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 17, 2017

How to Capture Captive Audiences With Content


Imagine having your audience tied to your content with an 8-foot rubber hose for five minutes on a regular basis.

“We’ve got this very, very captive audience – and they’re bored – there’s really no super magic. When people pump gas they have nothing to do,” David Leader, then CEO of Gas Station TV, told NPR a few years ago.

Gas Station TV reaches millions of consumers with its content – a mix of entertainment, news, sports – and advertising. Yes, Gas Station TV is an innovative media company. But it’s a great example of how gas stations are using relevant content delivered in an unexpected way to engage their captive audiences.

[email protected] uses relevant #content delivered in an unexpected way to engage a captive audience. @AnnGynn Click To Tweet

People do a lot of waiting – for an appointment, for food to arrive at the restaurant, for a conference presentation to begin. Add in people who are captive while performing mundane activities like pumping gas or clicking on Wi-Fi agreements at the coffee shop, and the captive audience potential grows exponentially.

If your brand has a captive audience scenario – or access to such an audience – why not explore some nontraditional content opportunities to connect?

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By ann-gynn published October 31, 2017

Proofing and Editing: How to Make Your Content Less Frightening


Want to know a few scary truths ignored by too many content creators?

Editing and proofing are not the same thing. And you can’t adequately execute the two at the same time.

You can’t adequately edit and proofread at the same time, says @AnnGynn. Click To Tweet

And if you think the same person can write, edit, and proof their own work, you should be afraid, very afraid of publishing that content.

Even the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recognizes proofreaders as distinct from editors. Its description of proofreaders’ duties includes: “Read transcript or proof type setup to detect and mark for correction any grammatical, typographical, or compositional errors. Excludes workers whose primary duty is editing copy.

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By ann-gynn published October 13, 2017

Experts Talk Content Workflow Challenges, Bottlenecks, and Solutions


Is content creation a challenge for your company?

It is for one-third of B2B companies, according to the recently released B2B Content Marketing: 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends — North America.

One-third of #B2B companies cite #content creation as a challenge via @cmicontent #research. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

How do those problems develop? What bottlenecks do they create? And, more importantly, how can you address them?

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By ann-gynn published August 29, 2017

Conference Is Over: 19 Experts Share a Back-to-Work Action Plan


You know a thing or two about content overload. You think of it in terms of how to get your content to stand out and be consumed by your target audience.

But when you’re a conference attendee, the script is flipped. You’re the one bombarded with content – trends, slideshows, tips, graphics, and inspiring stories from multiple speakers and fellow participants. Your notebook is filled with ideas, your pockets are stuffed with business cards, and your brain is happy.

“Embrace the high of the magical week being around like-minded individuals who have visions of great things … until you slam into the wall that is your day to day,” says Skyler Moss, director of digital marketing, HCSS. “What you thought would change your company last week becomes a secondary thought come Monday.

“Like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade, you must choose wisely” what to do with your conference content to transform those educational moments into actionable steps for you and your brand.

Choose wisely what to do w/ #conference content to transform educational moments into action @CSkylerMoss Click To Tweet

To help, we asked the presenters at Content Marketing World 2017 what they recommend you do to sift through the content overload and create a realistic action plan. Their advice encompasses how to think about the conference, take and use your notes, be practical and strategic, and make the connections and impact go far after you return to the office.
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By ann-gynn published August 21, 2017

Who Would You Add to Your Content Marketing Team?


Content marketing team members’ titles may differ from company to company, but the tasks they are expected to perform are somewhat standard across the board – writing, editing, designing, publishing, and distributing.

But what if you could add the skill set of someone who works in another functional area – from another department or even outside your industry? What role or person would you want to incorporate into your team?

We asked the presenters at Content Marketing World 2017 what they would do. Their answers are enlightening – and in most cases, realistic.

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By ann-gynn published August 15, 2017

24 Experts Share How to Avoid Big Mistakes in Content Marketing

big-content-marketing-mistakesBlunders, overestimations, slipups, flubs, and missteps – though we hate to admit we make them, they often turn out to be our best teachers.

As the winning college basketball coach John Wooden once said, “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

Regardless of their future value, these teachable moments can also be problematic and painful in the moment they occur. To minimize some of the friction you’ll experience from unnecessary slipups, we enlisted the help of some “doers” who are presenting at Content Marketing World. They share some of the mistakes they’ve encountered – and offer tips on how you can avoid them in your own content marketing programs.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published August 1, 2017

Content Marketing in 2022: Very Personal, No Silos, and Lots of Voice

content-marketing-2022-cmw-experts-talkWhere do you see yourself in five years?

Do you hate that question as much as I do? While I’m not a fan (perhaps because I’ve never had a great answer), I understand why it’s asked. The interviewer wants to know that the job candidate has considered the short-term future and wants to see how the candidate’s potential path for success fits with the company’s.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published July 25, 2017

How Professional Services Marketers Can Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace

professional-services-marketers-stand-out-crowded-marketplaceInformation overload. Multiple decision-makers. Service of diverse industries. Ubiquity of thought leaders and experts. Industry or governmental regulations.

Those are just some of the pervasive challenges encountered by professional services marketers. Though you may be daunted, you still must clear these hurdles to reach your audience with content that will help them and set your firm up for success. Let’s get started.

Professional services cover law, architectural, accounting, investment firms, and more. Unlike a product-focused company, these businesses offer knowledge-based services.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published July 18, 2017

Quality Content: Definitions and Creation Tips From 35+ Experts

We’re calling it: The debate over quantity vs. quality is over.

Quality wins. But what does quality content really mean? How do marketers guarantee that they are creating something that is high quality?

We asked the experts presenting at Content Marketing World 2017 how they define and achieve quality content.

I appreciate the simplicity of the response (and the intended grammatical mistake) from Doug Kessler, co-founder of Velocity: “Quality content resonates with its audience. If it doesn’t do that, it may be smart or beautiful or funny, but it ain’t quality.”Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published June 20, 2017

Higher Education: How to Raise Your Content Marketing Game

higher-education-content-marketing-gameHigher education marketers face an interesting dilemma – in many scenarios, the person who writes the check won’t ever use their services.

The buyer’s journey is replaced by the student journey, says Jonah Deaver of Vertical Measures, who has worked with 200 university programs in the past six years.Continue Reading