One of the biggest challenges for businesses with a small marketing budget is to create effective content campaigns. Great content takes a lot of time, effort, and at times, money. So in last week's SEMrushchat, our guests Kelly Hungerford and Mack Collier, and the SEMrush community discussed ways to diversify content strategy affordably.
Topics included identifying content to update, repurpose and reuse, strategies for creating content, user-generated content, tools for visual content, and strategies for diversifying content. The experts who contributed their insights pointed out many critical factors businesses should consider and avoid. We tried to include the best tips below.
Here are all of the areas we discussed in the chat:
- Reasons for a Diverse Content Marketing Strategy
- Content Audits: Deciding Which Content to Update, Repurpose, or Reuse
- Strategies for Content Diversification on a Limited Budget
- Effective Strategies for Repurposing Content
- Using UGC to Diversify Content
- A List of Free and Affordable Tools for Image and Video Creation
Reasons for a Diverse Content Marketing Strategy
One huge reason to diversify your content is that your audience has a wide-range or wants, needs, personality types, trust issues, online platforms they use, and learning styles. It is hard to address each of these in one form of content.
You may need video and content for visual and auditory learners. You also need visual content to entice readers on social media and get them to click to land on your content and learn more. Some content needs to answer questions, while other similar content needs to explain how to accomplish a task.
Let's get some more insights from experts.
Mack Collier — "Your audience learns in different ways and uses different technologies to view that information. If I am researching a product, I might want a blog post that does a deep dive. If I am in a store and just want to know how a product works, a video might help."
Kelly Hungerford — "Diversity in content talks to the diversity of your buyers, customers, and end-users. If you know them well, chances are good you’re already creating a strategy that is diverse enough in content forms and types to reach them."
D2 Creative — "When a brand is trying to reach a new audience or has found gaps in its competitors content to help boost SERP and SEO rankings."
Tamara — "Diversifying your content allows you to keep things fresh for your audience. No one wants to see the same thing over and over. It also allows you to essentially test a wider array of content and see what works best."
Itamar Blauer — "People's behaviours change. Diversifying your content strategy helps you adapt to these changes so that you can fulfill your audience's requirements."
Lauren Osselton — "When you diversify your content strategy, you're remaining agile and attuned to what your audience wants to hear, where they are, and how you're going to reach them. Agility = essential in content marketing."
Resources for Diversifying Content
- The Definitive Brainstorming Guide: 9 Techniques to Create Content that Sticks
- 7 Inspiring Content Marketing Examples to Get Results
Content Audits: Deciding Which Content to Update, Repurpose, or Reuse
Before creating any plan for content, you should perform a content audit to find which of your assets are driving traffic, converting, have backlinks, and have good information included. All good content should be updated and interlinked with relevant content.
You can also see which quality pieces can be repurposed for additional reach. And, evergreen pieces should be on a special list that is reviewed monthly to determine what updates are needed.
Let's get some more expert insights.
Kelly Hungerford — "Sounds overly simplistic but the first step is to analyze which content types and forms your customers and community love. See how you can atomize it further into micro-content, or enlarge it into bigger pieces."
ThinkSEM — "Look at your Analytics/GSC data -- what's bringing in traffic? What is acquiring links? And, most importantly: what's CONVERTING? Definitely keep that content (obviously evergreen) updated. And repurposing will only help the stats!"
Elena Salazar — "Your data will give you a pretty good indication if you are reaching content fatigue with your audience. If a piece of content (like a whitepaper) is doing really well, you may consider turning it into an infographic or hosting a webcast on the topic."
Mack Collier — "I'll add that also focus on strengthening and improving your BEST content as well. Content that is already performing well can always perform better, this is especially true for blog posts where search rankings are so important and dynamic."
Webeo Global — "Check those metrics, if something is doing great, learn from it, why is it doing better than the rest, is it the topic? Is it the layout? and use your findings to create something new."
Here is an infographic made based off of an article and shared on social media. This infographic shows the reader how informative the article will be, and it encourages them to reshare.
Learn More About Performing Content Audits:
- The Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Content Audit in 2020
- A Content Audit Unlocks the Keys to Rank Number One on Google
- Content Audit Tool
Strategies for Content Diversification on a Limited Budget
Creating quality content on a small budget can be difficult, but it is far easier if you start off with a content plan.
Your plan should include how a piece of content will be used on the website, how it will be repurposed, how it will be shared with your audience, how it will be integrated into paid ads, and which audiences you will be targeting with each form of content.
Let's see how some experts diversify their content:
Melissa Fach — "Find creative ways to get user-generated content for content, video, and images. All free and typically better than your sales-focused content."
Kelly Hungerford — "If you have a small biz with no (extra) marketing budget, you need to make mountains out of molehills. Curation is my favorite tactic and strategy. You earn so many riches through strategic sharing of quality content and relationship building."
David Rosam — "Write it in-house (ouch!). Think wide and deep. Look for fresh approaches. Try different media that you can do yourself. Curate - Repurpose. Repurpose. Repurpose (but don’t go repeating yourself)."
Lauren Osselton — "First, I encourage you to get CURIOUS and get CREATIVE. There are so many excellent free tools out there to help you create stunning visuals (Canva), broadcast video content (YouTube), and more. You just have to be willing to get your hands dirty to experiment!"
