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How to create a digital content strategy for your small business

What is a digital content strategy?

So let’s start here: A digital content strategy is a group of tactics you’ve chosen strategically to help you reach a particular goal in your business.

Tactics, in this case, include things like:

  • SEO

  • podcasting

  • long-form videos on YouTube

  • short-form videos on social media

  • social media posts

  • live videos on social media

  • challenges, summits, and events

  • webinars

  • email newsletters

  • hashtags

  • partnerships

  • advertising

And so on.

How to create a digital content strategy for your small business:

For us at our agency, I define small businesses as being up to around $5 million a year in revenue; beyond that, businesses usually start to hire marketing people in-house. Specifically, my agency works with businesses earning anywhere between, say, $250k and $5mm a year because that’s our sweet spot, but the following information should be useful for even businesses at an earlier revenue stage.

1. Know your goals.

So many articles will talk about KPIs and metrics in the same breath as goals, but for small businesses, it often comes down not so much to things like click-thru rates and website conversion rates, and more to: what do you want to achieve?

That’s where I start with all my clients.

What do you want to achieve in the next 6-12 months?

Your answer will inform what kind of digital content strategy you want to put together and where you want to focus your efforts.

For example: If a client comes to me and tells me that she wants to write a book proposal and sell a nonfiction book to a major publisher in the next year, the content strategy we create for her will be very different from someone who has a very high ticket program or service and only needs to fill, say, 15 spots in a year.

So, start with the goal. If it’s a revenue goal, work backwards from there and determine how many sales you need (and of which products) to meet that revenue goal.

If it’s a visibility goal, determine how many people you want to add to your audience. In our book proposal example above, it’s well known that publishers look to see if authors have an existing platform, so an aspiring author might want to shoot for 10,000 followers on social media to shore up their marketability with a publishing house.

At its most basic, a digital content strategy is about building an audience of potential customers.

To know what tactics you want to add to your digital content strategy, you need to have an idea of how many people you want to add to your audience.

Some important numbers to know:

If you’re selling something online with a sales page and a “buy now” button, you can expect a 1–3% conversion rate. That means, between 1–3% of the people who land on the page will decide to make a purchase. (This is average; you may have a better or worse conversion rate for any given offer.)

If you’re selling something via a phone (or zoom) call, your average conversion rate will probably hang around 50%. It’s worth tracking to find out what your personal conversion rate is so you know how many people you need to speak to in order to reach your sales goals.

But these numbers mean that the number of people you need to have in your audience is actually exponentially bigger than your sales goals.

For example, email is still the best place to nurture your audience for most businesses, but the average click thru rate for emails is also 1–3%. That means, if you have 5,000 people who actually open an email, you can expect around 50 of them to click on a link to a sales page…

…and of those 50, you might make 1 sale.

This is not to make you feel bad about yourself, your business, or your numbers! (And remember: these are averages. Your conversion rates may be better or worse.)

Rather, this is to help you get a more reasonable idea of how many people you need in your audience to meet your sales or growth goals and your digital content strategy.

2. Choose the discovery channel for your digital content strategy

At this point, the vast majority of my clients realize they aren’t reaching enough people and that they need a digital content strategy that will grow their audience.

And many realize they don’t even really have a clear way for new people to discover their business.

I call this your discovery channel: the part of your digital content strategy focused on how new people will find your business.

There are lots of different tactics that can be added to your digital content strategy here to fill the role of your discovery channel:

  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

  • advertising

  • partnerships

  • publicity (including traditional media, guest blogging, podcast interviews, etc.)

  • hashtag strategy

And so on.

You want to define at least one strong discovery channel as part of your digital marketing strategy; and, depending on how quickly you want or need to grow, you may choose more than one.

The metrics to track for this channel are essentially how many new audience members you’re adding per strategy, per month.

3. Define your nurture channels for your digital content strategy and choose your Power Platform

The next part of your digital content strategy that you want to focus on is how you will nurture the audience you have and are growing to become leads and potential customers.

Your nurture channels include anywhere that you’re having a conversation with your audience and leading them down the path to becoming a customer.

Nurture channels might include:

  • social media

  • blogs

  • podcasts

  • email newsletters

  • videos (long and short)

And so on.

Usually what I recommend is that small business owners choose one Power Platform where they will share their thought leadership, and then use other channels to drive their audience to that Power Platform. This is the backbone of your digital content strategy.

How do you choose a Power Platform? Well, think about how you most like to communicate — what’s easiest for you. Is it writing? Speaking? Recording videos? The medium will often dictate the platform.

