Content Marketing – Syllabus

MMC  6936  Content Marketing

Instructor: Bridget Grogan
Office Hours: Mondays 1:00-3:00 and by appointment
Office Location: 2112 Weimer Hall (in the Dean’s Suite of Offices)
Phone: 294-1503 (office)

Purpose of Course:  

This course will teach students the skills to be content marketers.  What is content marketing? It’s the creation of stories using text, photos, words, audio, and video to inform the public about issues of importance to them. Ultimately, this form of storytelling can help build brand awareness and trust in a brand’s products or services. This course will walk students through the what, why and how of content marketing and how to plan and execute a content marketing strategy.

Topics include:

  • Forming a Mission Statement
  • Deciding How You’ll Use Content Marketing
  • Selecting a Niche
  • Identifying Your Unique Propositions
  • Identifying a Target Audience
  • Naming Primary and Lower-Level Goals
  • Forming a Core Message and Secondary Messages
  • Creating and Using an Editorial Calendar
  • Establishing an Online Footprint, Starting with a Blog
  • Writing for the Web
  • Performing a Competitive Analysis
  • Understanding the Importance of Images, Audio, and Video
  • Collecting Content Ideas
  • Setting Up Google Alerts
  • Setting Up an RSS Feed
  • Generation of content ideas using social media, newsjacking, brainstorming and mind mapping, and keyword search
  • Building Your Brand
  • Client Management

Learning Outcomes:    Students will be able to:

Write a mission statement for a content marketing plan.
Identify a target audience and select a niche.
Set content marketing goals for a company or organization.
Establish an online footprint or brand using a blog
Write targeted messages and stories for their brand or product
Use an editorial calendar
Brainstorm and mind map ideas and content
Generate story, brand and marketing ideas via various best practices
Assess the effectiveness of others’ content marketing efforts
Identify and fill content gaps via gap analysis strategies


Required Materials:




Text 1:  Handley, Ann and Chapman, CC (2012),  Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, VideosEBooks, Webinars, (and more) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business   7th Ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1118232607
ISBN-13: 978-1118232606





Text 2:  Handley, Ann (2014),  Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content1 edition,   John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1118905555
ISBN-13: 978-1118905555




No use of others’ work will be allowed in any manner in this course where original work is expected.  This includes the Written Review portion of the Mid-Term Project and Final Project, including all social media posts, blogposts, etc.  If your Final Project is based on an existing organization, use of photos, videos or other visual elements will be permitted only if you give full credit to the original source and make a note of all such sources in your content marketing plan.  Violation of this policy is grounds for a failing grade in the course and other action as recommended by the instructor.



Assignments and Evaluation:
Quizzes                                            30%
Class Participation                     10%
Midterm Project                     20%
Final Project                                 40%

*Attendance: 10 points will be deducted from your final overall score for every absence.


Quiz Schedule:

Quiz 1 – Monday, January 14 
               Content Rules – Chapters 1, 2, 3
               Everybody Writes – pages 1 – 53
Quiz 2 – Monday, January 28 
                Content Rules – Chapters 4, 5
                Everybody Writes – pages 54 – 87
Chapter 14 through Chapter 27

Quiz 3 –  Monday, February 4
                Content Rules – Chapters 6, 7, 8
                Everybody Writes – pages 89 – 119
Chapter 28 through Chapter 40

Quiz 4 – Monday, February 11
                Content Rules – Chapters 9, 10, 11
                Everybody Writes – pages 121 – 161
Part 3, Chapters 41 through 54

Quiz 5 – Monday, February 18
                Content Rules – Chapters 12 through 15
                Everybody Writes – pages 162 – 201
Chapters 55 through 62

Quiz 6 – Monday, February 25
                Content Rules – Chapters 16 through 20
                Everybody Writes – pages 202 – 243

Chapters 63 through 70

Quiz 7 – Monday, March 11
                Content Rules – Chapters 21 through 29
                Everybody Writes – pages 244-275

Chapters 71 through the end.




Midterm Project – Due Date: March 11

Content Marketing Presentation and Written Review:  Students will work in their teams to find an example of a web-based content marketing effort for a company, product, service or non-profit organization to present to the class.  This example will include a blog and a variety of social media efforts.  Photography, video, podcasts, newsletters and/or tutorials and guides may also be elements of the content marketing effort.

The team will create a 30-minute presentation that will identify and assess the effectiveness of the following:

The Mission Statement
The Primary Goals
The Core Message and Two Secondary Messages
The Target Audience/Niche
Customer Benefits
The Unique Proposition
Slogans and Taglines
The Publication Schedule

The team will turn in a written review of the content marketing effort that they chose to present and critique.  The written review will include an assessment of the factors listed above as well as a critique of the overall effectiveness of the content marketing effort. They will answer the question “What could have been done differently to improve the effectiveness of the effort and WHY would this be effective?”


