How Contentoo helped Schouten & Nelissen to build a content marketing strategy


Thought Leadership

The creation of in-depth, thematic content, such as white papers and blogs, significantly boosted the organisation's position as a thought leader in its field.

Streamlined Creation

Contentoo's platform enabled simultaneous production of multiple content types, speeding up the content creation process and improving efficiency.

Diverse Content

Contentoo facilitated the production of a variety of content forms, laying a strong foundation for future content experiments and diversification, such as videos and infographics.



Education Programs


The Netherlands

Company type


About the client

Schouten & Nelissen features eleven specialised entities offering coaching, soft skills training, and tailored learning programs to prepare individuals and organizations for the future.

Client needs

Schouten & Nelissen required an innovative content marketing strategy to support their rebranding initiative, aiming to establish thought leadership and enhance brand awareness.

Contentoo’s approach

Contentoo helped to develop a detailed content strategy that embraced the new brand dynamics. Providing specialised freelance talent capable of producing diverse, high-quality content tailored to the rebranding’s objectives.

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About Schouten & Nelissen

Schouten & Nelissen is a Dutch educational organisation that focuses on personal development. Through several brands under its umbrella, it offers specific products such as courses, training, and textbooks that clients can use for self improvement.

Martin Westerlaken is Marketing Manager of the Schouten & Nelissen University of Applied Sciences, which provides open courses and enrolment for training, education, and coaching. The University of Applied Sciences is the result of a recent rebranding.

Previously, Schouten & Nelissen was the brand for corporate open enrollment training, while the now-defunct Schouten University served as the organisation’s outlet for higher master education. The two combined now make up the Schouten & Nelissen University of Applied Sciences, which offers a complete education program, including courses, training, and full, accredited master’s degrees.

A rebrand, however, is no easy task. There are a great deal of moving parts, each requiring a specialized role or skill that must come together to function as a singular, effective unit. For this, Martin used the Contentoo platform, which has been a partner with Schouten & Nelissen since 2018. Here, he speaks on that process.

Rebranding – and creating a content marketing strategy

My main challenge was to create a new content marketing strategy for which I would be responsible. We wanted to do not only advertising and branding for our rebrand, but to create more thought leadership content.

A Contentoo freelancer developed the entire content marketing strategy for the new brand and focused on why we are unique; how we would create thought leadership from this uniqueness; how we could convert it into a content marketing program; and the types of content we would create and when we would create them.

When the brands merged to form the University of Applied Sciences, there was a new dynamic. We needed a new strategy that owned the new brand and that took on the positioning of the rebranding based on that. We were very happy with Contentoo from day one.

Thought leadership – and driving brand awareness

The main goal during our rebrand was to create thought leadership and brand awareness, as well as grow our community and increase the engagement they have with us. We do that through creating thought leadership content in different themes that are related to our brand – for example, Leadership, Personal Effectiveness, and Business Administration.

We create “long-read” content, such as a white paper, which fully covers each theme. We also create different blog articles with professionals, teachers, or trainers. For professionals, we use either people in the field or those that have completed training with us.

Evolving relationships – and faster processes

Our relationship with Contentoo has changed over the years. I used to use it mainly for website copy.

We have different training and educational programs, for which our product owner wrote the copy. That copy was then sent to Contentoo via the platform, where it was rewritten to make it more marketable and attractive to professionals.

With our new content marketing strategy, we have shifted into working with different types of content that shows the value of our brand, such as blog articles and white papers. For that, we needed more freelancers with different specialties and qualities. For the Business Administration theme, for example, which was very complex and new to us, we needed a freelancer who could capture its value – someone with a more journalistic background.

We didn’t need someone just to rewrite marketing copy for a website or product, but who could instead really own the topic of business administration, creating content that professionals could understand, relate to, and want to read – in turn creating thought leadership for us. We needed a new dimension with a new type of freelancer.

This sped up processes, because we could have someone working on web copy at the same time as another wrote a white paper or a blog.

In terms of our relationship with freelancers, it is key that we create a good basis for them to begin working. That starts with a good briefing, which captures the essence of the theme we want to create the content around. After that, it’s a really smooth process.

We’re really happy with the freelancers that we have right now. They learn our brand, they learn about the content we’re looking for. At first, you have to put a lot of energy into your briefings, but after you get into a rhythm it becomes easier and easier – a much more hands-off approach to content creation.

Laying a strong foundation – and building the future

When we started with the rebrand, we needed to know exactly what we wanted to capture from the strategy and from our brand – we also approached our Leadership and Business Administration themes with Contentoo. Again, this was mostly long-read content such as white papers, articles, and blogs.

Now that the foundation is solid for this theme-based content marketing strategy, we can begin to explore and experiment with a more diverse range of content items and forms.

What would video do? What would infographics do? We’re looking at how these types of content can strengthen and add to what we’re already creating.

“We’re really happy with the Contentoo freelancers. They learn quickly about our brand, and the exact content we’re looking for.”

nelissen profile
Martin Westerlaken

Marketing Manager

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