Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with VeraContent’s Kyler Canastra and Euan Brown from Virgin Red, on working in marketing for top brands:

Kyler Canastra 0:02
Hi everyone, I’m Kyler from The Content Mix, and I’m excited to be here with Euan Brown, head of digital and content at Virgin Red virgin rewards club program. As a digital strategy expert with 20 years experience in strategy, content marketing, innovation, product development and brand management, Euan has worked for some of the top organizations in the world, including The Walt Disney Company, Coca Cola, and the BBC. Euan strives to be a marketer who’s different from the rest developing unique content and strategies that have led him to the success he has had throughout his career. And we’re excited to have him on today’s show to learn more about why it’s important to be a marketer who stands out and innovates rather than simply sticking to the hottest trends, especially in today’s fast paced, and ever changing digital world. So let’s dive right into it. I’m going to welcome you into the show. And thank you so much for joining us today.

Euan Brown 0:54
Thank you What an introduction. I was, I was kind of jennison, the person you were describing. So

Kyler Canastra 1:02
I did that based on your portfolio. So

Euan Brown 1:04
okay, great. Well, that I’ll try to live up to the height.

Kyler Canastra 1:09
Well, your career speaks for itself. But I always ask people, because I do kind of this nice introduction in the beginning, but I want you to be able to introduce yourself, in your own words. So can you just tell us a bit more about who you are, where you’re from, and where you’re calling in from today? What’s your connection to content marketing in Europe? Of course,

Euan Brown 1:25
so. So well, I’m Euan, I have been in the digital. I’ve been doing digital marketing and content marketing for just over 20 years now. I’m based in London, in the UK, and I’ve been working on, as you mentioned, some of the brands that have worked on so some are based in the UK some about some of global brands, and worked on. So I’ve been I’ve been very lucky enough to have spanned the whole gamut of digital marketing and really got my hands dirty on product marketing and content, content marketing and coding and designing and presenting. So the whole, I’ve been able to dabble a little bit and everything. Today I focused more on digital marketing and content marketing.

Kyler Canastra 2:11
Okay, so I kind of want to touch upon to do like, you’re kind of doing the research, as I mentioned in the introduction, and you actually receive your degree in psychology, and then you just kind of sit out into the world of work and your letters to Santa VBC working as a producer for 10. And then you also worked at a producer for 10 years at organizations like Walt Disney Fremantle Media, UK and Channel Four, and I was preparing to interview I was like, This is so cool, like what cool companies and you know, things that we consume all the time. So I’m curious to know, like, why did you go into this field and kind of with a psychology background? Was your intention going into university to go into, like marketing and stuff like that? But also kind of how have the skills acquired, especially like, you know, working in production, they’ll have the skills have impacted your overall career when you look back today?

Euan Brown 2:57
Sure. So psychology, I studied psychology because I do find people fascinating. So I just find the way that we think the way that we work all of that I I just found fascinating, and I I took the course at uni, I’d never studied psychology before, I just knew I found it interesting. So I did the course and i i got three years of being really interested. And then after that, I kind of knew I didn’t want to be a psychologist. I think I wanted to be in TV. So for me TV was was where it was at. And all that people would tell me is it’s really hard to break into TV. So so I was trying to do that. And I found a temp agency in London that specialized in broadcast companies. And I remember being interviewed and they said don’t expect to go anywhere like the BBC on your first day. And literally the next day, I got a job at the BBC. So through that, and then through there, I made connections and I worked at the BBC starting as a web assistant, as you as he mentioned, working on the science and nature website. And I got to work on at the press office, which was fantastic. I work for CBBC and, and one of the channels as well. And in the UK we have BBC iplayer, which I was there at the time, they were creating an AI play, which is for anyone who doesn’t know it’s well everyone that has streaming services, but it was one of the first which was really exciting. And the BBC pioneered that. The BBC is a great place to get if you want to start a career in digital, it’s a great place to get started. I was I was always curious about the internet. So I went to uni at the late in the late 90s where the internet was still really slow. And we were still trying to figure out what it was and I was just really curious about it. So in my spare time, I dabble I’d make websites for no one in particular just because and through that it meant that when I went to the BBC, I already had some skills. I didn’t realize that at the time. It was a career move. Right? But it was great. So I was in TV, I was also able to do something I was naturally interested in. And it was still the beginning of digital marketing and content marketing. And we were still trying to figure out what all that was. So as I mentioned, BBC, I just lucked out because the BBC is an organization that really, really supports people and really develops them. And because it was so early on, we didn’t really have content management systems and things like that. So we all had to do a bit of coding a bit of designing bit of copywriting. So, yeah, all of those skills I now know, and they’ve definitely informed the way I think about how we now produce apps and websites and social today.

