February 21, 2024

How Ashley Levesque, VP of Marketing at Banzai, Scales Her Content Program with Copy.ai

Embracing AI to scale content at Banzai

If you've ever run a virtual event, you’ve probably heard of Banzai—a marketing technology company that delivers essential marketing solutions, serving marketers across the three most important categories of their campaigns: Acquisition, Engagement, and Analytics. Banzai makes it easy for marketers to create webinars, virtual events, and engaging experiences that deliver deep analytics and actionable insights. 

You may have also heard of Ashley Levesque, Banzai’s VP of Marketing. She runs Corporate Marketing as Banzai, which includes communications, PR, content, website, events, and more!

On top of that, Ashley’s been scaling the brand’s content marketing program—more recently, as a team of one. 

And she’s embracing AI to do it. 

I caught up with Ashley to chat through how she’s scaling Banzai’s full-funnel content program, and how she’s leveraging AI to focus on the work she loves. 

But first, take a look at the amazing results Ashley’s driving with AI:

  • 5+ hours/day saved on repetitive content tasks.
  • Full-funnel content campaigns executed in days (not weeks or months).
  • Scaling end-to-end content marketing work to increase speed to market.
  • Saving both Ashley and Banzai countless hours (and spend) on resource-waste.

Helming corporate marketing as a VP—and team of one

Running an entire marketing function at a publicly-traded company is no easy feat—but doing it as a team of one while scaling a full content program, too? Well, that elevates you to “marketing superhero” status. 

And Ashley Levesque, VP of Marketing at Banzai, knows a little something about that. 

She’s spent the last three years growing Banzai’s brand through Corporate Marketing. When Banzai acquired Demio in 2021, Ashley took on additional work to help consistently grow the value of Banzai for its customers—a large focus of which was an end-to-end content program. 

Now, you may think a VP of Marketing has endless resources to get the job done—but as many marketers know all too well, being strategic with resources is critical, especially as more companies are cutting back on things like budget or headcount to focus on their top growth levers.

That’s why Ashley turned to AI. 

“I am a team of one. So, very quickly, I turned to AI to help me with my bandwidth problems. I started dipping into the world of AI, because I just didn't have the headcount to help me.”

The impossible task of scaling a content program as a team of one

For Banzai, one of their most significant growth levers was their content and SEO program—a non-negotiable for Ashley who, as a marketing pro, already knew the value of content marketing and the risks to the business if they couldn’t execute on it. 

“There are some very fundamental, foundational things that have to happen in Marketing—and a content and SEO program is one of them. We have to do it because we know it has an outcome down the road, it’s a long term play. But if we don't have the resources, what’s the compromise? As a VP, I can’t just say, “I don't have enough people for this,” or “I don't have enough time for this, I'm just going to choose not to invest in this strategy.” That's a non option.”

And yet, Ashley had to find a way to automate the repetitive tasks of content so she could focus on the strategic side of Banzai’s marketing efforts. Specifically, the work she could do at the VP-level that not only drives the brand forward, but makes her feel that her time and work is truly valuable. 

“Running a content program is one of the projects that takes the most amount of time. I found myself with a litany of tasks (like creating blog posts that needed to go onto the website). And I didn't have the time to sit down and do these tasks front to back—like, create internal messaging, create the actual content, create copy for the distribution of content, etc.”

On any given day, Ashley could easily find herself spending 5+ hours on repetitive or redundant content tasks. In some cases, this work would add days to her timelines. 

“Before Copy.ai, I could easily spend at least half of a day on a campaign, between five and six hours. Other days, repetitive tasks could take a full day of work. 

The repetitive work was quickly eating away at Ashley’s bandwidth to focus on other areas of the business—including dedicating her energy and time to work she truly enjoys. 

“I was spending hours just trying to get a campaign out the door—but to be spending so much time on tasks that weren’t immediately going to bring me revenue made me feel crazy, especially as a VP. I know I'm a small team, but I can be used in better ways than this.” 

Life as a marketing team of one before AI

Before adopting AI, Ashley had a daily workload of content marketing tasks that were nearly impossible to get through. 

From constantly switching between tasks, to juggling the work of various roles and having to wear several different hats at once, the tactical work quickly became repetitive.

And, as a publicly traded company, Banzai’s marketing programs were only continuing to grow—including their content program. 

It became critical for Ashley to leverage some sort of solution to automate and scale that work. 

