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2016 marketing trends

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5 Marketing New Year's Resolutions for 2016

Happy New Year, everyone! We are almost one full week into 2016, and I’m sure that everyone is going strong with their New Year’s resolutions. Well, that’s what we are here to talk about today, only we want to talk about some marketing resolutions that we think will help your business to succeed in 2016. It’s always good to shake up your marketing strategy with the New Year, and a great way to do that is by resolving to experiment with new tactics. So, without further delay, here are some New Year’s resolutions that we think you should be applying to your marketing strategy in 2016.  

Resolve to Be More Social in 2016

This resolution could be applied to a couple of different areas of your marketing strategy – one of which being your social media marketing and the other being business networking, both of which are important for your business.

Social Media Marketing

There are so many different social media outlets, and finding which platforms work best for your business is a big part of your marketing strategy. Instagram is becoming a hot marketing tool, and some are even saying that Snapchat is one of the best marketing tools available. We recommend shaking things up and experimenting with some of these different platforms, without spreading yourself too thin.

Business Networking

A social presence goes a long way in promoting your business, especially for small business startups. Resolve to get involved with community organizations and non-profits in 2016 – the networking alone will be good for business, and you may even discover a newfound passion for leadership and helping others.

Resolve to Tell Great Stories in 2016

Ok, so you probably knew that this was coming, am I right? We can’t stress enough how storytelling is making its mark on the marketing world. What’s so great about storytelling? Well, storytelling is like a breath of fresh air compared to outdated marketing tactics, and the beauty of it is that there are so many different outlets available to tell great stories. When you combine the powers of these outlets, you get the kind of content that sets you apart from the rest of the competition. 2016 is the year for you to start telling great stories.

Resolve to Collaborate in 2016

Sure, you only need one creative brain to tell a great story, but why not join forces with other creative-brained individuals and tell an even more powerful story. Whether you choose to collaborate with a non-profit organization or simply another individual that shares in your passion for something, collaborating can open your business to endless opportunities, not to mention improving your audience reach.

·         When you collaborate with another organization or individual(s), you can actually double your audience reach!

·         Collaborating with non-profit organizations is a great way to give back to your community and establish new connections for your business.

Resolve to Experiment with Video Marketing in 2016

Video is all the rage right now and more companies than ever are making video production the center of their marketing strategy. We aren’t saying that you should drop everything that you are doing and focus only on video marketing, but we certainly think that businesses should consider experimenting with video in 2016. The results will speak for themselves and you may be surprised at how soon video production will then become the center of your own marketing strategy.

Resolve to Create Better (and More) Content in 2016

It’s easy to fall into a pattern of creating the same mundane content for your marketing strategy, so we want to challenge you to think outside of the box and get creative in 2016. Are you incorporating blog content into your marketing strategy? Why not? Putting out quality blog content each week is a great way to increase your audience reach and keep them coming back for more. A consistent blogging schedule will also improve your SEO, which can generate more leads for your business. Whether it’s by revamping your blog content or even your website content, resolve to step up your content game in 2016!


Are you ready to start telling your story? Reach out to us at The Storyteller Agency. Call us at 850.267.0931 or send us an email to info@storytelleragency.com. We can provide you with creative content, video production and the marketing knowledge necessary to share your story with the world and reap the benefits. Let's tell great stories together!  


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The Friday Fix - November 27, 2015

Happy, Happy Friday Fix Day!  Today is extra happy because not only is it Friday Fix Day, it’s also Black Friday and delicious Thanksgiving leftovers day (which many look forward to more than the meal itself).  Chances are, you’ve kicked up your outreach for the holiday, but are you nailing it or are you a Black Friday marketing misfit (cringe!)?  This week, we cover Black Friday content marketing trends that can be applied throughout the holiday season. We also talk about causes to give thanks as we well as looking at the big picture, content marketing sales types, and reasons to create video marketing in house.  So throw together ham, dressing, and cranberry sauce biscuit sandwich, kick back, and be thankful along with us that it’s not only Friday, it’s also time for the Friday Fix.

Black Friday Marketing Misfits

Black Friday is one of those things that folks seem to either love or hate.  On the one hand, there are killer sales; on the other, you’re often overwhelmed with e-mails, catalogues, and specials that are so overwhelming I usually end up doing nothing and staying home and noshing on leftovers.  What Emily Faget looks at in this article are what consumers do and what successful shops do (hint: 65% of folks are not cool with Thanksgiving Day sales).  Meanwhile, Cyber Monday’s numbers continue to rise while other companies have promoted doorbuster deals in anticipation the big event; some companies aren’t participating to give employees a long weekend; it’s a bold move, which could pay off. So, check out this article to see how your Black Friday style measures up.

