Content Marketing – Syllabus

ADV 5407 – Content Marketing

Instructor: Bridget Grogan
Office Hours: By appointment

 Purpose of Course:  

This course will teach students the skills to be content marketers.  What is content marketing? Photos, words, audio, and video—anything and everything you create to help tell the story of and promote your product or company, often online. This course will walk students through the what, why and how of content marketing and how to begin to define a marketing strategy.

Topics include:

  • Forming a Mission Statement
  • The Role of Trust in Marketing
  • Deciding How You’ll Use Content Marketing
  • Selecting a Niche
  • Identifying Unique Propositions
  • Identifying a Target Audience
  • Naming Primary and Lower-Level Goals
  • Forming a Core Message and Secondary Messages
  • Establishing an Online Footprint, Starting with a Blog
  • Writing for the Web
  • Performing a Competitive Analysis
  • Using an Editorial Calendar
  • Understanding the Importance of Images, Audio, and Video
  • Collecting Content Ideas
  • Setting Up Google Alerts
  • Setting Up an RSS Feed
  • Using Google for Ideas
  • Performing Keyword Searches to Generate Ideas
  • Brainstorming and Mind Mapping
  • Generating Ideas Using Social Media
  • Generating Ideas by Newsjacking
  • Building Your Brand
  • Using Professional Profile Photos
  • How to Manage Clients

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


Required Materials:


Text 1:  Handley, Ann and Chapman, CC (2012),  Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, EBooks, 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%

Class Participation

Students will begin the course with zero participation points.  Throughout the semester, they will be credited 10 points for each question answered in class when the instructor poses questions to the class.  They can also earn 10 points for contributing to a class discussion with a comment.  They can earn a maximum of 100 points.

Quiz Schedule:

Quiz 1 – January 27
               Content Rules – Chapters 1, 2, 3
               Everybody Writes – pages 1 – 53
               Lecture material from prior week

Quiz 2 – February 3
                Content Rules – Chapters 4, 5
                Everybody Writes – pages 54 – 87
                Lecture material from prior week

Quiz 3 – February 10
                Content Rules – Chapters 6, 7, 8
                Everybody Writes – pages 89 – 119
                Lecture material from prior week

Quiz 4 – February 17
                Content Rules – Chapters 9, 10, 11
                Everybody Writes – pages 121 – 161
                Lecture material from prior week

Quiz 5 – February 24
                Content Rules – Chapters 12 through 15
                Everybody Writes – pages 162 – 201
                Lecture material from prior week

Quiz 6 – March 16
                Content Rules – Chapters 16 through 20
                Everybody Writes – pages 202 – 243
                Lecture material from prior week

 Quiz 7 – March 23
                Content Rules – Chapters 21 through 29
                Everybody Writes – pages 244-275
                Lecture material from prior week

Midterm Project – Due Date: March 9

Content Marketing Presentation and Written Review:  Students will work in teams of 2 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 15-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 also answer the question “What could have been done differently to improve the effectiveness of the effort and WHY would this make a difference?”

Final Project – Due Date: April 20

Students will work in teams of 4 to create a content marketing plan for a company, product, service, or non-profit organization that has been assigned to their team by the instructor.  The content marketing plan will include, but is not limited to:

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
A plan for one hangout or live meetup

The student’s portfolio will also include the Objectives Worksheet and Target Audience Worksheet that were developed in class.

Weekly lecture plan:  

Week 1 (January 6):
Syllabus Review
Content Marketing Review
Portfolio Work – Discuss and Select Clients/Teams

Week 2 (January 13):
Non-Obvious Megatrends and Insights
The Speed of Trust

Week 3 (January 27):
Quiz 1
Discussion of students’ client decisions
Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
Content Marketing vs. Native Advertising
Developing Buyer Personas
Objectives Worksheet

Week 4 (February 3):
Quiz 2
Generating Ideas/Content Creation
Tone of Voice
Content Marketing Done Well
Target Audience Worksheet

Week 5 (February 10):
Quiz 3
Types of Content Content
Distribution Channels
Editorial Calendars
Target Audience Worksheet Continued

Week 6 (February 17):
Quiz 4
Tips For Building Your Brand
Writing and Writing Tools
Technology and Content Marketing Worksheet

Week 7 (February 24):
Quiz 5
Repurposing Content
Content Curation
Generating Content Ideas

Week 8 (March 9):
Student Team Mid-Term Presentations (6 teams)

Week 9 (March 16):
Quiz 6
Visual Content Marketing
Content Promotion
Micro-Influencer Marketing
The Importance of Blog Comments/How To Grow Your Numbers

Week 10 (March 23):
Quiz 7
The Buyer’s Journey
Landing Pages
*Supervised work on final projects

Week 11 (March 30):
How To Build Your Content Marketing Team
Guest Speaker???
*Supervised work on final projects

Week 12 (April 6):
Search Engine Optimization (Add Pen Name recommendations)
*Supervised work on final projects

Week 13 (April 13):
Measuring and Analyzing
Don’t Make These Mistakes
*Supervised work on final projects

Week 14 (April 20):
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-




The professor has the right to make attendance mandatory. For this course, it is mandatory. Anyone who misses one or two class days loses a full letter grade for the course. Because this course meets just one day per week for three periods back-to-back, missing one class day is significant.  Missing more than two class days/6 class periods is grounds to be prohibited from further attendance by the professor. At that point, the professor can prohibit attendance and assign a failing grade for excessive absences. Absences count from the first class meeting.

In general, acceptable reasons for absence from or failure to participate in class include illness, serious family emergencies, special curricular requirements (e.g., judging trips, field trips, professional conferences), military obligation, severe weather conditions, religious holidays, and participation in official university activities such as music performances, athletic competition or debate. Absences from class for court-imposed legal obligations (e.g., jury duty or subpoena) must be excused. All of these require documentation in order to not lose a letter grade in the course. Other reasons also may be approved.

Students shall be permitted a reasonable amount of time to make up the material or activities covered in their absence.

If a student does not participate in at least one of the first two class meetings of the course, and he or she has not contacted the department to indicate his or her intent, the student can be dropped from the course. Students must not assume that they will be dropped, however. The department will notify students if they have been dropped from the course.

Lateness is disruptive. Anyone coming late (after a 5-minute grace period) on more than one occasion loses a half-letter grade for 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 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 professional and respectful feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing course evaluations online via GatorEvals. Guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner is available at Students will be notified when the evaluation period opens, and can complete evaluations through the email they receive from GatorEvals, in their Canvas course menu under GatorEvals, or via Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students at”

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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