Kyler Canastra 5:36
Right. And I think a lot of people when I’m listening to that was like, you know, I feel like people be like, he was in the right place at the right time, because he’s like, you know, before the age of the Internet, and it was getting in the door. But what I kind of interpreted from what you were just talking about was you had a an interest or a passion and you kind of just went for it. And I do think a lot of the guests in the show, that’s like one common thread that I’m doing an interview every week. And it’s, it’s everyone has the passion and just kind of the rest kind of unravels the way it should. And it seems like you You know, okay, I would do psychology, but doesn’t mean I have to be a psychologist or stuck. I was interested in people. And I think that interests must have carried over right into your career now and completely and understand people.

Euan Brown 6:17
Yeah, I’ll complete is everything about marketing is really getting under the skin of why people do what they do, why they think what they think, and, you know, trying to talk to people in the right way and find the right people to talk to. So all of that is psychology. So it I do think psychology and marketing has a big crossover.

Kyler Canastra 6:36
And I feel like a lot of things, I was just talking to somebody for another episode about travel and how travel impacted their outlook on marketing. So there’s so many different factors in life that I don’t think are so clear cut. And I do find that in Europe, that kind of when you like do a degree, you have to like go and do that as your career. And I think maybe in the UK, the US we kind of have this more of a mindset of Well, you did that. And now you can do whatever you want. Like in the US, you could study English literature and become a lawyer. So it’s kind of very much I think that’s a new trend that hopefully I think in continental Europe, you can hope to have, because I think a lot of people are very much like stuck with that idea. And I think it was really cool that you just kind of chased this passion of I like TV, and I like people and internet. And let’s see what happens. Now, when I was doing my research at that point in your career, I was like, okay, that’s really, really interesting. We could have a whole episode about his work in digital, like media and the BBC and all this. But then I also found out that he worked at Coca Cola, which is obviously a huge, you know, name around the world, and also pioneers in marketing. So they’re kind of like the top dogs when it comes to that. And in 2011 he started working there, where you produce content and products and marketing for Europe, including works for the London 2012 Olympics, and the share a coke campaign. So when I read that, I was like, This couldn’t get any more interesting in the funnel, like pick every part, pick up every fire part and see, like, wow, how was that experience? I kind of want to know, like, how was it to work for Coca Cola, and like on an international event that’s so significant, like as the Olympic Games, but also just like the Olympic Games in London in which for you know, the UK was such a big momentous moment in 2012 that I had been able to host that so how was that experience?

Euan Brown 8:14
Well, it was Yeah, it was it was it was a Yeah, definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity to work for that you know, this brilliant brand in exactly the right time. So Coca Cola sponsored the Olympics for a long time. And so every year, the way they structured their marketing comms is that the host country will typically create much of the content and then that is rolled out across the world. So we had a huge team based in the UK they almost took up a whole floor of just people dedicated to London 2010 2012 marketing, comms, creative all of that. And at the same time, we were launching a loyalty program so so I was part of the coming up with creative ideas, we were also setting up this loyalty program so there was a product that we were delivering in order to deliver content in a slightly different way. So we were connecting with basically any customer touch point we tried to find a way to get content on that touch point for one single source so that was all fascinating and then yeah, just being it seemed content only coke could do with cokes resources and the global network was was incredible and then following that from and then obviously being in London at the time was also fantastic so I was very lucky enough to be in the opening ceremony as well. So and if you’re ever in a host city during the Olympics, it’s really a magical time wherever you are. So I highly recommend that as an experienced one once in your life and then share a coke Yeah, we is actually in the UK and Europe we rolled out the same time in Australia had done it the year before and seen this huge success. And coke will often look to other markets to see where they’ve tried new things and we’ll take it forward. So this is not a new concept but a lot of companies work with the 70 / 20 / 10 split where 70% of marketing or resources will be spent on things that you know are tried and tested 20 percent, we’ll be expanding on things that you’ve maybe tried before. And 10% is reserved for trying something new. If it fails, it’s not the end of the world. But if it works, that’s an opportunity to be the 20%, or the 70%. The next year, so, so share a coke was an example of taking something that worked really well in Australia, figuring out how it’s going to work in, in Europe, making it even bigger. So there was a digital component, we knew the people like me, with the name, Euan are probably not going to find their their bottle in a store. But what you could do is you could order your bottle online, and you could also send the friend digital, like Coke can with your name on it and things like that. So we were trying to find ways that you could still engage and find your name, even if you couldn’t find it in your local supermarket.

