Content Marketing Plan: Reach Your Business Goals | Marijana Kay | Skillshare

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Content Marketing Plan: Reach Your Business Goals

teacher avatar Marijana Kay, Freelance Writer for SaaS & Marketing

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Hi! Class Introduction

    • 2. Setting the Right Content Goals

    • 3. Nailing Your Call-To-Actions

    • 4. Brainstorming vs Sorting Content Topics

    • 5. Awareness Content Planning

    • 6. Consideration Content Planning

    • 7. Decision Content Planning

    • 8. Taking Action & Next Steps

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About This Class

This content marketing planning class is tailored to marketers, bloggers, and business owners that are familiar with the concept of content marketing, but put in unfocused and time-consuming efforts that haven’t shown success.

The class is based on understanding the intent of a potential customer in each stage of their purchase journey, from awareness through consideration through to decision.

We'll dive into each of these three stages and go through likely struggles, challenges, questions, and goals that the audience has in each of the stages.

Class project involves creating a goal-driven content plan for the upcoming quarter based on topics, formats, and call-to-actions. You will also be able to assign topics to your team members and add tentative due dates to it.

Meet Your Teacher

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Marijana Kay

Freelance Writer for SaaS & Marketing


Hi! I'm Marijana Kay, a freelance writer for software and marketing brands. I've helped businesses from fast-growing SaaS companies like and Pipedrive to folks on the Fortune 100 to grow their visibility, authority, and revenue with long-form, actionable content. I've evolved from a journalist into a marketer and I'm excited to tell brand stories through content. Let's get connected!

