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Valentine's Day

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The Friday Fix - February 6, 2015

It’s the Friday Fix, also known as the best part of the week, especially if you take into account that groundhog’s questionable performance on Monday.  I don’t care what Punxsatawney Phil says; my spring is coming early (and maybe for content marketing in general?).  One thing you can certainly say for content is that love is in the air because the holiday everyone loves to hate, Valentine’s Day, is coming up. Also, we’ve got other fish to fry, like is multimedia long-form the next big thing? Not sure what that even is?  Well, get your Fix on and find out.

4 Valentine’s Day Stories You Should be Telling This Year
In this very engaging article, Brad Kuenn tackles how to tell stories for one of the most complex holidays of the year because what if your company is like Brad’s handyman and Valentine’s marketing comes off awkward and forced (like when you publicly apologize for overindulging at a PTA meeting). You definitely don’t want that, so how do you harness the power of the holiday? Let Brad be your guide.

Marketing Ideas for Valentine’s Day that will Boost Your ROI
Gabriel Shaoolian picks up the content conversation relative to Valentine’s Day and analyzes how to channel those brilliant ideas in a manner that that is as charming as a classic conversation heart but can be diversified for the various channels. Think of it this way: you have to propose in three different places: a restaurant, the gym for some reason, and an airport.  Your proposal would be different for each setting, right? (You’d at least have different flash mob choreography…I mean, come on).  Well, according to Gabriel, your content approach should be planned and executed the same way.

 

Why Website Structure & Content Marketing Go Together like Spaghetti & Meatballs
Though part of me was secretly hoping Steve Armenti was also giving away his grandma’s meatball recipe (with a name like Armenti, I just assume he’s Italian), he dishes up something just as good. Instead of calling for garlic, oregano, and breadcrumbs, his recipe deals with categories, articles, and tag pages.  How does all of this go into a top shelf content marketing strategy?  You’ll have to read to get the Armenti family recipe.

Shh, These Content Marketing Secrets are from Experts
Though these secrets are published on the Small Business Trends website, shh…they’re really for everybody.  From performance to operational metrics to content marketing framework, Larry Kim gets inside of experts’ minds to unveil what the winners are doing in content marketing that distinguish them.  These ideas aren’t just for small businesses, so, um, grab a pen, and check out this article.

How to Win and Lose at Content Marketing
While Annie Pilon doesn’t give away every cheat for winning and losing at content marketing (I mean, how fair would that be?), she does reveal one way that you can definitely shoot yourself in the foot and that is by not being appropriately transparent.  While you might think it’s easy to be on the up and up, see what Annie says because being transparent isn’t always so clear.

coca cola

Coke Duped into Tweeting Nazi Propaganda
Well, we have all heard of the horrible crime of cyber bullying, but now it appears we’ve entered the realm of content bullying (I mean, is nothing sacred? A pre-tween’s Tweet? A soda company’s Super Bowl ad campaign?). By now, I think we are all familiar with Gawker’s Nazi scheme on Coke’s automated social media campaign, #MakeItHappy (if you’re not, read Bruce Horovitz’ post immediately), so the real questions that remain are will Coke end up winning with a positive message and do we feel any differently about pursuing an automated social media campaign?

6 Steps to a Content Marketing Plan that Can Drive Conversions
We haven’t shared a good read for those new to content marketing lately, but if there was one that might help freshmen to the content marketing crowd understand how the game is played, this post by Nidhi Raj Puri is definitely it.   These piece explores the guiding principles of creating result-driven content marketing, so, it’s really helpful especially for those who are just stepping up to the plate.

Why a Documented Content Marketing Strategy Matters
I know we’ve harped on and on about the importance of a documented content marketing strategy, but now someone really attractive is also saying it, which means it’s definitely time to listen up.   In this piece, Michelle helps those who have yet to really define their strategy by listing where to begin and by providing ideas for what to articulate in getting that plan from the abstract to the concrete stage. 

Online Tools to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategies
Regardless of whether or not you’re established or just getting into this whole content marketing thing, Nick Rojas’ tools for playing the content marketing game are absolute gems because he hits on the best of the best in this piece.  Whether it deals with keywords and social media trends, analytics, or SEO, Nick has it covered.

Multimedia Long-From: The Next Big Thing for Content Marketing
Could AhavaLeibtag be right?   Could multimedia long-form be the next thing for content marketing?  It’s possible.  Essentially, multimedia long-form is content marketing in multimedia.  Since we constantly preach the virtues of pursuing video marketing, mobile marketing, and so forth, it’s very possible that the next step could be storytelling in multimedia.  What do you think?  Read the particulars and weigh in.


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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4 Valentine’s Day Stories You Should Be Telling This Year

As we get closer to February 14th, you will undoubtedly see more brands publishing Valentine’s Day related content. Many companies do a nice job mixing a loving and friendly Valentine’s theme into their blogs, social networks and even email campaigns. Unfortunately, others brands often miss the mark by posting random content that is unrelated to their audience or industry.

We get it.  You want to be timely with the holidays. But if your content (or story) isn’t coming together naturally, all you’re doing is confusing the audience by trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. For example, if I suddenly received a box of chocolates in the mail from Tony - our local handyman and part-time plumber – that would raise more questions than solidifying my business.  Even if it is Valentine’s Day and those chocolates are delicious, why does this real-life Mario want my Peach so badly?

