In this episode, we officially kick off the content marketing training with Erika Varangouli! She is the Head of SEO Branding at Semrush. With about a decade of experience in SEO, Erika has worked with notable brands like Search Laboratory, Paddle, and Branded3.
In this introductory episode, she discusses;
NB: The teaching starts at 30:04
A massive thank you to Rickety Roo for sponsoring our content Marketing cohort.
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What Erika Does: Head of SEO Branding at Semrush
Noteworthy: Erika is also a public speaker, regular webinar host, and awards judge.
Connect with Erika;
💡 Defining Content Marketing
Erika addresses the challenge of defining content marketing, presenting different definitions from industry experts and organizations like the Content Marketing Institute and HubSpot.
She highlights the diversity of opinions regarding content marketing and the importance of having a strategic, targeted approach, addressing a specific audience, and having clear goals for content marketing initiatives.
💡 The Role of Content Marketing
Erika emphasizes the pivotal role of content marketing in promoting a brand, product, or idea. She points out that Google ranks content, users engage with content, and decision-making is influenced by the content consumers encounter. She believes that content marketing is the most effective cross-channel mechanism to market a business and achieve various goals.
💡Diversity of Content Formats
Erika showcases the diversity of content formats that can be considered content marketing. These include blog posts, social media posts, infographics, interactive content, videos, and more. She illustrates how content marketing can encompass a wide range of content types.
💡Content Marketing Goal
Erika discusses the various goals that content marketing can serve, such as attracting traffic, generating sales, nurturing a follower base, and building engagement. She highlights that content marketing strategies must align with specific objectives and that one size does not fit all.
Erika Varangouli 0:03
Super excited you have, I have to manage your expectations like this is the first time I’m doing it in terms of like teaching a class for a period of time. So you have to be very forgiving with my mistakes. But you also have to teach me as well, like you have to make me understand better your needs, what’s working, what’s not working. My only real ask is that you’re very honest. Like, if this is not working for you, if this is working well, if you need more or less, if it’s very boring, like, please don’t just snore on the call, like, tell me why it’s boring, or what we need to do to make it better. And after this short intro, I also wanted to explain a bit today’s session, right, this is our first session, we’re all based elsewhere, it’s online. Everywhere, and we’re all to a degree used to meeting people online and working with them.
However, I think that it would be good to spend a bit of time to get to know each other better. And for me, this would be great. If I am, like having better chances to to help you learn more over time. But also, like we’re humans, so we need to connect, I think on a human level in order to do a good job and be a class. So I’ve, I’ve kind of split this session in my head as half of it even more, it’s good. If it’s more of it, it’s fine. Just to get to know us better and to target and and socialise. And then the second half would be more like an intro to this course and and what my vision is, however, the caveat is that based on your answers, and our talks today, that might change, so I don’t have a fixed plan in my head, I have a plan. But I will be more than happy to change it based on today’s session.
So So let’s look at this session as a bit different tool, the rest that will come right, it’s it’s for us to get together as a class and and understand who we are, why we’re here. And a bit more about like what we like and what we don’t like. So can you confirm that you can see the email I sent you with a Google form in your emails? Yeah. The first time we will speak, I will address you, I need you to correct me if I spell your name wrong, right? Because like I’m not British, which is good, like Brits are terrible with names.
But I’m also like, not much better than that. So you need to tell me exactly how you want me to pronounce your names. Okay. So alright, if you all have the Google Form. I’m happy to have like a silent class for as much time as you need to answer the questions. Okay. And then at the end, click Submit. If you have any questions, or you as you do it, just unmute yourself and ask me. All right. All right. Let’s, let’s
sandra Tabansi 3:18
Hi, I’m Erica. I have a question. So in the parts that says, I have experienced in tick all that applies, it’s only allowing me to tick one. So should I just put in the part of other Should I just type in the other ones that I have experiencing? Should I just do that?
Erika Varangouli 3:44
Why does it do that? It was supposed to be multiple choice. Really? It only allows you to tick one? Yeah.
sandra Tabansi 3:54
Yeah. So we could just type out the remaining right it’s fine. Just type out copy and paste which
Erika Varangouli 4:02
Yeah, I’m sorry for the added work.
sandra Tabansi 4:06
No problem at all. It’s fine.