Bentley University — "You don't need a large budget to diversify your content! Explore new: mediums, visuals, questions, CTAs, headlines, platforms, updates, etc. Try infographics, video, podcasts, audio, photographs, polls, and live video."
Don't Forget the Content Marketing Funnel!
Here are is a quick guide to content options you can create.
To learn more about this, read How to Build an Effective Content Marketing Funnel.
Additional Strategies for Creating Content
- Start with research — How to Research Topics for Your Blog's Content Plan
- SEO and Content Marketing: How to Combine Them Effectively to Achieve Results
- 35 Content Marketing Tips From Top Industry Experts
- 7 Key Components of Useful and High-Quality Blog Content
Effective Strategies for Repurposing Content
Creating new content can be time-consuming, while repurposing content can happen fairly quickly and support the goals of the original piece of content. If that content ranks well, even better!
For strategies that work, let's see what chat participants had to say. We also have a very great video below that will show you how one agency plans out and diversifies its content.
Alexis Katherine — "Carefully, strategically, and with analytics follow-up. Too many brands repurpose big content into a smattering of low-quality, un-targeted blog posts that don’t really do anything. Don’t repurpose just because it’s easier. It doesn’t help you or your audience."
Melissa Fach — "Take your best content and break it down into Q&A sections or guides for different audiences - beginners to advanced. Reuse those Q&As in images and videos for social media, customer service, or related content on your site."
Amanda Cross — "Creating simple infographics, turning the post into podcasts and videos, creating quotes for social media, using the post as the basis for an ebook or physical book, and using the post to build your next service offering are a few ideas."
Mack Collier — "I always start with a blog post because well-performing blog posts are typically long-form content. You can take that blog post & distill it down to a shortlist of takeaways for a newsletter, or use the takeaways separately with images to share on social sites."
Olivia J — "In my mind, all content is interchangeable. Videos can be made out of your blog posts. Infographics can be made out of your videos. Podcasts can be crafted from video content. All of your content can be repurposed into new versions that serve other platforms."
Ryan Bennion — "After a few years of your content being out there, it can become irrelevant and at times, your imagery/video can be outdated. Fresh images, new video shoot can pivot your topic to intrigue new users again. If was already working before, updating will amplify it."
Learn More Strategies for Repurposing Content
- 8 Tools For Repurposing Content
- The Only Guide to Repurposing Content You Will Need in 2020
- How to Create Google-Friendly FAQ
Using UGC to Diversify Content
UGC stands for user-generated content. The content could be images, videos, text, or audio. Often, it has been posted by users online using social platforms, as reviews, as content or infographics, or as guest posts. UGC is far more trusted by customers than sales content, and often, it doesn't cost a business anything to use.
You could use positive reviews or comments in your content or social shares. You can embed their videos about your product or service. The options are endless.
Alexis Huddart — "UGC content can be good or bad; it's all about relevancy of content. So encouraging it on-site or off-site requires promotion, policing & monitoring."
Emilie Moreland— "Make your audience feel welcome to contribute UGC. Ask interesting questions of your audience that begs to be answered. Share the comments and photos from others in your audience to create a precedent."
Bentley University — "WE LOVE UGC! How to encourage UGC submissions: Share their work, credit their posts, show appreciation, offer a reward, hold a contest/giveaway, have a branded hashtag, and ask. People will WANT to share if they feel a part of the community/brand voice."
Simon Cox — "I have seen companies burn money on UGC because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Really need to know your market and what they respond to. Can’t really do it with low budget product brands! But you really can do it with a fan base."
Kelly Hungerford — "UGC might not work as well for all industries. In healthcare, for example, compliance could be a sticking point depending on the product, the claim, etc. Make friends w/ compliance and to try and find a path. If there is no obstacle, look into UGC!"
Tamara — "Incentivize your audience! - Contests, giveaways -> Shoutouts, mentions, and features. These are great ways to incentivize your audience whilst gaining insight from them."
Melissa Fach — "Always have rules for UGC if you are asking for it. Don't get stuck using something that doesn't fit your company values or that doesn't represent you well. I don't like saying no to people as a blog editor, but I have to do what is best for SEMrush, always."
A List of Free and Affordable Tools for Image and Video Creation
Not every business can afford to pay a graphic designer, a videographer, and/or a marketing agency to create the visual content they need. We are lucky to live in a time where there are tools available to help anyone with a small budget create the assets they need.
Below, we have a long list of tools people recommended. Check them out, and FYI, the top tool mentioned in the chat was Canva.
- Canva and Pablo
- Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop and AdobePost
- Designpickle, PicMonkey, Pixlr
Free images - Pixabay, Unsplash, Pexel
Vsco, Affinity, Flaticons
Video, Audio, and Animation
- PowToon, Lumenfive, Wave_video, UnfoldHQ, Getaudacity Headlinervideo
AdobePremier and Adobe Spark
GIMP_Official OpenShot, VideoPad, iMovie
Content Resources for Video and Images
- YouTube SEO in 2020 - Video
- 10 Common YouTube SEO Mistakes - Video
- Video Marketing Crash Course
- Video Content Sharing for Maximum Engagement
- Image SEO and Alt Tags
Thank You to All of Those That Participated
Each week, we monitor the SEMrushchats looking for tweets that offer expert-level insights. So, please participate in the chat and share your advice. SEMrushchat takes place weekly at 11 AM ET/4 PM BST.