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First Semester of Digital Content Marketing Comes to a Close

Many of you know that VC Social is the class brand for Digital Content Marketing (BUS V52) at Ventura College, and that I spent many hours getting this course approved by curriculum, not to mention the time it took to build the website on WordPress. This wouldn’t be possible without the amazing folks who work at Ventura College, and in particular, I’d like to thank my fellow Business Department faculty and my Division’s Dean.

As the first semester of this class comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what we accomplished and where our opportunities lie in the future.

To begin with, I couldn’t be more proud of the first ever cohort of students that went through this course together. Each week, they brought enthusiasm and creativity to the classroom. Whether it was a group or individual project, students were truly contributors and I’m excited with the direction that this brand is headed.

Did everything run perfectly? Is the website completely done? Are our social media profiles complete? Probably not. But then, I was never in a rush, so these questions are moot.

Was there collaboration amongst students? Did quality content get created? Was a standard set for future iterations of this course? Yes. Without a doubt. I even got a chance to do a food review of my own!

I will continue spending time on this project over the holiday season, in anticipation of the Spring 2022 section of Digital Content Marketing (BUS V52). To make sure that my time goes towards relevant actions, I’d like to pose the following questions to the current students:

  1. Was this class organized in an efficient way, or could it have been setup differently to optimize our efforts?
  2. What assignments had the most impact on learning? What assignments could have been improved?
  3. What are your educational/professional plans for after this class/program ends, and what have you learned in this class that you can take with you into the real world?
  4. Were there roles or activities that you were hoping to practice that you didn’t get a chance at? If so, what?
  5. Were there skills or lessons that you were hoping to learn about that didn’t get covered? If so, what?
  6. Finally, do you have any advice for future students that go through not only this course, but the Social Media Marketing program at Ventura College in general?

11 replies on “First Semester of Digital Content Marketing Comes to a Close”

I work in digital marketing already, and there were definitely things that we learned that felt like more of a refresher for me than new information, but that made it even more important for me to revisit these concepts. It’s one thing to sit in a classroom (or online) and learn a subject, it’s another thing to go out in the real world and apply it, but to be able to do both simultaneously gives you a completely different perspective. Something about the structure of the class broke down things like a blog post into what felt like campaigns, making the assignments feel simple – not easy, but simple from a structural point of view. I think I would have benefitted from having more of a content calendar for the whole semester in the beginning, but overall I think the curriculum really built up to a nice point. In particular, I think I learned more from the podcast assignment (which I now wish was an entire class unto itself, I would have loved to delve deeper into that world and learn more about podcasting in general) and the live coverage assignment than I anticipated. Not just because I learned how to record a podcast or how to go live on Instagram, (because at the end of the day Instagram isn’t a particularly difficult piece of technology, any 13 year old can figure it out) but because I was working in a team for the first time in a while and working with others gives me an opportunity to see from their perspective and learn from them. That also includes all of the student demonstrations. For instance, I might have “known” how to do an Instagram Story but hearing from someone who makes them on a regular basis and with a particular purpose opened up my mind to other ways I could be using them in my professional life. That’s the great thing about this class, I suppose, is that we’re all here to learn but we also all have something to teach and we all get to help each other on our journeys. For anyone taking this class next semester, I would keep that in mind: use this whole program as an opportunity to network and learn from your peers. The Social Media Marketing program is full of people at different places in their lives and you can get a better understanding of how to apply what you’re learning to your career (or future career) if you pay attention to how others are doing the same. It might even give you an idea of what you want to do next.

