Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

The No. 1 trick to grab (and keep) people’s attention in content marketing [EXAMPLES]

Christoph

September 4, 2016

Strategies

“Daddy, look at that skywalk,” hollered my eight-year-old at me as we were strolling through the streets of downtown for the Cedar Rapids Farmers’ Market. Of course, she wouldn’t point out any old skywalk. Something had to be different. Different things catch our eyes and attention. This skywalk was displaying some colorful art on it and, […]

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Why some content marketing strategies fail: They are too safe

Christoph

August 28, 2016

Strategies

And I’m not talking about always going for the sensational headlines and topics. But a lot of content marketing strategies, including blogs and social media, are just too safe. They share stuff that was approved by 59 people and is so watered down that there’s virtually no relevance or usefulness to the end audience. Recommended […]

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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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Once you have an audience, don’t exploit it, but offer even more value!

Social media, blogging, really anything online (and offline, too) is really a numbers game.  The more relevant audience members (aka interested community members) you connect with the more impact your content can make and that ultimately leads to more meaningful connections and also business conversions.  More things to read:  How to find your organization’s content […]

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Why production time isn’t always the best way to measure content marketing effectiveness 

I solve problems and mentally write blog posts while getting gas, going on a run and sometimes while taking a shower. That, of course, happens because our brains are freed up to think about those problems and stories without artificial pressures. That’s why some of us – me, too – wake up at 2 a.m. […]

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How to avoid having unrealistic expectations in content marketing

Let’s publish and go for 1 million viewers… by tomorrow.  That sounds like a good dream but not a realistic  goal for many brands and organizations who are just getting started in content marketing. We all start at zero audience though some of us have an existing audience that helps us start a bit higher. […]

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[PUBLIC SPEAKING] What to do with the podium during a talk

Christoph

August 4, 2016

Strategies

I don’t need a podium to hold myself up when giving a keynote, workshop or any talk really. It hasn’t always been this way. When I first started public speaking I would cling onto the thing. My hands sweating at the end. Heck, I was lucky not to have pushed it over.  Those are the […]

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How to add a CONTACT button to your Instagram account in seconds 

Helpful social media tips emailed to you: As of late July 2016, you can  add a contact button to your Instagram account. That’s great news because it makes it so much easier to be contacted by our Instagram community. Of course, there can be downfalls, too. What if trolls call or email? Block them, would […]

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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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What I’ve learned from the blog-to-book strategy

Now that my first book is out and available on Amazon, it’s a good time to reflect on what worked well and what I have learned for my next books’ productions. During the summer of 2015, I publicly announced that I was writing that book. Yes, that helped and even though nobody was officially checking in on me […]

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Honored to be listed in Top 5 of top healthcare social media people

Christoph

July 11, 2016

Strategies

Healthcare IT News published the Top 5 of the annual HIT100 list of top healthcare social media participants on July 11. There were 2,700 nominations and I’m honored to be listed at No. 2. It’s great to continue helping healthcare organizations coast to coast share better stories. Thanks to everyone that voted. Read more here.

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[FITNESS BLOG] Does competition or peer pressure help us be more active?

I like to think I’m in charge of my own life and decisions so without any data my answer would be: No. I don’t need tracked competition to be more active. I got it! #boom After all, I’ve been getting close to 10,000 steps per day, lost 130 pounds in recent years and bulked up […]

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Join me at Next Page Books in Cedar Rapids on July 23

Christoph

July 8, 2016

Strategies

Next Page Books, the independent bookstore at 1105 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids, is celebrating four years on July 23, 2016, and as one of the local authors whose book they carry, they invited me to stop by. I’ll be at the store from 10-11 a.m. that day. I appreciate that Next Page Books has […]

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What value-based healthcare means to me – the patient

Christoph

June 10, 2016

Health, Strategies

I’ve been reading some pretty interesting books on patient experience and value-based healthcare. In addition, I keynoted at the Population Health Forum in Boston in May 2016 and discussed how storytelling can help people be healthier. Also, in May, I keynoted at the Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Summit and was able to catch up with […]

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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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[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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How to take better selfies [SOCIAL MEDIA]

Some selfies are better than others. Leaving aside that some people are better looking than others, all of us can do a few things to make our own selfies look as good as possible.  Here are my top tips that I’ve tested by taking hundreds of selfies:  Find something interesting for a background. Selfie after […]

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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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[Content marketing] What to do when not everyone loves us

Not everyone loves us. I just learned that the other day. Ha. If we share our knowledge, value proposition and authentic stories correctly some people will not love us for it. But others will. It’s a sign of participating correctly and authentically.  Recommended for you:  We are defined by what we constantly talk about  Defining […]

