Author: Clare McDermott

Clare McDermott is the co-founder and head of strategy at Mantis Research. Follow her @clare_mcd.

By clare-mcdermott published April 20, 2020

Tech-Free Tricks for Dialing Up Your Content Operations

Marketers’ reliance on productivity tools can mask operational concerns that lead to low content quality and sub-par team performance. Forget the tech Band-Aids and focus on these four concepts to streamline your workflow and reduce system-wide stress.

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By clare-mcdermott published March 26, 2020

16 Apps and Tools to Keep You Productive and Sane

Editor’s note: Staying sane while working has never been more challenging and necessary. We’re bringing back this 2018 article to help.

I committed to evaluating my personal tech stack (yeah, I know that’s an odd collection of words, but you’ll see what I mean). My workload felt out of control. My goal was to be more intentional about finding worthwhile shortcuts and workarounds, as well as trying to make life simpler – an undertaking I jokingly call Clare 2.0.

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By clare-mcdermott published February 18, 2020

AI for Marketing: Make It Work for You

If you think it’s too soon to incorporate AI tools into your content marketing, you’re already behind the curve. There are interesting, unusual, and worthwhile applications of AI you can – and should – put in place right now. Read on for a look at how machine learning and predictive analytics are reshaping the marketing landscape and ideas for starting to power your program with the benefits it offers.

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By clare-mcdermott published October 14, 2019

John Cleese on Creativity [Video]

The history of Content Marketing World keynotes reads like a roll call of the world’s most creative people – and one of the most popular was John Cleese in 2015. CCO’s interview with Cleese was never published online … until now.

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By clare-mcdermott published October 14, 2019

A Step-by-Step Guide to Audience Development

Intel launched its digital magazine, iQ, in 2012. But in early 2017 the team switched focus from chasing eyeballs to sustaining loyal readers. Luke Kintigh was head of publishing at Intel iQ at the time and shared how they did it.

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By clare-mcdermott published October 14, 2019

Research: The Window to an Audience’s Soul

When the Sierra Club of Colorado needed to raise awareness about its conservation efforts (and raise money to support them), the grassroots organization used Voice of Customer research to get inside the heads of its members.

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By clare-mcdermott published April 15, 2019

How to Create Content in a World With Bots

Editor’s note: This article debuted in the April issue of the now digital only Chief Content Officer magazine.

In 2014, I got into a heated conversation with a colleague. He argued that, within just a few years, robots would replace writers in content marketing. I rolled my eyes so hard my brain ached. The idea of machines crafting sentences as elegant and nuanced as a human writer could was both heretical and impossible, I thought.

Turns out he was right, but the development isn’t the sci-fi creative dystopia I imagined … in most cases. Today, companies indeed use machine learning to generate natural language, and marketers are using AI-powered tools like Narrative Science and Automated Insights to produce practical, well-constructed, high-performing content.

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By clare-mcdermott published April 1, 2019

Bionic Content: Can Creative Writers and Machine-Built Content Co-Exist?

AI-driven robo-writers, “cobots,” and chatbots don’t necessarily mean the machines are taking over. Often, they can enhance your content and communications. Just don’t alienate your audience.

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By clare-mcdermott published March 15, 2019

Rant Alert: Content Marketers Must Up Their Data Game

Over the last decade, organizations have invested heavily in marketing analytics engines – from predictive analytics to performance management and data visualization tools. These tools help users surface insights from massive quantities of data, but perhaps more compelling, they bill themselves as “self-service” or accessible to marketers who may not have advanced quantitative skills.

Are those who are not data scientists or analysts equipped to make sense of the output from these powerful engines? Plenty of research points to the contrary.

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By clare-mcdermott published November 26, 2018

5 Research Options You May Never Have Considered for Your Content

If you’re like most content marketers I speak to, the strategies and tactics you use to grow an audience and get attention just aren’t working as they once were.

A BuzzSumo study, Content Trends 2018, confirms it; in a review of 100 million articles published in 2017, the company found social sharing was half what it was three years earlier.

It’s time to look around for new ideas. One successful but often overlooked approach is publishing original research. I’m not referring to market research, customer research, or competitive research, I’m talking about how marketers host an original research project and publish the results of that effort. In other words, research as content marketing.

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