
You can even make your own hashtag! This is a great idea if you are running a contest or building awareness for your brand.
Pro Tip: Don’t use just one hashtag. It isn’t enough to get your business discovered by a lot of people.
But don’t overdo it by using 30 hashtags either. If you can find 10 relevant hashtags on each post this is probably a good number.
It also depends on your business and who your customers are.
Big brands, like Coca-Cola for example, are already so popular that they don’t really need to use a bunch of hashtags to get discovered.
Instead, they can use branded hashtags like a slogan.
In this post, they have used their own hashtag (#ShareACoke) with an incredibly popular hashtag (#ChristmasEve).
If you were a smaller company you wouldn’t want to use just a popular hashtag and a company hashtag.
Instead, use a combination of well-researched hashtags that connect with your target marketing in order to get your post noticed and gain new followers.
8. Go Behind The Scenes
People love to get a look at the inner workings of a business!
This is your chance to show them things behind the scenes and what a day in the life of your company looks like.
By using this content marketing idea, you give customers an exclusive inside look that can help build trust.
It’s fun content that you and your employees can create together to drive customer engagement.
So how can you do this? Use Instagram Stories for business!
And if you end up creating some fire content, save them forever as an Instagram highlight!
Instagram stories are perfect for taking a risk and testing out new content ideas because they disappear after 24 hours and are saved in your archives.
You can go back later and create an Instagram highlight out of your saved stories.
Stories can combine text, graphics, memes, video and more so they allow you to get creative! This is your chance to have fun!
Need some inspiration for these content marketing ideas?
You can use stories to…
- Show people how to do something
- Share how your product is made
- Share insider tricks and tips
- Interview your staff, CEO’s or owners
The possibilities are endless!
This donut shop has Instagram highlights about how some of their donuts are made.
They show the whole process from start to finish about how they make the dough, fillings, and toppings as well as what ingredients they use and where they come from!
Since they use all local ingredients this would probably convince some people to try out their donuts.
In their highlight, they also use humor and playful videos to engage customers.
Telling people something about your business is often effective. But showing them truly works wonders!
9. Produce Great Content
We saved the best for last in since that #1 on our list of low budget content marketing ideas is simply to produce great content overall!
High-quality content engages customers, sparks conversation, and drives conversions.
Every piece of content that you post on social media or send in an email is a reflection of your brand or company.
Which is a reflection on you as a business owner.
You should want only the highest quality content to be pushed out to your followers, subscribers and customers.
Any content that is less than stellar should either be edited or left behind.
Remember, quality over quantity!
We hope that you can utilize all of these content marketing ideas to help your business reach new heights!
Have questions about content marketing? Let us know in the comments below or contact us!