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The Friday Fix – December 19, 2014

Is it weird that 2014 is almost over?  Remember a couple of years ago when we were all wondering if the Mayan calendar was going to be right and that the world as we know it would cease to exist?  How weird would that be…I mean, to have lived in a world with no Friday Fixes?  Hey, speaking of the Friday Fix, guess what today is?  In this week’s Fix, we look more at what not to do as you round the corner into 2015 (you’ll recall that previous pundits have posited predictions for the New Year).  We also delve into ways to think about and to address some of storytelling’s more prominent challenges.

crying kid

Make ‘Em Cry –and Buy: 3 Holiday Content Marketing Campaigns with Heart
Though there’s less than a week left until the big day, the holidays –and the lessons we can learn from holiday content campaigns, are far from over as Taylor Mallory Holland points out.  In this piece, Taylor breaks down the winning tactics in three sentimental, emotionally gripping marketing campaigns.  If you’ve never been asked to write something that touches audiences, take it from me, it’s hard because you always run the risk of missing the mark and coming off cheesy. 

4 Quick Storytelling Tips for More Engaging Content
Good storytelling is hard, and if you don’t think so, then you’re either a Jedi Master or you’re not getting it.  Brad Kuenn (and I) respects the challenges in being able to tell a truly engaging story.  Brad goes into greater detail on having a clear purpose and audience, but he also highlights the importance of learning from the masters.  Who’s told a great story lately that resonated with you?  Why did it stick?  How could it be better?  What can you get out of it?  The more you read good stories and read about how to tell good stories (see this article for example), the more quickly you will become a master in your own right.

Mobile Will Redefine and Revive Content Marketing
To clarify where she’s going with this piece, Marla Schimke subtitles her mobile-media focused piece “Brand publishing isn’t in a decline; it’s in a golden age.” Do tell.  Even in the past five years, as Marla points out, we’ve become infinitely more mobile-centric (guilty as charged).  She points out that branded content is well-poised to enjoy glory like never before –provided it uses the mobile vehicle property.  Curious?  Read on to see how to get in on the gold rush.


The Secret Ingredient for Succeeding at Content Marketing
Unlike in cooking in which the secret ingredient is always wine for the chef, the secret ingredient in content marketing –according to Brett Relander, is a little more complex (though possibly equally intoxicating…well, the success part is anyway).Sure, you should have a content strategy (recipe), but how good is that recipe going to be if it’s not documented?  Will you remember your measurements for your ingredients or even what ingredients you use?  As one who often creates undocumented recipes, I assure you the answer is going to be no.

6 Prevalent B2B Marketing Myths to Abandon in 2015
For whatever reason, Tim Asimos’ list of six things to abandon in 2015 makes me want to assume the position of a frightened woman in an old black and white ‘40s film because they’re all horrifying whether it be the myth that one must be “all or none” on social media use or that content marketing equals SEO.  In this piece, Tim analyzes the flawed line of logic and then discusses the approach you should take (sort of an “eat this, not that” but for content marketing).

Will 2015 be the Year Content Marketing Grows Up?
For some reason, the title of Robin Bonn’s article reminds me of the commercial about the Cheez-It cheese needing to “mature.”  Thinking of content marketing in a similar light, Robin reviews how content marketing grew in 2014 and then explores ways that it will further mature in 2015.  If these predictions are to come to fruition, then I’m all for content marketing changing its name from Kitty to Karen and trading its MG for a white Chrysler LeBaron.

Personal Branding on LinkedIn: 10 Mistakes to Avoid
We all know that LinkedIn is a professional social media platform, which means its content is generally a little more sophisticated than say Facebook or Twitter content.  That said, how you represent yourself (as an individual and an entity) needs to be of a certain caliber.  All of Carolyn Hyams’ advice is sound, even the obvious like “don’t lie”, and “don’t spam your connections.”

4 Steps to a Breakout 2015
Let’s say that you’re just getting started in content marketing or the wheels are turning, but you’re not gaining traction yet.  This short, easy read co-authored by Doug and Polly White is just what you need.  They sum up some of the soundest advice that’s been provided for how to approach content marketing in 2015 including writing down a plan. 

Content Marketing vs. Stuff Marketing: Do You Really Know What You’re Doing?
Andrew Moravick’s question of “do you really know what you’re doing?” is a haunting one because at any given point in the present, yes, I think I know what I’m doing.  In a year or two, I’ll probably look back and cringe at what a dumb-dumb I was.  When it comes to content marketing, if you can’t distinguish stuff marketing from content, then chances are, you’ll also look back and say, “Wow, that guy really didn’t have a clue.”  Get ahead of yourself and make sure you’re not just doing “stuff.”

Fewer than Half of Content Marketers Think They Are Effective
According to Karen Webber, this lack of confidence among content marketers isn’t because they aren’t sure they know what they’re doing; it’s because they’re a bit overwhelmed.  Content marketing is multidimensional, and it’s important to understand each facet to get it right.  As a solution, Karen offers some logical tips that will at least give you the confidence to keep you pushing ahead and to keep your confidence-o-mometer rising.

