Blogs increase the size of your loyal audience, which translates into sales of good or services; however, if you’ve been blogging for a year (the amount of time it takes to see the impact of your blogging efforts) and nothing has happened, then it’s possible you skipped some important lessons in Blogging:101 that make a real difference in your blog’s effectiveness. Here are some great tips for taking your business blog to the next level in success.
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Did you see that Starbucks is putting bottled pumpkin spice lattes on the shelf? It’s hard to believe that fall is so close (obviously because any sign of the PSL is a sure indicator that seasons are a’ changing). As always, seasons are changing in the world of content marketing, which is why we bring you the Friday Fix, our weekly run-down of what’s what in all things related to content marketing. This week, our focus is on using blogging for storytelling, how animation might be a nice alternative to video, the merits of branded content, and how to address common content marketing mistakes. So, grab yourself an iced PSL (or whatever tickles your fancy) and kick back for the Friday Fix.
Fun fact: storytelling is not blogging, and story isn’t the same is plot (okay that last nugget came from me), but there’s a relationship. Story is a sequence of events; plot is the relationship between events. Okay, so, in Al Gomez’ article, that’s essentially the difference between blogging and storytelling. A blog is…well, a blog can be a lot of things, but it’s not necessarily a story; however, story is what grabs audiences’ attention, captures that attention, and gets audiences to commit. One of Al’s three ways to tell stories better is to focus on experiences; he refers to the “Sideways Effect” from the movie Sideways where Paul Giamatti declared an unwavering love for pinot noir, and guess what? Pinot noir sales went through the roof and almost wiped out the grape. (I did the same thing with oysters and champagne after reading French Women Don’t Get Fat).
Based on title alone, I was drawn to Filtered Media CEO Mark Jones’ article. Are we talking about actual zombies or just un-caffeinated parents? I’m kidding. Actually, Mark’s piece addresses the current state of blogs as well as how they’re not dead but undead…because they’re mainstream. If that sounds like it’s a bad thing, it’s not. Blogs are still important and relevant provided you’re using them as a vehicle for engaging and interesting stories.
So, we all know there’s a tendency to compartmentalize B2B and B2C marketing tactics as being vastly unique as these two groups have vastly different audiences, right? Well, in this article, Kyle Harper identifies a failure on the part of both B2C and B2B groups to be “the shift from experiencing to buying”. He then makes a case for how storytelling is effective in helping both B2B and B2C companies accomplish their goals.
We are living in a mobile video world, but are you a mobile video girl? No, I’m kidding; Claude Harrington doesn’t say that, but for whatever reason, Madonna’s “Material Girl” started looping in my head, so you’re welcome. Anyway, what Claude focuses on in this article is a cool alternative to video, which is character animation. Character animation is a low-key way to provide maximum engagement, memorability, and to tell stories.
Sonal Mishra takes the time in this piece to differentiate between native marketing and branded content. Native marketing, Sonal explains, is essentially sponsored content written in an editorial tone but with the overall goal to sell. Meanwhile, branded content is content that reflects the brand’s interests but that’s intended for the consumer’s benefit with no direct intent on selling. Sonal concludes with a recommendation that’s worth checking out the article to read.
We all know that digitization has significantly changed the way media is consumed; what’s more, it’s changed the type of media that we consume. Specifically, it means that traditional newspapers and journalists are being displaced leaving only a couple of options for the journalists. In this article, Megan Hannay expands on the ramifications of that and the notion that there’s a way for journalists and brands to engage in mutually beneficial relationships via branded content (and what’s more, it’s a way that tickles journalists ethical fancies).
Taylor Mallory Holland doesn’t have to convince me that nostalgia is a powerful way to make audience connections…I would probably still drop everything and start singing if someone cued up Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” outside of my window. When I was in my 20s, the music of my childhood, ‘80s tunes, were what we wanted to hear as the hours rolled on in the club. Today, I guess they’re all rocking out to N’Sync…no idea. I digress. In this article, Taylor leads by exploring the latest Pokémon phenomenon before launching into an informative discussion on the psychology of nostalgia marketing. As always, Taylor’s article is informative, insightful, and relevant.
In this article, Ashley Carlisle speaks the truth; the field of content marketing is no longer conducive for a “purebred” talent; in other words, there’s a thirst for content marketers who have both technical and creative skills in order to satisfy demand for things like storytelling but being able to do so with various mediums. As a content marketer, you probably have at least one strong suit, so let Ashley provide insight on how to hone other skills to become a hybrid marketer.
There are lots of how-tos out there on creating the world’s greatest content, and we all know that it’s easier said than done. What one should take away from these articles, like this one from Karen Taylor, is that there are definitely some strategies that resonate and that –given the right material—really can do crazy awesome things. Karen starts her piece with the staggering reality that there are nearly 2 million blogs published a day (among other content). How do you even begin to standout? With storytelling, advises Karen. This article focuses on three storytelling techniques that will help you be more than one in two million.
Wolf Ruzicka doesn’t sugar coat it in this piece; he says that in today’s market, content is consumed at such a rapid pace that “no sooner is your content distributed and shared, chances are it’s quickly outdated.” Thus, he provides four tips for you to have a competitive and flexible content management system (CMS) such as creating “snackable content” and “catch up” without “’lifting and shifting’”.
