How Large Companies Can Minimize Content Creation Costs

Just because you’re with a large company doesn’t mean that you have an unlimited budget for content marketing. In fact, some larger companies – especially those that have been around since dinosaurs walked the earth – still do the bulk of their marketing with traditional TV and print ads.

Whatever your situation, it’s always wise to minimize content creation costs. Saving money whenever you can enables you to stretch your budget even further with revenue-building content.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Start with a content marketing audit of your expenses and results.
  • Repurpose top-performing content.
  • Involve all your teams in content production.
  • Outsource production and automate distribution to boost your ROI.

Start with a Content Marketing Audit

Like learning to sing, learning how to create a successful content marketing strategy on a budget goes better if you start with the basics.

The “Do-Re-Mi” of enterprise content strategy is your company’s current content budget, together with the data on how each area of your strategy is working. For instance, if you spend a certain amount on your corporate blog, break down the monthly expenses you incur in publishing, as Entrepreneur’s Thomas Smale advises. Next, jot down what that investment has produced, such as:

  • Sales
  • Newsletter subscriptions
  • Shares
  • Engagement
  • White paper or e-book downloads

In fact, you can even break it down further to see how each piece of content has performed. Identifying your top performers can help you spot trends that can help you choose the types of content you need to focus on during the coming months.

With today’s analytics programs available on both Google and most social media platforms, you can even identify new market segments to target. For instance, if you sell commercial-grade vinyl tile to mainly businesses, you might discover that a passionate group of individuals has discovered your retro-chic line of commercial tile as a source for their DIY home restoration projects. Content tailored to that group – especially if they share it with their fellow retro aficionados – may prove to be a valuable source of new business.

Outsource and Automate Content Marketing Basics

Even with an uber-talented team and input from other teams within the enterprise, there will be times in which you need more content to meet your customers’ needs. Find talented freelancers or a content marketing agency who can take on the extra tasks for much less than you would pay to hire more in-house people for your in-house team.

For example, for many of our larger clients, we handle the basic SEO-driven articles they publish once or twice and week. We then help their experts (more on that below) to build thought leadership content.

We also help our clients automate their content distribution at a fraction of the cost they would pay any other agency or internal hire. We use contextual targeting that generates CPCs that are 10x lower than most paid social. This helps us give them more bang for their content marketing buck.

Content automation can get the right content into the right hands at the optimum time without you or your team lifting a finger.

Repurpose Your Best-Performing Content

Let’s say that during your audit, you discover a post you wrote back in 2013. Most of it is still relevant today, but there are a few dated parts. Yet that post has produced more leads than many of your current posts put together. You can repurpose that content in a variety of ways to reach even more of your target customers.

  • Update it: There are several ways to repurpose that content to get even more mileage out of it. First, update it to include current trends. Note at the top of the post that you have updated it.
  • Use it to inspire related content: Secondly, find a way to use the post as a springboard for a different blog post, this time taking a different angle. For instance, let’s say your original blog post was a tutorial on how to use your new software. You and your team can use that content as the background for a new post – this time, a case study about how one of your top clients used that software to save money and time.
  • Identify new customer segments and create content targeted to them: Look at your original post’s conversions. If you see a pattern in the customer segments that have taken an action after reading your post, look for a way to reach more people in that customer segment. Here’s where a little spend can go a long way. Analyze this segment’s data to find out where and when these potential customers hang out online. Post links to the article on this segment’s favorite social media platforms. Look into native advertising on blogs that cater to that customer segment.
  • Repurpose it in a guest post: If you can convince a niche blog to allow you to guest post, you’ll build your company’s authority as an expert in that niche market. For instance, let’s return to our fictional commercial tile company. A 2013 company blog post on retro-style office flooring can become a guest post on a DIY renovation blog with a few tweaks for the vintage home restoration market. Landscape architect Ted Cleary did just that with his post on sizing shutters on the Retro Renovation blog.
  • Turn it into a new type of content: Don’t let that content die there, though. You can stretch its value even further by turning it into a how-to video, an in-depth white paper, or even a webinar. Many customers prefer videos, while others like to read in-depth content. Reach everyone more effectively with content tailored to their preferences.
  • Use account-based content marketing to reach decision-makers with tailored content: If you’re a business-to-business company, you know the value of getting the right content into the right hands. That’s exactly what account-based marketing does. Turn your original post into several different pieces of content, each of which solves a problem each decision-maker faces. For example, an engineer would appreciate content that shows her how to design machinery more efficiently using your company’s software, while the chief financial officer would like to see how that software can save money in labor costs. Repurposing an existing piece of content to meet clients’ specific needs can help you win over even the most difficult prospects.

         

Use All Your Employees’ Expertise to Inform Your Content

Larger companies often gather themselves into silos. The accounting department only hangs out with fellow numbers people; the content team stays in its own social circles, and the engineering and development departments rarely mingle with the other teams.

This siloed approach prevents ideas from flowing from one team to another. In fact, each of these groups has its own specialized jargon – developers with their “scrum masters,” accounting with their “GAAPs,” and management “circling back” to their colleagues as they “leverage” X to “scale” Y.

To paraphrase Reagan, Ms. CMO, please tear down that wall! Or at least pull down a few bricks in those silos.

Instead of hanging out with your content team on lunch break, head over to the engineer over there to pick her brain about the video post you’re planning to do about the new gadget that’s coming out next month. Ask your receptionist to read your draft to see if it communicates well to non-departmental insiders.

It’s employee activation – turning all your teams into active participants in your content strategy. In fact, when you do involve non-marketing teams in content production, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll likely rake in more as well. Statistics show that employee-created content generates eight times as much engagement as official branded content.

You get the picture. Unite and conquer.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your company’s website with quality content that’s consistently published, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

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