Develop Content to Increase Mobile Purchasing on Black Friday

blackfriday.fm

blackfriday.fm

Rob Remington-Drake reveals that mobile sales account for over 44% of global e-commerce sales, which doesn’t surprise me at all considering I’m one of those people who does almost all of her non-grocery shopping online.  The obvious take-home is that your web presence could be the most important thing you have going for you this holiday shopping weekend / season.  In this piece, Rob covers using social media, creating impact, and using your online position to influence audiences (among other things).

This is How Macy’s will Target its Facebook and Instagram Ads for the Holidays

If you’re following along with me, you know from Rob’s article that social media more important than ever during holiday shopping palooza.  Lauren Johnson isn’t wrong is likening holiday shopping to the Super Bowl for companies like Macy’s (I mean, they have a parade for crying out loud).  So, here’s what Macy’s is doing that’s rocking our socks off (other than the parade which is among my Turkey Day MVPs).  They’re telling episodic stories through short films, so you watch one, then later that day, there’s a new film.  I’m not sure more needs to be said on the genius of this strategy, but you should probably read Lauren’s article to get the specifics on how Macy’s is making this magic happen (is there anything about Macy’s that isn’t magical? Have you seen the parade!?).

Content Marketing for Sales: 7 Must Have Content Types

business2community.com

business2community.com

I love KC Claveria’s article because it kind of reminds me of the way you categorized kids in high school…you have the jocks, the preppies, the popular kids, the stoners, the nerds…well, this run-down is handled similarly. KC typecasts seven kinds of purposeful content like “the ice-breaker”, “the challenger”, and “the solution” (plus four others) with a description of each and how they work (as well as why they’re all essential for content marketing for sales.  Let’s put it this way, high school wouldn’t have been the same without its niche of characters; sales marketing wouldn’t be the same without these crazy kids.

Why You Have to Think Big Picture with Brand Storytelling

Whenever someone says “big picture” I always think of a novel series like Game of Thrones.  Within the larger story, you have chapters (stories in their own rights), character storylines, etc. all of which the audience not only relates to but also gets super invested with.  The catch is, you have to have a plan.  Per Jay Longacre, that plan involves starting with the audience. Who are they?  What are their needs?  How can you help them?  As a content marketer, your bigger story involves understanding these things and addressing them.  If you show that you get them, they’ll repay the favor with loyalty and interest.

9 B2B Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016

techxan.com

techxan.com

It’s kind of hard to believe that we’re only a month away from 2016 and pulling our scales of shame back out from under the dresser, but like it or not, 2016 is upon us, which puts us ever-closer to seeing if forecasters like this article’s Tim Asmios are right about what’s going to be trending and ending in content marketing.  Relative to B2B marketing, Tim predicts the demise of “digital marketing” while things like advocate marketing, marketing apps, and podcasting, live streaming, and video shows are things to keep an eye on.  He also predicts an e-mail marketing resurgence, a proclamation that certainly raised my eyebrows a hair.

The Red Bull Effect: Why More Brands are Creating their Video Content In-House

It seems Red Bull does more than give you wings; it also gives you ideas for coordinating your content marketing strategy.  Per Todd Wasserman, Red Bull is among companies like Marriott and Pepsi who are looking in to create video for output.  Why?  Well, for one there’s cost, but the real incentive is that doing these things in-house enables more creative license over the story.  Also, as Todd illustrates using Progressive Insurance as an example, producing video content in-house allows the company to create more stories than just Flo’s (and with different tones).  More or less, it enables brands to tell more intimate, well-crafted stories that are keenly appealing to specific audiences and that can ultimately lure audiences to affiliating with a new brand.

Luxury Brands are Failing in Their Storytelling

walkdigital.com

walkdigital.com

Here’s a fun fact: my parents still use checkbooks.  My mom is a small business owner, and when they talk about advertising or getting sales, they talk like the rules that worked in the 90s still apply.  What I’m saying is their a tad outdated, which is essentially what Ana Andjelic points out about many luxury brands.  Rather than embracing an opportunity to use rich, historic and cultural stories to build brand affinity, they’ve wholly stayed glossy and predictable in their marketing.  Only a few are stepping up and storytelling, a move that will benefit them in the future.

