Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Lead generation: How I created more leads by handing out fewer business cards at events and conferences

Christoph

February 7, 2017

Creativity, Sales

I used to hand out business cards at events and conferences. I used to have like five different kinds, and you’d get the “right” one based on our conversation. Talk about making things unnecessarily complicated. But handing out business cards doesn’t lead to that many business conversions, social media connections or even blog subscribers. So […]

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Content marketing is more about hitting singles than home runs 

With baseball season wrapping up in North America, what better time to use a baseball analogy. 🙂 Home runs are certainly fun to watch. Did that make it into the water outside the San Francisco Giants park? Did that make it onto the street outside the Baltimore Orioles diamond? You get the picture. Things can […]

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5 Years Worth of Halloween Costume Ideas for Marketers (with pictures)

Christoph

October 30, 2016

Creativity, Stories

A look at Halloween costumes worn by me from 2012 through 2016. Photos included.

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How to be more like an eight-year-old when sharing our authentic stories

At the end of an October 2016 family trip, my eight-year-old daughter found a “writing lamp” in the hotel room and started writing as we were packing up on the last day. She was basically writing down the most important things from the trip and was telling a story.  How they went to the zoo, […]

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Why “being busy” shouldn’t be a content marketing success metric

This brochure, blog post, whatever piece of content I just finished took me a while to produce. Hours that added up to days and maybe even weeks, but I don’t even want to consider the actual amount of time it took, because, well, that’s a lot! Wow, it took that long to produce this thing? […]

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How long does it take to write a blog post?

However long you’ll allow it to take. There’s always one more edit we can do. One more hour of research or reflection that’s “needed.” It can go on forever if we let it. And then we are are disappointed that the post that took us 30 hours to produce didn’t go viral. Don’t get me […]

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What’s crap content?

I throw the term crap content around quite a bit on social media, during keynotes and workshops.  The context usually revolves around this:  We have to stop creating crap content.  There’s too much crap out there  Etc. Related reading: The No. 1 reason why there’s crap on the internet At one point I wrote it […]

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Who should get credit for our stories anyway?

Credit is an interesting thing. When we give people credit when it’s deserved and wanted it builds relationships. But when we give it – especially publicly – and it’s not wanted it can make the next shared chapter worse. And then there’s the case of not giving credit when it’s due. Sounds complicated.  When credit […]

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What equipment do I need to do a successful Facebook Live or Periscope broadcast?

A camera (aka your phone) and maybe an external mic will do for most broadcasts. There are always technology tools that can help us make our stories better. Some make a huge difference – especially when they make the process more efficient – and some have incremental impact. Most tools in addition to the camera […]

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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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Why news media and content marketers can’t just publish what everyone else is publishing 

News publishing and content marketing publishing have a lot in common and here’s another one to add to the list: Publishing what everyone else is publishing won’t set you apart.  Let’s start with content marketing in health care. February is Heart Month and many healthcare organizations publish healthy heart tips or how to spot a […]

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Why every strategist needs a team to execute content marketing strategies

As I’m continuing to help  hospitals and health plans coast to coast start and implement their content marketing, content creation, social media and eNewsletter strategies one thing has become super clear in the last 5-10 years: Content marketing and storytelling is a team effort. I notice this especially when I hear some speakers at conferences […]

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How to scale content marketing (or any) strategies 

One person presents a new idea, concept or technique to a group of people (dare I say committee members?). Another person – often one with a fancy title – chimes in: “But, but, but how do we scale that?” “Um, I don’t know. I was just coming up with an idea.” And with that the […]

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[CONTENT MARKETING] How to create meaningful deadlines 

Some deadlines are more meaningful than others. The meaningful ones are met and the ones that are not meaningful are not met – especially on an ongoing basis.  Let’s discuss the difference. For example, the deadline that’s pushed down by the boss for no other reason other than that  the boss can set a deadline […]

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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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[PUBLIC SPEAKING] How to do a 2-hour workshop without PowerPoint

Christoph

March 11, 2016

Creativity

I’ve been working on making this year’s keynotes and workshops different. I’m trying to do fewer PowerPoints, more and different interaction and keep things even more interesting for attendees. I’ve even started using stand-up comedy techniques. Yup, learn from wherever necessary. In February 2016 in New York City, I was leading a 2-hour workshop on […]

