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Content marketing – handy tips, tools and shortcuts for people without deep pockets

You hear content marketing, and what’s conjured in your mind might be big budgets, deep pockets and lots of fancy (expensive) technology.

Do you need big budgets, deep pockets and lots of fancy (expensive) technology?

The truth is that there are many tools, platforms and guides out there, many of them free or low cost, that can help you plan and implement an effective content plan (and look the part too).

I found many of these when I founded my consultancy less than a year ago, and I share them with people attending my presentations and workshops. Hopefully, you’ll find them useful and, who knows, even inspiring!


It goes without saying, it’s the B2B social platform, and fast establishing itself as one of the most trusted sources of information. As only 1% of people on Linkedin publish every week, you can effectively position yourself as go-to professional (see here for usage and lead stats).

I can say with first-hand experience it’s an effective source of quality incoming leads – but you’ll only get out of it what you put in. Go to Linkedin’s own Linkedin company page here and check out their affiliated pages (once upon a time called showcase pages), and follow marketing solutions for some excellent guides on everything from creating a company page to creating organic and paid content.

This recent blog is worth checking out.

Type: into your browser and you’ll see your social selling score, it also tells you how you benchmark across your peer group and what to do to improve it.


If you want to know why good quality content is essential, look no further than this excellent piece of thought leadership by Linkedin and Edelman, about the role of thought leadership in B2B demand generation. Publish mediocre content at your peril!

Small things make a big difference to the outcome, and this ‘Secret Sauce’ guide form Linkedin is excellent – they share they experience on everything from the length of captions, use of stats, and imagery and the impact it has on engagement rates.

Finally, Linkedin’s playbook to creating company pages is an excellent step by step guide too creating an engaging pager for your company.

Customer Personas

Before you put pen to paper, be clear who you are talking to. If you’re not the only one writing content for your customers, make sure everyone has these and is clear who they are writing for.

Creating personas can seem a little daunting, but again, social come into its own.

Look at Google (you’ll be surprised what you find – I once found the entire guest list for a conference, names and company job titles …), Go on Linkedin – search by job titles to find individuals, look to see what they are sharing, writing and what groups they belong to. Search by hashtag to see who is interested in #issues and #topics. You can follow these hashtags, as well as companies and individuals. Use to look at your audience demographics on Twitter, as well as other platforms.

If you’re a bit stumped, use targeting criteria such as this guide by Linkedin to targeting for their advertising platforms as a prompt:

NEW!! @17 May … I’ve just stumbled on this from hubspot which is an excellent guide, you can also download templates! We love a template!

Keywords ….

… are not just for SEO. They are equally important when it comes to creating content and speaking your customers’ language. Google is excellent (as you would expect!) start typing in the search field and see variations of your terms appear. Use Google Trends, or Google Ad keywords, to compare terms, and look at things such as, another rich source of insight.

Design and graphics

I use Canva and have recently upgraded, but I used their free tool for a long time, and it works well. This blog from Hootsuite provides all of the image measurements for different social platforms.

Unsplash is a good source of royalty-free photos (so no worries about getting into trouble). Where I can I credit the photographer, it seems the least I could do when getting something for free …

Piktograph is another useful tool for things like presentations and infographics.


Think when you’re putting pen to paper, think about the structure of writing:

  • Make your main point first
  • Make your opinion clear
  • Be specific – justify it with data and facts
  • Focus on benefits and outcomes, not features
  • Steer clear of jargon – speak to your customers in their language, not yours

Checking your content:

  • 24-hour test
  • Four-eyes test
  • It doesn’t matter how many times you check something; if you’re the author, it’s really easy to miss errors and mistakes – I’m a big fan of Grammarly.

I really hope this has been helpful, and if you use a good tool or platform not mentioned here, please comment and tell us all what it is! Bye for now!

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