“Before using Copy.ai, I would either hastily write content (like blog posts) that were provided to me via briefs by my SEO team. And by hastily, I mean I would slap some words on a page and call it “done” and link out to whatever they told me to link out to, or I would kick the briefs over to very unqualified writers to write for me. Neither of which were sustainable or great options. I would then have to take the content and try to figure out how to condense and modify it for all of our different channels.”

As a marketer myself, I can relate to Ashley’s struggle. At any one time in our careers, marketers can find ourselves having to scourge for the resources, time, and bandwidth to execute on a full-funnel content marketing program.

For any team, that’s no easy feat—now, imagine doing that as a team of one. Understandably, the work quickly compounded for Ashley. Add to that the need for an SEO strategy, and creating + executing on this program became nearly impossible.

As Ashley explains (and something we can empathize with),

“There are some very fundamental, foundational things that have to happen in Marketing—and a content and SEO program is one of them. We have to do it because we know it has an outcome down the road, it’s a long term play. But if we don't have the resources, what’s the compromise? As a VP, I can’t just say, “I don't have enough people for this,” or “I don't have enough time for this, I'm just going to choose not to invest in this strategy.” That's a non option.”

Feeling the strain (and drain) of repetitive work 

In an ideal world, none of us would be wasting countless hours each day on the tedium of repetitive tasks. 

Especially when those tasks take away us from making an impact, and feeling valued in the work we do. 

“[Creating content isn’t] my skill set. It is not where I am best served. I want to be able to bring in resources that are smarter than me to do things that I can't do. That's my job as a VP and I don't see any reason why I would think about leveraging AI any differently than I would think about hiring a full time employee who has that skill set. It's the same thing. Copy.ai is helping me solve a problem and I'm able to [use it] to get my job done.”

Chatting with Ashley, it was clear that these tasks removed her from the notable, impactful work she would otherwise love to be doing to drive corporate marketing forward at Banzai. 

“What it does as a VP, is it brings me down to a level of execution that makes it really hard for me to get back up to a strategic level. This bouncing around over the course of my day is chaotic for me, rather than staying in kind of a high level strategic, problem-solving mindset at a business level, which is where I should be playing. It's distracting from my ability to do what I'm really supposed to be doing.”

How could Ashley possibly run a successful content and SEO program and get back to the work she loves as a VP?

Well, that’s where Copy.ai comes in. 

Embracing AI to become Banzai’s marketing superhero

Getting stuck on the hamster wheel of low-impact, highly-repetitive tactical work can become exhausting. More than that, it prevents you from focusing on work that has a tangible impact on your business. 

For Ashley, that hamster wheel was tough to hop off of. Between her daily workload and her senior-level responsibilities as a VP of Marketing, ditching the hamster wheel was a must so she could not only push the needle for Banzai, but enjoy the work that allowed her to do that. 

“Because of the repetitive work, it looks like I didn't make a dent, because the process of something like creating content is itself hard and long—then you have to also do something with your content, too. As a VP, it doesn't motivate me intrinsically to know that I have 15+ hours to go on a project that I don't enjoy, but that also isn't going to drive any immediate impact.”

There was no way around it: finding a solution for the repetitive work dragging her down was a must for Ashley—and, as luck would have it, this “aha” moment came at just the right time. 

The “aha” moment

While many companies were struggling to understand what AI could do for their marketing functions, Banzai’s team began exploring the possibilities of leveraging AI and diving into how it would revolutionize their own programs. 

As Ashley relates: 

“I think the "aha" moment for me was actually my CEO saying to me, "You've got to try these AI tools. Have you played with AI yet? Because this is changing my day to day. [And I thought] “I'll just try something.” And I remember the very first thing that I ever did with AI was in ChatGPT, where I asked it to create an agenda for me. And I thought, “This is a game changer.” And from then on, I was obsessed.”

Once Ashley experienced what AI could do to streamline her day-to-day, the search for an AI solution began. 

Plot twist: her search started and ended with Copy.ai!

Choosing an AI solution that went beyond the basics

When looking at AI tools, it was a no-brainer for Ashley that Copy.ai was key solution driving programs like content marketing at Banzai. 

In fact, her team didn’t even look at other tools—thanks to the power of Chat and Workflows. 

For example, with Chat, Ashley quickly creates drafts for content that save her at least half a day’s worth of work.

