5 Ways Your Small Business Can Create Content on a Budget Allie Wolff It’s not enough to create a lot of content. You’ve got to create good content for it to be shared, start a conversation, and attract leads. But creating good content takes time to research and time to write, so what’s a company on a shoestring budget to do? Well, you can start with these five strategies. Enlist team members from different departments. Incorporate other departments into the content writing process. For many content writers, the most time-intensive part of producing content is researching it. Develop a process in which experts within your organization cover specific topics. If the initiative’s pitched well, employees will see it as a company-wide way to boost the brand’s profile, not as an interruption of their work. Additionally, it’s up to the content manager to create a process that makes this run as smoothly as possible so employees keep contributing. Provide guidelines so employees know what’s expected. Make it clear that you will handle things like image sourcing, posting, and proofreading. Let it be as easy as possible for employees to contribute. Create guest posting submission guidelines. A guest posting strategy helps boost quality content production while cutting costs. Of course, the only way you manage this is by offering something in return, namely your audience. If you have a large enough social media following, you can offer other people or companies access to your platform in exchange. But doing this isn’t as simple as putting out a call for submissions. What do these articles have to be about? How will you ensure people aren’t explicitly hawking their products via articles on your site? How can you incentivize the arrangement for other people? To answer all of these questions, you need to create a guest posting submissions guideline. Such a document would include criteria like: The word length and expected number of credible sources The length of time it’ll take to hear back if the article is selected for publication What topics the article should be about. If you’re a travel company and you’ve already produced a lot of articles on top travel destinations, you may include a note that says you’re specifically looking for travel budgeting tips or advice on choosing travel insurance How exactly companies can mention their product How you’ll share their work on your social media channels, newsletter, etc. What type of links are allowed. Who your audience is. Make sure the author knows who they will be writing for. Essentially, you need to think hard about what you do and don’t want from your guests posts. You also want to guarantee a positive experience for guest posters so that others are encouraged to submit something, too. Crowdsource your content, especially for platforms like Instagram. Encourage people to share photos of your product with a unique hashtag. If you sell a service instead of a product, come up with a campaign around your service (i.e. a campaign for a travel agency called #mysummerlookslike) and encourage people to share appropriate photos with the hashtag. Choose the best photos, assign credit to the original poster, and there you are: You have a campaign without hiring any models, photographers, or renting out sets. It also appears more authentic to other users giving you the added advantage of social proof. Look at frequently asked questions. Stuck for content ideas? Look around you. Pay attention to your customers and talk to your team. Check out what your customers are saying on social media and what their biggest frustrations are then produce content that helps solve those problems. Moreover, talk to other people in your business, particularly your sales associates, to understand what people are asking for or objecting to the most. This regular interaction with your customers and the rest of your team will allow you to create in-touch content. Review your existing content. You most likely have a treasure trove of physical content. Training manuals. Marketing materials. Sales collateral. All of these things are blog posts, infographics, and videos waiting to happen. Take inventory of all the materials you have in your arsenal, identify what’s useful, and then spend some time repurposing it for your digital content strategy.