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[EMAIL MARKETING] Picture-only emails aren’t user-friendly, mostly because they might not be readable 

In the last few months or so, I’ve noticed something new in email marketing land: Emails that appear to be blank. Some have even been sent by brands I love, trust and want to read content from. On a mobile device, they look like this:    You can see the outline of an image if […]

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How to decide which online reviews to respond to

Businesses, products, even doctors are reviewed online now. Everyone has license to be a critic is one way to look at it. Another way is that people have the right to participate, share their experiences and help others in our communities make better decisions about those things being reviewed. Of course with people sharing their […]

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[Storytelling] Why it’s harder than it should be to share your story in your own words and voice 

  We all have a voice and can share our own authentic stories. Whether it’s through a podcast, blog post or Periscope, there are plenty of channels to share our stories.  But that doesn’t necessarily make the actual sharing easier. Many people still focus on how they think others think they should sound as opposed to […]

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[CULTURE] When and why it’s important to stop “vetting” stories

This article discusses when stories should be vetted and when we should focus more on production and sharing.

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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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Why some goals are a waste of time in content marketing 

Christoph

March 13, 2016

Strategies

I’m all for goal setting and they’ve helped me professionally and personally reach many successes.  But many times the goals I’ve set weren’t very specific to measurement. They were specific to intent and mission.  When I lost 130 pounds my goal wasn’t to lose 130 pounds. It was to get healthy and lose weight. I […]

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Let’s not give buzzwords a bad name here

Christoph

February 26, 2016

Strategies, Words

Sometimes when I start blabbing about authentic storytelling, I get interrupted (when it’s offline) or people start commenting and responding (when it’s online): “Oh yea, storytelling. It’s the latest buzzword.” Sometimes people will start a debate on “what’s wrong with the way people used to share their message?” And even: “Why do we now have […]

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When I was publicly demoted…

There’s power behind making public statements – even when they don’t feel good. By way of example… Football players get demoted and promoted publicly all the time. And to make it even more “fun”, sports writers and fans all get to share their opinions and alleged knowledge about the moves. I was there once. When […]

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[CONTENT MARKETING] What’s the ROI of not trying?

Sometimes we don’t know if things will work out. Are we about to make the right decision. Why should we change anything at all? Things are going well. They are fine. Have you seen how often people’s predictions are wrong? All the time! But sometimes people are right. Were they lucky? Maybe? Were they safe? […]

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Fine, I won’t read the story I came here for then

I read a lot of stories and content on a daily basis. I’m interested in what people are saying and what the alleged latest trends are. A lot of the content I consume I find through social media shares and I get dozens of enewsletters as well. Many of the enewsletters all come at the […]

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What ya waiting for? Try the new social networks now!

You know what the front runners in digital storytelling all have in common? They didn’t waste time when new avenues opened up. Twitter launches. They try it. Blab launches. They try it. Hey, hey, here’s my weekly show. Is it on your calendar? In the meantime, they’ve continued to build their email list. You know, […]

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What journalism skills can be used directly in content marketing?

Some journalism skills can be transferred directly to the content marketing world. Let’s take them one by one. Meeting deadlines  Journalists are constantly faced with deadlines in a near 24/7 news cycle. A deadline is a deadline. If it’s missed, the TV newscast might be short a story or the newspaper article didn’t get edited. […]

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My setup when I’m a guest on podcasts 

Sounding good on podcasts is important to me. And I’m not talking about everyone necessarily agreeing with my opinion, but the actual sound quality. I want the audio to sound good. I’m always happy to be a guest on other people’s podcasts to talk about authentic storytelling content marketing. I’ve been on podcasts in Australia, Asia, […]

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Changing something we’ve done for a long time is soooo hard 

The longer people do something the harder it can be for them to change their minds, outlooks, opinions, etc. I’ve been managing people for 30 years. This is how you do it. I’ve been on Twitter from nearly the beginning. Don’t tell me about something I should change. I know how to be a mom. […]

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“We can just add social media (or whatever) to somebody’s job title” doesn’t work!

“Other duties as assigned” might appear to be a blank check to some so-called managers but assigning tasks on top of tasks that an employee doesn’t have the skills for doesn’t set up anyone – including the manager – for success. Additionally, it might not make the best use of a team member’s top strengths. […]

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What if we make 2016 the year of being relevant and real?

Christoph

January 1, 2016

Strategies

As everyone is publishing or has published their content marketing and digital marketing predictions, I will not follow that trend as usual. 🙂 Instead of us all chasing the latest shiny object, network, technique, whatever, what if we instead focus on just one thing: Let’s be real (and authentic) with each other. 2016 Goal: Be […]

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