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Microsoft Sway Tool


The Friday Fix - August 7, 2015

Happy Friday Fix Day, gang!  It’s the first Friday of August, which means everyone’s getting ready for ‘back to school’.  I’m not going to lie; I was a sucker for brand spanking new packs of paper and a fresh box of Crayolas.  Even though my playground days are long since bygone, I still get pumped about being “schooled” content marketing trends and storytelling tips, which brings us to le Friday Fix (that’s French for ‘the Friday Fix’; see! Educational already!).  This week learn about how to apply Gestalt design principles, how to tell stories with Facebook images, and the origins of the creative (advertising) Renaissance.  So, grab a frothy macchiato and get to class…I mean, enjoy the Friday Fix!

Real Life Bloopers: Examples of Bad Storytelling

The most traumatic thing that happened in school was getting called out by the teacher for totally missing the mark on an assignment (well, that’s next to going to school in my underwear, which thankfully only ever happened in my nightmares).  Tragic though that was, I was always able to learn from my mistakes, so check out this article by Joyce Yeung and learn from the bad storytelling mistakes of others (and make sure you’re not guilty of some of these uh-ohs).

Building Customer Loyalty through the Art of Storytelling

Remember how the new kid at school had to start from scratch…they had to establish an identity and then make friends they fit in with?  Well, building customer loyalty through storytelling is a lot like that.  You’re the new kid, and as John Montesi tells it, story is key.  Also, just like the new kid, you want to make a great first impression; after all, you only ever get one chance to make a first impression. No pressure, right?

From the Ashes of Advertising a Creative Renaissance is Born

Strap in for a little 101 action with Tom Gerace as he explains the fall of advertising and how brand storytelling is unique.  It’s a comprehensive course as Tom also discusses things like advertising budgets of years past in which only a smidge was spared for frivolous things like content creation and the bulk went for distribution.  Tom rounds out his savvy lecture on why all of these factors will drive a new creative Renaissance.  Pop quiz to follow.

Why Design is Important for Content Marketing

If you asked me what my favorite school subjects where when I was little, I’d respond with lunch, recess, and art (only one of those was an actual subject).  In this article, Erin Pritchard takes me back to those glorious days of learning the art of visual expression.  Here, she talks about the science and psychology of the Gestalt design principles, evoking emotion through color and shape theory, and more.  Not only is this information fascinating, it’s incredibly useful for design creation and analysis.

Is Creative Thinking Genetic or Learned?  We Might All be Wrong

In what I’d call a psychology / philosophy hybrid course, Brett Henley explores the origins and nature of creativity.  As we all know, storytelling and writing –both considered to be creative processes—are integral for content marketing.  Like eating your broccoli, it doesn’t matter if you like it; you’ll do it because it’s good for you, but maybe your interest or aversion to storytelling and writing is genetic…or is it learned?  And, either way, can you still learn to love writing and storytelling and be good at them?  Ponder that as you read Brett’s article.

The Science of Storytelling through Facebook Images: 10 Actionable Strategies from Successful Brands

This science lesson by Mridu Khullar Relph beats the pants of chemistry class, I can say that for sure.  As we all know, storytelling is important (you know, for conversion rates and all of that good stuff).  So, how’s it done on Facebook with images? Well, check out these success stories like Zappos “Behind the Scenes” post, Sharpie’s inviting customers to share photos, and Nutella’s creative portrayal of their oh-so-delicious product (is it snack time yet?).  Check out Mridu’s article for more inspiring examples.

How Buyer Personas Shape Your Content Marketing

In high school, you associated people with the clique they ran with; if they hung out with the jocks, they must be a sporty kid, or if they lunched at the band kids’ table, they must be into music, right?  Well, as Jen Phillips April points out, that idea of “you are who you hang out with” hasn’t changed much.  In the case of content marketing, we’re talking about buyer persona and its influence on your content marketing.  In this case, buyer persona reflects the clique of folks you want to appeal to, so, how do you fit in?  Check out April’s article for tips.

4 Uplifting Content Marketing Takeaways from Upworthy’s New Strategy

A popular teen movie trope of the late 90s / early 00s was “lame / ugly kid because popular / beautiful / falls from grace / rises with refreshing, likeable identity.  Well, fast forward to 2015 and real life because that’s pretty much what Upworthy did.  As Austin Talbert tells in this engaging tale of Upworthy’s rise, fall, and return, Upworthy’s power kind of went to their head and things got a little weird with some weird headlines.  Everyone realized Upworthy wasn’t the super popular kid they thought it was (it was Adam Sandler disguised as a 17 year-old the whole time!), so Upworthy dug deep, got honest, and came out with a much more likable identity.  It’s a beautiful story.

Study: Marketers Want More Money for Visual Content

Kate Maddox’s economics lesson kicks off with a simple yet important fact: marketing budgets –while expanded, simply do not provide enough for costly visual content.  Over half (65%) of marketers feel visuals (photos, videos, etc.) are integral to their brand story yet just over a quarter (29%) feel their budgets are adequate to satisfy those needs; as many as 40% state they need more funds for visuals.  Check out Kate’s article for solutions to this noodle scratcher.

Microsoft Releases Sway Presentation Tool, Windows 10 App

When I was a kid, all of the cool gals had Lisa Frank book covers, and while I liked my Garfield ones, I wasn’t in the social fast pass lane.  Today, the cool kids still have the latest tools for school. In this case, it’s Microsoft’s new presentation tool, Sway.  As Jennifer LeClaire explains, Sway steps up PowerPoint’s capabilities (which is great because I’m not a member of the PowerPoint fan club) with interactive presentation features such as corporate storytelling that smoothly transition across devices.  In fact, analyst Wes Miller describes it as “more for storytelling”, and that it’s “possibly a PowerPoint killer”.  Consider me swayed.

New Trends in Social Media Marketing

And here I thought social media marketing would stay fixed with the hashtagging and the posting and the whatnot.  I’m kidding; like everything else in content marketing, social marketing trends are in constant flux.  Curious to know what the cool kids are doing?  Short video marketing, getting in touch with your –and your audience’s- emotions, and storytelling with Snapchat are just a few ways to keep up with the in crowd.  Normally I wouldn’t say that if everyone else is doing it, you should, too, but nobody’s jumping off a bridge (as my mama would say); they’re just jumpstarting their social media marketing.

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