Lansons Consultant Sophie Paterson (née Church) attended The Content Marketing Association’s £1,000 Challenge. Here she tells you how to get the most from your campaign with a limited budget.
If you were asked to launch a content marketing campaign for just £1,000, what would you do? How do you even start to think about approaching that kind of challenge?
That’s what I was asked by the Content Marketing Association (CMA) a few weeks ago, and I presented my thoughts during a panel event, alongside SEO specialists and representatives from digital marketing agencies.
I chose to use my hypothetical £1,000 to get the nation talking about fuel poverty, an issue which affects one in ten households and killed 3,000 people in 2017.
With seven years’ experience driving the news agenda, creating media splashes for my clients, and getting the nation talking about the issues my clients are passionate about, I can tell you that £1,000 is not very much.
It would be easy to dismiss the challenge as ‘impossible’… We can all agree that it wouldn’t get you very far in terms of research; expert insight from a futurologist or economist would be out of the question; you couldn’t build a website or an app, and even hosting an event usually costs more than £1,000 by the time you’ve hired a venue and ordered some canapes.
If you’re looking beyond the earned space and into paid or shared channels, we can also agree that it would be difficult to launch an effective content marketing campaign with such a small budget. The social economy is growing at a rapid rate so while native advertising is a hugely effective tool – as seen with Missguided’s Love Island campaign in the summer – the cost of promoting just one or two Instagram posts will well exceed the budget. And while there are social influencers for every demographic, the very effectiveness of influencer marketing has driven up costs and value. Ultimately, it would be very difficult to launch a campaign with longevity that can stand the test of time for just £1,000.
I know what you’re thinking now. ‘It is impossible, let’s just pack it in and move on’… But it is possible, and – of course – it comes down to powerful content.
The content I conceptualised during my presentation was simple – a straight forward photo-call of a family of four eating their turkey dinners outside in public areas with high footfall. They’re freezing cold, and the photograph brings to light the fact that this is the reality for a tenth of households, who cannot afford to heat their homes without falling into poverty.
Marketing with effective content makes customers connect with your brand or cause. It positions you as an authority and it drives consideration. The New Year is a good time to freshen things up, start thinking differently and challenge the way you approach tasks and challenges. Sure, in the grand scheme of all things marketing, £1,000 isn’t very much, but if it is underpinned by a strategic and integrated programme to support your overall communications objectives and key messages, it can be hugely effective.
An integrated team with expertise in content creation, storytelling and stakeholder activation can be enormously powerful, and this approach makes us experts in telling our clients’ stories through paid, earned, shared and owned platforms. Whether that’s by creating a brilliant piece of content and activating it across multiple channels – or indeed, exploring other avenues – it comes down to understanding your customers. Afterall, a creative concept isn’t ‘great’ unless it’s something people genuinely care about.