How To Overcome Lack of Content Budget & Resources
Is content marketing part of your strategy to build your brand, drive lead generation and increase sales, but it always seems too daunting because you never seem to have enough time, budget or personnel to create it?
Don’t worry if this sounds like you because you’ve got lots of company, especially small businesses. Recently IMN research found that roughly half of marketers allocate less than 10% of their budget to content.
To overcome these challenges, think micro content.
Micro content marketing defined
To better understand how micro content helps achieve your business objectives and makes content creation less daunting, here are 9 attributes of micro content. Bear in mind that micro content can be used to communicate with your internal team as well as with prospects, customers, fans and the public.
- Focus on useful, concise information your target audience wants and/or needs. The goal is to make your micro content part of your audience’s daily routine. Think horoscopes and sports scores.
Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Brainstorm short pieces of content your readers want on a daily basis such as useful tips, quotes or cartoons (who doesn’t want some fun when they start their day).
- Streamline text composition. This is key to reduce content creation time and costs. Micro content should be composed in batches. Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Create a week or a month’s worth of content at one time. Leverage content reuse where appropriate.
- Develop bite-size chunks of information. This content should be quick-to-consume for content snacking between other activities. This means that the content must be delivered and read on any type of device, especially a smartphone. Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Create short tweet length text (140 characters) and/or photographs.
- Use consistent presentation format. One reason micro content is relatively low cost is that, while each piece requires new information, it doesn’t require new creative each time. Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Test your micro content presentation to find the optimal format for your information and audience. (Here’s how to maximize content presentation effectiveness.)
- Apply standardized branding. Ensure your bite-size content supports your branding efforts by integrating appropriate elements into your content and presentation. Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Go beyond just slapping your logo on the content. Include your brand voice and graphics. (Here’s more help with branding.)
- Allow readers to share your content. As with any content, give it legs. Add social sharing options where appropriate. Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Encourage sharing within your micro content. Let readers share content whenever they want regardless of where they are.
- Use multiple channels to deliver content. Sprinkle your content widely to achieve maximum reach. Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Leverage a variety of distribution methods to get your micro content out. Include owned and social media options.
- Make content easy-to-subscribe. Your goal is to build a list and/or following of people who look forward to receiving your content. Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Incorporate a contextually relevant call-to-action to encourage subscription for the micro content.
- Distribute content on a standardized schedule. Consistency counts. As with building an audience for your content, publish or send out your content on a regular schedule so readers expect and look forward to receiving it. Actionable Content Marketing Tip: Schedule content on a basis that makes sense in terms of how your readers use your information and that you can maintain. It’s worse to commit to providing daily tips only to send them out once a month.
What micro content is not: Blatant promotions.
The one exception is a deal of the day.
4 Micro content ideas you can steal
The key to making bite-size information powerful is to go beyond plain vanilla facts. In other words add value. Here are 4 types of content that you can use to convey your micro content.
- Tips. This is a great way to stay in front of your audience. Provide useful related to your category. There are lots of variations on this theme such as weather, quotes, jokes or deals. For example, AccuWeather translates weather information to help users with every day decision-making. You can receive on their website or via a mobile app. Alternatively, Target offers a Deal of the Day.
- Photographs. Use this option to get your customers and the public into the picture. Provide how to and styling information. Make sure that it’s pinnable on Pinterest to extend your reach. My favorite option is a cartoon of the day. Here’s an example by Randy Glasbergen who uses it to sell his cartoons and prints.
- Micro-videos. Leverage the power of Vine and Instagram’s short video format. For example Lowes has created a number of short videos to help customers with how tos.
- Curated articles. Sharing other people’s content is another option. Don’t forget that you need to provide some context as to why your readers will find this information useful. Content curation requires staying up-to-date with the developments in your category. Therefore, it’s often easier to do as a weekly communication. You can use your own emailings or a service like Paper.li or Scoop.it. Here’s an example of Who’s Blogging What, an email newsletter that provides the top content of the week.
Use micro content marketing to keep your name and information in front of your prospects, leads, customers and others, thereby building credibility. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action in every piece of micro content.
What other types of micro content would you add to this list and why?
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Branding, by definition, is about imprinting our identity onto others. Traditionally, it’s been about telling people, “if you want to fit in, first you must buy in.”
In this manifesto, CJ argues that Belonging is more powerful. When you’re in the business of helping others design their identity, you access something deeper and more permanent than their desire to just keep up, you access their desire to matter.
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