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 April 25, 2022

7 Questions Every Writer Should Ask To Craft an Effective Lead

Updated April 25, 2022

“Please don’t read this article.”

That’s the unintentional plea made by content writer after content writer.

They craft a boring lead that would make even the most well-caffeinated person fall asleep. They spend hundreds of words to get to the point. They get so “creative” that they miss conveying the purpose of the article.

Ultimately, they tell potential readers to look elsewhere for interesting, valuable content.

I have read all types of leads – many good ones, too – in thousands of submissions to the Content Marketing Institute. I’ve been editing for more than 20 years – at a daily newspaper, a trade publication, a law firm, a content marketing agency, etc.

The universal truth is that too many people write ineffective leads.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published April 20, 2022

How To Use Agile Marketing for a More Productive (and Happier) Content Team

It’s time to stand up for your content marketing operations.

Yes, physically get up from your chair. Ask your content marketing peers to do the same. Stand together every workday for no more than 15 minutes. Share what you’ve done in the past 24 hours, what you plan to do today, and what hurdles you’ve encountered that could hamper your progress.

This daily exercise is just one part of turning your team onto an Agile content marketing approach.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published April 7, 2022

If You Want To Create Exceptional Content, Limit Your Options

Many content marketers are asked to do more without getting more resources. With audience attention harder to capture than ever, how can a creative content team cope?

Go to Raising Cane’s and study the menu.

If you don’t have time to go or aren’t near one of the chain’s 500 restaurants in 27 states and five countries, I’ll explain. The restaurants sell:

  • Chicken fingers
  • Crinkle fries
  • Coleslaw
  • Texas toast
  • Cane’s sauce

Five things. That’s it.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published March 31, 2022

How To Develop and Create a Wikipedia Page That Sails Through the Approval Process

Updated March 31, 2022

When Dianna Huff decided to create a Wikipedia page for her client’s technology, she had no idea what she was in for. Making updates to existing pages was simple. How hard could it be to create a new Wikipedia page?

Incredibly hard, as she found out. The lengthy process felt more akin to writing a college term paper than to writing marketing content, Dianna said.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published March 24, 2022

40+ Blogs, Podcasts, and Video Series Content Marketers Love

You don’t have to rely on Google searches to find helpful and relevant content marketing blogs and educational or inspirational resources.

Your peers already have vetted many options. We asked the Content Marketing Institute community for their go-to resources and rounded out the list with a query on Help a Reporter Out.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published March 17, 2022

5 Evergreen Content Tips for a Year-Round Marketing Strategy

Does your content strategy use the “luck” of the green?

If you publish evergreen content, it does.

Evergreen content feels like a lucky strike – reaching a person at the exact moment they need it. Devoting some percentage of the content you produce to evergreen topics helps you get the most from your content marketing investment. It also can generate growth in subscribers, followers, or customers by serving go-to help and guidance website visitors want.

Think of including evergreen content in your strategy as seeding a forest of opportunities for your brand’s content marketing.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published March 14, 2022

6 Content Helpers That Encourage People To Read, Watch, or Listen

Without changing a word, you can make your content easier to consume.

Don’t expect a thank-you note. But do look for signs your audience appreciates the effort (more frequent visits, views, and listens, for example).

The six tactics in this article make content easier to consume by helping manage time expectations, offering shortcuts, and letting people choose the format they prefer or need.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published March 3, 2022

How’d You Make That Flipping Awesome Content for Northwell Health

Northwell Health diagnosed a multi-symptom problem in 2017.

“We were undergoing a crisis of trust. Amid misinformation and manipulative messages, expertise had never been needed more, especially in the world of health and wellness,” says Julie Shapiro of Northwell Health, New York’s largest health care provider.

Sound familiar? As it turned out, Northwell’s prescription for the trust crisis positioned it well to address the global health crisis that struck a few years later.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published February 24, 2022

Take Content Beyond the Buyer’s Journey by Playing Nice [11 Expert Tips]

A content marketing strategy based on the buyer’s journey isn’t enough.

Why? First, prospects often encounter content from your brand that the content marketing team didn’t create. Second, the journey shouldn’t end when they become customers.

Buyer engagement today requires a circular approach to content as your journey with the audience isn’t linear and shouldn’t end with the purchase. And that holistic view requires companies to better organize their content operations.Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published February 17, 2022

13 Expert Tips for Choosing Tech That Makes Your Content Strategy Work

If you plan to acquire new technology to support your content strategy, don’t look at the eye-popping Marketing Technology Landscape Super Graphic from Chief Martec.

The most recent version (from 2020) details 8,000 products categorized into advertising and promotion, content and experience, social and relationships, commerce and sales, data, and management.

Whether you viewed this intimidating graphic or chose to skip it, here’s the takeaway: You have a lot of options. How do you choose the technology that’s right for your needs?Continue Reading

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