Producing content when you have a big budget is easy. Producing the right content for your audience on any budget is the tough part.
I realize small businesses have resource constraints and their own special set of challenges. But there are plenty of examples of small-business content marketing successes.
My first job as head of marketing for a small company included a large objective of driving awareness as well as leads for sales. And my budget was a whopping zero. Nothing. Nada.
So how do you drive marketing results without a budget? The answer for me was to publish customer stories. I also repurposed a lot of existing content. I interviewed folks around the company in sales and customer support.
That is what I call “growth hacker content marketing.”
Guerilla content marketing is content created with almost no budget, simply by repurposing things your organization already produces.
Favorite content marketing hacks
Here are my top content marketing hacks to help content marketers at any size business with any size budget.
- Turn your email outbox into blog posts. Look for emails where you are answering popular questions from customers or salespeople. Here’s my latest example on content marketing ROI.
- Turn all your PowerPoint presentations into SlideShare posts. Embed the SlideShare into a blog post summary.
- Turn your executives’ SlideShare posts and speaker notes into articles.
- Turn every video your company has ever made into blog posts and embed the videos. Video Marketer Wistia does a great job of taking its own medicine with its video library. Check out this example of How to Shoot Video With Your iPhone.
- Turn your gated campaign assets into summary blog posts. When I started the SAP Business Innovation site, I had no content budget. So I wrote white-paper summaries from content sitting in a campaign library. Here’s one example.
- Answer the simplest questions about your topic.
- Create or cover a list of the top people to follow on your topic.
- Create a list of your favorite sources of content from others.
- Write about your competition or even include negative brand keywords. It’s a bold move, but if done consistently, you can rank for your competitor and negative keywords. Former SAP Editor Bob Evans used this tactic frequently.
- People love lists and facts and stats. Create a list of facts to support your business’ overarching theme.
At SAP, we supported the notion that “technology was driving the future of business.” So we created a SlideShare post on 99 Facts on The Future of Business. It has more than 300,000 page views on SlideShare. Then we wrote an article about it that was published by Forbes with click-to-tweet links and gained another 10,000-plus views. This has been the most successful piece of content SAP ever produced!
You can replicate this content marketing hack with your own favorite:
- Articles on LinkedIn Pulse
- SlideShare presentations
- Reference current events and big changes in your industry.
- Relate your favorite TV shows to your topic like I did with Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Mad Men.
- Write about the tools you use to do your job better. Productivity hacks are some of the most popular articles on the social web.
- Have fun and share some of your favorite photos and GIFs.
- Create an e-book with the influencers in your space covering a top challenge or future predictions. Lee Odden’s TopRank Online Marketing, Curata, and CMI do a great job of this by creating a theme for each year’s Content Marketing World.
- Look for other companies that can afford infographics, then write about and embed their infographics and research reports.
- Customers, account people, and sales teams are great resources. Ask them to identify your customers’ biggest questions or FAQs. Then answer them in Q&A format