Speaker 1 4:12
Everyone’s still alive. Are you all sleeping? Okay. How are we looking? How’s it looking forever one? Don’t stress. Just checking. I see some answers have come through
Onize Muhammed 4:43
the question about my most proud achievements so far, either related to content of this generally.
Speaker 1 4:51
I love it to be general. It doesn’t have to be to content. So that’s why I didn’t put it in the content section. So you can put anything you want.
Onize Muhammed 5:00
Speaker 1 5:07
how’s it going team? is fine. Okay? Okay. Is anyone sleeping? Can we all shout? No at the same time? So I’m sure no one’s sleeping? No? No. Okay. All right.
Chitra Iyer 5:35
Has anyone shared their forms?
Erika Varangouli 5:39
No. So that’s my so is it okay? Because I do want us to have enough time to talk about this. So I didn’t realise it was gonna take this long. Is it okay, we say that within the next five minutes we can all completed? Or do you think you need more? It’s fine. If you do, I just need to understand like how much more time we need.
Onize Muhammed 6:05
Five minutes is fine.
Chitra Iyer 6:13
I thought some of the questions on your phone were interesting. Thank you nice, nice way to get to know a little something about someone.
Erika Varangouli 6:25
Thank you. Well, I hope it helps us all get to know each other. And my plan is to share like some stats and some overall kind of responses may be anonymized after the class today. So as soon as I have all
the responses I can analyse because it can it can show all of us like where we are as a class and who we are as people a bit. A bit a bit.
Speaker 4 6:58 We’re considering a lot of us do writing, I think we can just use that as a starting point to make out so.
Erika Varangouli 7:06
Okay, let’s call it. If you haven’t submitted your answers yet, I see we’re missing a few. Please do that, please do that after the call at the end of this lesson whenever you want, but it’s really important for me to get to know each one of you a bit better. And I’ll read all the responses. So for now, I also wanted to say I I love seeing faces, right? So but on the other hand, I know that video calls are a bit weird. Sometimes if you’re not comfortable with where you are, or whatever. If you can, and want turn your camera on, is great to be able to see your faces, it doesn’t matter where you are, how it looks or anything.
It’s just way, way better to see faces here. So yeah, that’s That’s me, you can see I’m in my living room, surrounded by my daughter’s toys, which is not very professional. But it’s really hard. So I cannot work from my office. So that’s where I am right now. So all right, let’s, let’s see some things like let’s see, I can share, we have seven responses so far. So I think I can even share my screen. Because you will not see. No, it will not see everyone’s name or who responded what. So this is fine. And I will also share with you afterwards. So can you see my screen? Yeah.
sandra Tabansi 8:43
Yes, we can. Perfect. All right.
Erika Varangouli 8:45
So initially, it was more like the boring questions like okay, well, what is what is it that we do or that we know maybe? I see so far from seven responses. I most have completed a bachelor’s degree and we have like a 14%. With a master’s degree. That’s one out of seven. Which is great. What? chime in what did you What is your degree on? What did you study?
Chitra Iyer 9:17
Are you asking anyone in particular? No, I
Speaker 1 9:19
want you to just chime in and have cows in this classroom for a bit like chime in what did what is your degree on?
Speaker 4 9:28
So I did an MBA right after college. I graduated in economics then I did an MBA and then I worked for 10 years. And then I did another Master’s in media and communications.
Erika Varangouli 9:42 Okay, so So you are very busy. You have kept very very busy. All right.
Chitra Iyer 9:50 Yeah, I’ve been working for a long time so
Erika Varangouli 9:54 Okay, what else who else I can I can go with mine as well if it makes people feel more comfortable like ice I studied, my degree was in law, but I hated it from the first moment I went into school until when I graduated. I’m from Greece. So that was all in Athens, by the way, many, many years ago. And then I did my Master’s in communications and Cultural Studies, which is what I really liked. So yeah, this is me, but I never practice law or anything. I still don’t know why I did it. It was so bad. So that’s me. Who else? What is your degree on?
sandra Tabansi 10:32 So my degree, I had a bachelor’s in marketing, actually. And, yeah, just That’s all that’s the only formal education I’ve had the other. I’ve just don’t courses online. And
Erika Varangouli 10:53 yeah, well, you know, Sandra, don’t don’t say it with a bit of an apologetic tone. Like, it’s not just the only education degree I have. It’s, it’s a lot. Like, one of the things I think many people don’t realise is though, especially in marketing nowadays, many successful people in marketing either did not study that or did not, like have did not complete a bachelor degree, right? They went into travelling, they went into practising, they went into, like learning on their own. And they’re doing an amazing job. So So for me, it’s more like to understand what kind of backgrounds we have people are like, Okay, who has the craziest degree here? Like the most impossible to connect with marketing? Is there anyone who started something completely crazy and Prints marketing?
