Morgan Chaney is the Head of Marketing at Blueboard, a startup in San Francisco that specializes in the employee recognition space. Blueboard empowers managers to reward their employees with awesome experiences (such as a kayaking trip, learning to salsa dance, or taking a cooking class) in lieu of other traditional tactics (gift cards, cash bonuses). Employees who receive experiences as rewards report higher motivation, feeling of value, and a more positive affinity for their company. Much more than you would receive from a 50$ Amazon card or other traditional reward.
Blueboard has been expanding so it’s such an exciting time to be part of the team. Morgan’s primary areas she’s focused on is content marketing, which includes sales content, video customer testimonials, newsletters, meet-ups, and more. And since the marketing department is a party of one right now, it’s fun because it allows her to be strategic, but also be a doer and see an immediate impact with her work.
What does your daily routine consist of?
I’m not such a morning person, so I’m in this bad habit of looking at the Internet first thing in the morning, and checking my email, taking a look at how the content is performing, reviewing my calendar, etc. When I get to the office the routine varies based on what current projects are happening – right now it varies between video production, content writing or editing, website testing (their new site just launched in March), meetings with potential partners, and more.
What’s your favorite blog?
- Tastemade: I love their production quality and style of the shows. I had an opportunity to visit their work space which was pretty cool.
- Lenny: This is from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner and is all about women empowerment. It’s a fresh look at women’s issues, is great writing, and it’s hilarious!
What’s your favorite book?
The Great Gatsby: This is an old school favorite, I’ve read it tons of times.
The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing: This is one of my favorite as a young adult and is definitely worth the read.
What’s your favorite advice you’ve ever received? And what’s one advice you can give?
My favorite advice was shared by a journalism teacher in college: “Luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation.” It showed me that if I want good things to come my way I need to be tenacious and focused on what I wanted.
Advice I’ve heard a lot lately is from Sheryl Sandberg, “If someone offers you a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” Great advice for people who want to make an adventurous jump – sometimes if something is 80% baked it’s still worth the risk.
What are some of your favorite tools?
- Buffer: We really lean heavily on Buffer and I usually take one day a month to fill up our account with base content. It’s been a lifesaver, because I know that no matter what we are going to be active with our community since its scheduled, and then have more freedom to add incremental content that’s topical or trending along the way.
- Instapage: Instapage is great for landing page development.It allows you to build beautiful and functional landing pages without having to request time from our busy engineers.
- Invision – started using Invision during our latest website build as a great tool for collecting feedback across teams during the design phase.
- Mixmax – Awesome Gmail application that offers features like email templates, opens tracking, and calendar availability integration.
- Canva – Great for knocking out quick-turn social assets without Photoshop.
Who inspires/motivates you?
My mom is a huge lead by example person, she’s hard working and very focused on our family. Similarly my aunt, we’re very close as she also lives in the Bay Area. She’s done an amazing job balancing her successful career with travel and other hobbies.
I’ve had great bosses as well, my old Manager Rachel at Google, and Robert at Dr Pepper Snapple Group – both gave me lots of autonomy and independence, and challenged me in a healthy way.
What are some things you do to save time?
As a growing team we’re seeing more and more meetings come on calendar, which can be challenging when you’re in a creative or writing role and need uninterrupted time to think. I try to block time on calendar and schedule as many meetings back to back to decrease those 30-minute gaps that prove ineffective.
What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced with content marketing?
- Patience for the long-tail. Producing content is time consuming, especially if you’re a perfectionists (like I can be). At the same time content marketing is high in the funnel, so it won’t always immediately convert to a sale.
- Attribution: Many people might come to read our blog but won’t immediately convert. They’ll probably interact with a few different parts of our content and then hopefully come back to the website. So you want to make sure you accurately capture that attribution path with tools like Google Analytics, etc. Right now my priority is to make sure that we’re understanding all the content touch points and how we can ultimately make a visitor a more qualified lead.
Do you use Start A Fire?
We’ve been using the tool for a few months now and are enjoying it. For social, about half of our content is our own (blog posts, contest promotion, drive to web, etc.) and the rest is thought leadership and other third-party articles that we want to celebrate and share with our community. Through integration with Buffer, Start A Fire is immediately integrated which make things really easy, and allows us to continue our brand presence on these third-party pages.
Do you listen to music when working? If yes, what do you listen to?
Yes definitely! We’ll often take turns DJing in our office area. My favorites are usually rotating between a jazz cocktail hour station or a fierce lady ballad session. Or if you’re into 90’s hip-hop, check out a great restaurant in San Francisco’s station Chubby Noodle Marina.
What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about being a content marketer?
I love the real-time feedback of it, which can get a bit addicting especially when you post something that you’re really excited about. You want to see how many likes/comments you get, how the community is interacting. Right now we’re promoting a photo contest where people tag their adventure/experience photos with #blueboarding, and each month we give away a Blueboard Ivory Award to the best photo. It’s been awesome to see people going out and about on Blueboard experiences and sharing them with friends and family.
A photo posted by Blueboard (@blueboardinc) on
Do you have one rule you try to stick to?
I do make a lot of time to work out after work. I’m a huge fan of Class Pass. It’s an aggregated platform of studios, and you’re welcome to try any of all of the classes offered without being held to just one studio membership. Also, making time to sit down for at least 20-30 minutes for lunch – we have a great open kitchen area and culture of sitting down and eating together. It’s a great mental break and time to catch up with my teammates.
Also, making time to sit down for at least 20-30 minutes for lunch – we have a great open kitchen area and culture of sitting down and eating together. It’s a great mental break and time to catch up with my teammates.
One hack that you that you can share with us that might help out other content marketing managers.
The biggest thing I’m finding helpful is just the notion of forming partnerships early. We’re a growing brand and we’re still working on our awareness, so I’ve been doing a lot of outreach to peers in our space to broker content partnerships. Partnering with our peers allows us to share audiences and bring value and a new perspective to members of their community, while championing Blueboard’s offering, while championing Blueboard’s offering.
You can follow Morgan on Twitter.
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