I assist small businesses in developing a digital content strategy that will help them get closer to their business goals. This is the most fundamental thing I do for them.
But before you hire someone to help you develop a digital content strategy for your company, you might have some questions about what it is and how we go about doing it in a way that’s specific to your industry, your objectives, and your target market.
A digital content strategy is what?
Thus, let’s begin here: A digital content strategy is a collection of approaches you’ve carefully chosen to support the achievement of a specific business objective.
In this instance, tactics might be:
Social media posts live videos on social media challenges, summits, and events SEO podcasts YouTube long-form videos short-form videos webinars
newsletters via email, hashtags, and advertising
How to formulate a small business’s digital content strategy:
Small firms, in our agency’s definition, are those with annual revenues of up to $5 million; above that point, companies typically begin to bring in-house marketing personnel. Because it is our sweet spot, my agency focuses on working with companies making between $250k and $5mm annually, but the information below should be helpful for companies at any level of revenue growth.
- Be aware of your objectives.
KPIs and metrics are frequently mentioned in conjunction with goals in articles, but for small firms, the question of what to achieve is often more important than factors like website conversion rates and click-through rates.
With every customer, I start there.
What goals do you have for the upcoming six to twelve months?
Your response will guide the type of digital content strategy you want to develop and the areas on which you want to concentrate your efforts.
The content strategy we develop for a client who wants to write a book proposal and sell a nonfiction book to a major publisher in the upcoming year, for instance, will differ greatly from that of a client who has a high-ticket program or service and only needs to fill, say, 15 spots in a year.
So, begin with the end in mind. If it’s a revenue goal, start there and work backwards to figure out how many sales (and of which goods) you’ll need to make in order to reach that revenue goal.
Decide how many additional people you want to attract to your audience if the goal is increased visibility. In the case of the aforementioned book proposal, it is common knowledge that publishers check to see if authors have an established platform, therefore an aspiring author may wish to aim for 10,000 social media followers to increase their marketability with a publishing house.
Building an audience of potential clients is the most fundamental goal of a digital content strategy.
You need to have an idea of how many individuals you want to add to your audience before you can decide what methods to include in your digital content strategy.
A few crucial figures to know are:
You can anticipate a 1-3% conversion rate if you’re selling something online with a sales page and a “buy now” button. Accordingly, 1-3% of visitors that land on the page will choose to make a purchase. (This is an average; your conversion rate for any specific offer could be better or worse.)
Your average conversion rate will probably be around 50% if you’re selling anything over the phone (or a zoom call). In order to determine how many individuals you need to speak with in order to meet your sales targets, it is useful to track your own conversion rate.
However, these figures indicate that the size of your audience must be exponentially greater than your revenue targets.
For most organizations, email is still the best way to nurture their audience, yet on average, only 1-3% of emails get clicked through. So, if 5,000 individuals really view your email, you can anticipate that 50 of them will click on the link to the sales page.
Of those 50, you might close just one sale.
This is not meant to make you feel awful about your business, yourself, or your financial results! (Keep in mind that these are averages. You might have better or worse conversion rates.)
This is meant to provide you a more accurate sense of the size of your audience in order to accomplish your objectives for growth or sales as well as your digital content strategy.
- Select your digital content strategy’s discovery channel.
Now, the vast majority of my clients understand they need a digital content plan that will expand their audience since they aren’t reaching enough people.
Many also realize they don’t actually have a good mechanism for potential customers to find their company.
I refer to this as your discovery channel: the area of your digital content strategy devoted to how potential customers will discover your company.
To fulfil the role of your discovery channel, a variety of various approaches can be included in your digital content strategy:
Advertising collaborations, public relations (including traditional media, guest blogging, podcast interviews, etc.), and hashtag strategy
As part of your digital marketing plan, you should identify at least one effective discovery channel. Depending on how quickly you need to or want to develop, you might choose more than one.
The key metrics to monitor for this channel are essentially the monthly additions of new audience members per strategy.
- Select your power platform and specify your nurturing channels for your digital content plan.