Onize Muhammed 11:47 I started microbiology. Okay. All right.
Erika Varangouli 11:54 And did you hate it as much as I hated law, or?
Onize Muhammed 12:00 Since I left school, really, I’ve always avoided every opportunity to practice.
Speaker 1 12:06 Okay. All right, that that explains a lot. Good. Good to know. Thanks for Thanks for being courageous to say that.
Erika Varangouli 12:15 All right,
Mae Josémaria O. 12:15 well, I studied. I studied history in International Studies.
Erika Varangouli 12:21 History and international study.
Mae Josémaria O. 12:23 Yes. So but I didn’t like it too. So I have never done anything related to that. So but I’m trying to get a master’s in either digital marketing, marketing, communications or advanced implementation of market action. So that’s basically
Erika Varangouli 12:44 Okay. Wow, you know, when you’re an outsider, like, to me, this sounds super interesting. But I know everyone’s different. So that’s it. Like it’s not, it’s not the same for everyone. Let me just share a few more things in passing, and we will share more when I share the results. But currently, we have 50% of the people in the class working part. Freelancing sorry. So okay, that’s, that’s good. That’s like, half of the class right now or I responses is freelancing. And we also have, like, leave me alone. Okay. I’ll find you, wherever you are. I’ll find you from the answers. I’m already a big admirer. So thank you. So alright, a lot of freelancing work have worked in some capacity for content marketing. 123 years is actually more than half which is, which is a good kind of period to I think be exposed to different types of content and clients maybe. So. That’s interesting. And then while we have a very diverse background in terms of what content excellent I’m obviously your main expectations, be able 50% is be able to build content strategies independently. Amazing to you, I realised that I’m not too far off the planet half of the class. So that’s good for me. Now, let’s go into more interesting stuff. Where are you getting news from? Okay, the FCDC. Chima will be thrilled to know this. I’m sure. Some social media and combinations amazing and then my favourite content marketers. All right, Chima. David Tim Chima Anne Hanway. See? All right, there’s a lot of names here. That’s good. That’s great. All right. Okay. Yes, really? Okay. And then your dream companies. What would this be? Sem rush. are you stepping up to the teacher? No. And Google all right. Second Google buffer okay Lego or Singapore Airlines my own startup amazing. SEMrush okay, you’re definitely sucking up to the to do is copy paste or a Lego who said Lego? Please speak up?
Chitra Iyer 15:25 I did.
Erika Varangouli 15:27 Are you? okay? Lego? Why?
Speaker 4 15:31 Um, because I have two boys. And for the last six years, I mean up to me it wasn’t Lego so much that I fallen in love with Legos. And I love how they make their products and how they keep people engaged. Like I’ve seen my boys engaged with this product since from when they were three years old to now they’re 10 years old, and they still love it the same. So I think that’s super inspiring. If a brand can do that, and still be relevant for so many years. So yeah, that’s why
Erika Varangouli 15:58 I think it’s, it’s a very interesting choice because as you say, like it’s not just the product. I think they have amazing marketing as well. They’re very creative. So they engage with with children, but they have a great like product and marketing working together. But Okay, interesting. I see a lot of
Chitra Iyer 16:21 experiential kind of getting as well. Yeah,
Erika Varangouli 16:26 yeah. I see a lot of b2b as well own startup. That’s amazing. So that’s interesting. I was expecting to see more like fashion, a case included here who knows? Right? I find it extremely fun to comment on. So if you could be given more than half a million to do content marketing for a big brand, you would still take like a 10th of that. All of you to do for a smaller, like startup, please someone say why.
Ashleigh Ferguson 17:01 But I think for me, it was that the chances like it’s kind of where we’re at right now. It’s kind of inconceivable to think about having a 600,000. Budget for a big brand. Having to work with other brands I can see. Okay, can I use 60,000? Or 600,000? That’s kind of way way to high
Erika Varangouli 17:23 Okay,
sandra Tabansi 17:25 yeah, I will say same for me, I think a 60,000 budget for a tech startup. First off, I have a soft spot for startups, because I just love building from the ground up. There’s just so much that you so much that you can do from the foundation when you start, you know, with startups, so I’m more skewed to that.
