Content marketing: A continuing education

Classroom Chairsphoto © 2006 Eric James Sarmiento | more info (via: Wylio)

I’m in the midst of taking the “Content Marketing Crash Course” from MarketingProfs University. It’s a set of 17 live sessions covering topics from optimizing content for SEO to making your content more share-able.

Although I’m learning all kinds of wonderful things in the course, it occurs to me that I’ve been taking my own “slow course” in content marketing since I started working in B2B technology marketing in the mid 90′s. In the B2B space, we all understand and embrace the critical role of content in the sales cycle. We never called it content marketing, but we have been practicing it in one form or another for years.

As I attend the various sessions, I’m struck by a couple thoughts:

The fundamentals remain constant.
At the core of the new best practices in content marketing, the same fundamental principles apply that have always been at work in B2B marketing:

  • Know your customers or prospects.
  • Understand their needs, and then try to meet them. If you’re selling B2B technology, you must align the technology with the business need.
  • Understand the buying cycle and give prospects what they need, when they need it.

The evolving practice of “Content Marketing” puts discipline and structure around these core principles.

The details are constantly changing.
The ways that you execute these basic strategies are in constant flux – hence the value of this course. What worked last year, or perhaps even last summer, may be less effective today. You need an open mind and continual willingness to learn to keep up with the constant changes, including:

  • New channels for interacting with customers and getting your content in front of customers and prospects
  • Changing customer behavior in searching for, researching and acquiring technology
  • New and evolving tools to implement, analyze and optimize your content strategies
  • Changes to search engine algorithms, and their impact on content optimization strategies

Even if you’ve been doing this for many years, this is no time to rest on your laurels. You have to continually read, refresh, and check in with others.

This course is a great way to expand your content marketing skills or refine your existing strategies. The speakers are terrific and the topics fresh and actionable. And because the course is recorded, you can register and attend even after it’s concluded. For more information, visit http://www.marketingprofsu.com/course/59/content-marketing.

2 thoughts on “Content marketing: A continuing education

  1. Ann Handley

    Hi Anne: Thanks for the shout to MarketingProfs and the Content Crash Course. Also, I think you are exactly right in your observation about the affinity of Content and B2B. I couldn’t agree more.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Content marketing: A continuing education « Technical Marketing in the Valley -- Topsy.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s