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The Friday Fix - March 13, 2015

It may be Friday the 13th, but today is still your lucky day because no matter the date, Friday is always Friday Fix Day.  Assuming you survived the onslaught of black cats and broken mirrors that undoubtedly paved your path to the office today, take a seat and reward yourself with a little content education.  In this Fix, we have a vocabulary lesson that distinguishes between content marketing and content strategy. We also get a little wisdom from top dogs PepsiCo, Kraft, and Apple Watch on their triumphs and on what content marketing means to them.  So, kick back and consider yourself one of the lucky ones because you’re in for the Friday Fix.

What’s the Difference? Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing
The gloves are off.  With Greg Secrist’s help, we are finally going to articulate the difference between content marketing and content strategy.  While some use these terms interchangeably, they are in fact, very, very different.  The key difference is that strategy is all encompassing; within strategy is marketing.  You may be confused, too, by the tendency to tack the word strategy onto the end of content marketing (as in, “What is a Content Marketing Strategy?” which is the title of one of Greg’s article’s subtopics).  Check out this fantastic read to clearly distinguish marketing and strategy and to understand the direction you need to head in 2015.

Marketing Terms Explained: What Separates Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, and Brand Journalism?
What’s this? More vocabulary?  Are you making flash cards yet?  Now that we’ve clarified the differences between marketing and strategy, let’s increase the microscope’s intensity.  With a little help from our friend Steve Armenti, aspects of content marketing are broken down and terms like inbound marketing and brand journalism are explored.  It’s definitely worth the read (even for the content marketer who knows it all).

What is the State of Content Marketing for 2015?
Given that we’re halfway through March, Sarah Quinn poses a relevant question that she thus explores in this article.  Quinn’s article breaks down B2B goals for 2015 and stats across the board.  What are people thinking? What’s most important?  How do they feel thus far?  What results do we have to date?  I think the statistic that most boggles my mind is that 40% of marketers don’t have a strategy.  Did we learn nothing from the 110% consensus that above all else, one should have a written strategy to nail this whole content marketing thing?  Okay, I’m abdicating the soapbox. Seriously, this is a fantastic article for seeing where you are on the spectrum.

Walking the Walk: Content Marketing Do’s & Don’ts
Matt Byrom’s strategy in this piece is to explain the telltale mistakes that are so easy to make but that are beyond crippling to an otherwise robust content marketing approach.  I’ll give you a hint when I say that according to one of our pundits, as many as 40% of the folks out there are making one of these mistakes.  As much as I’d like to tell you that it’s bad storytelling that’s ruining, it’s actually the technical side of things.  Read on for a much-needed refresher course on content marketing technique essentials. 

strategy game

5 Ways to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy Right Now
The tone and subject matter of Krystal Overmeyer’s article (and the others being shared) should be a red flag.  Despite our knowledge and the enthusiasm for content marketing, things are still failing to launch in some areas.  So, if you’ve put your content marketing on autopilot or haven’t given it the attention it deserves, look alive because Krystal has advice (starting with story) that will elevate your tactics.

The Only 6 Content Marketing Tips You Need for 2015
Drew Hendricks brings a serious list of the six most vital tips needed for content marketing striving and surviving in this brave new world we find ourselves in.  Each tip contains tidbits, if you will, of things that should be done in order to be the best content marketer you can be.  For example, in discussing social media, Drew also mentions the importance of curating.  Each of the six tips goes into tremendous details leaving no advisory stone unturned.

company culture

How to Create a Content Marketing Culture at Your Company
Previous pundits have expounded on the essence of getting your organization in a content marketing frame of mind.  Industry professional Arnie Kuenn goes into detail in this piece on how to turn things around so that content marketing assume the position of relevance it deserves within your organization.  From getting people’s attention to motivational techniques, Arnie covers the cultural conversion process from start to finish.

Apple Watch Will Usher in ‘Reimagining’ of Content Marketing, says Agencies
Did the Apple Watch news set your Twitter feed on fire, too, or was it just me?  Well, as per Jessica Davies in this piece, the watch is set to launch on April 24 and given that it’s a totally new vehicle, it’s going to be a game changer, something that’s both scary and exciting.  Get the insight from industry’s leading strategists in this very interesting article.

PepsiCo Reveals its Toughest Content Marketing Lessons
Like watching your older sibling get grounded for taking your parents’ car for an unauthorized midnight joyride, watching bigger, older companies learn lessons that you can apply to your content marketing is just as sweet.  As brought to us by Seb Joseph are soda pop giant PepsiCo’s biggest lessons learned.  For example, they advocate that content is king as everyone else does, but there’s a but as they note that enterprise rules.  Intrigued?  You should be.  Read on and see what wisdom PepsiCo has to impart.

Kraft Rolls Out Recipe Hub, Content Marketing Program for ‘Strapped’ Consumers
When I read the title of Karlene Lukovitz’s article, I was like, “Holy, Kraft. That’s me!”  The program targets Millennials and Hispanics (and presumably Millennial Hispanics) with clever tactics and subtactics (it’s also geared toward moms, fans of breathing, etc.).  It’s an intricate approach with both overlap and audience-specific focuses.  With this, Kraft is essentially winning at a game of multilevel chess.  It’s quite brilliant, and if you’re looking for inspiration, this is the piece to read.