Speaker 1 17:55
Okay, well, to be honest, I’m saying fun and commenting on it. But I think it shows a lot that we’re already at a great level in this class because I would expect people who are earlier on in their journey in content marketing, to say 600,000 Right in content marketing, you very often hear complaints about not having enough budget for content of not having money to do enough. And I think what people who are not very experienced don’t realise is that when you actually have a mature brand and product and you have a big budget that is where and you have like a very convoluted space very competitive space that is where it gets really really difficult to make your money go farther or to show the results and the value of spending less money so to be honest, for me this shows that that we are the level where we are already like understanding some major challenges in content marketing we all chose me so so I’m like I would like to see somos and know I would be given half a million I don’t know what I do but I still want to have it but it is great.
It’s a great indication for me that you know we are all at a good level of understanding of the challenges content marketing brings not just necessarily the easy ones to to understand. And would you rather have to market most of you said a long term commitment product versus a one time purchase which is also interesting I think let’s let’s move on because I like the fun questions was last summer winter. Everyone is summer okay, like me that’s good. It’s gonna go well, morning person or night owl. Okay, this is where it might not go very well. So most of your morning people I’m with a night out. So who’s who voted night owl? Okay, Sandra.
Yes. Well what’s the night out? You need to connect on Slack like me. Later Okay, cool. Oh, cool, although I am very envious of morning people, so maybe you can help me become more of a morning person because my daughter definitely doesn’t get night out. So would you rather be forced to listen to the same 10 songs on repeat for the rest of your life? Or the same five movies? Right? Okay, almost bled. Okay, people who said same 10 songs, which name one song that you would listen to? All the time and you would be fine,
Peris muthinja 20:34
I think for me, the song by Ken Rogers Music Man.
Erika Varangouli 20:40
Peris muthinja 20:41
now that that song, but I don’t know, every time I listened to it. I either learned something new or I relate it to my life is a pattern adjusting as it relates to my life. So I can’t even put it on play by the whole thing. And I don’t feel like it’s too much.
Erika Varangouli 21:08
Who was gonna say something?Festus? Is that how you pronounce your name? Is it?
Festus Eze 21:18
Yes. it’s festus
Erika Varangouli 21:22
Festus Okay, amazing name. So I’m calling you out. What did you answer in this segment?
Festus Eze 21:31
I rather Listen to a song of them watching movie. I’m not even listening to a song than watching movie. I’m not a movie person at all.
Erika Varangouli 21:40
Okay, which song name one song that you would listen to?
Festus Eze 21:46
No song in particular, but I would rather listening to a song than watching a movie.
Erika Varangouli 21:51
Okay. All right. And then someone who answered the movie. Tell me one movie you would see all the time that you would prefer over listening to songs. Pretty Woman. So read a woman right see? Which one
sandra Tabansi 22:14
Erika Varangouli 22:16
bridesmaid. Okay, so I’m I’m hearing a lot of like rom coms, or. Okay. All right, cool. It would be such an hour.
Erika Varangouli 22:29
You watch movies?
Mae Josémaria O. 22:31
No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t watch movies. I wouldn’t. But I wouldn’t listen to music either.
Mae Josémaria O. 22:37
I’ll watch something yeah but its not going to be movies. Yeah, I am more of an anime person. I’m an anime. An anime nerd. So I can watch. Anime is like, one piece naruto for a long time. I’m probably Hunter Hunter Hunter. So yeah, yeah, for enemies like that. I have seen some, at least three times. So
Erika Varangouli 23:08
okay, well, you’re talking to a major movie, kind of fan. So I’ve watched some films like 10 times already in my life. And that is not because I’ve had to so you know, but then on the other hand, when I like a song, I may just put it on repeat for a whole day too. And not be weird, but my husband is sometimes maybe he will kill himself if I do this very often. So. So okay, all right, I guess I mean, it’s more of the film thing. So may it counts, it’s fine, you’re not disqualified. And then have the ability to speak languages or play every musical instrument. Okay, at least in the end, we got some answers. Because initially, when we had like four responses, it was all about the ability to speak so good to know we have music lovers here. And okay, most would prefer these to be uncertain, but an adventure and one person.
