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I started my career as a content manager in multiple projects, including online and offline, for enterprises and SMB. I used to spend my days surrounded by spreadsheets and multiple email threads, different approved versions of the same content and uncertainty around the editorial calendar -- which made a job I loved become way too difficult. My day dream back then was to have an easy-to-use software to streamline the content creation process (similar to what I used to access in the newsroom, where I worked as a reporter and news anchor). 

I talked to hundreds of other content professionals and marketing managers and they all confirmed: there was a real need for a solution like what Contentools came to be.  We tested and tested around 2013 and 2014. Launched the software in 2015. Moved it from Beta in 2016. And we kept improving Contentools Content Marketing Platform ever since. With an incredible team we were able to develop and offer a complete solution that helps +15,000 talented marketers all over the globe (and tens of thousands more to come). Our heroes love their jobs as much as I did and deserve a solution to make their lives that much easier and their content even better and more engaging.  Recently Contentools joined operations with GrowthHackers to create GrowthBoulevard, to offer a full stack of software for growth, and marketing, with artificial intelligence at its core.

Besides being CEO of Contentools and co-founder of GrowthBoulevard I'm also a mother (2yo baby girl), wife and frequent traveler (mainly for business, rarely for leisure). I'd love to share my most recent learnings around:

- Content Creation Process;  

- AI for marketing;

- Team collaboration;

- Team leadership development;

- Parenting, positive discipline for toddlers and low carb cooking are also topics I'm open to discuss! lol

  • WC

    Washington Coutinho

    3 months ago #

    How can small teams use AI in the process of content creation with a small budget?

    6 Share
    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      Until recently, large corporations have been the only ones able to take advantage of AI-driven marketing tools. The price points have been lowering and that creates a more approachable entry point for SMBs to get in the game. AI solutions will, once and for all, allow marketers to get rid of the copy and paste, import, export style of doing things and start organizing their data the smart way. Actually, AI can do more than just process data: it can use that data to provide actionable insights -- I've written an article for Oracle's blog about it, take a look:

      https://blogs.oracle.com/startup/ai-applied-to-content-marketing%3a-what-to-expect-in-the-near-future

      I believe it won’t be long before startups and mom-and-pop shops benefit from this type of technology as well.

      2 Share
  • MN

    Mark Neo

    2 months ago #

    I've been reading Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis and I came across a question that made me conscious. How many minimum customers do you need to run a single growth hack experiment?

    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      That's great, Hacking Growth is one of my favorite books. Experiments can be run to accelerate all growth levers, starting from acquisition, to activation and retention. So you can run experiments even before you have any customers, if it's for acquiring leads or growing an audience for a future product, for example.

      Now, if you mean how many customers/visitors or other data entries you need to reach statistically significant results, that number is 100 or more. You can use statistical significance to infer whether your variation caused movement in the specific metric you're looking to improve. The higher your significance, the more base-line entries your experiment will require.

      2 Share
  • PC

    Pedro Clivati

    2 months ago #

    Thank you for giving a bit of your time for us, @Emília. Here are a few questions I'd love to get your take on;

    1) How does the growth team at Contentools function? In terms of management, growth levers and results;

    2) Content is one of the biggest sections in this community and is also one of the main traffic drivers for online companies nowadays.
    Any recommendations and/or trends in the industry that you could share with us?

    Cheers.

    5 Share
    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      Hey there, Pedro! Sure thing. :)

      1) We run weekly meetings where the growth team invites team members from Product, Sales, Customer Experience and other teams to discuss the ideas for new experiments that can drive growth. Ideas come from everyone on our team and are prioritized based on ICE score (impact, confidence, ease).

      We collect these ideas in our software, North Star (growthhackers.com/software), where we also go to track the experiments as they move to workflow and add results/metrics as we move them to learnings.

      2) Sure! The main trends I can mention are around Artificial Intelligence, as I mentioned here above, as well as Influencer marketing as a way of accelerating distribution, and proving results and ROI. Here's an executive summary with these trends and 7 more, check it out:

      https://contentools.com/10-content-marketing-trends

      Trends come and go and there are two things successful content strategies have in common and both don't change:

      A. know your customer (so develop your persona based on your company's ideal customer profile) and

      B. deliver your value (aka solve your customer's problems delivering useful content) .

      2 Share
  • AA

    Abir Ahmed

    2 months ago #

    What are the best methods still in 2019 to grow your organic traffic 5%~10% on a monthly basis?

    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      It's important to know there are no shortcuts, and that if you're currently in a competitive market it will take awhile for an organic traffic strategy to takeoff and to establish at a level like these consistent numbers you're looking for.