Kyler Canastra 10:42
So remember that I remember being impacted local, like you have Kyler was never going to be on a can. But I just remember I think the general I think I was in Spain at that point. And it was just, I was like setting abroad and they had it all out. And everyone was like, I just remember people like if I remember like seeing the candle, oh my god, like it’s my name on it. But it’s really cool to like how a company is so big, right? Like Coca Cola could really like connect with its consumer in a new way. And that’s like, the thing that blows my mind about Coca Cola is like it’s a brand that’s been around for so so long. But they’re still coming up with ways to make it fresh and innovative. It’s the same product, but you know, it’s like, has done really well. So it’s really cool that you were able to do that. And I’m very jealous about the Olympics. Because it is really cool. And it’s a must have been like a, like a proud moment for you. Because you’re doing that working on such a campaign. And it’s in a big event. It’s important to the world, also to your country to your city. So it is really, really interesting. Now, another part of your career kind of took another turn without doing research is that you moved into work as a freelancer correct on strategy, content acquisition and CRM for organizations such as virgin HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group in the United Nations, among others. Now, kind of why did you decide to leave Coca Cola and transition to life as a freelancer? Am I a lot of people I don’t think would think that’s like the logical step, I think in a traditional and that’s, that’s great that you did that. I love people who like kind of do things and can take risks and stuff like that. But like, you have this great job at Coca Cola, which is like this leaders talking about how important they are in the world. And you left and kind of took this risk, we can say in transition to this new life. So what did you learn from this career shift? And why did you do it?

Euan Brown 12:19
So the reason why I did it at the time was, I think, I think I sort of take the Coca Cola box, and I take the objective, but I needed to do a coke cola. And my role became a little bit more teaching others how to do content marketing, which is great, but I love creating the digital content marketing. So I wanted to move into a role where I could could consult with others and I could need some of those projects. So I worked agency side and I work client side during that time. So I work for an agency that specialized in shopper marketing. That was a new thing that I didn’t hadn’t really got lots of experience on Coke is is really it has an unbelievably amazing shopper marketing strategy for fmcg. It’s probably worldleading. They’ve got it. I can I can tell you talk to him for an hour on that. But so coming from that background, it was interesting then going into more of an fmcg and seeing how other brands did it like Procter and Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser and ABN Bev and all of those. I work client side for and with agencies. For a lot of the financial institutions. I work with Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC, on different projects. So Lloyds Banking Group was all around content strategy, and rolling out consistent content approach across the whole of Lloyds Banking Group. So for those who don’t know, it’s one if not the biggest Banking Group in the UK, I think half of all of Britain’s are a customer of Lloyds Banking Group in one way or another. So they have all this data. And because they all operate these different brands in a different way, they wanted to find what is consistent, how can you so we I created a content playbook, where literally from start to finish even if you don’t know what content marketing is, you will understand why you do it, what you’re gonna get out of it, how you create great ideas, how do you optimize it? And then finally, how do you share everything you’ve done with the rest of the team, because I don’t know about you. But I’ve certainly worked for a lot of companies that don’t like revealing when things haven’t worked quite so well. And I believe that that’s a that’s a stigma that we need to try and get out a little bit. I think we need to embrace trying new things not at a big scale, I think we need to try new things at a small scale. And then embracing them when they fail because that’s something we’ve learned from so we still got a long way to go. But But slowly I think the more that we can get this kind of test and learn mentality and just try new things and trying to do things in a better way. I think ultimately your marketing will work better. So I think I got off the topic a bit. Bye bye did for Lloyds Banking Group. HSBC. I worked on a project to again it was a consistent finding. Enough that’s a word job to take all of the different brand guidelines that they had for HSBC around the world and try and bring In the morning to one, and then create a their own version of sort of design language that is consistent. So that was something that I did the content for. And I sort of brought all of these together. And were asked, Did I work? I’m sure I work for others. And I did. Yeah. And I worked a tiny little bit on Google, and a few other brands as well. So yes, it was a great time where I got to try. It was actually the first time I’ve worked agency side before. So that was also another reason to just see how the other side work, because I’d only be client side up until then.