For example, if you love to write, you might choose blog articles or email newsletters as your Power Platform. If you prefer speaking, a podcast might be best for you. And if you love to be on camera, video is the way to go whether it’s live or pre-recorded.

(Quick note: some people love to verbally process their ideas, but don’t want to start a podcast or video series. In that case, I recommend finding a great writer who can take your verbal processing and turn it into articles, the way we do for our clients.)

Once you know your Power Platform, you’ll want to focus most of your efforts on creating content for that platform, and let your other channels — like Instagram captions, Facebook posts, Tweets, etc. — point back to your Power Platform posts.

4. Choose your Power Platform content topics strategically

Now, because we want to focus on quality over quantity, you’ll need to choose your content topics strategically.

Essentially, we want each piece of content you create for your Power Platform to help move your audience a little bit closer towards a sale.

In practice, there are practically infinite ways to accomplish this, but here are some pointers:

  • Think about what your ideal customer needs to know, do, feel, or experience right before they say yes to the sale and create content about that. (This is all about understanding your customer awareness spectrum.)

  • Consider what myths or objections you can overcome for people with your content — maybe before they even think of it themselves.

  • Be sure you’re writing content for your ideal customer: for example, if you sell a done-for-you service, don’t tell them how to do it for themselves; that will attract the wrong audience.

  • Think about what action you want people to take from each piece of content, and be sure to have a strong call to action in every one.

Once you’ve chosen your topics, you’ll want to organize them into some kind of editorial calendar for your digital marketing strategy. I offer a template of the same system we use with our clients here.

5. Create your distribution plan.

As I mentioned, your Power Platform is where you’re going to share your deeper thought leadership — but you still need to promote and distribute it on your other nurture channels so that everyone in your audience gets to see it!

Typically, for many of my clients, this means having an assistant create content for the other channels.

And for a lot of people, this is where the process can start to break down. They find outsourcing this sort of content creation to be challenging and the results not up to their standards.

There are three main things you need to successfully outsource content creation — whether that means an assistant who creates some Instagram and Facebook posts for you, or a full content production team:

  1. A content calendar (see step 4 above!)

  2. A brand voice style guide

  3. And a clear content workflow and standard operating procedure

As I said, whether you have one part-time assistant or an entire team, having these 3 pieces in place will make outsourcing any part of your digital content strategy that much easier.

6. Test, measure, and iterate

The final piece of the puzzle when you’re thinking about how to create your digital content strategy is to simply test things out and see what works.

The “see what works” part is key — which means you have to keep track of those metrics we were mentioning back in step 1.

Of course, the metrics you want to track will vary based on your strategy, but some common ones include:

  • how many new people you add to your audience across various channels

  • email open and click thru rates

  • conversion rates for your sales pages or sales conversations

  • engagement on your nurture channels

¿Qué es una estrategia de contenidos digitales?

Entonces, comencemos aquí: una estrategia de contenido digital es un grupo de tácticas que ha elegido estratégicamente para ayudarlo a alcanzar un objetivo particular en su negocio.

Las tácticas, en este caso, incluyen cosas como:

  • SEO

  • podcasting

  • vídeos de formato largo en YouTube

  • videos de formato corto en las redes sociales

  • publicaciones en redes sociales

  • videos en vivo en las redes sociales

  • desafíos, cumbres y eventos

  • seminarios web

  • boletines de correo electrónico

  • etiquetas

  • asociaciones

  • publicidad

Y así.

Cómo crear una estrategia de contenido digital para su pequeña empresa:

Para nosotros en nuestra agencia, defino a las pequeñas empresas como aquellas con ingresos de alrededor de $5 millones al año; más allá de eso, las empresas generalmente comienzan a contratar personas de marketing internas. Específicamente, mi agencia trabaja con empresas que ganan entre, digamos, $ 250k y $ 5 millones al año porque ese es nuestro punto ideal, pero la siguiente información debería ser útil incluso para las empresas en una etapa de ingresos más temprana.

1. Conozca sus objetivos.

Muchos artículos hablarán sobre los KPI y las métricas al mismo tiempo que sobre los objetivos, pero para las pequeñas empresas, a menudo se trata no tanto de cosas como las tasas de clics y las tasas de conversión del sitio web, sino más bien de: qué es lo que quiere lograr. ?

Ahí es donde empiezo con todos mis clientes.

¿Qué quieres lograr en los próximos 6-12 meses?

Su respuesta informará qué tipo de estrategia de contenido digital desea armar y dónde desea centrar sus esfuerzos.

