3 areas of study content marketers should explore for 2019/2020

It will come as no surprise that there is no shortage of online content marketing courses out there to choose from. There are a number of platforms that offer an array of information for people of all levels of marketer, whether you’re targeting B2B or B2C. If you are just starting out on your content marketing journey, or you are an experienced content marketer looking for knowledge about the latest trends, there are many learning opportunities available for you.

When you are choosing which courses you would like to enrol in, there are a few questions you should ask yourself first, so that you can select the right course for your needs and objectives:

  1. What are the trends for next year in your market?
  2. Where are your knowledge gaps?
  3. How much time do you have to devote to a course?
  4. What are your end goals?

Once you have answered the above, it is time to get stuck in and find the course that suits you.

Let us begin with a brief overview of some of the continued learning platforms that are available.

Content Marketing University: The Content Marketing Institute is one of the most popular sources for information for content marketers. They offer curriculum covering all aspects of the industry. After joining their platform, all the courses are available at your fingertips, so you can work at your own pace. Their online courses are led by Robert Rose and other known marketing leaders.

LyndaLynda.com – now known as LinkedIn Learning – offers a variety of online content marketing courses, from basic topics such as “What is Content Marketing” through to in-depth analytics options. They also offer a range of courses in other disciplines such as photography and design, for those wanting to expand their expertise, and your monthly fee will get you access to the entire library.

Coursera: Coursera courses are taught by university professors and industry professionals. There are hundreds of free courses which give you access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums. There are also paid courses available which provide a course certificate upon completion.

Udemy: Udemy offers an array of courses which you can purchase independently. It is an open source website where anyone can create and promote courses. Users can also take classes to earn credit towards technical certification, or just to pick up or improve various industry skills.

Google Digital Garage:  Digital Garage from Google is a free learning platform where you can increase your knowledge of all things digital, from websites and tracking to online marketing. You can sign up for individual modules or take the whole course right away.

Hubspot: Hubspot Academy offers free practical courses alongside comprehensive certifications. This is another platform where you can sign up and enrol in any of the 15 different certifications currently available.

The above is just a sampling of the platforms available to support you in your endeavour for more content marketing knowledge. Covering them all would be a full-time job, but you can run a google search to uncover many other options.

Now down to the nitty gritty – what are the 3 areas you should learn more about in the coming year to enhance your content marketing strategy?

Video

Moving forward, we are going to see a huge uptake in video content, as videos continue to grow in popularity across all industries. Cisco has projected that more than 80% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2021.

According to Michael Litt, CEO and co-founder of Vidyard:

“Video is the most effective way to educate buyers and engage customers, and as a result, we’re seeing the use of video skyrocket across marketing, sales and internal communications.”

It is due to this move toward video that our first recommendation is to start taking some courses on video creation. Even if you want to outsource your video creation as many people do, you will want a working knowledge of trends and the basics, so that you are equipped to work with a video team to hit your objectives.

Here are a few classes you can take to learn more about video:

Several courses from Udemy are listed through this link

Start and grow your video marketing strategy on Hubspot

SEO

Once you have taken a course or two on video, it is time to cover another important skill set for the upcoming year: SEO. Search engine optimised writing has always been important for content marketers, but things have certainly been changing in this area and they will continue to grow. It is important to keep up with the way Google search is evolving so that you can incorporate these changes into your writing and your content strategy as a whole. Marketers who have been keyword-dependent in the past should start learning as much as they can about other methods of improving SEO.

There are many schools of thought on this topic. As the way people search and the way search engines gather information evolves, ideas will evolve alongside.

At the moment, keyword SEO does still matter but in a different way than it did in the past. It is still very important that your longtail keyword shows up in your page title, URL, sub headers, image descriptions and meta descriptions, but the frequency in which you use those keywords has changed. Google does not like keyword stuffing and in some cases, can downgrade your content because of it.

With that in mind, here are a few courses designed to help you in this area:

SEO 2020: An Effective Guide To Climb The Google Rankings

Several courses are listed through this link on Lynda

Social Selling

Social selling focuses on leveraging social networks to find prospects, build trusted relationships, increase knowledge about a company and ultimately drive sales.

The internet and social networks are changing the sales process. Buyers now have access to more information and are using that information to inform their purchasing process prior to reaching out.

Social media is not just for B2C, it also reaches B2B decision-makers. 84% of C-level and VP-level buyers are influenced by social media when purchasing, according to IDG.

When you are planning out your social media strategy, know that not all social media networks will yield the same results. Statista findings show that marketers have found LinkedIn to be the most effective social media platform for B2B, so this is where you should focus your efforts.

If this is news to you or you want to learn more about this highly effective tactic, here are a few courses you can look into.

Social media marketing specialisation on Coursera

Viral marketing and how to create contagious content on Coursera

As part of an ever-changing industry, we as content marketers must always be learning and growing. We are called upon to learn about our clients’ businesses and their audiences on a daily basis. Amongst the hustle and bustle of our daily routines, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the fact that we must also be continuing our education about our industry as well.

We hope that you found this resource useful to aid you in discovering areas in which you can continue your education. If you would like to chat more about the evolving digital age and how we can adapt to it and grow with it, get in touch at [email protected]

 

Photo by Roel Dierckens on Unsplash

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About the Author : Stacey Shevlin


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