Content marketing is a relatively new concept in the decades upon decades of advertising and appealing to consumers. It really is a phenomenon of the Internet, once businesses realized that this platform could be used to reach vast audiences relatively cheaply. And as social media grew, the prospects became even greater.
Today, content marketing is the business of any company that is online and attempting to reach its target audience with engaging text, visuals, and overall great experiences. Good content writers are in high demand. They work directly for businesses, they may work as freelancers or take positions as contractors for writing services like Classy Essay or Write Scout. But, in general, content marketers have plenty of work.
If you have a love of writing and think you have what it takes to educate, entertain, and inspire others, then you will probably want to take a look at these courses that will teach you how to do just that.
Below are the top six online courses that we have found. They should get you on your way!
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Offered Through: Udemy
Instructor: Brad Merrill (Successful Journalist)
This course is for both entrepreneurs who want to set up their own copywriting business or for employed content marketers who want to improve their expertise and skill levels. It stems from the concept that content marketing is very much like journalism and must use many of the approaches that journalists use in capturing and engaging their reading audiences. Students will learn how to grow traffic to their content, identify the right audiences and where they hang out online, buyer journeys and the content for each stage, developing email marketing campaigns, and using the right style and tone to promote a brand to the right audiences.
About 4K students are currently enrolled.
Through 12 small modules and 3 ½ hours of required video, students will move from little to no understanding of content marketing to practicing and mastering all of the basics and more complex concepts and skills. Here are the key elements of the course:
- How digital content marketing has changed the entire landscape of engaging audiences and taking them through a buyer journey.
- The importance of relationships rather than selling
- How to spread brand awareness and popularity
- Research to identify the right audience and where they hang out online
- Developing a voice and style that appeals to your audience
- How to conduct content research
- How to analyze the effectiveness of the content you create
- Importance of readability and grammar
- How to repurpose content, formats for content, email content marketing
- SEO strategies
Udemy Rating: 4.5
2. Content Strategy for Professionals Specialization – Northwestern University
Offered Through: Coursera
Instructors: Candy Lee, John Lavine, Randy Hlavac
This is actually a series of five modules, taking beginners through progressively more complex coursework. Several thousand students are enrolled, a testament to its quality. Each module is comprised of hands-on activities and projects so that students have “real-world” experiences in crafting great content. Here’s a look at each of the modules:
- Engaging an Audience: Today’s online audiences are demanding. They won’t just read anything. Content marketers need to know how to capture their attention. This is often done through storytelling, conversations, humor, and, sometimes inspiration.
- Content Management: This module includes everything from finding great topics, various platforms for content publishing, developing publishing calendars, and more.
- Expanding Content Reach: Content is nothing without an audience to read/view it. There are lots of ways to increase an audience, such as multi-channel communications, tools for interactivity, etc.
- Measuring Content Impact: Students will learn about tools for analyzing content effectiveness, developing and modifying strategies based on the results of the analysis, and methods to determine the best placement of specific content types on various platforms.
- Capstone Project: the final module asks students to develop an entire content marketing package, just as content marketing managers would actually do.
Coursera Student Rating: 4.5 on a 5-point scale
3. Strategy of Content Marketing – University of California, Davis
Offered Through: Coursera
Taught By: Sonia Simone
This is a popular course, with about 30k enrollees. The course objectives include understanding the core strategies for content marketing, how to engage and retain readers/viewers, and how to organize, manage, and measure content effectiveness, and, very important, how to create compelling content that will engage audiences.
This is a 5-week course, divided as follows:
Week One: This will be an overview of content marketing and the key strategies that make it effective – development of a brand voice, topic research, strategic planning, and audience identification.
Week Two: More into the nuts and bolts of engaging audiences, developing a framework and strategy for content generation, becoming authentic, and more.
Week three: Focus is on crafting of actual content for the right audience, development of empathy maps, generating captivating headlines, choosing the right topics at the right times, and using both text and visual content to engage audiences. Use of the right tone and style for specific audiences and for a brand image is also investigated.
