Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Things to consider before video recording other people and posting to social media

I'm all for sharing stories through multiple mediums but there are things to consider before recording other people without their knowledge.

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Why to write content adjacent to your sweet spot on your (corporate) blog 

You hear me talk about the importance of being clear about what your content niche is. This is the content that you are an expert in and that you have a defined audience for and that you share on your (company) blog. Everything we produce and then distribute needs to fit into that category. For […]

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Why editing for preference is the biggest waste of time in content marketing 

Everyone who creates content likely has had an editor who edited for preference only. They change words because they like another word better. Not because it actually makes a difference to the audience or impacts that story’s performance. I even once had an editor who admitted that he edited to “add value, and it’s my job.” […]

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Should every blog post have a photo and how to get better ones

“A photo is worth a thousand words.” The person who said that first certainly hadn’t heard of irrelevant stock art photography that people now use abundantly on their blogs and websites. Those people in that meeting look oh so happy. Stock art! 

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Why To Not Just Repurpose Existing Content


January 5, 2017

Content gathering

Here’s a quick video I did on this important topic. You can’t be unique by copying others. 

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Why we shouldn’t take that social media photo – sometimes!

Fall in Iowa is beautiful, though a bit too cold for me. It’s actually surprisingly hard to take a good fall photo. This, for example, looked a lot better offline: I spotted the scenery during a walking meeting in 2016 and actually took this shot 4-5 times. Ugh. The photo isn’t showing how it looks […]

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[MARKETING] Why we shouldn’t make up quotes for people in our marketing stories

It can seem easier for writers and content creators to write the quotes from “actual people” marketing materials. It’s one way to make sure they stay on message, I suppose.  Marketing materials, of course, can include printed pieces, other offline items and all kinds of digital components, including ads, blogs and eNewsletters. And many marketers […]

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[STORYTELLING] How to get access to the people with the good stories

It’s virtually impossible to share good and meaningful stories if we don’t have access to the people who lived and participated in those stories. That’s why personal storytelling is so much easier than organizational storytelling. We already have access to the person who lived the story – us. When we work in an organization’s communications […]

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Organizational storytelling: Should we check the background of people whose stories we are sharing?

Storytelling strategies can be full of reasons why not to publish something. In fact, if we want to find a reason to not publish a story that can be a super easy task: We don’t have the time. We don’t want to. I’m not a good writer. Somebody, somewhere may potentially be offended by something in the […]

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[STORYTELLING] Cameras on people can help us gather authentic stories 

While at a Chicago White Sox game in 2016 my wife pointed out to me that the approaching vendor had two cameras attached to him. One pointed at him and one at the crowd. Of course, I asked him about it. “We are doing a special on vendors and it’ll be on the website. They […]

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[EMPLOYEE ADVOCACY] How to get employees to share stories without feeling like braggarts 

Some people don’t share any of their authentic stories – good and bad – and they have reasons for that.  Good stories – they don’t want to come off as bragging about themselves.  Not so good stories – they are embarrassed and don’t want to feel vulnerable publicly.  These are valid reasons and we should […]

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What lean content marketing should actually be – especially in large organizations 

Some so-called content marketing experts have shared their own definitions of what lean content marketing is and isn’t. Here are my steps on how lean content marketing can actually be most helpful – especially the larger an organization gets. The model of “lean (insert industry)” stems from lean manufacturing, as Charles Duhigg shares in his […]

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How long does content creation actually take?

Content creation can sound so simple: Interview people (It’s just like talking over dinner, right?) Write an article Social media!!!! Social media!!!! Shoot some photos Shoot some videos Do a podcast, too, while at it. In some people’s minds content creation – whether it’s in content marketing or traditional journalism – shouldn’t take that long. […]

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Somebody needs to wade through all this content to find the stories worth sharing


October 26, 2015

Content gathering

Some stories take time to unfold. Stories in real life aren’t like the movies or TV shows where it’s all made to fit into a specific time frame. “Some details aren’t that engaging.” – @ctrappe #contentmarketing Click To Tweet Real life stories can unfold over hours, weeks, months or even longer. There are down times. […]

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Tools help us share our stories, but they don’t create them for us

Some of my talks in the later part of 2015 have been about tools: At WordCamp Omaha I talked about the wonderful Jetpack plugin and how it makes content distribution so much easier. At SUGCON North America, a Sitecore conference in New Orleans, my talk focused on when to pick Sitecore for your blogging project and […]

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What triggers blog posts, social media posts, etc.?

