Thanks to the advent of the Internet and, more specifically, the rise of Web-based social tools and technologies, you can create online content—blog posts, videos, webinars, and websites—that will attract customers to you, rather than you having to chase after them. What's more, you can entice your customers to share their stories about you (hopefully positive) with each other, all across the Web. The problem, of course, is that this enormous opportunity is also a huge challenge.
Your online content must be the right sort of content. Customer-focused. Authentic. Compelling. Entertaining. Surprising. Valuable. Interesting. And it must be delivered at the right time, the way your customers want it.
Whew! That sounds like work, doesn't it? It is. But that's where this course comes in.
Do you hate the word "guru"? So do we. But describing this content marketing course without using the word is nonetheless difficult, as it contains close to 14 hours of instruction across 17 on-demand classes taught by an impressive array of content marketing ... uh, experts.
And that's what makes this course so special: This group has been at the forefront of the content movement. Their hours of coursework and live Q&A will take you step by step through the process of understanding why you need a content marketing strategy, and how to implement the kind of strategy and tactics that will really contribute to your company's bottom line.
Our cast of instructors (again—see how we cleverly avoided that guru word?) bring you top-shelf advice in what other companies are doing now, how to set your own content objectives and strategy, build and maintain sustainable content programs, create compelling and creative content, measure its success, and more. It might sound like an exaggeration to say you can't find this level of instruction anywhere else, but it's true.
By the end of this course, you'll have mastered what you need to know to create, implement, and sustain a successful content marketing program for your organization. Plus you'll have learned some tricks along the way, like: What's the best webinar platform to use? How can you get more comments on your blog? How can some companies create so much great stuff when you struggle to churn out a stinkin' whitepaper every once in a while? And not to sound like a late-night cable TV pitch—but that's not all! You'll also be schooled in a slew of other things: How to create content that reflects your brand (and doesn't bore), how to take your content mobile, how to react real-time to content opportunities, and more. But don't take our word for it: Browse the classes in the course below. You'll see what we mean. Oh—and at the end of the course, you'll be able to download a Certificate of Completion to show off your new content marketing expertise. Suitable for framing, so go on ... ! Won't that look nice hanging on your wall? You'll beam with pride.
Your Content Marketing Crash Course includes these 17 classes (each 30-60 minutes long):
- OVERVIEW: The Right Kind of Content Rules!
- RESEARCH: What Works in Content Marketing ... and What Does Not
- BLUEPRINT: How to Design Your Content Marketing Action Plan
- STRATEGY: You Don't Need a Social Media Strategy, You Need a Content Strategy
- LEAD GEN: 6 Ways to Use Content to Drive Website Conversions
- SUCCESS STORIES: Case Study Smackdown, Part 1
- SEARCH: Why You Need to Optimize Your Content and How to Do It
- WEBINARS: Three Surefire Ways to Get Killer Content from Your Presenters
- SUCCESS STORIES: Case Study Smackdown, Part 2
- B2B: Content Marketing for B2Bs in The Age of TMI
- STORYTELLING: What Does Storytelling Have to Do with Business?
- VIDEOS: 6 Easy Ways to Produce Compelling Video (That You Hadn't Thought of Before)
- MOBILE: 10 Tips, Tools and To-Do's to Mobilize Your Marketing
- REPURPOSE: Rapid-Fire Ways to Atomize Your Content
- BLOGS: Think Like a Rock Star: How to Build Fans and Engagement Around Your Blog
- SOCIAL: How to Make Your Content More Shareable
- WHAT'S NEXT: Agile Content Creation in a Real-Time World
The Right Kind of Content Rules! Speakers: Ann Handley—Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs C.C. Chapman—Founder, Digital Dads Friday, December 3—12:00-1:00pm ET
Your brand is a publisher now. That's a frightening notion, perhaps, but it's also a tremendous opportunity. Instead of creating awareness about your company or your brand solely the old-school way (through annoying people with advertising, or bugging them with direct mail, or interrupting them with whatever), you now have a rich and awesome alternative. Whether it's bite-sized tweets that allow you to forge relationships on Twitter, blog posts that give your readers must-have advice, ebooks or white papers that engage (and don't bore!), videos that share the human side of your organization, interactive webinars that deliver a valuable learning experience, or podcasts experienced on the fly (and more) ... now, more than ever, Content Rules! Of course, content may rule, but your online content must be theright sort of content—and not just any old stuff. What does it mean to create content that's "compelling"? And how can you do it consistently? How can your voice be heard above the noise? Why doesn't your blog have any comments? It's hard work, right?
