Since 2004, content marketing has been a hot topic for most online marketers. But content marketing is not a new topic. In fact, one of the first signs of content marketing can be dated back to 4200 B.C. with cave wall publishings on how to stay protected from wild boars. Pretty helpful content if you’re living in the wild and need to stay protected.
And while we’re not writing and communicating via cave walls today, the foundation for content marketing is pretty much the same. It’s all about your audience, what they value, and how you can help educate them. When done correctly, this helps create a relationship with your audience, which leads to trust. And if your audience trusts you, then they’re more willing to do business with you when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision.
Easy concept, right? But actually executing and making it work is a different story—a story that I was determined to help tell.
My name is Justin, and I’m an Inbound Professor for the HubSpot Academy with a focus on content marketing. Over my 7+ years experience as a digital marketer—from starting as an SEO sales consultant at a startup without a marketing team to managing content strategies for Fortune 100 companies—I've learned a thing or two.
I brought that knowledge, passion, and curiosity to the HubSpot Academy where I've devoted 2016 to researching, living, and developing HubSpot’s Content Marketing Certification.
Yes, I said living. To learn more about my journey and how I brought my work home with me, check out this short video.
Below is an overview of the classes included in the free course:
Class 1: The Power of Storytelling
We just talked about how content marketing is about a relationship. Every successful company has a story. It’s needed to survive. What do you stand for? What message do you support? These are all concepts that we’ll discuss in this class.
Class 2: How to Generate Content Ideas
One of the differences between good and great content marketers is that the latter have a process which they rely on to consistently produce high-quality content ideas.
In this class, 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.
In this class, you’ll learn how to create realistic goals for your audience, also known as buyer personas, perform an audit that will help identify content needs and gaps to build a helpful, relevant journey for your personas, as well as how to create your content compass by mapping out your content creation roadmap.
Class 4: Building a Content Creation Framework
Again, a defined process will help keep your content creation efforts running like a well-oiled machine.
This class will teach you how to build a framework for creating content within your company. If you really want to create great content, then you need to have a process in place that’s more advanced than just writing and publishing content. You need to be able to identify campaigns, set timelines, and review and edit before it goes live, all of which will be discussed further in this class.
You’ll also learn about tools and responsibilities of team members needed to create a successful framework for creating content.
Class 5: Becoming an Effective Writer
Remember, in the digital world of inbound, the first impression of your business comes through your writing. You can have the best company, the best products, or the best service, but if you’re not able to communicate that to your audience, then you risk losing them.
In this class, you’ll learn how we get ideas out of our head and format them into an effective piece of content. Additionally, you’ll learn some grammatical pitfalls to avoid. Sometimes a simple wrong use of it’s vs. its can deter your audience.
Class 6: Extending the value of your content through repurposing
A wise marketer looks for efficiencies when it comes to content output. Repurposing content is a strong content creation method of recycling content into different formats, giving yourself the ability to produce more content at a quicker pace.
In this class, you’ll learn how to proactively identify repurposing opportunities before a piece of content is created, as well as how to repurpose a successful piece of content after it’s been put together.
You’ll also learn how to republish the same content across multiple platforms—a great way to extend the value of your top-performing content.
Class 7: How to Effectively Promote Your Content
Most marketers spend more time creating content than actually getting the word out by promoting it. When it comes to promoting content, you should spend about 40% of your time creating it and 60% of your time promoting it.
In this class, you’ll learn how to promote content through your distribution channels, like email and social media. We’ll also show you specific tactics on how to promote your content to make sure you’re effective in approach.
Class 8: Measuring and Analyzing Your Content
What’s the point of creating content if you don’t know whether it’s working or not. This class will help you understand various metrics and data points to track and measure to see whether or not your initiatives are successful. This way, your business is constantly growing and learning as opposed to doing the same ol’ thing because it’s what you’ve always done.
You’ll also learn how to communicate the results of your content efforts with the rest of your team.
Class 9: Developing a Growth Marketing Mentality
Understanding how to be creative and have an eye for seeking out new opportunities is what will set you apart from your competitors and others creating great content. What works today might not necessarily work tomorrow. Always challenge the status quo. Always look for new opportunities.
Through this class, you’ll learn how to instill a growth marketing mindset within your organization and how to manage your growth funnel. This is especially important with the ever-changing landscape of digital media.
To give this class the justice it deserves, we brought in Growth Marketer and co-founder of contentmarketer.io, Sujan Patel, to teach it.
And there you have it—all of the classes that will help you become a stronger, leaner, more strategic content marketer.
Whether you're looking to refine your content marekting approach or looking to develop it from the ground up, make sure to register for HubSpot's free Content Marketing Certification. There's something for everyone.
Originally published Oct 24, 2016 2:00:00 PM, updated December 01 2017