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1. Hi! Class Introduction: Hey, everyone, welcome to the class that will enable you to create a content marketing plan that will help you reach your business goals. Thes business goals could be anything from number of sales and revenue all the way through to email subscribers or free child registrations. Anything that you feel is helping your business move forward, get you success get you long term growth. The outcome of this class is a plan that you can take to your marketing department or even to your freelance writers and create content that will help you do that. That will help you move your prospects and people who have never heard of you all the way through to loyal customers and people will give you money time and time again and who are helping you be a sustainable business. My name is Mariana and I work as a freelance writer, and I've worked with companies in the software industry all across the B two B market, with companies like a Weber Scoop it Microsoft Pipe Drive and I've I've used this method that I'm about to walk you through with all of them, and I hope that you can take my experience and take my examples and everything that I'm about to walk you through into your own business. No matter your industry, no matter whether you're serving businesses or consumers and make an impact on them and help your business grow consistently and overall very long period of time with content that helps your potential customers time and time again. Before we get started, make sure to check out the class project descriptions so that you can just work alongside with me and put into practice everything that I'm walking you through as Ideo and share anything that he come up with with me below as well, so that I can keep an eye on it and help you out with anything that you might need. I'm so passionate about this because I feel that a lot of content, way too much content is being produced without the end consumer in mind, and it's just being produced because it's just popular and it's it's very hyped now to create content in order to grow, and it's a growth hack. But instead I think it should be. I think we should take a step back and understand why you're really creating content And is there anyone out there actually cares about that? Because if you follow what I'm about to walk you through, I promise people will care. And you will actually take a very special place in their lives because you're gonna help them move from a point of difficult problems and challenges that they were not able to solve beforehand to now them trusting you and buying from you and being loyal to you and to nobody else in your industry. So I hope you are excited. I cannot wait to get started. So let's dive right in. 2. Setting the Right Content Goals: The entire approach to this class is the customer journey or the person's journey, and it can be divided into awareness, consideration and decision. And that is what we're going to go deeper into as we go deeper into the class. For now, what you need to become familiar with is the fact that people have different questions based on how early or late in the process they are. So if they're verily awareness, they don't know about you or your brand or your products or your services or anything. They don't know about solutions. They just know that have symptoms that they need to have solved. And if there much later in the in the British journey and they have gone through consideration. And maybe they're even about decide where they're gonna go for their already very educated about the problem, and they want to find the best solution first and foremost and then the best provider off the solution. After that on, that's what we're going to get into as we dive into the actual stages of the customer purchase journey. There's a big difference about how someone feels when they're very early and when they're very late This is why your topics can always be divided into these different stages. And also why Sometimes you feel uncomfortable when a sales person approaches you in real life. So imagine you're a brand new homeowner. You've never purchased anything for a house because you haven't been home owner so far. And you walk into a furniture store on a sales person comes up and you're absolutely clueless. You have no idea what you want. You don't even know how much of furniture you need or what types of foreign attorney. You just know you need furniture and you need someone to walk you through all the different ranges and types and sizes and everything, and you walk in and a person comes up. Teoh a sales person on they immediately start threatened prices and names off. Different pieces of furniture is at you, and they're very much forcing you to buy right now. And you're like, whoa, but I'm not ready for that. I'm not here for that. So that is what happens when you assign a wrong goal to a piece of content. And when you place a piece of content into the wrong stage off the party journey Because if someone is here to get to learn something and to get familiar with something and confident about a topic and you're throwing buy now buttons at them and you're But you're throwing all of this advanced information that they're not ready for yet, they're gonna walk away and they're gonna feel terrified because they have learned anything and they feel intimidated and not ready for whatever decision they're about to make. Keep that in mind because as we go, you're gonna be able to assange Gal's on a sign stages to your piece of content both the ones that you have created in the past and those you're going to create from this point onwards, let's go deeper into it. 3. Nailing Your Call-To-Actions: even if you managed to forget everything else from this class, this lesson is what you need to walk away with. A call to action or a C T. A is a very small portion, like a phrase or sentence in your piece of content, where you tell your reader or your viewer what to do next. This is so important because if you don't tell them, they're not going to do it. I hear oftentimes that companies say well, content is only building awareness. We never get sales from it. It doesn't work often times it doesn't work because we as marketers, don't ask for that action. So if there is a piece of content that literally sells the product, it tells everything about the product, and it is so in in depth and is so advanced and so valuable. But it doesn't say Here's how you can buy the product or register for the software. Try a Laure, whatever. It's not going to sell because that person reading it is just gonna get distracted and walk away. Forget about it minutes later, so call to action is what helps you drive the action that actually helps you build that journey and create that journey for your reader or viewer. So if someone is there early in the purchase journey, they're gonna expect called actions that are very much Here's how you can