Kyler Canastra 15:31
That’s awesome. Now I have some questions that came from all of that, first of all our comments, I want to make that whole idea about like taking risk and making mistakes is so essential to content marketing. And I just want to reiterate that for anyone listening, because I feel like that’s the hardest thing. I mean, in my experience, working with clients that maybe don’t fully understand how it works, and a lot of it is trial and error, and a lot of his time and patience. I think that’s something that you brought up and like having the playbook and also being able to be like this didn’t work. And being transparent about that. I think that’s something that we’re getting better at, even though it’s like a global society in the sense of like, it’s okay to not be perfect, and it’s okay to be like, you could be like the best person in your industry and still make a mistake, that’s normal for human. So I think that was fine to like, highlight that from the, from that. But also, I did want to ask to like, so you took this, you made this change and you made it the I’m going to be a freelancer and get this consultant and work and work with different agencies have different big companies, etc. How did you like, Did you like having to network to like, already, like, have these connections to reach out to people? Or like, how did you get your name out there? But I feel like a lot of people will want to listen and be like, Okay, well, I’m working on a really job that I feel like all my boxes are checked, like how you felt Coca Cola, and I want to do something different take that risk, how do I get started?

Euan Brown 16:48
You know what, there’s no secret, like I do have, as time goes on, my connections get better and better. So but anyone can put a note out on LinkedIn or to your people that you work with saying like, hey, if you know if you hear anything, this is the kind of thing I’m looking for. And I would talk to recruitment agencies, but the right ones who I’ve worked with for a long time, and just made sure they knew exactly what I was looking for. And they kept me in mind. And then I obviously like everyone else, I applied for jobs and opportunities when I when I see them coming. So. So yeah, no secrets. They’re really just what everyone else does, and afraid. Yeah. So reach out to your network, get a good recruiter and apply. And then you know when and then when you apply, just try and go the extra mile. Because if you’re ever the other side of the table recruiting you spot those people. So clearly, if people look like they really, really want the role, I can’t speak for everyone. But for me, certainly, I’m really interested in seeing people who that passion comes across. So if you go the extra mile is is noted

Kyler Canastra 17:49
and makes sense. And passion is what gets you out of bed every morning to do it. So if you don’t have a passion for the driver, you’re doing the dishes to be doing it. But it doesn’t seem like it’s good to like have people see that because then it shows that you’re committed without even starting the project that you’re working on. So it’s really important, I think a lot of people to get, you know, they’re comfortable in their jobs. And that whole idea of taking a risk and reaching out to my network can be scary. But I do think nowadays, especially like with LinkedIn, and all these things, we can easily do that. And we’re much more we have greater access to more opportunities because of the internet and how everything’s online. Now, during that time, when you were doing that work as a freelancer, you also worked for Virgin. And now you’re working at Virgin Red as the head of content and digital. So for the listeners who maybe don’t know, and honestly I didn’t know because I’m not in the UK, nor am I British, so maybe I just don’t have any, I believe Virgin I know what it is. But they’re so in a such a big corporation, I didn’t know every like little subsidiary of it is. Virgin Red is a part of Virgin, and it’s one of the most important, which is obviously the most important one of the most important companies in the UK. And it launched in 2020. So Virgin Red is quite new. It’s a rewards club, essentially. And a quote, it’s the red thread, which connects the version family and where members can earn on everyday items to save for the extraordinary and quote, so that the company you lead teams to commission and publish editorial product, campaign and commercial content to acquire, engage and convert audiences. So definitely content content is the name of the game for you. So can you tell us a bit more about the work that you’re doing in Virgin Red? And kind of? How is it the red thread that connects everything within the Virgin world? And also, what’s a typical workday for you like, are you like remote? Are you trying to manage teams online? Kind of a bit more about what you do every day?

