Author: Ann Gynn

Ann Gynn edits the CMI blog. She also serves as the Tech Tools editor for Chief Content Officer magazine. 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 October 31, 2019

5 Writing Tricks to Treat Your Audiences

Do you view numbers as something akin to Frankenstein’s monster? Does the thought of doing math send you running into the night to escape hideous calculations?

I often hear content marketers say, “I went into writing (or a creative field) to avoid numbers.”

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By ann-gynn published October 24, 2019

Guest Blogging: A Step-by-Step Guide

Unsuccessful prospective guest bloggers act like door-to-door salespeople. They knock on as many doors as possible, delivering the same pitch and hoping at least a couple of people say yes.

Successful prospective guest bloggers act like invited guests who show up with a nice host gift. They knock on one door, follow the submission guidelines, and deliver a personalized pitch.

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By ann-gynn published September 9, 2019

Cure Your Conference Hangover (and Better Your Content Marketing)

Editor’s note: Given that thousands of marketers succumb to conference hangovers every year, we thought it was the perfect time to refresh the advice on how to overcome it.

It’s the day after an invigorating conference.

Your head has been filled with trends, slide decks, tips, graphics, and inspiring stories.

Your notebook is filled with ideas, notes, and doodles of possibilities for your content marketing program.

You’re suffering a conference hangover. But you don’t need to. Take the advice of some past and current Content Marketing World presenters on what to do to turn your learning into actionable – and doable – steps for you and your brand.

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By ann-gynn published August 13, 2019

Want More Opens and Fewer Unsubscribes? Fix These 35 Email Mistakes

An email pops up in your inbox. It’s from the company where you purchased a gift for a family member’s birthday almost a year ago. It reminds you it’s almost time to celebrate again.

The brand made a smart email marketing move – delivering personalized, relevant, and timely content. But what it did next was dumb.

Sarah Mitchell received a reminder email about her father’s birthday. He had passed away that year so she unsubscribed and gave the reason in the corresponding form.

But the emails kept coming – two more before his birthday. She talked with someone at the company and asked them to permanently remove her email address.

The next year, another email reminder about her dad’s birthday appeared in her inbox.

“I was livid. I’ll never purchase anything from them again and I’ve been a customer for over 20 years,” Sarah says.

While the brand originally provided a personalized and helpful email, its failure to act on Sarah’s feedback led to the loss of a longtime customer.

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By ann-gynn published August 6, 2019

What If You and Your Brand Could Break Up with Social Media?

Is your relationship with social media dysfunctional? You find the platforms attractive because they draw billions of people. And though you know billions won’t be attracted to your brand, you still ponder what your (and your brand’s) life would be like without these good-looking social media platforms.

You’re not alone. Marketers’ flawed social media relationships revealed themselves when we asked Content Marketing World speakers which social media platform they wished they could (or are planning to) leave behind.

A confession by Kiley Peters, owner and CEO, Brainchild Studios, reflects the thinking of many who responded: “I have a love-hate relationship with most social media platforms.”

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By ann-gynn published July 30, 2019

30 Ways to Waste Your Content Marketing Time

When the end of a quarter arrives, do you have more questions than answers about your content marketing program? Why is that infographic still not done? Why did our month-over-month blog readership drop? Why does the team seem less productive? Why isn’t management more supportive of our content marketing?

The unifying answer revolves around one thing – time. The team spends too much time on the wrong things, too little time on the helpful things, and no time on key things.

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By ann-gynn published July 23, 2019

2020 Content Marketing: What’s Clear and What Needs to Be in Focus

If hindsight is 20/20, then this article offers both hindsight and foresight.

We asked the speakers for Content Marketing World 2019 to put on their 2020 content marketing glasses and tell us where marketers are passing the vision test – and what’s still blurry. Here’s what 26 of them had to say.

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By ann-gynn published July 16, 2019

32 (Surprising?) Ways to Define a Home Run in Content Marketing

Your content packs a powerful punch – a high-flying, out-of-the-park hit. Your team and brand executives jump up and fist pump, while your competitors slouch glumly at their desks.

We know what a home run is in baseball – it gets the biggest crowd reaction and sometimes decides the game. But what is its equivalent in content marketing? We asked Content Marketing World 2019 speakers to define it.

Their answers surprised me and they might surprise you. Most construe a home run not as a single event or thing, but as part of a greater content marketing game plan.

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By ann-gynn published July 9, 2019

What Content Really Engages? The Inside Scoop From 30 Marketers

Don’t worry, this isn’t yet another post attempting to define content engagement from a qualitative or a quantitative perspective.

This article captures what engagement looks like from the audience’s perspective. We asked the experts speaking at Content Marketing World to share what content prompts them to engage with or trust a brand.

What #content prompts you to engage w/ or trust a brand, asks @cmicontent. Read answers from #CMWorld speakers Click To Tweet

Read on for a deep look inside the minds of CMWorld speakers to learn what content prompts them to engage. And in some cases, learn which brands they think are doing it well.

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By ann-gynn published June 25, 2019

What’s Missing From Your Content Marketing Tech?

Content marketing experts are a unique bunch.

When we asked Content Marketing World presenters about what’s missing in most content marketers’ tech stack, some waxed poetic, others imagined the possibilities, and others got practical, talking products and output.

That’s why we love them – a diverse group of answers means a diverse group of thinkers.

“Every content marketer is missing something from their tech stack. Content marketing is a delicate, interconnected ecosystem – you have to have the right technology for each aspect of the process,” says Scott Spjut, assistant vice president, social and digital content, Fifth Third Bank.

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