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Instagram algorithm update


The Friday Fix - April 1, 2016

Hey, it’s Friday Fix Day, and that’s no joke!  Today we talk about how keyword cramming is back; stories are out and densely-worded fact sheets are in; why you should only publish content in Morse Code, and forget video and images…tell your brand’s story with that dancing baby from the 90s (but now it’s wearing #thedress).  …(wait for it)… April Fools!  Seriously, we talk about creative ways to tell your team’s story, the future of mobile marketing, why you should make your brand story multilingual, and more!  So, get on board; it’s time for the Friday Fix…no foolin’!

Why Your Global Brand Strategy Should be Multilingual

We’ve shared insight on going bi- or multilingual in the past, but this piece by Carlos Garcia-Arista reignites the conversation. Bilingualism and multilingualism enables greater use of cognitive function and honing in on what’s important (he backs this up with science); in other words, your audience is more likely to pay attention to your message if it’s for multilinguals (and what’s more, you’ll be able to produce a more focused story). 

Rediscovering Your Brand Story: An Interview with LEGO’s Michael Moynihan

If you told me 20 years ago that LEGOs were going to be crazy popular when I had kids, I’d have snarfed; however, LEGOs are not only exponentially more awesome, they’re way more relatable (this could be because Elizabeth Banks voices one of the characters in the film version). I digress, in this piece, author Peter Kringdon chats with Michael Moynihan, LEGO’s Vice President of Marketing on how every parents’ favorite underfoot plastic toy made its epic comeback.

The Future of Mobile Marketing

In the past year, there’s been a huge transition into mobile marketing; the numbers of folks who devour most of their content on their mobile devices speaks for itself. Per guest author Ramya Rajan, Indian consumers spend roughly three hours a day on their mobile devices; thus, this article explores the obstacles and solutions confronting retail marketers and how to overcome them by telling your brand’s story.

5 Engaging Visual Content Formats that Aren’t Infographics

We all know that infographics are awesome as they help tell more visual stories with data, but as Kerry Jones points out, infographics can be a lazy way to visually represent data. Instead, she suggests five other visual tools that are equally awesome at telling your story but that are well, not infographics (not that we don’t still love infographics).  

How to Attract Recruiters with Your Personal Brand

Tishin Donkersley poses an interesting question (if you will), which is how often do you Google yourself? When was the last time you Googlee yourself?  What comes up when you do?  If you’re trying to establish a personal brand, then per Tishin and others quoted in the article, it’s time to start searching…and blogging…and doing what it takes to establish your brand and to attract recruiters.

The Case for Going Interactive with Your Content

Considering I recently spent longer than I’d like to admit doing a Harry Potter quiz, I’m definitely willing to say that David Drummond is onto something with this discussion of going interactive with content. He starts by referencing super popular content machine Buzzfeed before responding to the rhetorical question: should I be using interactive content?

From Dry Case Studies to Compelling Consumer Stories

Recently we talked about how to make case studies awesome, and in this article, pundit Jim Karrh picks up the trail. He points out that case studies’ sequences of situation, problem, approach, and results are the structure for one fine and fascinating story and that when spun correctly, your case study can be a real audience-draw.

Lessons Political Campaigns Can Learn from Nonprofits

All right, we realize that most of our readership isn’t launching a political campaign now or ever (and we’re okay with that, really); however, there’s a lot that nonprofits can teach both politicians (if they’d listen) and content marketers. In this piece, Angela Struebing hones in on six key traits of successful nonprofits like test and track, show impact, tell a story, and vary messaging.

Time to Step Up: Instagram’s Changes Mean No More Filler Content by Brands

Last week we talked about some of Instagram’s changes, and this week Diana Bradley has more on what’s going down in Instagram town. So, you know how everyone wants to get a lot of “likes” with their social media content, well, Instagram is shaking things up by increasing the value of the brand-user interaction and quality. What does this mean for brands’ social media content? Well…like…read the article and find out.

B2B Storytelling: 5 Questions with Tim Clark, Head of SAP Brand Journalism

SAP, which is “the world’s leading provide of business software for enterprise resource planning and business intelligence” relies on both paid and owned content on two platforms: it’s own multilingual website and the SAPVoice brand on Forbes. So, how does it keep everyone engaged? Storytelling. Here, Sheila Shayon sits down with SAP Brand Journalism head Tim Clark to get the whole story.

Make It Personal: 5 Ways to Tell Your Team’s Story that You Haven’t Thought of Yet

True story: my husband is obsessed with Shark Tank, and he usually watches it while I’m cooking dinner, so I listen in. A few days ago, there were a few young guys with a new brand of wooden sunglasses created with wood from their family’s lumberyard. The guy’s story had a little more to it than that, but he had the utmost integrity for what his brand was doing; I was sold on their heartfelt, personal story, and guess what, your audience can be on yours, too. So, check out this piece on five creative ways to tell your story that will make your audience fall in love.

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



The Friday Fix - March 18, 2016

Top o’ the mornin’ to ye on this fabulous Friday Fix the day after St. Patrick’s Day. Hopefully you celebrated your Irish heritage (or just your appreciation for the Irish) responsibly as today we’ve got a Friday to Fix, and the fixings are fine indeed (better than soda bread and corned beef!).  Today, we look at content marketing lessons learned from video games, examine the current state of virtual reality, follow-up on what’s happening with Instagram, and get jazzed about case studies (yep!).  Yesterday was a great day to be Irish; today’s a great day to get Fixed!

