Content marketing is exploding as an industry.
With 91% of B2Bs using content marketing, the industry itself is set to be worth $412 billion by 2021.
This means, of course, that there are no shortage of jobs available in our beautiful industry.
Searching “content marketing jobs” near me in Austin Texas alone, I find there are hundreds of jobs available:
If you’re in marketing at all, your job will probably cross over in content marketing, heavily.
Content marketing is marketing’s future.
If you run an agency, ensuring you or your staff know how to implement content marketing for your clients will seriously boost your bottom line.
So, how does content strategy fit into this content marketing of today? (In today’s guide, we’re talking all about content strategy training.)
Content strategy drives the planning, development, and management of content marketing.
Content strategy is, in fact, critical to the underlying success of your content marketing.
Content strategy is like the engine to your car, the caffeine in your coffee, the kale to your salad. Read more about #contentstrategy vs. #contentmarketing via @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
When you’re lining up what you need to know to serve your clients best in content marketing skillsets, think content strategy.
What base knowledge should you have a grasp on, and which topics do you need to dive deeply inside of to get ahead in the industry?
If you don’t know what kind of content strategy training you need to succeed, you’re in the right place.
We’re discussing EXACTLY what you’ll learn in my program, the Content Strategy & Marketing Course, and how that lines up with (and goes above and beyond) industry standard training, covering 13 major skills involved in creating, implementing, and executing a content strategy.
You can teach yourself everything you need to know to implement successful content marketing – or have your staff members take this course, and with this knowledge empower them to better serve your client base. How much is that worth? Possibly thousands of dollars.
But first things first. Let’s find out what today’s necessary content strategy training topics are. Ready?
13 Content Strategy Training Topics You Need to Succeed
According to the Content Marketing Institute (one of the major industry leaders in our beautiful industry), you need a documented strategy for your content and marketing.
Why? Because it makes the entire process easier.
And what’s more important – more successful.
You’ll be more effective, feel more confident in your efforts, and will have zero problems justifying why a specific chunk of your marketing budget (or your company/client’s marketing budget) should go to content marketing.
My student success stories attest to just how much a practical knowledge of content strategy contributes to content marketing triumph.
Our student success stories include Kyle Murray, who implemented a content strategy for his clients and saw results right away.
Why is a strategy so vital to the process?
Why does strategy = success?
It provides a framework to follow – a roadmap to ROI.
It leaves out any guesswork.
Instead of guessing, it tells you exactly what you need to do to power your content marketing.
CMI defines the underlying framework for successful content marketing as 5 principles that are essential for this sturdy foundation:
- Purpose and goals
CMI goes into further detail about these principles in their Content Marketing Framework for 2017:
These principles are at the heart of every facet of a content strategy.
Helpfully, we can map them to the content strategy training topics you should know and understand.
They branch out into 13 different areas:
- Foundations of Content Strategy (purpose and goals)
- Audience Personas (purpose and goals, audience)
- Sales Funnel Content Mapping (purpose and goals, audience)
- Brand Content Style Guidelines (story)
- Understanding Keywords (audience, story, process)
- Researching SEO Opportunities (audience, story, process)
- Creating Keyword Reports (story, process, measurement)
- Building Authority Online with Content (purpose and goals, audience, story, process)
- Content Creation and Guest Blogging (audience, story)
- Content Promotion (audience, process, measurement)
- Budgeting (process)
- Creating and Preparing an Editorial Calendar (process)
- Maintaining Your Content Strategy (process, measurement)
Naturally, each and every one of these topics is covered in the Content Strategy & Marketing Course, over 6 modules (check out the course syllabus to see how this shakes out).
To give you a general overview of what each module entails, we’ve outlined them below.
You’ll also find thorough training and teaching on these same modules in the companion workbook for the course: Practical Content Strategy & Marketing.
This book is a useful resource both on its own and as a reference while you’re moving through the course modules.
6 Modules in The Content Strategy & Marketing Course, Explained
Each module in the course covers the major topics involved in content strategy creation, execution, and maintenance.
