Author: Chuck Frey

Chuck Frey is the director of content marketing at Cultivate, a Milwaukee-based digital marketing agency. Prior to that, he served as director of online training for the Content Marketing Institute. He is also the founder and author of The Mind Mapping Software Blog, the world’s leading website covering visual mapping. In addition, he blogs about creativity, productivity and personal development strategies on his personal blog. He has extensive experience in public relations, online marketing, content development and marketing, business strategy and creative problem-solving techniques. He is an avid photographer. You can follow him on Twitter @ChuckFrey.

By chuck-frey published November 13, 2016

How to Use Content Marketing to Enhance Brand Perception


As a director of content marketing for a digital agency, I’ve noticed a pattern as we bring on new clients: Their brands aren’t as strong or as differentiated as they should be. In addition, most of them do traditional product-centric versus customer-centric communication. Their customers have changed, but they haven’t.

As I noticed this pattern, I wondered: What would leading content marketing professionals recommend to help B2B firms strengthen the value of their brands? I asked 14 content marketers representing companies large and small, plus several agencies. Here’s what they had to say:Continue Reading

By chuck-frey published December 24, 2015

You Spoke. We Listened. 11 Top Content Marketing Challenges Solved


Whether it’s starting from the beginning (making the case for content marketing) or enhancing your programs (figuring out what’s working), the opportunities for content marketing learning are endless.

As CMI’s director of online training, I have the privilege of working with leading industry experts to identify the most pressing challenges you face and help them create the courses to help you learn on your own time through CMI University.Continue Reading

By chuck-frey published July 8, 2015

Is Your Content Marketing Career on Autopilot?


In times of rapid change, learning new skills equips you to adapt and thrive. It also helps you to sidestep programmatic thinking – the tendency to rely too much on existing knowledge and ignore signs that it isn’t as effective as it once was. Nowhere is this truer than in the field of content marketing.

An expanding body of evidence, collected from surveys and conversations with marketers from a variety of organizations, points to a growing gap between our need to plan, execute, and measure effective content marketing initiatives and our skills for doing so.Continue Reading

By chuck-frey published April 28, 2015

Promote Your Brand on Twitter with the Right Paid Options


If you avoid Twitter’s paid promotion tools in your marketing campaigns because you believe promoted tweets are too expensive or complex, it’s time to rethink that opinion. Twitter’s affordable, well-designed promotion tools can help your brand generate leads, build an audience, and amplify your content – no matter the size of your company.

What makes Twitter such an attractive channel for paid promotion? First, its 255 million active users send more than 500 million tweets a day. No matter what industry or market you serve, chances are your audience has a presence on Twitter. But the sheer number of users and messages creates a challenge for marketers: Unpaid tweets quickly scroll out of view, making it likely that your audience will miss many of your important messages. Continue Reading

By chuck-frey published January 16, 2015

Experts Share Visual Content Mistakes to Avoid


Like words, graphics and images can be powerful tools – but they must be used with great care to enhance, not detract from, your content marketing and branding.

Unfortunately, as visual content grows in popularity and inexpensive tools make graphics and images easier to create, many marketers churn out mediocre visual content that gets ignored by the very people it was supposed to influence. Even worse, some marketers post confusing or poor-quality images that don’t look like they’re from the same brand or meet audience perceptions of the brand.Continue Reading

By chuck-frey published September 4, 2014

10 Canva Tips That Will Help You Become a Visual Content Master

front-end loader image-blue outlineCanva has quickly emerged as one of the most powerful and popular web-based tools for creating visual content. But like any other tool, it must be used with great care to reinforce and strengthen your online branding, not detract from it.

Many organizations are challenged by a need to scale up their content creation efforts — not just dumping more “me-too” content into their social media channels, but creating words and images that reinforce their brand, build customer loyalty, and clearly differentiate it from what their competitors have to offer.Continue Reading

By chuck-frey published August 12, 2014

Make Your Visual Content Stand Out With a Signature Brand Look

letters spelling visionWith the explosion of visual content in the last year, it’s getting harder than ever for brands to get noticed and persuade their target audiences to take action. One way to rise above the noise is to consistently integrate your brand into your visuals, through a consistent, well-thought-out template of color, typography, and design.

What’s driving this explosion in visual content? A growing number of bloggers and businesses are recognizing its awesome power to communicate in powerful ways that words alone cannot. At the same time, apps and tools have matured to the point where nearly anyone can create and distribute attractive-looking images and infographics tailored for a variety of social media channels.Continue Reading

By chuck-frey published July 15, 2014

How Engineering Principles Can Revolutionize Your Content Strategy

scott abel-rahel anne bailie-authorsContent marketers spend countless hours handcrafting content that’s designed to inform and persuade customers. Scott Abel, “The Content Wrangler,” believes he has a better way: Content engineering, the application of engineering principles to the creation, management, and delivery of content.

Recently, Scott and his co-author Rahel Anne Bailie used a content engineering methodology to create a printed book, eBook, website, and a deck of cards entitled The Language of Content Strategy, all from a single source of content. These works all revolve around a set of 52 definitions for content strategy terms and serve as a common lexicon for content strategists and brand marketers. Continue Reading

By chuck-frey published June 5, 2014

Tips for Maximizing the Storytelling Impact of Visual Content

visual storytelling-eye closeup backgroundIn today’s high-speed, information-intense world, it’s getting harder to grab and hold the attention of potential customers and stakeholders. Visual content has quickly emerged as a powerful tool that can help messages break through the clutter, stand out from the competition, and persuade audiences — but only if it’s created and positioned correctly.

Content Marketing Institute recently conducted a webinar (sponsored by global “ideas shop” gyro) that highlighted some excellent examples of visual storytelling. Presenters Ekaterina Walter, CMO of Branderati and the co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling, Cristina Heise, gyro’s Director of Brand Experience, and gyro’s Content Strategist John Cramer also discussed their recommended strategies for increasing your odds of success when working with visual content.Continue Reading

By chuck-frey published February 4, 2014

How to Choose the Right Content Marketing Agency

image-banner-CMI twitter chatsHiring an agency has always been more of an art than a science. And, according to the participants of a recent #CMWorld Twitter Chat with Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer), author of The Marketing Agency Blueprint, it has become even more challenging in the era of content marketing.

One of the major problems is that a “gold rush” mentality has evolved around content marketing, so a large number of social media, SEO firms, ad agencies, and others have recast themselves as content marketing firms in order to claim a share of the business. This makes it significantly harder for marketers at medium- to large-sized brands to separate the pros from the posers.

During the #CMWorld Twitter Chat, participants offered many helpful suggestions to make the content marketing agency search and qualification process easier and more reliable.Continue Reading