Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Don’t let too much process kill the storytelling

People have asked me for processes on how to share authentic stories, how to “allow” people to share stories and how to blog. And certainly I can share processes. Sometimes they help and are sustainable – as long as somebody manages them usually. Sometimes processes can be overthought and are a holdover from the Industrial […]

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Content marketers find a way to publish stories

I use the WP Word Count WordPress on this content marketing blog to see how many words I’ve published. There’s really not much of a practical use for this plugin: I don’t publish more or less after looking at it  – for the most part. Arguably, this blog post came about because I looked at it. […]

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Measuring true engagement and impact of authentic stories 

Christoph

August 31, 2015

Strategies

Sometimes we can’t explain why a piece of content took off. And sometimes we can’t even tell that a post took off because its impact can’t be truly measured. And that’s OK! Seriously. We don’t have to overanalyze everything. But it’s OK to review metrics and continue to figure out new ways of measuring impact […]

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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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7 Email Marketing Tactics That Need to Stop!

Email marketing and email newsletters for content distribution work. Email – whether we love or hate it – often still gets checked. I certainly read more of my emails than the tweets that are posted by the 10,000 people I follow. While email can be hard to keep up with, it is certainly easier than […]

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105-year-old hospital volunteer asks for Retweets while advocating for volunteerism

Olive Dodds, 105, volunteers at Toronto East General Hospital and while she’s not on 9-year-old Twitter herself, she was happy to remind others that she’s “still going strong as a volunteer” even at age 105. Ms. Dodds knits dolls with Toronto East General Hospital’s volunteer knitting and sewing group. The dolls are then sold, with proceeds going […]

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Why speeches are more like performances

Christoph

August 7, 2015

Stories, Strategies

I speak a lot. Ask the people that know me. Ha. I also have gotten more and more speaking engagements over recent years around the globe. I enjoy them very much and really every talk is practice for the next one. I even say that exact thing during some talks – especially when I’m talking […]

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How to grow WordPress email subscribers and publish an email newsletter

Email is not dead. People read their emails, and even when they don’t read all of my blog’s emails, it only gets out of their inbox when they delete it. Email marketing was also expected to be one of the fastest growing content marketing channels. I see great engagement from my email subscriber list and […]

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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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Tell us HOW – not WHY – to tell our stories

Christoph

July 27, 2015

Stories, Strategies

I’m seeing a change in what organizations – technically the people inside those organizations – are asking for from me. When they ask for guidance, training or maybe even a social media audit, most of the time now they no longer want to know why they should be telling their authentic stories. They ask me to […]

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Intent matters

Intent matters. Ask the people in prison for it. Seriously, though, intent also matters in the stories and information that we share on our blogs and social media channels – two of my favorite content marketing channels. What was our intent when we posted what we posted? Did we try to teach? Did we try […]

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Sometimes you can’t ask for permission…

Christoph

July 17, 2015

Strategies

May I challenge the status quo? No. Sometimes we just can’t ask for permission. We just have to do what’s right and people will see that it was the right decision. Sometimes it’s an educated gamble. Whoops, did I just brand myself as a rebel? 🙂 I hope not. But seriously, sometimes, if we ask […]

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Being first has its advantages and disadvantages

Christoph

July 15, 2015

Strategies

Being first is winning, we might think but that’s only  sometimes true. For example, Google wasn’t even the first search engine. There were several before it, including Yahoo, which launched almost two years before the now-dominant Google. Today in 2015, Google, of course, tops all searches with 67 percent. So just being first doesn’t guarantee the […]

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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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Responding quickly is also part of being authentic

Christoph

June 15, 2015

Strategies

Email, Tweets, texts, Facebook comments and who knows what’s next. When we are actually participating in our online and offline communities, people will talk with you and respond to things you say. The way we respond and at what speed can also be indicators at how true our answers are. When we take weeks to […]

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My story doesn’t change because a competitor’s does

Christoph

June 10, 2015

Strategies

I tweeted this the other day: A couple of competitors decided to be less authentic. Certainly, I won’t change my approach because of that. We want to win in whatever industry we are in. Sure. I do, too. Heck, one of my strengths is being competitive. And I am and don’t apologize for it.  It’s […]

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Authentic storytelling isn’t about being right (or wrong)

Christoph

June 8, 2015

Strategies

One of the problems with getting started with authentic storytelling is that many of us want to be right and accepted when we share stories. We can be so timid – almost like we are walking on egg shells – when we get used to sharing our authentic stories publicly. “People walking on egg shells […]

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Why are his emails always written in such a nasty tone?

