Content marketing is what everybody is talking about these days, but   in the world crammed up with noise, simply having a blog and scribbling random words does not make any sense anymore unless you’re only interested in writing for junkyard.

Content can be expensive. Some copywriters command $25,000 for putting together just a few hundred words. Other professional blog writers charge $400-700 per post and that’s only for writing. Marketing in many cases entail even higher budget.

Is it not possible for small businesses like yours to do effective content marketing then? Fortunately, its still possible!

In this post I’ll give you 5 super powerful and   actionable tips to write and market content for almost no budget and still enjoy the success like the big guys.

1. KNOW YOUR TARGET –

Last week, I was  talking to this friend who recently started the business of homemade chocolates.

My friend: “I’m trying to write blog posts for this new business that I’ve started but having so much trouble. I just don’t know what to write about.”

Me: “What’s your target audience?”

My friend: “Ah, not sure what exactly you mean. I think target audience could be anyone who’s looking to buy chocolate?”

Me: “Well yeah, but who specifically? Location, age group, interests, profession etc?”

My friend: “Ah do you even need to know that? I’ve got no

Idea”.

Its common for businesses to define their target audience as ‘everyone’ or a really broad target audience that means more or less the same.

If you’re writing for everyone, you’re writing for no one and hence its extremely important to drill-down deep and define who, exactly that you’re targeting your content and business to.

TONY ZAMBITO

Who is an expert with this, believes that Buyers persona  has become extremely important in current time, more important than it has ever been.

You should know your buyer persona – The exact person (s) who you think will be interested in buying your products/services. The more specific you are, the more chances there are to reach the person that you actually need to talk to.

Answer these key questions to start with:

-Location – country/city where your business offers the services

-Age group – Most ideal age group your products/services are meant for

-Gender – If that’s applicable to the products/services you offer

-Income – the exact income range that your most ideal customer gets (This is important. You might not like to market BMW to a student studying on student loan)

-Behaviors and Interests – things you believe matches/compliments the services you’re providing so that you can laser-target the exact person. This is one area you would need to dig really deep (Marital status, hobbies, interests ETC).

Creating buyers persona and making all this analysis   may sound overwhelming and time consuming, but if there’s one thing you must spend most time for your business, this is the thing.

2. PRODUCE REMARKABLE CONTENT IDEAS:

If you know who your target customer is, finding content ideas becomes easy enough to tackle. Its however critical   to wrack your nerves. You need ideas that serves your purpose and not just any, general, crappy, copy-pasted ideas to somehow fill the book.

Consider doing the following for coming up with amazing ideas

that’ll surely work:

– step in the shoe of your buyer persona and think the problems and solutions from that place. It’ll give you a   fresh perspective that’ll resonate with your audience.

-Look around the sources of inspiration and you can come up with really interesting and unique ideas. (think back  to your  childhood, look at trends among your  peers  as  well as in the industry,  look to many different  traditions  and so on).

-Look at your competitors and find out the posts that are getting shares, likes and attention. One way you can do this is by using the sites like

Buzz Sumo

-Come up with content ideas by using keyword tools such as google adwords keyword planner. There are plenty of other tools. Such as

3 new keywords tools that you can use

-Look at your inbox. Everyday, you’re receiving one or the other email from the places/mailing lists   you’ve Subscribed yourself to. Is there an idea that you can use   For the post?

-Are you a business who gets leads/queries from customers?  Turn your email inbox into blog posts. Look for emails   where you are answering popular questions from customers.

3. WRITE AWESOME AND USEFUL CONTENT

This may not sound like a news, but everything that you know about your business, customer and idea shall all be a super wastage if the content that you’re producing isn’t awesome and useful. You may get fortunate enough to have your blog post ranking somewhere on Google’s 59th page, but even that is going to be disastrous as those who accidently end up reading are going to mock about it.

Take time, write and come up with a great piece of content. There’s no other alternative, unfortunately.

