Author: Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson, Principal, Type A Communications , helps companies tell better stories in order to build stronger brand awareness, create employee and customer engagement, align marketing with sales and, ultimately, generate greater revenues. She’s a consultant to the Content Marketing Institute, director on the international board of the Business Marketing Association, a frequent speaker, contributing author to the book, "Advice from the Top: The Expert Guide to B2B Marketing", and writes articles on the power of storytelling, content marketing, B2B marketing, and innovation for the Content Marketing Institute, Chief Content Officer magazine, CMSwire and other high-tech, industry and business audiences. Carla is also an instructor for the Content Marketing Institute Online Training and Certification program. Follow her on Twitter @carlajohnson.

By carla-johnson published August 25, 2014

Build Strong Brand Storytelling From the Inside Out

body-with gears insideAs content marketers, we focus a lot of our time and attention on outside audiences, which makes sense. We’re trying to get people to buy what we sell. We want them to get to know us, like us, talk about us, and think what we sell is a good idea.

In fact, we are so concerned with communicating with our external audiences, that we leave little time to think about our own employees. Yet, employees are at the heart of what makes brand storytelling come to life and create meaningful experiences for customers. If we expect to be able to go “all-in” with successful content marketing, we have to think about the role our employees play in getting us there.Continue Reading

By carla-johnson published January 13, 2014

How Brand Storytelling Helps Enterprises Go “The Extra Mile”

emerson-extra mile featureEmerson’s chief marketing officer since 1999, Kathy Button Bell has overseen a massive rebranding effort that dropped the “electric” in the company’s name and brought 35 autonomous sub-brands under one overarching umbrella.

Consistently tapped as one of BtoB Magazine‘s top marketers, Button Bell has redesigned how the voice of the customer integrates with research and development, and cultivated a brand story that resonates with businesses around the world and infiltrates every niche within the company. I sat down with Button Bell to explore how she inspires change in a slow-moving organization. Continue Reading

By carla-johnson published January 3, 2014

How to Deliver the Right Content Marketing, in a Scalable Way

[Editor's note: Happy Holidays! This week, the editorial team at Content Marketing Institute wanted to share some of the best content marketing blog posts we've seen from the CMI Online Training and Certification program's roster of expert instructors. Today's post originally appeared on Carla Johnson's Type A Communications blog.]

 

red pencil-multiplication-scalable contentOne of the biggest struggles between sales and marketing stems from understanding what sales needs to turn a prospect into a customer, and what marketing has the bandwidth to produce. It’s a battle that repeats itself regardless of company size or industry focus.Continue Reading

By carla-johnson published December 26, 2013

Why Human Resources is Essential to the Brand Storytelling Equation

[Editor's note: Happy Holidays! This week, the editorial team at Content Marketing Institute wanted to share some of the best content marketing blog posts we’ve seen from the CMI Online Training and Certification program’s roster of expert instructors. Today’s post by Carla Johnson originally appeared on the CMI blog on May 1, 2013.

 

Recently, Joe Pulizzi wrote a post on the 12 Roles Essential to the Future of Content Marketing. In it, he listed the new roles we need to consider, not only as marketers, but also as people who drive business for our organizations. It’s a reflection of the growing responsibility we have as marketers — and the growing need for us to step up our leadership role.Continue Reading

By carla-johnson published October 22, 2013

Why Your Thought Leadership Strategy Should Make You Uncomfortable

model of innovation cycleThought leadership strategy is a common component of content marketing — and for good reason. It’s true that thought leaders tend to be the most successful professionals in their fields, and thus exert the most influence over potential followers. The problem is that the term “thought leader” is often thrown around without any foundational evidence of what it truly takes to deserve the moniker.

By the abundance of anecdotal evidence, it would appear that a large volume of content is one criterion that justifies the definition. Another seems to be sharing a unique insight at one particular moment in time — sort of the “one hit wonder” of thinking — rather than long-term sustainability of original ideas. Continue Reading

By carla-johnson published August 19, 2013

Are You an Agile Content Creator? 6 Traits of Change Agents

“Turn and face the strange, ch-ch-changes…” —David Bowie

agile worker on mountainIn a previous post, I talked about why content marketers need to embrace change to survive in today’s environment. Beyond just surviving, what do marketers and content creators need to thrive and prosper?

An agile learning mentality.

As we adapt to new behaviors along the evolving buyers’ journey, content creators and marketers have to prepare to draw on new insights and expertise to drive business growth for their organizations. We have to be open to new ways of thinking, and we need to continually learn new skills to anticipate the challenges that emerge. Continue Reading

By carla-johnson published July 3, 2013

Want to Keep Your Content Job? Why You Must Embrace Change to Survive

content jobChanging buyer behavior has forced changes in how we think and act as content marketers. Those who thrive in uncertainty feel like kids on summer vacation – so many opportunities, ideas, and inspiration – while apprehensive marketers hold onto traditional practices, thinking that if they ignore the disruption, they won’t have to address it. Fear of the unknown freezes their openness. In between are those just trying to keep their heads above water. Yet marketers still yearn for influence within their organizations and scrape for dollars and resources. We have to prove ROI on every investment we make and continually push for the value we think we deliver.

Research by the Fornaisse Marketing Group says that 73 percent of CEOs think marketing lacks credibility. In contrast, 69 percent of marketers think their strategies and campaigns do make an impact — they just don’t know how to prove it. They aren’t equipped to have marketing conversations in the context of business impact. Much of this disconnect between marketing and CEOs stems from marketers not understanding the strategic and leadership roles required of those who hold a content jobContinue Reading

By carla-johnson published May 22, 2013

How Your Content Strategy Thrives When Marketing and IT Work Together

content strategy-conradoEduardo Conrado has proven himself to be a nonconformist. An engineer-turned-marketer, Conrado not only oversees marketing for Motorola Solutions, but also recently added IT to his management portfolio. Throughout his 20-year career with the company, he’s underscored his ability to lead through innovation and establish new expectations for the realm of marketing.

With the recent expansion of his role at Motorola, Conrado accepted an opportunity to speak to Chief Content Officer magazine (a publication from CMI) about the reasons marketers must work comfortably across multiple departmental environments. Continue Reading

By carla-johnson published May 1, 2013

Why Your Brand Storytelling Must Start With Human Resources

Recently, Joe Pulizzi wrote a post on the 12 Roles Essential to the Future of Content Marketing. In it, he listed the new roles we need to consider, not only as marketers, but also as people who drive business for our organizations. It’s a reflection of the growing responsibility we have as marketers — and the growing need for us to step up our leadership role. Continue Reading

By carla-johnson published February 28, 2013

B2B Content Marketing: Create Intimate Conversations with Narrowcasting

mark wilson of avayaNamed one of the top marketers by B2B Magazine in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Mark Wilson has made content marketing a cornerstone of how he connects with a sophisticated audience and business decision-makers. In recent years, Wilson has realized success by flipping the focus of his content marketing program from reaching the masses to more intimate conversations with small audiences — something he calls narrowcasting. 

CCO spoke with Wilson about why narrowcasting works in the noisy environment, what it takes to create a successful content marketing program for the complex B2B sales cycle, and why quality matters. Continue Reading