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 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

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