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Content marketing is a relatively new – and quickly evolving – profession. It’s not likely that you went to college and majored in content marketing. In fact, few colleges offer digital marketing courses, let alone a content marketing degree. And because content marketing requires proficiency in such a variety of skills – from audio and video editing to writing compelling content to statistical analysis – even professionals who have a background in marketing struggle to become expert in this diverse field. Content marketing is expected to be a 300-billion-dollar industry by 2019. With that in mind, now is the time to invest further in your marketing skills and register for online content marketing courses.
To start learning right away, check out our content marketing expert series below.
No matter what level of experience you have – whether you’ve been in the industry for a while or are looking to break in—creating a plan for growing your career expertise is beneficial.
Fortunately, there are many online content marketing courses that provide content marketing knowledge for people of all levels. Whether you’re an experienced marketer looking to learn more about the latest trends or you’re a small business owner seeking ideas for how to use content marketing to advance your business, there’s a learning opportunity out there for you.
This article addresses some of the top online content marketing courses available today. It gives you details on courses that can fill in your knowledge gaps so you – and your content marketing – can be more successful.
How to Determine What Course Is Right for You
Before starting any online content marketing course, you should think about what your knowledge gaps are and what you would like to get out of the course. There are a variety of online content marketing courses designed for specific purposes, so you’re sure to find one that fits your specific goal.
A broad overview on best practices is the best choice for people who want to grow their overall understanding of content marketing. There are different types of overview programs available, depending on what you want to achieve with your knowledge:
- Starting or Growing A Career in Content Marketing: If you’re looking to start or grow a career as a content marketer, look for a class that can give you full, in-depth understanding of all aspects of content marketing.
Many colleges and universities offer certificate programs in content marketing or have content marketing as part of an overall marketing certificate program. For example, Northwestern University allows you to specialize in content marketing and Cornell offers content marketing as part of an overall marketing certificate program. (more programs are listed later in this article.)
- Professional Development: If you’re looking to take a class to build on the work you are currently doing in marketing or other parts of your organization, you can choose from a variety of online or in person seminars. These types of online content marketing courses will help you gain further insight into what content marketing is, how it is done, and what makes it successful. At these classes, you may also hear about a topic or idea that you’d like to learn more about in the deeper-dive class described above.
- Introduction or Knowledge Enhancement: There a plenty of content marketing webinars offered by companies and professional association. While some of these webinars may have a sales pitch included with them, they will provide a good overview specific ideas or topics. A webinar can be a good start to developing your understanding of content marketing.
Knowledge on a Specific Topic
In addition to these broad overviews, you can also learn about a specific sub-topic of content marketing. These online content marketing courses focus on a specific area of content marketing, including:
- SEO: Effective content writing for search engine optimization (SEO).
- Paid Traffic: Learn how to make the most of your online advertising.
- Social: Get the information you need to better leverage social media.
- PR: Learn how fit public relations into your content marketing.
- Metrics: Advice on how to analyze your results.
More details about specific classes are available later in the article.
Think carefully about how much time you can realistically put into a content marketing course. Also, consider how much time and resources you will have to implement what you learn after the course.
If you have limited time and budget, taking an in-depth course so you can implement an entire content strategy might not be the best approach. Instead, take a seminar on starting a blog or creating a podcast. Implement these ideas into your business and grow from there.
Tap Into Your Content Marketing Software
If you use software to support your content marketing – or are looking into software – don’t overlook the software company’s educational offerings.
Many larger marketing software companies offer online content marketing courses for free. These courses will simultaneously teach you how to use their software and how to strategize your content marketing activity. Here are some examples:
- HubSpot Academy: Offers a variety of courses and certifications for all levels and types of marketers.
- Marketo: Get certified on Marketo’s own software or learn more about marketing operations, analytics, or demand generation.
Read more about the different content marketing software options.
How Much Are You Willing to Pay?
Costs for online content marketing courses range from free to thousands of dollars. Before determining how much to spend, consider what the ROI will be for the course.
If you already have a robust set of content marketing expertise, you probably don’t need an expensive course promising to teach you content marketing from the ground up. Alternatively, you don’t need an expensive analytics course if you have not yet started to create content.
Now that you’ve decided what type of content marketing course might be right for you, we’ve got a comprehensive list of resources you can choose from.
Top Online Content Marketing Courses
UC Davis: This is an in-depth, five-week course for people already in the marketing profession. This course is a collaboration between UC Davis and Copyblogger. Though it is offered through a college, the course is not for academic credit.