      And organic SEO content can bring quality traffic for free as in it's not paid search -- but a successful organic strategy does NOT come for free. You need to invest in your assets (people, time, money) either outspending your competitors or out-hustling them. Be different, offer quality content in a way your competitors are not.

      One of our customers at Contentools entered an organic battle with very big companies recently and won by offering high quality podcasts interviewing industry experts -- something no one in their field was doing.

      Maybe your strong suit is videos, infographics, maybe you're great at SEO or you can get a partner with a large mailing list to share your materials.

      Do it all at first, until you can get that graph moving up and to the right. Then analyze to learn what efforts are bringing the majority of the results and hyperfocus on what is working.

      Good luck! :)

      2 Share
  • VK

    Vrushal kapadnis

    2 months ago #

    Hi Emilia,
    Thanks for doing this.
    What are your favourite Marketing tools?

    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      I don't use many, as I'm very into all-in-ones and hubs to favor productivity and save myself time and save my team’s time.

      I use daily:

      -Contentools to brainstorm, approve, publish and distribute content
      -NorthStar to share ideas for growth with the team as well as follow our experiments and learnings
      -Hubspot for sales reports and overall CRM experience.

      All of them are connected to Slack, which I use daily to communicate with the team. I also use Google Drive and G-Suite as overall knowledge base (when the document at hand is not about content, growth or sales and doesn't go into one of the three softwares I mentioned before). We've been using Notion to document processes as well.

      These are the ones I can think of right now. But overall when it comes to marketing tools, my take is that integrations and hubs equal less hustle (and more time to execute and grow!).

      3 Share
  • GA

    Gaurav Arora

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi Emilia,
    Thanks for taking this up!

    I wanted to ask how can SaaS companies scale their content marketing with limited resources?

    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      One thing that startups know from the beginning is the problem they are solving. They can start creating content around the problem. This evergreen content will generate results for them for years. This type of content will fill the top of their marketing funnel with people who understand the problem they have and will potentially look for solutions. They don’t know the solution, they may not even know that a solution exists, but they are trying to learn more about the problem. If I start creating content around the problem, I’m creating more assets for my company online. These online assets help my customer and help my company become an authority early on. More often, I see founders blogging about the solution but the solution will change as the market evolves. So that’s not evergreen content at all.

      2 Share
  • CS

    Cecilia Schmitz

    3 months ago #

    Emília, thank you for participating in this AMA. You have such an inspiring journey for us business women!

    Here go my questions:

    1. Contentools is selling its software to companies and agencies all over the globe. What are the most relevant aspects an entrepreneur should take into consideration when going from local to global?

    2. What knowledge and skills should these company members be developing to do so?

    3. What are you most proud of in your life?

    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      Thank you for the questions, Cecilia!

      1) From the start I didn't know that the problem we were solving with Contentools (streamlining online content creation) was a global problem. And once I realized that it was, it became obvious that we needed to launch from Silicon Valley (access to the best talent and seasoned mentors in tech) along with global partners with a track record in product distribution. And so we're doing just that. Keeping the majority of the team local, as you mention, is also strategic and a move many companies in Silicon Valley are doing now, expanding their teams in other parts of the US as well as opening offices abroad.

      2) That doesn't change for startups that work locally or globally, the team has to be skilled in growth, data analysis, sales and have the ability to wear multiple hats as well. Overall, to work for a startup or a tech company, one will eventually be known for the results they deliver. Also, people are mostly referred based on the projects they get involved with, lead and manage from beginning to end. So I'd say: don't drop the ball and treat people well, always. Put all your learning skills in high-speed by over-delivering results quarter after quarter and building your story together with the team. Bring your best (and all your ownership) to the table. Regardless of being a team founder or employee #100, it's rarely an easy journey. But I'm 100% sure it's a passionate and worthy one!

      3) I rarely think about that -- so thank you again for the question! :). I like to think about what I'm grateful for, and the journey we're building is a great one. That's what I do best, I build. And I defy my limits every day. I live out of my comfort zone -- and I'm both grateful and proud of that.

  • TS

    Tomas Statkus

    2 months ago #

    That are the great ideas :) !

  • PH

    Pradyut Hande

    2 months ago #

    Hi Emilia!

    Great to have you here! I had a couple of questions for you:

    1. With voice search assuming increasing attention, how can marketers focus on making their content more discoverable in such an environment? Does this require a very different approach from traditional content strategy?

    2. Setting up a content creation process is pivotal to generating a content strategy flywheel. What is your advice for marketers who aren't producing the kind of results through content marketing that they should be?

    Would love to hear your thoughts on the same!

