With stats like these, it should come as no surprise that marketers have shifted priorities to custom content in an effort to grow their business in an information age.Content has the important job of pulling people from one stage of the inbound methodology to another. It plays an integral part in the attract, engage, and delight stages.
Your content should attract the right people to your site, engage those people into leads, then nurture and help close them into customers. But it doesn’t stop there — your content should delight your audience, turning them into promoters of your brand.
In a nutshell, content marketing is really just the art of business storytelling. Your goal should be to tell a story to your audience that educates and inspires them to make a well-informed, confident decision.
Want to become a content marketing expert? Sign up for HubSpot Academy's Content Marketing Certification course.
This course offers 12 lessons that give you the information needed to become an effective content marketing professional. Check out a brief synopsis of each lesson below:
How to Learn Content Marketing:
- The Power of Storytelling
- Building a Content Creation Framework
- Planning a Long-Term Content Strategy
- Generating Content Ideas
- Creating Quality Blog Content Your Audience Loves to Read and Share
- How HubSpot Uses Blogging to Rank #1 on Google
- Extending the Value of Your Content Through Repurposing
- Creating Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages
- How to Create a Successful Video Marketing Strategy
- Building a Guest Blogging Strategy Powered by SEO
- How to Effectively Promote Content
- Measuring and Analyzing Content
1. The Power of Storytelling
Every successful company has a story. It’s needed to survive. What do you stand for? What message do you support? How do you create content that aligns with your purpose or mission? These are all concepts that we’ll discuss in this lesson.
2. Building a Content Creation Framework
To create quality content in a scalable and efficient manner, you need to have a structure in place. In this lesson, you'll learn how to build a content creation framework for your company, including identifying campaigns, setting timelines, reviewing content, and measuring success.
3. Planning a Long-Term Content Strategy
A long-term plan identifies and organizes all the initiatives and campaigns over the course of a year where content will need to be created. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to create realistic content goals and perform an audit that will help identify content needs to build a helpful, relevant journey for your audience. You’ll finish the lesson with an overview from CMO of Orbit Media, Andy Crestodina, on how to work with industry influencers to expand the reach of your content efforts.
4. Generating Content Ideas
One of the differences between good and great content marketers is that the latter has a process which they rely on to consistently produce high-quality content ideas. In this lesson, you’ll learn techniques on how to research and uncover an idea and expand on it, whether you’re doing it yourself or with a team. Sometimes, ideas aren’t easily apparent.
5. Creating Quality Blog Content Your Audience Loves to Read and Share
Creating quality blog content your audience loves to read and share is easier said than done. In this lesson, you'll learn why blog post structure matters, how to choose a topic and a title for a blog post, and how to structure a blog post. You'll finish with some effective blog writing tips.
6. How HubSpot Uses Blogging to Rank #1 on Google
In this lesson, you’ll learn all about the three major things HubSpot has done to increase our rank in search and dramatically increase organic traffic using our blog. You’ll learn all about building topical relevance, optimizing your blog content for Google’s featured snippet, and implementing a process called historical optimization to rank for target topics using blog posts you’ve already written and published.
7. Extending the Value of Your Content Through Republishing
A wise marketer looks for efficient ways to produce more content at a quicker pace. Repurposing content is an effective way to recycle content into different formats to provide new value and meaning. In this lesson, you’ll learn a step-by-step process to repurposing content based on your business’s needs and bandwidth.
8. Creating Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages
Content marketers are constantly battling for the attention of their audience. But with all the content being published online, search engines like Google are being forced to better organize and showcase the content it thinks would be helpful to the searcher. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to create and organize content in a way that solves for search engines as well as your website visitors. You'll finish with an overview of Moz's Keyword Explorer tool, which you can use to research and identify the topics your business wants to be known for and build authority around.
9. How to Create a Successful Video Marketing Strategy
Learning how to create a successful video marketing strategy can be complicated if you don't have the right mindset. In this lesson, you'll learn why it's important to create engaging videos and how to use video throughout the inbound methodology. You'll then gain some tips for getting started from video marketing experts at Wipster.
10. Building a Guest Blogging Strategy Powered by SEO
Building a guest blogging strategy that's optimized for search engines takes a lot of work and dedication. In this lesson, you'll learn why guest blogging is a critical piece of your blogging strategy, how to create a guest blogging strategy, how to find guest blogging opportunities, and how to secure a guest blogging spot. You'll finish with how to write a guest blog author bio. Then you'll finish wrap up with an overview of Moz's Link Explorer tool, which you can use to help build high-quality links to your website. .
11. How to Effectively Promote Content
Content promotion is an essential part of any content strategy. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to build a promotional plan, promote your content on organic and paid channels, and keep up with trends to continually improve your content promotion strategy. Larry Kim, the founder of WordStream and CEO of MobileMonkey, pulls everything together with an example of effective content promotion.
12. Measuring and Analyzing Content
You can determine your content strategy's return on investment by setting goals and measuring content performance. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to identify and set goals for your content, which metrics to track for your organic and paid efforts, how to attribute conversions, and how to communicate your content’s performance. Plus, see measuring and analyzing content in action with an example from Larry Kim, founder of WordStream and CEO of MobileMonkey.
How to Apply Content Marketing to Your Business
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn."
— Benjamin Franklin
The best way to get the most out of your experience with earning your Content Marketing Certification is to apply what you're learning to your business.
This is where the Content Marketing Workbook comes in as a valuable counterpart.
The workbook offers various readings and activities meant to help you get started flexing your content marketing muscles. Each section within the workbook directly correlates to class learnings from the Content Marketing Certification course.
For example, The Power of Storytelling is the first lesson in the Content Marketing Certification course. Below is a screenshot of sample practical exercises and resources in the Content Marketing Workbook that supplements this lesson. This way people can apply what they're learning to their business.
Something important to note about the workbook: Each practical exercise builds on the previous exercise. Additionally, we deconstruct an example from data security provider Townsend Security that follows the exercises as a whole to complete a content marketing transformation. This way you can see how these practical exercises led to a company ranking #1 on Google for a portfolio of topics and increased their traffic by over 150% in less than 10 months.
If you know much about me, then you know that I'm someone who finds a lot of value in achieving large feats by breaking them into bit-sized consumable pieces. I wouldn't find value in performing a series of tasks if they're disjointed, which is why the majority of workbook exercises integrate with one another to help complete a larger goal.
Understanding how specific marketing tasks integrate with one another is extremely important, as 70% or marketers lack an integrated marketing strategy. Knowing how to integrate marketing tasks will help you become a more efficient and effective content marketer.
Earning your Content Marketing Certification and completing the practical exercises in the Content Marketing Workbook is the first step towards becoming a content marketing expert. I recommend completing both within a 30-day time frame.
One last thing: We'd love to see your work in action. Once you complete the Content Marketing Workbook, it explains how you can submit your example for the opportunity of being featured on HubSpot's blog.
With that said, it's time to get after it! Your audience is waiting.