Not to be TOO forward, but…
I know why you’re looking for content marketing workshop exercises.
I suspect you know content marketing is on fire. 🔥
…and maybe you heard that content marketing is worth $400 billion (and growing).
With numbers like that, hosting a content marketing workshop isn’t just a smart idea right now, it’s a brilliant idea.
So…if you’re wondering what happens in a content marketing workshop, I got you. 💪
If it’s a productive meeting, there will be exercises.
And to make good use of your team’s time, the exercises should be helpful and specific.
So I’ve put together a list of the MOST effective workshop exercises for content marketing that you can use to build real-life skills for your team.
These real-world assignments are not only fun, but they’ll also teach your workshop participants a lot about content marketing (in a bite-sized session).
All this will save you and your team a ton of time, while also introducing everyone to the wonderful (and lucrative) world of content marketing.
I’ve taught workshops and courses to teams like NextGen Healthcare, Airbnb, Cleveland Clinic, to name a few, since 2017. It’s been life-changing to see firsthand the fresh inspiration and knowledge my attendees walk away with. I recorded this video for my YouTube channel after teaching a four-hour workshop in-person at Next Gen Healthcare, in Irvine, California:
Here are my 9 lessons from teaching content marketing workshops for the past 4 years.
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Top Benefits of a Content Marketing Workshop
Have you hosted a content marketing workshop yet (or brought in an outside practitioner to teach one for your team)?
If not, don’t wait (seriously)! ⏰
I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of gathering your team and running through these content exercises with them – regardless of the size of your company.
It’s true that content marketing is the only marketing left. Meaning, a modern marketer’s focus should be on creating worthwhile content (instead of pursuing traditional advertising methods).
Need proof? Nearly 80% of all major brands have a 1-3 person content marketing team. And what are these teams up to?
Well, more than anything, they’re writing and publishing blogs.
Those skyrocketing numbers are just one of the reasons why you should make gathering the team for a content workshop a top priority. 📅
I promise… it’s completely worth it. There are plenty of ways a content marketing workshop can help your business, including:
- Creating a sense of teamwork and camaraderie
- Developing an idea of marketing goals
- Taking control over your business’s marketing needs and avoiding cheap marketing tactics that fail in the long run
- Uncovering new ideas from team members who are in the trenches with the inner workings of your business
- Learning how to build a content strategy that teaches leaders how to delegate content tasks
- Clarifying and establishing marketing roles within content
- Helping your team members build sought-after digital marketing skills quickly
- Establishing trust by creating open lines of communication
A content marketing workshop like this can be a game-changer for your business. Because when it comes to building (and maintaining) your content strategy, a key building block is a stream of relevant, timely, and helpful ideas for content that serves your target audience. Making sure your team has the knowledge and skills needed to help with content is going to be essential so your business can keep growing and improving.
How Do I Start a Content Marketing Workshop?
Before you dive into your content marketing workshop exercises, it’s important to get all the attendees warmed up.
According to a Yale University study, warming up the brain improves learning ability. So, whether you’re all gathered in an office or zooming from across the globe, make sure to break the ice to get everyone psychologically prepped to learn. 🧊
If you just cringed at the thought of a high-energy social interaction, fear not. You know how athletes warm up before practice so that their bodies (and minds) are prepped to learn and retain information?
Your marketing team’s needs are no different. (Besides the preventing injury part. I assume your content marketing workshop will be tackle-free.)
So, before you jump into these hands-on exercises, take a moment to get your group warmed up.
Here are some examples of different types of icebreakers to help inspire your content marketing workshop warmup schedule:
- Ask: What’s your favorite thing that’s happened today? (Get people into a positive mindset.)
- Ask: What’s the story behind your first name? (Get to know your participants and encourage them to become more comfortable with other attendees.)
- Host: A one-minute meditation. (If this fits the vibe of your team, it’s a fast way to bring calm and focus to the workshop. Plus, meditation is a secret to the mindset of high achievers and top creators.)
- Play: Classical music in the background. (To inspire creative thinking.)
- Challenge: How far can you shoot a rubber band? 🎉 (Bring in rubber bands and test it out for a playful and hands-on warmup.)
By the way, ALL of these characteristics are built into my content marketing workshops, starting at $199 per seat. 💥
Feel free to get creative – you’ve probably got your own interesting questions or ideas up your sleeve. 💡 These content marketing workshop warmup exercises are a great opportunity to not only prep people’s minds, but there’s an added bonus where you get to discover new things about the individuals on your team.
So now that your group is nice and warmed up, you’re ready to dive into some digital marketing workshop topics and exercises to introduce content strategy to your business. ✏️
9 Content Marketing Workshop Exercises
So, what is a marketing strategy workshop? It’s a meeting you run with your team to examine current online marketing efforts (while introducing new skills). And these days, it’s all about the content.
Content. Is. HUGE.
I’m not making this up….content marketing brings in 3x more leads than traditional paid searches and costs 62% less.