The platform lets her share projects, while the Workflow templates surface new ideas she wouldn't have considered before. Plus, it gives her an added edge to her SEO strategy work she couldn't execute otherwise due to lack of resources.

“[I love that it’s] a way to align cross-functional users as well as being able to share information. We’re able to have a company-wide workspace for Workflows and the whole platform in general, but I also have my own personal one.”

But the greatest differentiator for Ashley? It’s Workflows—our AI-powered platform that lets marketers like Ashley automate and scale repetitive work. 

“Automating my workflows was a problem I didn't know I had because I didn't know that AI could even do what Copy.ai Workflows do for me. The ability to have an end-to-end Workflow for campaigns that can be managed using Copy.ai is so beneficial. That is really the difference that made Copy.ai stand out.”

By the way, if you’re curious which Workflow Ashley loves most, you should check out our Blog Post Repurposing Workflow—it helps Ashley turn blog posts and other articles into content for all of her company's social channels.

How Ashley uses Copy.ai for her everyday work

Automating the more repetitive tasks of Banzai’s content program to help with speed to market had Ashley turning to Workflows. 

Her favorite feature? Workflow templates! 

With our Workflow templates, Ashley can easily create various formats of content for the company’s channels, while maintaining a process for every aspect of their content program. 

“The Workflows templates are a game changer for tasks you didn’t know you could automate. The library helps guide us, and it’s so helpful [in understanding] how my processes look, how my workflows look, or how my team works together. It's really helpful in considering efficiency opportunities and optimizations just by looking at a library of templates and thinking, “Oh, we could automate this! Why don't we try this?” It's so helpful.”

Some of the top tasks Ashley uses Copy.ai for:

  • Using Chat to generate initial drafts for content and briefs, and Workflows to automate tasks like content repurposing and creating social posts. 
  • Leveraging Workflows to easily identify key topics, create outlines, develop content, format it for her various channels, and create entire content campaigns quickly. 
  • Using Workflow templates to quickly automate tedious tasks like SEO keyword research, social copy, and more. 
“With Copy.ai, I can create content that still allows me to take a human pass at it, but brings me so much further in the process than if I even had the time to create it myself.”

Ashley’s take on the importance of adopting AI in marketing

I may be biased, given I work at Copy.ai, but hearing what Ashley had to say about adopting AI as a marketer really resonated with me. 

“I think businesses that learn how to adopt AI and strategically integrate it into their strategies and work streams will advance far beyond those that don't. If not for any other reason, other than just speed to market—it’s going to accelerate your ability to get things done.”

For Ashley, the future of marketing—and businesses like Banzai—is pretty bright if they can learn to wield AI for speed to market. It can also help smaller teams, like Ashley’s, focus their time and energy on work that truly pushes the needle. Because, let’s face it: no one wants to spend their workday doing repetitive tasks. 

As Ashley sees it, AI will only serve to benefit companies that need to get more done and go to market faster, without losing sight of what makes their employees feel valuable. 

“Not to mention the toll [repetitive work] takes on you as an employee. [You start to think] “Is this what I'm doing? Is this how I’m spending my time?”

We share similar viewpoints on where AI can take (and transform businesses)—and, plot twist, it isn’t by getting rid of humans!

Ashley says it best: 

“You still have to have humans surrounding your AI. But in my mind there's no argument for why AI would replace people or be our downfall. There are a lot of needs that businesses have that could be optimized with AI.”

The future is bright for Banzai with Ashley at the helm

For many of us in marketing and sales, AI isn’t just inevitable—it’s the future. And that future can look pretty darn bright when AI is leveraged for speed to market. 

In Ashley’s wise words: “It’s a competitive advantage at this point. If you're not using it, you're falling behind—it can empower people, but also help you get more done.”

And, just in case you’re anything like me and love scrolling to the end, here are the tip 3 takeaways from Ashley!

  • “I have saved hours upon hours of my time, and I’ve saved the company hours and dollars in just using me in a better way so that I can be freed up to strategically run corporate marketing rather than spend a full day trying to get a content campaign out.”
  • “We straight up would not have a content or SEO program at all, if not for Copy.ai. I just wouldn't be able to do it.”
  • “[AI is] a competitive advantage at this point. If you're not using it, you're falling behind—it can empower people, but also help you get more done.”

Want to learn more about harnessing AI to scale your own content program? You should join our community, where you'll learn from AI enthusiasts (and our team of AI pros)!

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