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The Friday Fix - July 8, 2016

Welcome to the Friday Fix, our weekly rundown of the what’s-what in content storytelling, content marketing, brand journalism, and all things related. This week, we focus on the elderly from those snazzy weed smoking grandmas in Seattle to explaining social media to your grandparents. We also investigate trends in inbound marketing, SEO strategy, and innovative approaches in storytelling. All in all, it’s been a great week. So, get on your mark, get set, get Fixed!

The Future of SEO Strategy: More about Answering Questions than Hacking the System

If you’re still unable to solve the puzzle as to why long form content is oh-so-important, let Chelsea Baldwin buy you a vowel. As you probably recall, SEO used to be all about spoon-feeding Google keywords like an insatiable baby; however, when the algorithm changed, so did the game plan. Now, while picking up keywords is important, equally important is the amount of time your audience spends on your article and your site. Hence, producing relevant, high-quality content is the “secret” to “hacking” the system. All you have to do is be good, kid, real good.

How Travel Writing Evolved into Travel Blogging, and What Brands Get from Both

adweek.com @girlgonetravel

adweek.com @girlgonetravel

While its trending more and more among travel bloggers and brands for travel writers to be self-starters (in that their social sites gain online traffic and then the writers are picked up by brands), the information in Nicole Spector’s article is applicable to all brands in which the blogosphere and brand marketing can come together.

Story Placement: The Mobile Era of Video Advertisement

As Olia Kudanova tells it, we’re beyond ads where brands pay for air time in someone else’s story; rather, brands are becoming storytellers with the critical point being the impact the story has on the audience rather than the longevity or any other merits of the video narrative. From unboxing to various pundits on the nature of interactive, immersive storytelling in visual ads, Olia concludes that story placement is headed to a whole new level and getting there first is anyone’s prize for the taking.

Don’t Sell, Tell: The Power of Story in Modern Marketing

If you don’t or have never had a three year-old, here’s a fun little thing that they like to do. Just like in the Family Guy sketch with Stewie and Lois, tots like to stand right next to you saying, “Mom, mom, mom, mom….” Until you snap, “What!” That’s what Garry Cook’s analogy about brands that keep “tugging at the sleeves of their target” is remindful of. Instead, per Cook and everyone who consumes media, use stories to create content that people want to seek and want to share.

Is Interactive Media the New Choose Your Own Adventure Story?

skyword.com

skyword.com

As a kid, I, like pundit Kyle Harper, loved choose your own adventure books. I used to read and re-read stories and try different pages. It was great. Like Kyle, I also would occasionally flip backward after realizing I’d chosen the path that meant certain death. Oops. Anyway, it’s nice to realize that we haven’t lost the same excitement once delivered by those stories thanks to interactive media. How? Check out Kyle’s article for specifics and examples (like The Onion’s popular “Clickhole”).

Inbound Marketing Trends to Look Out for This Year

We’re just over the hump for 2016, but that doesn’t mean the year’s over yet. In this piece, Victoria Heckstall evaluates important inbound marketing trends, which relate to how you interact with and attract audiences. For example, while user-generated content is up, guest blogging for SEO is down. You can’t survive without visual storytelling, and e-mail marketing is making a comeback. Check out Victoria’s article to see what else is trending and how these aspects of inbound marketing are doing so.

3 Key Marketing Takeaways from Digital Summit Denver

Whether you made it to Digital Summit Denver or not, Jacob Warwick sums up the three key take-home messages that you need to hear. To summarize Gary Vanerchuk’s summary: evolve or die. From Ann Handley, tell a unique, empathetic story. From Al Madrigal, stop over sharing on social media and focus on engaging through storytelling. Your ability to thrive and survive depends on how close to heart you take these smart, no nonsense points. Sink or swim, right?

5 Things Successful Brand Publishers Do

brandjournalists.com

brandjournalists.com

So, as we know, content marketing and brand journalism are two different things, which is why if you’re aiming to integrate strategies of brand journalism, you should take these tips from Sachin Kamdar to heart. What makes brand journalism so powerful? It’s the integrity relative to storytelling. Brand journalism’s goal is to tell human stories for no purpose other than to tell stories. The payoff? Trust…credibility…connections…everything content marketers want from their audiences.

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Visual Content Marketing Strategy

According to Larry Alton, in 2015 we, humans, took 1 trillion photos, which is over ¼ of the photos that humanity had taken between the beginning of time and 2011. That’s a lot of pictures, people, but I know it’s true. Roughly 40,000 of those photos are of my kid (okay more than that). Larry’s point? Visual content is hugely relevant…it’s more relevant and important than it’s ever been, which is why your content marketing strategy needs to include visuals. Image-based social platforms, on-site photo galleries, and infographics are just a few ways Larry suggests spicing up your visual CM strategy.

Meet the Viral Videomakers Bringing Humanity to Your News Feed

In this article, Mark Baumgarten explores Seattle-based agency, Cut, and how they not only survived with the video “Grandmas Smoking Weed” (currently at 26.5 million hits) but is finding a niche in revealing truth in an interesting way.  Mark’s story explores Cut’s continuing evolution and bid for survival while establishing an identity. 