Final Project – Due Date: April 15

Students will work in small teams to create a content marketing plan for a company, product, service, non-profit organization that has been assigned to their team.  The content marketing plan will include, but is not limited to:

An Editorial Calendar

At least 8 blogposts
At least 12 tweets
At least 6 Instagram posts
At least 8 Facebook posts
At least 2 LinkedIn posts
At least two charts or graphic elements or one interactive element
At least one video
A plan for one hangout or live meetup

All of the above MUST BE original work, including photos and videos.

The student’s portfolio will also include a separate report based on the Objectives Worksheet and Target Audience Worksheet that were developed in class. The report will answer all of the questions that the worksheets ask but will be presented in a report form, not in a question-and-answer format. The Editorial Calendar can be part of this report.


Weekly lecture plan:  

Week 1 (Jan. 7):
Syllabus Review
Content Marketing Review
Portfolio Work – Discuss and Select Clients/Teams

Week 2 (Jan. 14):
Quiz 1
Discussion of students’ client decisions
Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
Content Marketing vs. Native Advertising
Developing Buyer Personas
Objectives Worksheet

Week 3 (Jan. 28):
Quiz 2
Generating Ideas/Content Creation
Tone of Voice
Content Marketing Done Well
Target Audience Worksheet

Week 4 (Feb 4):
Quiz 3
Types of Content Content
Distribution Channels
Editorial Calendars
Target Audience Worksheet Continued

Week 5 (Feb. 11):
Quiz 4
Tips For Building Your Brand
Writing and Writing Tools
Technology and Content Marketing Worksheet

Week 6 (Feb. 18):
Quiz 5
Repurposing Content
Content Curation
Generating Content Ideas

Week 7 (Feb. 25):
Quiz 6
Student Team Mid-Term Presentations
Visual Content Marketing

Week 8 (March 11):
Quiz 7
Content Promotion
Micro-Influencer Marketing
The Importance of Blog Comments/How To Grow Your Numbers

Week 9 (March 18):
The Buyer’s Journey
Landing Pages
Supervised work on final projects

Week 10 (March 25):
How To Build Your Content Marketing Team
Guest Speaker: Content Marketer Steven Gallo
Supervised work on final projects

Week 11 (April 1):
Search Engine Optimization
Supervised work on final projects

Week 12 (April 8):
Measuring and Analyzing
Supervised work on final projects

Week 13 (April 15):
Don’t Make These Mistakes
Credibility/Fake News
Supervised work on final projects

Week 14 (April 22):
Final Projects Due, Final Project Presentations

Grade Scale:

The UF grading policy can be found in the graduate catalog online.

Percent Percent Percent Percent
A 100-93% B 86-83% C 76-73% D 66-63%
A- 92-90% B- 82-80% C- 72-70% D- 62-60%
B+ 89-87% C+ 79-77% D+ 69-67% E 59-0%



Attendance is mandatory. Anyone coming late (after a 5-minute grace period) loses a half-letter grade for the course.  Coming in late is extremely disruptive.  Anyone who misses a class loses a full letter grade for the course. Exceptions can be made for illness, family emergencies, jury duty or military service.  All of these require documentation in order to not lose a letter grade in the course.

Academic Integrity

You are required to abide by the Student Honor Code. Any violation of the academic integrity expected of you will result in a minimum academic sanction of a failing grade on the assignment and possibly a failing grade for the course. Any alleged violations of the Student Honor Code will result in a referral to Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. Please review the Student Honor Code and Student Conduct Code at

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565) by providing appropriate documentation. Once registered, students will receive an accommodation letter, which must be presented to the professor when requesting an accommodation.

Help With Coping

The UF  Counseling and Wellness Center  is a terrific, free resource for any student who could use help managing stress or coping with life. The center, at 3190 Radio Road on campus, is open for appointments and emergency walk-ins from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To make an appointment or receive after-hours assistance, call 352-392-1575. You can also contact The U Matter, We Care team can also help connect students to the many other helping resources including, but not limited to Victim Advocates, housing staff, and the Counseling and Wellness Center.  Please remember that asking for help is a sign of strength.  In case of emergency, call 9-1-1.

Course Evaluations

Students are expected to provide feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing online  evaluations. You will be notified by email when the evaluations are open. Summary  results  are available to you and the public.

Student Complaint Process
Students who have complaints about any course can use the links below for information about filing a complaint:
Residential Course:
Online Course:



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