Creating content when you're short on time—and money

The recent viral video, created by Furkids Animal Rescue & Shelters, got my gears turning about creating content on a budget. It might seem like an impossibility to build something creative and successful for your brand if you don’t have the funds at your disposal. However, there are a few simple things to consider when creating content without a lot of overhead. The most obvious being that throwing money at your content won't buy you the love of your followers.

1. Talk directly to your customers

Who are you trying to reach? You don’t necessarily need millions of views on your content (though it can’t hurt). Take some time and really sort out to whom you need to be talking to. It might be locals in your area. Are there small business networks you could join in your region? Facebook groups you could be posting in? Social media channels you aren’t on but could be? If you need help finding your audience just let us know and we’ll give you a hand.

2. Focus your messaging

You don’t have to be everything to everyone, just a few things to a very specific group of people—the people willing and waiting to give you money. Once you find the message that resonates with your potential customers, expand on that theme. You might start feeling like you’re repeating yourself and that’s okay when you’re starting out. You’re trying to build bridges between your brand, your followers, and your message. You want to make sure there’s no confusion as to what you or your brand is about.

3. Set expectations for yourself and your followers

If you struggle to find the time to blog every single day, then don’t blog every single day. When your content is forced your audience can tell. It’s a weird balance to strike at first—it seems like you’re not trying hard enough, but that’s actually the point. Content won’t help you sell when it feels fake. Make realistic goals and then stick to those and modify as needed. Especially if you’re a small company—be upfront with your followers and they’ll sympathize with you. For example, saying “We’ll be posting once a month for a while we build our new studio. Follow us on Instagram to see our progress!” is a helluva lot better than just leaving your blog stagnant without telling your potential customers where else to find you.

4. Rely on technology (and talent) you already have available

Does your company have more than one employee? You might already employ someone with the skills you need to make something like a short and funny video happen. The recent video for an animal shelter starred an employee’s brother and wasn’t edited or shot by a professional video company. And it’s already racked up over 4 million views on YouTube!

5. Don’t panic about perfection

In the same vein, unless your company creates content for a living, no one is judging you on the little things (please be kind). Putting yourself out there takes guts and building a community takes time. No one is going to get it spot-on right out of the gate. If you need to feel better about this, pick any of your favorite blogs or companies and look at their very first post. Almost guaranteed, it’ll be a little weird or lackluster compared to where they are now.  

This isn’t the ultimate guide by any stretch of the imagination, but hopefully there are a few nuggets in here to make you feel like, yes, you can create quality content on a shoestring budget. Need help doing just that? Drop us a line.