4 Content Marketing Lessons from Video Games

Though based on her gaming preferences, Meg Cannistra and I have a few years between us (my first console was an Atari; I still remember trying to (impossibly) get E.T. home), I totally get what she’s saying about the immersive stories told revealed through play.  As it turns out, the same techniques applied for creating addictive story-driven video games are applicable to content marketing.  Considering my dad spent countless hours rescuing Zelda in the NES Legend of Zelda game (with the family watching as intently as if he were about to be named Top Chef), video games have a special kind of lure, so check out Meg’s article and apply those epic powers to your strategy (think of it as leveling-up).

Virtual Reality Stampedes into Austin, but Quality is Patchy

There are two things I (kind of) know for certain: one is that Austin is cool in the kind of way that I will never be; it’s hot but nerdy, and it’s where awesome stuff happens first. Two is that virtual reality is slated to be kind of a big deal in 2016 (oh, look what year it is!). So, cut-to Marco della Cava’s article on the VR situation at SXSW in Austin.  I think this (awesome) quote from Chris Little of Strivr says it all and says it best with this accurate burn: “VR here is like sex in high school, everyone’s doing it, but not everyone’s doing it well.” Hence, Marco looks at why that is, what the problems are, and (possibly) how they’re going to be confronted.

5 Tips on How to Write a Case Study that Tells and Engaging Story

Leave it to Taylor Mallory Holland to make case studies the kind of thing that I want to jump on as a writer.  The way Taylor describes them, they have the very real potential to highlight your brand’s accomplishments; they can illustrate what you’ve overcome, which readers can take-home for their own brands. In this article, Taylor outlines five storytelling strategies useful for transforming your brand’s next case study from a snooze-fest to a page-turner.

Instagram Interaction Rates Dropped 40% Last Year, and Other Bad News

Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad news, so Stewart Rogers is really taking one for the team by passing along this piece of less-than-desirable trivia (especially if you’re Instagram): Instagram’s interaction numbers are down despite a seemingly fantastic 2015.  In this piece, Stewart reviews the changes Instagram rolled out in 2015 (including ads in September), causes for alarm, and the maturation process for the platform. Thankfully, the consensus is still favorable for the visual social media platform.

Enterprise Content Marketing and the Rise of the Humble Servant Marketer

Daniel Ruyter starts this article by exploring the shift from 1990s marketer (you know, the kind of person who wore feather boas with three piece suits) to today’s “marketer”, which is an honest, shirt-off-your-back guy in Levis (presumably with fair trade coffee).  Really, the industry shift has prioritized enterprise content marketing as a customer service driven force.  Daniel examines what that means along side examples concluding that marketing is an “empowering” contributor toward the customer’s experience, which I find sounds quite nice.

Brandspeak: Six New Jobs Being Created by the Content Revolution’s Matt Anchin is one who knows jobs (I mean, he’s the SVP of Global Communications and Content at Monster for crying out loud), and, after I retrieved my eyebrows from the ceiling after learning Kanye West was $53 million in debt (and here I thought I had issues), I was able to process and acknowledge the bourgeoning roles Monster has noticed emerging including: Trendjacking Specialist, Polymath Marketing Manager, Full Content Stack Producer, Creditorial Director, Data Hunter-Gatherer, and Reputational Narrative Advisor. I love that “hunter-gatherer” is about to come back into our lexicon as an actual job for the first time since we were all wearing Wooly Mammoths.  On a more serious note, check out Matt’s piece to see what each job entails.

What the Placebo Effect Means for Content Marketing

I think we’re all familiar with the placebo effect, which is what transpires when we believe we are getting something when we are in fact, not.  As in, you think you’re taking aspirin (sugar pill) and you claim your headache feels better.  So, how does the placebo effect play into content marketing?  Well, let Nicola Brown spell it out.  She references a recent psychological study to note that we “internalized performance-based emotional marketing to a shocking degree”…as in, you really think Red Bull gives you wings.  I know this is true because my brother and I used to genuinely believe our Cheerios made us stronger as kids (like the way spinach made Popeye stronger).  So, how can you embrace the placebo effect for your advantage? Nicola has the answer.

Using Customer Contact Data to Tell Better Marketing Stories

Austin Duck knows he’s not telling us anything new with the information that story-based marketing should be at the core of all of our content marketing endeavors; however, his breakdown of strategies for using contact data for telling those marketing stories might be a little more obscure.  We’ve all heard that data-driven marketing is integral for telling strong stories and is a major component of content marketing success, but it’s easier said than done (telling a good data-driven story, that is).

Email Marketing Strategy: Why You Should Treat Your Newsletter Like Its Own Publishing Destination

Email marketing…that’s something that hasn’t been mentioned in a while, so thanks to Kyle Harper for bringing it up.  He leads in talking about the thing that makes everyone cringe: junk mail.  It’s been around for ages and yet –despite the fact that it’s literally tossed without being opened, it’s still a thing.  So, how do you run an e-mail marketing strategy that gets your mail opened and –better yet—read?  Click Kyle’s article for his analysis.

What the Psychology of “Flow” Can Teach Us about Brand Storytelling

Nicola Brown is back with another smart piece this week; this time, she teaches us about the psychological concept of “flow” and how it pertains to happiness. To briefly explain, flow entails being completely immersed in an activity and to only be engaged for the purity and sake of the activity. To further illustrate, Nicola references GoPro, a brand story that’s all about flow. Conceptually, flow is something that helps your audience remember you among other positive things, which makes you kind of just want to go with it, you know?

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