Euan Brown 19:32
Sure. So yeah, so Virgin Red is? Well, it’s a new it’s a relatively new rewards club for the virgin group. So as you as you mentioned, the virgin group is very broad, and there’s lots of different companies within it. And Virgin Red is all about trying to bring those even close together. And giving it’s a it’s a reward scheme. So if you hopefully our customers, certain virgin companies, you will earn virgin points so you can then spend those virgin points on on great rewards. So that That’s what we do. So as you said, we we launched an MVP at the tail end of last year, we went, we went big this year with the launch, we’ve got plans to scale up. So that’s what’s keeping me busy right now, in terms of my team, we lead on digital marketing and content marketing. So on the digital marketing side, it’s all around making sure that we get our comms and our content in the right places to the right audiences. So looking at media plans, looking at how we test and learn to optimize looking at things like SEO, and trying to optimize our content, creation as well. So looking to see if there are tools that we can use to make us work better. And for example, automation is something that we’re looking at now, there are a lot, there’s lots of content that we create, and some of it is quite manual. So the more that we can automate that the more we can focus on creating really brilliant work. So that’s the digital side of things. And then on the content side of things. We create content for our social channels for Virgin Red, and we create content for Virgin Red on the app, and the website. And then we also create content for virgin master brands. So when we talk about virgin master brand, we’ve got the overarching virgin master brand. And then below that you have all of the great virgin companies across the world, we create content for virgin master brand, which talks about all of those different companies and some of the initiatives that all of those companies share. So it might be, you know, trying to find more environmentally friendly ways to do things, or it might be how virgin innovate. So telling those stories as well and meeting the people. And then the last one is entrepreneurship. So Richard Branson is probably known as the ultimate entrepreneur. So entrepreneurship is something that is, like flooded. So that’s another red thread that flows through the virgin company. So how do we do? How do we do things differently? And how do we highlight all the great work we’re doing around entrepreneurship,

Kyler Canastra 21:47
I feel like for virgin like storytelling is a very big part of the brand’s identity. I mean, for example, like and I don’t want to sound stupid, famous, but I don’t really know much about virgin because, for me, it’s like Virgin Records was like the big thing when I was growing up in the US, but I know what it is, I know Richard Branson, you know, his story. I know, like the impact it’s had, but I don’t know specifically. So it seems like they do a good job in terms of storytelling, which is great. I just wanted to know, like in terms of like a set of your scaling up right now. So probably haven’t had time to really do a lot of big campaigns or, you know, piece of content. But what has been a piece of content that really worked well, for you average, and read, or maybe one that hasn’t worked well.

Euan Brown 22:25
So there was a campaign when we launched in June. So we did a big TVC, we did, led by another team, not me. But we did a big TVC and a big acquisition campaign to try and let people know who virgin red is and and start getting the word out there about what’s in it for customers. And as part of that, there was a an experiential activation where it was very cool, we had an ice cream, Van floating in free air and people came by, you could get a free ice cream, but you could also enter a competition to win points and somebody won a million points. So from a digital side, were still very young. So we started to do competitions on social. So the first one we did, we thought, well, not everyone can get to London. So anyone else in the UK can take part in a social competition and also win 1 million points, which by far and away was the most engaging thing we’ve done up until then. So that works incredibly well. And we’re able to create content from the event itself. And you know, have the winners winning at the event, and then also celebrating the winners online. So it’s very simple, but it was something that we knew our audience really liked competitions. because historically, this is actually the second version of version read. And the first version was all around competition. So some members are still various competitions, and they like that. So we know that that was going to engage them. What are what we now need to focus on is how do we bring all of those competition loving funds into the new program, which is all about being a virgin customer and being rewarded by using virgin red to earn points?

Kyler Canastra 23:54
And how do you like I’m curious now when you’re talking about like your target audience, and you know that they’re competitive, and they have this nature? Like, how do you guys do your research on your target audience to connect better with them.

Euan Brown 24:04
So we do social listening. So you do some social listening, just to understand a little bit about the market. We use, we do brand tracking exercises, we have customer panels, we do qualitative and quantitative research. These are different teams that will need on the insights and then they gather them all and we take those key insights and that informs our content strategy, then obviously, we look at our our data. So we’ll find we’ll have a look to see what posts are performing well and why. And we’ll we’ll also experiment with different ad targeting. So we’ll look at look alike audiences or we’ll target certain interest groups. Something that’s very interesting about virgin read is that it’s actually a lot of the time we’re not just targeting metal fans of loyalty companies, because we have so many different partners that we work with all from Virgin Atlantic, to virgin wines and, and everything in between. So, it those people who are in There are going to be lots of different groups who are interested in different rewards. And so that the way that we communicate, the way that we target has to be very different, it’s very different to a brand like, say, a bank, where actually those audiences are going to be quite quite similar. So you might try different approaches, this is almost a catalogue of different audiences that we need to try and get under the skin. So some of them will be virgin read fans, or we will want them to be urgent read fans, some of them will be more tactical, where we’ll talk to people who we think will be interested in those specific rewards.

