Content marketing costs less than traditional marketing but it doesn’t yield results overnight.
That’s why it’s important to remain as cost-effective as possible with your content marketing efforts, especially on a low budget.
Here are 8 major tips on how to save money and get the most out of your content marketing budget!
1. Repurpose content
Repurposing content means using the same piece of content more than once.
The simplest example of repurposing content would be posting the same image on all your social media accounts.
But there are much more effective ways to repurpose content than that.
I’ll break down a hypothetical scenario to illustrate the concept of properly repurposing content.
The scenario is simple – you record an hour-long video podcast.
From this hour-long video podcast, you can:
- Pull the audio and upload it to various podcasting platforms
- Upload the entire video to YouTube
- Chop the video into smaller clips and upload them to YouTube
- Extract the most interesting bite-sized bits of video and post them on your social media accounts
- Transcribe the audio into text and publish it on your blog
- Post the most interesting parts of this blog post on your social media accounts
All of a sudden, instead of just one piece of content you’ll literally have 20, 30, or even more pieces of content.
Now that’s repurposing your content on an epic scale!
And don’t focus on the specific example and disregard this concept entirely if you don’t have a podcast.
The concept is simple – break down all of your long-form quality pieces of content into smaller bits and publish them on all of your content marketing channels.
If you’re looking for content repurposing ideas, click here to check out my article on this topic.
2. Use royalty-free images
Stock images can significantly run up the costs of your blog articles or social media posts.
For example, Shutterstock charges a monthly subscription of $125 for meager 50 images which translates to $2.50 per image.
The quality of paid stock images is usually superior to the free ones but novice content marketers often can’t afford the price.
Luckily, there are some amazing free and hybrid options like:
- Pexels – a stock image platform that will often surprise you with their quality royalty-free images
- Pixabay – a platform that hosts nearly 2 million royalty-free stock images
- Canva – people often forget this amazing online graphic design tool contains a ton of royalty-free images
A word of caution: avoid the unestablished royalty-free stock image platforms because people often upload someone else’s copyrighted images and mislabel them as royalty-free when they’re not.
The established platforms are good at removing such content but you can’t always trust the smaller platforms to have the means or the will to keep their inventory clean at all times.
3. Take your own images and videos
Taking your own photos and videos to use them in your content is always a good idea.
There’s no need for fancy cameras and tripods.
Simply whip out your phone and start taking photos and videos.
Today’s smartphones are equipped with more than adequate cameras for this purpose.
Sure, the images and videos might not look as professional as you’d like them to be but they’ll be free.
On top of being free, your own photos and videos will make you relatable and your content authoritative.
For example, if you’re reviewing a barbecue grill, your audience will love seeing you actually using it.
4. Use free tools
Whatever you need done, odds are there’s a free tool that can help you do it.
Need free video editing tools?
Need free graphic design tools?
Need help with English grammar and spelling?
Want to remove backgrounds from your images automatically and for free?
Need to do keyword research?
Want to add some specific functionality to your website?
Odds are there’s a free WordPress plugin that can do what you’re looking for.
There are numerous amazing free resources online.
You just have to look for them.
5. Use free trials of paid tools and do bulk work
Paid tools are typically, but not always, better than the free ones.
The vast majority of paid tools offer free trials which you can use to your advantage.
This trick is especially useful when you need to do your keyword research and competitor analysis.
Tools like Ahrefs and Semrush are great but they’re also quite expensive ($100/month).
However, both of these tools offer a 7-day free trial of their entire functionality.
If you were to use both trials back-to-back, you’d have two weeks to do your keyword research and competitor analysis which is more than enough time.
You would end up with hundreds, if not thousands, of vetted keywords and topics to create content on and save some money at the same time.
The same principle applies to other types of work that marketers have to do regularly like graphic design or video editing.
6. Choose your content marketing channels wisely
Simply put, content marketing channels are platforms where content is published.
Not all content marketing channels are equally as cost-effective, especially when starting from scratch.
For example, social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have reached a point where there’s more content creation than content consumptions on the platform.
What happens then is the organic sharing of posts comes to a screeching halt.
These platforms want to sell their reach to marketers via ads, not give it away for free.
Luckily, there are still platforms like LinkedIn and Tik Tok where organic reach still exists.
Furthermore, there’s another distinctive difference between content marketing channels that makes all the difference in the world.
And that’s whether or not a content marketing channel is a search engine or not.
That’s important because people visit search engines to actively look for solutions to their problems.
Search engines also enable your content to be discovered days, months, or even years in the future.
Whereas your posts on, for example, Facebook or Instagram will disappear never to be seen again within an hour or two after publishing.
Evergreen search engine content marketing channels are:
- Blogging – if you want to tap into the vast amount of traffic from Google, you need a blog
- YouTube – essentially owned by Google, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, not to mention YouTube videos can also appear at the top of Google SERP’s
- Pinterest – image-based search engine and social media platform indexed by Google that oftentimes appears at the top of Google SERP’s
Last but not least, podcasting is continuing to explode in popularity in recent years.
It’s still not too late to carve out a presence in the podcasting world, especially if your podcast is location-based.
Having a podcast gives you an unparalleled chance of both building an audience and connecting with industry peers.
7. Outsource content creation
The last two tips are meant for business owners who are new to content marketing but their businesses require their full attention.
Let’s face it, creating content takes quite a bit of time.
A 2,000-word article can, on average, take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours from inception to publishing.
Depending on your editing preferences, a 10-minute video can take just as long to produce.
If spending time on content marketing jeopardizes the rest of your business operations, it doesn’t make sense to do it.
Luckily, outsourcing these tasks is an extremely viable solution.
Outsourcing will require some of your time in the beginning stages too but once you connect with the right freelancers, it becomes well worth the effort.
Some of the most popular and largest freelancing platforms are Fiverr and Upwork but there an absolute ton of smaller highly-specialized ones as well.
There are also numerous writing services around the web where you can literally order articles on any topics you want with a few clicks.
Whatever you need done, there’s someone somewhere online capable of doing it and offering their services.
8. Outsource content management
Content creation isn’t the only time-consuming part of content marketing.
There’s also content management.
Whether or not outsourcing these activities makes sense for your organization or not will heavily depend on how much content you’re producing and how many content marketing channels you’re publishing your content on.
If you’re producing a couple of articles per month and your blog is your only content marketing channel, finding a person to do this for you might be more hassle than it’s worth.
But if you’re producing 3-5 articles per week, have a podcast, create videos, and spread all that content on 7-10 channels, the act of simply uploading and publishing the content will take a serious chunk of your day.
Finding a dedicated virtual assistant to do this for you might be the perfect solution.
Finding the right person and training them to do this takes time but it’s a small price to pay upfront if you can free up time that can be devoted to more important tasks.
Taking on new business challenges like shifting from traditional marketing to content marketing is not easy.
Being as cost-effective with your content marketing efforts as possible will ensure a smooth transition.
This principle is especially important if you’re starting from scratch and you’re trying to get your business off the ground.
Spend money where you have to but don’t spend it where there are free alternatives that are sometimes just as good as the paid ones.
A lot of tools out there come with bells and whistles that sound great but are often nothing but clutter no one needs or uses.
I’d love to hear some concrete examples where you managed to save money and still get the work done so feel free to drop a comment below!