Kelly Zugay, Co-Founder of With Grace and Gold®
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Like many small businesses, when With Grace and Gold launched in 2014, our business began from a completely blank canvas. Prior to the launch of our business, I worked in higher education — while Andra owned a wedding stationery design business of her own. From a small city in western Wisconsin, we were deeply unsure our business would or could reach people beyond our friends and family.
And that’s where content creation came in. Looking back on our past 8 years in business, though, we wholeheartedly believe consistent content creation helped to lay a foundation for our small business — and eventually, equipped our business to reach and serve people from all over the world. Content creation can truly make all the difference for small businesses of all types and sizes. So, today, we’re going to share your content creation roadmap for 2023 — questions to ask yourself, decisions to decide upon, and platforms to prioritize in the new year.
Your Content Creation Roadmap for 2023
First, what is content creation? When creatives and small business educators discuss content creation, they may be referring to posting on social media — or they may be referring to blog post writing, YouTube video creating, or any type of content in between. At With Grace and Gold, our personal philosophy is to focus on content creation in the ways which can boost our Search Engine Optimization. In an ever-changing world of social media marketing, creating content to help enhance our Search Engine Optimization has served as a strong long-term approach to content creation. This means we focus primarily on blog content creation, podcast episode creation, Pinterest marketing, and newsletter writing. Blog content creation helps to create more arms and legs of our website, podcast episode creation helps our business to be showcased and linked to across many podcast platforms and leads listeners to our online space, and Pinterest marketing and newsletter writing boost our website visits — all of which work together and help to enhance With Grace and Gold’s Search Engine Optimization. Of course, every small business is unique and has unique goals and objectives — so perhaps your content creation strategy will include all forms of content… social media marketing, newsletter writing, blog post creation, and beyond.
So, how do you determine your content creation strategy? We’re firm believers that the best content creation strategy for your small business is the content creation strategy you can stick to — a content creation schedule you feel comfortable with, which will allow you to successfully balance working both on and in your business. So, where do you begin?
- First, determine or clarify who your audience is made up of. Where or how do your audience members consume content? Are they Pinterest users? Blog readers? Instagram users? Understanding where your audience consumes content will help you to create content with purpose.
- Next, list the places where your audience consumes content — and circle the places where you feel comfortable and excited about creating content. As an example, perhaps you know your audience values newsletters, blog posts, and Instagram — but you feel most comfortable creating content on Instagram above all. Find the sweet spots where (A) Your audience consumes content, and (B) You’re comfortable and excited about creating content.
- Then, create a plan and schedule you feel comfortable with. Now that you know who your audience is, where your audience consumes content, and where you feel most comfortable creating content, it’s time to determine how many posts or pieces of content will you create every week or month. Remember to factor in what is needed in order to create your content successfully — such as photos, videos, graphics, or written content. Understanding what is needed to create each piece of content will help you to create a schedule and plan you can successfully stick to. Creating a chart to showcase which platforms you’ll be creating content for, and what your topic will be each day, every other day, or every week, can be a helpful starting place.
- Set goals and understand why you’re creating content. Content can be created for a variety of reasons — to boost brand awareness, to help showcase specific products or services, to foster community and build connection, and more. Understanding why you’re creating your content will help you to create each content piece with purpose. As an audience member for other businesses, it’s likely you can sense what makes an effective piece of content — versus what makes a less effective piece of content. Keep your ‘why’ in mind when creating any and all content on behalf of your business, and you’ll be better equipped to create with purpose.
- Experiment with creative ways to engage with your audience. Whether you compose a blog post or newsletter — or you post on social media, content creation isn’t just about delivering content to your audience; instead, it can be about serving, educating, entertaining, or guiding your audience. It can be about starting conversations, engaging, helping, encouraging, or motivating. Whether you ask questions, prompt the start of conversations, or offer help to audience members, when you engage with your audience, you add value to your content. What are some ways you can create engagement with every type of content piece you create?
- Consider using a content planner or scheduler. Buffer, Planable, CoSchedule, Tailwind, and Plainly are just a handful of content planners and schedulers we have used ourselves at With Grace and Gold. Whether you are a visual planner or you prefer to have a calendar view of your content, we recommend signing up for free trials of various content planners so you can carefully determine which planner aligns with your preferred style and approach.
- Monthly and quarterly, monitor and assess the content you’ve created. Which types of content or posts performed best? What can you learn from those posts? What time of day were they posted? What did the photo, video, or graphic showcase? What was the structure of your caption or call-to-action? Learn all you can from your best-performing posts, so you can polish your approach over time.
When it comes to your content creation roadmap for 2023, summed up:
- Determine or clarify who your audience is made up of.
- Find the sweet spots where (A) Your audience consumes content, and (B) You’re comfortable and excited about creating content.
- Create a plan and schedule you feel comfortable with.
- Set goals and understand why you’re creating content.
- Experiment with creative ways to engage with your audience.
- Consider using a content planner or scheduler.
- Monthly and quarterly, monitor and assess the content you’ve created.
In the end, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to content creation. Instead, with a deep and well-rounded understanding of your audience, your goals, your preferences, and your capacity, you can develop a one-of-a-kind content creation strategy for your business… prioritizing your audience and your goals, while creating content you feel positively about on the platforms where you feel most comfortable. We are so hopeful this week’s episode equips you to reevaluate your content creation approach — and to come away with a strategy you can confidently implement in the new year!
About Brand It, Build It Podcast, Hosted by Kelly Zugay
Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is a leading small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, and founders. Weekly, brief, actionable episodes will equip you to build a successful, sustainable small business.