Happy Boxing Day and Friday Fix Day, all around, a glorious day…after all, what better day to unwind, graze on leftovers, and catch up on the latest in content marketing news?  Unsurprisingly, quite a few of the themes in content news this week revolved around the holiday (so bear with us, even if you feel like you’ve got glitter and tinsel coming out of your pores).  In other news, there’s a lot of buzz on methods for building strong, sustainable relationships with audiences. It looks like 2015 is going to be all about getting intimate with the audience, so get ready to get up close and personal.

Christmas Dog

Last Minute Holiday Content Marketing Ideas
Don’t let the title of this piece fool you as Brad Kuenn’s reference to “holiday” encompasses more than the events of December 25.  He provides a masterful list of suggestions for embracing themes of the holiday from coming up with a list of New Year’s Resolutions to creating a cheeky seasonally-inspired video for audience engagement.  So, even though there’s only a week left of 2014, your content can still bid 2014 adieu with a bang. 

What Content Marketers Can Learn from Santa Clause
Santa, or “Ho Ho” as my 18 month old daughter calls him, is an international celebrity during the holiday season for, despite the impracticality of it, children have faith that he will know what they want and that he will deliver on time.  That’s a demanding job even for a guy with magical powers; however, it’s pretty much what content marketers do, too, according to Jim Yu.  After all, both you and the big guy cater to a varied, international market.  That said, if you want to be as successful as the man in red and white, take Yu’s advice on how some of his best practices translate for content marketers.

What’s on Your Content Marketing Holiday List? 4 Simple Ways to Connect Buyer Personas to Better Content
Though Dana Harder’s list fits the bill for the holidays, her strategies are applicable year-round (it’s the gift that keeps on giving!). At the heart of her advice on bridging buyer, message, and content is quality.  Unless you take the time to really get to know what people want, you’re never going to be able to close those gaps.  Content relationships are like personal relationships; if the substance isn’t there, you’re not going to have a future together.

Infographics: Content Marketing Gold or Dead End Fad
In this article, John Rampton analyzes the infographic.  He points out the pros and cons (one of which is that they do very little for brand recognition), and as a consumer, I agree with his points.  I love infographics for a quick dose of knowledge, but if yourinfographic requires me to scroll or read tiny print, I’m checking out.  Also, while I like to see who’s providing the information to take it to heart, I don’t necessarily see other consumers doing the same unless the infographic is clearly part of a coordinated effort.

Calico saloon

The Wild West of Content Marketing in 2015
I am loving Quinn Whissen’s analogy between content marketing and foraging for gold in the old West mostly because it reminds me of playing the Oregon Trail on floppy disk in the ‘90s.  Before you could forge the trail, you had to stock up on supplies; pioneering content marketers have to do the same.  Quinn provides the content marketing (along with a link to complimentary literature) resources you’ll need to ensure your strategy doesn’t get dysentery and croak halfway through the game. There are several other nuggets of guidance in this piece, and Quinn doesn’t even make you sift for them.

3 Often-Ignored Aspects of Content Marketing
In this article, Pratik Dholakiya discusses how you could technically be doing everything “right” but by ignoring some seemingly obvious “must-dos” like getting inspired, being more consumer-centric, and being creative and innovative, you are setting yourself up to finish last.  Pratik points out that when it comes to crunch time or gets down to it, these are the babies that get tossed with the proverbial bathwater.  As one who has experienced 0.0 volts of inspiration when lightening needs to strike most, I contend that Pratik’s points for not ignoring the seemingly obvious are solid.

21 Questions to Help You Define Your Content Marketing Strategy
I’ll admit that I take those quizzes on Facebook written by 13 year-olds because I think it’s fun to see how my pizza topping preference dictates which literary character I would have been in a prior life; on a more serious, helpful, and grammatically-accurate note, Michael Brenner poses 21 questions that –if answered correctly—will help you shape your future content marketing strategy.

Why Effective Content Marketing Requires Full Team Buy-In
John Hall’s message in this piece –in a nutshell—is that you’re only going to be as strong as your weakest link; also, all of those links need to be unified for a common purpose.  Think of it this way…you and your team are like the characters on Lost; you need to work together to survive and to thrive, so if you make sure everyone is working toward a common goal and that everyone’s talents are being used where they’re most applicable, not only do you have a good chance of surviving, you also stand a better chance that the natives won’t turn against you when the going gets rough.

Stormtrooper

Interactive Content Can Save Content from the Dark Side
As a power-nerd who loves any good Star Wars reference (and who plans to say, “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for the next time I get pulled over in traffic…I’ll let you know how it goes), this article speaks to me like a grainy message from the rebel alliance (led by Scott Brinker in this case).  Jedi master Scott explains how interactive content (think games, quizzes, things that keep people involved) can help spare your content from becoming a generic clone byproduct. 

Nurture Your Audience with Independent Content Marketing
Tom Whatley’s advice in this article flows in the same vein as Dana Harder’s thoughts on connecting with buyer’s personas.  In this  case, Tom takes a slightly different approach offering up suggestions on how to reach audiences via an independent strategy.  Your goal here is to build a platform away from the typical “noise” that will give your audience a chance to get to know you and vice versa. 


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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