So let’s not waste another moment. Here are the most impactful content marketing workshop exercises you can facilitate with your team. Proven, hands-on, and effective. 💥
1. Write a Tweet for Twitter
Just because statistics show brands get more leads the more blogs they publish doesn’t mean you can ignore social media. These well-loved platforms are part of the biggest picture of your content strategy, and you can absolutely grow leads and revenue through social media (on top of other things).
So, for your first content marketing workshop exercise, ask your team to write a Tweet. To get them inspired, share some brand examples.
Once your group has an idea of what other brands are doing with their Tweets, it’s time to have them create their own.
This enjoyable content marketing workshop exercise could look like:
- Ask each attendee to create a Twitter account and complete their profile, so they get familiar with the platform.
- Let them know Tweets have a 280 character limit, but a 71-100 character post will perform best.
- Assign separate, relevant topics to each team member.
- Set a 10-minute time limit and ask them to write down as many Tweets as they can think of.
- Have the group share their ideas and vote on favorites.
BONUS STEP: There are some excellent content marketing tools out there that can help you stay organized with your social media posting. If you’re already using one, feel free to incorporate scheduling your team’s tweets into this exercise. (Look at you go – it’s the first exercise and you’re already creating content WHILE teaching content 🤘.)
Your social media workshop exercises don’t have to stop with Twitter. Consider expanding this workshop exercise in content marketing to include creating more posts for the other social media platforms that are best for your business.
2. Create a Blog Headline
This is one of my favorite content workshop ideas out there. It’s simple, straightforward, and involves some creativity – meaning participants tend to really enjoy this one.
Knowing how to build a fantastic blog headline that gets people to click is a key skill for content marketers.
Want to really gauge the skill of your team with this particular content marketing workshop exercise? Get into the nitty-gritty of writing online content and ask them to create a blog outline based on an assigned keyword.
Even for beginner content writers, I find this exercise is incredibly helpful – the teaching opportunities for proper structure, research, and outlining can be an invaluable part of your workshop.
3. Pick a Press Release Headline
Bosses, make sure everyone on your team joins in on this content marketing workshop exercise.
Press release writing is an often-overlooked skill for those who aren’t content marketing masters. But it shouldn’t be.
Getting your brand’s press releases published on the best PR sites is actually wildly important for brand exposure. It can get your business in front of the top news outlets, journalists, bloggers, and influencers. 🎇
And no, it’s nothing like writing a blog. But luckily, press release writing is a teachable skill that most top content marketers possess.
Let’s keep this exercise in your content marketing workshop simple…
- Ask your marketers to search the web for recent press releases.
- Have them save the headlines they felt were compelling (the ones they wanted to read).
- Go around the room (or Zoom) and share everyone’s favorites.
- Discuss what they believe makes them work.
This exercise is a great way to introduce press releases to your marketers or team members who may be unfamiliar with what they are and what they do.
Sure, they can seem intimidating, spammy, unimportant, hard to write, and worst of all… they often get rejected (and no one wants to spend time writing a press release just to get it dragged into the trash folder of a major news outlet’s inbox).
But what if I told you there’s a proven press release writing formula that will get your PR accepted every single time?
HINT: In the writing agency I built, I saw 3,000+ press releases we wrote have a 100% success rate.
Don’t overlook the importance of press releases when it comes to your content marketing. It matters.
4. Research a Hot Topic
Watching audiences ignore your content can be heartbreaking.
But content that’s timely and relevant is less likely to go unnoticed. 🔎
This is why it’s super important for trustworthy and relevant brands to stay on top of what’s happening in the zeitgeist (especially within your niche).
For example, when Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s name was changing to Meta, countless savvy brands sprang into action by creating content around this trending topic.
So in this content marketing workshop exercise, ask your team to use BuzzSumo’s Trending feature to uncover current topics that are getting tons of engagement.
After you’ve shown your team where to access the trending subject matter, ask them to use the content data they find to create a blog topic idea related to your business. This is a great way to teach others how to do keyword research.
Plus, depending on your niche, this can be a really fun way to get creative juices flowing – while also gathering some blog topic ideas for your editorial calendar. (Once your team learns how to create content for your business, you can establish a strategic and coordinated approach to sourcing topic ideas.)
BONUS: Have participants use their SEO knowledge from the other content marketing workshop exercises on this list and pick a focus keyword for the blog. Here’s a list of free DIY SEO tools to try.
Don’t skip this one.
Teaching yourself or your marketing team REPEATABLE and SUSTAINABLE content data research techniques will be monumentally helpful in skyrocketing your business’s content marketing success. 🚀
5. Pick & Research an Imaginary Niche
Although your business niche is likely already established, this can be a really exciting exercise to present to your team during your content creation workshop.
Have your team pretend to be a freelancer and pick a niche they’d like to write in. Then, have them list the services they provide in this industry. This can be an eye-opening exercise to see how many different services can be offered across different industries, and will help your team develop a deeper understanding as to why you offer the services you do. That way, they can write to those services (and sell them) much more efficiently with crystal clear awareness. 🔮
6. Find a “Candidate” Online
This entertaining content marketing workshop example will show your team exactly what you’re looking for when you hire.
