What’s the best way to promote your brand? “It’s easy,” everyone says. “Just create amazing content.”
But, the truth is, even if you know what you’re doing, content marketing can be a daunting task. Still, it can and does pay off.
Distribion used content to increase its blog traffic by 2,000 percent and boost revenue by 40 percent. And that company is not alone. Qualtrics generated 2500-plus leads at less than $1.30 cost per conversion, and Kraft says its content marketing ROI is up to four times higher than any other advertising technique it offers.
Read the following tips to learn how to make even a small budget reap big rewards for your company’s content marketing.
1. Identify the most effective content type for your business.
There are a lot of different types of content that the market wants you to produce. These include, blog posts, videos, slideshows, infographics, tools, animations, podcasts, physical books and images.
Producing several types of content can grow your online audience, but these different types have different returns.
The first thing to do is evaluate the cost for each, both in time and money. After doing that, determine how your competitors are doing with different types of content based on value metrics like traffic, social shares, comments and incoming links.
Start by testing two or three content types that stick out in terms of cost effectiveness. Focus on those first. Even if you find that only one type is favorable, start producing that type of content.
2. Create quality, not quantity.
Most marketers go wrong because they don’t maximize the results of their content pieces. That wastes time and money.
An example of this problem is imitation. For instance, your SEO analysis might show that a well-known blogger like Neil Patel posts up to five times a week. You’ll be inspired to emulate his example and publish your own five posts. But you’ll likely end up publishing a lot of quantity with little quality. This does nobody any good.
Instead, grow in content marketing by focusing on quality and not quantity. Go for quantity only if your budget allows it.
Take a leaf from Brian Dean. Despite the fact that his company Backlinko has been around since 2012, he has published fewer than 40 blog posts.
Now, I know it’s not for lack of money that Dean publishes so few posts, but his success is a testament to how quality trumps quantity at every turn.
When you’re on a budget, you can’t afford to go overboard providing high quality. The 80/20 rule should guide you here: 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your effort. In that context, putting extra effort into your content just creates diminishing results.
3. Improve your efficiency.
If you handle most of the marketing yourself, efficiency should be an area of major concern. If you’re spending time on creating, planning and/or promoting your content, you’ll need to find ways to reduce the time spent on each task. This will ensure better use of your resources.
Certain techniques will help you create content in a shorter time. One involves dividing repetitive tasks into smaller “sub-tasks” and handling the sub-tasks in batch. For instance, when you start a blog and aim to write high-value blog posts: Instead of coming up with one topic at a time, researching that topic, creating an outline and writing the content, come up with 30 blog post ideas at once.
That way, the next time you need an idea, you’ll have a library to choose from. Apart from reducing the transition time, this technique will also help you maintain momentum. You’ll produce faster and higher quality work.
You can apply this strategy to other tasks, such as creating post outlines in batches, writing posts, editing content, collecting influencer names and sending out share-request emails to amplify your shareable content.
To further improve your efficiency, outsource when it’s necessary and makes sense. This is useful if you lack the time, but even more important when you lack the skill. Poor quality work will end up costing you in the long run.
4. Get great content, for free.
Hiring writers to create great content for you is always an option. But how much better is it to get great writers to publish on your blog, for free?
To start accepting guest posts, personally reach out to great bloggers and contributors in your niche. While most of the larger bloggers monetize their own posts, many are happy to reach new audiences by publishing free material on new sites with great content.
Another efficient way to accept posts is to design your website with a specific page dedicated to people looking to guest post.
This page should have three essential elements. First is incentives offering benefits to the guest poster. Second, your page needs to tell guest posters what you’re looking for in your posts. The third element is information on how the guest posters should pitch to you. Tell them the basic factors you want to see in their pitches, to weed out irrelevant emails.
However, be careful about the kind of quality you’ll accept in guest posts. Irrelevant or poorly written guest posts could do as much damage as they could help your business. Insist on relevance and quality.
5. Prioritize quality above everything.
Efficient content marketing boils down to quality that helps to builds trust and authority within your community.
How can you create more quality content with the resources you have? What’s the most effective use of your time? Should you outsource?
Related: The 4 Laws of Content Marketing
Start by implementing a few of these techniques and watch how much content marketing ROI you’ll get from your time and money, despite your limited resources.
Alex Jasin is the founder and CEO of Metapress and X3 Digital. A version of this article originally appeared on Entrepreneur. Copyright © 2017 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.