learn more. And here's how you can read more about this. We have all of these resources, whereas if there later on in the journey, they're going to want Teoh, see how they can work with you, how they can purchase from you or how they can try a product and how they can make sure that you know what you're talking about and your product is good enough for them. Teoh spend their money in time on. So your call to actions as you get more dust with this process are going to be what you're gonna use. Teoh understand where in the purchase journey each piece of content falls into. So even now, as you maybe want to go and analyze your previous content as you get to learn about the stages more, you're gonna be able to look at call to actions and see if they're actually fitting. What the topic and the goal off the piece of content is. If your goal was to get them to subscribe to a newsletter, but it's actually asking for a sale. Your that's why failing and if you wanted to build traffic with a specific piece of content . But all you're asking for at the end of it is nothing. If there's no call to action, then that's the reason why it's not building your traffic. It's not driving any further click throughs. It's not driving your reader to anything else on your website. So there are these little points off your entire content production that you can immediately implement on See a difference just based on what you want to achieve with a certain black posts or ah, podcast episode or a video to get started with us with this part. Make sure you understand what a call to action is. How you can phrase the how we can phrase one for yourself based on what you want the person to do after the consume your piece of content, and now we're gonna go into each off the stage is off be customer journey so that you can understand which four months which topics and which called actions you need for each. I'm gonna walk you through the through examples, so hope you're ready 4. Brainstorming vs Sorting Content Topics: before we get into the actual over in his consideration and decision stages of the purchase journey and using them, Teoh, create a content plan. I wanted to give a heads up that I won't actually be showing you how to look for these topic. This is way beyond that. The class scope there are a lot of resource is out there already. That will help you brainstorm topics in general. I'm gonna going to link some of them below. And what I want to do instead is help you take those topics, put them, place them into the correct stage of the customer journey and then optimize it for it with four months and with specific framing that he can do around topic and also with called actions so that you can see the actions that you want your potential customer to dio actually happen from that piece of content. So thought it was worth mentioning this because there are a lot of tools and techniques on strategies keyword research strategies that you can use to make this happen So I don't want to waste your precious time. I just want to get you up and running with something that will help you frame your content in a way that is going Teoh make people crazy about you and buy from you and be loyal to you. 5. Awareness Content Planning: Okay, so it's sound to talk about what to do in each of the stages with your content, so it's time to get to action. So I'm going. Teoh cover each of the stages in three parts topics, formats and called actions all within one video. So let's get started with this one. So the most important thing you need to know about awareness is that this is not the time to try and sell something. This is the time to educate and connect with your audience based on their problems and what's on their minds. When it comes to the problem that you are an expert in so this early in their journey, your potential customers are just really going through a very specific problem and researching it and trying to learn about it this early in the journey there. In just identifying their challenge, they have many questions about it, very likely haven't even named the problem itself. They just know the symptoms. It's kind of like when something hurts on your body and you don't really know what the disease or the thing that you might be having, but you know the symptoms and you want to learn more about it and see what is potentially bothering you. Your potential customers in the awareness age are trying to verbalize their problems. They're looking for a trusted source of information and for education. Now this is what you need to know when it comes to the topics that you want to talk about in awareness. I'm going to look at three separate industry examples both and B two b N b two c so that he can get an idea of what it is that people might ask themselves this early. If you were a customer support software company, your potential customers might be Googling or asking something like customer support industry benchmarks. If you were a mattress store, your potential customers might be asking something like, What is my back hurt after sleeping? And if you were an electricity provider, your potential customer might be asking themselves something like, What is the average electricity bill? As you can see, based on bees, potential search queries and questions, your potential customers are really very much just dipping their toes into the categories that the entire industries covering in into something where they're just getting started learning about it but they want to learn about a deeply and thoroughly and from someone who they can trust. So here, at the very early stage, your potential customer wants to feel educated and confident to be able to talk about their questions and their problems and concerns. When the time comes, Teoh go research further. What is it that they can solve it with? So right now you're not selling. You're not even trying to push your brunt as an option. You are just trying to answer common questions about the topics within the area that your industry and your business covers. This is about topics. No, when it comes to format content that is really desired. In this section is content that will guide your potential customers through the topic that matters to them and that they still don't know enough about. So this will be blocked posts, videos, podcasts, episodes and even quizzes. Another category that you could consider here is social posts, like social videos or even like in depth Facebook posts or instagram stories, or something that will just kind of talk to them as if you were talking to them as a friend and just guiding them through a topic that matters to them and they want to learn more about. And finally, we have called actions with call to actions. Here. You don't want to be pushing anything that is brand related or anything about selling or even subscribing Teoh. Anything that is very high investment time wise from the perspective off your potential customers. So right here