In this class, Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman, co-authors of the brand-new book Content Rules (Wiley, December 2010), will:
- Explain the notion of your brand as a publisher. (It's not as scary as it sounds!)
- Provide understanding of why you are generating content
- Define the goals of your strategy, tactics and "rules" you use to empower your brand.
- Show you how to streamline the process of creating remarkable blogs, podcasts, webinars, ebooks, and other web content that will lure would-be customers to you.
- Give you some ideas you can steal about how others are creating content that arouse passion for their products or services.
What Works in Content Marketing ... and What Does Not* *based on research from a MarketingProfs/Junta42 study Speaker: Joe Pulizzi—Founder, Junta42 Monday, December 6—12:00-1:00pm ET
Content marketing evangelist Joe Pulizzi reviews the findings from the MarketingProfs/Junta42 B2B Content Marketing State of the Industry report. In this overview, Joe will include how marketing departments are transforming into "content factories" and what marketers need to do about this now.
Joe will explain:
- How much marketers are spending on content marketing and where are they spending it
- What separates effective content marketers from ineffective content marketers
- How to transform your marketing department into a content creation machine
How to Design Your Content Marketing Action Plan Speaker: Jason Falls—Principal, Social Media Explorer Monday, December 6—1:30-2:30pm ET
Where do you begin crafting the kind of content marketing strategy that will resonate with your own market, and your own customers? You can start by answering some fundamental questions about your own company and brand; the answers will help you begin to create a blueprint or roadmap for your own sustainable content marketing approach.
In this hands-on, working session, Jason will give you:
- Tools to create the framework of your content strategy
- An understanding of the different types and options of content you can utilize
- Real ideas for content you can develop or repurpose now for your organization
You Don't Need a Social Media Strategy, You Need a Content Strategy Speaker: Kristina Halvorson—Founder and President, Brain Traffic Wednesday, December 8—12:00-1:00pm ET
Are you on Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn? Well, guess what: your social media "presence" isn't defined by where you are, but what you're doing in the space. And whether you're blogging, tweeting, commenting, or anything else in social media, you are creating content. But it turns out that creating and managing quality content on a regular basis takes up more time, money, and headspace than you ever thought possible. How to ease the pain? Enter content strategy. Content strategy plans for the creation, sharing, and caring for content that matters to your customers. In this class, Kristina Halvorson will divulge the real secrets to social media success and how you can get started, today.
- Why social media initiatives often fail and what to avoid
- 5 simple steps to a content strategy
- How to make content the cornerstone of social
6 Ways to Use Content to Drive Website Conversions Speaker: John Jantsch—Founder, Duct Tape Marketing System Wednesday, December 8—1:30-2:00pm ET
Content marketing isn't just about creating awesome content for content's sake. The best kind of content drives business to you: Generating leads, nurturing prospects, and acting as a kind of online sales team. In this fast-paced session, John Jantsch shares how to create content that'll drive your business.
John will share:
- How to leverage content to drive business
- How to use one bit of content in multiple ways
- How to personalize and automate content production
- How to generate leads with the content you produce or share
Case Study Smackdown, Part 1 Speakers: Anne Yastremski—Vice President of Marketing, MarketingProfs Bob Knorpp—President, The Cool Beans Group Joe Chernov—Director of Content Marketing, Eloqua Leslie Bradshaw—President & Co-founder, Jess3 Wednesday, December 8—2:30-3:00pm ET
"Yeah, but where are the results?" Right here. MarketingProfs Vice President of Marketing Anne Yastremski moderates the first of two sessions that highlight Content Marketing Success Stories featuring real companies, and real dollars. You'll learn:
- How one marketing consultancy used the content-creation process to establish credibility, network with key influencers and generate active engagement
- The "full Monty" story of how one B2B company successfully shifted to content marketing, with both great successes and some inevitable missteps along the way
Why You Need to Optimize Your Content and How to Do It Speaker: Lee Odden—CEO, TopRank Online Marketing Friday, December 10—12:00-1:00pm ET
Great content is better when your audience can actually find it. Here, Lee Odden shares how to develop a content optimization strategy, and you'll learn best practices on developing searcher personas, an editorial plan, keyword glossaries, content & curation. More specifically, you'll:
- Get the lowdown on content marketing strategy: What's a good model for content-based marketing?
