Author: Bethany Johnson

Bethany Johnson is a multiple award-winning content marketing writer and speaker. Her work empowers marketers to rethink interrupt advertising in favor of original content that converts passive readers into active followers. Brands like MasterCard, ADP, Fidelity, and Philips rely on Bethany’s voice to connect with audiences daily. For more, visit Follow her on Twitter @thanybethanybe.

By bethanyjohnson published November 15, 2018

Build a Great Brand: Align What You Think, Do, and Say

“Content marketing is becoming marketing.” That’s the first item John Hall cites in his Forbes article about 2019 content marketing trends to watch.

Once a radical idea (despite its historical roots), the concept of replacing one-sided information pushes with two-way conversations and relationships with audiences is now commonplace with marketing teams.

“Content is one of the best tools you have for earning trust, building your brand, generating site traffic and qualified leads, and everything in between,” writes John, co-founder and president of Calendar.

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By bethanyjohnson published September 27, 2018

SMS Text Marketing? You Bet

The urgency and intimacy of text-based marketing make it attractive to businesses. But it’s those same qualities that make SMS communication from a brand especially risky.

However, when done strategically, respectfully, and in a contextually relevant way, Ardath Albee, CEO of Marketing  Interactions Inc., says the profitable benefits of SMS marketing easily supersede the most common pitfalls of this unique channel.

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By bethanyjohnson published September 20, 2018

How Cisco Merges Martech With Creative Content

If you could build the ideal multi-industry global conglomerate from scratch, scaling it to over 700 product families, would you let each one of those 700 product managers target the same customer separately?

Of course you wouldn’t.

Why then do so many enterprise brands find themselves in a similar pickle?

Three years ago, the Cisco marketing team woke up to this real-life situation. Bob Meindl, Cisco marketing director, and Jenny Hooks, Cisco marketing manager, describe the revelation in their joint 2018 Intelligent Content Conference, Beauty and the Beast: Creating the Balance Between Content Innovation and Martech Capabilities.

“Like many large B2B companies, we focused on product marketing, and each business unit would market to customers on their own,” Bob says. “To be fair, they thought about the customer, and understood the customer, but only from the very specific lens of their product.”
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By bethanyjohnson published September 5, 2018

Don’t Fear Chatbots If You Have a Rich Content Strategy

dont-fear-chatbots-with-rich-content-strategy“OK, Google, how do I integrate helpful chatbots into my existing content strategy without spending a fortune or frustrating my audience?”

Many brands fall into one of two traps:

  • Indecision – taking the wait-and-see approach to AI-based bots while continuing to create content without a back-end strategy. This increasingly creates more problems down the road when the brand embraces AI conversational interfaces for customer relationships.
  • Haphazard implementation – succumbing to the temptation to jump in, adopting and implementing tools without considering how they will scale or integrate with the brand’s overall content ecosystem.

To avoid these extremes, follow the advice of Noz Urbina, founder and content strategist of Urbina Consulting, who says a strong underlying content strategy can and should inform your chatbot strategy. If you’ve invested in structurally rich content, then you’re likely more chatbot-ready than you realize.

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By bethanyjohnson published August 2, 2018

How to Unite Brand Storytelling and Marketing Tech


Henry Ford didn’t invent the car. He made cars accessible and affordable to the masses through an innovative process.

Marketers didn’t invent the technology to build bots, mobile apps, games, and productivity tools, but they can make them entertaining, delightful, and helpful to entice their audiences to use them.

And marketing tech tools once available to enterprise-level brands with big budgets are now viable for small and medium-sized businesses too.

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By bethanyjohnson published June 6, 2018

Google Leaders Share How to Improve the Mobile Experience


Google’s recent rollout of mobile-first indexing proves brands willing to (once again) put users first will look better in the eyes of the search giant.

But search users have high expectations – they expect the exact information they seek to be immediately available in an easy-to-comprehend way in a format they prefer. How can you adequately put users who have such high expectations first?

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By bethanyjohnson published May 11, 2018

Influencer Marketing: Lessons From One of the World’s Largest Software Brands

influencer-marketing-lessonsYou’re the largest enterprise application software company in the world. You have 88,000 employees and nearly 400,000 customers. Your revenue last year was a smart $29.4 billion. Industry influencers are lining up, knocking on your door for an opportunity to collaborate. Right?

Well, no.

Even successful, established brands must start at the ground floor to build a B2B influencer marketing program – the same as an agile, scrappy startup.

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By bethanyjohnson published April 30, 2018

How Content Can Create a Self-Sustaining Customer Referral Engine


Robert Rose, CMI chief strategy advisor, loves to reset his audience’s brains with a truth bomb:

The purpose of a business is to create a customer.

This 60-year-old quote from management great Peter Drucker reminds marketers that their work – creating demand, generating traffic, prompting social shares, or even gathering leads — is in service of this one clear goal. It’s a refreshing pause button on all the distracting possibilities available.

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