As a business owner you are faced with challenging decisions every day, if not several times throughout the day. Everything from your focus and vision to your marketing plan, each requires significant attention to detail and countless hours of envisioning, business mapping, and collecting data to support the strategic planning that you put into place to live out your company goals and mission.
One of the most challenging decisions that you, as a business owner, might make is how to effectively develop your company’s web site content to increase your business presence, reach your target audience, and boost your business’ performance while maintaining your “shoestring budget.” You know, it comes as no surprise, neither marketing nor advertising come without cost. Lucky for you, however, we’ve come up with five ways to help you write content on a shoe-string budget.
In-house writers: If your company is fortunate to have a marketing department, albeit large or small, using in-house writers can provide you with good, quality content. As a department, your company should identify the goals it would like to accomplish through the use of its content. Will your content be used primarily online, in print, through various direct mail, email or telemarketing campaigns? Once you’ve hit on the logistics, get your team involved. Creating unique and interesting content doesn’t come easier than to involve a lot of different people. Help your team to understand the company’s vision and then let them be the voice of the company. Each person will come with several different and unique approaches to your company’s marketing strategy. Whichever strategy your team is tackling, monitor and track how successful your company’s outreach is and develop your future plans accordingly. It will help you to respond to the strengths and weaknesses of the department and meet the needs of your company’s target audience.
Contracted writers: In some cases, companies don’t have the staffing to maintain the necessary presence on the web to satisfy their marketing team’s departmental goals or in-house writers don’t quite have a full understanding of SEO. If that sounds like your company, consider partnering with a content writing agency to supplement or manage your online presence. Think about your overall space, administrative, and time costs saved when putting together your budget. You will get what you pay for, so be realistic. Look for content quotes that are reasonable to the parameters and demands of the project.
For a smaller budget, your in-house writers can begin their script and merely use contracted writers to edit or spruce up content. However, for slightly larger budgets or needs, freelance writers can take the joys of a blank page, use the mastery of their word-smithing capabilities, and turn your would-be dreams into a reality. And all the better, hiring contracted writers frees you and your staff of their highly valued time (especially if you’re likely to struggle at the stroke of the keys).
Content Management Software and Systems: Allow your company to tap into the ready-waiting success of content management software and systems just waiting to be utilized. If you’re not familiar with Hootsuite, let me give you the quickest, easiest one-two facts about it: It’s an A-MAZING must have. Hootsuite allows you the ability to manage and measure your social media networks all in one suite location. You can monitor and schedule social media messages, posts, and tweets for multiple accounts, while tracking any of your company mentions, all with the luxury of analyzing social media traffic. Sticking to your online schedule is simple when you schedule posts through Hootsuite. In fact, when the thought strikes you, schedule your post to appear in days, weeks, or months from the date you actually jot down your noteworthy thought. It’s a business-saver. And while you’re at it, sign up for an easy-to-use, online visibility account that keeps you in the news with PRWeb. Yep, it’s simple. Your writers can produce press releases about newsworthy happenings within your company and then share them with the rest of the world. Anything from a new employee, event, or product can now make headlines with the ease of online viewership. If you haven’t tried them, you should. Content management software and systems make distributing content affordable and easy, and they will make you seem like a genius!
High School and College Intern: Networking with local high schools, colleges and universities can be one of the most advantageous methods for developing content on a shoe-string budget. At most schools and colleges, student interns are nearing graduation and are experienced junior or senior level undergraduate students. In addition to having the benefit of hardworking students, desiring a position to give them hands-on, transferrable skills to carry over into the workforce upon graduation, employers can work closely with student interns to mentor them and provide them with the skills they desire in an employee on a trial-run basis, so to speak. It’s a win-win; students earn college credit and employers have good quality content written typically at no – or a low – cost.
Social Media: It should come without saying, plugging into social media is one of the wisest moves a company can make. Millions of individuals, nationally and internationally, visit social media sites daily. By maximizing your presence in various social media platforms, your company will successfully share your message, content, and company mission with the online world. And while you are building your platform, network, network, network. The more contact you make with the online world, the better you will be at getting your brand out to the world.
Marketing can be a tough hill to climb, but it doesn’t have to be. Utilizing the various marketing measures available to your company can help you take your business to the next level. ~Leah