Where Do We Find Original Content? (Short Answer: Anywhere We Seek It)

I think explaining content marketing to someone who’s never really heard of it is about as awkward as telling a child where babies come from for the first time.  You say, “Do you know what I mean?” a lot, and they just look at you with a blank expression as if to say, “Why would anyone do that?  Does that even work?”  Well, the question begged by Sam Bartlett of where we find original content is very much like that and is one that many experienced content marketers struggle to answer (I suppose this is akin to parents of toddlers where to make the magic happen because as it turns out, it often feels like options are limited if not non-existent).  Thankfully for content marketers, original content is everywhere; it’s just a matter look at things in a totally different way. 

Round Up: The Best Content Marketing Campaigns and Why They Worked

Just in case you weren’t inspired enough already or perhaps needed a few examples of content marketing mavens in action, Sherice Jacob covers four killer content marketing campaigns and analyzes why they worked.  She looks at HubSpot, Adobe, GE, and FireRock; each company nailed it in a different way.  The take home?  Everyone has a different purpose and different assets; these companies just happened to figure out what theirs are, and they’re flaunting them like rock stars.

Giving Thanks: Spreading Thanks in the Workplace (and Why it’s Important)

storytelleragency.com

storytelleragency.com

It’s impossible not to be mindful of all of the things we have to be thankful for this time of year; most important among those (things) are people and their love and support, which makes our lives that much better.  Some of the people we spend the most time with are our work families, which is why it’s important to show thankfulness in the workplace (and not just the week of Thanksgiving).  See how far a little show of appreciation will get your business. 


Amy Delcambre is a freelance content and travel writer from Mobile, Alabama with a Master's in Creative Writing. When she's not painting the page with nouns, verbs, and adverbs, she's slaying grammar beasts as a freelance editor and saving the world one sentence fragment at a time teaching university writing classes. In her free time, Amy enjoys cooking, traveling, and testing which plant species best survive prolonged neglect. 

Connect with Amy:  LinkedIn

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The Friday Fix - November 6, 2015

Happy Friday Fix Day!  It’s the first Fix of November, which we all know what that means: it means that at least five people on your social media account are posting something they’re thankful for everyday; the Starbucks red cup is back; and altruism is at an all time high. After all, the end of each calendar year gives cause for us to reflect: on what we’re thankful for, one what we have, and on what we want to do for others.  As content marketers, this is something we should do year-round (that is, share our passion for a given cause with our audience), but if you’re not already, no worries…this week’s Fix covers how to incorporate your cause into your content marketing (after all, tis the season).  In addition to cause marketing, this week we talk about riffs on storytelling including story-sharing and story-selling.  So, grab a something comforting to sip on and get ready for story time, Friday Fix style!

7 Top-Notch Ideas for Effective Marketing in 2016

Brace yourselves, readers, we have predictions for the upcoming new year, which is fitting.  Most pundits tend to agree on what’s going to be standing the test of time.  In this piece, Tahir Akbar endorses visuals, personalization, avoiding duplication, being mobile-friendly, being relevant, and cross-platform content marketing.  Tahir also highlights that customers as storytellers is going to be happening in 2016.  What does he mean?  He means telling your brand story from the customer POV. 

How to Use ‘Story-Selling’ and Modular Content to Drive Sales

mindflash.com

mindflash.com

Per Melissa Andrews, story-selling and storytelling aren’t mutually exclusive; story-selling is selling with stories, which means that marketing and sales can (and should) come together in that marketing creates the structure and sales tells the story.  To accomplish this, Melissa advises designing content with a modular or “building block” approach. The four parts are: creation, distribution, use, and effectiveness. Melissa breaks down and discusses each step of story-selling with modular content making it seem conceptually easier to assemble than Legos in the ‘90s (all I could ever build was a square on that patch of green “lawn”, so…yeah.).

Travel Brands Leverage Benefits of Influencers in a Story-Sharing World

As one with incurable wanderlust, Dan Peltier’s article on how influencers and story-sharing are doing a world of legwork to help travel brands reach goals makes complete sense.  The way this works is a little out-of-the-box compared to traditional models of brand identity and voice. Rather, these brands rely on things like social sharing of user-generated content (i.e., photos or stories) or of influencers and micro-influencers (such as a blogger with a lot of local recognition) to help a brand achieve reach and / or engagement goals.  Even if you’re not a travel brand, story-sharing can play a role in your social reach or engagement; check out this piece to better-understand how.

The Best Brand Stories are Born from Integrated Marketing

futurpreneur.ca

futurpreneur.ca

If you’re like me, your favorite (and possibly most shameful) memories always involve having one or two of the most important people in your life around because funny things become hilarious, good ideas become brilliant ideas, and unlikely accomplishments become possible when you’re engaged with the people you integrate best with (also, if there’s wine, but that might just be me).  So, per Lizzie McQuillan, the same concepts of integration apply to content marketing and your brand.  If you can find your brand BFFs, the sky’s the limit.

