Viewing entries tagged
how to tell stories with marketing

Why Getting Vulnerable in Stories Works


Why Getting Vulnerable in Stories Works

There are so many great kinds of stories to tell in your content that will help you reach your audience and solve their problems. How-to guides, top ten lists, and even quotes to live by are very helpful; however, they don’t always reach your audience’s emotional core, which is important. You want to forge an emotional connection with your audience (a positive one, that is), and one way to do that is by telling stories in which you show your vulnerable side. 



The Friday Fix - March 18, 2016

Top o’ the mornin’ to ye on this fabulous Friday Fix the day after St. Patrick’s Day. Hopefully you celebrated your Irish heritage (or just your appreciation for the Irish) responsibly as today we’ve got a Friday to Fix, and the fixings are fine indeed (better than soda bread and corned beef!).  Today, we look at content marketing lessons learned from video games, examine the current state of virtual reality, follow-up on what’s happening with Instagram, and get jazzed about case studies (yep!).  Yesterday was a great day to be Irish; today’s a great day to get Fixed!

4 Content Marketing Lessons from Video Games

Though based on her gaming preferences, Meg Cannistra and I have a few years between us (my first console was an Atari; I still remember trying to (impossibly) get E.T. home), I totally get what she’s saying about the immersive stories told revealed through play.  As it turns out, the same techniques applied for creating addictive story-driven video games are applicable to content marketing.  Considering my dad spent countless hours rescuing Zelda in the NES Legend of Zelda game (with the family watching as intently as if he were about to be named Top Chef), video games have a special kind of lure, so check out Meg’s article and apply those epic powers to your strategy (think of it as leveling-up).

Virtual Reality Stampedes into Austin, but Quality is Patchy

There are two things I (kind of) know for certain: one is that Austin is cool in the kind of way that I will never be; it’s hot but nerdy, and it’s where awesome stuff happens first. Two is that virtual reality is slated to be kind of a big deal in 2016 (oh, look what year it is!). So, cut-to Marco della Cava’s article on the VR situation at SXSW in Austin.  I think this (awesome) quote from Chris Little of Strivr says it all and says it best with this accurate burn: “VR here is like sex in high school, everyone’s doing it, but not everyone’s doing it well.” Hence, Marco looks at why that is, what the problems are, and (possibly) how they’re going to be confronted.

5 Tips on How to Write a Case Study that Tells and Engaging Story

Leave it to Taylor Mallory Holland to make case studies the kind of thing that I want to jump on as a writer.  The way Taylor describes them, they have the very real potential to highlight your brand’s accomplishments; they can illustrate what you’ve overcome, which readers can take-home for their own brands. In this article, Taylor outlines five storytelling strategies useful for transforming your brand’s next case study from a snooze-fest to a page-turner.

Instagram Interaction Rates Dropped 40% Last Year, and Other Bad News

Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad news, so Stewart Rogers is really taking one for the team by passing along this piece of less-than-desirable trivia (especially if you’re Instagram): Instagram’s interaction numbers are down despite a seemingly fantastic 2015.  In this piece, Stewart reviews the changes Instagram rolled out in 2015 (including ads in September), causes for alarm, and the maturation process for the platform. Thankfully, the consensus is still favorable for the visual social media platform.

Enterprise Content Marketing and the Rise of the Humble Servant Marketer

Daniel Ruyter starts this article by exploring the shift from 1990s marketer (you know, the kind of person who wore feather boas with three piece suits) to today’s “marketer”, which is an honest, shirt-off-your-back guy in Levis (presumably with fair trade coffee).  Really, the industry shift has prioritized enterprise content marketing as a customer service driven force.  Daniel examines what that means along side examples concluding that marketing is an “empowering” contributor toward the customer’s experience, which I find sounds quite nice.

Brandspeak: Six New Jobs Being Created by the Content Revolution’s Matt Anchin is one who knows jobs (I mean, he’s the SVP of Global Communications and Content at Monster for crying out loud), and, after I retrieved my eyebrows from the ceiling after learning Kanye West was $53 million in debt (and here I thought I had issues), I was able to process and acknowledge the bourgeoning roles Monster has noticed emerging including: Trendjacking Specialist, Polymath Marketing Manager, Full Content Stack Producer, Creditorial Director, Data Hunter-Gatherer, and Reputational Narrative Advisor. I love that “hunter-gatherer” is about to come back into our lexicon as an actual job for the first time since we were all wearing Wooly Mammoths.  On a more serious note, check out Matt’s piece to see what each job entails.

