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3 Ways to Stretch Your Content Creation Dollar

Today’s constant content demand can have even your most talented writers struck with a creative block. And even if your creative team is well-staffed, their years of experience can sometimes cloud their creativity. Prioritizing the way things have always been done can decrease their comfortability with innovation. This is especially true for organizations with highly regulated or proprietary technology, as there may be unavoidable limitations that can restrict opportunities. 

These real-life limitations get even more complex when you’re managing a conservative content budget. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities available, even for the trimmest of teams. With a little ingenuity, the challenge of a tight budget may have you creating your best content yet. 

1. Focus on the Right Keywords

One of the gold standards in search engine optimization, or SEO, are keywords. They are what help you earn a first-page ranking. If it’s been a while since your team has heard you define keywords, now is a great time for a refresher. 

 

While understanding keywords is essential, it’s even more important to understand how they relate to your content. For SEO, you can’t just rely on a keyword to drive traffic to your site. Your content needs to be informative, accurate, and organically connect to your chosen keyword. Just stuffing keywords into any article isn’t going to make sense to readers, and it can negatively impact how search engines view your site.  

 

Imagine you’re selling software that allows marketers to control their entire organizations’ email signature. Your keyword or phrase might be “untapped marketing channel,” which would make sense considering the traditionally stagnant email signature. But if your keyword drives readers to an unrelated blog post, you lose credibility — and your chance to rank. 

 

Ensure that your team is focusing on the right keywords to align with your company’s goals. Review your content library and be honest with your findings. If there are keyword misses, devise a plan to correct them and prevent future mishaps. Maintain a prioritized list of keywords and links, and create a checklist to ensure content is delivering on its promise before publishing. 

2. Break Big Concepts Into Stand-Alone Pieces Across Channels

Plotting out a major post requires a significant lift, sometimes so much that it can drag down your creation process. But every piece of content doesn’t need to surpass 3,000 words. Depending on your market, audience, and where you publish, you may find success with less than half of the words. 

 

Consider the average reader’s attention span of about eight seconds and design your content to be skim-friendly. Use lists, headers, and callouts to break down complex topics into easy-to-digest chunks. The easier you make it for readers to engage with your content, the more likely it’ll be that they stay. 

 

Take your older, larger pieces and pull out concepts that can stand alone in new, refreshed posts. Expand your production even further by transitioning the same content into infographics and other shareable, visual assets. Adjust each to suit the platform you intend to post on, clipping already written content for captions. 

 

Once you start viewing your long-form content as a database for shorter, more flexible pieces, be prepared for an excess. Wrangle your newfound content treasure trove by developing a throttled campaign for each package. Work with your team to determine if there’s a sales cycle to sync with or if your material is evergreen. Benchmark content performance before, during, and after to determine what’s working and what to adjust before launching the next round. 

3. Invite Guest Authors to Expand Your Reach 

There’s nothing quite like a special guest to create some buzz. Whether you’re remembering a recent conference opened by an industry standout or something closer to home, the “who” matters. Leverage the social proof of approval by inviting relevant and noteworthy guests to post on your platforms. 

 

How you implement this tactic will depend on your company, your voice, and the guest themselves. Explore potential guest authors with your editorial team, leaving plenty of room for imagination. Top players will come to mind quickly, but don’t squash suggestions of lesser known names. 

 

Part of this strategy requires an agreement between your organization and the guest for what’s expected of them. Since you’re working with a limited budget, you likely won’t be paying for your guests’ work. However, determine a fair and attractive offer like cross-promotion or inclusion of their content in a wide-reaching publication. Make sure whatever you’re offering is something you’d happily accept, and make sure you can hold up your end of the deal. 

 

While you’re thinking of your guest list, don’t forget about internal experts, too. Your Chief Customer Officer likely has their own network and expertise to share. Leverage their human voice in addition to your corporate tone to connect with others. Support their engagement by developing a content package for their social networking channels. This can help align your brand packaging, keywords, message, and tone while expanding your reach. 

Keep Things Fresh and Relevant to Your Readers

Consider the aims of your readers as you fine-tune your process. While you have your business goals, your reader likely just wants answers. The better you can deliver on the promise of your keywords, the better your reliability — and popularity — will be. Using these tips and tricks, your audience will see improvement in your content, and you won’t need to vastly expand your budget. 

 

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