you want to just keep driving. Traffic towards your resource is without being too pushy, so you want to send them to your other blood posts, maybe other videos. You have something that is very related to the topic, yet very low investment when it comes to them sharing their personal information or them being them, committing to you as a brand, just SEAQ. That's something that's going to come later in the journey, and you want Teoh take them there naturally, without pushing, without coming off as annoying or coming coming across as someone who is just there to sell rather than connect with them and understand their challenges. Your action item for this video is to list 10 questions that someone could be asking themselves this early in the purchase journey. When it comes to your specific industry and your business and the offers and products that you have. The look of the earlier mentioned examples with the customer supports after the mattress store and the electricity provider, and you will come up with something that suits you and that you have found so far people ask you and your salespeople and that comes up frequently in your interactions with your potential customers. 6. Consideration Content Planning: okay, we're now at the consideration stage all the customer journey on. Let's look at the content that you can create based on what happens in the consideration stage. So here you're no longer really dealing with beginners with someone who is in really familiar with what they're looking for. And now your potential customers have named and defined their problem. And they're pretty much looking into all available solutions such as products and services , to solve that problem that they have Now. Questions in the middle of the funnel or in the consideration stage are no longer generic. Instead of asking why questions and really vague questions, your potential customers are now diving into a range of opportunities to remedy their struggle. Instead of kind of introductory questions, they're asking for more specific questions again for topics. I'm going Teoh give you some examples based on the same industries. I used India wearing a stage, and then we can dive into them a little bit more so for the customer support software company. Ah, question that a potential customer might be asking is how to provide good customer support over the phone for the mattress company. Potential customer might be asking how to choose the best mattress for condition. Note here that they know what condition they now have, Just like in the earlier example, They know that they're looking at customer support over the phone and not just any generic customer support. And then, finally, for the electricity provider example, they might be asking something like how to break down an electricity bill or how to choose an electricity provider. Note that here they know specifics about electricity providers, but they don't yet know what specific options they're looking for. What kinds of plans. That's why they're asking how to understand and analyze and electricity bill and similar questions. So as you can see in this stage, your potential customer is diving into the specifics of the problem, meaning that they understand what's bothering them in a lot of detail. And they want to know the possible solutions compared to in the awareness stage, whether they were trying to identify the problem, they now know the problem. They know the name of the problem, and they're looking for all the options out there now. It's really important here to note that they're not really looking for specific providers or even specific offers or services. What they're looking for our types of types of solutions that they might be looking at. So I'm gonna give you an example here to for you to get a better understanding of this. Let's say very are the potential customer off a customer support software. They know they need a solution for customers sport, but they don't know if it's going to be a in house support team or if they're going to outsource about support altogether. They don't yet know what kind of maybe online tools they need in order to provide good customer support. They just know that they want to focus on a specific area off customer support, same way with the mattresses. Any potential customer knows that their problem lies in a bad mattress, but they still don't know if they need a mattress topper. Or maybe if they should buy a new mattress altogether. That means that they're in the state. They're analyzing the potential solutions, So the topics that you can cover in here are topics about potential solutions. So, for example, a mattress company might create content that guides the reader through types off mattress upgrades that you can dio. This is this is how they're gonna learn what are all the things they can do and find what suits them. So for topics always keep in mind that here you are looking to guide the potential customer toward all the potential solutions and explain what it is they can get out of each of them . No for formats you want to look into in depth guides, comparison style checklists, pros versus cons, lists and other insightful pieces. This can again be in a block, post format or video or even a podcast episode. But it's important that here you have to give hands on a device on comparisons. Andi, sort of present outcomes off each of the options that you're presenting so that you can make sure that your future customer is 100% educated on the pros and cons of each. And now, when it comes to see th, this is where you might want to draw people deeper into your ecosystem and get them to subscribe to your newsletter or download some sort off in depth guide, an e book, a checklist, a cheat, cheat, a worksheet, something that can help them become better at whatever it is you're talking about so that they can make a good decision later on. So your call to actions might be more along the lines off. Sign up here, download this e book, Get in depth advice through this guide. It will be more in a way. It will be more in the direction that takes them it onto your email list or guess them into a free trial or something that simply makes them were connected to her brand and makes them see you more and more as an option that they can go with afterwards. 