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 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

Are They Feeling It? 22 Expert Ideas for Connecting 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

By ann-gynn published August 19, 2021

21 Experts: Don’t Fear Life After Cookies – If You Have Content (and Consent)

Third-party cookies are crumbling. Apple is changing its tools to help consumers keep their information private. Legislative bodies (in the European Union, California, and beyond) are implementing new laws in the name of consumer and data privacy.

The continual and sometimes rapid developments could leave any content marketer’s head spinning. How do you operate in this new era? How can your content marketing be both compliant and effective?

Help has arrived. We asked content marketing experts who are presenting at Content Marketing World 2021 for (up to) three things you should do now to address data privacy.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published August 5, 2021

26 Eye-Opening Ideas for Putting an End to Digital Content Fatigue

Fatigue sets in. You know the feeling.

As a digital content consumer, you scroll through your inbox and social feeds, conduct searches, and visit websites only to find your eyes glazing over. You’re tired of everything you see.

As a content marketer, how do you energize your audience? How can you break them out of the slump? How can you reignite the spark?

We asked the speakers lined up for 2021 Content Marketing World to share their recommendations on how to break through your audience’s digital fatigue.

To our surprise, we got some pushback on the premise.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published July 22, 2021

51 Experts Share Content Marketing Myths and Missteps That Hurt Your Work

They’re like nails on the proverbial chalkboard – those things that make us cringe when we read or hear them. Or maybe they’re just little gnats that we want to swat away from us.

Pet peeves and misconceptions can be big or little, but they’re all annoying. In content marketing, they’re downright bad for the practice, your business, and (mis)perceptions of all of our work.

We asked presenters at the upcoming Content Marketing World what irritates them about our industry. They came back with a lot to say. Much of it falls into a few overarching categories: strategy, audience, and the content itself.

Read on to hear what bothers 51 of them.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published July 12, 2021

How to Use Google Analytics to Find Your Unicorns (and Avoid Content Donkeys)

Everything in marketing is a unicorn or a donkey, Mobile Monkey’s Larry Kim has said.

Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina agrees. “It’s amazing how the top 1% of your content gets outsized results, while the bottom 90% gets nothing,” he says. “We’ve got to find those unicorns and then go make baby unicorns.”

How? Andy explained in his recent ContentTECH Summit presentation, How to Audit Your Content Marketing Using Google Analytics.Continue Reading

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