Kyler Canastra 25:30
Now, just gonna save a free talked about the different like, Virgin wines and how you have to kind of reach out to those different audiences, I was gonna say, you already have a lot of work on your plate with like, the fact that you’re like, kind of revitalizing Virgin Red with something that had existed before. And you’re trying to convince these old customers to come back while also attracting new people. But then you have all these different audiences now. So I feel, I understand why you’re very busy at the moment because of this scaling up and also trying to get everything out and to connect and build the name. Let’s do a lot of work and a lot of pressure. But now I kind of wanted to take that and kind of look at more of a philosophical idea that you have, and I wanted my preparation, I found this, but you think it’s really important for marketers to not follow the latest trends when it comes to innovating? Which I guess seems odd, like not obvious. I’m not trying to, like bring that down at all. But it’s kind of like, okay, yeah, you have to be innovative. But I do feel like from what I can see, a lot of marketers are just following the latest trends, and they’re just trying to go for a quick answer. I mean, it’s, you know, flashy and bright. And I suddenly I think that since you made it such as your, you emphasize that so much, I want to know why why do you Why do you think that’s so important? And what why what do you think marketers get wrong when it comes to content marketing?

Euan Brown 26:43
So I’d say so I think I said, The caveat to that is. It’s totally fine to try new things. I encourage and think it’s a great idea for people to try new things, but get your basics right first. I think that’s what it really is. So there’s so many different parts of content marketing that you’re going to probably see more of an impact if you get those basics right. And then, if you’ve got time later on, then you start trying the the new things and new tactics. So I would say if you’re starting out, if let’s say you’re a brand new company, and you haven’t done anything, don’t go straight on TikTok, I mean, maybe it’s the right thing for your brand. But TikTok is still, it’s a really great an interesting proposition, it’s going to be right for certain customers, it’s not going to be right for everyone. I would start with things like email, which is relatively inexpensive but very effective. I’d start with having a look at social platforms that are well established, like Facebook and Instagram, where those ads tend to have a bit more of an impact. I would start looking at SEO. So SEO is a really great way to try and drive lots of traffic through if you’ve got a blog. So those are sort of your basics of content marketing to get right, and then once you’ve done that, then you can start testing and learning and maybe trying the new things. But I’d say there’s always going to be something new that might distract you. So again, just focus on getting those things right, making those sing. And then once you’re doing that, then go crazy, do the other stuff. But the other thing to say is if you are going to launch a new channel, definitely try it or try new thing, definitely have a plan for supporting overtime. So there’s, I can’t remember the stats. It’s crazy. But it’s something like only 20% of business blogs have more than three posts. It’s crazy. So it just doesn’t look good. If you can keep it up to date, Google will love you. So Google is always all about new content, really relevant content, and you’re just getting more people coming to your to your site. So if you are going to try these new things, have a plan and stick to the plan if you can, if you don’t think you’re going to be able to commit to it. Sometimes it’s better just not to do it until you’re ready. Yeah,

Kyler Canastra 28:40
these things take time. And as I mentioned before, it’s just patience. I think a lot of times now like in the world that we live in, everything’s instant, you can get anything you want in a second, or online or you know, instant gratification. I think with content marketing, I always have to explain this to be both like takes time and you have to be consistent. It might be annoying that you have to post a blog post every week. But that’s how you’re going to build your name, how you’re going to get more like credibility on Google, for example.

Euan Brown 29:04
And there are some things in content marketing, which are fairly instant. But there are some things that as you say, are going to take time, it takes time to build a newsletter database, it takes time for your SEO to kick in. But if you’re after something that’s bit quicker advertising so you can use social advertising to really quickly regionally. So there’s it while you’re building that and getting the groundwork done. And once you’ve done that, that’s a relatively inexpensive way to drive people to your site and not only people but the right people because you’ve got content they’re coming for. And hopefully they’re in there subscribing to the newsletter because they’re finding it interesting. So yeah, just kind of get getting getting the basics right, I think is

