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Improve Your Content Marketing Program With Slow-Time Ideas



Improve Your Content Marketing Program With Slow-Time Ideas

The lazy days of summer are the perfect time to clear the haze from your content marketing program.

Sources and approvers take vacations, which can throw off your program’s pace. Instead of letting that frustrate you, why not use the downtime – and extra resources, if you’re fortunate enough to have summer interns – productively?

I’m not advocating that you push yourself and your team out of the relaxed zone and into the extreme sports zone. But you can work on useful things that don’t necessarily require much brain power (or close supervision) but fall off the priority list during busier times.

The results will inform and improve your content marketing strategy year-round. Try some of these ideas.

1. Dig into your analytics manually

Sure, you can pull a lot of automated analytics reports about your content. But I bet you don’t get every number you want in the package or format you want.

For example, I have a client who distributes an email newsletter through a marketing hub provider. The platform’s analytics list open and click-through rates alongside each issue title. But there’s no option to create a report with the results from every issue in a single spreadsheet.

To compare results or identify trends, I’d have to manually enter the data into a spreadsheet. It’s a time-sucking task that I never get around to doing.

I hired some help this summer and put that task on his to-do list. When he finishes, I’ll have a big-picture view I can use to update the editorial strategy.

Here’s another example: Dig into your click-to-tweet performance. Do you know whether placement (beginning, middle, or end of the article) affects the number of clicks? What about who’s tagged in the tweet?

The point is to identify available data – quantitative or qualitative – that requires (or benefits from) manual work to make it more helpful to your content marketing program.

Identify available data that needs manual work to make it useful to your #ContentMarketing. Put interns or extra resources to work on that, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

2. Listen to and watch your content

Ensuring content accessibility is a smart marketing strategy – and the right thing to do.

You probably write alt text for your images, use Pascal case for your hashtags (#SummerLull, not #summerlull), and provide captions for your videos. (If not, start there.)

But have you ever experienced your content as people who are blind, deaf, or have vision or hearing impairment might? Take the time to do it now.

Have you experienced your content the way people who are blind, deaf, or have vision or hearing impairments might? @AnnGynn suggests you try it via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Download text-to-speech software and feed your most popular written content assets into it. How is the listening experience? Are there commonly used acronyms, terms, or phrases that don’t translate well to the ear? Are there other glitches you could remedy by editing the content or avoiding in the future?

Download speech-to-text software or read – word for word ­ the assistance you already provide (i.e., video captions and transcripts). Are the spoken words easily translatable into text? Do the terms you use have multiple spellings that could cause confusion? How is background sound translated or disclosed in the text?

Review a few pieces of content in each format, then note and share potential trouble spots with your content creators. That way, they can avoid them in the future.


3. Create almost-finished evergreen or predictable content

Get a head start now on creating some content pieces you know you’ll need in the next six months or so.

Identify planned content that doesn’t involve many other people (scheduling time with them can be hard in the summer). Content pieces that are updates or refreshes of things you wrote last year are good candidates, whether they’re articles, infographics, videos, e-books, or other types.

Then get to work. Note what might need to be reviewed or updated closer to the publishing date.

During slow periods, get a head start on creating content pieces you know you’ll need some time in the next six months, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

4. Transform top-performing content into other formats

Many content marketing programs focus on a single content type for their primary channel (think articles on their website or videos on their YouTube channel). But you can add something different to your mix without much effort.

Convert some of the highest-performing content on your primary channel into new formats or try publishing on lesser-used channels:

  • Turn a how-to blog into a step-by-step infographic
  • Turn a video into a handful of images and publish a carousel on Instagram
  • Turn a webinar into an article

Yes, these are content repurposing opportunities, but they’re also ways to discover new audience preferences for formats or distribution channels.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 7 Ways To Repurpose Content and Grow Your Customer Base 

5. Add content accouterments

Maybe you’ve met your publishing deadlines by skipping small but important aspects of the content – timestamps, episode descriptions, captions, customized excerpts, meta descriptions, etc. Wait, you’d never do that, right?

