2020 has taken us on a rollercoaster we can’t seem to get off and while in many parts of the country, things seem to be getting “back to normal”, we know times are rough and budgets are being cut. Being a small business, we’ve learned some tricks to being cost-effective when creating content for our social media platforms and blog. We thought it was the right time to share some of what we’ve learned about creating compelling content while staying within your budget. Let us know if you have any more other useful tips!
You don’t need to be a graphic designer
Not all companies can afford to hire graphic designers, photographers or videographers—and that’s totally ok. Don’t try to be something you’re not! Nowadays, it is important to make sure your content is aesthetically pleasing but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to make that happen. There are plenty of free tools you can use to create beautiful content without having a graphic design degree. Canva is a great resource that allows for you do just that. It is extremely user-friendly and has hundreds of different templates for social media, catalogs, proposals and more! You can also upload your logos, fonts and photos to use as well. There is a paid version that gives you some extra perks but if you’re starting out or on a tight budget, we recommend the free version.
You don’t need to book expensive locations for photo shoots
We’ve always had to work with a small budget when planning and producing photo shoots. We can’t book a location or studio because that’s just too expensive. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to do that but in the meantime there’s no need. When working with subjects like flowers you need good natural light, pretty background and voila! You can use a beautiful wooden table that you have at home or a simple countertop. If you’re building your brand, consistency is key when creating content for social media. So, focus on taking some great photos that are not generic, that show a bit of your brand’s personality. Replica Surfaces is a great example of a company that makes your shoots more professional at a super affordable price. These surfaces are small backdrops that are portable, come in different colors and patterns and are totally transportable.
You don’t need to write hundreds of blog posts a month
If you’re a small team or you’re working on marketing and content creation on your own, don’t compare yourself to companies that have huge marketing teams! While they can probably write 15+ blog posts a month, you should stick to producing content that is high-quality and of value—even if that means posting once or twice a month. Focus your time and energy on creating posts that will resonate with your audience and that you can connect to your other social media platforms. Another great idea is to collaborate with customers or fellow-industry members. You can share each other’s content on your blog and social media. Don’t forget to ask for permission first! As a small team, you can’t do the same amount of work that a group of 20 people do so always keep that in mind!
Partner with fellow creatives
Some people don’t get how hard it is to create content on your own. If you’re like us you know what we’re talking—working two tripods at once or having to figure out how to film yourself creating arrangements— and it’s not easy! If you have the budget, hire people to assist with tasks like setting up or dismantling production. Now, more than ever, it’s important to pay freelancers and creatives for their work. However, if you’re a wholesaler who needs some floral content for your Instagram page but don’t have the budget you used to, reach out to a florist that you have a solid relationship with. You can come up with an arrangement to negotiate a day or hourly rate that works best for both parties, or provide flowers in exchange for their service. It is extremely important that both of you are comfortable with these arrangements—we cannot stress this enough. We work in an industry where our work can sometimes be undervalued so only do this if you have a strong relationship with this person or have discussed working under these circumstances in the past.
Be as organized as possible
Have a space designated exclusively to store any props, backdrops or tools you use for content creation. The more organized you are the better. You’ll know where everything is and you’ll maximize your time when preparing for a shoot. Have an idea of what looks and aesthetic you are aiming for prior to your shoot. Do your research! If you’re looking to get inspired, use Pinterest and Instagram as tools to recreate looks that implement your unique touch. We recommend having a shot list to keep track of what you’re doing. This shot list will include different angles that your photos or videos need to be taken in (remember, different sizes for the different platforms), inspo ideas and a timeline of your day. This shot list will not only help you get everything ready beforehand but it will also help you organize and edit your content once you are done.
Like we said before, let us know if you have any other ideas or tips that work for you while creating content on a budget. Check out our Instagram, Facebook and Youtube pages to check out how we incorporate our content into social media!