Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

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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Picking the right channel to disseminate information is easier said than done

Christoph

July 10, 2015

Strategies

Picking the best channel for any given piece of information is harder than it sounds. That’s why there are meetings that could have been emails.. And, of course, there are emails that needed to be meetings. Along those same lines are the tweets that should have been offline and private conversations. Why can it be […]

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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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Internet Marketing Association Launches Midwest Group with Event at Google in Chicago

Christoph

June 18, 2015

Strategies

I’m very excited to kick off the Internet Marketing Association‘s Midwest Group in Chicago with this event on July 30. The event will be hosted at Google in downtown Chicago. (RSVP here for free. Space is limited). Representatives from healthcare strategy leader MedTouch, Google and other selected marketing experts will discuss the latest trends in ROI reporting, marketing […]

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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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Why would we judge other people’s stories?

Really, we judge other people’s stories all the time. We judge whether or not we think they are believable. We judge their relevance to us. Do we even care about them? And we judge whether or not we agree or disagree with them. But yet, authentic storytelling in its truest community-building sense is only sustainable […]

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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

For the most part, automatic messages on Twitter usually seem irrelevant and annoying to me. People – usually after I just followed them – send messages like this: Thanks for following. Please also connect on Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn and like my YouTube video here. (Or something along those lines.) Others would ask questions: What’s the current marketing […]

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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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People have their reasons why they don’t want authentic stories published

A public safety official asked for my opinion in a case where he had shared a picture of a water main break – a public event and received some negative feedback on the situation. Below is a summary and analysis of the situation, followed by recommendations. This is published here with his consent. Summary of […]

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Let’s put those “Best Practices” aside for a moment

Christoph

March 15, 2015

Strategies

For the second consecutive year I attended and spoke at Wordcamp St. Louis in 2015. I was sitting in a room with 300 people and listened to other speakers before my turn. At one point, somebody asked how many of the attendees are developers and how many are users. Interestingly, there were quite a few […]

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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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#Peopleskills: Sharing Success Stories: Inspiration or Bragging

I was the guest on the #Peopleskills chat on Twitter on March 1, 2015, and we discussed the difference between sharing success stories and bragging. If you missed it. My answers are also below. Q: How do you define success story? A success story is something positive that has happened. Somebody helped you. You solved a […]

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Who owns our brands?

The real answer, of course, is: Our audiences. Some might call them communities. You know what I mean: The people that listen to us and that we interact with. They own our brands. Whatever they say our brand is is indeed our brand – no matter how much we might disagree. So the real answer is […]

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How to talk to the masses but make it feel like personal conversation

Speeches are different from conversations. Public writing is different from writing a letter to a friend. I remember being taught the differences but what if there is no difference and speeches are just like conversations and public writing (like a blog post) is just like writing a letter to a friend? Sure, don’t share confidential […]

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Automation is not always good

I volunteered over 100 hours in 2014 in the community, but unfortunately every once in a while I have to cancel an  assignment. This was the case in fall 2014. I had signed up to volunteer at a weekend event. The week before I received an automated email from the organizer reminding me where to […]

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Authentic isn’t always perfect

Christoph

February 16, 2015

Stories, Strategies

We all want to look good and show our best or better side. Yup. Why do you think makeup or photoshop exists? Or why people get fired saying something slightly – even if true – off-message on social media. Because we want to look our best. Why do you think people post mostly good things […]

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How to measure social media impact: Sometimes it’s impossible!

Christoph

February 13, 2015

Social media, Strategies

Impressions, click-throughs, likes and so on are all social media metrics that help us measure what is and isn’t working. For example, my Tweets had 274,000 impressions in December 2014, a metric that jumped to 455,700 impressions in January. When your reach jumps that much, you’ll notice it. More people start connecting, Retweeting and reaching out […]

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