OK, let’s say you’ve inherited a program where those elements weren’t understood or valued. Maybe your predecessor felt their absence wouldn’t affect content performance or even be noticed. After all, if someone fails to write a caption, the public-facing page doesn’t say “caption needed here” (unless something’s gone very wrong).

Even with the best intentions, you typically don’t have time to go back and finish adding those content accouterments. And if no one tracked which assets need these little content updates, the task takes even longer.

Try this approach to tackle the updates during your slow time:

  • Create a checklist of must-have items for each content asset type.
  • Decide on the period you want to address (last six months, a year, a set of years, etc.)
  • Create an inventory of assets that need review.
  • Review each item for all the necessary elements and check them off as completed.

Bonus: Onboard summer staff for potential year-round work

I’ve heard companies say they resist bringing in summer interns or other temporary staff because, by the time they get up to speed, they’re almost ready to leave. Yet the investment can be worth it if you take a long view.

For example, the summer person in my business became my year-round proofreader. We worked together remotely after the summer ended. Proofreading didn’t require the same amount of time or formalized structure as all the summer work, so it fit his new schedule.

Ongoing tasks work well for retention. But look for other opportunities to keep former interns or temporary staff involved:

  • Ask them to handle duties for someone who might be out on family leave
  • Ask them to cover gaps when team members resign or take new positions.
  • Assign them to special projects that match their skills or knowledge.

Lean into the lull

Whether it’s a summer lull or a natural downtime in your business, you can take it easy and still be productive at work. Dig manually into your analytics, vet the accessibility of your content, convert existing assets into new formats, or come up with something mundane that’s always on your list but never seems to get done.

You’ll thank yourself for the help when times get busy or your transformed content gets high marks from the audience.

What do you work on during slow times? Share your suggestions and plans in the comments.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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27 Best About Us and About Me Page Examples [+Templates]



Your about page summarizes your history, values, and mission — all in one place. That’s a tall order for just a few paragraphs. If you’re feeling stuck, turn to these about-page examples for inspiration. 

about us page example: laptop held in palm of hand


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MarTech’s marketing operations experts to follow



MarTech's marketing operations experts to follow

Marketing operations is what makes the magic happen. These are the folks who see that your martech stack doesn’t get stuck. They are the maestros, modelers and makers who make sure the trains run, the data is digestible and that you have the programs you need. Where would we be without them? That’s too scary to think about. Here’s our list of MOps experts who have the ear of the profession.

Darrell Alfonso

Darrell is director of marketing strategy & operations at Indeed and the former global marketing ops leader for AWS. He’s the author of “The Martech Handbook: Build a Technology Stack to Acquire and Retain Customers.” In addition to speaking at many conferences, Darrell was named one of the Top Marketers in the US by Propolis 2022 and among the “Top Martech Marketers to Follow” in 2020 by Martech Alliance. He’s a regular and popular contributor both to MarTech and the MarTech conference; you can find all of his articles at this link.

Eddie Reynolds

Eddie has been in business a long time, starting his first company when he was 14. “A pretty minimal enterprise,” he told one interviewer. “I had a tax ID number, a legal entity, and a company name. I even had the IRS coming after my dad for sales tax that I failed to report properly.” Today he is CEO and revenue operations strategy consultant of Union Square Consulting. He publishes The RevOps Weekly Newsletter and the podcast RevOps Corner. Eddie’s large LinkedIn following attests to the quality of the insights he shares there on  sales, marketing, service, and admin roles. 

Sara McNamara

Sara is an award-winning marketing and sales operations professional whose work has been recognized by awards from the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is a Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Slack and a martech stack (+ strategy) solution architect. That and her passion for leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects, explains why she’s a regular guest on MOps podcasts.

Ali Schwanke

Ali is the CEO and founder of Simple Strat. The firm specializes in helping companies get the most out of HubSpot — from CRM strategy and setup to marketing automation and content creation. She is also host of HubSpot Hacks, “the #1 Unofficial YouTube show for HubSpot Tutorials” and has been a guest speaker at the MarTech conference.

