I Am Not a Content Marketer

  “So, what do you do?” I asked a woman I met at Content Marketing World. “I’m a content marketer,” she replied.   “What do you guys do?” I asked another person I met at the conference. “We developed a content marketing platform for content marketers,” he exclaimed.   Excuse me for finally saying something that has been bugging me for quite some time, but didn’t know how to articulate.   Here it goes.   I consider myself a marketer. I am not a content marketer. I am a marketer.   To all attendees of Content Marketing World 2016, we are not content marketers. We are marketers.   We don’t market content. We market stories. We market organizations. We market people. We market causes.   We are marketers.   We build plans and we are strategic. We provide counsel. We develop great and purposeful stories. We implement technology to make our stories more effective and measurable. We learn and we improve. We lead.   We are marketers.   We were inspired...

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B2B Marketing Conference

5 Takeaways from #BMA16

I had the pleasure of attending my 4th BMA National Conference this week at the Hilton Chicago. Every year the conference seems to grow and change, this year with the ANA partnership front and center. Regardless, I can always count on the BMA Conference for great networking, quality content and a wealth of insights and ideas to bring back to my job and my clients. Some of the most common themes from this year’s conference included how marketing can and should drive business results, ways to build compelling brands through storytelling, and making marketing more important within organizations.   There were plenty of great B2B insights to choose from, but I’ve narrowed it down to my top 5 takeaways over the 3-day event.   It’s not B2B or B2C its B2H= Business to Human. While this isn’t a new idea, it bears repeating. Linda Boff, Chief Marketing Office at GE, reminded us that business...

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Social Media PR

Join Our Team: Social Media & PR Manager

Tell Your Story, a story marketing agency, is looking for a full-time Social Media & PR Manager to join the team. We are looking for someone with 3-7 years experience at a marketing agency or PR firm, in a similar role. The candidate would need to have the flexibility to work at our downtown Chicago office (WeWork Fulton Market) as well as remotely. Benefits include a flexible and nimble work culture, health insurance, 401K and a competitive paid time off policy.   Responsibilities would include assisting the Tell Your Story team in development, implementation and management of marketing, business development, social media and public relations efforts for a variety of Tell Your Story clients.   Writing / Content Development— We need someone with excellent writing and editing skills that is comfortable writing for B2B and B2C clients. The candidate must also be able to help write proposals, press releases and blog posts, and...

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8 Steps for Storytelling Success

8 Steps to Storytelling Success

Tell Your Story Founder George Rafeedie gave a recent breakfast seminar with the Chicago Business Marketing Association where he taught a group of B2B marketers how to develop and share stories on any budget.   In his dynamic presentation, George explained how every organization (big, small, start up, non-profit, division) has a story. And our job as marketers is to find it. Then develop it. Tell it. Measure it. And lastly, improve it. The story should be unique and tied to an organization’s purpose, the difference they make in the world, says George.   He shared the following 8-step process that marketers can use, right now, to develop and share their story/purpose.   1) Executive download & brainstorm. This is where executive buy-in happens. It is where you go to your boss/CMO/President/whomever and explain the process and why your organization needs it. This step is crucial as it ensures your stakeholders feel like they are part...

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George Rafeedie Story on Bootstrapping

Tell Your Story Founder George Rafeedie Shares His Story on Bootstrapping in America

As a marketing agency that focuses on developing compelling and valuable stories for its clients, it’s not everyday that we get an opportunity to share our own story.   Tell Your Story’s Founder, George Rafeedie, was a recent guest on Bootstrapping in America, a live online segment produced by the Tastytrade network that highlights entrepreneurs and their paths to success.   George discussed why effective story telling is crucial for an organization’s marketing efforts, in addition to a primary factor in overall business success and growth.   Hear how he’s applied his experience as a corporate marketer to build a small business that’s rooted in creating and sharing great stories through social PR.   ...

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Top 5 Themes at #BMA15

Be More: Top 5 Themes from #BMA15

“Be More.” Two words, countless nuances, depending on whom you’re talking to. For the hundreds of B2B marketers that attended BMA15, this slogan invariably implies how we must continually adapt and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of a world guided by technology and innovation. B2B’s potential is overwhelming, yet promising, as we continue to strive for improvement in all areas. After attending dozens of sessions and combing thousands of posts on Twitter over the past few days, these 5 themes seemed to rise time and again for marketers looking to Be More. Customer experience and satisfaction is the catalyst for all marketing initiatives, but great customer service isn’t enough anymore. Experiential marketing is becoming the norm and successful brands are learning how to deliver exceptional experiences to their customers. Employees are the foundation and support system for customer loyalty, acquisition and retention. Every brand, regardless of industry, should make employee...

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Top 10 Takeaways from Day 2 of #BMA15

[caption id="attachment_3187" align="aligncenter" width="675"] The #BMA15 tweet wall on Day 2[/caption] There were some really strong presentations at BMA15 Thursday. I like the cadence of this conference, with most sessions half an hour or 45 minutes long—enough time to delve into a topic without getting slow. There were many remarkable speakers today; heavy hitters from companies like Forrester Research, Pinterest, Dow and Daimler Trucks. Here are some of my favorites and some of the memorable sound bites from the day.   1. Joe Pulizzi. Just the guy to jump-start our brains after a night of staying out way too late. He talked about some of the characteristics of great content marketers, and gave examples of companies that do it right. Those who succeed document and write down their content strategy. It’s not enough to think about it, or have it in your head. And, they work to build an audience, a key component...

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Top 10 Takeaways from Day 1 of #BMA15

[caption id="attachment_3175" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Google's Jim Lecinski presents at #BMA15 Photo Credit: DejaViewsUSA.com[/caption] The Tell Your Story team proudly joined more than 950 fellow b2b marketers for Day 1 of the world’s biggest and best b2b marketing event, BMA15. In addition to staffing the press room and managing press for the conference, our team soaked up a plethora of valuable ideas, insights and takeaways that we can apply to our b2b marketing programs and careers. The conference has our entire team inspired and energized to “Be More.” Here are our top 10 takeaways from Day 1 of BMA15: [caption id="attachment_3177" align="alignright" width="325"] The number of B2B searches has tripled in the past two years. Photo credit: DejaViewsUSA.com[/caption] Millennials now make up almost half (46%) of b2b buyers. Reach them via mobile and video, or get left behind. Data, data, data! We don't need more dashboards, we need insights to guide decisions. There’s...

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SEO Best Practices for Content Marketers

[caption id="attachment_2698" align="aligncenter" width="500"] By Theyoungyi CC-BY-SA-3.0[/caption]   “Why are you passionate about what you do?” This hardball inquiry was tossed into a panel discussion I recently participated in at Northwestern University with students who are a part of the Medill Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program.   A question that I, like many professionals, ask myself often, I realized that it’s largely because of the endless learning opportunities available within the marketing field.   Case in point: That same morning I attended a BMA breakfast seminar on content marketing and SEO best practices led by Andy Crestodina, web strategist for Orbit Media. The seminars are great because you walk away with takeaways that are not only useful, but actionable. As someone who spends a majority of the workday creating content, I know it’s equally as important to understand how to optimize, distribute and measure it effectively.   Here are a few key takeaways and reminders of SEO best...

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