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 November 10, 2014

Don’t Make These 9 Common SEO Mistakes

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SEO is only one way to get your content found, but it’s essential for content marketers to understand the basic principles. During Content Marketing World, Stephan Spencer, co-author of The Art of SEO, shared nine common mistakes you should avoid.

Please note that all of these suggestions are intended to help you maximize your SEO potential. Some of the tips below are things that do work well in social, but they aren’t necessarily best practices when it comes to SEO. In Stephan’s opinion, there is often no downside to applying the principles if you are focused on SEO.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published October 13, 2014

5 Ways Content Marketers Can Get More Value from LinkedIn

get-more-linkedin-powerIf you only view LinkedIn as the site where you keep your digital resume and virtual business card collection, you won’t see how it really can help grow your business, expand your content’s audience, and build valuable connections.

LinkedIn is the definitive professional publishing platform and one of the largest business publishers in the world, according to Todd Wheatland, Head of Content Strategy at King Content.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published October 7, 2014

How the Entertainment Industry Can Influence Your Content Marketing Job

content-marketingContent marketers may not have cause to shout, “Lights, camera, action,” but in a way, we do work in an entertainment industry, of sorts. As Academy Award-winner and raconteur Kevin Spacey said in his keynote presentation at Content Marketing World 2014, “We’re all struggling to meet the same goal — to make a connection with the audience.”

So do you think about your content marketing job like someone in the entertainment business thinks about producing their next show? Spacey and several Content Marketing World presenters think that perhaps you should.

Have any doubts? Just look at the recent announcement from Marriott that it is creating its own global creative and entertainment studio with the goal of becoming the largest producer of travel content. Of note is that Marriott hired a former Disney-ABC television executive and producer to lead its initiative.

While most B2B, B2C, and nonprofit brands can’t make the level of investment Marriott has, all content marketers can improve their programs by recognizing how the job of a content marketer resembles the work done at a Hollywood studio. Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published September 26, 2014

Ideas to Spark Your B2B Content Marketing Imagination

crushing rubber band ballGeneral Electric uses the tagline “Imagination at Work” to capture the essence of its $16 billion-plus company, which is staffed by more than 305,000 workers in more than 170 countries. A richly connotative description like that requires no small amount of imagination from GE’s marketing team, which is charged with the task of translating this three-word concept into relevant stories that will engage its target audiences.

At this year’s Content Marketing World conference, GE’s Global Manager of Digital Marketing Katrina Craigwell offered a glimpse into some of the ways GE develops and tells its B2B content marketing stories — and, perhaps even more importantly, how its target audiences are helping to share them.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published September 5, 2014

The Content Marketing Myths We’ve Left Behind: Do You Still Believe?

one way signYou may already consider your content marketing efforts to be successful — according to CMI’s 2014 research, 32 percent of enterprise content marketers do just that. But think about how much better they could get if you take a step back to ask: What have we learned in the last year that could make our content marketing strategy even more effective?

“Constructive change builds on what has come before, rather than simply starting over again from scratch,” said Demand Media’s Casey Reader in an article that published on her company’s Chron: Small Business site. Creating (or sustaining) a culture of innovation for your content marketing program requires a strategic and proactive approach — as opposed to reactively adapting when disruptive changes have been forced upon you. In an ever-evolving industry like marketing, the truth is that if you are standing still, you might actually be falling behind without even knowing it.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published August 29, 2014

Tricks That Will Bring Treats to Your Content Marketing Toolkit

tools lined upEvery successful content marketer should have a trick or two that they can pull out to address their toughest business challenges. For example, for those of you who find it difficult to produce enough content to meet your marketing needs, you might want to try author Andrew Davis’ new action plan: Forego original content and leverage regularly scheduled columns on other publishing platforms. Or, if you are struggling to distinguish yourself from your competition, consider stepping up your content quality, or even producing original research, as Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina has started to do.

Whether you are looking for some tips to help you produce more content, techniques for creating more engaging or more effective content, or tools that can help you optimize your workflow or streamline other aspects of your content marketing efforts, take heed of the advice given by some of CMIs trusted blog contributors, Online Training instructors, and Content Marketing World speakers. These content marketing leaders confessed, divulged, and opened the vault to a few tricks they’ve added to their content marketing toolkits in the last year.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published August 22, 2014

Purpose-Driven Content Marketing: Brands That Give and Get

arms and handsPurpose-driven content marketing is a way for a business or brand to bond with a target audience based on their shared needs and interests — including interest in supporting a worthy cause. But while most organizations recognize the importance of “giving back,” they aren’t always accustomed to creating content around their efforts in a way that will both engage their audience and drive them to participate. Success in this arena is all about developing the right strategy and executing it in an authentic, organic way that brings mutual benefit to everyone involved.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published August 8, 2014

Finding the Right Content Marketing Measurement Tools: Expert Advice

tape measure-toolsIs your content doing what it is supposed to do? When questioned about the degree of success your content marketing efforts are achieving, anecdotal answers like “Readers seem to be interested in our content” or “We are getting a lot of “likes” on our Facebook page” just won’t suffice. When you are trying to prove that your content marketing brings value to your business, you need clear evidence of what’s working, and what isn’t — and accurate measurement is really the only way you are going to get it.

But how do you know what to measure? Or how to measure it, for that matter? Heidi Cohen, president of Riverside Marketing Strategies, sums it up simply by quoting a former accounting professor of hers: “It depends,” she said. “Your content marketing metrics must relate back to your goals.”

Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published August 1, 2014

Content Marketing Personalization: When and How to Use It

fingers grabbing dandelion fluff-sepia imagePersonalization is the process of targeting content to individuals based on one or more of the following: who they are; where they are; when, why, and how they access content; and what device they use to access it, according to Scott P. Abel of The Content Wrangler. 

Nearly all B2B organizations (95 percent) make some attempt to segment their content based on their audience, according to CMI’s 2014 B2B Content Marketing research report. The top five ways cited include industry trends, profiles of individual decision-makers, company characteristics, stage in buying cycle, and personalized content preferences. 

Yet, personalization is difficult to do in content marketing, says Rebecca Lieb of Altimeter Group. “Content marketing tends to be both longer-form and much less automated than other types of personalized digital marketing, such as email and banner ads.”Continue Reading