Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

ZDoggMD: How humor, uniqueness and fun can tell educational stories for millions

Zubin Damania, MD, was a Stanford physician who was following in his dad’s footsteps: Being a doctor in the typical healthcare system. But that wasn’t enough he told the audience at the Healthcare Internet Conference in Las Vegas in 2016. “I was living somebody else’s story.” So he made changes. Huge ones. For him and […]

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Why not to shoot for being the next Uber or Amazon

I hear it all the time:  We want to be the next Uber … or Amazon … or somebody else that is successful in a newer niche.  But what if it’s not about being the next somebody else? What if we just focus on being a better and more succeful version of ourselves? It’s doable. […]

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How YouTube owns my “TV prime time”

More and more, YouTube is what’s streaming at our house during the traditional TV evening prime time slots. It’s not that I totally hate watching TV, but endless commercial breaks make sure to push me to go and find something else to do.  Attention earned needs to be re-earned over and over. And commercials just […]

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[SOCIAL MEDIA] How your competitor’s Twitter account can be a lead generation tool

Christoph

November 8, 2016

Customer service

Content, email and social media is most effective when it hits prospects and readers at exactly the right time. The time is of course when they need to solve a problem and are looking for a solution. That’s when lead generation is most effective.  That’s easier said than done and many digital strategy campaigns bank on […]

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Healthcare ads: Should we use actual patients?

Christoph

November 7, 2016

Advertising, Health

Colin Hung wrote a great post over on the Healthcare Leadership blog and shares a video, used as a TV commercial, that includes actual patients, according to Colin’s blog post. Colin asks “How do you feel about using actual patients, families and doctors in healthcare advertising?” I have an opinion on that…

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U.S. Election 2016: How to use the new Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump masks on Periscope, the live video app

Christoph

November 5, 2016

Social media

Three days before the election in the United States, Periscope, the live social media video app, pushed out an update to offer Scopers the “opportunity” to put on a mask of the two presidential candidates and talk with that on. The masks’ mouths even move when you talk. Of course, I wanted to test and […]

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I cried today because a high school teammate was ambushed and killed 

Christoph

November 2, 2016

Stories

And then I had to explain that whole situation to my 8-year-old! When I was eight we didn’t need to have conversations like this! Seriously, could we stop this madness! Tony Beminio was one of two officers killed in the Des Moines area over night. Tony and I were teammates on the  1995 Iowa City […]

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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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Flying over Wrigley Field during the World Series – Awesome!!!

Christoph

November 1, 2016

Travel

I was flying United Airlines on a Friday night when the Cleveland Indians were playing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago.  The game was just starting when we took off for Chicago and United offers DirectTV service – so live TV – for $5.99 during the flight. I appreciated that enough already. I’m […]

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How authors can use content marketing, social media and related tactics

Christoph

November 1, 2016

Strategies

Authors can use content marketing, social media and related tactics to promote and market their books and in fact most of my book sales have come after I implemented content marketing tactics. Writers Melon, an India-based site for book lovers and authors, invited me to share my tips. And I appreciate the invite and happily […]

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Why we shouldn’t take that social media photo – sometimes!

Fall in Iowa is beautiful, though a bit too cold for me. It’s actually surprisingly hard to take a good fall photo. This, for example, looked a lot better offline: I spotted the scenery during a walking meeting in 2016 and actually took this shot 4-5 times. Ugh. The photo isn’t showing how it looks […]

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How I’ve trended on Twitter in two cities – Mumbai and Oklahoma City 

Christoph

October 30, 2016

Social media

My speeches have now twice trended on Twitter in the cities where I was giving them. The first time was Mumbai, India, in 2015, when I was giving a keynote at a blogging conference. Every slide had my Twitter handle on it and I actively encouraged tweeting during the talk. “Please make sure to tag […]

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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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UPDATED: My reaction to Facebook “reaction buttons”: Don’t overthink ’em!

Christoph

October 30, 2016

Social media

October 30, 2016 update According to my own reviews, most people continue to use the LIKE button over others. Makes sense to me and I do the same myself. Facebook also updated the buttons to be Halloween-themed for Halloween 2016. Feb. 24, 2016 update: The buttons are now live on Facebook. You have to hover […]

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[SOCIAL MEDIA] With Vine shutting down where should we share our videos? 

