Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

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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Christmas is full of stories and memories

Christoph

November 29, 2015

Strategies

It’s that time of the year, when families are together around the Christmas tree, children get gifts they need want and where stories are made lived. (OK, I’ve used my allowance for strike-thru effects for the year. Ha) Seriously, though, I still remember my childhood Christmases. Many parts of them: The boring ones, the obnoxious ones and the […]

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Digital strategy: Some talk. Some know.

It seems to me that there are three big camps in digital strategy: Those that talk Those that know Those that dump data The talkers The first group sounds really good – you know when they are talking. They throw around the latest buzzwords. They tell you it’s about engagement, calls to action, blah blah […]

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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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Digital engagement: All decisions should benefit the end-user

There’s way too much talk about converting people to do what we want them to do out there. It’s about me, me, me – the organization who happens to own the website I’m on, or whose social media account happened to show up in my feed while I was actually paying attention. We focus on […]

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We are defined by what we constantly talk about

As I’ve said many times, including on here, on social media and while speaking at conferences: Authentic stories are first lived, then told. But there’s also another way to think about our own authentic stories: We are defined by what we constantly talk about. This includes specific topics or tones of things we say. Specific topics […]

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Let’s stop the Call to Action Madness!

“I can’t remember all the Calls to Action I’m supposed to follow. Everyone wants me to do something. So I tweeted instead.” – @ctrappe Everyone wants us to do something: Click here Buy this now Open my email, please Follow me on 59 other social media networks I get it. Our livelihoods might depend on […]

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Everyone has an agenda and that’s OK

Christoph

November 5, 2015

Strategies

I have no agenda. Baloney. (That’s not swearing. LOL.) Don’t we all always have an agenda? Having “no agenda” is kind of an agenda, too. Ha. Really, it’s OK to have an agenda. It means we have a purpose. “Having an agenda means we have a purpose.” – @ctrappe Click To Tweet If you analyze […]

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Be aware of the experts who can’t do any of what they are talking about!

There certainly are enough self-proclaimed content marketing experts out there. They seem to have forgotten that you aren’t an expert until some other people call you one. “You are an expert when other people call you one.” – @ctrappe Click To Tweet Certainly, experts and thought leaders can’t be good at every single task in their […]

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We build relationships over agreement

Christoph

October 21, 2015

Strategies

As much as people say that a good discussion with varying viewpoints is great, helpful and collaborative, disagreeing with each other doesn’t feel good. Even for those of us who love the debate. With all the online and offline talking I do throughout the day, it’s crossed my mind that agreement is needed to build […]

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It’s rarely best to not respond…

I’ve written about the importance of responding quickly on social media and other channels before, but this can also swing the other way. Oh, we didn’t respond in the first 15 minutes (or whatever the current recommended time frame is) so since we missed that we won’t respond. It won’t help. Yes, it’s important to respond […]

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When people quickly take notes … what did I say so important?

Body language, laughing at jokes and other things are indicators that our audiences are engaged with our presentations and talks. Another is when everyone all of sudden writes something down. On paper! It’s especially noticeable when they get out paper. Some take notes on their phones, but don’t we all still think that people are […]

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RECAP: How leaders can share better stories #leadwithgiants

I was the guest on the #LeadWithGiants Twitter chat on Sept. 28, 2015 on the topic of the importance of authentic storytelling for leaders. Some of the topics that we discussed are listed below. I’m answering the questions here as well, too – instead of presenting screenshot tweets to you, which I think aren’t that user-friendly […]

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