How to Explain Social Media to Your Grandparents

Have you ever tried to launch into an explanation about your job and how it relates to social media and quickly realized that you’re in over your head. Not only do you have way too much to explain, but the person you’re talking to still calls it “the Facebook” and has no idea why people keep putting the pound key (#) in front of their words. If this has ever happened to you (or if you’re wondering what you should say if and when it does), this article on explaining social media to your grandparents is for you.


Are you ready to better your business through content marketing, or are you looking for direction in telling your brand story? If so, let The Storyteller Agency help you find your voice. Contact us, and let’s start storytelling.

 

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The Friday Fix - May 27, 2016

Fridays are the best time to catch up on what’s been going on throughout the week. Which is why we’ve created a post full of articles dedicated to you, the reader. What better way to kick off your weekend than with a good fix? We’re diving right in this week with articles regarding ecommerce success, traditional marketing, and push notifications. We also tap into voice controls and Google’s new features.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Traditional Marketing

Finding the right tools and outlets to express your brand can be confusing. With so many options, how do you choose what best suites your business?  Business owners spend thousands of dollars a year on different marketing strategies with no proven ROI. In this article, Ed Heil gives a fresh take on the effectiveness of modern day marketing.  

On-Page SEO in 2016: The 8 Principles for Success - Whiteboard Friday

On page SEO…check! Rand Fishkin presents his version of why search engine optimization is no longer a simple matter on your checklist. With the assistance of hand drawn visuals, he breaks down the basic principles for success.

firstamtech.com

firstamtech.com

Bing Says 25% of All Searches are Voice Searches

“I didn’t get that.” An all too familiar phrase heard commonly on an automated service. At times, voice controlled systems can be highly annoying and complicated. But other times (like when you’re trying to find the nearest Starbucks) voice controls can be very useful. In fact, so useful these controls are being used more frequently. Bing has just revealed 25% of their searches have been voice searches. So what does this mean? Well, Matt Southern addresses the benefits involved with using this cool feature.

Here’s How to Create a Product Page That Converts

The goal of an ecommerce business owner is to increase the amount of traffic to his site. Many owners rely on the quality of their pages to bring in the revenue. In this article, Moosa Humani explores why business owners should shift their focus from traditional methods to fresh new concepts that will appeal to a broader audience.

Google Increases width of Main Search Results Column

Visuals can change the way you think.  This was the goal of google as they decided to redesign the site. Searchers can now enjoy a width increase in the main search results column. This change could possibly shift search results higher on the page supplying more space for multi-line listings. They’ve also incorporated a new title length of 70 characters for descriptions. Read on as Jennifer Slegg applauds the new changes of the Google site.

What 671 million push notifications say about how people spend their day

mofluid.com

mofluid.com

When do you check your Amazon account or take a quick glance at your Ebay account? Well, Andrew Chen takes a closer as he reveals the statistics behind Americans checking their apps.  This interesting article presents various surveys that explain why and when Americans check their apps.

Report: Twitter will soon exclude photos and links from 140-character limit

Twitter has finally solved the problem with their character count. Well, not exactly, Twitter has announced the exclusion of photos and links from their 140-character limit. Although they haven’t released a statement regarding all of the upcoming changes you can check out more information on this topic as Napier Lopez explains the change.

How Facebook Will Pay Digital Publishers For Engagement – Sort Of

sailthru.com

sailthru.com

Reader engagement is important and Jason Grunberg explains why as he tackles how to produce content that is both quality and quantity driven. Facebook is rewarding engagement with more exposure. Facebook has decided to prioritize posts based on reader engagement. This could mean more page views for publishers which should in return lead to higher revenue. 

The A/B Testing Checklist You'll Want to Bookmark

This is an article you’d definitely like to save in your favorites list. Lindsay Kolowich expresses the value of running a CRO test instead of relying on intuition. The checklist includes guidelines on what to look for and how the tests work to ensure success.


Are you looking for new and creative ways to reach your audience? We want to help you discover a deeper connection with your target audience. For more information about The Storyteller Agency, or to share your vision and story with us, contact us here. And then go out and tell a good story.

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The Friday Fix - August 21, 2015

Okay, so it’s almost the end of August, and I’m already getting powerful hankerings for crisp autumn breezes and apple cinnamon and pumpkin spice scents to compliment the upcoming season.  At least we’re one glorious Friday Fix closer to all of that fall freshness, right?  Speaking of Friday Fixes, happy Friday Fix Day!  So, in this week’s Friday’s Fix, we look at SEO and how to achieve it, how thinking small and outside of the box is your best bet, and what you could and should be doing in 2015 to have a winning rest of the year.  So, get cozy, kick back, and get ready to get Fixed, Friday style!

Content Marketing: Let Hemingway Help

While the title of this article immediately transported me to thoughts of my favorite Ernest Hemingway novels, what Armando Roggio actually advises is using Hemingway Editor that helps you emulate the clear prosaic style of the famous author.  What the editor does is highlights areas that you could potential rewrite for simplification.