- Understand how (and why) to develop searcher personas: Know thy customer, know thy searcher. Then make the right kind of content and everybody's happy.
- Find the keys to smarter keyword research: Find what search and social media keywords are in demand, relevant to your customers.
- Create an editorial plan: Translate customer needs, keywords and your marketing objectives into THE "E" PLAN and mapping SEO to content. (E stands for Editorial. In case you didn't catch that.)
- Curation vs. Creation: How much original content should you create and when does it make sense to curate others content instead?
- Tools for customer research, search keywords, social keywords and content curation.
Three Surefire Ways to Get Killer Content from Your Presenters Speaker: Shelley Ryan—Chief Sharpshooter, Killer Webinars Friday, December 10—1:30-2:00pm ET
Inviting an expert to speak at your webinar is a little like hiring a guide to escort your audience into new territory. The expert knows the area cold ... but how well can she drive the tour bus? Maybe she can't reach the steering wheel and pedals at the same time, or maybe she handles that bus like a metro Mario Andretti! This is a "crash course" you won't want to miss.
- That you CAN produce an unforgettable webinar even if your featured expert isn't a veteran
- How and when to take control of the content yourself so that you look good, your expert looks good, and your audience enjoys every minute of the ride.
Case Study Smackdown, Part 2 Speakers: Anne Yastremski—Vice President of Marketing, MarketingProfs Amanda Maksymiw—Marketing Associate, OpenView Labs Corey O'Loughlin—Marketing Analyst, OpenView Labs Devon Warwick—Marketing Analyst, OpenView Labs Friday, December 10—2:30-3:15pm ET
"Yeah, but where are the results?" Right here. MarketingProfs Vice President of Marketing Anne Yastremski moderates the second of two sessions that highlight Content Marketing Success Stories featuring real companies, and real dollars.
Content Marketing for B2Bs in The Age of TMI Speaker: Ardath Albee—CEO, Marketing Interactions, Inc. Monday, December 13—12:00-1:00pm ET
The Internet has become the fire hose in The Age of Too Much Information (TMI). From emails to Twitter, Facebook, Blogs and Websites, we are relentlessly inundated with more information than we can handle. The same is true for your prospects. Creating content that rises above this flood of information is a key challenge that B2B marketers must overcome to connect with their prospects in meaningful ways. Content marketing must be targeted, timely and trusted in order to catch and keep the limited attention of your target markets while motivating them to take the next steps in buying.
Join Ardath Albee to learn:
- 5 "catch factors" that help your content rise above the noise—and how to use them.
- What to eliminate from your content to increase traction with prospects.
- How to create a "Prospect Style Guide" to ensure consistency in content development.
What Does Storytelling Have to Do with Business? Speaker: TBD Monday, December 13—1:30-2:00pm ET
As a marketer, your job is to generate new ideas and pull compelling stories out of your own organization. And by "stories," we don't mean yarns or fairytales; we mean how your business (or its products or services) exist in the real world: how people use your products, how they add value to people's lives, ease their troubles, help shoulder their burdens, and meet their needs. So where do you find those stories? Where do you tap into them? And what's the best way to share them?
In this session you'll learn:
- What "storytelling" has to do with business. (Hint: Everything.)
- The five characteristics of a good marketing story
- Tips and tricks to uncover your own organization's narratives.
6 Easy Ways to Produce Compelling Video (That You Hadn't Thought of Before) Speaker: Steve Garfield—SteveGarfield.com Monday, December 13—2:30-3:00pm ET
Your video content is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of search results than your standard text- based content, according to a recent Forrester Research report. Can you see why it's important to include video as part of your content mix? Unless you went to film school, creating videos can be a scary prospect. But the good news is that the ease of recent video innovations makes the prospect less frightening, allowing you more options than ever.
