Happy Friday Fix, Everyone, and what a glorious Friday Fix Day it is. This week, we share some great stories that help us analyze content marketing inspiration, what Hollywood has to teach about videos, and what differentiates content marketing from journalism. We also discuss why you should give your brand the Tin Man treatment (as in, it needs a heart). We explore one example of a big brand whose unfeeling bot essentially blew up in the company’s face while discussing ways to bring the humanity out in your brand. That said, happy Friday to you all. Now, go get your Fix on!
So, this kerfuffle between Grant Feller and Tom Parker-Bowles happened across the pond. What began as a cynical tweet (arguably the best kind of tweets) turned into a really interesting analysis of differentiations in content marketing; specifically, what’s the difference in a paid-for article versus one where no one gets paid? Grant explores what constitutes journalism and native advertising, where lines get blurred, and how everyone’s favorite, storytelling plays into all of it.
Ross Crooks cheekily starts this article by talking about Coca-Cola’s cringe-worthy #MakeItHappy Twitter bot. If you don’t recall, the thing was poked by Gawker who fed the bot lines from Mein Kampf, which were then re-tweeted by Coca-Cola. Um…oops? So, what’s the point? Well, the point is actually something we also touted this week, which is that brands have to embrace their humanity transforming them from faceless into friendly.
Unlike with other revolutions, you don’t need canons, iron clads, and chainmail, though, it couldn’t hurt. Communication is in upheaval as Brian Roff explains it. We are trying to communicate with everyone all of the time, and that’s pretty much impossible. Think of it this way. Imagine the most beautiful, perfect human specimen of your gender that you can. Got it? Okay, now go become that person. See what I mean? Were you to do that, you’d need help, which is exactly what Brian says we need to achieve our communication goals. Another point this pundit makes is to avoid getting into autopilot. I like sharing tools with you guys because they can help, but when you’re putting your whole mission on autopilot, you’re losing it. Anyway, I’m going on a bit here, so check out Brian’s article on the revolution and how you can emerge victorious.
In this article, Reeta Gupta discusses how the Aristotelian elements of reasoning (logos, ethos, pathos) apply in content marketing. As we all know, logos is the appeal to reasoning; pathos is the appeal to emotions; and ethos is the appeal to ethics. Reeta breaks it down into forms of content marketing communication. Whitepapers and case studies appeal to ethos. Infographics and slideshares appeal to logos, and videos and blogs appeal to pathos. In this clever piece, Reeta discusses how to incorporate the elements of reasoning into each of these resources.
This piece co-authored by Joerg Niessing and Abhinav Kumar struck my interest because as a writer, I know that there are times when the well of inspiration is bone dry, so how do these authors suggest running the machine when there’s no fuel? Well, their line of thought flows with the same vein of thought that suggests you humanize your brand. I say that because in this article, the authors share a really fascinating story of how the Amsterdam marathon did just that by defining their run and sharing inspiring stories from the superheroes (runners). It was so motivating and moving that I really want to become a marathon runner, so I can be part of this. I guess what they (and I) are saying is that content marketers also need to seek inspiration that will take them through to the end. Clearly, it can work.
As Sophia Lin points out, Hollywood practically wrote the book on excellent storytelling in a video medium, and while you’re probably not looking to make a feature film as part of your video marketing campaign, there’s still a lot to be learned from Hollywood starting with being globally adaptable. Did you know that 70% of YouTube views come from outside of the U.S? That’s a huge market that’s just ripe for the picking. Sophia also advises looking to using globally iconic or relatable faces and to strategize for the long term especially given that YouTube video views usually take about three weeks following the release to really start rolling in, so think in terms of narrative…tell a story to build an audience.
So, you’re working stories into your brand, which is great! Now, how can you tell if they’re really doing what you want them to do? In this article, Beki Winchel shares a few handy measurement tools to enable you to figure out if you’re changing the world one touching kitten story at a time or if your adorable story kittens are just mewing around out there, looking for love. Measure by using tools like Muck Rack to see who’s sharing your links or Curalate, an image recognition tool that enables you to analyze content on social media sites. Check out this article for the details and for the other three storytelling measurement tools.
I feel the title of Lisa Hoover McGreevy’s article is akin to saying, “Children believe in Santa but continue behaving as though they want lumps of coal this December.” Studies and rhetoric have proven effective in that now everyone is convinced in the value of visuals; however, it’s all smoke and mirrors –no action, yet. One graph in Lisa’s article shows that a staggering 42% simply say it’s “not a priority” while the other 13% across the board say lack of budget, unclear value, and / or are looking into it. If you find yourself agreeing that visuals are important but aren’t doing anything about it, read Lisa’s article; perhaps she’ll convince you that the positive impacts of visuals on your brand story are well worth acting in congruence with your beliefs less the content marketing elves leave a lump of coal in your annual report stocking.
So, if you’re like me, you were one of the tots Jasper Nathaniel’s article refers to when it mentions the Straight Outta Compton album dropped in 1988. Despite the fact that the majority of the current audience could barely spell their names and some of them were still rocking Pampers, that audience is who is helping the film Beats by Dr. Dre trend like crazy. This goes to show two things in my opinion. One is that content doesn’t have to be new to be relevant and awesome; two is that the simple yet awesome approach employed by Dr. Dre’s people is not only effective but imitable. It’s definitely an article worth checking out.
Whether you’re a content marketing newbie or an old at all things content marketing, the tips shared by Julia McCoy in this article are both awesome and useful because let’s face it –it’s not possible to be an expert in everything related to content marketing, so for those areas where you feel out of your element (for me, that’s anything involving math), there’s an approach / strategy that just might make your life a little bit easier from looking to your e-ail inbox for blog topics to story sharing to asking the same questions your customers are asking.
To the best of our knowledge, you’re not a robot (though if you were a sentient robot like R2-D2 or C-3PO, that’d be okay…such lovable droids). As such, your business and brand aren’t unfeeling robots either, so how do you keep from presenting that way? Well, there are lots of ways to humanize your brand; for example, write a well-maintained voiceful blog. What do I mean by voiceful? Don’t write like some schmuck who sounds like all of the other schmucks. Write like you. My favorite blogs are the ones written by people who sound like people I’d want to have a drink with. Let your heart have a say, share awesome stories, and don’t let them forget you on social media are just a few others ways your brand can become as real as you are.
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.
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