The next element of your digital content strategy that you should concentrate on is how you will develop your current and expanding audience into leads and potential consumers.
Anywhere you engage your audience in dialogue and guide them toward becoming customers is one of your nurture channels.
Channels for nurturing could be:
blogs on social media, podcasts, email newsletters, and videos (both lengthy and short)
Typically, I advise small business owners to pick one Power Platform where they will express their thought leadership and then use other channels to direct their audience there. Your digital content strategy is built on this.
How should a power platform be chosen? Consider your preferred method of communication and what is most convenient for you. Are you writing? Speaking? capturing videos? The platform is frequently determined by the media.
If you enjoy writing, for instance, your Power Platform might be blog posts or email newsletters. The perfect podcast for you might be speaking-based. And whether it’s live or pre-recorded, video is the way to go if you love being in front of the camera.
(Short note: Some people prefer to express their ideas verbally rather than beginning a podcast or video series. Finding a talented writer who can take your verbal processing and transform it into articles, as we do for our clients, is advised in that situation.)
Once you identify your Power Platform, you should concentrate most of your efforts on producing content for it while directing traffic to your Power Platform posts via your other channels, such as Instagram captions, Facebook posts, Tweets, etc.
- Strategically select your Power Platform content themes
Now since we want to prioritize quality above number, you’ll need to make wise choices when selecting your content themes.
Basically, we want every piece of content you produce for your Power Platform to aid in influencing your audience to make a purchase.
There are literally countless methods to do this in practice, however the following are some suggestions:
Create information about what your ideal customer needs to know, do, feel, or experience just before approving the sale. Understanding your customer’s awareness range is key here.
Think about what misconceptions or concerns you can dispel for readers with your content—possibly before they ever consider it themselves.
Make sure you’re creating material for your ideal client. For instance, if you sell a service that is done for you, don’t instruct your clients on how to do it themselves because that would draw the wrong type of clientele.
Consider what action you want readers to do after reading each piece of content, and include a compelling call to action in each.
You should arrange your topics for your digital marketing plan into some sort of editorial schedule once you’ve decided on them. I provide a sample of the identical procedure that we employ with our clients here.
- Make a distribution strategy.
As I previously indicated, your Power Platform is where you will publish your deeper thought leadership; yet, you must still advertise and share it through all of your other nurture channels to ensure that your audience as a whole sees it.
For many of my clients, this typically entails having a helper provide material for the other channels.
This is where the process may begin to falter for a lot of folks. They find it difficult to outsource this kind of content generation, and the outcomes fall short of their expectations.
If you want to successfully outsource content creation, whether it’s to a team of content producers or just a personal assistant to make a few Instagram and Facebook posts for you, there are three key requirements:
a calendar of content (see step 4 above!
a style guide for the brand
Moreover, there is a distinct content workflow and standard operating procedure.
As I previously stated, having these 3 components in place will make outsourcing any aspect of your digital content strategy much simpler, regardless of whether you have a team of employees or just one part-time assistant.
- Evaluate, quantify, and improve
To simply test things out and see what works is the final piece of the strategy puzzle when thinking about how to develop your digital content strategy.
The “see what works” component is crucial, thus you must monitor those metrics we mentioned in step 1 in order to accomplish this.
Of course, depending on your plan, the metrics you want to monitor will differ, but some typical ones are as follows:
How many fresh viewers you attract via different channels
conversion rates for your sales sites or sales chats engagement on your nurture channels for emails
Get familiar with your numbers and keep tabs on what is and isn’t functioning.
One of the most common pieces of writing advice is to “kill your darlings.” It means that, despite how much you may love them, be prepared to cut things that don’t function.
In marketing, the same holds true. You must be prepared and able to examine the many components of your digital content strategy and determine whether or not they are actually advancing your aim.
Great news if the answer is yes! Do that more often.
If the answer is no, you must be willing to let those things go—regardless of how much you enjoy them—if they are no longer a wise use of your time and money.
For instance, a business owner may adore producing their podcast, but if the metrics reveal that it isn’t significantly advancing their objectives, they must be ready to either attempt something new or completely discontinue it.