Week Four: Types of content – content that sets up authority, that entertains, that inspires, and that promotes action. The goal is to establish trusting relationships with audiences, and this unit will show students how to do just that.
Week five: Overview of managing content including when and where to publish, the right mix of text and multimedia, as well as issues of plagiarism and copyright law, and ethics.
Coursera Rating: 4.5
Offered Through: Udemy
Instructor: Gaby I. (entrepreneur and business coach)
Current Enrollment: About 4K
This course will cover all of the fundamentals of content marketing, strategies for effective content marketing campaigns, promotion of content on various web platforms, and the process for developing content that attracts and motivates audiences. Emphasis is also on the following concepts and skills:
- How to identify target audiences and where to find them online
- How to capture leads from readers of content
- Tips and strategies for creating compelling content
- How to measure the success of published content
- How to promote content on various platforms
- How to manage content and design/implement marketing campaigns
Udemy Student Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Offered Through: Udemy
Instructor: Jamil Velzi
A huge factor in effective content marketing is search engine optimization. When people conduct generic searches through Google, for example, content marketers want their pieces of content to show up on at least the first page of results. Getting there requires a lot of research, creativity of writing, unique content, popularity as determined by the number of people who access that content, and the presence of that content on many channels.
This course will show content marketers how to design and create content that will engage large audiences and get noticed by search engine web crawlers. It includes all of the following elements:
- Videos with support from the instructor
- Content creation, especially that which will engage audiences and become popular – expert education, entertainment, inspiration, etc.
- Identification of audiences and how to find them online
- Development of 9-day content marketing strategies and methods of analyzing their effectiveness
- Ways to outsource content creation
- How to find the most popular and relevant content topics that targeted audience search for
Udemy Student Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Offered Through: Udemy
Instructor: Charlie Page
Typical enrollment: 900
This course will take beginners through the entire process of starting from ground “zero” in this career and moving them through to becoming knowledgeable content marketers who can then market themselves, either as entrepreneurs or as contractors/employees of organizations. Key elements of this course include:
- Basic concepts of content marketing in today’s marketplace – the importance of brand promotion, relationship building, and engaging audiences with expertise, entertainment, and even inspiration
- Methods for identifying relevant audiences, developing buyer personas, and determining where they are online in order to engage them
- Ways to develop and grow email lists, as well as automation strategies
- Methods to develop a brand “voice” that will appeal to the target audience
- The specifics of developing content for various platforms – website, blog, social media, etc.
- Content management strategies including planning creation and publication, platforms for a specific publication, and a calendar for publication on every chosen venue.
- Methods to evaluate the effectiveness of content based upon the use of the most current tools.
- How to use big data to understand consumer wants, needs, and pain points
Udemy Student Rating: 4.3 on a 5-Point Scale
A Career in Content Marketing
If you write well; if you understand the uniqueness of marketing content as opposed to other types of writing; if you really want to break into this business, then you have several avenues. Striking out as a freelancer will take time because you have to build your business over time. You can also look for positions within established businesses, but most will want to see experience. What you can do is register with freelance services or contract with existing writing services. Here are a few options:
- Top Essay Writing: This is a writing service that serves students who need academic writing. But it has expanded into copywriting and offers content marketing services to lots of small businesses.
- Freelancer: You can register with this service and bid on content writing projects that business owners post.
- Studyker: Here is another writing service that has a busy and active content writing department. They assign content writing tasks to writers who are registered with them.
- Upwork: This is another freelance job board. You can register and be alerted when projects are posted that relate to content writing. You then bid on them.
- Subjecto: This is a writing service with a large content writing department. You can submit samples and go through their application process.
These options will give you lots of good experience, as you look to establish your own freelancing business or land a job within an existing business.
Hey! If you have made it this far then certainly you are willing to learn more and here at Coursesity, it is our duty to enlighten people with knowledge on topics they are willing to learn. Here are some more topics that we think will be interesting for you!