Author: Michele Linn

Michele is the Vice President of Content at the Content Marketing Institute. She is one of those people who truly loves what she does and who she works with. You can follow her on Twitter at @michelelinn.

By mlinn published January 21, 2016

Focus Your Marketing: Define Your 3(ish) Critical Words

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Kind. True. Necessary.

Those are the three words my good friend uses to help her kids understand whether they are making good choices with what they say.

“Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary,” she asks when they may have said something that is rude or unintentionally hurtful.Continue Reading

By mlinn published January 1, 2016

Become a More Effective Marketer in 2016: 5 Questions to Answer

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Our annual content marketing research literally has thousands of data points our research team digs through each year. While the quantitative data is interesting, we get most excited about pondering ways to turn the findings into actionable ideas to help you improve your content marketing.

One of the key areas we focus on is effectiveness: What percentage of survey respondents say their organizations are effective at content marketing, and how has this changed since last year? And, more importantly, what can you do to become more effective at content marketing?Continue Reading

By mlinn published December 28, 2015

7 Stolen Content Marketing Ideas You Can Use Today

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In 2013, Joe Pulizzi published a popular post called 8 Remarkable (and Stolen) Content Marketing Ideas. In it, he shared his favorite ideas from others in the content marketing space.

While those original “stolen” ideas are definitely worth revisiting, here are seven more from 2015 that came from blog posts and Content Marketing World speakers. Each of these things has changed my thinking, directly attributed to better content, or is expected to be implemented in 2016. (Not only am I stealing people’s ideas, but I’m also stealing Joe’s post format.)Continue Reading

By mlinn published December 4, 2015

3 (Easy) Ways to Truly Surprise Your Audience

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Year after year, one of the top findings – and challenges – identified in our annual content marketing research is that marketers want to create content that is more engaging. It’s a top priority for any marketer no matter how effective or how big the company.

One way to engage: Surprise your audience.

In the latest – and last – installment in the B2C research roundtable, our panelists share ideas on how you – and your content – can be more engaging and unexpected. Thanks to our participants:Continue Reading

By mlinn published November 27, 2015

A 4-Step Approach to Create Content That Hits the Mark

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At CMI, we’re in the thick of planning, and there is one theme that surfaces repeatedly: We need to double down on what is working well – and stop doing what isn’t.

There is no simple way to figure out what is effective. However, the first step is to start thinking about effectiveness when you start creating the content. Read on to get some tips from the community at large as well as our panel of B2C research roundtable participants:Continue Reading

By mlinn published November 20, 2015

How to Make Marketing Meetings More Productive and Less Soul-Sucking

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Think fast: How much of your time is spent in meetings? How much of that time is well spent? (And, if you are a manager, how much do these meetings cost when you calculate the participants’ effective hourly rate?)

In this year’s B2C content marketing research, we asked how often content marketing teams meet and how valuable those meetings are. In general, effective content marketers who meet more often get more value from their meetings.Continue Reading

By mlinn published November 6, 2015

Why Strong Writing Is a Skill to Prioritize in 2016 (And How to Hire Great Writers)

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Last week, I shared one surprising stat from our B2B research: Only 44% of B2B marketers know what success and effectiveness look like. Another finding that jumped out at me – having internal content creators become stronger writers was the lowest-ranked priority for marketers. Really?

We took this finding to our B2B research roundtable panelists, and they were surprised too, saying that writing is a discipline that needs to be prioritized and practiced. Read on to get some practical ideas from our B2B roundtable on how to do that and learn what the CMI LinkedIn community suggests you consider when looking for a great writer.Continue Reading

By mlinn published October 30, 2015

One Obvious Reason Why Content Marketers Are Not Feeling Effective

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One stat from this year’s B2B content marketing research surprised me:

Only 44% of B2B marketers are clear on what content marketing success looks like.

To me, this is incredible, especially as it plays into another finding – only 30% of marketers consider themselves to be effective.Continue Reading

By mlinn published October 23, 2015

The One Brief Statement That Will Refine Your Content Marketing

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Do you know exactly who you are creating content for and why? What does your brand stand for and why do you publish?

Does everyone in your organization know why?

If you – and everybody in your company – can answer yes, congratulations! You have one of the key components you need to be successful at content marketing. You also are in the minority of content marketers.Continue Reading

By mlinn published October 22, 2015

Content Reuse: Behind the Scenes With CMI

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While I am far from an expert in intelligent content, many things about its concepts make sense to me, and I was looking for a project where I could apply its principles.  Enter our content marketing examples, which was something we used to collect in a very ad hoc way. Now we are much more systematic with how we collect and reuse our examples. Not only does this save time on our end, but we can provide better output for our audience as well.

But let me take a step back and first share what prompted us to move to an intelligent content process.Continue Reading