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How to Create a Great Social Media Campaign on a Tight Budget

Blog Post Author – Shawn
23rd April 2020

The power of unpaid social

We’ve all heard how ‘Facebook has tightened its grip and you can only get results with paid’ and sure, there’s plenty of truth to these concerns.

But you don’t want to grow through paid advertising. You want to build a genuinely engaged community using high quality content in your social media marketing. A good starting point would be to look into a social media calendar template to start your content plan.

Above all, you want them to follow you because they want to see your content on their feed. It seems simple, but that can feel like an uphill battle in today’s landscape, where the most popular platforms are monetized to the ears.

For small businesses and startups, getting social media right presents an opportunity to add revenue without driving up the cost per lead.

For bigger companies, spending power is probably the biggest factor a company wins or loses, because all their competitors are relying on the same expensive tactics to reach prospects and customers. That means every organic win puts you at a clear competitive advantage.

In theory, we know how to build a loyal following with unpaid social. Just look at what professional influencers do: build partnerships, use hashtags tactically, craft amazing content, and post it frequently.

But all of those techniques can be time-consuming to do yourself, and expensive to pay someone else to do.

social media on mobile image

How to do it yourself: reducing friction

If you’re a small marketing team, you probably have a smorgasbord of marketing activities you’re cycling through in order to try and move the needle.

Chances are, you don’t have a band of dedicated, full-time content creators. If you do have content creators in your audience, they’re probably not particularly strategic about what they create, and they probably create every once in a while, and without giving you much notice.

If all of that already exists in your business, then congratulations! You’re extremely close to turning your social media plan into one of your business’s most valuable channels.

Tools like ContentCal can help you bring organization to your social media efforts, and help you get that content in front of your audience at the right time using their social media marketing calendar.


But what if you want to do it yourself?

To get the wheels turning without draining your resources, you need to reduce friction in a few key areas.

Ask yourself these questions before you start creating anything:

  • Does the content fit with my marketing strategy?
  • How does it fit into the prospect’s or customer’s journey to buy?
  • How does this add value by answering questions your customers have?

Once you’ve got a clear idea of how this works and your happy with your social media marketing plan, you need to build a workflow for collaboration and approvals. We recommend this splits out these different sections:

  • Ideation: ideas you want to come to later
  • Creation: content you’re working on now
  • Repurposing: existing articles you can change and reuse
  • Publishing: articles that are ready to be published
  • Analytics: a dashboard which shows where you can improve

Your social media operation is now smooth. That leaves just one last bottleneck: how do you create content faster?

office brainstorming

How to cheat: content curation

Quickly growing your following on any channel requires posting multiple times per day. Each post without a link or a call-to-action represents a missed opportunity for website traffic or conversions.

How do you square that circle? Link to the same one or two landing pages repeatedly throughout the course of the week? Hire a team of creatives to produce high-quality blog content at the same pace as your social media scheduling calendar?

There’s a better way. Your social pages will look much better with a mixture of post types. Of course videos perform well in terms of engagement; of course linking to your own product pages is an easy way to align your activity with conversions. But too much of anything makes people bored. And when they’re bored, they’ll switch off to what you’re trying to do. A content calendar schedule template can allow you to see you have a balance of content before it publishes.

But to really engage with your customers on these platforms, you should behave more like your customers. And if your customers are businesses, behave like the people within those businesses.

And how do most people use social media? They share other peoples’ content.

generic office image

Social media marketers have long agonized over the unfulfilled promise of content curation. In theory, it should:

  • Drive engagement by sparking natural conversations with your community about topics they’re interested in
  • Lay the groundwork for relationships with journalists, influencers or potential partners
  • Establish your social accounts as a hub for helpful resources, and your brand as a thought leader that prospective customers will return to
  • Keep you top-of-mind for your followers as they look through their social feeds

While in reality, curation becomes a resource drain with no discernable ROI because:

  • Your social audience and the customers you want to reach are different people
  • Conducting the process of finding content, saving it, and planning how and when to publish it is time-consuming
  • Once your followers click on the link you post, you can’t track them. Even if they love the content, you’ll rarely take credit for it

But all three of those problems have solutions.

Use a feed aggregator like **Juicer **to bring all of your social media activity into one feed on your own website, merging your audiences and creating an engaging social experience that your real customers can see.

Use ContentCal’s Web Clipper to effortlessly save articles to your pinboard or library as you browse the web, then access everything in one place as you build your publishing schedule.


Use a URL shortener with analytics features to keep track of who clicks your links and how they behave afterward. Better yet, use Sniply and drive those users back to your own site by inserting a custom CTA onto the destination site.

No content, no problem?

Content curation isn’t a substitute for creating your own content. As well as having something to publish on your social channels, an active blog and fleshed out mid-level pages on your site will help your blog rise up through the ranks on Google Search, increase your share of customers’ minds, and increase their likelihood to convert to a customer.

As for your social media marketing, accounts that only links to news sites aren’t particularly inspiring. Try to mix it up as much as possible with short-form content, videos, images you’ve built, previews of upcoming features, competitions, and blogs from your site.

You can read more ideas for what to post in ContentCal’s round-up of 40 social media post ideas.

40 social media post ideas

But whichever way you look at it, creating content that converts is difficult. You can only make your approach more efficient with the right social media marketing tools, processes, and an overall approach that everyone understands.

By Shawn Pillar, Partnerships Director at Sniply, a tool that adds your custom call-to-action to any page on the web, allowing you to engage your followers through every link you share

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