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Do content strategy best practices fail?

By | September 8, 2014 |

Forget What You Think You Know After working with so many companies on content and content strategy over the last 10 years, patterns emerge. This has given me some confidence. Some structure. And many content strategy best practices. Every once in a while, though, best practices slap back.

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Does content strategy influence sales strategy?

By | May 14, 2014 |

I met with a new client to talk specifically about core messaging priorities and how they align with the business’ and customers’ needs. But we went on a bit of a birdwalk, and before I knew it, we were in the realm of the sales funnel and sales strategy.

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Can we start writing before the content strategy is complete?

By | March 13, 2014 |

Dear Client, You are awesome. Your deadlines are insane, and truly impossible to pull off with any sense of confidence. And yet still, awesome. You do know that one thing simply must come before the other, even with a team of five writers and editors and proofreaders, right? How can we write before the strategy is complete? How can one proofread — let alone ensure alignment with strategy — before the content is created?

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What are the most popular 2013 content strategy questions?

By | January 2, 2014 |

Out of curiosity, I checked Pybop’s analytics to see what was on everyone’s mind in 2013. Here are the top three most popular Pybop questions — a surprise to me! Writing Video Content: Strategy Makes It Easier Your Brand Story: Write the Last Line First How to Best Deliver Bad News by Email All three of the articles above were selected for the Content Marketing Institute’s Best-of-2013 series, and are being republished this month! These Pybop posts continue to be popular year after year: Books for Content

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How do you create USEFUL user personas?

By | December 3, 2013 |

Answer updated March 7, 2016 Creating in-depth user personas that truly represent your target audience is a science. It can take a lot of research, time, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. But everyone needs to start somewhere, right? Here’s a quick and dirty creative approach: First: What Is a User Persona? How Do You Create a User Persona? How Do You Make User Personas Useful?

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How do I create an awesome company blog?

By | November 13, 2013 |

“I want to start a blog for my company; where do I start?” I’ve been getting that question fairly frequently lately. If you are planning on starting or revamping your company’s blog, here’s your to-do list for success: Blog Content Strategy Checklist (Download the printable PDF version.) Establish blog objectives with decision makers Identify core messaging priorities to support objectives Audit potential content sources Create editorial guidelines (voice, tone, length, reading level) Develop editorial calendar (content categories, frequency, topic ideas) Ensure you have the people resources to support this

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Our messaging strategy is falling flat. What’s missing?

By | October 30, 2013 |

You know those long meetings you’ve been having with your team to discuss strategic vision, your meaning for existence, your key differentiators? You might be missing something kind of big. Your consumers. I know this sounds obvious, but I felt compelled to write this because so many really fabulous, reputable brands I’ve been talking to lately are spending a lot of time focused inward, and not much time focused on the reason they exist: to provide something to someone else for a

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Do I really need a responsive website?

By | June 25, 2013 |

Yes. Over the last year or two, developers have been fine-tuning the process to create responsive — or adaptive — web designs. This is a huge advancement for user experience and the development process. And a big deal to content strategists. Part of telling a great brand story is knowing where your audience is consuming the story. Is it on a giant screen above a stage? Or on a smartphone in their hand? The cool thing about responsive design is that it doesn’t

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Any new geeky terms content strategists should know?

By | June 12, 2013 |

When building a mobile, video, or web content strategy and working with all the players who pull together an online content project, it’s helpful to know what the heck they are talking about when they start using new technical terms or old terms in new ways. Here are quick definitions of some content strategy-related terms I keep hearing lately: 1. Mo-Graph Video content strategy and video content production are probably on your list of to-dos. Videos can certainly help attract attention or explain a

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How do you best deliver bad news by email?

By | May 22, 2013 |

Look on the Bright Side Companies change direction. Leadership shifts. People make mistakes. Sometimes a brand needs to communicate an uncomfortable story to its audience … while not making it sound worse than it is. You might try the straight-forward approach: CFO was fired, changes ahead Our customer service department was not trained well We no longer carry ABC Brand But those statements sound so alarming. Scary even. Questions immediately pop up in your head — what does this mean to me? Maybe I shouldn’t use you

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