What the Placebo Effect Means for Content Marketing

I think we’re all familiar with the placebo effect, which is what transpires when we believe we are getting something when we are in fact, not.  As in, you think you’re taking aspirin (sugar pill) and you claim your headache feels better.  So, how does the placebo effect play into content marketing?  Well, let Nicola Brown spell it out.  She references a recent psychological study to note that we “internalized performance-based emotional marketing to a shocking degree”…as in, you really think Red Bull gives you wings.  I know this is true because my brother and I used to genuinely believe our Cheerios made us stronger as kids (like the way spinach made Popeye stronger).  So, how can you embrace the placebo effect for your advantage? Nicola has the answer.

Using Customer Contact Data to Tell Better Marketing Stories

Austin Duck knows he’s not telling us anything new with the information that story-based marketing should be at the core of all of our content marketing endeavors; however, his breakdown of strategies for using contact data for telling those marketing stories might be a little more obscure.  We’ve all heard that data-driven marketing is integral for telling strong stories and is a major component of content marketing success, but it’s easier said than done (telling a good data-driven story, that is).

Email Marketing Strategy: Why You Should Treat Your Newsletter Like Its Own Publishing Destination

Email marketing…that’s something that hasn’t been mentioned in a while, so thanks to Kyle Harper for bringing it up.  He leads in talking about the thing that makes everyone cringe: junk mail.  It’s been around for ages and yet –despite the fact that it’s literally tossed without being opened, it’s still a thing.  So, how do you run an e-mail marketing strategy that gets your mail opened and –better yet—read?  Click Kyle’s article for his analysis.

What the Psychology of “Flow” Can Teach Us about Brand Storytelling

Nicola Brown is back with another smart piece this week; this time, she teaches us about the psychological concept of “flow” and how it pertains to happiness. To briefly explain, flow entails being completely immersed in an activity and to only be engaged for the purity and sake of the activity. To further illustrate, Nicola references GoPro, a brand story that’s all about flow. Conceptually, flow is something that helps your audience remember you among other positive things, which makes you kind of just want to go with it, you know?

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 - July 10, 2015

Holy moly, it’s hot outside.  Thankfully, you work in content marketing and can be inside kicking back with your iced coffee, reading the Friday Fix from the comfort of your air-conditioned lair.  This week brings a fairly motley arrangement of content marketing topics.  We talk about avoiding pitfalls related to marketing ethics, brand storytelling, and podcasting.  We also reveal that Nick Offerman, AKA Ron Swanson is going to be at Content Marketing World 2015.  Since it’s too soon to start packing your bags and too early to call it a day, do the next best thing: get your fill of the Friday Fix!

Content Marketing is Hard?  Here’s Some Inspiration for Ya!
Arguably, Mael Roth should publish something inspiring for us to share every Friday because what else could make Friday better than inspiration, especially after a tough week.  I know Mael posits her title as a question, but I’ll say it content marketing is hard.  So is math, says my inner 7th grader who still has nightmares about failing Algebra…in her underwear.  I digress. In this post, Mael shares an inspiring story about a budgetless craftsman who overcame the odds to create killer content (but can he find love? …I’m kidding.  It’s all about the content.  Check it out.).

Beyond Surface Answers and Sound Bites: 6 Interview Tips for Brand Storytellers
In Tina Fey’s Bossypants, she talks about how Lorne Michaels gets the “eggs” from the “chickens” (writers / actors) on Saturday Night Live.  In this article, writer and questioner extraordinaire, Taylor Mallory Holland provides similar tips for how brand storytellers can best get the information they need.  Asking leading questions and encouraging the interviewee to ramble are two such strategies.  Consequently, these are also skills you’ll want to use when you’re trying to get the truth out of your kids when they’re all tight-lipped over how half the house got blown to smithereens.

How a Good Story will Make you Outperform the Competition
I full agree with Rebekah Richards’ advice for how to tell and a good story and why (in the good story example, someone loses a tooth…that’s always memorable!).  Essentially, you want to use character, plot, and tension to create something relatable and engaging.  She also talks about ethics, which reminds me of something I tell my writing students.  I tell them to just write the truth; write honestly.  When you try too hard to write a story, it feels unnatural, like a backrub from the boss (picture it, yeah, weird, huh?).  Anyway, read Rebekah’s article for solid storytelling approaches and avoid giving those creepy back rubs with your writing.

