Collaborative Curriculum Marketing

Create less content, benefit more.

What is curriculum marketing?

Curriculum marketing is an educational approach to inbound marketing. It’s about creating learning resources that teach your ideal customers to be successful in ways that matter to them, both with and without you.

Curriculum marketing combines top-of-funnel content marketing with lower-funnel product marketing. We can design it in a way that bakes in our products and services in ways that are relevant and valuable to readers.

curriculum marketing is where content marketing and product marketing overlap to create more value for the consumer

Do you make a great tool for cooking? Then you should be teaching people to cook—both with and without your solution. Making a job hunting software product? Create curriculum that teaches them to job hunt successfully—and where your product fits in, don’t hesitate to plug it.

Why is curriculum marketing effective?

When executed well, curriculum marketing is particularly effective thanks to these key trends:

Active learning Enrollment
Content as a Product Convenience

How do we create effective curriculum marketing?

Start by having the right mentality: to create remarkable, market-fitting educational content that helps your ideal customers learn and do what they are curious about or need help with.

Create the best resources on the Internet—something that stands apart, on its own two feet—a product of its own. Treat content just like your core product—you released an MVP, hopefully, and then refined it over time with user feedback and split testing.

Content is the same. Sprint to release the first version of your Ultimate Guide to Doing a Thing. Ship the version that’s good enough. Then, invest in it over time.



A basic guide

Think of this as your minimum viable content. It’s focused entirely on providing the value itself, without any frills.



A better guide

Think of this as your minimum viable content. It’s focused entirely on providing the value itself, without any frills.



A badass guide

Think of this as your minimum viable content. It’s focused entirely on providing the value itself, without any frills.



A curriculum

Think of this as your minimum viable content. It’s focused entirely on providing the value itself, without any frills.

Create content for every stage of the funnel, including customer success/retention. Create content that both helps people do things with your product and without it. Have faith in this process, and you will discover the business results it unlocks.

Ungate your awareness-level educational resources—publish them for free, and package them into downloadable assets via an email capture form.

If your resources are high-quality, you’ll benefit from relevant organic search traffic. And, you’ll earn more qualified leads, becuase they’ve had a chance to validate that your content is valuable to them.[1]

Make it comprehensive and beautiful, make it better than everything else already published on that topic. And make it a point to optimize it just like a landing page—use heat maps, A/B test content and meta tags, etc.

Run ads against your new educational content to find the holes in your bucket. Measure clickthrough rates, quality scores, time on page, scroll depth, bounce rates, conversion rates, and more.

Invest in UX, too. For example, create a fixed-position table of contents that is always accessible to desktop site visitors. Regularly edit and improve your resources for readability, clarity, and value.

Don’t just settle on your website, though. Repurpose your educational resources in as many formats as possible, on every platform. Create downloadable eBooks, scrollable carousels for Instagram, infographics for Pinterest, horizontal and vertical video, everything!

repurposing content starts with a topic idea that becomes horizontal and vertical video native on each platform, pillar guides and supporting content on your website, which are then cross-published and accompanied by carousels and infographics as well as audio, all culminating into paid ads and newsletter

And so on, so forth. Make it easy for your ideal customers to trust your brand as a source of knowledge, and to say “yes” to what you can offer them beyond learning.

Create trustworthy, independently branded educational marketing resources that stand for themselves and promote products in ways that are truly relevant and helpful to readers.

This is key: it can’t just become another ad channel. It must remain, first and foremost, a valuable educational resource in itself. The product promotion can never get in the way of that.

That’s why, in order to create the most valuable possible resources for our ideal customers, we need to limit the amount of repeated information that’s available online—the noise. We need to create a stronger signal.

This is where the next key component comes into play: collaborating with industry partners to create fewer, better resources for your shared audiences.

Why should we collaborate on curriculum?

Collaborating is better for your marketing budget, and it’s better for your ideal customers.

Organic search is by far the most competitive and zero-sum channel for user acquisition. It’s so sought-after today because it provides nearly endless free website traffic to the top organic results: roughly 75% of all search traffic goes directly to the top three results.[2]

For every billion-dollar industry, for every niche customer segment, there are at least a handful of brands creating content that they hope will bring them some kind of ROI. And, these days, Google rewards content quality and relevance more than domain authority.[3]

When several brands try to produce the best Internet resource on a topic, it creates additional noise for consumers of that content. After a while, it’s practically impossible to distinguish between various “Ultimate Guides” on a given topic.

While, in theory, this is good for quality—competition increases quality—it results in wasted resources for so many startups trying to leverage content marketing. These companies don’t have competing business models, yet they’re competing for organic traffic—the same organic traffic.

That’s why we’ve determined that the solution is to collaborate with complementary brands that seek to attract and retain the same kinds of customers as you. By pooling resources to create the best quality content, and less of it, you’re both contributing to better content and stretching your marketing budget further.

When you and other brands each contribute budget and industry knowledge to a single, shared Ultimate Guide, it will stand out—your market will notice, click, read, share, and convert.

This is what we call collaborative curriculum marketing.

In summary

I truly believe that this approach is the best way to stay ahead of the increasingly competitive SEO and content landscape, to attract, convert, and retain the specific kinds of people you want to connect with.

Collaborating on curriculum results in better content, more consumer trust/brand loyalty, stronger communities, and stronger SEO wins.

Collaborative curriculum marketing will be the golden ticket to content marketing as an acquisition channel in the 2020s.

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  1. ^ Ungated content conversion performance
  2. ^ Google clickthrough rate stats
  3. ^ Insights into Google’s ranking preferences

PubLoft strategists have successfully executed ROI-positive curriculum marketing for dozens of brands.

See the outcomes