Northwestern University: This course goes beyond just writing and moves into other information that’s extremely important but often glazed over in content marketing. The first month of learning for this course is free. After that it costs $49 dollars a month.
Harvard University: This new five-day program delivers the proven framework and foundational tools marketers need to design, implement, and manage a successful digital marketing strategy that achieves their business objectives. Students engage in hands-on exercises that help them build buyer and influencer personas, capture and measure critical data, communicate more effectively, and drive deeper customer loyalty and market share.
Marketing Motive: This is a self-paced advanced content marketing course that covers the basic strategies and tactics for all types of B2B and B2C content marketing, including blogging, email, social, and more. The focus on this course is on content creation rather than more complex topics like SEO, analytics, and paid promotion. Users can buy 180 days of access for a cost of 299 dollars.
Lynda: Lynda.com offers a variety of online content marketing courses, from basic topics like “What is Content Marketing” to output-specific courses that cover topics like creating a podcast or writing a blog post.
Lynda is a great option for those looking to continue learning about other topics such as graphic design or coding. Lynda.com requires a membership which costs 20 to 30 dollars a month.
Content Marketing University: This is one of the most popular sources for information on content marketing. The organization offers over 30 hours of curriculum covering all aspects of content marketing. The course is led by marketing leaders including Robert Rose. Over 25 percent of Fortune 100 companies have attended this course. The course costs 995 dollars a person with discounts available for alum and non-profits.
LinkedIn e-Learning: The popular social media site has a learning platform where students can learn how to develop, implement, and measure a winning marketing strategy using today’s tools and platforms. LinkedIn’s marketing course is designed to help students to master traditional marketing skills and provide information on the latest digital tools and techniques. The course covers everything from branding and public relations to SEO, PPC, web analytics, and social media marketing. The first week is of the course is free.
Free Online Courses
There are many free online courses that can improve your content marketing skills. These are made available for a variety of time investments. Here are some of my favorites:
Content Strategy Courses:: Content strategy courses offers both a free and paid version of their course as well as the option to take the entire course or only the modules you think would be useful to your business from buyer personas to content promotion. The free course covers 8 mini lessons broken up into 5 days with short lessons that range from 2-20 minutes each. The paid course has a star lineup of instructors and some impressive success stories. The paid course starts at 997 dollars.
GA Academy: Analytics Academy helps you learn about Google’s measurement tools so that you can grow your business through intelligent data collection and analysis. Therea are several courses offered as a part of this academy including eCommerce analytics, GA for beginners and Google tag manager.
Data Analytics and Exel Pivot Tables: This Excel Business Intelligence training course is for all business users who are required to develop management reports, analyze data or ask ad-hoc questions of their data.These are critical skills for content marketers. In a recent report entitled ‘Big data: The Next Frontier for Innovation, Competition, and Productivity,’ McKinsey Consulting reports that data skills will become the basis for competition, innovation, growth and productivity. The report also highlights the need for approximately 1.5 million managers in United States with data skills.
Marketing in a Digital World: This course examines how digital tools, such as the Internet, smartphones, and 3D printing, are revolutionizing the world of marketing by shifting the balance of power from firms to consumers.
Marketing in a Digital World is one of the most popular courses on Coursera, with over 150,000 learners. This class is rated by Class Central as one of the Top 50 MOOCs of All Time
Quicksprout University: Even if you are new to SEO, this online resource will help you with traffic-generation by providing conversion tutorials from the trusted co-founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg.
Google Digital Marketing Course: This is an adwords certification course. Students may use the Digital Marketing course as a self-study training pack that can be completed at their own pace or professors may choose to incorporate the modules into their lesson plans. If opting into the optional AdWords Certification category, Google recommends that students review pay particular attention to the AdWords Fundamentals module.
SEO Training on Udemy: Optimizing a web site for search engines requires looking at many unique elements. These course gives practitioners of SEO insight into these elements, helping them to understand the broad field of website optimization
Content Marketing for B2B Enterprises: This course takes students through a four-step content marketing process. The course is structured in 19 video lessons, each lesson will take around 5 minutes. The entire course clocks in around 35 minutes. So, if you have an hour, you can knock this out over lunch!
The marketing courses listed above make up only a small sample of all the courses available to you to help expand your content marketing. You can find other lists of resources in these round ups online.
Content marketing courses are a great way to learn how to improve your marketing programs.
For free content marketing education, check out our own online content marketing expert series in the link below.