Mike Rizzo

Mike’s career in marketing operations showed him that there is a real and significant MOps community. That’s why he founded MO Pros/, the fast-growing online community for people in marketing operations. He is also co-host of Ops Cast, a weekly podcast. 

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About the author

Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?



Is a Marketing Degree Worth it in 2023?

If you’re thinking about getting a degree at any age, it makes sense to think about the value of that degree. Is the qualification needed for the career you want? Are there alternative paths to that career? Can you develop better skills by gaining experience in work? 

All of these are perfectly valid questions. After all, getting a degree requires a pretty large investment of both time and money. You want to know that you’ll get enough return on that investment to make it worthwhile.

Why marketing?

When it comes to marketing, a lot of entry-level jobs list a bachelor’s degree as a requirement. That doesn’t mean there aren’t alternate ways to get into marketing but having a relevant degree certainly makes your resume more competitive. 

Growth industry

Marketing skills are in demand in the current jobs market. According to a recent report from LinkedIn, marketing job posts grew 63% in just six months last year. Half of those jobs were in the digital and media sectors, meaning digital and content marketing skills are highly valued

Personal Development & Career Path

The reason for this increased demand for marketers is tied to the rise in digital marketing. New methods of marketing have continued to develop out of the digital sector. This means that marketers capable of creating engaging content or managing social media accounts are needed.

This leaves a lot of room for personal development. Young graduates who are well-versed in social media and community management can hit the ground running in digital marketing. Getting on this path early can lead to content strategist and marketing management positions.    

What are the Types of Marketing Degrees?

When we say marketing degree, the term is a bit too general. There are a lot of degree paths that focus on marketing in major or minor ways. The level of degree available will depend on your current education history, but the specific course will be down to your personal choice. 

Associate, Bachelor’s, or Master’s?

Recent statistics suggest that 74% of US marketing professionals hold a bachelor’s degree. 9% have an associate degree and 8% have a master’s degree. Here’s a quick overview of the differences. 

Associate degrees – 2-year courses that cover marketing and business in a more basic way than bachelor’s qualifications. They’re designed to give students the basic skills needed to apply for entry-level marketing jobs.   

Bachelor’s degrees – 3/4-year courses that cover business and economics. There is a range of bachelor’s courses with marketing at their core, but you’ll also cover wider business topics like management, communication, and administration. 

Master’s degrees – 2-year courses, usually only available if you’ve already completed a bachelor’s degree. MA or MBA courses are designed to develop a deep understanding of complex business topics. They are highly specific, covering areas like strategic marketing or marketing analytics. 

Free to use image from Pixabay

Marketing Specific or Business General? 

This is down to personal choice. There are general business degrees that will cover marketing as a module as well as marketing-specific degrees. There are also multiple universities and colleges, both offline and online, offering different course platforms

If you’re looking at a specific job role or career path, then research which type of degree is most relevant. Remember that you will need to add to your marketing skills if you intend to progress to management roles in the future. 

Check the Modules & Curriculum

This is important, and not only because it lets you see which courses align with your career goals. Marketing has changed significantly over the last decade, even more so if you go back to before the digital age. Many business courses are still behind on current marketing trends. 

What Jobs Look for a Marketing Degree?

Once you’ve got your marketing qualification, what jobs should you be looking for? Here are some job titles and areas you should watch out for, and what qualifications you’ll need for them.

Entry level

If you’re starting with a degree and no experience, or work experience but no degree, take a look at these roles. 

  • Sales/customer service roles – These are adjacent roles to marketing where most companies do not ask for prior qualifications. If you don’t have a degree, this is a good place to start.
  • Marketing or public relations intern – Another possibility if you don’t have a degree, or you’re still in education. 
  • Digital/content marketing associate – These roles will almost always require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. A good grasp of new digital and social marketing techniques will be required to succeed. 
  • Copywriter/Bid writer – This is a good route into marketing for those with journalism or literature qualifications. These roles combine aspects of marketing, creative writing, and persuasive writing. 
  • SEO specialist – A more focused form of marketing centered on SEO content optimization. If you know how to optimize a blog post for search engine rankings, this role is for you. Bachelor’s or associate qualifications will be a minimum requirement. 
  • Social media/community manager – Since these are relatively new roles, we tend to see a mix of degree-qualified marketers and people who’ve had success fostering communities or online brands but don’t have on-paper credentials.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

Career Progression

If you have an MA or MBA, or significant experience in one of the above roles, then you can look at these more advanced roles for your career progression.