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I have lots of experience with social media from an influencer standpoint, but not so much from a business standpoint and I believe having that added perspective has been very beneficial.I looked forward to coming to class each week, and the only thing I would say about the structure/ organization of it was that it felt a bit rushed. I would’ve loved for this to be a full 18 week semester long course, and think it would have benefitted me more if that were the case. I really enjoyed on of our earlier assignments where we had to pick a topic and write our first post about it (the one where I reviewed the Drake album and Torrey did the different local coffee shops etc). I felt that that type of assignment great practice for this type of work we may be going in to. I would’ve liked if we had more time to do stuff like that, and to get deeper into other forms of content creation for the website, such as video. I wasn’t.a huge fan of the group work. I totally understand that when you’re working in this field its quite possible you will need to do group work with peers, but as adults of varying ages with kids, jobs, etc. it made it pretty difficult to organize. I enjoyed the partnered work much more because its a lot easier to schedule something and divide up tasks between two people than it is between four. I loved the concept of a podcast assignment, but would have preferred it being between a group of two, and I think one less group assignment would’ve given us more time to learn other individual skills.
I hope to enter the field of social media marketing after I complete the certificate program, and I feel there is so much from this course I’ve learned about how to put many of these things into practice. I’d never used wordpress before so that was great to learn and I would’ve loved to go even deeper into it and the specifics of what we can do on here, and I learned a lot through to student demos. There was good information that could be taken from every demo, and I think that was a great idea on professor Nick’s part, to realize that we all had valuable skills we could share. The demo about creating a content calendar and using a scheduled post app was the most beneficial for me personally and I can see myself using those things for years to come. I really enjoyed the lecture days, even though I know the goal of this class is to be more hands on, I felt like I learned the most from the lectures on the different subjects we were learning about.
Overall I really enjoyed my time in this class, and wish it could’ve been longer because I feel like there were so many valuable things I was learning about. My advice to anyone coming into this program would be to take as much from it as you can. Its a lot of different things you’re learning and lots of moving parts, but you’re learning such valuable and practical things if you’re looking to go in to this line of work. Ask lots of questions and use your time here to try out different things you don’t already have experience with.

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I love this class! Like Spencer said in her comments, the real world approach Professor Norris takes with his teaching style is rich with learning opportunities. There was a strong flavor of taking ownership in the VCSocial website that made the class feel more like running a small marketing business than taking a typical class course, and as a musician entrepreneur I thrive in those environments. I wouldn’t change anything about the structure of the teaching, though I also agree with Spencer that a “content calendar” would be helpful. Maybe that could be an assignment at the start of each semester?
Speaking of assignments, my favorite was producing the group podcast, because I learned a lot about my classmates in the conversation about hybrid learning. (It’s worth a listen, and the link is in my profile page.) To Spencer, Julia and Sylvia–I’d work with you all again for sure! My next favorite, tied with the first, was Instagram Live with Ximena. We went thrift store shopping and had to create content in the moment that was compelling and interactive. I am super impressed with Ximena’s authenticity and skill. Both of these experiences underlined the course goals in ways that delivered skills filled with real world impact.
In my world I’m already using the skills I’ve learned in this class and in the Social Media Marketing Certificate program. I’m a musician working with the Ventura Artists’ Union, helping artists promote their work while promoting my own. What this class taught me is a deeper sense of integrating content across multiple platforms. Staying consistent and remaining flexible within an ever changing social media environment requires a plan of action that is able to shift. I can’t imagine adding more to this class but if you could, I would like to know more about tracking data like SEO optimization and Google analytics. Any one of these skills could be a separate class in itself, so I would like to learn more about that–because the numbers are important. I think future classes will benefit from having a history to look at as VCSocial grows. My advice to the future Digital Media Marketing students is “Double down on the commitment you’ve made to learn social media marketing. Take ownership of the assignments and integrate the skills being taught to reach your goals. You’ll get way more out of this class and this program if you make it your own.”

