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 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

By ann-gynn published January 12, 2023

Why You Struggle To Prove Content ROI – and How To Settle Up (or Down)

Measuring content ROI is a near impossible task.

Too often, that statement ends the conversation about proving the value of content marketing. But the difficulty in tying content directly to the bottom line doesn’t mean content marketing isn’t a contributor to a business’ success.

The failure to understand that too often leads to the demise or weakening of content marketing support.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published January 10, 2023

How To Explain Content Marketing to Anyone [Fresh Examples]

What’s the first step to explaining content marketing?

If you’re using the “official” definition from CMI, it’s to take a deep breath.

You need to power up your lungs to utter a 32-word sentence with about 80 syllables.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published January 4, 2023

5 Ways To Be a Better Content Team Leader in 2023

Just because your content marketing team members are satisfied in their roles today doesn’t mean they won’t consider working elsewhere.

That’s my takeaway from CMI’s Content Marketing Career & Salary Outlook 2023 (registration required), published in October 2022.

Over half of content marketers (57%) surveyed told us they plan to find a new job over the next year or are unsure about their next career steps.

Yet almost the same percentage (56%) say they are very or extremely satisfied in their current position.

What’s a content marketing team leader to do?

Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published December 21, 2022

‘Bah, Humbug!’ Why Negative Content Turns In Such Positive Results

People love to hate Steven Singer.

That “hate” is so pervasive that the jewelry retailer’s website is: The company is so committed to celebrating the “hate” that it doesn’t even own the domain

What’s behind all that “hate” pervading Philadelphia radio and satellite airwaves? (The company says it’s the longest-running advertiser on The Howard Stern Show.) It’s the story of customer feedback (possibly apocryphal) that launched a marketing campaign that’s lasted for years.

It’s also a story about the power of contrarian thinking – a helpful reminder for content marketers.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published December 19, 2022

How a Content Formula Helps You Create Bingeable Series (Proven by Hallmark)

Hallmark Media knows you don’t look a content gift horse in the mouth.

That’s why The Hallmark Channel and its sister networks will debut 33 movies this holiday season. (And for Hallmark, the Christmas holiday season started Oct. 21.)

Audiences tune in by the millions – 80 million watched at least part of one in 2021. And the movies don’t require big budgets.

And yet, no Hallmark holiday movie is all that original. They share similar plots. Some even share the same lead actor (with a different character name and job). Cast members pop up in supporting roles across the lineup.

The formulaic content works so well that Lifetime, Netflix, HBO Max, GAF, Hulu, Discover+, Peacock, and others have created their own “original” cavalcade of this holiday movie genre.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published December 13, 2022

How To Support the B2B Buyer Revolution With the Right Digital Content

B2B buyers have emphatically joined a revolution. They’re researching more, involving more colleagues, and even buying big-ticket packages online or via self-service.

And that revolution elevates the role of content in the sales process. Consider these research findings:

Since 2019, the average number of interactions required to make a buying decision jumped from 17 to 27 – a 59% increase, according to Forrester. The same study also found that more B2B stakeholders have joined the decision-making process: In 2017, 47% of purchases involved at least four people, while in 2021, 60% of purchases did.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published December 6, 2022

How This Outside-the-Box Approach to Content Produced Award-Winning Results

Matt Hartley is not a marketer.

And yet, he is a 2022 B2C Content Marketer of the Year finalist.

Though seemingly incongruous, it’s not. Companies don’t all approach content with the same organizational structure.

Matt is head of editorial strategy and senior manager in the Corporate and Public Affairs department at TD Bank Group. TD Stories, the team’s branded journalism platform, took home top honors for Best Content Marketing Program in Financial Services and earned finalist mentions for Best Content Marketing Launch and Financial Services Publication in the 2022 Content Marketing Awards.

Those results prove that department, title, and reporting structure don’t matter if the content works.

“We tell stories aligned with (the company’s) communication and business goals. It’s about brand building, thought leadership, financial literacy,” Matt explains.

Here’s how a non-marketer finalist for Content Marketer of the Year built an award-winning program.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published November 28, 2022

25+ New, Newly Updated, and Timeless Books Content Marketers Love

Updated Nov. 28, 2022

Content marketers love their books.

That’s apparent year after year when Content Marketing Institute compiles its holiday gifting list.

It was also apparent to anyone who saw the long line of Content Marketing World attendees waiting to get an autographed copy of Ann Handley’s new release. No surprise, the second edition of Everybody Writes was the most nominated tome on the list.Continue Reading