Welcome back to the CXL Growth Marketing course review.
To give you a brief, I am taking this course on Growth Marketing by CXL. Every week, I publish my review on what I have learned from this course. If you are new here, please go through the previous parts.
- CXL Growth Review Week 1 — Course 1 and 2
- CXL Growth Review Week 2 — Course 3 and 4
- CXL Growth Review Week 3 — Course 5 and 6
- CXL Growth Review Week 4 — Course 7 and 8
- CXL Growth Review Week 5 — Course 9, 10 and 11
- CXL Growth Marketing Week 6 — Course 12
- CXL Growth Marketing Week 7 — Course 13
- CXL Growth Marketing Week 8
In this blog, I am going to walk you through one of my favourite courses from this mini degree — Content Strategy & SEO for lead generation by Andy Crestodina, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Orbit Media.
Andy Crestodina is a co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Orbit Media, an award-winning 38-person web design company in Chicago.
Over the past 18 years, Andy has provided digital marketing advice to 1000+ businesses. He speaks at national marketing conferences, writes for big marketing blogs and hosts a little marketing podcast.
This course is your complete approach to building a fast-flowing highway of continuous demand. Learn each step of the process for driving B2B leads with content marketing, from the first action to final outcome.
In just 6 sessions, you’ll be able to
- Align topics and formats with the information needs of your audience
- Research key phrases and search optimize your content
- Find and collaborate with relevant influencers
- Maximize your email list growth, open rates and click-through rates
- Produce higher quality content in less time by repurposing
- Measure and optimize for better traffic (and more conversions) on the next go-round
We’ll analyze the birth of a lead, deconstructing each page in the process and each stage in the funnel. You’ll learn how to strengthen each stage, from the high-ranking blog post to the thank you page after the thank you page.
Some brands buy traffic. They try to win the battle of budgets through brute force or by outsmarting the other advertisers, picking off opportunities on the edge.
The content marketer has a different approach. We win traffic. We earn conversions and grow audiences so large that eventually, the advertisers start calling us, trying to buy space on our digital properties.
It’s both an art and a science. Content marketing is perfect for marketers who love to use both halves of their brains. This course is for you if you like to cross channels and combine tactics, if you love both making and measuring things, this course is designed for you.
Content strategy doesn’t require big budgets, but it does take time. You will dominate your competition slowly, patiently. You will win the loyalty of your audience one keyphrase, link, and subscriber at a time.
Once complete, you’ll own a platform that consistently generates high-quality leads. You will have the skills and mindset of a content strategist with a clear understanding of how to generate awareness, demand, and revenue through content.
1. Content strategy for lead generation
Content marketing is the opposite of advertising. We don’t buy attention, we earn it. A content marketing master understands both cheese and mousetraps, traffic, and conversion.
What is Content Strategy?
A strategy is a plan to reach a specific goal. So content strategy is a plan to use content to reach a specific goal.
Content strategy is a plan to create, promote, and measure marketing content (written articles, recorded videos, etc.) in order to create meaningful interactions, that meet the needs of both an audience and a business.
Please note: The term “content strategy” and “content marketing strategy” are often used interchangeably. But they are not the same. Content strategy actually goes beyond marketing. Hilary Marsh explains below.
A company’s content strategy is the plan for attracting visitors and inspiring them to act. It’s the plan for generating demand using content.
This kind of planning is done once at the beginning of the content program, referred to weekly or monthly, and revised yearly. It includes the following:
- Mission Topics
- Social and email promotion
- Measurement and ongoing optimization
2. Search optimization: authority and relevance
This class focuses on the specific actions that drive the rankings and targeted traffic. By the end of this class, you will know how to:
- Pick your battles: Find the phrases that you can win for through key phrase research
- Achieve relevance and intent: Use keywords in ways that show you’re the real thing
- Target topics not phrases: Go beyond the keyphrase and leverage semantics
What are the biggest mistakes that website owners make? What are the most important search ranking factors? What actions give you a durable advantage? Which tools are truly useful? Which are free? How is SEO ROI measured?
3. Digital content best practices
In this class, Andy will teach you how to create content that is easy for visitors to consume and easy for you to promote. Once you complete, you’ll have the tools and tactics you need to drive traffic and results.
By the end, you will understand:
- How is writing for web different? How is digital content consumed?
- What type of writing tends to get clicked, opened and read?
- How do you find the topics that will connect with an audience?
- Which images will drive more clicks?
4. Collaboration, networking and influencers
Influencer marketing, blogger relations, and digital PR are all built on the same foundation: collaboration. In this class, you’ll learn to use social media to grow your reach and rankings.
Most content marketers write for one website: their own. And rarely do they include others in their content. But the key to successful content is to collaborate with the people and brands who are already relevant to your audience.
- Find the 1% of internet users that make the biggest difference in your marketing
- Build relationships that create content opportunities
- Collaborate with your sales prospects and referral partners
Once complete, you’ll look at social media through a completely different lens.
5. Process, production, efficiency
You create outstanding content and promote it like a champ, but that’s not enough. If your content program isn’t efficient, it isn’t sustainable. Content marketing is an endurance sport, so we need to learn to be efficient in our efforts. We need to be resourceful and opportunistic.
Two million times each day, the “Publish” button is clicked and a blog post goes live. But we know from research that 75% of these articles get no results, or at least no traction in search or social.
We also know from research that the average post takes 3+ hours to create. Do the math and you’ll find that hundreds of millions of hours are wasted each day doing content marketing. It all adds up to 7.7 lifetimes that are wasted every day writing posts that get no results. Tragedy!
But there’s a surefire way to get huge value from your next post. It’s automatic. And it’s so efficient, we call it zero-waste marketing.
The idea is to narrow your focus and write for a very specific set of people. In this post, you’ll learn to:
- Create content for people who are already in your sales funnel
- Collaborate with your prospects and partners
- Use your blog as a networking tool
- Warm-up cold leads
By the end of the lesson, you will know how to:
- Turn your day-to-day email communication into high ranking articles
- Find content opportunities within your organization
- Delegate using tools, outsourcing and virtual assistants
6. Analyze, measure, and improve
Create, promote and measure. Measurement is the third aspect of every content marketing program and it is critical. If you don’t measure, you can’t optimize.
In this class, you’ll learn to measure the return on investment for your content marketing efforts.
After completing this class, you’ll know…
- How content marketing ROI is measured at the highest levels
- How to measure the value of various sources of traffic and specific pieces of content
- How to get your older content to rank like champions
- How to find the pages on your site that are already ready to rank