If you can’t come up with a great piece yourself, there are people and companies who can help you in doing so.  While most of the quality content providers are very expensive and those who are cheap are ridiculously low- quality, producing and marketing Low quality content can be risky   and can have seriously adverse consequences.

According to a

Case study

Google’s Panda algorithm that is now largely responsible in ranking your sites in google is specifically about content. It’s not about links, it’s not about mobile- friendliness, it’s not about having an HTTPS site.

Rather, the Panda algorithm rewards great-quality content by demoting content that’s either quite spammy in nature or that’s simply not very good.

Content development service

Like this one can be in your rescue, saving you from a post to be mocked, site to be banned from google   or bounce back users as well as loss of trust and authority on the long term.

4. MARKET ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUT THE SMART WAY

Merely having quality content is no good if you don’t have a smart marketing plan. Without a smart content marketing strategy, filling your site with high quality content is almost like singing beautiful songs in the deaf ears.

Here are some of the important elements you must consider while making a social media strategy that works:

-Limit the time you spend on social media–

According to a latest

Study by socialmediaexaminer

Some 63 percent of marketers use social media for 6 hours or more per week, about 40 percent Use it for 11 hours or more per week; and almost 20 percent spend more than 20 hours a week on social media marketing.

This means that you’re spending the time equivalent to 1-3 work days per week on social media, and its huge. As a   Small business owner, you wear many hats, handling so many things by yourself that bigger businesses hire people for. . Each minute that you spend on social media has to be well spent or you’re ultimately going to hurt your own business by not doing that you’re actually meant to do. You of course need to market on social media, but a right strategy can save so much of your time which you can better utilize in developing your business, making better plans, writing content and so on.

-According to Andrew C. Belton

In order to do an effective

Content Marketing on Social Media

you must Keep social media posts “short and sweet”. Social networks tend to favor short and meaningful content as well as engagement. Users are also more likely to view and interact with smaller ‘bite-sized’ content.

-Use multiple, but relevant social networking  channels–

Now when we have so many social networking  channels such  as facebook, twitter, google plus, instagram, pinterist,  snapchat ETC, you can’t be everywhere. Find what sites your kind of business can best work and stick only to those channels.

Answering the question

Which Social Networks are Right for My Business?

Jacquelyn German says:

“Just because your business should be on social doesn’t mean you need to be on every network. It’s important that

you choose and nurture the networks that will work best for your  brand!”

-Include multiple types of content– You need to feed your followers a full buffet. Include variety of content formats

such as blog posts, videos, photos,  infographics, landing pages and simple status updates. Your customers are human.

Treat them that way!

-Include content from diverse sources– One mistake that

many marketers make  is that they only post content from  their own site. This makes your users bored.  Feed them   content from diverse sources, even from the websites of  your competetors. Another benefit of doing this is the  opportunity to network. If you do this strategically, you  can build long-lasting relationships with influencers in  your industry who can promote you, thus bringing more  trust, credibility and traffic to your business.

5. MARKETING ON EMAIL LIST:

I can’t stress  enough how important it is for your  business to have an email list. Its in fact the most  direct and influencial way to connect with your audience

on personal level and getting them to read, like, share  and comment your content.

Also, it has a direct impact on your conversion rate.

-Content upgrade:

According to Brian Dean,

Content upgrade

This is how it works:

1Write a blog post.

2 Create a piece of content that dives  in  further depth on the post’s topic.

3 Offer readers of your blog post the option to receive the  upgraded content in exchange for their email.

-Marketing on mailing list:

If you don’t have an email list yet, you must start one right now.

BRYAN HARRIS  wrote

How to create a list of 205 email subscribers in 48 hours

that talks about a cool strategy to start your mailing  list today for almost  no cost.

Content marketing is in fact the only tool that you can do without breaking the  bank. What’s needed is some hardwork, focus, smart planning and strategic implementation.