Tony needs to learn one key aspect of Valentine’s Day:it’s all about the thought you put into it. Whether you were trying to get my business or ask me out on a date, Tony, it’l ltake more than Ghirardelli to win me over.

We’ve established that the best way to generate leads and obtain loyal customers is through exceptional storytelling. And great storytelling on Valentine’s Day is more important than ever.  Even if your industryisn’t easily related to this holiday, there are many other ideas that are less awkward and more rewarding than Tony the Handyman’s box of chocolates. Here are a few ideas:

Brands need to connect with their audience, and one popular tactic for Valentine’s Day is ecards. Creating heartfelt or even satirical Valentine’s Day ecards is a great way send your audience some love, and encourage them to share the content with friends. A great example of this is Kraft’s Personalized Valentines that came out in 2012.  I know this is a bit dated, but any time a brand uses Ted William’s Golden Voice – who has an incredible story of his own – deserves some Valentine’s Day praise.

Tweets featuring the #voiceoflove hashtag were eligible for that smooth voice reading, and the selected tweets were then posted onto Kraft Mac and Cheese’s YouTube page. For each tweet featuring the #voiceoflove hashtag, Kraft donated 100 boxes of Mac and Cheese (up to 100,000 total) to Feeding America. Needless to say, this Valentine’s Day content quickly skyrocketed to a viral success. Not only did Kraft boost awareness toward a great organization, they created Valentine’s Day themed content that got the audience engaged through great love stories.

2. A Special Message from Employees

Valetine’s Day is a great time to spread the love and let current customers or clients know just how much you value their business. Consider taking photos of your employees holding messages of love for their families or customers. These messages can be personal, funny, or straightforward – but each message should tell a story: 

·         What does Valentine’s Day mean to your company?

·         Who is your Valentine?

·         Why do you value their business?

·         How much you love your customers, employees, industry, or even your partners or suppliers?

This is a great way to add a personal touch to the content, regardless of industry or field. Whether you are trying to turn a prospect into a loyal client, or just spreading a warm thanks to the people who contribute to the brand’s success – special Valentine’s Day messages are effective because they evoke emotion through easily digestible content such as photos or short videos.

3. Sweet Offers for that Special Someone 

For many companies, the holiday season is the time of year to release new products or announce special offers. But it seems that once the ball drops at midnight,the season of giving is over and brands forget all about it. Marketers tend to struggle this time of year as well; they might have a new strategy in place or they are burnt out from the Holiday content grind. But Valentine’s Day provides yet another opportunity to create a super sweet offer and promote it for this year’s love-birds.

For example, take the popular ridesharing app, Uber. If you enjoy streamlining all romantic efforts with the convenience of smartphone technology, Uber is here for you. Last Valentine’s Day, the company included a unique Valentine’s Day feature on their app called Romance On-Demand. The app allowed users to purchase and deliver 12 long stem roses and a personalized message for happy couples living in Washington DC.

The feature allowed users to use the map and select where they wanted the roses delivered. Because nothing says “I love you” like 12 dried up roses delivered by an overweight, recently laid off cabby named Niko. But I digress…

Uber didn’t stop there.  They partnered with local Barbershop Quartets to add a different type of Valentine’s Day spin for residents in Phoenix, Arizona.  Along with the 12 dried roses, people across the Valley used the same app to send barbershop Quartets to sing at a location of their choice. By posting videos throughout their social media channels and YouTube, the Romance On-Demand app was a viral hit, boosting Uber into the popular ridesharing company it is today.

4. Customer Love Stories 

Contest or user generated content is always a great way to get followers engaged with your brand in a fun and unique way. And the best part is, your brand receives more traffic and leads while followers create and promote the content for you. More than 63% of Facebook users say they are likely to share a link to a contest or giveaway. This type of content allows you to get creative with ideas and let your followers to the work.

United Airlines might not be the first brand that comes to mind for Valentine’s Day storytelling, which makes them the perfect example. They created a contest for a Valentine’s marketing campaign dubbed “Love is in the Air”. They simply asked customers to send in their tales of how the airline played a role in their one-of-a-kind love story. Did you meet at the airport? In the plane? Popped the question at 30,000 feet?

Followers were encouraged to share their stories and use the hashtag #unitedinlove to share it across all social media platforms. This campaign was a massive success, not only did they have loyal followers create the content for them, each piece of content had great storytelling that was relevant to United Airlines and the readers.

Tell the Story of Love

Great storytelling should draw raw emotion from your readers. Valentine’s Day allows you to produce entertaining or heartfelt content related to your brand. By using some of the ideas listed above, you can continue to tell the story of your company, and showcase the love between your brand and loyal followers and clients.


Brad Kuenn is a Content Writer, Editor and Strategist living in Nashville, Tennessee, and he provides research, content topics, writing, editing, and content development expertise to clients. He has a passion for writing as well as art, which shines through in his work. His creativity and attention to detail makes him a valuable asset for a wide range of clients. During his time off he enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and his two dogs Brutus and Kane. 
Connect with Brad:  Twitter   LinkedIn   Google+

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