Why Every Startup Should Use Content Marketing
Sandra Griffin goes into more detail than what I consider the most obvious answer to her rhetorical title, which is that because it works.  Sandra acknowledges that start-ups, like college students, are broke (well, except for the ones with a line on dad’s credit card); however, lack of funds shouldn’t stop start-ups from content marketing (just like it shouldn’t stop college students from sustaining on a diet of beer and 3 a.m. nacho-loaded hot dogs for four years).  To help get startups get the content ball rolling, Sandra shares where to start, tips, and a list of handy-dandy resources (yay! Tools!).

Marketing Ethics: Is Your Brand Crossing Any Lines?
Taylor Mallory Holland is back with a different yet equally important topic related to content marketing: ethics.  As we all know from movies, ethical misbehavior in the workplace results in approximately 90 minutes of jokes, hi-jinks, and at least 20 seconds in jail before a lesson is learned, and everything returns to normal only with ethics.  If that’s what you think, you’re wrong. Ethical violations lead to fines, public shaming, and more courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission.  There are guidelines to follow (link in Taylor’s article).  If you’re not sure what they are or how companies can get busted, check it out.  Lord & Taylor’s bogus contest example is one that will stick with you, so make sure you give this article its due.

How to Avoid 10 Common Business Video Mistakes
Respectfully, anyone can make a video; however, not everyone can make a good video as evidenced by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff’s list of common mistakes, which range from being too sales-y to letting things go on for too long.  Awkward content, lack of mobile friendliness, and terrible quality are other frequently committed sins.  So, like we’ve said before, content marketing videos are very important, so read Jennifer’s piece and rise above the follies of your peers.  Rise I say!

When It Comes to Technology Marketing, You Must Tell Your Brand Story
While the topic of Lara Nour Eddine’s article is on technology marketing, the wit and wisdom of Lara’s piece is broadly applicable to anyone trying to tell their brand story.  Before revealing six ways to consider when using brand storytelling, Lara first treats us to this bit of daunting trivia: roughly 5,000 marketing messages are viewed daily, and 79% of those viewing said marketing messages scan them.  I’m pretty sure this brings us back to the fact that content marketing is a cruel mistress, but on the plus, Lara’s handy dandy tips could help you become part of the 21% that folks actually top and get to know better.

MarketWise: Podcasting for Effective Content Marketing
We did a piece on podcasting a month or so ago, and Karen Wise’s sharp article corroborates our comments on the validity of podcasts and supplies new insights on the usefulness of these little guys.  Though easily forgotten behind videos and infographics, podcasts are portable, accessible, multi-formatted communication tools that over 27% of Internet users use.  If you think of the market on the Internet you’re competing with versus the competition in podcastville, you could have a better chance of reaching as many as 27% of users with less noise to drown out your voice.  What I’m saying is to start creating podcasts, people.  Unlike shoulder pads in the 80s & 90s, you won’t regret this.

Accelerate Your Content Marketing Campaign with the Right Partner
I wish Brett Relander’s article image had one caption: Boo-yah because that’s the only discussion a contract consummated by fist-bump ever needs.  My lack of business acumen side, partnering up in the big, bad world of business is important.  Creating content marketing partnerships can facilitate exposure and links in way that trying to go solo like Mr. Incredible did simply can’t and won’t (and even Mr. Incredible totally caved because look how flexible his partner was!).  So, if you’re looking to enhance your enterprise with a partnership, check out Brett’s article…there’s no need to work alone. 

Nick Offerman at CMWorld 2015!

Nick Offerman at CMWorld 2015!

Actor/comedian Nick Offerman Joins Star-Filled Lineup of Content Marketing World 2015
File Scott Suttell’s quick article information under “the more you know”.  For those of you who were riding the fence on whether or not to attend Content Marketing World 2015 at the Cleveland Convention Center this September, let keynote speaker Nick Offerman (AKA Ron Swanson from “Parks and Recreation”) convince you.  Nick promises to bring his humorous and unique take on storytelling to the con.  So, if you can, be a winner like Nick’s Ron Swanson who said, “Everything I do is the attitude of an award winner because I’ve won an award,” and be one of the 3,500 awesome souls at Content Marketing World this year.

5 Reasons Why You Need a LinkedIn Company Page
Of all the social media outlets, LinkedIn, the professional social networking site, seems to get the least amount of press.  Despite the comparatively diminished coverage, having a LinkedIn site that you’re actually active on is kind of a big deal.  Why?  Not only is LinkedIn SEO friendly, it also enables you to attract prospective employees, establish professional relationships, and build Net cred (kind of like street cred, but for the web).  

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