Creating a Content Strategy: A Guide for Small Businesses in 2023

You’ve got your small business up and running—congrats!

But in this day, launching is just the first step. To truly compete, you need a killer content strategy. Sure, you’ve heard the term thrown around, but what does it actually mean for a small business like yours? 

Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to unpack.

Creating a Content Strategy: A Guide for Small Businesses in 2023
Creating a Content Strategy: A Guide for Small Businesses in 2023

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the essentials of creating a content strategy specifically tailored for small businesses.

Buckle up; it’s time to get your digital game strong!

Why Content Strategy Matters for Small Businesses

Okay, you might be asking, “Why all the fuss about content strategy?” Fair question.

For starters, a well-executed content strategy is your ticket to standing out in the digital clutter. Imagine you’re a local bakery. Sure, your croissants are to die for, but how will folks know if they never get past the zillion other Google results?

Content strategy helps you cut through the noise.

It guides you on what to say, how to say it, and where to say it, so you reach the right people—your people. It’s about producing the right content.

And when executed well, it can increase your visibility, engage your audience, and, yes, even boost those sales.

Steps to Create a Content Strategy That Works In 2023

Define Your Goals

First things first, you need to know what you’re aiming for.

Are you looking to skyrocket your Instagram followers? Maybe you’re after those juicy leads that can turn into loyal customers? Or perhaps you’re keen to become the go-to source for how-to guides in your niche?

In 2023, with algorithms smarter than ever and customer behavior continuously evolving, having a clear set of goals is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity.

Decide what success looks like for you and set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals.

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Translate Goals into KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

So, you’ve set your goals—be it increasing brand awareness, boosting engagement, or generating leads. That’s a great start, but now it’s time to get specific. This is where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come into play.

Think of KPIs as the yardstick by which you’ll measure the effectiveness of your content strategy. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, your KPIs might include metrics like social media impressions, page views, or the reach of your posts. If you’re aiming for lead generation, then the number of new sign-ups or the conversion rate of your landing pages could be your go-to KPIs.

Tools like Google Analytics, SEMrush, or native analytics on social media platforms can provide you with these metrics. Remember, the more precise your KPIs, the better you’ll understand what’s working and what’s not.

Identify Your Audience

You wouldn’t talk to a room full of teenagers the same way you’d speak to a board of directors, right? So, knowing your audience is crucial.

And in 2023, it’s not enough to just know their age and location. We’re talking deep-dives into customer psychographics—values, behavior, pain points.

With everyone practically living online, data is abundant.

Utilize customer surveys, social listening tools, and analytics platforms to gather insights. 

You need to know who you’re talking to, and more importantly, what they want to hear.

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Map Audience to Content Types

Knowing your audience is pivotal; it’s equally important to know how to reach them effectively. You might know that your audience prefers video content, but what kind of video? A long-form YouTube explainer or short, snappy Instagram Reels? Here’s where you map content types to your audience’s preferences and behaviors.

For instance, if your audience comprises busy professionals, perhaps podcasts or newsletters that they can consume on-the-go would be more appropriate. On the other hand, if your target audience is younger and more inclined to use platforms like TikTok, then short, engaging videos might be your best bet.

In essence, this step ensures that your content format aligns well with your audience’s lifestyle and content consumption habits, making your strategy all the more effective.

Content Planning

Now that you’ve mapped your KPIs and know your audience’s preferences, the next logical step is to plan your content. A well-laid plan brings clarity and focus, ensuring you’re not just shooting in the dark.

The first thing you’ll need is an editorial calendar. This is your content blueprint. Your calendar should outline:

  • Topics to cover
  • Posting frequency
  • Content formats (blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.)

Each piece of content you plan should align with at least one of your KPIs. For instance, if one of your KPIs is to increase website traffic, then perhaps a series of in-depth, SEO-optimized blog posts is the way to go.

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There are a multitude of tools available for content planning. If you’re just starting, a simple spreadsheet might suffice. But as you scale, specialized software like CoSchedule can offer advanced features that simplify the process.

Production Process

Congratulations! You’ve got your plan. Now, who’s going to make it happen?

Even for small businesses, content creation is seldom a one-person show. You’ll need to decide who’s responsible for what. This involves:

  • Content creation
  • Editing
  • Approving
  • Publishing

Clarifying these roles early on can save you a lot of headaches down the line. Make sure everyone knows their responsibilities and deadlines.

There are tools designed to make this production process smoother. Collaboration tools like Slack, project management software like Asana, or content-focused platforms like GatherContent can help you manage your content pipeline efficiently.

Streamlining the production process ensures that your strategy is not just a paper exercise but a dynamic, operational plan that actually gets executed.

Measurement and Adjustment

In a world teeming with data, skipping on measurement is like flying blind. You’ve poured time, energy, and probably some sleepless nights into your content, but how do you know it’s working? Here’s where your KPIs come back into play.

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Firstly, set up a tracking system for your KPIs. This could be as simple as Google Analytics for tracking website engagement or more specialized tools like HubSpot for a more holistic view of your customer interactions. Whichever you choose, make it a habit to review your metrics regularly. Here’s what to focus on:

  • Performance Metrics: Look at engagement rates, click-throughs, and conversion rates. Are you hitting your targets?
  • Audience Behavior: Are your target customers behaving as you predicted? Are they sharing your content, returning for more, and ultimately, converting?
  • Content Lifecycle: Not all content ages gracefully. Some pieces will remain evergreen, while others will need updates.

The idea is to not just collect data but to interpret it in a way that’s actionable. Are some types of content outperforming others? Are there topics your audience can’t get enough of? Use these insights to adjust your strategy.

Remember, your content strategy isn’t a monument, it’s a living document.

It should adapt and evolve as your business grows, technology advances, or as new challenges emerge in 2023 and beyond. The flexibility to adjust and adapt is what keeps your strategy resilient and effective.

There it is—

Your guide to turning insights and goals into a working content strategy.

By ensuring you have a practical plan, a clear production process, and a strong system for measurement and adjustment, you’re well on your way to content success. So, are you ready to put your strategy into action?

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