Give them specifics to your process such as:
- Which websites you use to find candidates
- Buzzwords you look for on a resume
- Red flags you look for on a resume
- Length of experience required
- Things to look for within a portfolio
Once you’ve explained the details about how you hire, let your team go explore the internet.
Task them with looking for candidates that they would be interested in interviewing for a possible new hire.
This is an important exercise to test the waters of delegation.
Which you’ll need to do… because delegation becomes increasingly important when it comes to building and scaling your writing agency.
In fact, it was important even back when you were learning how to start a content writing business.
As a boss or entrepreneur, knowing when and what to delegate is ALSO a teachable skill that you can practice in your content workshop.
As for your participants, playing a game of “scavenger hunt” during your content creation workshop is a great way to put newly learned skills to work right away. 🕵️
7. Find a Spot for an Internal Link
When you see a brand’s blog on the first page of Google, you’re safe to assume someone on their team knows a thing or two about search engine optimization (SEO).
And no content marketing workshop would be complete without an SEO exercise.
There are 7 billion searches PER DAY on Google. And knowing how to direct searches to your website is how you bring new leads and customers to your business online.
And luckily, your team can easily learn how to do technical SEO (and as a bonus, SEO is actually really fun, too). Seriously, just imagine how exciting it would feel to rank #1 for a specific keyword.
P.S. It’s even more fun when you learn the #1 result in Google searches gets 32% of ALL clicks from that page. Ending up on the first page isn’t bad for business, to say the least.
So, don’t wait another moment to begin practicing SEO with your marketers.
In this exercise, we’re going to have your team find a spot on your website for an internal link. Internal linking is just one piece of technical SEO, but it’s important because it gives Google and website visitors more paths to explore through your website.
To complete this exercise, do the following:
- Make a shared list of all your blogs and their corresponding focus keywords (using Google Sheets or another collaborative tool).
- Share the list with your team members.
- Ask your participants to search through your blogs and website for those focus keywords, seeking out opportunities for internal links.
- Have them insert an internal link to the original blog in other places where they find that keyword.
Voilà! You and your team are on the way to conquering technical SEO and small business blogging.
BONUS: Did someone on your team really excel at this? Ask them to set a weekly reminder to check the week’s published posts and find places for a few internal links. 🔗
8. Show-and-Tell a Great Website
As an entrepreneur, you know having control over your website is important. But as you grow, you’ll need help.
And since 90% of content gets no traffic at all, there are obviously some secret tricks that only 10% (or less!) of websites are using.
Sure, you could pour thousands of dollars into hiring a web developer you have to ping every time you need a small change.
Or you could go into it blindly, throwing something up yourself without any knowledge as to what works and why, and then watching your efforts go unnoticed as your site gets ignored.
So… what is the best route for creating a great website? 🌐
TEACHING your team how to make a website that gets visitors, conversions, and is easily managed with accessible data.
One of my favorite marketing exercises for workshops is having teams find and present a website they like. Then, have them explain why they like it.
Usually, people pick their selections because the websites look good. This is a great learning opportunity to point out what you know to be true about a good website. On top of aesthetics, a GREAT site will have an established flow that guides visitors on a path to becoming leads and customers.
9. Write a Product Description
Let’s say your team has mastered content writing and blog post SEO, and you’ve got people coming to your site.
Sure, it’s super exciting to see that traffic pouring in once you launch your content strategy.
But hold up. 🛑
Are these visitors actually converting?
Because the majority of website visitors leave and never return.
Just check your analytics.
This is why product descriptions are I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-Y important. In my Content Marketing for Ecommerce course, we cover exactly how you can set up your products to sell like wildfire without pouring money into online ads.
So, for this content marketing workshop exercise, have your participants write a product description. Here’s how:
- Assign each person a different product.
- Give them specifics on how long the description should be along with your brand tone.
- Ask them to research relevant keywords and pick one using SEO writing techniques.
- Explain that these descriptions should focus on informing people of the benefits of features, and what the lead stands to gain by becoming a customer.
- Give everyone 10 minutes to work on crafting a killer product description including their keyword(s).
- Share the descriptions with the team and discuss what works and what doesn’t.
What you don’t want to do is let your team underestimate the power of SEO when it comes to your ecommerce store. It’s an important factor to success.
Power Up Your Content Marketing Workshop Exercises
Every business has different content needs.
But to keep up in this changing world, every business needs to know (and practice) content marketing skills.
How do I know this?
I created and grew my own seven-figure writing agency working with content for all kinds of different industries and niches.
So, believe me when I say I know how to make content marketing work for you and your team. If you’re a driven entrepreneur like me, I can show you my secrets to success – that way, we can supercharge your team to build your brand through content and save you TONS of valuable time.
Are you ready for impact, reach, and success?
Then quit guessing what works. It’s time to invest in your marketers, your brand, and your future. Apply for a spot in The Content Transformation System.
Just imagine what your business – and your life – could look like once you and your team members have the most sought-after marketing knowledge and skills out there.