I like to congratulate that person for not being afraid to admit this. Because when I was putting it down yesterday, I was like, Oh, I really love to answer safe, but then like something inside me tells me that everyone will think I’m very boring if I answer that. So but in reality, security and safety, yes. Well done. Well done to everyone. There’s no right or wrong answers. Ability to Okay, um, future and past self. Yes. 5050. All right. Okay. And I want to talk about achievements. bounce back from every bad day so far.
Yes. Raise my sons as a single parent for 10 years. Wow. Moving to a farm and earning a good living as a freelancer moving to the big city alone and paying for my first apparent works faced overcoming years of depression, pursue my desire to be a writer, winning a highly competitive grant. Wow, these are amazing things, right? I’m not just saying it to be nice or because like, this is what we do. But but these are all like testaments, not just do the resilience, but like how much you have already achieved. So one very important thing throughout this class throughout everything you do, like your jobs, everything, this is what I find about myself. It is very easy for some at least like for me to, to feel like I don’t deserve to be here that it’s very hard, I’m not going to do a good job. You know, I should try harder.
Please remind yourself. So now we’ll remind you to as we go, how many things we achieve. from lesson to lesson and course two course, from assignment to assignment. I want you to enjoy it. First of all, right? I know, for some of you, it may be tied to your business, making a living all of that, and I’m taking it very seriously. But on the other hand, like this is people getting together talking about something that they can shape, right, this is not astrophysics, right, it’s not set in stone, it’s not something we have to learn how it works, we shape how it works. And I want you to believe in yourself that you can shape content and content marketing in ways that hasn’t been shaped before you.
And this is why I like content marketing so far, right? You learn from some people, you follow people, you learn from what other people are doing and best practices. But it’s an open space for everyone to make a change contribution, a difference. So please remember that and always applaud yourself with every course. Maybe we should applaud ourselves at the end of every course. I don’t know. And three words my friends would say reliable, aggressive, determined, loyal, introspective, thoughtful, outspoken, kind, amazing. And three things I want to share about me, I’ll share these with you as well for sure. Introvert?
Good. I love that that that you say it here. I think I think the past few years, introverts have kind of like put on the sidelines. But some some of the most amazing minds have been introverts in history. I have a blog travel. Yes. All right. I’m gonna stop here. While we still have a bit of time. Thank you all I’m gonna send stuff around me before the coming sessions, we start with like something I read in the answers. And I’ll check with the person if they want to discuss it further. But maybe we will be allocating five minutes at the start of its session to get to know one of us a bit better. Okay, I think that would be great. There’s like 11 of us, I have to do it too, as well. So I think it’ll be good to get to know each other a bit better. Right. Now, I am going to share some of the findings. But this is extremely useful for me as well.
So thank you very much. I hope you enjoyed it a bit. And it wasn’t that annoying, or that kind of boring. And now here’s nothing. I I don’t like slides, but then I thought I’ll make a fool of myself in my first lesson. So I made some slides. But as I said, I don’t mind if we don’t go over them initially. For me, it was just to set the basics of content marketing, and then to to discuss your and show you what I envisage for course, and then just get us going properly from from our next session.
So let me very quickly share, and I’ll walk through some slides very fast. Don’t stress that we’ll incorporate them into the next session. Right, they can work as as the the starting point for our next session. So that’s absolutely fine. Let me find it. Okay. All right. So here. Okay, I hope you can all see my screen now as well. Let me know No. What did you see? Do you see my screen like the deck?
Sandra Tabansi 29:20
Yes, content marketing week one.
Erika Varangouli 29:23
Okay. All right, just an intro. I’m gonna go very quickly. Because I know we only have like eight minutes left or so. So this is me. I’m Erica. Currently, I’m the Head of International Brandman SEMrush. But soon, we’ll announce like a change in my role. I’m going to start something a bit more exciting and SEMrush this is how you can reach me like usually my email or LinkedIn is where I’m a bit more responsive. And when I introduce myself properly next week at the start of the session, I’m going to tell you a bit more about my background, but I don’t want anyone to snore during my lessons, so I will not spend too much time on that right.