    Thanks!

    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      Loved these questions! Thank you, Pradyut.

      1) Voice search is growing exponentially. According to ComScore, by 2020 one in every two searches will be done by voice. And preparing your content for this new media does require a different approach. Here are a few suggestions:

      -It goes without saying that your website should be mobile-friendly, as voice is either done by phone or assistants like Google's or Alexa. Another technical aspect is that using structured data and schema mark-up becomes increasingly important, as it can help the search engines understand and crawl your data more efficiently.

      -As for your content strategy and content creation, try to understand the intent behind a query and how to deliver more accurate results based on the context. Also, write in a way that "sounds" natural and conversational.

      -Both your articles, pages and paid search list should include long tail keyword phrases, as usually we type 1-3 words, but we say 4-6 words to search.
      Here's a webinar I ran a couple weeks ago with an SEO expert from Wiideman Consulting and he explored these topics and more:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDz-mIwvagI&t=91s take a look!

      2. That's a tough situation and it's also more common than one might think, as consumers, the market itself and search engines change fast. You might be celebrating results one month and running to keep up with new competitors a few weeks after that. I interviewed a seasoned content marketer last year, @susanfsu, and she shared the sentiment on how following on the steps of a success case from years ago won’t work. And I 100% agree with her (you can take a look at the 10min long interview here: https://blog.contentools.com/marketing-heroes/susan-su/). So what works, and how to drive more results, faster?

      Start with quality, creating content your audience is eager to read/watch/listen. So yeah, it all starts with that "know your audience" common sense, which is old and gold. Also, start briefings with distribution/promotion. Right when the sales or support team come up with that question straight from the customers, or when you check keyword trends and search results and make up your mind that your website should host that url… before you start to brief the content team (or yourself, if that's the case), ask: "who can partner with us to distribute this piece?", "which forums are open to questions I'll be answering here?", "what newsletters are up to promote content like this one?", "what social media channels have a good fit for this one piece?" and so on and on. If you do that for every content you create, and it follows up with user intent bringing this potential customer closer and closer to bottom funnel/conversion, I'm positive it's a matter of time to bring results from content, organically.

      1 Share
  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    2 months ago #

    Hi Emilia,

    Thanks for doing this AMA.

    Curious if you'd have any sort of benchmark, either from personal experience or from available growth resources, to gauge the impact on user engagement metrics and on SEO of including videos as part of the content strategy.

    Merci!

    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      Sure thing.

      With search engines improving their video intelligence (Google's API can now catalog relevant keywords within a video, for example), adding videos to your digital strategy can bring important SEO advantages. Last week, Hubspot updated the State of Video Marketing on their blog, where we can see that 83% of marketers now say that video gives them a good ROI, up from 78% twelve months ago:

      https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/state-of-video-marketing-new-data

      De rien!

  • BJ

    Ben Jacobson

    2 months ago #

    Great to see you here, @Emilia! I'm super curious about your vision for GrowthBoulevard in the long term. Do you see the organization rolling out more software products, communities and events? Any new directions? And how do you hope your role personally will evolve in the next few years?

    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Ben, great to see you here as well! :)

      At GrowthBoulevard we offer collaboration solutions for growth and marketing teams. That includes NorthStar software, Contentools software, and the GrowthHackers community, conference, university and jobs board. These offers are getting closer and closer as we see the same teams benefiting from all of them at once.

      Now in 2019 we're rolling out more AI/ML capabilities so the 2k+ teams that use our products can be even more intelligent and result-oriented. Contentools Insights, for example, helps marketing teams skip all the data/report analysis and get straight to action based on the forecast and results they're getting from organic content and ad campaigns.

      In 2020 the GrowthHackers Conference will bring the Future of Growth to Silicon Valley (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/growthhackers-conference-2020-ghconf20-tickets-63331319682), with growth professionals all over the world discussing how algorithms are accelerating the fastest growing companies in the world and what will keep being created and run by humans.

  • NV

    Nicolás Vargas

    2 months ago #

    Hi Emília, Thanks for doing this AMA

    1) Do you any productivity tips for Marketers - How are you able to deal with Contentools, GrowthBoulevard, and your 2yo baby?
    2)What are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
    3)What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “Growth” Industry? What advice should they ignore?

