Content marketing is constantly changing, and it’s important that content marketers stay on top of their game. This guide features a number of noteworthy and accredited online, in-person, for-credit and for-fun courses from reputable institutions and organizations.
As content marketing continues to grow in importance in today’s digital marketing landscape, more and more accredited institutions are offering in-depth courses and material that can make you a better content marketer. Many are offered online and can be done on your own time, while others require regular or one-time attendance at the school. Either way, these courses offer some of the best instructors in content marketing and are sure to help you become a better writer and marketer, no matter your industry or campaign you are creating.
Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism
This renowned institution offers both free courses and a certificate track. Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism is a prestigious institution when it comes to content and media, so earning a certification or just completing a course from this university would definitely be impressive and useful.
Northwestern currently hosts its Content Strategy for Professionals certificate program on Coursera. All the courses can be taken (aka “audited”) for free, but to receive grades and take tests, it costs $50/month for the courses. In most cases, it may cost additional tuition to receive an actual certificate from Northwestern.
Columbia Journalism School
Columbia is another prestigious university that offers continuing education courses in media. They focus mainly on reporting, with in-person courses available in tracks like leadership, data, and investigative reporting, all of which focus on journalism. However, with the rise of journalists going into content marketing, taking a few in-depth courses on journalism isn’t such a bad idea.
If you want to take it a step further, Columbia’s School of Journalism also offers Lede 12, a 12-week summer intensive program on campus that teaches programming and technical skills with a journalism slant. Students can then parlay this experience into an additional 12-week fall program expanding upon what they learned in the previous 12 weeks.
Rutgers University Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing
Rutgers offers a 12-week in-person and online “Mini-MBA” in digital marketing for those wishing to continue their education outside of traditional higher education. This program provides a good overall view of digital marketing and content creation. It currently costs about $3,500 and takes a total of 40 hours or so to complete. The entire course has a teacher and starts on specific dates, much like a traditional college course.
University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education
This Seattle-based university has an 8-month online course that offers a certificate in storytelling and content strategy with three courses: content creation (the power of storytelling), content strategy (crafting the user experience), and content science (data analysis & understanding the problem). The certificate currently costs $3,225 and requires work experience, a basic understanding of marketing, and a presence on social media.
Content Marketing University
Though a traditional university doesn’t offer this course, Content Marketing Institute, founded by Joe Pulizzi, is one of the most highly regarded digital marketing resources online today. They also hold the well-regarded Content Marketing World annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio. The Content Marketing University certificate has 13 modules, quizzes to test your knowledge, and gives you access to the additional courses that are added annually. The course is on-demand for the most part (besides the graded quizzes) and lets you go at your own pace.
DePaul University’s Content Marketing Seminar
If you don’t want to do an online course or take a lot of time, DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois offers a one-day course strictly on content marketing, with an emphasis on relationship marketing, marketing insights, and the importance of ROI in content marketing. Coming in at a reasonable $350, this course runs about six hours.
The University of California-San Diego Extension Content Marketing Course
This course runs weekly for about three months and is done in person or online at various times of the year. This UC-SD course highlights how to write content for several different industries and for a variety of different campaigns, like emails and long-form content. The online course is about $500 and the in-person course is slightly cheaper at $450.
Online Marketing Institute’s Content Marketing Certification
This course is similar to Content Marketing University but is offered through Online Marketing Institute. Classes include ‘Developing a Content Marketing Strategy,’ ‘Measuring Your Content Marketing Success’ and ‘Content Curation: Making B2B Content Marketing More Feasible,’ and cost about $900.
The end of the course has a final exam with exercises to ensure that you have learned the material, and it’s updated regularly to ensure it’s up-to-date.
Besides the well-known resources mentioned above, there are also several self-guided continuing education platforms, for which you pay a monthly membership or one-time fee. These platforms allow you to take content marketing courses specifically on the topics you’re interested in, without having to spend time in prerequisites or courses you aren’t likely going to use.
Some of the most popular online learning platforms that offer content marketing education are:
- Lynda.com ($19.99-29.99 per month): Lynda, part of LinkedIn, offers a variety of content marketing courses, from storytelling to staying relevant.
- SkillShare (Free-$12 per month): SkillShare offers some of its courses for free (which are all offered by industry experts), but you also must subscribe monthly in order to access its premium courses, including marketing psychology and power blogging.
- Coursera ($50/course to $50/month): Mentioned above, Coursera also brings courses from schools like the University of California-Davis and the University of Illinois. Most of these courses can be audited for free or require an enrollment or monthly membership fee to receive a certificate when completed.
Besides the above colleges and learning platforms, there are several case studies, guides and books available from some of the most well-known content marketers in the industry today, such as Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes and Mark Schaefer’s The Content Code. Because our industry is constantly changing, it’s important to always be learning, whether it’s a new course or actionable handbook. Consider your schedule, what you’d most like to learn, and your budget when it comes to taking advantage of all academia has to offer in content marketing.