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 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.

Continue Reading

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.”

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published July 9, 2019

Content Engagement: 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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published June 18, 2019

Think Micro if You Want to Do Influencer Marketing Right

Stop dreaming big when it comes to your influencer marketing program. You don’t have to be able to afford to work with Kylie Jenner to reach her 110 million Instagram followers ($1 million per post) or Martha Stewart with 1.8 million followers ($2,500 per post).

Instead, design your influencer marketing around microinfluencers.

More than 75% of Instagram influencers are microinfluencers – defined as between 1,000 and 10,000 followers – according to recent research from Socialbakers. (People vary in their definitions of microinfluencers, from as few as a 1,000 to over 500,000 followers.)

Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published June 11, 2019

38 Experts Share the Worst Content Marketing Advice

It’s graduation season, the time of year when advice abounds. But let’s be honest, not all advice given to new grads, new employees, or even seasoned professionals is worth following.

We asked the experts presenting at Content Marketing World 2019 to share the worst content marketing advice they ever received or heard. They had a lot to say. The thoughts they share form a don’t-do-this guide covering everything from strategy and SEO to quantity and quality.

Continue Reading

By ann-gynn published May 30, 2019

42 Popular Blogs Motivating Marketers

What’s your favorite marketing blog?

If you’re like your fellow marketers, your favorites offer succinct, clear, valuable, useful, and actionable articles.

Those common themes came from the 50-plus responses received after we posed the question on the Content Marketing Institute’s Slack, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn channels as well as a query on Help a Reporter Out.

Nine blogs earned multiple nods (in alphabetical order): Backlinko, Content Marketing Institute, HubSpot, Moz, Neil Patel/Quick Sprout, Orbit Media, Search Engine Land, Seth Godin, and Social Media Examiner.

Continue Reading