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Technically, I already finished the Social Media Marketing certification, but when this class was added, I knew I had to take it! This course helped me grow my understanding of executing a strategy across different media types (blog, podcasts, social posts) like online businesses and publications do. The class gave us a lot of hands-on opportunities to develop new skills and polish the skills we’ve already learned in previous courses or in our current positions.
I liked that the course built on itself, starting with the basics of WordPress and then building on each skill and platform. I felt that we touched on pretty much every aspect of digital marketing. With that being said, I also felt like we barely scratched the surface of digital marketing. We had a lot of material to cover and a lot of hands-on practice that we rushed through. In your previous courses, we had online discussions we had to respond to and comment on our classmate’s responses. If you apply these discussions to this course, it can ensure that we thoroughly digest the lecture info, and have a chance to discuss it with our classmates before the next class. This way, our class time can be used for collaborating with our partners and to work on the technical skills with your help. If it were up to me, I would make this a two-part course since digital marketing has so much to it. One semester can be dedicated to building the foundation: learning how to maneuver through WordPress, the social media platforms, how to upload and embed, and lots of copywriting practice. Then the second semester could be where we execute this and collaborate on the VC Social site and social media.
With that being said, I still learned so much from this course! My favorite assignment was the Live event social media collaboration. It was fun to get out in the field with a partner and bring our skills together to share a community event. I also really enjoyed the op-ed and informational posts we had to create for the site. I’m getting more and more interested in copywriting and this gave me a chance to work on this skill. Another part of class that I found extremely valuable was the student skill presentations. Everyone in the class had such a diverse skill set and many of the topics they covered have already helped me in my job!
The only skills I wish I could have worked on that we didn’t cover were video and audio editing. I’m often asked if I have experience with that and I don’t know it beyond reels/tiktoks.
I’m currently working as a social media coordinator, managing 6 accounts and copywriting for a local blog. I’m hoping to eventually find a business partner or grow into a social media agency. I really enjoy working with small businesses and nonprofits, helping them to reach their target market through social media.
My advice for future social media marketing students is to jump in! I’ve learned a lot as I go and so far I haven’t had any moments where I feel completely lost. I recommend taking notes in all of the required courses and revisiting them often. This program is amazing because everything we learned actually applies to my daily work. If you are feeling lost or confused when you’re starting out, never fear because Professor Nick is the best resource! I’ve lost track of how many times he’s helped me when I’m stuck or learning a new platform.
Overall, this course has added so much value to my job and even got me a raise from one of my accounts!

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I agree with you – I would have benefited from more time spent on video and audio editing. I also like your suggestion of this class being 2 parts – or as someone else suggested, the class being the full 18 weeks rather than 12.

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I’m really sad that this class is coming to a close. As all good things come they must come to an end. This class has been the best experience I have had in a class so far at Ventura College. Yes, I know that this class just got its debut this semester, but for a new class, it was better organized than I expected. I was prepared for a panic week/lecture. That didn’t happen, which I’m glad about. The assignments that we had were thoroughly explained to be expected of us. The assignment that I had the most learning experience and could’ve been improved on is the podcast group assignment. One of the things I wanted to learn is how to make a podcast and what the experience is like recording one. The discussion I had with Torrey and Amy was great, but it was difficult to get to that point. Working in a group of four adults who have other responsibilities outside of the classroom was hard. Trying to find days, where we all could get together, was impossible, but we made it work. If the group assignment was a group of two or people placed together with similar schedules it would’ve been much smoother. Even though that was not the best experience of the class, I’m glad I had that experience. The reason why is that it makes it realistic to work with people on a professional level. You have to make arrangements to get the project done, even if it’s hard to do so. The other thing I will take into my professional setting is WordPress. It has been a game changer. You can build and plan a lot of content in one place. Finally, the advice that I have for future students that are planning to take the Social Media Marketing program is to be a sponge and apply what you learn. Yes, there are going to be stuff that you already know because it’s social media, but when it comes to hearing something you never heard before soak it all in. Then when you have a good understanding of it apply it to your socials or clients that you may have. It will be beneficial for you or your clients in the long run.