Christoph

October 30, 2016

Social media

Last week Twitter announced that Vine is shutting down. Some media types declared that the internet was in an uproar over the news. I hadn’t thought about Vine in a while actually. I still see links to Vine profiles in some Twitter profiles from time to time but couldn’t even tell you the last time […]

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Why I’m super nervous about giving a talk in my native language soon

Christoph

October 29, 2016

Stories, Travel

As you may know, I grew up in Germany and moved to the United States at age 16. (More on that here.) And German is my native tongue, though today – 20-plus years after moving to the Midwest – I dream in English. Doing math in English took the longest to transition.  Most of my […]

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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 do we blame people for telling us the truth?

Hearing the truth – especially when it’s negative – can hurt. It’s so much easier to live in la-la land where everything is great. In reality, even when most things are great there are always some that aren’t. “Hearing the truth – especially when it’s negative – can hurt.” – @ctrappe Click To Tweet When […]

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How journalists can establish their personal brand for content marketing success 

One way for journalists, and really just about anyone, to get into content marketing is by having a strong brand. Of course the first step in getting a strong brand is to build one – in part through participation. There are certainly many self-proclaimed experts out there who don’t practice what they preach but somehow ended […]

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Speaking engagements: Why I always like to check out the venue when nobody is around

Christoph

October 25, 2016

Stories, Training

When I speak – especially at venues new to me – I always try to see the location where I will be speaking before speaking. Often that’s the night before or earlier that same day before the talk, when there are no attendees or organizers around. It helps me visualize what it looks like, where […]

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Changing language: How do you push “any button” on the Apple Watch during phone calls?

The language we use can evolve because: People accept and use what used to be wrong. (Singular “their” anyone? Journalists can now use “over” instead of “more than” as another example). Technology evolves and what we just said doesn’t work anymore. I’ll focus on technology here today, though, I realize point No. 1 would likely […]

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NEW: How to edit LinkedIn status updates 

Christoph

October 24, 2016

Social media

It used to be that typos in LinkedIn status updates meant we had to either live with the typo or delete the status, fix the typo and repost. Neither way was perfect. But as of October 2016 – when I noticed it – we can now edit live posts and just push that updated version […]

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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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KEYNOTE VIDEO: The six steps to tell better stories

I spoke to the Iowa CPA conference in Des Moines in October 2016 and shared these six steps you need to take to share authentic stories to be successful. (I start at 1:18 mins if you want to fast forward to there.) In summary, here are the six steps with short overviews: 1) The decision […]

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How come I can’t see how many people like other Facebook pages anymore?

Oh no, what happened to seeing my competitor’s Facebook following? Where did it go? Comparing our social media “performance” to others is important to many brands out there, and Like count on Facebook and other networks, has been an easy way to keep track of who is gaining audience and who isn’t. So this post below by a […]

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Why it’s important to keep track of your search engine rankings [Google Search Console]

Search is not dead – in case anyone was wondering or about to declare it to be. 🙂 In 2016, about 70 percent of all traffic to this content marketing blog came from search engines. That’s an interesting statement for a social media guy. Social media, by the way, sent 11 percent of all traffic […]

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Always do this when your website copy tells us how awesome you are!

Much of the copy I read on websites is so laden with self-congratulatory, back patting and superlative-driven that it even puts the perfect social media lives of some people to shame. Everything is oh-so perfect. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. It’s sentences and phrases like these:  We are the best in our field. […]

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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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Why soft metrics matter in content marketing

Christoph

October 15, 2016

Measuring results

Show me the money! Is all this content marketing actually leading to revenue? Yes! I’m all for getting paid, because afterall, pageviews are not accepted currency in any grocery store. My kids don’t accept them for their allowance either! But, soft metrics (so not revenue) are an indicator that things are or aren’t on the […]

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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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How come nobody is sharing my POSITIVE brand story?

Influencer marketing and outreach. Brand ambassador programs. Social media amplification. You name today’s buzz phrase to help us (the brands)  get our stories shared.  All these tactics actually work. Seriously. But, they can and will backfire when the product stinks.  Marketing – whether content, product or traditional – isn’t usually in charge of product development […]

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The problem with context in storytelling (and life)

Content is king, relevance is queen and distribution runs the day-to-day. And context writes the paychecks. Or something like that. Enough #buzzwords. But really, context is important and is typically what makes our content marketing stories relevant. I’ve remembered this discussion in traditional and content marketing newsrooms over and over:

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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 industries can benefit from content marketing or authentic storytelling?

It’s always dangerous to throw round absolutes, but I have yet to come up with an industry where content marketing is absolutely not possible or zero percent helpful. Basically authentic storytelling content marketing comes down to these pillars:

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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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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Hit me with a good story after I almost donated

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it seems everyone is running their own fundraising campaigns.  I got one email from an airline that said I could earn miles if I would donate to help fund breast cancer research. I even clicked over and picked a dollar amount for my donation and checked how many […]

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