Creating, implementing, and adhering to a focused content marketing strategy can be tough stuff…after all, sticking to a dinner plan can be a challenge, so naturally marketing can be tricky. The goal here is to ensure your business isn’t making any of these common, yet easily remedied mistakes. For example, are you sure you’re reading your audience right? There’s actually a surprising lot that goes into understanding what your audience wants and needs from your brand. What about your content? Would you read it? Enough said. How about measuring? Showing the “face behind the brand”? These are only a few areas where dropping the ball can have negative results for your brand.
Whether you’re new to the world of content marketing or think you might be making a few mistakes that are holding you back, The Storyteller Agency has the passion, talent, and resources to help you get on track and connect with your audience.
It’s mid-July and blazing saddles hot outside, which means you have our permission to take a break for an iced latte and the Friday Fix, our fantastic weekly run-down of the past seven days in the world of content marketing. This week, we zero in on what might be going wrong with your business blog, why direct response marketing is here to stay, how to use visuals for impactful content marketing, and examples from awesome digital marketing storytellers among other things (like how to improve your content marketing). So, kick back and get yourself a helping of our Friday Fixings.
Humans are sensual beings…we just are. Look at how many of us eat with our eyes? Admit it…you’re following at least one chef on Instagram for the food porn (or you’re that one weird person who legitimately hates pictures of food). Well, in this article, Karen Taylor digs into why images are so evocative; she explores how and why they’re memorable, emotional, and tell stories (among other things). She also makes suggestions for how you can use images for visual storytelling and to punch up your content marketing.
There’s nothing quite as useful as picking apart the working pieces of a successful brand story. How’s it told? What’s working? Why is it working? How can I implement that into my storytelling? In this piece, Chris Middleton takes it straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth by talking to digital marketing leaders and getting their insights and breakdowns on what makes their stories successful.
There are plenty of pundits who talk about why storytelling is integral for successful content marketing, and here Amy Cowen puts her spin on it. The reality is that stories are memorable. Chances are, some of your earliest memories involve being told stories or pertain to stories that excited you as a wee one. Thus, Amy explains why storytelling should be the base for every content marketing strategy. Why? Stories are real, they’re relatable, they make us feel, they hold our attention, and they’re memorable.
Still working on your content calendar for this August? Let Armando Roggio inspire you with a little FYI on what’s trending (aside from Pokemon Go). First, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio will take place this August. What else happens in August? Oh, yeah…back to school. If you think about it, you can still remember what your school smelled like that first week of school. Other happenings? August 20 is National Honeybee Day as well as World Mosquito Day (shudder). Another suggestion? Create interest by talking about and relating to historical happenings for the month of August (like Jesse Owens winning the long jump in Berlin in August 1936).
Small business marketers, take notes…Chelsea Baldwin is onto something with her points that direct response marketing still plays a role in business copywriting. Why? Because at the end of the day, the goal is still to make sales, right? As a small business, you don’t have the manpower to pull off ad campaigns like Coca-Cola or similar. With direct response marketing, you’re addressing specific problems and adding value, which audience’s respond to.
In this piece, John Ring begs the question that is surely on the minds of many (at least every so often), and certainly the tides seem to be turning in that direction, do they not? Well, yes and no. John analyzes the current field and upon close analysis comes up with a conclusion that indicates that advertising still has a role.
Though the idea of thinking of a lawyer might spawn stereotypical thoughts of thinking like an unfeeling shark, Shayla Price reveals that thinking like a lawyer (not a stereotypical one, though) might be exactly what your content marketing strategy needs. How so? Use your inner lawyer to create compelling stories, aim to solve real problems, stick to schedules, provide multiple solutions, and adhere to a code of ethics.
If you’ve heard about content marketing but haven’t been swayed by the idea of it (after all, where does selling and making money come in, right?), then let AJ Agrawal’s five reasons every company should be using content marketing compel you toward the light. As AJ points out, sharable content is trending…this increased traffic builds attention for your business…and that attention can translate into sales. Content marketing helps audiences get to know you; without that perception, you’re just another stucco (or website) façade, and who wants to do business with a façade? Content marketing also encourages action among other things.
If you spend enough time embroiled in content marketing, most of these dos and don’ts will become common sense or second-nature; however, just in case you’re wondering if you’re doing it right, let John Foley Jr. spell it out. He tells you how to do the dos like: finding your target audience, being original, and keeping it short and sweet while he also breaks down avoiding the don’ts, which include: pushing your product, promoting ads, copying the competition, and being self-centered. Good advice.
This week’s lean toward improving your content marketing concludes with Michael Noice’s article on ways to improve your content marketing. Consider implementing new approaches that you hadn’t previously used. For example, a monthly newsletter might be just what your business needs to boost engagement. On the other hand, you might want to look at more frequent interaction through a different vehicle. The point is, there’s no one-size-fits all approach to content marketing, which is why you want insight on your options and on what might work best for your business.
You know that your business needs a blog, and you may have already started one; however, it’s not garnering much attention, which makes you wonder if the blog’s even necessary. To answer your unasked question, yes, it is. A blog can do wonders for your business if it’s done right and by that we mean posting on a steady schedule, doing keyword research, focusing on your target audience, incorporating visual content, and investing in content writing.
Are you looking to improve your reach but aren’t sure how to do it? If so, The Storyteller Agency can help. Contact us and let our experts show you how to improve your content marketing or to establish your brand’s voice, to build a better blog, to tell your story, and more.