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I have genuinely enjoyed this class. Professor Nick did an excellent job of keeping us interested, engaged and excited about the work we were doing and the lessons we were being taught. That being said, I wish this class would have been the full 18 weeks rather than just 12. Six weeks would have been very beneficial for me and with those six weeks we could have created a content calendar like some of my classmates mentioned and had a few more assignments. While some people might find “homework” to be annoying, with this class the assignments really felt like the perfect mix of passion-project and school. The assignment that was most memorable for me was the live coverage event, I just wish I wouldn’t have had to pull the majority of the weight when it came to it. It was a lot of fun to get out there and complete an assignment in a way that was more similar to how we would be completing real-life projects. It really made me push myself to think about what I, as the creator, could do to engage my audience. I also really enjoyed the student demos. Professor Nick is a wonderful teacher and something that he always makes obvious to us students is that despite our experience/inexperience levels, we all have something to learn and something to teach. This assignment was a wonderful way of reminding us of this and pushing us to learn from each other. I definitely think professional connections will be made because we were all able to see what each of our classmates has to offer to the Marketing world.
After this class I plan to continue my Marketing journey. I was skeptical of studying Marketing because I doubted myself, my abilities and the likelihood of me being GOOD at this. Because of this class, everything I learned during it and the interest that grew after helping create a website, I am much more confident in my abilities. I have started to build a website that will serve as a personal blog/portfolio in hopes to continue to grow my skill-set. I am also planning on reaching out to some small businesses in order to start building a Marketing clientele, I am just waiting for my website/social media accounts to be more structured so I have something to show for myself.
This class gave us a chance to dip our toes into multiple different forms of Marketing/content creation. Because of that, I don’t necessarily feel like we didn’t touch on something that I wanted to cover, I just realized that six additional weeks in class would have helped me build on my skills a lot more, in particular video/sound editing. With TikTok being an app on the rise for Marketing, I think that would have been very beneficial for those of us who might end up doing in-house Marketing.
I definitely have some advice for future Digital Content Marketing/Social Media Marketing students. When completing assignments, always try your best and make sure your assignment is something you’re proud of. The more effort you put into this class, the more fun it is! There are great opportunities for learning and for growth with Marketing classes, especially considering we are practicing our skills as we’re learning them. If you treat this like any other class, you will notice you will not soak up as much information as you would if you treat this class like a passion project. Coming to class, listening, engaging with your professor and students, soaking up information and going home to practice everything you were taught is the best way to grow as a future Marketer.

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I think for the most part the class was organized in an efficient way as the actual assignments were nicely spaced out. I think the assignments could have been switched around a bit to optimize the class like moving the video assignment earlier in the year like October where there are quite a bit more events happening as that would add more variety to the assignment options. On the subject of assignments, the ones that had the biggest impact on me personally were the group podcast assignment and the game review post I did as both were very fun and lent well to my creativity and feelings on both of the topics covered. The assignment I think could have been improved would be the live feed assignment as I mentioned previously. Another solution I came up with for that is each group being assigned an event that has been chosen specifically for the class which would be a more efficient and streamlined solution as the number of event options within the time frame were pretty slim and being assigned an event might make things a bit easier. Throughout the class, I learned a whole bunch of new things that are sure to help me in my future career as this has always been a field I’ve been interested in pursuing professionally. In the future, I hope to start in an entry-level marketing position at an Indie games studio so I can build up a rapport in the industry and get some real-world experience. As for class activities, while I did enjoy all the activities that we partook in over the course of the class, I wish we were able to do more collaborations with local businesses. I thought that would be a fun way to do some guerilla journalism. And as for skills, Pretty much all the skills I was hoping to learn got covered through a combination of Professor Norris’s teachings and the class skill presentations covered all the bases that needed covering. My advice for future students that go through VC’s Social Media Marketing program is to remember 3 fundamental things 1. Make sure you really want to go in the field and are willing to put in the effort. 2. Stick with the program to the end even during classes that you might not have an interest in, at first you can still find certain units that make the class more enjoyable, so don’t give up hope too soon. Lastly, 3. Have fun! Make sure you enjoy what your doing so that if you pursue SMM as a future career you can have a job doing what you love!.