Kyler Canastra 29:44
before you do the new thing. Let’s dig into the basics, which we nowadays it’s hard to forget like to remember that it’s easy to forget to Like rush the newest thing and kind of just see what happened and get a quick result. So it’s cool that you said like yeah, you can do that. But at the same time, you have to make sure you You have your bases covered. And now you’re kind of doing the hard work on the side as well. Now, so you’re giving us some advice. And now when I kind of switched to the recommendations prior brand review, which I always loved, this is my favorite part. And I think any listeners probably going to be sick of me saying that all the time, I just love it. Because I get to have all these really cool people on the show, who would then share with me differently, you know, habits they have, or different tools they use. And I’m always like writing everything down for myself, which is, it’s great, I get a free insight all the time, which is really, you know, my favorite parts of the show. Now, I have to ask like daily habits, it’s like, that’s like a big topic of conversation. Now. It’s just like, everyone has these habits, how to, like, we know the habits of a CEO and all this stuff. But I do think they’re important and thinking that I have a routine. And I like to stick to my routine. And I think it gives me success in my career. So I’m just wondering, do you have any daily habits that you would concrete like attribute to your success.

Euan Brown 30:53
So I try, so I’m not going to always are not always going to say I stick to them. But I’d say, oh, man, there’s nothing we’re gonna say that is revolutionary. It’s just trying to go to bed at a decent time. Trying to wake up a bit early and get ahead. Like if you can exercise before you go to work, you just feel so smug, it’s a really great way to say and even and it’s, and then actually, I’ve read a great book, I’m going to get it wrong, but it’s about habits, I’m going to remember the name of it soon. But essentially, take any good habits you want, try and make them as easy as possible. any bad habits try make them as hard as possible. So for example, I’ll put my gym cut out the night before, because then it means if it’s cold outside, and I’m cozy in bed, I look at it and go well, it’s not that much work to put my gym kit on isn’t actually right there. So all of that. So try and do that.

Kyler Canastra 31:42
Atomic habits by James clear, that’s it.

Euan Brown 31:47
Great, great book. So love that. So if you if you’re somebody who struggles to if you think you’re not the kind of person who can get it done, this book basically tells you you’re not alone. And there are ways to make it even easier. And I think in that book as well, they had a great something that’s very inspiring, which said, even if you’re 1% better every day, and 1% better is not very hard, then over time, it’s exponential, right? So you do really well. And actually, it’s true, you have to have faith in the process, do little make little changes every day, and you will see the results. So it’s I think it’s a great book. Yeah, I’d say the night before, I also have a look at my calendar, and I have a look at to do list and I get I get that in priority order. I will say that to do list will change during the day. And I don’t always get through all In fact, I can’t remember the last time I got through all but that’s okay, as long as you’re prioritizing the right stuff. And then when I get especially busy, I just try and make it a point to check that list every few hours just to make sure I’m on track and things like being left off. Yeah, and then everything else is just trying to be ahead of it. So looking at your calendar, look at your to do list and communicating if you’re not going to get to something let people know ASAP. Yeah, yeah, nothing, nothing revolutionary.

Kyler Canastra 33:02
The last thing he says is important to like knowing how to communicate, when you can’t get something done, or you mean like knowing when to ask for help when you need it. I think it’s I think a lot of times we put so much pressure on ourselves to get through the to do list and make sure we get it done. But there could be someone else’s, maybe have some free time that could help you and you know, you get done together. It’s kind of like, letting your guard down like, okay, I can ask for help. That’s not Yeah,

Euan Brown 33:23
I am. 100% not good at that. So I will sometimes do but sometimes there’ll be like, you know what, I’m just gonna do it. I’m just gonna get it done. And yeah, it’s something I definitely need to improve on.

Kyler Canastra 33:33
Yeah, and now this question, I feel like cuz, like, people could interpret it like in a cheesy way, but I think it’s important like do you have a professional role model or source of inspiration?

Euan Brown 33:45
I was thinking about this, the honest truth is there isn’t like a one person who I look up to, I do even though he was quite controversial figure I did sort of admire Steve Jobs for being having such a clear vision. And he was such an incredible marketer. You know, he was a bit of a geek as well, which is, which is great. He obviously understood the technology but actually much more was the vision. And you know, you can see that when he came back to Apple Apple had been floundering, and it’s only gone from strength to strength. So him being so focused, and yes, I’m sure he was very difficult to work with but him being so focused, having that clear vision was actually incredibly helpful for that company. So and it’s so good that that company is now worth Oh, it’s something crazy like $2 trillion dollars. So you know, his his legacy has really led to that. Now, I don’t think I’ve ever will probably want to work quite the same way that Steve Jobs did, but I I try and take away having that clear vision and trying to be like, no, this is the right thing to do. Let’s find a way to do the right thing. At least be on that path. Yeah, though. I know sometimes I just need to let you know, but 80% good is good enough. I think Steve Jobs is like 100% good has to be good enough. You know, they they make really good product. So maybe they Be 100%.

