• Storytelling Is Not a Strategy

      At the start of 2017, I made the shift from ad tech to martech. In the last decade, I had helped build and steward the brands of two successful ad tech firms recognized for their innovation and amazing cultures, but it was increasingly difficult to ignore the headwinds facing the old media model. The consumers had spoken, and they didn’t want interruptive advertising experiences anymore.

      The Content Strategistin Social Display- 31 readers -
    • Why You Need a Cross-Functional Content Marketing Calendar

      I lead a double life, but there’s a secret weapon that lets me get away with it. At Contently, I’m both our director of content strategy—which means I oversee strategy work we do for hundreds of clients—and also the editor-in-chief of our internal publications, The Content Strategist, The Freelancer, and Contently Quarterly. I love both lives, and I stubbornly refuse to give either up.

      Joe Lazauskas/ The Content Strategistin Content- 52 readers -
  • The Story Funnel-Matrix: Create Better Content With This Simple Diagram

    Tell someone to write a poem, and chances are they’ll freeze up. Tell someone to write a haiku, however, and we bet they’ll bang one out in less than 10 minutes. The reason: Constraints unleash our creativity. But how can you translate that to the complex world of content marketing? The diagram below will help you do just that. The Story Funnel-Matrix The funnel-matrix has two dimensions.

    The Content Strategistin Content- 22 readers -
  • The Storytelling Strategy That BuzzFeed and Star Wars Have in Common

    We would have never gotten Star Wars if the Modesto, California, police weren’t so good at their job. Or if George Lucas wasn’t such a reckless driver. Before he became a filmmaker and the beloved creator of Star Wars, Lucas wanted to be a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. But they wouldn’t let him in because he had too many speeding tickets. His backup plan was film school.

    The Content Strategist- 9 readers -
  • Your Brand Needs a Conscience

    Last January, Uber declined to participate in an organized taxi strike amidst the immigration ban protests at JFK airport. In fact, the company even turned off surge pricing to and from the airport. But instead of leading to a quick boom in business, the move upset consumers. In a matter of days, Uber lost 200,000 customers, and people were boycotting the brand on Twitter with #DeleteUber.

    The Content Strategist- 10 readers -
  • What Two Drastically Different Leaders Taught Me About Building Trust

    I recently interviewed two leaders who have each influenced hundreds of millions of people. Over the course of two days, I spoke to Evernote CEO and former Google[x] executive Chris O’Neill, and General Stanley McChrystal, founder of McChrystal Group and the commander of U.S. Forces in the Middle East under Bush and Obama. O’Neill and McChrystal are known for getting the best out of people.

    Shane Snow/ The Content Strategist- 11 readers -
  • What Separates Good Writing From Bad Writing?

    The other day, I was struck by a quote I read in a blog post about vulnerability from author and Wharton professor Adam Grant: “Good communicators make themselves look smart. Great communicators make their audiences feel smart.” Grant’s words reminded me of the time I discovered, to my horror, that I write at an 8th grade reading level.

    Shane Snow/ The Content Strategist- 19 readers -
  • Study: Teenagers Are Now Facebook’s Kryptonite

    Late last year, I wrote an article for Vice News about whether humans can fall in love with artificial intelligence. Spoiler alert: We can. Normally, I’d link you to the webpage so you can read it to learn more, but in this case, I can’t. The article only appeared on Snapchat Discover, the daily magazine-like spread of stories meant to pique the interest of younger readers.

    The Content Strategist- 8 readers -
  • How to Make an Emotional Narrative Work For Your Brand

    I want to tell you about the last time I cried. A few months ago, inside a little laboratory in Claremont, California, I was hooked up to a machine that measures your brain activity from an armband. The lab belonged to a neuroscientist named Dr. Paul Zak, and the brain machine is called the INBand, a new device that looks like an Apple Watch and goes on that part of your arm w ...

    Shane Snow/ The Content Strategistin How To's- 11 readers -
  • 4 Elements of Great Storytelling, Backed by Neuroscience

    Content marketing is in a crisis. Once you sign up for a few brand newsletters, you get pounded with the same generic how-to articles. How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Small Business. How to Make Your Team More Productive. How to Save Money for Your Kid’s Future. And, most ironically, How to Deal With Email Overload.

    Joe Lazauskas/ The Content Strategist- 12 readers -
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