Author: Dennis Shiao

Dennis is an independent marketing consultant who works with brands on content marketing, product messaging, and social media marketing. Formerly, Dennis led the content marketing function at DNN Software. Dennis curates an email newsletter called Content Corner and publishes marketing-related content on Medium. Feel free to reach out to Dennis on Twitter @dshiao

By dennisshiao published January 1, 2020

7 Helpful Social Media Tips

A badge of honor is displayed on my Twitter profile: I joined in December 2007. Back then, we were still at 140 characters and link shortening tools didn’t exist. Retweets and replies were manual. That’s right: To retweet someone, you had to type “RT @[user],” then copy and paste their tweet.

Not the new kids on the block, Twitter and Facebook are teenagers. And Instagram? It is 10 this year.

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By dennisshiao published December 12, 2019

Storytelling in Marketing: 3 Successful Examples

Most brands are poor at brand storytelling. They take the “brand” component too literally and make it all about them. Or they create content without a real story.

Done well, brand storytelling can be not only a differentiator but a memorable opportunity to draw and engage an audience.

Let’s explore three avenues for successful brand storytelling shared at Content Marketing World 2019.

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By dennisshiao published November 14, 2019

The One Way to Stand Out in the Crowd of Content

This story begins in the present.

Brian Fanzo is a founder, CEO, and keynote speaker. He does 70 speaking engagements a year. Over the past four years, he has done more than 4,000 live video broadcasts.

Brian works with leading brands, including Dell, Adobe, IBM, and SAP. He did influencer engagements at Mobile World Congress and the Super Bowl. Chances are you know Brian.

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By dennisshiao published November 7, 2019

Analyze 6 Elements to Land Better Conversion Rates

Whenever I predict the winner of an A/B test, I get it wrong.

With years of marketing experience and a lifetime of filling out online forms, I think I know what combinations of copy, layout, and design will work better. But thousands of users prove me wrong, time and again.

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By dennisshiao published October 9, 2019

Get the Audience Greenlight: A Lesson From a 19th Century Nurse

Do you recognize these two famous people?

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By dennisshiao published September 25, 2019

Ethical Marketing: Are You Crossing the Line?

As I was getting ready to pick up my wife and daughter at the airport, I went to Google and entered the airline and flight number.

I wasn’t expecting what I found.

I expected to see a Google answer box neatly displaying the flight status like I do for simple searches like “time in London,” “100 dollars to Japanese yen,” and “59 degrees Fahrenheit to Celsius.”
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By dennisshiao published September 17, 2019

Creative + Logic = Most Helpful Content Experiences

Are you a left or right brain?

If you’re comfortable with numbers, logic, and reasoning, you’re a left brain.

If you’re creative and rely on intuition to make decisions, you’re a right brain.

Mathematics? Left brain.

Art? Right brain.

In the world of marketing:

Automation? Left brain.

Creative? Right brain.

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By dennisshiao published August 22, 2019

How to Get Sales and Marketing in the Same Kitchen

Omelets and scrambled eggs have the same ingredients – cracked eggs mixed with a liquid and seasoning. But they aren’t the same. One is an elevated egg dish and the other is a banal breakfast item.

The difference? Technique.

An omelet involves a gentle lift of the edges of the cooked eggs so the runny eggs can flow underneath. And it finishes with a flip to fold the smooth egg mixture. Scrambled eggs involve stirring the eggs until cooked.

An omelet generates a better reaction – and often a higher menu price – than a few scrambled eggs.

And technique is the difference between a well-aligned sales and content marketing strategy (the omelet) and a disparate strategy where sales and content marketing operate separately (the scrambled eggs).

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By dennisshiao published August 19, 2019

Organizational Silos? How to Battle Content Chaos and Win

It’s the middle of an all-hands meeting; the newly appointed chief marketing officer at Autodesk said: “Dusty’s going to fix the content problem.”


Dusty DiMercurio, the director of content marketing and social media at Autodesk, and the hero of this story, asked himself, “Hmm, I wonder what that means to her?”

Dusty shared the story of how he learned about and addressed the challenge in a ContentTECH Summit presentation, From Tech Chaos to Content Coordination: Organizing for Success in the Enterprise.

Our hero was presented with a formidable task: to wrangle with the chaos that results from large teams operating in silos. (Autodesk has over 10,000 employees worldwide and uses a decentralized model for delivering content.)

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By dennisshiao published July 25, 2019

For Better Results, Think of Content Marketing Like a Product

We’ve all worked on projects, right?

They tend to consist of these elements: deadlines, timelines, due dates, deliverables, checklists, and project status meetings.

What happens when one project is done? You move on to the next one.

And that begs the question – can your content marketing achieve its potential if structured as a series of projects?

For Amanda Todorovich and Matt Bakaitis, the answer is no. A project-based approach to content marketing gets the job done but won’t result in exceptional or even differentiated content.

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