Kyler Canastra 35:01
Right? Yeah. Now you also mentioned we talked about some books before. But I also want to ask like, if you have any, like apps or tools or platforms, or other books that you’d recommend for readers, especially those, like in marketing.

Euan Brown 35:14
So anyone in marketing, especially content marketing, where you have, especially if you’re working multi markets multi channel, it’s very difficult to keep on top of your content plans, and keep them all connected. So I use a database tool called air table, which I love. Air table comm is a simple to use database, which looks a lawful lot like a spreadsheet at first glance, but it will also package the information up in a calendar or something like that. So when you’re planning a content calendar, rather than looking at the numbers, which for me, sometimes my eyes will glaze over, you get to see all the content visually, and you can move it around and you can add images. And so it’s it’s, it has the spreadsheet function it but it’s much, much broader. It helps keep everything a bit more consistent. And it helps keep everything linked together. And if you set it up, right, you can also do automation. So if you let’s say in a table, you mark something as approved, that can then send an email to somebody say it’s ready for approval, and you might then respond to add feedback in the tool. So it’s really cool. It’s really cool. Yeah, so we’re just, and they keep adding new functionality all the time. Yeah, I kind of love it. People people give me people read me about how much they go on about it.

Kyler Canastra 36:29
And well together, they’re not paying me to say this book that I know of, Oh,

Euan Brown 36:33
no, they’re not. They’re not, but I’ll do the checks in the place to hope.

Kyler Canastra 36:36
Yeah, exactly. Well, we’ve come to the end of the interview, which was, I mean, we could have talked for a long time. And I could have taken apart every you know, aspect of your career and kind of picked it apart even more. But unfortunately, we have the time. So we can’t go too long. But I do want to ask like as we wrap everything up, if you have any, like Final takeaways or a parting piece of parting advice for our audience.

Euan Brown 36:58
Oh, my goodness, parting advice. So dependency is listening to this podcast. So I mean, I’ve already kind of covered it. If you’re new to content marketing, or digital marketing, and just want to get started, you know, that the way I got in was to go through recruitment agencies and find one that specializes in your thing. Again, if you want to get started, I’d recommend just looking at content that you enjoy and trying to figure out why. And then, you know, maybe create your own blog, it’s not a bad idea to there’s so many free sites out there, or even if you’re on Squarespace, it’s like 10 pounds, $10 a month, something like that, to just get started. And honestly, if you are looking for a job, it just showing that you’ve got the passion you’re willing to learn is already you’re going to put yourself lightyears ahead of anyone else. And then if you’re established in the industry, just keep learning and keep trying new things. I know I said don’t try chase things just for the sake of it. But definitely keep on top of it. There’s so many blogs and websites out there. Give it a go. Just trying to figure out why why it’s working or what’s not. And use that same format. So test and learn. That’s a tested, test and learn and try and be as scientific as you can. Yeah, exactly. So yeah, so you know exactly why it’s working, not just you’ve got two things and one work better, you need to know why, why?

Kyler Canastra 38:12
The reason behind it exactly. And I’m sure a lot of people listening are going to be like, I want to follow him where I want to like ask him a question or get in touch, like what’s the best way to reach out to you or to follow up?

Euan Brown 38:26
Probably on LinkedIn. So. So my name is Euan Brown. So it’s EU A n. Brown, there’s only a few of us. So it should be fairly easy to find. I’m the one that works at Virgin Red.

Kyler Canastra 38:38
for you. And I want to thank you again so much for your time and for sharing so much from your your experience with us today. And yeah, it was a great episode. And I also just want to thank everyone for listening, as always, and as always, I want to give the plug but for more perspectives on content marketing industry in Europe, check out where you can see all the past episodes that we’ve had. And keep tuning in to the podcast for more interviews with great content experts like Euan. So we’ll see you all next time and you and thank you again for your time today.

Euan Brown 39:09
Thank you very much

Transcribed by