Author: Ann Gynn

Ann Gynn edits the CMI blog. 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 May 18, 2023

Have a Feedback Strategy? You Better Because Your Audience Is Watching

Engagement metrics don’t tell the whole story.

A lot of B2B and B2C marketers – more than 75% – use engagement with email and websites to evaluate content’s impact. About three in four assess social analytics and their engagement metrics.

While engagement numbers work well as a measurement of interactivity, they don’t work as well to understand the person’s sentiment. That requires a qualitative assessment, and, more importantly, it often requires a qualitative response in real-time.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published May 11, 2023

Mastering the Art of Smartphone Video: Expert Tips for Pro-Quality Footage

More and better.

That’s what marketers say they need to improve the average and below-average results from their video content, according to CMI’s Video and Visual Storytelling Survey.

They need more budget (52%), more human resources (46%), and more training (33%). They also want better on-camera talent (27%), better equipment, production, and editing tools (25%), and better quality (21%).Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published April 27, 2023

How To Interview a Job Candidate in a Style Fit for a Content Marketer

Once upon a time, you had an opening on your content marketing team.

Combing through the resumes, you winnowed the pile to a half dozen potential unicorns who should know how to craft content that grabs (and keeps) your audience’s attention while keeping the brand’s goals top of mind.

On the appointed day, you clicked on the video conference link and, up popped one of the finalists. Of course, you asked a bunch of questions. After all, you were looking for answers.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published March 30, 2023

Foolish Content Isn’t Limited to One Day a Year

Yes, it’s once again time for fools to rush in. Every April Fools’ Day, some brands decide to break from their mold to execute a content “joke.” (Few do it well.)

Unfortunately, foolish content knows no time of year. So instead of focusing April Fool’s content, I decided to look at brand content from the rest of the year to see who’s foolin’ around (and who isn’t).

I found examples in three categories – entertaining, celebratory, and culturally informative content. Let’s explore them. Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published March 2, 2023

5 Misunderstood Best Practices in Content Marketing

Almost everybody loves best practices.

They let you learn what’s worked for someone else. They save you time because you don’t have to do research to understand the best way to proceed.

But many people erroneously equate “best” with “infallible” or “in every circumstance.” That’s not the best thinking for best practices.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published February 16, 2023

Writer Ends 10-Year Relationship With HARO To Keep Trusted Relationship With Audience

They’ve been in my life for over 10 years.

For most of that time, they gave me what I wanted. It wasn’t perfect, but no relationship ever is.

Then, those imperfections cropped up more often.

The community of sources on HARO no longer gave me what I needed. I wondered if it was me. Was I requesting something that wasn’t possible? I adjusted my queries. Lowering my expectations helped. It wasn’t the best, but it worked well enough.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published February 9, 2023

When Bad Happens in the World, Should Your Brand Change Its Publishing Plans?

You finally did it.

Your team worked hard to get the content ready for the next 30 days.

It all fits well on the editorial calendar, neatly designed by themes on topics relevant to your audience in formats they want. Even better, the necessary stakeholders approved it all. You uploaded the content and scheduled it for future publishing dates.

Then, something happens that’s out of your control.

A war erupts in Europe. A school shooting happens in the US. A monarch who served for an unprecedented 70 years dies. Romaine lettuce is recalled because of E. coli contamination. A group launches an initiative to expose gender inequality and sexual harassment in Hollywood just before awards season.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published February 2, 2023

Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

The world survived the first three months of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.

But what are marketers doing now? Did your brand follow the shift Dennis Shiao made for his personal brand? As he recently shared, he switched his primary platform from Twitter to LinkedIn after the 2022 ownership change. (He still uses Twitter but posts less frequently.)

Are those brands that altered their strategy after the new ownership maintaining that plan? What impact do Twitter’s service changes (think Twitter Blue subscriptions) have?Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published January 18, 2023

How an Honest Talk With ChatGPT Surprised Even a Veteran Editor

ChatGPT arrived on the scene to a lot of fanfare – positive, negative, and nonplussed reactions.

I’m excited. I see ChatGPT as a real-life learning tool to help humans see something we usually talk about theoretically – the potential of artificial intelligence.

Sure, AI content creation tools have been around for a while, but they aren’t as ubiquitous or as free as ChatGPT. Now that an AI text-creation tool fits my budget, I decided to conduct a few experiments to better understand AI’s potential for creating content.

At first, I wanted to prove real-life writers are better than a bot. (I have a vested interest in the matter.) Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published January 17, 2023

How a Mentorship Program Can Help Both Mentors and Mentees

Vish Khanna often tells people he’s self-taught because he’s never had formal professional training in marketing.

But, he says, that’s not the whole truth.

“The reality is … I was taught by a series of mentors over two decades,” says Vish, the 2015 Content Marketer of the Year who now works as the chief commercial officer at HealthPrize.Continue Reading