Dennis Shiao
When Dennis Shiao first started contributing to CMSWire, his articles focused on community management. And along with the tips and advice that he shared in these posts, he practiced what he preached.

Dennis is quick to welcome new contributors to the site, and can be found actively promoting other contributor's articles on social channels. When he chose to change the focus of his articles to content marketing, he introduced a potential new contributor to cover community management. When someone contacted me looking for insight into the community management profession, he willingly spoke to her.

In other words, Dennis goes above and beyond in his contributions to our community, on many levels.

What’s your proudest accomplishment of 2015 (personal or professional)?

My proudest accomplishment happened at the start of the year: a major product release from DNN. I was part of the team responsible for managing the product launch and marketing. We worked through the holidays last year, preparing messaging, website changes, product collateral and sales training. 

We also scheduled media, analyst and influencer briefings. The key marketing event was a product launch webinar, featuring our CEO and VP Product Management. We used capabilities of our own product to drive registrations to the webinar. It turned out to be our highest attended webinar of 2015 and the product release was well-received by our customers.

What excites you about your field today?

At our company-wide meetings, new employees are asked to introduce themselves. At my first meeting, I said, “Hi, I’m Dennis. And I love content.” I love the field of content marketing because of my love for content. It starts on the consumption side: I subscribe to over 100 blogs (via a great tool called Feedly) and enjoy sorting through blog post titles to find the most interesting ones.

When I come across a well-written post, I’ll analyze what made it so good. When it comes time to produce my own content, I draw on what I learned. I’m excited that technology gives us new ways to create content. Creating content that stands out from the crowd drives me each and every day.

What inspires you?

I’ll answer from two angles.

First, I’m inspired to learn and improve. In any job today, if you’re satisfied with where you are, then you should retire. I’m too young to retire and I’m never satisfied. There’s always someone better than me, which means I have a perpetual source of inspiration (i.e. to learn from them and get better). In short, today’s brilliant content creators are my inspiration!

Next, I’m inspired to make the world a better place. A few years ago, I read the book “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World,” which sparked this inspiration. I want to use my skills to help cause-based organizations, whether it’s a charity, food bank or homeless shelter. Perhaps some day, I’ll launch my own cause-based organization.

What personal or professional goal have you set for 2016?

I want to speak to more customers. I’m interested in how they use my company’s products, of course, but I also want to learn more about them: their typical day, their challenges, goals and aspirations. I want to understand their plans for career growth.

There’s nothing better for informing your user personas than talking to customers. I consider it the marketing program with the highest ROI.

If I had a magic wand and could change one thing about my industry it would be …

For content marketing: lower quantity, higher quality. Many B2B blogs are on a mandate to publish multiple posts per day, which means 10 plus per week, 40 plus per month, etc. Scan a list of their last 25 blog post titles and you’ll see how similar they are.

I want to see content marketers do one fabulous piece of content a quarter, rather than 20 plus pieces of lesser quality. To use an analogy: instead of the 20 plus articles in the New York Times’ Technology section, create the single best longform piece you can find in The New York Times Magazine.