7 Steps to Data Storytelling, or the Art of Making Numbers Talk

Using a hypothetical narrative approach, Bernard Segarra clearly illustrates exactly how telling a story using data works.  Fundamentally, it’s very much like any other effective storytelling approach in that you’re adapting to the audience, creating emotional impact, and incorporating visuals. The difference?  There’s data (importantly data have to be contextualized and limited because too much information will overwhelm the audience and will have no meaning.)

How to Use the 3-Act Structure to Improve Your Content Marketing

business2community.com

business2community.com

Technically, this piece by Jonathan Chan is over a week old, but if you struggle with storytelling, have trouble working with plot, or want to better understand technique, then there’s no better way for you to grasp essential concepts than by understanding the 3-act structure (setup / rising action / new status quo; confrontation / climax; falling action / resolution). To illustrate this, Chan breaks down Star Wars in a three-act timeline before further explaining his process and how he incorporates this knowledge into storytelling where you, the content marketer, are the mentor (so, you’re Obi-Wan) and your audience is a young and eager-to-learn Mark Hamill (offer them lightsabers and they will come). It’s well worth the read.

Why Lead Nurture is Important for Content Marketing

Stephen Roda starts this piece off with a quote from Dale Carnegie, which makes the point that the only way to get a person to do something is by making them want to do it.  Currently, I’m working on doing this with my two year-old and the potty (I have yet to figure out how to make her want to go in the potty, but I want it more than anything); so, think of your audience as a capricious two-year old, and you have to figure out how to get them to use the potty, eat peas, put on pants, etc. If you come off as being too pushy or desperate, they’ll reject you (and throw a fit in the middle of Target). Per Stephen, you have to use a nurturing and relationship-building approach; consequently, this works for audiences and two year-olds alike.

It’s Not B2B or B2C, It’s B2 Human: Insights from GE Healthcare

marketingland.com

marketingland.com

I think we can all agree that the cultural shift has made this revelation (that it’s Business to Human) increasingly apparent over the past year or so (I mean, if the rapidly growing attention to storytelling wasn’t a dead giveaway, I don’t know what was).  In this piece, Sanjay Dholakia looks at one of the world’s largest and most successful brands to reveal how defining one’s self with labels (B2B, B2C, jock, nerd, preppy, oh wait, that’s getting off track) is distracting and that instead, we need to just be ourselves and engage on a real and deeper level (read: personalize).  After all, you (as an individual) and your customer aren’t one-word definitions, so why should your brand be?

The Quick Fire Way to Repurpose Blog Posts for Content Marketing

If you’ve been blogging once a week for years, chances are you have one heck of a blog arsenal, right?  Now, let’s all agree that not every post is an absolute gem, but some are…some have some really valuable content that can be used.  Michael Peggs shares how you can repackage and repurpose those juicy morsels and make a whole new meal out of them.  If that metaphor doesn’t work for you, then think of it as re-gifting with style.  The key is that you can’t just slap a different bow on the same box; you have to think of a way to re-gift it creatively and meaningfully; it has to be useful for your audience.

How to Start Investing in Content Marketing for Small Business

The best thing about advice for small business is that it applies (or can apply) to big business, too.  In this piece, Sujan Patel illustrates key steps you have to take to get the content marketing ball rolling.  First, you need to know your customer.  Who are they?  What do they want?  What do they like and dislike?  Do a little market research to find out.  Next, know yourself and your message, then create a written plan of action.  Sujan highlights things to include in the plan and things to consider (resources, stakeholders, target channels, etc.).  If you’re just getting started, this is a great, detailed read that will give you lots of momentum in the right direction.

Cause Marketing: Share Your Passion with Your Audience & Reap the Benefits

storytelleragency.com

storytelleragency.com

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You give a little, you get a little?”  Well, other than the un-imitable feeling of having done something good for others, when you engage in cause marketing, you’re likely to have another reason to get the warm fuzzies.  When you lend your content marketing prowess to a cause you truly believe in and support, it reflects positively on your organization, plain and simple.  So, if you’ve got something you believe in and want to find a meaningful way to give back, check out this post and get into the spirit of giving back.


Amy Delcambre is a freelance content and travel writer from Mobile, Alabama with a Master's in Creative Writing. When she's not painting the page with nouns, verbs, and adverbs, she's slaying grammar beasts as a freelance editor and saving the world one sentence fragment at a time teaching university writing classes. In her free time, Amy enjoys cooking, traveling, and testing which plant species best survive prolonged neglect. 

Connect with Amy:  LinkedIn

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