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 November 16, 2021

Fresh Ideas and Expert Advice for Writing Email That Gets Opened and Read

It’s harder than ever to get people to open and read your emails – even the ones they’ve asked to receive. Why? Just consider the competition you face.

CMI’s most recent B2B research indicates 69% of marketers send email newsletters, and 68% send emails with other content.

That means a lot of brand emails in people’s inboxes vying for attention with their work and personal communications.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published October 28, 2021

Why the Future of Demand Gen Lies in Self-Service Content Experiences

The future of sales-enablement and demand gen lies in self-service content. Is your content marketing program ready?

Buyers continue to want control of the process long before they connect with a sales rep.

“At least half, probably more, of B2B buyers prefer a self-driven experience,” Ardath Albee, CEO of Marketing Interactions, said in a presentation at Content Marketing World in September. “They want to research on their own. They don’t think they need any help from the sellers.”

But they arrive at a problem – too much information. Worse, she says, a 2019 Gartner survey notes only 9% say the content they come across from vendors is sufficient.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published October 25, 2021

How To Set Up a Publishing Process That Gets Content Into the Game

Content can never achieve greatness if it doesn’t see the light of day.

But most of the work involved in publishing content happens in a little illuminated behind-the-scenes process.

Someone with operations responsibilities, including oversight of the production process, is essential to a content marketing team. They shepherd the completed content down the field and over the goal line – getting it published (online or in print) for audiences to consume.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published October 18, 2021

Why You Should Doubt Headline Best Practices Advice (Except This)

Welcome. I was worried you might not find this article.

After all, the headline isn’t six words long. And, according to advice on the internet, that’s the optimal headline length.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published September 23, 2021

Punch Up Your Writing With These 4 Power-Packed Tips

Put some verbs in your sentences.

Dr. Phil dispenses that advice to his talk show guests to goad them into creating a plan to resolve whatever problems they’re experiencing.

My advice for your (content) problems? Pack powerful and motivating verbs into every sentence. Stop using weak, extraneous, boring verbs.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published September 16, 2021

Why These Post-Pandemic Content Marketing Tips Are the Worst

Only a few weeks into the pandemic, I wrote 7 Steps to Create a Helpful Interim Content Marketing Strategy. Tired of reading about COVID-19 everywhere, I purposely focused the article on any significant disruption to a brand’s content marketing.

I know, I know. My naivete seems laughable 18 months later. I no longer think of the pandemic as a disruption deserving of interim treatment but as a revolutionary moment for most brands’ content marketing.

Unfortunately, we aren’t living in a post-pandemic world yet. But there’s no shortage of pontificating about how to adjust your content and marketing plans to meet that eventual. Some advice hits the mark (think: anything about getting in your audience’s head), but other pronouncements point you in the wrong direction.

We asked the experts presenting at Content Marketing World to share the worst advice they’ve heard about marketing in a post-pandemic world. They came through – and explained why you shouldn’t fall for any of it.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published September 9, 2021

28 Ideas for Better Virtual, In-Person, and Hybrid Event Content and Experiences

When everybody stayed home, in-person events moved online.

Two-thirds (67%) of B2B marketers and 39% of B2C marketers said they were doing virtual events in 2020, according to CMI’s most recent research. Shutdowns in the early months of the pandemic made the shift to virtual a necessity, but not every event hit the mark in terms of content and experience.

Many marketers have permanently shifted how they think about events. Still, with lingering pandemic concerns – and the realization that some audiences like the convenience and accessibility of digital options – virtual and hybrid events have joined in person on the event menu.

We asked the speakers presenting (virtually and in person) at Content Marketing World for their advice on creating better events in a hybrid world. These 28 experts don’t all agree on the best course of action. But they do agree on one principle – keeping the audience top of mind.

Here’s what they suggest.          Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published September 2, 2021

22 Content Marketers Share Their Take on TikTok, Clubhouse, and Trendy Social Spaces

If all the cool kids are playing with TikTok, Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, Spotify Greenroom, and similar digital social places, should your brand be there too?

Before you get all trendy, we asked some of the content marketing “cool kids” presenting at Content Marketing World for their advice.

Here’s the advice 22 speakers offered.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published August 31, 2021

How To Get Content Marketing Measurement Wrong: Do It Like a PR Person

Updated Aug. 31, 2021

If you want to be taken seriously as a content marketer, stop acting like a member of the PR team.

If you want to show that content marketing is a distinct contributor to business results, stop using only PR metrics.

Every time you use PR-centered metrics to show the “value” of your content, your content marketing program dies a little bit.

Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published August 26, 2021

22 Expert Ideas for Content Marketing That Connects With Your Audience

So much about human interaction changed in the last 18 months. But one constant remains: People crave connections – to other people, things, and ideas.

Creating, maintaining, and growing a connection with audiences is the No. 1 goal in content marketing. What’s the best way to do that in 2021?

We asked the experts at Content Marketing World 2021 (where the theme happens to be connections) what they recommend. Here’s the advice they shared.Continue Reading