Here are how the topics divvy up (and what you’ll learn in the process):
1. Module 1 – “Core Foundations of a Practical, ROI-Focused Content Strategy”
The course begins with making sure your content strategy is based on core foundations:
- Your expertise, including content topic areas you can cover with authority
- Your content differentiation factor (CDF) – What sets you apart from other brands, and how your content can tie in
- Your content goals – what you hope to achieve with your content marketing
You’ll find out why these matter, as well as how to define them for your own content strategy.
2. Module 2 – “A Beginner’s Guide to Audience Persona, Sales Funnel Content Mapping, & Brand Content Style Guidelines”
The second module is all about how your audience informs major pieces of your content strategy.
- Why and how you should create audience personas as reference tools
- How to do audience persona creation for existing and new audiences
- Low-budget ways to research your audience
- How to map your buyer persona to sales lifecycle stages (and create sales awareness content)
Image via Socialbakers
- How to create a brand content style guidebook that will direct future, audience-based content creation for all your team members
3. Module 3 – “Understanding Keywords, Researching SEO Opportunities, & Creating Keyword Reports”
The third module explains in detail how SEO and keywords should tie into your content strategy for higher organic ROI. You’ll learn:
- Why your overarching content goals need to inform keyword research
- Why organic search brings in higher ROI than paid search
- How to discover profitable keywords to target in your content
- Recommended keyword tools and a comparison of top options
- How to find long tail keywords for local SEO and geotargeting
- How to create a keyword report
The Content Strategy & Marketing Course covers the ROI potential of long tail keyword use. (Image via NeilPatel.com)
4. Module 4 – “How to Build Content Cores for an Authority Presence Online”
Module 4 dives into why and how you should build your core content – the main assets that will work as authority and trust-builders for your brand.
This section covers:
- How to create a content focus
- Why you should focus on doing a few things amazingly well for your content marketing (vs. doing everything unexceptionally)
- Why consistency, quality, and quantity matter
- Why you shouldn’t build your authority exclusively on outside channels (social media, proprietary publishing platforms, etc.)
- Why you need a solid “content house” that serves as a foundation for your content marketing
5. Module 5 – “Practical Content Creation (Your Site & Guest Platforms)”
Next, you’ll learn key steps to content creation you can use every time, for every piece you sit down to create. These steps comprise a workflow you will follow that makes creation easier – and results in better content.
- The three stages of the content process: ideation, creation, and preparation
- How to map topic ideation to your content goals
- Tips to make each step of the workflow go more smoothly
- How to find trending topics, buyer-focused topics, and sales awareness topics for your content with industry tools
- SEO basics for optimizing written content
- Why you should write long-form blog posts
- How to guest blog for high ROI, including how to get on your desired platform/publication and how to pitch topics to editors
- Why the call-to-action is an indispensable part of high-ROI content
Image via Medium
6. Module 6 – “Content Promotion Techniques, Setting a Budget, Preparing Your Editorial Calendar, & Maintenance”
The final course module covers the last steps to make sure your content strategy is a self-propelling, circular entity.
This means it will guide your actions both now and into the future, and will always help you stay on the road to high ROI.
This includes topics like:
- Content promotion strategies and tips from experts
- How to boost your content’s exposure
- How to use social media to promote content, including best-practices for posting to various platforms
- Email marketing basics, including writing and scheduling
- How to budget for content, and expectations for costs
- Tips for outsourcing content creation
- How to set up and build an editorial calendar
- How to repurpose and update old content pieces
- Measurement techniques, including how to track your rankings
- How to conduct a content audit
- And more
Choose the Right Content Strategy Training for Concrete, Real Results
The right content strategy training should teach you everything you need to know about the topic, front to back.
I call this “full-circle knowledge” – you’ll have everything you need to implement successful content marketing, and even build your own successful content marketing agency team.
That way, you can confidently go forward and create/implement your own strategy – not to mention, see the best results from this full-circle, complete knowledge.
So, what does the right content strategy and marketing training look like?
- Comprehensive – It covers everything you need to successfully create and execute your own content strategy.
- Practical – It offers education and advice for the real world.
- Actionable – You can take what you learn and apply it immediately.
- Easy to follow – It isn’t full of jargon or industry-speak that goes over your head.
- Useful – There is no fluff or filler; every lesson is worth your time and effort.