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How to present without PowerPoints

I’ve presentered with PowerPoints and without them. There are certainly advantages to both: With PowerPoints Allows us to present visuals Allows us to stay on track Can be shared with audience members later – but really I’ve never looked a PowerPoint again from a presentation I attended. Do people routinely do that? Slideshare allows us to […]

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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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Having a ghostwriter doesn’t necessarily make stories inauthentic 

Some of us can can write and some of us can write in a way that people actually want to read. Most everyone is an expert at something. And some of us are the thought-after experts in topics of wide interest.  Sometimes we call those topic areas with viable audiences, which is an audience that […]

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Is it more important to be accepted by our peers or our audiences?

Many industries hand out awards that are recognitions by peers.  Journalists submit entries that are then reviewed and judged by other journalists. Of course, those other journalists aren’t the actual target audience of the journalists submitting their potentially award-winning work. But yet they decide what is best of class. This concept doesn’t just apply to […]

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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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Yes, do you need to focus on traffic to your blog!

You’ve probably heard the buzz phrases: Focusing on traffic numbers isn’t what content marketing is about. Don’t chase the numbers. Usually, the people who say this already have the audience and have revenue flowing in from multiple sources, which may include advertising on their blogs which are seeing massive traffic numbers, speaking gigs, consulting, maybe events […]

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I don’t need better content. I need more relevant content.

That doesn’t mean I think content marketers should skimp on quality. They shouldn’t. Quality is super important. And yes, there’s plenty of crummy content out there. There’s also plenty of good and even great content out there. There are plenty of folks creating quality content. Quality content as in it’s well written. There are no […]

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It’s about simplicity

Why do some people make some things more complicated than they need to be? Maybe because it’s actually harder to keep things simple? Some items  that come to mind: Processes that are so cluttered that you need a process to manage the process. Websites that are designed by committees that argue over font sizes and other […]

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Powerful Content Can Make You Feel Something

When content makes you feel good, entertained, impressed (or something else that is meaningful to you) now that’s powerful. (Of course, it’s also good when you can learn something … but that’s a topic for another day.) I thought about this the other day when I ran across a local brand’s video on Facebook. I […]

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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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How do you make the same story interesting year after year?

Christoph

June 12, 2015

Creativity, Stories

There are plenty of organizations out there on what I would call a cyclical storytelling cycle. Every year at a certain time, the same story has to be retold. It has to because somebody says so and it has been done that way for awhile. This might be the case for nonprofits that are doing […]

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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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Silence does not mean agreement

Silence does not mean agreement. Only stated agreement means agreement. Why do you think flight attendants make you say “yes” out loud to agree to help when sitting in an exit row? This is important to remember as you kick off your content marketing and authentic storytelling strategy – especially in more traditional organizations. Sharing […]

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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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I don’t have time to blog. I make time.

I hear it often from people that they don’t have time to blog. Really, it’s not about having the time but making the time. From the technology side of things, it’s easy enough to blog from many places today. The WordPress mobile app, for example, lets you blog from your mobile device. I use it […]

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When to use a filter on your photos

Social media networks like Instagram and Twitter make it easy for us to add a filter to our photos. Sometimes that can make photos look better or at least more artistic. Sometimes adding a filter is the only way to make some photos viewable. I once shot a photo in a dark/low-light setting and the […]

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Hampton Inn: Kids can be your word of mouth marketers

We stayed at Hampton Inn in Illinois in 2014, and during breakfast, staff gave my six-year-old coloring materials. One was a postcard that allowed my daughter to send a card about her trip to the hotel to somebody. Very smart. She got right on it and was planning on sending it. It didn’t even feel […]

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What should brands do on social media on a holiday?

With the holiday season around the corner, what should brands say on social media? In general, brands should only be talking about the holidays when they have something to do with them. Everyone getting on Facebook and posting “Happy Thanksgiving” gets old quickly and is a bit lazy. It’s just as bad as some brands […]

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Stories presented in an unappealing way might as well not be shared at all

You are sitting in a room of about 150 people. Right in the middle. You are at a conference that you begged your boss to let you attend. This speaker knows his stuff – at least that’s what you’ve gathered from written materials – social media, web articles, etc. The audience welcomes the speaker with […]

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