Author: Ann Gynn

Ann Gynn edits the CMI blog. She also serves as the Tech Tools editor for Chief Content Officer magazine. Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. Former college adjunct faculty, Ann also helps train professionals in content so they can do it themselves. Follow Ann on Twitter @anngynn or connect on LinkedIn.

By ann-gynn published April 10, 2018

Are Personas Just a Nicer Word for Stereotypes?


We have soccer moms – married women who live in the suburbs and are best known for transporting their children to and from sports practices and other activities.

We have NASCAR dads – blue-collar, middle-aged Caucasian men who graduated from high school and like watching stock car racing.

And don’t forget the millennials – young adults who are entitled and lazy, live on their phones, and were raised by helicopter parents.

Are those stereotypes or personas?

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By ann-gynn published March 21, 2018

6 Content Marketing Plays Inspired by Basketball Madness

content-marketing-basketball-madnessEvery March, basketball madness infiltrates offices, bars, restaurants, and even a cable-channel wedding dress show.

That doesn’t mean people are interested in every slam dunk, 3-point shot, or flagrant foul in the 63 games being played over a few weeks. Some of the millions who pay attention to the annual tournament are more interested in being part of the watercooler conversations, betting pools, viewing parties, and other general excitement around the games.

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By ann-gynn published March 7, 2018

A 30-Minute Hack for Nonprofits to Improve Their Content Marketing [New Research]


Nearly all nonprofit marketers would benefit greatly by taking one month to power up their content marketing programs.

That’s a logical conclusion based on the responses from 207 nonprofit marketers to the eighth annual Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs content marketing survey.

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By ann-gynn published February 19, 2018

Personal vs. Corporate Branding: Is It Me or We?


Sitting in a staff meeting, my boss asked if there were any questions. I mentioned seeing a job posting online for the marketing department and wondered if the team was expanding.

Several co-workers quickly interjected, “Why were you reading that? Are you looking for a new job?”

“No,” I replied. “I just like to keep tabs on what’s happening in the marketplace.”

That was 15 years ago. I doubt that conversation would go the same way today because most people have an online presence through social media and use the internet for information gathering.

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By ann-gynn published January 30, 2018

Ready to ‘Fire’ Your Content Team?


Have you ever had one of those days where you wish you could start your content marketing team over? One of those days when you want to fire everybody, figure out what you really need, and then hire (or rehire) as needed?

That moment of frustration likely ended quickly because you knew firing your content team wasn’t an option and probably wasn’t the best solution.

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By ann-gynn published January 15, 2018

27 Reasons Why Your Content Sucks

reasons-content-sucksNobody thinks their content sucks – or, in other words, is weak and not deserving to be believed.

After all, why would someone intentionally create something that’s utterly useless for their organization or their audience?

And yet, a lot of content sucks. We’ve all seen (and sometimes created) it.

Consider this article the proverbial splash of cold water to help you wake up (or more importantly, wake your content up).

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By ann-gynn published December 21, 2017

CCO Opens the Idea Garage for Inspiring B2B and B2C Content Marketing Examples


Some of the best inspirational and engaging content comes from unexpected places. B2B and B2C brands surprise and delight their audiences with relevant, entertaining, or unique content opportunities, from Instagram to YouTube to new digital media partnerships.

Natalya Minkovsky finds some of the best examples for her Idea Garage column appearing in each Chief Content Officer magazine. Here are 15 of the most intriguing as she shared them in 2017.
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By ann-gynn published November 21, 2017

17+ Guest Blogging Rules All Blog Managers Wish You Knew


Miss Manners hasn’t written the handbook on how to be a good guest blogger. Yet, anyone who manages an organization’s blog likely has run into guest bloggers (or wannabe guest bloggers) who focus too much on the “blog” part and not enough on the “guest” part.

Writers focus too much on the “blog” part and not enough on the “guest” part, says @AnnGynn. #Guestpost Click To Tweet

If your content marketing strategy includes guest blogging, you’ll set your efforts up for success if you (or your writer) understand how to be a good guest.

Following your host’s lead is the key to being a good guest at someone’s home, and the same applies to guest blogging. But there’s a unique golden rule for guest bloggers: Read the guidelines. Reread the guidelines. And when you think you’re done, use the guidelines as a final checklist.

Golden rule of guest #blogging: Read the guidelines. Follow them. Read them again. @AnnGynn. Read more >> Click To Tweet

Now, keep reading to learn more tips, from the deceptively simple to the complex, about how to be a successful guest blogger in the eyes of your potential host.

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By ann-gynn published November 17, 2017

How to Capture Captive Audiences With Content


Imagine having your audience tied to your content with an 8-foot rubber hose for five minutes on a regular basis.

“We’ve got this very, very captive audience – and they’re bored – there’s really no super magic. When people pump gas they have nothing to do,” David Leader, then CEO of Gas Station TV, told NPR a few years ago.

Gas Station TV reaches millions of consumers with its content – a mix of entertainment, news, sports – and advertising. Yes, Gas Station TV is an innovative media company. But it’s a great example of how gas stations are using relevant content delivered in an unexpected way to engage their captive audiences.

.@GasStationTV uses relevant #content delivered in an unexpected way to engage a captive audience. @AnnGynn Click To Tweet

People do a lot of waiting – for an appointment, for food to arrive at the restaurant, for a conference presentation to begin. Add in people who are captive while performing mundane activities like pumping gas or clicking on Wi-Fi agreements at the coffee shop, and the captive audience potential grows exponentially.

If your brand has a captive audience scenario – or access to such an audience – why not explore some nontraditional content opportunities to connect?

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By ann-gynn published October 31, 2017

Proofing and Editing: How to Make Your Content Less Frightening


Want to know a few scary truths ignored by too many content creators?

Editing and proofing are not the same thing. And you can’t adequately execute the two at the same time.

You can’t adequately edit and proofread at the same time, says @AnnGynn. Click To Tweet

And if you think the same person can write, edit, and proof their own work, you should be afraid, very afraid of publishing that content.

Even the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recognizes proofreaders as distinct from editors. Its description of proofreaders’ duties includes: “Read transcript or proof type setup to detect and mark for correction any grammatical, typographical, or compositional errors. Excludes workers whose primary duty is editing copy.

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