Controlled Innovation: The Best Ideas are Born at Home

etsy.com

etsy.com

As much as I hoped this was a ringing endorsement for literally working from home in various state of dishevelment as I so thoroughly enjoy doing, John Montesi’s article –like all of his articles, is smarter than that.  What he’s actually saying is that bringing in outside brains (preferably with the human still attached) isn’t always the best solution to perpetuate innovation.  Rather, John suggests both starting small and going big and going home.  Save yourself the guesswork and check out the article; these are inspired approaches.

Today’s Secret to Viral Marketing?  One Clever Real-World Idea

In this article, Lauren Johnson brings “five tips for building global buzz from out-of-home ads”.  Perhaps going against what many would assume “works”, Lauren advises starting and thinking small and getting outside.  Take risks and be simple, she says.  If you’re looking for ways to think outside of the box, this piece is for you.

8 Ways Marketers are Being Heard in 2015

rudebaguette.com

rudebaguette.com

I’d like to offer Steve Olenski a huge word of thanks for compiling a list of what’s working in 2015.  We talk about it all of the time, but he’s boiled all down into one handy-dandy list that you can use to determine if you’re doing everything in your power to be seen and heard (because nobody puts Baby in the corner).  Are you going Mobile?  Engaging in visual storytelling?  Blogging?  Social media marketing?  Yes?  No?  Either way, check out this read to see what the other ways of being heard are and to read the details on how to make each of these approaches give you a face and a voice.

The Only 6 Content Marketing Steps You Need this Year

Now that the year has had a chance to show us what it’s made of, we’re able to get a clearer picture of what’s essential and what’s clutter.  In Jonha Revesencio’s article, he lays out the only six steps you’ll need for content marketing this year like documenting your strategy, investing in visual marketing, and curating.  If you’ve ever wished you were rich and had someone planning your meals, I feel Jonha’s list kind of does that for your content marketing…just feed it these things and it will look fabulous and have the whitest teeth ever.

What You Need to Know about Digital Marketing Trends!

business2community.com

business2community.com

Rosalind Henshell keeps you in the know this week with her relevant piece on what you need to know about digital marketing trends.  This flows nicely from Steve’s article as they both mention some of the same things (Automation! Going Mobile!), and Rosalind makes an important point, which is that digital marketing trends change constantly, so what worked six months ago might not be so great now.  Are you evolving?

12 Sensational Content Marketing Ideas for Boring Industries

Okay, I’m sure Matt Janaway doesn’t mean you’re boring, but let’s be honest…some things are way less stimulating than others, right (until people need them obviously)?  For example, Matt says that carpet cleaning just doesn’t jiggle his chain until his dog leaves muddy footprints all over the carpet and then suddenly, carpet cleaning just got a lot more interesting.  So, if you’re one of these “boring” industries who people don’t frequently actively seek, how can you dazzle with your content marketing?  Well, Matt suggests knowing your customers, tell an awesome brand story, use pictures and videos, and more (he also advises as to how, making this piece a worthy read).

Are Crazy ROI Metrics Destroying Branding and Storytelling?

patrickpowers.net

patrickpowers.net

And, did video really kill the radio star!? (Yes, yes it did.  And then Jersey Shore killed video.)  I digress.  In this piece, John Hall poses an important question. He acquiesces that while –yes, numbers are important, telling an honest brand story and building strategy around long term metrics ranks right up there with the numbers.  Additionally, John notes while his ROI wasn’t reflective of much success, their conversion rates increased by a staggering 151%, so there really is something to not putting all of your stock in numbers and focusing on the truth behind who you are.

NASA: The First Content Marketers?

I’m a sucker for articles like this one by Adam Hayes.  I love the little dose of history tied in with the correlation to content marketing especially when it’s not obvious from the outset.  Sure, we’ve all seen how vintage Disney and John Deere were inadvertent content marketing pioneers, but NASA?  That’s new…go on.  In this article, Adam highlights lessons and influences content marketers can take away from NASA’s lengthy timeline.

SEO for Content Marketing: Beyond What’s on the Page

Andrew Schulkind explores the world beyond your website that impacts your SEO success rates.  You also have to factor in social, mobile, and security matters.  Also, as Andrew points out, you can no longer deceive search engines into giving your site a higher rank.  Honestly, this is for the best because now high SEO is achieved through developing a trusting rapport with your audience through authentic methods (like storytelling).

Blogging for SEO: How to Achieve High Search Rankings with Your Blog Posts

So, you’ve checked one box and you’ve got a blog going (good for you!), but right now it’s kind of lazy and just sits there; it doesn’t do anything it promised when you decided to start one –like achieving high search rankings, but how do you whip your flabby blog into shape?  Easy!  Just like whipping one’s own floppy bum into shape, blogs need regular updates (workouts in your bum’s case).  Blog posts need to use targeted key words (just like doing targeted exercises); however, just like squats and crunches, too much of a good thing is a bad thing, so you have to strike a balance during your nice, long blog post (also, the blog looks like its on steroids if it’s over-stuffed with key words).  There are a few other ways help your blog, so if you promise to check out this article, I’ll promise to stop with the gym metaphor.


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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