 I tweet and blog a lot. This is the 370th or so post. I’m nearing 210,000 published words on here. I publish blog posts at least weekly – sometimes two or more in a week. My average blog post has around 440 words. I tweet up to 40 or so times a day. That’s more […]

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How to share better content for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (and in general)

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is every October. Many healthcare organizations, advocates and the media will all share stories surrounding breast cancer. That’s great because stories raise awareness and can lead to donations, advocacy and top-of-mind awareness of organizations that offer help. Organizations blog, tweet and share pictures on Facebook and Instagram. On Twitter, people are talking […]

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Getting on a blogging schedule will help you stay on track 

It sounds so simple and common sense, doesn’t it? Like many things, it’s easier said than done. From my experience, the most sustainable way to stay on a blogging schedule is to get going and work way ahead.  I decided to publish at least once a week on here. I write a post for the […]

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How can I make my photos fit on Instagram?

Aug. 29, 2015, update: Instagram now allows other formats and no longer restricts them to square. I like Instagram, the photo-sharing social media network. It’s one of the faster growing social networks with a lot of potential. It also joined Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as one of the networks accessible from Hootsuite. Hootsuite, of course, allows […]

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PODCAST: The roles in content marketing

This podcast discusses the different roles an organization needs to successfully execute a content marketing strategy. I discuss the roles of project owner, editorial director, content producers and web producers. Audio not playing or can’t listen today? Try the transcript below:  Hi there, Christoph Trappe here with The Authentic Storytelling Project, and today I want to […]

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(Good) photos help with social media engagement

Photos increase engagement on social media. There have been daily – or so – studies on this. So some of us run to one of the many stock image services, buy images that look somewhat related to whatever we just blogged about and share them on social media. And we see the clicks rolling in. […]

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The Top 1 Way to Get Started Sharing Authentic Stories

This is a short list. I know. 🙂 I could probably come up with a few more things that people could do to share their authentic stories: Make up their minds to do so. Document them. Share the stories quickly. Come up with a realistic workflow. Come up with a distribution plan. “Content might be king, but […]

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Using big words prompts one question…

What does that mean? True experts will likely not skip a beat and simple explain the word. Sometimes the explanation is still filled with industry jargon, prompting more “What does that mean?” questions. Other people throw around big words that they kind of know the meaning of, but can’t necessarily explain. But the words sound smart. Or […]

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PODCAST: Human interest stories are great, but only when they are relevant

This brief podcast discusses how easy it is for brands to slip too far into human interest storytelling and forget about sharing the content their audiences are actually looking for.

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Easy-to-use live streaming tools can help us share our stories

With the resurgence of live streaming tools after the launch of Meerkat and Periscope, which share live streams directly to Twitter, live broadcasting is back in the headlines. People can live stream whatever is in front of them from their iPhones with these new apps. Of course, live streams on the Internet are nothing new. When I […]

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Learning how to tell authentic stories happens by doing

Anyone can tell authentic stories. Seriously. I mean it. Anyone! As long as we make up our minds that we want to it’s possible. I truly believe that. I’ve seen it, too. People with no formal background in storytelling, started becoming great and public storytellers. That’s usually the key here with storytelling: It is very […]

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New technology stories are better with people in them

We see the stories. Here’s a new piece of technology that’s going to be doing x, y or z. In healthcare it might help save somebody’s life or make their life a lot more livable. Unfortunately many stories continue to tell and not show. And as we’ve said many times here at The Authentic Storytelling […]

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PODCAST: When to curate and when to create unique content

This podcast discusses how to find the right mix of curating content and creating unique content. Mentioned in podcast: Picture and Words Tell the Story of Boy and Police Officer’s Hug Audio not playing? Here’s a transcript: Transcription of PODCAST: When to curate and when to create unique content Hi there, Christoph Trappe here, and […]

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Documenting the stories of our pets is also meaningful

One important step – one that is easy to forget – in telling any story is to document it when it happens. You can document a story by: jotting down notes (0n paper or your smartphone) taking smartphone pictures (or use a better camera if you have one) shoot video Tweeting right then Pictures, as […]

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