I’ve been in SEMrush for almost four years now, working as the director of organic search, which means I started working with content on the global content strategy for SEMrush. Then I took over the whole SEO team, so the technical side as well. And then I moved to the brand department and the international brand. And next week, I’m going to tell you about my new adventure. So all right, here’s a question what is content marketing? I cannot imagine a single most boring question to start a content marketing course on but it’s inevitable. So this is the definition that is widely accepted as the best one is from the Content Marketing Institute. This is a definition we have on our site. And this is a definition from HubSpot. So I don’t expect you to read that fast. Like I cannot read that fast.
Here’s more from maybe Mel Chimp, this one is, and then here’s more insights from some industry experts, right? Simplifying it. So you will see that all these definitions are not necessarily clear, or they don’t agree on everything, right? Content Marketing Institute is about creating content with a clearly defined audience, which is relevant and valuable. And it has a target to drive profit. But then, you know, our definition or hotspots are much more simple, like, Okay, you may have a purpose, you create stuff to attract leads, or to maintain traffic, and interest. So no one agrees. Like, I think Andy’s was very interesting, because it’s like making things that help people do things in their real lives. That is quite general. Right. But Andy’s talking about offering solutions to people when they need them through content. Right?
And then Monica, for example, who’s the Head of Content Marketing? Yeah, that sounds like communicating with people without selling. Okay, so. So that is quite different to the definition of, of creating content that is valuable for specific audiences in order to drive some sort of action. Right. And, and Monica says, Well, you know, you do it, but without selling. So Wow. I was like, Oh, I always hate this discussion about what is content marketing. And I had a previous director of SEO in a previous role, telling me like content marketing is not a thing, because it’s content and content is everything. So is it. So for the basics if this course let’s just agree on some things, right.
Here’s an investor PDF page. Right? It’s it’s a blog post about what is the difference between something I don’t know when something else? I don’t know. Do you think this is content marketing? I can not see your faces. So you can just shout yes, no, or whatever? Yes. Okay. What about this, this is a tweet from Ryanair. Who replies to a tweet from a customer in a hilarious way, in my opinion, is this content marketing or not? I think it is. Okay. What about this, like, this is a an infographic from one of our blog posts about user behaviour on Amazon. Is this content marketing?
Unknown Speaker 33:37
Yep? Yeah, sure.
Erika Varangouli 33:40
What about the old man in the sea from Ernest Hemingway? Is that content marketing?
Onize Muhammed 33:47
I don’t think so.
sandra Tabansi 33:49
Is it the the front page of the book or the book?
Erika Varangouli 33:53
Yeah, it’s run by it. But like, I’m talking about the actual like novel, is it? Is it content marketing?
Erika Varangouli 34:01
No. Okay. So this is literature. Okay. So let’s agree that content marketing is not just old content out there. Right. So I think sometimes content marketers lose their arguments because they baptised everything content marketing. So not every content out there is content marketing. The way I see it, it requires at least three elements, right, a strategic and targeted approach. So it’s not just content we make for the sake of doing it. It’s part of a it’s part of a plan. It’s part of a very methodical approach. It has to address an audience right and tailor the message for that audience or audiences. And it has to have a goal or many goals depending that you can not just called Content Marketing, something that you put out there somewhere you kind of know your audience but you don’t measure it. You don’t benchmark against some goals. And let’s not decide right now if it’s okay on Whether it sells or doesn’t sell, because I think this is a much more complicated matter that we will answer at the end of this series of courses.
Now, examples are all of these things, right? So I agree with all of you before, Ernest is not content marketing, everything else is plus much more. Like we’ve divided them and like if and if you see just the formats, like you can have interactive formats, video, PDFs, text, visuals, why are we talking about it? We did a survey, we do it every year, an annual survey, I’m not going to be pushing SEMrush by the way, every time, it’s just that I have this. I worked on them for a long time, so that I’m very familiar with them. So we surveyed 1000s of content marketing. And we do it every year, when we asked them, like, what are their goals for 2023? With content marketing, you can see how many different goals they have.
And it’s not like, it is a multiple choice question, right? So people can have more goals, Wisconsin marketing. And what stands out, I think, is that content, for example, to attract traffic should be or must be very different content that generates sales or leads, right, or content that nurtures a follower base or builds engagement. So when we’re talking about content marketing, we’re talking about so many diverse profiles and strategies, that is almost impossible to just put in one line, your kind of definition, or workflow or anything, so we’re gonna do our best, I’m gonna do my best. So there’s one simple reason we talk about it, right?
