Author: Robert Rose

Robert is the founder and chief strategy officer of The Content Advisory, the education and consulting group for The Content Marketing Institute. Robert has worked with more than 500 companies, including 15 of the Fortune 100. He’s provided content marketing and strategy advice for global brands such as Capital One, NASA, Dell, McCormick Spices, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Robert’s third book – Killing Marketing, with co-author Joe Pulizzi has been called the “book that rewrites the rules of marketing.” His second book – Experiences: The Seventh Era of Marketing is a top seller and has been called a “treatise, and a call to arms for marketers to lead business innovation in the 21st century.” Robert’s first book, Managing Content Marketing, spent two weeks as a top 10 marketing book on Amazon.com and is generally considered to be the “owners manual” of the content marketing process. You can follow him on Twitter @Robert_Rose.

By robert-rose published March 25, 2022

Which Matters More: Content Skills or Subject Matter Expertise? [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Whenever I hear someone use the term SME (pronounced “smee”) for subject matter expert, I imagine a Dr. Seuss-like character and accompanying verse:

On the 25th day of March, in the jungle of sales,
In the pall of the calls, the in of the bound,
He yelled, “Data! Information!” and other leadership sounds.
Then the SME stopped and turned slightly away.
He was out. Simply out. No more thoughts came his way.

Yes, the story of a thought leader who runs out of thoughts. I should write that.

But content teams typically face a slightly different problem. They struggle to decide who should express those thoughts.

Specifically, they wonder: “Should we bring in SMEs and teach them to write? Or should we hire writers and teach them the industry?”Continue Reading

By robert-rose published March 18, 2022

How To Stop Burying Your Content Signal In So Much Noise [Rose-Colored Glasses]

The world is very noisy right now.

Sure, a lot’s going on politically, epidemiologically, and societally. But that’s not exactly (or not only) what I mean.

In 2022, organizations put even more importance on creating digital content and content-driven experiences. Consider the recent conversation I had with a new media company in the gaming space. They want to figure out how to ramp up their article production (using an artificial intelligence solution) from 25 to more than 500 per week, or 30,000 posts every year.

You read those numbers correctly: 30,000 posts per year.

No wonder creating a content marketing strategy feels like shouting into a hurricane these days.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published March 16, 2022

How Content Marketing Fits Into Web 3.0 (You Might Be Surprised)

You can’t throw a rock these days and not hit a media site capitalizing on some primer on defining Web 3.0 (or Web3), NFTs, metaverses, and what it all means to marketers.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published March 11, 2022

Building a Content Strategy? Watch Out for That Second Step [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Which part of a tightrope walk takes the most courage?

Most people believe it’s the first step out on the rope. But the tightrope walker who narrates one of the short stories in the collection Vigilantes of Love says that’s not the case:

“The hardest was the step after the first. That’s where you gained or lost your balance. That’s where it becomes a walk or a fall. After the second step, there is no going back.”

The same holds when developing an innovative content strategy – the second step is the hardest.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published March 4, 2022

How To Create Blockbuster B2B Stories That Sell [Rose-Colored Glasses]

How many times have you heard advice on becoming a great storyteller?

And how many times have you wished that advice translated more easily to content marketing?

You’re not alone. I often get questions about how to transform marketing content into great stories.

Earlier this week, I talked with a team of content marketers who feel passionate about creating engaging content marketing for the medical device company where they work.

But they told me that they struggle to create compelling customer stories that include the details their product marketing colleagues request. The product team routinely sends four-slide decks filled with product features and technical specifications they want to see in the content.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published February 25, 2022

Your Content Analytics Are Meaningless Unless You Have This [Rose-Colored Glasses]

If we can measure it, it must be important. So, is our job to just determine how accurately we can get that number?

Not at all. If any measurement is to mean anything, the first task is to agree on what equals success. It’s one of the unspoken secrets in all of marketing measurement. Agreement on measurement is much more important than the accuracy of the measurement itself.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published February 18, 2022

Writing Is Writing, Right? Not If You Want To Keep Your Content Creation Team [Rose-Colored Glasses]

“It’s time to make the donuts.”

This phrase from a 1981 Dunkin’ Donuts ad campaign has become part of our workplace culture. People use it to talk about preparing to do something repetitive, grueling, or meaningless.

But that’s a misreading of the original message.

The ad featured Fred the Baker, who woke up very early every morning, struggled out of bed, and repeated his mantra, “Time to make the donuts.” By the end of the ads, Fred greeted his customers with a big smile, proud of his work.

“It’s time to make the donuts” wasn’t a lament about doing the same menial task day after day.

It conveyed Fred’s commitment to creating something special day after day.

The tension between creating content that feels special and constructing useful (but menial) content resonates with so many content practitioners. Without an adequate balance between the two, content creators may lose interest in their roles.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published February 16, 2022

Your Content Mission in 2022: Get Ambitious and Embrace New Responsibilities

We spend a lot of time at CMI thinking about the purpose of content in business. It sounds funny. The purpose of content in business?

When we start work with a company on putting a functional plan around their content, a senior leader in the business (usually somebody in finance or operations) often says, “Isn’t that word content too big? Doesn’t that mean everything we do?”

“Yup. It does,” I reply, followed by an awkward moment of silence.

Without realizing it, they’ve unconsciously made the argument of why it is valuable to sort out the function of content in their company.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published February 11, 2022

How To Recognize (and Solve) Wicked Content Strategy Problems [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Content strategy is a wicked problem.

Don’t worry. I didn’t adopt Bostonian lingo.

A wicked problem is hard to solve because of “incomplete, contradictory, or changing requirements that can be difficult to recognize.”

I like information researcher Jeff Conklin’s description of wicked problems as those “not understood until after the formulation of a solution.”

I see wicked problems a lot in content strategy. One of the toughest is recognizing why you need to change when you can’t see how things are broken.Continue Reading

By robert-rose published February 4, 2022

Want To Scale Your Content Strategy? Hiring Isn’t the Answer [Rose-Colored Glasses]

If you ask an actor or screenwriter about their career goals, they’ll almost all say, “But what I really want to do is direct.” Or so goes the Hollywood trope.

Ironically, the director participates the least in the creative work. A director’s role isn’t to write, act, play music, edit, or even point a camera. The director’s job is to direct the individual artists’ contributions to the film product.

Yes, some directors do double duty by writing or acting in their films or shows. But the director’s function remains clear: Guide, enable, and manage a team of storytellers to efficiently produce powerfully engaging work.Continue Reading

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