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April 1, 2020

4 Things You Need in Your Strategic Content Marketing Plan


When you hear content marketing, you may think of blogs, videos, downloads, and emails. And your next thought might be, “That’s a lot of stuff, and I’m a pretty busy marketing professional/business owner. Where in the world do I start?”

Instead of telling customers how amazing your business, products, or services are, start with content that speaks to their needs and helps them solve a problem. No matter who you target or what content you create, remember: People want to come to a buying decision themselves, not hear a sales pitch right away.

With a well-thought-out content strategy, you can help prospects interact with you and qualify themselves before you even talk to them. Here are four things you need in your strategic content marketing plan to do just that.

1. Awareness Content

man sitting at his kitchen table in the morning and reading on his tablet

Blogs, videos, and quizzes are just a few examples of awareness content you can house on your website. This free content should make the reader curious or more aware of something, such as a problem in their life they need to solve. A helpful blog or video will answer a question or give tips to address a pain point that your best customer is dealing with.

Take these blogs, for example:

You can promote blogs, videos, and quizzes in your social media and nurture emails. Social platforms are great for building brand awareness and guiding prospects to the content on your website. (We’ll talk more about nurture emails later in this blog!)

2. Consideration Content

a woman in a sunny room reading content from her favorite brand

Your awareness content should guide prospects to a consideration piece. This content will keep building trust with your potential customers and help them solve a problem.

Not everyone who reads your awareness content will engage with your consideration content, and that’s okay. Prospects who do move forward in the process are considering a solution to their problem — and those are the ones you want to focus on!

One example of consideration content is a lead-generating PDF. In this downloadable, you offer valuable information in exchange for an email address. Remember, valuable information is content they need to solve their problem. This isn’t the time to give a sales pitch or talk about how great your products are. If someone gives you their email address, they’ll endure any follow-up emails in exchange for relevant information. In other words, they’ve qualified themselves as leads. 

For example, someone who downloads “The 4 Best Ways to Grow Your Business” wants to learn more about building their organization. And they’ve chosen to interact with your content on their own time — not yours.

3. A Sales Email Series

woman on her laptop at the office, reading a non-pushy sales email

Once you’ve collected emails with your lead-generating PDF, be ready to send them an automated sales email series (resource delivery and follow-up emails). Here, you’ll empathize with customers’ pain points and remind them how you can help them find a solution to their problem.

First, thank the reader for downloading and include a link to your free resource. It’s also a great idea to explain the benefits your prospect can enjoy once they read your content. For example, someone who downloaded “The Best 4 Ways to Grow Your Business” would get a quick summary of how the content will help them create a marketing strategy to increase revenue.

In your multiple follow-up emails, you’ll help them overcome any obstacles they might have with using your company. You can also provide feedback from other happy customers who’ve found success after working with you.

And throughout your sales email series, don’t be afraid to ask for the sale or consultation. The prospect has already given you their email address in exchange for in-depth content, so they’re expecting you to ask. So, be confident in your business as a solution to their problem.

4. A Call-to-Action Page

happy couple reading a website on their laptop, about to make a buying decision

Your consideration content and sales emails should lead to a call-to-action (call-to-action) page. This is where prospects can schedule a consultation, get a quote, or buy your product. Someone who gets to your CTA page from the consideration piece or a sales email has decided they’re ready to work with you. Or, they’re at least willing to start a direct conversation about it.

On this page, you’ll want the prospect to complete the action you’ve guided them to. This may be scheduling a consultation (through an online form), making a purchase, or downloading your guide. Make sure you list your contact information and hours of operation on this page so it’s easy for prospects to reach you. Remember: They’re ready to make a commitment, so they want to connect with you about their options. 

You’ll also want to remind prospects of the benefits they’ll enjoy when they work with you. When they feel confident in their choice, your potential customer will be happy to give you their business!

When you include these four elements in your content marketing plan, you’ll: 

  • Address customers’ pain points and emotions.
  • Help your leads qualify themselves.
  • Guide prospects to a buying decision.

Many business leaders aren’t sure how to execute all these tactics in their limited time. A marketing expert can help you develop a content strategy and a plan of action that will engage your best customers.

Learn the EXACT marketing strategy we use to help small businesses grow: The Flywheel Marketing Method.

Our marketing protocol has been proven to help companies make more money, filter bad advice, free up time, and eliminate the worry of following ineffective planning.

Treefrog Marketing is a marketing agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Leverage Kelly’s marketing experience, insights, and leadership to grow your business.

As the founder and chief marketing strategist at Treefrog Marketing, a co-host of the Priority Pursuit Podcast, a StoryBrand Certified Guide, and fractional chief marketing officer, Kelly Rice has spent more than two decades helping small businesses take their companies to the next level by providing trustworthy leadership and building effective marketing strategies and systems.

She has dedicated her career to helping small businesses succeed because she knows, firsthand, how hard they work to make their communities a better place. 

Still, many people undervalue the strength and ingenuity of small businesses, but not Kelly. She believes they deserve to have a marketing partner and strategy that works as hard as they do.

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