Drum roll, please for it’s time for the last Friday Fix of August! Ta-dah! Really, time does fly when you’re fixing Fridays like a rock star. Anyway, this week, we go big on what’s clearly the super trend of the week, which is visual storytelling. We’ve been saying that a picture is worth a thousand words since the dawn of time, and now it’s time to put our money where our mouths are. Speaking of places to put money, this week we talk about the 2016 budget (yep, 2016, folks), virtual reality, how to weave data into content marketing stories, and what we can learn from Taylor Swift (spoiler alert: it’s everything). Okay, I’ve said too much; it’s Friday, so grab a cup of something caffeinated and get ready to get your Friday Fix on!
Sweet molasses, are we really already talking about 2016? Well, yes, yes Ted Karczewski is and honestly, it’s the right time. With four more months to go until 2016 (I know!) and the knowledge you’ve accrued in terms of your 2015 results to date and where savvy content marketers are currently sending their big bucks, it’s time to start strategizing what’s going to be important to you in 2016. You need to read Ted’s whole article for the full story, but unsurprisingly, episodic content and interactive stories (read, visual storytelling) make the cut.
Taylor Swift…T-Swift as she’s largely known (even by me, and I don’t even own one of her albums because I’m that out of touch) is an absolute force of nature. Emma Siemasko (who’s an admitted fan and thus has more authority to analyze Miss Swift) looks at the singer / songwriter’s meteoric career and pilfers what content marketers can learn. From her fearlessness to epic collaborations to her professional diversity to her ability to tell stories in her songs, there’s nothing Taylor Swift does that can’t be translated into content marketing (as detailed by Emma in this article).
If the heading of Kate Maddox’s article doesn’t answer all lingering questions about the evolution and relevance of content marketing, I don’t know what will. Virtual reality’s becoming increasingly accessible, as Kate points out, and it’s now something that many large companies are starting to play with to demonstrate and unveil new concepts to potential markets and buyers. From the companies’ perspective, these help them tell complex stories on a large scale. While it hasn’t trickled down to all levels in terms of access, it’s definitely worth checking out and getting familiar with.
Paul Saitowitz is on the nose when he says that we’re natural storytellers because it’s true…we are. Even those of us who don’t have any professional storytelling chops are storytellers. How can you tell or how can you craft information as a story? Well, use the example Paul provides on the origins of a business. Rather than saying, “In whatever year, I started my company,” the speaker launches into an interesting story how his neighbor’s plight inspired his business. So, focus on telling what happened and you’ll find that you, too, are a storyteller.
In this article, Jon Simmons delves into data with some incredibly salient points and interesting anecdotes about how when it comes to data, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. He points out that too much data feels like a number dump (more or less) and is boring even insincere to audiences; meanwhile, lack of data can come off as fluff, as Jon puts it. So, how do you strike a balance? Read Jon’s article and find out.
This piece is appropriately timed since I said the same thing to my English Composition students that Andrea Fryrear is saying here, which is that typically speaking, online consumers of information are on the go; they want it fast, easy, and relevant; they want Elle Macpherson’s personal trainer and dietician to run the McDonalds drive through menu, which is actually a really tall order. To help you whip together such a recipe, Andrea’s article goes through the patterns most used when folks read online and how layout can be a game changer. This article is particularly fascinating…possibly more so than Elle Macpherson running the drive through line.
Per Joe Witte, public relations have kind of gotten shoved into the backseat…maybe even the trunk in the past few years by the ever growing and succeeding world of content marketing. The reality is that public relations and content marketing go together; these hands wash each other. Joe makes a lot of strong points like the fact that public relations gives a company more credibility than media relations as the information comes through a third party. Read on for other points about this dynamic duo.
Considering the increased attention to visual storytelling, it only makes sense that we’re giving Pinterest a refreshed look. In this case (i.e., Jamie Heckler’s article), we’re looking at Pinterest for B2B content marketing and how to measure results (lower those eyebrows and read on). From what to pin to your boards’ structures, Jamie’s article outlines how to best use Pinterest to reach new audiences.
Last week, we jammed hard on SEO in content marketing, which is why this week, we feel it’s important to continue that discussion with Navneet Kaushal’s article on SEO tools. While tools can’t do everything, there are definitely some that can help and make your life easier, and these are definitely some of the more useful resources available.
Savannah Louie’s article and the next two pieces drive the message home: images are major in content marketing. Each of these articles highlight something different yet equally important to be mindful of. In this one, Savannah explores visuals and their superpowers (like how they can pack a punch to social media engagement) as well as means to ensure your visual marketing is powerful…like Popeye after he eats spinach powerful.
It looks as though Randy Krum and we are on the same page this week, and that page is all about visual storytelling. In this piece, Randy sorts through four different visual storytelling styles on the forefront of the 2016 SXSW Interactive Festival. Animated GIFs, visual presentations, real-time storytelling, and infographics are featured among the topic proposals. The main takeaway of this interesting read? How-to guides and such are out; visual storytelling is in.
Visuals have the power to transport you mentally and emotionally in much the same way written stories can –actually, possibly (probably) more so (though the part of me that constantly champions writing hates to admit that). One image can replace pages of words and sometimes tell a better story, which is why visual storytelling is a surefire way to take your content marketing to a whole new level. Of course, there are a few caveats before you start dropping pictures like they’re hot. For one, you want to make sure your visual storytelling aligns with your brand’s focus. You also don’t want to replicate the same image over and over for every media outlet. So, with great images come both power and responsibility. Click the link and get the story on how to tell yours (story) with pictures.
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.
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