- How to create videos on the fly to embed on your site or blog
- Ideas for content that's best suited to video
- All about affordable and easy-to-use cameras and other video options
10 Tips, Tools and To-Do's to Mobilize Your Marketing Speaker: Christina "CK" Kerley—B2B Marketing Specialist Wednesday, December 15—12:00-1:00pm ET
Content is a means to an end with the goal being increased levels of awareness, conversions, search-engine rankings and user engagement. And now mobile provides a stunning opportunity for your content to reach more of your audience. But today's marketers are challenged with understanding how to integrate mobile to make an difference to their businesses. This class—for both B2Bs and B2Cs—replaces confusion with clear direction on leveraging mobile as a remarkable new content platform. Through 10 tips, tools and to-do's, you'll gain insight about optimizing content for mobile devices, reimagining current content into mobile programs and tapping mobile tools to provide new levels of creativity for your brand (and new layers of utility for your target audiences!).
You will learn:
- Tips for leveraging your current content into mobile programs
- Mobile tools—spanning SMS campaigns, Mobile Apps, Mobile Web Sites and Mobile Barcodes—to begin integrating into your content marketing
- Content to-do's that ensure a better mobile experience for the audience you're seeking to engage
Rapid-Fire Ways to Atomize Your Content Speaker: Jay Baer—President, Convince & Convert Wednesday, December 15—1:30-2:00pm ET
Content marketing isn't just about a big idea. It's about taking a big idea and reimagining it (or "atomizing" it) into lots of smaller ones. In this whirlwind session, learn how to:
- Deconstruct your idea to get more bait in the water.
- Cast your brand far and wide and attracting more customers to your business.
Think Like a Rock Star: How to Build Fans and Engagement Around Your Blog Speaker: Mack Collier—Social Media Strategist and Trainer Wednesday, December 15—2:30-3:30pm ET
Engagement and interaction are key to a successful blog. So many companies want more participation on their blogs, but so few truly get it. What lessons can we learn from rock stars about how they convert customers into fans? How to rock stars ignite passion? And more to the point, can you take these lessons and use them to build a community around YOUR business blogging efforts?
In this session you'll learn:
- The four reasons why rock stars have fans instead of just customers
- How you can apply each of these lessons to your existing business blogging efforts in order to increase interaction and engagement with your readers
- Examples of blogging companies that are adopting these lessons to build fans and community on their own blogs
How to Make Your Content More Shareable Speaker: Brian Solis—Principal, Founder, FutureWorks Friday, December 17—12:00-1:00pm ET
Brian Solis is an expert in articulating why brands are increasingly media companies and how to earn influence through content in the social sphere. Here, he'll share the concepts why, as well as talk about how you can make your content more "social" and shareable. You'll take away:
- The results of a recent study by Brian and Vocus, which demonstrated that creating compelling content is the number one reason people and brands earn influence and community in social media.
- How content can be both useful and social.
- How to create and distribute social objects as the catalysts for meaningful conversations.
Agile Content Creation in a Real-Time World Speaker: David Meerman Scott—best-selling author and speaker Friday, December 17—1:30-2:30pm ET
Wake up, it's revolution time! Gone are the days when you could plan out your marketing and public relations programs well in advance and release them on your timetable. It's a real-time world now, and if you're not engaged, then you're on your way to marketplace irrelevance. That includes how you manage the Content you produce. Real-time means news breaks over minutes, not days. It means ideas percolate, then suddenly and unpredictably go viral to a global audience. It's when companies develop (or refine) products or services instantly, based on feedback from customers or events in the marketplace. And it's when businesses see an opportunity and are the first to act on it. You'll learn:
- How too many companies remain caught up in old, time-consuming processes of marketing and PR, leaving themselves fatally exposed by flying blind through this new media environment.
- How scale and media buying power are no longer a decisive advantage.
- How to create what counts today: speed and agility. While your competitors scramble to adjust, you can seize the initiative, open new channels, and grow your brand.