Creating Breakthrough Content on Any Budget

It’s hard to believe it’s been a few weeks since we were in Cleveland at Content Marketing World 2019. I’ve been busy putting into practice many of the things that I learned after participating in several breakout sessions and keynote presentations, but it’s important to pause and share some of the key information that was presented by my colleagues, Nicole Martin and Adam Constantine, in their session: Highly Effective Social Creative for Any Budget. Whether you are a content creator with a large in-house team or a department of one, learning to create content on any budget can be applied to your practice.

Content clutter is a reality, and it’s getting harder to break through. Every 60 seconds on Facebook, 136,000 photos are uploaded, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 510,000 comments are posted. Video is still king of content, accounting for 85% of online traffic. In a recent survey, 55% of business professionals indicated that a great story captures their focus, and 33% of respondents reported that visual stimulation is critical to maintain attention. The bottom line: the landscape is getting more complex, but our attention spans are not getting any longer, so the quality of the content that we create must be better than ever.

Here is where the good news comes in. The team at Pace believes that breakthrough content can be created on any budget, and we’ve done just that for a long list of clients. Our team shared three different budget scenarios, how they work and a few things to consider along the way.

  1. No to Low Budget (<$5,000)—You might be thinking we’re kidding here, but we’re not. Content creation at this budget level requires a scrappy mindset and a willingness to jump in and experiment. Identify people on your team who are like-minded and embrace the idea of creating something together. This might be shot on an iPhone with a tripod, a ring light and a microphone. Create, assess and revise as needed, but continue to test and learn. The benefits: quick turnaround time and you’ve joined the social conversation.
  2. Medium Budget ($5,000–$30,000)—This budget range allows for a more professional shoot in a studio or on location and results in a higher-quality creative product. This approach allows for original content creation, which has a better chance of breaking through the clutter. Pace Communications has done this for a myriad of clients through the years, and it is fast and efficient. We shoot photography and video, quickly edit in house and that’s a wrap.
  3. High Budget (>$30,000)—This budget range allows you to play in the space of video content where quality matters, so you need to ensure you are working with a trusted partner who has experience. The benefit to this larger budget is a broader suite of content that allows for a longer shelf life. For BB&T, the Pace team shot a long-form video that was then used to create video shorts and social posts that spanned the entirety of the campaign. We employed the same approach for a Four Seasons campaign, and both far exceeded all stated KPIs.

So, what can you do now to get your content program off the ground or explore a new opportunity that takes your content to the next level? The following are the Pace team’s recommendations on what you should be thinking about as we enter Q4:

  1. Budget—Begin planning for next year and invest in social-first campaigns. Think about ways to maximize your content creation plan and process.
  2. Test and Learn—Commit to downloading one photo editing app and one video editing app. It can be a bit intimidating, but take some time to experiment—everyone loves to play.
  3. Start Creating Content—Start a consistent content series (weekly or monthly) that encourages active and prospect audiences to return to your channels.
  4. Ask the Experts—Raise your hand and ask for help. We can help you strategize, brainstorm or share our capabilities if you are interested in robust engagement.

Content creation should be fun. Yes, there may be challenges along the way, but remember to be scrappy, inventive and creative when solving those challenges. Having that attitude is contagious, and it energizes those around you to be passionate about creating the very best content for your company and your clients.

To reach out to Nicole and Adam directly or inquire about an opportunity to learn more about the passionate team of content creators at Pace, you can contact Nicole at or @StrategySavvy and Adam at or @theycallmeAC.

Written by Anne Elwell

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