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 - November 7, 2014

It’s the Friday Fix --chock full of vitamins and now with fewer calories!  If you’re like me and are ashamed of the work you’ve been doing on leftover Halloween candy, then you’re seeing anything nutrient-laden as a lifeline (which brings us to the Friday Fix).  Quite a few writers this week return their focus to the importance of storytelling.  But why is storytelling so important?  Well, for one, it helps people relate; for example, whether or not you gorged on candy like your 5 year-old nephew and I did, you find the experience amusing and relatable, right?  So what else does storytelling do for content marketing?  Read on and find out!

The Art of Storytelling in 6 Content Marketing Context Questions
In a lot of ways, though storytelling is an ancient art, its role in content marketing is still relatively new and is thus being explored.  For these reasons, some people are missing the main points.  According to J-P De Clerck, sure, they’re getting plot on a page, but storytelling in content marketing has to do more –it has to raise questions as it continually evolves.  So, if one of your questions is, “What’s the difference?” this article is for you.

visual storytelling

Visual Storytelling for Brands
If you’re just now getting on the storytelling bandwagon, the idea of telling a story visually might feel overwhelming, but really, the fact that stories can be told in multiple mediums is great because some stories are simply better received in visual mediums.  Maria Peagler breaks down the art of visual storytelling and even talks about other important considerations like which social media and other outlets are best for which demographics.

The Argument for Adopting a Storytelling Structure for Your Content Marketing
Storytelling in content marketing is a real heavy-hitter.  Why?  Because, as Kaitlin Stich points out, stories provide an opportunity to audiences to play active roles in them, which leads the audience to feel more like they’re being connected with rather than marketed to.  In this piece, Kaitlin also lays out the essence of four storytelling structures that will serve as a foundation for your best-spun yarns.

cute dog

4 Lessons on Video Storytelling from Pet Brands
In this article, Kaitlyn Smith provides examples of how pet brands use video storytelling to evoke more emotions than the ASPCA’s Sarah McLaughlin commercial.  She shares Purina and Buzzfeed’s obscenely successful two-minute video, “A Cat’s Guide to Taking Care of you Human”, which will make you instantly forgive your cat for what it did to your new rug.  One important thing Kaitlyn touches on is that it’s not enough to engage your audience with humor; to make them sing like canaries, you also have toappeal to their emotions.

Coldwell Banker Combats ‘Listing Zombies’ with New, Narrative-Rich Website
According to E.J. Schultz, listing zombies are those real estate marketers who want to make a sell and move on the next client. The follies of listing zombies can easily befall you; likewise, the cleverness of Coldwell Banker’s sentimental storytelling approach can also boost your ratings.  In a nutshell, Coldwell’s approach involves making houses homes by sharing real stories like how a husband went from carrying his bride across the threshold to a proud new daddy and carried his newborn baby across the same threshold three years later.  Check out Schultz’s article to see how you can bring your storytelling home for your audience.

How to Build a Lead Generation Machine Online with Content Marketing
If you’ve been following the Fix, you’ll have noticed a few things that are constantly coming up.  Two of those things are storytelling and social media; a third is the very important idea of quality.  This two-part post by Stephen Fairley covers eight best practices that will help you help yourself.  Though Stephen also links to part one of this to-be-continued post, you can get to it faster by clicking here.


10 Quick Answers to Your Best Social Media Questions
This week, Brad Kuenn steps up to the plate and candidly answers 10 important questions to social media –you could literally turn this article into a PowerPoint and present it to your boss on why –YES—you need Google+ and that social media and brand engagement go hand in hand.  He also covers how you can measure social media ROI and use Twitter (both are explained in such a way that will please your boss (who may or may not understand a word you’re saying (#likemymom)) who will be pleased with your apparent expertise and will give the green flag to make social media part of your content marketing strategy.

Content in Crisis: Content Marketing vs. Sales Enablement
Content marketing success is like an A-list party that everyone is trying to get into.  John Koetsier looks closer at the guest list and draws some logical conclusions one of which is that not all ways to get invited to the party work for everyone.  Sure, some people have an automatic in because of who they are; others are invited because they’re super unique.  Everyone else, well, they still need to find their niche before they can make the guest list.  So, if you’re trying to achieve content marketing success, read this article and then reconfigure your method accordingly.

The Fourth Wave of Content Marketing
I love it when a show has a character who speaks entirely in business jargon: “If you analyze the quantifiers for this problematic schema, you’ll see there’s a decreasing scope of productivity in the lunch meat sector.”  All I got out of that was “lunch meat,” and it’s my sentence.  The thing is, a lot of content producers are the same way…they’re doing it, but they don’t get it.  Nicola Kemp explains (in perfectly clear detail) some major missteps (like Joan Rivers’ posthumous endorsement for the iPhone 6) in these formulaic content marketing approaches along with directions for the right steps.