    Cheers

    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      1)
      I'm passionate about productivity and could go on and on about it for days. I'd start by saying:

      - To be productive, start by prioritizing. I use OKRs as a goal-setting methodology and it actually helps engaging the team around the priorities. Here's more info on OKRs: https://blog.contentools.com/content-marketing/boosting-productivity-and-finding-clearer-goals-through-okr-methodology/
      - Organize your projects by doing sprint meetings with the team, tracking results instead of actions. The shorter the tasks, the easier it becomes to track and make sure the team feels that satisfying effect of "checking" deliveries daily of weekly once everything is done.
      - Embrace technology but don't over do it. Instead of going for every shiny tool that comes out, experiment with centralizing your efforts and the team's in tools that are more complete and can offer overviews and information easily. If your team is working with 10-12 different tools, you don't have a tech-savvy team, you have a productivity problem.
      - Try to automate as much as possible, especially repetitive tasks. Workflows, publishing of content, reminders… even reports can be automated.

      As for dealing with all areas of my life (company with multiple products, family, baby), I try to do what athletes do -- I know I need to take care of myself first so I can perform my best in business. So I sleep well, care for my mental health with meditation, yoga and exercise. I think as going to the gym as part of my daily schedule, as well as creating time to go out and do fun activities. I even include them on my calendar, really. It's not easy to do at first, but it has become clear overtime that's a way to prevent burnout.

      2)

      - The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
      - Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
      - The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

      3)
      Learn the ways you learn faster and develop your own learning framework -- this involves developing a great level of self awareness. Also, help people around as a way to build meaningful relationships, especially people you admire and want to work with in the future. Go beyond "networking", you might be starting out but I'm sure you have something to offer them -- either your time to assist in a project, product feedback/review, connections to potential customers. I don't know much about advice to ignore, for I usually listen to what people have to say, search and read all kinds of advice. I think even if there's no fit for your current situation you will always learn from listening to others' points of view.

  • KG

    Katarina Grumy

    about 2 months ago #

    Wow!! That's cool!!

  • KN

    Konstantinos Ntoukakis

    about 2 months ago #

    Hi Emília, thanks for doing this AMA!

    I'm curious about the use of AI in marketing, especially AI-generated content and algorithmic publishing.

    1. Is this something you have explored?
    2. How would you see AI implementations supporting content teams in the near future?

    Cheers!

  • ML

    Maksym Lypchak

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi Emilia,

    AI for marketing - very interesting one!

  • AF

    Alexandre Ferrari

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi Emília! Thank you for your sharing here! 😍

    Looking for processes of growth, what is the scheduled meetings at Contentools operations?

    Also, in you opinion, how much effort communicating progress and engaging different teams it's needed in growth efforts?

    Thank you again!

    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Alexandre,
      Glad to see you here!
      We hold weekly cross-team growth meeting, we send reminders so all team members can collaborate with ideas. It's essential to communicate progress and learnings from experiments that work and ones that don't work. It creates a healthy feedback loop so people can come up with more and more ideas for growth experiments.

  • AB

    adewuyi babatunde

    about 1 month ago #

    I'm Tunde Adewuyi from Nigeria, I recently concluded my first degree in Industrial Engineering but I'm keenly interested in starting a career in growth hacking...I just completed the book Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis...I need mentoring and suggestions on online courses to take and possibly internship opportunities to build myself and learn more.

    I hope to get a responses from you soon. Thank you.

    • EC

      Emília Chagas

      about 1 month ago #

      That’s great to hear! Take a look at GrowthHackers.com/jobs for opportunities — you might find remote ones. I’d also reverse engineer a bit and instead of looking for openings, think of companies and projects you admire. Go after professionals you want to work with proactively, ask for intros and offer your time assisting their projects. That’s the best way to learn. Good luck!

  • CP

    Ciprian Popescu

    about 1 month ago #

    I've had a .com website for years and I've targeted the whole world. I have pivoted now (I'm getting old), and I'm using the same domain to rank for a specific country with a different service.

    Specifically, the site used to focus on WordPress and JavaScript and just a bit of SEO/CRO/growth. Now it's the other way around, with SEO/CRO/growth front and center.

    How do I effectively target the specific country? I have an active blog and I post country-targeted articles, I have a correct SEO setup with the correct hreflang tags.

    I still rank very good for JavaScript and very bad for SEO/CRO/growth.

  • AA

    Abir Ahmed

    about 1 month ago #

    Cheers Emília!

  • EC

    Emília Chagas

    about 1 month ago #

    Thanks everyone. These were great questions. I didn't get a chance to respond to all the questions during the LIVE AMA, but I'll reply to them later.

    If you want to connect with me, I'm on Twitter @emilia_chagas and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/emiliachagas/)

    And for the latest in the world of content marketing, visit Contentool's blog: https://blog.contentools.com/

  • RP

    Roger Peterson

    about 1 month ago #

    Great article

  • AB

    adewuyi babatunde

    27 days ago #

    Thank you very much for the insight

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