By William Grigsby

Do you know why most businesses are attracted by content marketing? Because it’s not a huge investment, but it drives tons of customers their way. Traditional content marketing still requires a significant investment. However, it is possible for a small business to start it without any money.

According to the estimations by WebpageFX, DIY content marketing can cost anywhere between no money and $5,000. How do we stick on the most affordable route? That’s what today’s guide is all about. We’ll give you five tips on how to start a content marketing campaign for free.

1. Start a Blog for Free

To start a content marketing campaign, you need a website where you’ll publish that content. Hopefully, you already invested in a good-looking website for your small business. If your budget is extremely limited and you cannot afford a website, there’s still hope for you: you can start a blog for free.

You can rely on WordPress, Blogger, or another free blogging platform. Sure, there are fancy WordPress themes that cost a lot of money, but you don’t really need them. Pick a free theme and customize it to make it more appealing. This doesn’t have to be the perfect website. It’s just a start. Still, you need to pick the right colors and a captivating design.

2. Create a Posting Schedule

The mere fact that you have a blog for your business won’t be enough. Remember: it needs content! How often will you publish new posts? How often should you publish them? It depends. You should evaluate a few factors, such as your marketing goals, the expectations of your audience, and your ability to produce content.

For blogs that are just starting out, it might take one post per day for them to get noticed. When that frequency of posting helps you establish a base of audience, you can start posting 2-4 posts per week. When you establish authority, you can reduce the frequency to one post per week. If you’re not able to produce content frequently, you might need to consider an investment in a writing service. It’s important to publish high-quality content on a regular basis. The good news: you’ll only need the writers at the start. As soon as you make the blog popular enough, you can keep the traffic stats high by producing less content.

The important thing is to come up with a posting schedule and respect your own goals. You want to get the audience used to visiting your blog when they want more content from the niche.

3. Start Working on Your Social Media Marketing Campaign

Content marketing and social media marketing are inseparable. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest are the perfect platforms for content promotion. Start by claiming your social media profiles on all platforms. Maybe you won’t have time for all of them, but it’s still important to claim your domain.

The main purpose for using social media is content promotion. You’ll do that by posting links to every piece of content you publish on your blog. However, you won’t stop there. No one wants to follow a page that gives nothing more than links. Engage your followers in conversations related to your niche! When someone asks a question, respond. Explain how they can gain the greatest benefit out of your products or services. You can even turn some of these questions into blog post topics, since you’ll be sure your audience will be interested in reading them.

A professional social media campaign requires an investment. You don’t have enough time to analyze data from all platforms and adjust your approach in accordance with the needs of their users. However, you can start for free. You won’t invest in paid advertising. You’ll just connect with the audience and recommend your products or services through proper content. When your business grows, you’ll have enough resources to invest in truly effective social media marketing.

4. Focus Your Content Marketing on a Buyer Persona

Your approach to content marketing has to be as focused as possible. For that purpose, you’ll need to develop a buyer persona and produce content that would provide specific solutions for them. This is a semi-fictional presentation of your ideal customer. What preferences do they have regarding your products or services? How much money are they willing to spend? What problems do they have and what solutions can your business offer? When you base the content marketing on the needs of this persona, you’ll have a great chance to make it successful.

This is a complex process that demands market and competition analysis. The good news is that you can use free tools to create a customer persona. These are the most effective ones to try:

5. Make It Visual

The online audience wants visual content. Three days after hearing information, people tend to remember 10% of it. When that info is supported by images, however, people tend to remember 65% of it. The lesson is clear: content marketing is more effective when we support it with visual elements. There are three main ways to do that:

  • Feature royalty-free images. You can find them on Wikimedia Commons, Unsplash, Pexels, Flickr, and other platforms. Don’t forget to reference!
  • Feature screenshots. Whenever you’re including examples in your content, use a screenshot to support your claims. Again: don’t forget to reference!
  • Create infographics. Through this format, you can present information in an easy-to-digest way. The best part is that you don’t need advanced design skills to create them. You can use a free tool like Canva or Venngage.

You Better Believe It: Free Content Marketing Gives You Tons of Opportunities

You don’t have any money to invest in a super-efficient content marketing campaign? It doesn’t matter. The point is to start with what you can invest, and that is time and effort. You and employees can take care of all steps we listed above. As your business grows, you’ll gradually invest in an advanced content marketing campaign that will help it develop faster.