Rebel marketing strategy: No budget, no problem.

I wanted to share with you a way of thinking about marketing which has proven effective in my businesses and allowed me to engage with my tribe with very little budget. Having launched 3 start-ups in the last 24 months on minimal budgets, i've had to get super creative with both my time & money. I detail below how you can effectively plan your marketing content and positioning whilst still having time to run your business.

Lets look at this in 2 parts; creative & positioning. If the creative is good, but the positioning is poor, nobody sees it. If the creative is poor, but the positioning is great, it doesn't matter how many people see it. Content for me comes in 5 forms; audio, video, photo, graphic & written word. Positioning in my business comes in 6 forms; Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, email & physically in the building. Within both, there are of course subsections. Video, for example, could be long-form, 1-minute interview style, 10 second IG video, etc. Equally within the positioning there are tons of possibilities. Within written word alone there is LinkedIn article, blog post, Facebook group post, etc. List all of these.

If you take away 1 thing from this post, let it be this. You MUST create content that sits at the intersection of what your customers care about, and what your business does. Now, before you start planning, you must understand & be able to effectively communicate why your business exists. Start by revisiting these questions; What problem are you solving? How are you uniquely solving it? How is it win-win-win? With your customers, ask these 3 questions; What do they care about? What else are they interested in? What drives them to buy? Lastly, your content should do at least 1 of these 3 things, in line with all of the above; educate, inspire or entertain.

Next, on to the strategy. Set a time frame. It can be a month, 2 months, etc. Then, i like to do the below:

  • Establish key themes, opportunities, events & dates

  • Review previous activity (what worked, what didn't)

  • Identify potential new partners, staff, customers & influencers

  • Set targets & KPIs for campaign

  • Spec out logistics, costings & potential risks

With the content itself, concern yourself with focusing on 2-3 pieces of macro content. E.g. long-form video, podcast, influencer event, etc. Plan these 3 things, and then from each of these pieces of long-form content, draw down multiple pieces of shorter form content. If you're posting 4 pieces of content per day (many people are nowhere near this) and you're planning this campaign to be a month long, you're going to want to generate 20 pieces of content from each activity. From a long-form video, for example, this could be the audio transcribed & repurposed as a series of 5 blog posts & 10 smaller Facebook posts, 10 1 minute clips & 5 quote graphic. This saves time, money & allows for consistency in the campaign.

Next, the way to go about executing these 2-3 pieces of long-form content for free, is to leverage influencers, collaborations with other businesses, your community, your product/service & your existing team. Examples of each below:

Influencers

  • Focus on micro influencers with relevant niche followings

  • Be specific on what you want (type of content, how much, etc)

  • Focus on how to offer them non-monetary value (exposure on your page, product, etc)

Collaborations with other businesses

  • Work with businesses who's audience share similar interests

  • Agree on outcomes & activity

  • Share costs (if any)

Community

  • Invite regular customers to contribute (e.g. blog writing)

  • Host community focused event & capture content to use

Your product/service

  • Consider how to build content opportunities into what you already do (if its a packaged product, can you include something photo worthy that encourages users to take a photo!?)

  • Drive user generated content via decoration or adaptation consistent with theme

Your people

  • Bring your entire team into strategy meetings & crowdsource ideas/skills

  • Give responsibility to the team to assist with content creation & comms

I have found it effective to do this monthly and set out my plan for the month ahead. Its a simple, effective & resourceful way to communicate with your customers. I wish you good luck!