It’s hard to believe this is the last Friday we have to Fix this August. In case you’re popping in for the first time, the Friday Fix is our weekly run-down of all things in the past week of content marketing. This week, we talk about our approach for telling great stories as well as getting seniors on social media. Speaking of social media other pundits explore finding the right social platform and ways to use videos on social platforms. We also look at the biggest brand winners and losers from the Rio Olympics as well as how story can save your brand. All in all, it’s a great way to bid August adieu and to anticipate what the future holds (we’re looking at you, virtual reality).
Content doesn’t equal story. Mic drop. Exit stage right. No, I’m kidding. There’s more to this piece by Kyle Harper, but the essence is indeed that content and story aren’t synonymous. “Stories,” writes Kyle, “are what happen when a piece of content convinces its audience to engage and begin anticipating the next step of their narratives.” This is a key element marketers often miss in an almost-“Gold Rush” moment in content marketing in which social platforms are rapidly growing and often (or seemingly) outpacing marketing professionals.
Whether you’re a freelancer, a brand with writers on board, or someone else involved in telling stories, Brianna Hand’s article is a great read. Here, she interviews Skyword editors on what they’re looking for in hiring (and um, not hiring) freelance storytellers. From neglecting the brand’s voice to disregarding what the client wants out of writing, the editor’s concerns are totally valid, and the pro tips they provide, invaluable.
Story envy is a very real thing. In this article, Dylan Thaemert talks about some of the resources big brands have that little guys long for. For example, they have the budget to hire celebrity endorsers or to piggyback off a story of big budget projects using product placement. Sure, that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t mean that a small story can’t have a big impact just by smartly using social media, sharing your personality and POV, and using a few good videos.
There’s an assumption among many social media users and brands that social media platforms are kind of like “one size fits all”. As untrue as this is for underwear, it is also so for social media platforms. The exact same post, video, content, etc. that you share on Twitter isn’t really the same on Instagram and Facebook as one John Montesi so accurately points out. Instead, you have to figure out your brand’s story, what medium you want to tell it in, and then which social media microgenre best fits the bill.
Whenever folks talk about mastering something, I always think of a Rocky-esque training montage in which one trains hardcore to Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone” or Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” before taking on the big challenge and then getting completely knocked out only to get up, train harder, and try again. In this piece, Aaron Agius outlines 10 essential skills to master like conducting research, promoting and distributing content, and telling a compelling story (among seven other skills). Aaron gives tips for each but as you probably know, it’s going to take longer than an ‘80s movie montage (possibly longer than the actual ‘80s) to truly nail each of these skills, but hey, no worries…you’ve got time.
Staying ahead in the social media marketing game can be tough because as Richard Smith points out, social platforms are “saturated” with great written content. So, how do you standout? In a better-than-your-usual-rundown-style, Richard details where to use video and precisely how (step-by-step) to make it happen. He covers videos and Twitter Ads, streaming videos (delayed and live), and videos and Facebook Ads.
So, as a non-betting woman, I’m not willing to bet my mortgage that in the next year or so, the majority of our focus as content marketers will be on using VR to tell stories; however, if I were, not only would I bet the mortgage plus 10%, I’d also already have a drone and at least one VR device (okay, that may be more of a cash flow issue rather than being tech-savvy). Anyway, in this piece, Tal Chalozin specifies precisely how VR is going to reshape content marketing as we know it.
While the world’s most skilled athletes demonstrated their collective prowess in Rio this past month, brands also put their best foot forward (or at least they tried to). In this piece, Tony Connelly calls out Coca Cola, Under Armor, Nissan, and Samsung as being on top while McDonald’s, Ambush Marketers, and Ryan Lochte came out on bottom. Oops.
The title of Annie Pilon’s article is right…her mash-up of lessons featured on Small Biz Trends seems random, but they’re actually really good and important things that you really do need to get good at in order to thrive as a content marketer and storyteller. From being able to capture the magic of Instagram stories to “mastering the art of Facebook marketing” to figuring out whether or not humor works for your brand’s voice…there are several ways to improve your skills and be better at what you do.
Email marketing…it’s a lesser-discussed aspect of content marketing because it can seem less creative than other areas; however, in this piece, Pippa Chambers brings focus back to e-mail marketing. We all know how many e-mails get deleted each day, so what does it take to get them read, and does email marketing, in fact, have the potential to inspire more creativity than originally presumed?
It’s easy to assume that social media and senior citizens don’t mix, but the reality is that social media can be super enriching not only to the lives of senior citizens but also to those of us who are already active on social media. Our hopes are that our Golden Social Project, which involves helping get residents at Somerby at Santa Rosa Beach active on social media platforms will prove just that. After all, who better to collaborate with to #tellgreatstories than those who’ve lived (and continue to live) great lives?
Are you interested in telling great stories but aren’t sure how to get started? Contact us at The Storyteller Agency and let us help you to find your brand’s voice, to stop marketing, and to start storytelling.