Author: Michele Linn

Michele Linn is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Mantis Research, a consultancy focused on helping brands create and amplify original research they can use in their marketing. Before starting Mantis, Michele was head of editorial at Content Marketing Institute, where she led the company's strategic editorial direction, co-developed its annual research studies, wrote hundreds of articles, spoke at industry events and was instrumental in building the platform to 200,000 subscribers. In 2015, she was named one of Folio's Top Women in Media (Corporate Visionary). You can follow her on Twitter at @michelelinn.

By mlinn published February 27, 2017

How to Give Meaning to Your Content

meaning-to-content-michael-jr-interview

When Michael Jr., a Content Marketing World keynote presenter, took the stage, he admitted, “This is not my audience at all.” While this may sound like an inauspicious beginning, within a few minutes, there was a palpable shift in the room as the audience truly focused its attention – and turned off devices – to hear what he had to say next.

One of the key messages from Michael Jr.’s act is a simple statement: “When you understand your ‘why,’ your ‘what’ has more purpose.” By that he means, when you understand why you’re telling a particular story or – even more elemental – why your business exists, then your story or message can be on note.Continue Reading

By mlinn published February 22, 2017

Elevate Your Marketing Career: 5 Ways to Invest in You

elevate-content-marketing-career

Editor’s note: With so many things requiring your attention, it’s tough to know how to spend your time. This update of a previously published post shares one suggestion of how you should invest your time. 

You.

That’s the topic of my post today. You.

Last year, I participated in a panel for the Detroit Content Strategy Meetup, and one of the questions posed by our moderator, Chris Moritz, was this:Continue Reading

By mlinn published February 8, 2017

7 Productivity Killers for Marketers and How to Fix Them

productivity-killers-marketersIf there is one thing on my mind this year, it’s how we, as marketers, are getting our work done. Not to mince words, but how we work seems broken.

I see the issues with the way I work. All. The. Time.

I want dedicated time in my schedule to create, but I get interrupted or – when I do have time – I can’t seem to focus. Here are just a few common scenarios. Continue Reading

By mlinn published January 1, 2017

Unsolicited Advice: 6 Letters Every Content Marketer Needs to Read

unsolicited-advice-content-marketers“Who’s perfect?”

“No one!”

This is a common dialogue I have with my daughters when they make mistakes — as we all do. I’m a big fan of not aiming for perfection but rather trying to be the best version of yourself.

Of course, the same is true with marketers. No one is perfect — and considering the speed at which our industry has been changing — we can all learn from each other. It’s in this spirit of making us all better that Andrew Davis shares his suggestions to marketers in each issue of Chief Content Officer magazine in his column, Unsolicited Advice. (Shameless plug: You can get a free subscription to CCO.)Continue Reading

By mlinn published December 28, 2016

6 Stolen Content Marketing Ideas from the Top Marketers of 2016

stolen-content-marketing-ideasI can’t help but be grateful for the CMI community and all of the tips I’ve learned along the way this year. While I always glean so much from our community, I want to pay a special thanks to our Content Marketer of the Year finalists. While all of these individuals offer a lot for us to learn, I’m definitely stealing these six ideas. (You can also get more stolen ideas in this post from 2015 and this one from 2013.)Continue Reading

By mlinn published November 30, 2016

Get Control of Your Content Marketing Ideas So You Can Take Action

control-content-marketing-ideas

Ideas are easy, but execution is tough.

Can you relate? Do you have lots of ideas but aren’t sure which ones to pursue? Or maybe you start working on something, but then a new idea comes along that piques your interest. You jump to that one and then struggle to bring either project to completion.

Ninety-two percent of successful B2B marketers value the craft of creativity (compared to 74% of the overall sample of B2B marketers), but how do you move from ideas to execution when you’re feeling overwhelmed and your to-do list is overflowing?Continue Reading

By mlinn published November 8, 2016

9 Definitions: How Content Marketing Works Within Marketing

9-content-definitionsOne topic that generates a lot of interest on our blog is how content marketing relates to other disciplines. Readers want to understand how content marketing fits within their overall marketing plan, and we have written about this topic over time.

Next time you are asked – or simply wonder – how content marketing is related to insert your approach of choice, come back to this post for a quick explanation.Continue Reading

By mlinn published October 31, 2016

The One Content Marketing Question You Need to Ask (That May Scare You)

content-marketing-question

“The latest issue of CCO didn’t arrive. Can you please verify that I am still on your list?”

While this comment may seem problematic, I can’t think of a better compliment. Someone is missing the content we are publishing.Continue Reading

By mlinn published October 25, 2016

How to Find and Use Your Content Essentials: A Template and Step-by-Step Guide

content-essentials

I hate shopping, and I have a limited fashion sense. So when a friend offered to help me shop for wardrobe essentials that I could mix and match to suit almost any occasion, I wholeheartedly agreed. These staples have been so helpful in many ways.

Now I no longer spend time thinking about what to wear and I don’t constantly second-guess myself. Packing is not a nightmare because I don’t have to try on a bunch of things that are “meh” and “good enough.” A wardrobe of staples has saved me so much time, and I feel much more confident.

Continue Reading

By mlinn published October 9, 2016

From Newbies to Seasoned Marketers: How to Measure Your Content Marketing

measure-content-marketing

What is one of the biggest challenges facing content marketers today? If the blog traffic and conversions at CMI are any indication, measurement and ROI are two nuts that marketers are trying to crack. But this is no surprise. Justifying marketing spend has been a struggle since the beginning of time.

But content marketers face a more specific challenge because the payoff is not immediate. In fact, it typically takes at least 18 months before you see bottom-line results. If you are in an industry with a long sales cycle, it often takes longer to tie content marketing to revenue, making short-term ROI even more elusive.Continue Reading