You’ve probably been there. One person or another’s emails are always written in a snarky, negative or maybe even “I know better than you” kind of tone. Always.  Why can’t that person stop it and start writing in a nicer tone? And then when you ask the writer of those allegedly nasty tone emails, he […]

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We can’t copy our authentic stories from others

Christoph

May 14, 2015

Strategies

The decision to share our authentic stories is also a decision to be unique and original. We can’t copy our authentic stories from others. You know how sometimes it can be easy to (over)analyze what our competitors are doing? They are on the latest shiny social media network. So we join – even though we […]

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Being transparent holds me accountable

Christoph

May 11, 2015

Strategies

I tweet a lot. Anywhere from 200-400 times per week. Most of my Tweets have something to do with authentic storytelling, content marketing and the process of getting a storytelling strategy going. A sampling from a recent week: There are roles for all. #Peopleskills Channels don’t define our bigger purpose. They help us share it. […]

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A champion leaving can stop a content marketing strategy in its tracks

Content marketing and authentic storytelling strategies are new enough to many organizations that momentum can be lost quickly. Just one person leaving can cause these projects to stop immediately. Organizations sometimes hire or bring people to help with new strategies. These people – let’s call them change agents come in and help organizations tie business goals […]

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Maybe it’s time to retire the phrase “target audience”

Christoph

May 5, 2015

Strategies

As we are targeting audiences, defining target customers and using similar kinds of terms, I wonder if those phrases will withstand the test of time. Targeting somebody brings to mind an image of somebody with a target on their back. We are after you! Now, don’t get me wrong here. A part of authentic storytelling […]

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Vagueness is never good in storytelling

Christoph

April 30, 2015

Strategies

Technically, I said the right thing. I just didn’t include all the details. And – as I have said before – we don’t have to give all the details, all the time. They slow stories down even. But being vague is hardly ever a good thing. “Being vague is hardly ever a good thing.” – […]

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What the eight-second attention span means to content marketers

Christoph

April 29, 2015

Strategies

People’s attention span is around eight seconds. Eight seconds. It probably took me longer than that to come up with the headline for this article – probably because the task lost my attention. What does that time span mean to content marketers and authentic storytellers? Does it mean content should be short? Consumable in eight […]

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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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Why I turned comments on my blog off!

I used to have comments turned on and every once in a while somebody would leave a comment. People might say that they agreed or liked a post. Yes, some of those were spam, too. Some disagreed. Very little real discussion happened in the comments section – even for the articles that had them. My […]

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Auto direct messages on Twitter are not always bad

Many people complain about auto direct messages on Twitter and they can be annoying, but when done well they can be very helpful. Here's how.

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PODCAST: The future of journalism and journalist is context and amplification

Christoph

April 20, 2015

Strategies

I spoke to journalism students at the University of Iowa about storytelling and we also discussed the future of journalism – a topic discussed in this podcast. Listen to the podcast below: Audio not playing? Try the transcript below: 

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How will you make your impact?

Christoph

April 17, 2015

Stories, Strategies

Somebody asked me last year: “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” I answered: “However I can make the biggest impact on the most people sharing their authentic stories.” A couple of years ago, I did that at a United Way and helped other nonprofits share their authentic stories. Currently, I do that with hospitals […]

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That balance between structure and “just sharing” meaningful stories

Christoph

April 13, 2015

Strategies

I see posts like this all the time – probably weekly if not more often: How to correctly format your blog post Eight things every blog post needs to include Five new tools to help you blog Our 12-step process to get your blog post done There are variations, of course, and some of this information […]

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Why entrepreneurs need to tell good stories

Christoph

March 29, 2015

Stories, Strategies

Every so often I run into entrepreneurs and innovators.  Some are inside of traditional organizations and are attempting to create a new product or service line within an existing structure. Some are starting their own business. As an authentic storyteller I’m naturally curious and want to know their stories: Why did you start doing what you […]

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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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