I think, no matter the stage, your business is that or your business goals, achieving them will probably have to go through content marketing, at least at some point. And probability rate for me is like 99 point 99%. So if you look at it, at very top level, Google ranks content users they search for, and they engage with content, they make decisions consciously based on the content they have consumed. At some point, right at multiple points in that journey, they don’t just wake up one morning and say, I’m gonna buy an iPhone, it’s a, it’s a process, that in different stages, is informed by the content they come across.
So for me, content marketing is the single most effective cross channel mechanism, you have right to market, your business, your product or your ideas. And very quickly, this is how I see us working in this course, right? I’ve separated the main phases, like a top level that you can have in content marketing, and one is research and planning. Number two is creating the content you’ve planned for. And number three is what happens after launching it right is distributing it, getting it to work reporting on it, and then reviewing it, when you have to end this is my overall idea of how to approach this courses.
So what to expect. First, you are in charge, I don’t want to have a weekly session where you come in and I do this, I just show you slides, and I toggle the time. And then nothing happens. Instead, you each one of you will be responsible for creating the content strategy for your new client, which will email you very soon after this call. So what does this mean, we will have a simple format. Each week, we will be talking about an area of content marketing from the three phases, I will prepare a few things to share with you at the start, then I want us to be having kind of like a workshop, a workshop. So discussing how it fits into your initial idea of the strategy you want to build.
And then every week you will have short assignments to complete for the next week. All right, so every week, when we come in after the first lesson, we will have discussions on the assignments of last week. At the end of the course, my goal is that each one of you has built a full content strategy for real brand, you can include it in your portfolio, you can just look at what you imagined initially and how you ended up building. In the end, you can do whatever you want with it. This is yours. You can pitch to the brand to say look at this as part of my course. And I just wanted to put it to you can do whatever you want with it. But you will have a tangible result, which is you will have built a full content strategy on your own right, not me, it won’t be me. And then only some ground rules, right? I think only smart people ask questions. So you need to be asking questions during our sessions.
If I don’t hear questions, if I don’t hear about No, I don’t agree. I am really concerned. You can contact me at any point between sessions via email or on LinkedIn. I think this is cool. You can use AI for example, changing the add on have any problems with that for any assignment, all of them part of them, but I will need you to disclose it, because then we can have some very interesting conversations around how you used it, if it was better or worse than what you expected and all of it. So that’s the only reason I want to know, right, it’s new for all of us. If you don’t complete an assignment on time, please make every effort to complete it together with the next one. So as one assignment that is a bit bigger, I think if you end up missing more than one, and then it’s too, it’s gonna be a bit difficult to complete everything on time, right. So this is just to set your expectations.
But I’m mindful of everyone’s time, I’m also a mom working full time. And I know that we don’t have tonnes and tonnes of hours to work on things. So I’ll make sure the assignments can be done. within reasonable times, if they’re not, you need to let me know between sessions and say, Erica, I struggle to do this, I need help or I need to simplify it. And then that’s it, your new client will email you soon. Tomorrow, at the latest today, tonight, tomorrow, and you will see your assignment and your task. Until next week. So that’s it. All right, kind of managed to do it on time. thoughts and questions?
Chitra Iyer 41:24
I’m gonna stay with the same assignment for the whole course like the same client and like create client.
Erika Varangouli 41:31
Yes, yes, you will. And I will assign it part of the parameter was also to inform me, but then you all went and chose the same things in some answers. So I will just use a randomizer to assign it to you. Whether you like it or not, I think it’s a good exercise, especially if you don’t like the client, right? I think especially if you get assigned something that you’re not comfortable with. You don’t like what they sell, you know, whatever, it is a great opportunity.
Because like this is part of what we do as content marketers. If we want to accept a client or a job, maybe it’s not the dream client or job and we still have to bring results. So I’ll do my best to not put there like Lego because I love Lego would love to work for Lego and I would have 10,000 ideas. So Chitra, I’m sorry, just to manage expectations. But let me know if there’s a real problem that you see with you and the client that has approached you for this. Okay. Okay.
All right. Well, thank you very much. It has been great. I’m already looking forward to our next session. I will help me. Your clients will email you soon. And then you’re gonna get in touch for any questions or anything else you need before next session, right or on Slack. Like we have slack Chima would beat me up if I forgot that we have also slack so you can contact me there. Yeah, cool. Once thank you so much for coming guys rest of the week.
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