Por ejemplo: si un cliente viene a mí y me dice que quiere escribir una propuesta de libro y vender un libro de no ficción a una editorial importante en el próximo año, la estrategia de contenido que creamos para ella será muy diferente a la de alguien que tiene un programa o servicio de boletos muy altos y solo necesita llenar, digamos, 15 lugares en un año.

Entonces, comienza con la meta. Si se trata de un objetivo de ingresos, trabaje hacia atrás a partir de ahí y determine cuántas ventas necesita (y de qué productos) para alcanzar ese objetivo de ingresos.

Si se trata de un objetivo de visibilidad, determine cuántas personas desea agregar a su audiencia. En nuestro ejemplo de propuesta de libro anterior, es bien sabido que los editores buscan ver si los autores tienen una plataforma existente, por lo que un aspirante a autor podría querer apuntar a 10,000 seguidores en las redes sociales para reforzar su comercialización con una editorial.

En su forma más básica, una estrategia de contenido digital consiste en crear una audiencia de clientes potenciales.

Para saber qué tácticas desea agregar a su estrategia de contenido digital, debe tener una idea de cuántas personas desea agregar a su audiencia.

Algunos números importantes a saber:

Si está vendiendo algo en línea con una página de ventas y un botón "comprar ahora", puede esperar una tasa de conversión del 1% al 3%. Eso significa que entre el 1% y el 3% de las personas que aterrizan en la página decidirán realizar una compra. (Esto es promedio; puede tener una tasa de conversión mejor o peor para cualquier oferta).

Si está vendiendo algo a través de una llamada telefónica (o zoom), su tasa de conversión promedio probablemente rondará el 50%. Vale la pena realizar un seguimiento para averiguar cuál es su tasa de conversión personal para saber con cuántas personas necesita hablar para alcanzar sus objetivos de ventas.

Pero estos números significan que la cantidad de personas que necesita tener en su audiencia es en realidad exponencialmente mayor que sus objetivos de ventas.

Por ejemplo, el correo electrónico sigue siendo el mejor lugar para nutrir a su audiencia para la mayoría de las empresas, pero la tasa promedio de clics para los correos electrónicos también es del 1 al 3%. Eso significa que, si tiene 5000 personas que realmente abren un correo electrónico, puede esperar que alrededor de 50 de ellas hagan clic en un enlace a una página de ventas...

…y de esos 50, podrías hacer 1 venta.

¡Esto no es para hacerte sentir mal contigo mismo, tu negocio o tus números! (Y recuerda: estos son promedios. Tus tasas de conversión pueden ser mejores o peores).

Más bien, esto es para ayudarlo a tener una idea más razonable de cuántas personas necesita en su audiencia para cumplir con sus objetivos de ventas o crecimiento y su estrategia de contenido digital.

2. Elija el canal de descubrimiento para su estrategia de contenido digital

En este punto, la gran mayoría de mis clientes se dan cuenta de que no están llegando a suficientes personas y que necesitan una estrategia de contenido digital que aumente su audiencia.

Y muchos se dan cuenta de que ni siquiera tienen una forma clara de que la gente nueva descubra su negocio.

A esto lo llamo su canal de descubrimiento: la parte de su estrategia de contenido digital enfocada en cómo las personas nuevas encontrarán su negocio.

Hay muchas tácticas diferentes que se pueden agregar a su estrategia de contenido digital aquí para desempeñar el papel de su canal de descubrimiento:

  • Optimización de motores de búsqueda (SEO)

  • publicidad

  • asociaciones

  • publicidad (incluidos los medios tradicionales, blogs invitados, entrevistas de podcast, etc.)

  • estrategia de hashtags

Y así.

Desea definir al menos un canal de descubrimiento sólido como parte de su estrategia de marketing digital; y, dependiendo de qué tan rápido quieras o necesites crecer, puedes elegir más de uno.

Las métricas para realizar un seguimiento de este canal son esencialmente cuántos nuevos miembros de la audiencia está agregando por estrategia, por mes.

3. Define tus canales de crianza para tu estrategia de contenido digital y elige tu Power Platform

La siguiente parte de su estrategia de contenido digital en la que desea enfocarse es cómo nutrirá a la audiencia que tiene y está creciendo para convertirse en clientes potenciales y clientes potenciales.

Sus canales de crianza incluyen cualquier lugar en el que tenga una conversación con su audiencia y los guíe por el camino para convertirse en un cliente.

Los canales de crianza pueden incluir:

  • social media

  • blogs

  • podcasts

  • boletines de correo electrónico

  • vídeos (largos y cortos)

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