  • Digital Marketing Manager – A role for experienced marketers that involves running campaigns and coordinating marketing associates. 
  • Senior Marketing Coordinator – A department management level role. Responsible for overall marketing strategy and departmental performance.  
  • Content Strategist – A specialist role that focuses on content strategy. Designing content plans based on demographic and keyword research are a core aspect of this role. 
  • Marketing Analyst – This role involves analyzing customer behaviors and market trends. If you want to move into analysis from a more direct marketing role, you’ll likely need specific data analysis qualifications. 
  • Public Relations Specialist – The public voice of a large organization’s PR team. Managing a brand’s public perception and setting brand-level communication policies like tone of voice.   
  • Experiential Marketing Specialist – This area of marketing is focused on optimizing the customer experience. Experiential specialists have a deep understanding of customer psychology and behaviors. 
  • Corporate Communications Manager – Communications managers are responsible for company-wide communications policies. This is an executive-level role that a marketing coordinator or public relations manager might move up to. 

Average marketing salaries

Across all the roles we’ve discussed above, salaries vary widely. For those entry-level roles, you could be looking at anything from $25 – $40K depending on the role and your experience. 

When it comes to median earnings for marketers with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, we can get a bit more specific. Recent statistics from Zippia show us that $69,993 p/a is the average for bachelor’s degree holders and $80,365 p/a for master’s degree marketers. 

Image sourced from

Marketing Degree Pros and Cons

So, the question we asked above was “Is a marketing degree worth it?” Yet, in truth, it’s not a simple yes or no answer. The question you need to ask is “Is a marketing degree right for me?” Here’s a summary of the pros and cons that might give you some answers.  


  • Degree holders have better job prospects and higher earnings potential in marketing
  • You can study highly specific skills with the right courses
  • Gain soft skills like communication and collaboration


  • High time and money investment required 
  • Diminishing salary returns at higher levels
  • Can be a restrictive environment for self-starters and entrepreneurs

What are Marketing Degree Alternatives?

If you want to stick with education but don’t want to invest four years into a degree, then accredited online courses can provide an alternative. This can be your best choice if you wish to upskill in a specific area like running conference calls from Canada

If higher education really isn’t your thing, the other option is gaining experience. Some businesses prefer internships and training programs for entry-level roles. This allows them to train marketers “their way” rather than re-training someone with more experience.  

Free to use image from Unsplash

How to Decide if a Marketing Degree is Right for You

Ultimately, choosing to do a marketing degree depends on your goals, your preferences, and your talents. Consider all three factors before making your choice. 

Career Goals

Do you want a management position that needs marketing knowledge? What areas of marketing interest you? What skills do you already possess? Answering these three questions will help you define your career path. That will narrow down your course choices. 

If you want to get better at selling small business phone systems in Vancouver, you don’t need a four-year course for that. If you want to develop into high-level marketing roles, then you want that degree. 


You don’t need a specific personality type to work in marketing. Your personality and interests might determine what area of marketing would suit you best though. For example, if you’re outgoing and creative then public relations or social media management might be for you.    

Investment & Return

Money isn’t everything. But, if you’re going to put the resources into getting a degree, you want to know that you’ll get some return on your investment. From the figures we quoted above, it seems the “optimal” qualification in terms of salary return vs. time and money investment is a bachelor’s degree. 

Average earnings for marketers with a master’s qualification were only $10k higher. This suggests that you’re not really getting a significant financial return for the additional investment. Of course, if that master’s leads to your dream job, you might see it differently.  

Final Thoughts: Forge Your Own Path

Is a marketing degree worth it in 2023? The short answer is yes. Whether that means a marketing degree is right for you, we can’t tell you. Hopefully, though, this guide has given you the information you need to make that choice. 

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