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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The Friday Fix - January 30, 2015

Holy guacamole, it’s the end of January!  On the plus, it’s Friday, which means it’s time for the Fix (so, um, pass that guacamole and some chips, yeah?).  Here are a few of the key themes from this week in content marketing for you to chew on.  The main idea that’s getting bounced around is that content marketing success is experienced only after trial and error (so brace yourselves for experimental impact by reading the Fix).

5 Mistakes You’re Making with Your Content Marketing Strategy
As Jayson DeMers points, content marketing is relatively new, which I interpret to mean that there’s room for error.  In this piece, Jayson outlines the five biggest mistakes he’s observed in the business.  For example, you know your brand, you have your story, but then you’re misreading your audience.  Either it’s the wrong demographic (like if Grand Theft Auto was marketed toward the elderly) or the language is too simplistic or complex.  For more details and the other four mistakes, check out Jayson’s whole article.

8 Content Marketing Trends to Watch Out for in 2015 (Infographic)
I’m loving Jomer Gregorio’s post this week on upcoming trends because (1) infographics are awesome, and (2) these trends make me very excited for the future.  On a personal note, I’m thrilled that marketing will use more professional writers (wink); I’m also very excited to read that marketing and social media marketing are going to tie the knot.  The most important question now is will the cake icing be buttercream or fondant?  While Jomer doesn’t get into cake details, the other specifics in the article more than make up for the lack of cake talk.

What is Innovation in Content Marketing?  4 Steps to Finding the Answer
Caitlin Roberson leads into this smart strategies piece with the daunting fact that consumers are hit by as many as 3,000 messages a day; on top of that, we have other things to worry about, like who will be Top Chef?  Needless to say, a lot of stuff gets filtered out, which is why, Caitlin says, it’s time to get innovative.  Easier said than done (much like winning Top Chef), true innovation takes trial and error.  Caitlin breaks down how to use the iteration of errors to end up on top. (No need to pack your keywords and go.)

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourced Content Marketing
I love pros and cons lists…I still have the one I used when deciding whether or not to date my husband all those years ago.  In a way, the direction you go with your content marketing (outsourced vs. not) is an equally big commitment.  Thankfully, Chloe Basterfield has taken it upon herself to explore the pros and cons of outsourcing content marketing.  There are lots of pros and words to the wise, like if you are planning to outsource, make sure you pick someone professional, of reputable quality, and who is equally committed to the relationship.

Avoid Content Marketing Until You Can Answer “Yes” to These Two Questions
Casey Wright’s two questions are easy to answer (essentially, do you know yourself and values and is that what you provide to customers)?  Easy, right?  Not so much.  To illustrate how horribly, horribly wrong things can go if you misrepresent yourself to customers, Casey looks at McDonalds, the fast food giant that’s tried to rebrand as “healthy” but is essentially drowning in 50 years of saturated fat and mystery meat because consumers associate McDonalds with a lot of things (dollar menu, happy meals, the McRib) but healthy still isn’t one of them (at least not yet).

5 Content Marketing Ideas for February 2015
We know that since you’re documenting your plan and writing your editorial calendars in advance, you may have to work some of these ideas into what you’re doing for February.  If you do, I think you’ll be pleased with the results.  For example, Armando Roggio suggests making Valentine’s Day, people’s favorite holiday to love to hate but celebrate with gusto anyway, part of your strategy.  The other suggestions are equally likely to bear fruit.

Content Marketing Strategies for Generating Leads
With this piece, Michael Foster explores the concerns posed by content marketing.  As you’re probably aware if you’ve read all of the other posts in this week’s Fix, content marketing is still evolving, and there are a lot of unknown variables at play.  On the plus, the undeveloped landscape is a goldmine for opportunity and innovation.  On the downside, most organizations don’t have resources to build a city that no one wants to live in.  According to Michael, the concerns highlighted in this piece will be subject of discussion at LeadsCon in March in Las Vegas (so, um, start planning Spring Break?).

Pinterest is Perfect for Content Marketing
If you’ve only ever heard of Pinterest, you’re probably wondering what a glorified craft site for stay-at-home moms whose kids are in college has to do with content (by the way, I’m just teasing fellow moms; I know we don’t have time for fancy crafts; we barely have time to clean the floors our kids eat off of.).  I digress.  Take it from Michelle G. Held how to cleverly integrate Pinterest into your strategy to the tune of much success (no Pinterest fails here!).

5 Ways to Improve Your E-mail Approach for Content Marketing
Though we’re dealing with e-mails in this post, Jennifer McNabb has the same underlying message as a lot of this week’s pundits,which is that trial and error are going to be what ultimately deliver success.  One big challenge of e-mail is just getting people to open the thing (as one who deletes many an e-mail message without opening it, I can support this message), hence Jennifer provides some smart (and bold) suggestions for those subject lines among other things.  

zombies at night

Content Marketing Killers are Everywhere
Lee Traupel wins for “catchiest title of the week” with this one.  Killers are everywhere?  I’m going to need details.  In this article, Lee escorts us through the content development process highlighting ways you can be your own worst enemy along the way.  In a nutshell, don’t overthink it and take your time.  Of course, you’ll need to read the article to get the details on slaying pesky content zombies that come out at night.

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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The Night Before Christmas on 30A

It takes a community to tell a great story. We are so fortunate to find our home on Scenic 30A in Florida, surrounded by the wonderful people that make this place so warm, welcoming and perfect. Thank you for inviting us into the embrace of the 30A community this year.

Happy holidays!