Today on The Content Mix, Carlota Pico speaks with Samara Johansson, an accomplished marketer who recently founded the content marketing agency Samara Global. After earning her MBA and working in marketing research and communications in New York City, Samara relocated to Stockholm eight years ago. In this interview, she tells us about working in financial services and the B2B tech industry, discovering the importance of localization across the EMEA region and focusing on what really matters in marketing.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on YouTube, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • Good communication and content are born from a deep understanding of your target audience and their learning journey, as well as your competitors and the industry you’re working in. This understanding has to be driven by data and strategic analysis.
  • For Samara, moving to Sweden was a chance to reinvent her career. She realized that Europe is an enormously diverse market, comprising dozens of different cultures and languages—which makes humility and localization key for marketing.
  • Relocating abroad requires you to translate your own experiences and value to a different cultural context. You have to discover your own USP, find out what the locals are already offering and identify what makes you stand out.
  • Adapting to the era of COVID-19 presents the same basic challenges for any business. No matter the industry you’re in, you have to make sure your messages are authentic, identify the audience’s needs and worries, add value and stay relevant.
  • After losing her job due to the pandemic, Samara had to rethink her career. She came to the conclusion that the heart of marketing is creating feelings through content, and decided to found her own agency to focus on exactly that.

It all starts with being curious and humble; putting yourself in the shoes of your audience and going on the journey with them.

Rapid-fire recs

An influencer who you recommend?

Most marketers follow Neil Patel. His site really adds value for readers, whether you subscribe to his services or not. I think that’s something we should all aspire to—to add value to our teams and target audiences—so I love reading his blog.

A valuable resource, event or group?

I recently found out about an online community and app called HON (Her Online Network), which includes women from all walks of life who are looking to learn from each other in a professional context. Networking is very important, so I would definitely recommend it.

Your favorite app at the moment?

I love DailyArt. Each day, the author presents a piece of art and the history behind it. It’s two or three paragraphs long and it’s fascinating. I think if I weren’t in marketing, I would be in art history!

Connect with Samara and Carlota on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Melissa Haun, a freelance content creator based in Lisbon.

For more insights into content marketing, check out:

The power of social listening – Giuseppe La Paglia, content marketing manager at StubHub

Reimagining staycations – Jasmine Anderson, global content marketing manager

Marketing our most precious resource – Kristina Foster, content marketing leader

To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.