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Being unemployed, I had time on my hands while job hunting and came across a Social Media Marketing class being offered through Ventura College. As a seasoned marketing professional, I had lots of experience in traditional print marketing but knew I had to up my game with digital and social media marketing, so I signed up for the class. That’s when I found out about the Social Media Marketing certification program and set out on a path to earn my certification. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning all sorts of new (to me) aspects of digital and social marketing. If you have any interest in marketing, the courses required for the Social Media Marketing program are great, because they are all set up with practical, hands-on application of what you’re learning during the course of the classes. You get to apply what you’re learning, into fictional companies and marketing situations.
At the outset of the Digital Content Marketing class, we were told our class was the first to experience this class and that topics were planned, but there would be some changes as we dove into the content. It made it interesting and sometimes a bit chaotic, but there was always learning going on. Being this was one of the first in-person business classes in over 1.5 years, there was a lot of interaction that may have sidetracked the timing of lessons in the classroom, strictly because we were all enjoying the in person learning. There was a lot of good interaction, but many times it seems like 2 hours in classroom came and went too quickly.
All the weekly assignments included a real-life practical application, which is a great way to learn. Group projects were fun – and I met some fun people in the classroom. As with most group projects, different team members take on different tasks of the deliverable, and that is one area where I feel I may not have received as much firsthand experience in certain aspects, because I wasn’t responsible for every deliverable of the project. All the components were covered in class content we had to read, but I didn’t get to put all of it into the assignment deliverable – but I can always go back and practice on my own.
I’m hoping I can get involved in more social media projects at work, and apply some of the content and marketing aspects covered in class, that I have not had previous experience doing in my professional career. Just the fact that I took the initiative to put myself in continue learning to increase my knowledge has been seen as a positive at my work.
I also enjoyed the student presentations in class, which covered different topics that are applicable to us in marketing and our professional careers.
Overall, Professor Nick really embraces the value of hands-on learning and applying that learning to real life scenarios. You can’t go wrong with a class with Professor Nick.

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I think the class was organized quite efficiently! Having the same deadlines each week really helped a lot. However the group projects were difficult to coordinate due to work schedule constraints. I also would have liked to start the group projects later. When they started I wasn’t familiar with anyone in the class and it increased the amount of anxiety already affiliated with group projects. The most meaningful assignment was the podcast episode but it’s also the one I think I think could’ve used the most improvement, if not simply because I would have liked to have some more information on audio editing. Overall though this was very good, informative class. I would recommend looking into marketing techniques on TikTok, however, as that is becoming more and more popular.

After this class I’m focused on furthering my education. I’m looking to getting a degree in global management and I’m hoping to move into remote work within the marketing field. I know this will require a lot of collaboration, which this class was great for. I was hoping to get some more practice with videography, though, as I think learning how to make 15-30 second marketing videos is becoming more important. If I have any advice for future students in the social media marketing program, it’s one thing: network. Network with other students, each other, local businesses, doesn’t matter. Network.

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This digital content marketing class had a very positive impact on me. I believe that this class was organized in the most efficient way and I learned so much from it. I learned a lot of things such as how to use word press, how to make podcasts successfully, and most importantly I learned so much from my classmates. I believe that the student demos helped so much with so many different things covering social media. After this class I will be achieving my associates degree in social media marketing, and I hope to find a job where I can use what I’ve learned with social media. This class also helped me improve how to market myself as a dancer and model as well. I believe I learned way more than I expected to from this class. And I will never forget Professor Nick and my classmates and I hope to stay in touch with all of them moving forward. The advice that I have for future students that will take this course and the social media marketing program is to take in everything and don’t be afraid to ask questions from Nick or any other classmates because they have so much knowledge. It is bittersweet to be ending this course. This was most definitely my favorite class out of my whole journey to achieve this degree.

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