7. Decision Content Planning: and you made it to the very final stage of the funnel off the customer journey, which is decision Now, this is where your potential customers now know everything about their problem. They know the ends an ounce of it. They know all the potential solutions. They know what solution is best for them, and now they're actually ready to select the provider to purchase this solution front. Now, remember, your potential customer is going to have various constraints and budget in the team in the just the resource is they have to put in to your solution so that they can implement it and get benefits from it. So this is where their questions and concerns are going to be vendor driven. They're gonna be asking more about the features and benefits they're going to get from whatever offer they go away. They're online, searches their questions to your salespeople. Their general conversations in the state might look something like this, and I'm gonna go again with the same example companies that I used earlier. So for the customer support software company, they might be asking, Does provider one provide better support? Softer features, then provider, too. So this might look something like company one versus company to features or anything along those lines. When it comes to online searches, the company, the company that sells mattresses, might see questions something like along the lines off who offers the longest and most complete warranty policy for mattresses Again, this might take many forms, such as company one warranty policy versus company, too. Anything along those lines that compares and finds the most carro option for them again. For someone who by the mattress, warranty policy is really important for some other industry or a company and might not be. But this is very industry specific, and this is where you get to make the most out of your knowledge about the industry you're in and understand what it is that bothers people as they get. Teoh decided to buy something from a provider in your industry. In the final example with the electricity provider, it might be water. The electricity contract terms with provider one versus provider to again Contract terms might be really important for an electricity provider and might not be for someone who sells fashion items. So this is where it's really important that you understand ins and outs off what's really bothering someone who is on the edge between two or three providers off the same service is going to be budget. Is it going to be contract terms? Is it going to be the number of people that have toe beyond boarded onto their product? Is it something else? Is it shipping costs? Whatever it is, it's your job to write all of these down and figure out what it is you can create content about so that you can answer these questions straight up front as you create this question . Using these topics, your potential customers will be able to make a decision to seize their exact needs, their specific problems, their budget and any other requirements they have. And you can essentially use examples I've just listed to list your own potential topics and specifics off your products and your services that people might have questions about. No, when it comes to four months, this is a really cool place to be because you get to talk about your product or service in the best light. You get to really put spotlight on it and present it in the best way possible. and showcase showcase content such as case studies frequently asked questions, videos about product features, alive demonstrations and any scientist side competitive feature analysis that you have. These really reinforced the confidence in your offer as your potential customers keep seeing it as a fit for their specific problem. They get to see their own problems in the case study. They get to see their own problems in the way you describe them and the way you showcase your features, your product features to sell those issues and as they see that they see themselves and they see Wow, this is something that is really for me and this is the provider for it and I have the budget for it, and at this point, they're so deep into the journey that they are most likely very naturally, going to go ahead with your offer because you are the one that did such hard work. Teoh to just take the taken through this journey on educate them and bring them on board with everything that your brand stands for and all the problems that bet it souls with C. D. A's called actions. You just want to make sure to make it crystal clear how to take action. So if you are an e commerce store and you're selling a product there, and then make sure that it's obvious where they can add to cart and where they can check out and finalized purchase. If you're a software, you want to make sure that it's clear where they can sign up. Is that a free trial, or is it straight up or doesn't straight up have to be paid? If it's some kind off service where they need to get on the phone with a sales person, it has to be obvious how they can get in touch with the sales person. It can be as simple as sign up here to get a call back or this is the phone. This is the phone number. You have to call to get in touch or fill out this form so that we can reach out to you. Make it very, very clear. It has to be. It has to stand out from the rest of the page. It has to stand out from everything else that might take away there attention, and that might distract him so that you can actually leverage the point where you got them to which is there ready to buy and capitalize on it and get them to take action there and then Otherwise, you have done a lot of hard work and wasted it, so make sure that that doesn't happen. Clear called. The actions that encourage purchases and sign ups on contacting your sales seems are going to help you when in the decision stage. 8. Taking Action & Next Steps: All right, everyone. You made it to the very end of the class. Thank you so much for sticking through and following along with me. I hope you have managed to come up with your own ideas and sort them into something that makes sense for your business and your industry. I want to direct to you below Teoh the documents and files and templates that have put together so that you can take these ideas and give them to your team and brainstorm with them and meet up with them on a bi weekly or monthly basis so that you can keep your production, your content production process going and making it hyper focused and super goal driven. I cannot wait to see what you put together. There is also one really valuable resource down there that I am. There is also a resource sound there at that. I have found to be the most valuable thing I have ever implemented with my clients. And it is a brief for block boasts. You can repurpose it for any other piece of type of piece of content that you wish, but it is so useful. Teoh actually defined call to actions and goals and audiences and all of that kind of stuff very early in the process before you actually get to creating the piece of content so that nobody spends any time that they don't have to and everything is looked after very much in advance so that you have an easier job later on, when it's time to measure and report on each of the pieces of content. I hope this helps. I cannot wait to see what you create. Make sure to share everything you create down below in the class project section. And if you have any questions that all, make sure to connect on here with me and send me any questions you have, thank you so much and I'll see you next one.