Credit: Launch Marketing

Credit: Launch Marketing

Only 16% of B2B Marketers Target Revenue as a Top Goal of Content Marketing
If you can’t seem to find the platform 9 ¾ entryway that leads to content marketing greatness, it might be because your priorities are skewed.  For example, if you’re trying to see revenue results too quickly, you’re missing some other important steps along the way like lead generation and brand awareness (this is the marketing equivalent of proposing to your eHarmony match on the second date.  Don’t do that.).  Read on as Kelsey Jones shares other stats and commonalities from the B2B Content Marketing Spotlight Report for you to check yourself against.

Developing a Multilingual Content Marketing Strategy
Hats off to Christian Amo for keeping this conversation going; we posted previously about why you want to incorporate multilingual elements into your content strategy, and this article not only reiterates why that is really important, it also lays out a strategy for going multilingual if you’re ready to capture a whole new audience.

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 - September 19, 2014


The Friday Fix - September 19, 2014

It’s been a hard day’s night this week, but it’s finally time for the Friday Fix! Lately, we’ve been talking about storytelling; this week, the virtues your parents tried to instill in you come up as winning content marketing strategies: be patient, work hard, be honest, and eat your vegetables. Okay, that last one is just because we want you to be healthy, but applying those other tried and true methods will help you get to the next level.

1964 the Tribute played to a Beatles-loving crowd at CMWorld in Cleveland, Ohio.

3 Things The Beatles Can Teach You about Content Marketing
The key notes to The Beatles’ success had less to do with yellow submarines and girls in the sky with diamonds as they did with sound strategies like: embracing your identity, taking it one day at a time, and working hard and often. Sajeel Qureshi’s advice on how to translate these approaches into content marketing is music to our ears.

10 Things You Missed at Content Marketing World 2014
Just in case you missed this global event, Arnie Kuenn gives a detailed run-down of topical highlights and key note speakers’ strategies, which –unsurprisingly—include the importance and challenges of exciting and inspiring audiences through storytelling.

Why Consumer Psychology Matters in Content Marketing
A decade ago, aggressive, tricky tactics were employed to get consumers to click on a site, but we quickly learned that we were not the one-millionth visitor to a site and that we won nothing (a virus, perhaps, but nothing useful). In this article, Kimberly Grimms treats readers to no-tricks approaches on how psychology should be used to change consumer’s behavior in favor of their business.

Content-Marketing Lessons from 4 Successful Kickstarter Campaigns
Aaron Agius shines a light on the mystery of why some campaigns sail into the sunset while others sputter and sink. By analyzing four different campaigns Agiusshares elements that will put wind in any campaign’s sails such as bringing in the pros for marketing materials like photos (no iPhone snaps, please).


Content Marketing World 2014 Recap featuring Laura Holloway
In this week’s Social Media Social Hour podcast, Tyler Anderson not only gives the play-by-play of Content Marketing World, he also –and more importantly—sits down with Simply Content Marketing founder, Laura Holloway for her clever take on Content Marketing World 2014 from the POV of a business owner and a conference freshman.

The New World of Predictive Marketing
Coming soon to a new dimension between sales and marketing near you: predictive marketing! In this must-read, Ashley Friedlein explains that if we can define what attributes look good for customers, then predictive marketing technologies can mine and use real-time data. The ideas are illustrated with an example of predictive marketing using a LinkedIn app (that we bet you’d love to make work for you).

Top Content Marketing Mistakes Holding You Back
Your content marketing strategy may be fueled with best practices and have started in the fast lane, but if you find that you’re stalling or getting passed by the competition, you may be making one of the three critical errors Carrie Majewski highlights in this quick read.

Content Marketing is About Trust, Not Just Reach
Have you ever ordered a glorious-sounding entrée only to discover none of the flavor profiles mentioned on the menu make it onto the plate? Like a good meal, your content marketing needs to serve people what they want / expect. In this article, David Dubois shows that by having an honest and informative menu, people leave satisfied and quickly come back for more.

A Smorgasbord of Content Marketing Metrics
You’ve got a marketing strategy, and you want to see if it’s working, but what do you track? How much? Agh, so many questions! Hats off to Chris Lake for his awesome “Best Metrics Chart” of basic, engagement, positioning, and KPIs metrics.

11 Tools that Make Content Marketing a Snap
Okay, so we all know that there are essentials to a good content marketing strategy –organization, idea generation, promotion, and analysis. In this well-organized piece, Stacy Thompson shares 11 nifty tools that will make your life easier.

Put the Market Back into Content Marketing
According to Tom Carpenter, marketing has taken the backseat to content to the extent that content is being created for the sake of content. Tom proposes as flip to the status quo: calling it marketing with content provides five clever strategies for making marketing a priority to go along with that content.

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