Happy Friday Fix Day, Everyone! It may just be that it’s the weekend or it could be because Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring a couple of weeks ago, but we’re in an extra sunny mood today. Of course, it could be this fantastic Friday Fix that we have to wrap up this week. Today we talk storytelling strategies, ways to put the audience in the protagonist’s role, and the seven deadly sins of content marketing, among other things. That’s right, it’s a healthy dose of Friday with all of the Fixings. What a beautiful way to start the weekend!
Have you been naughty? Sadly, I don’t mean, “Have you eaten all of the Valentine’s chocolates that you got on sale yet?” (because of course the answer is yes). Rather, I mean have you committed one of the 7 deadly sins of content marketing as described by Jenny Prikockis? If so, the fix is a little more intense than an hour of CrossFit; thankfully, you can always dig yourself out of content marketing purgatory and reform if you committed any of these heinous offenses (like keyword stuffing) because Jenny generously provides guidance on how to redeem yourself. The time for content marketing salvation is upon us. Read Jenny’s article and repent thy content marketing sins.
The content of Nicola Brown’s article gives new meaning to putting your best face forward. She reveals that images with faces are 38% more likely to be “liked” and 32% more likely to be commented on (consequently, that’s also something to smile about, but I’ll stop on the clichés to further explain why you want to read this article). Moving on, Nicola explains that “a face is not a face is not a face” as in you can’t just put faces on your content, kick back, and watch the “likes” roll in; there’s a science to it, which Nicola explains in this interesting, research-based piece.
The principles of good storytelling cross multiple platforms; in other words, what works for screenwriters and others also works in content marketing. As Kevin Nabipour points out, good storytelling isn’t the same as a hard-sell sales approach (thank goodness), which is why the five storytelling techniques (like always making the customer the protagonist) he highlights in this piece should always be in your arsenal.
Rhetoric of late has pointed out that truly successful audience-centric content marketing actually puts consumer in the story (as the star…they’re Harry; you’re Ron), and as we all know, rhetoric, like Shakira’s hips, don’t lie. Anyway, like everything, making the consumer the star of the story is easier said than done. Cue Jonathan Crowl riding in to the rescue on his white horse to share five smart B2B strategies that brands have used to put the consumer in your content story’s hero’s shoes.
Major brand GE is been doing a lot of things right in terms of content marketing as of late, and they’ve received favorable press because of it. So, in addition to bringing the customer support (really, they sent us new dishwasher feet without judging or charging when my husband accidentally threw ours away…oops), they’re also keeping their content super relevant and edgy, as Natasha D. Smith puts it. Check out this interview with Sydney Williams to see what GE is doing, how they’re doing it, and to score tips you can poach for your own strategy.
In honor of the annual mid-February All-Star Weekend, pundit Ryan Young has come up with 10 content marketing skills requisite for making you an all-star in your own right. We think Ryan has some valid points. His top three alone are critical skills that most of us think we have. Listening is one of the most important communication skills if not the most important communication skill. Next are writing and storytelling, which are separate for obvious reasons…being a writer doesn’t make one a storyteller and vice versa. What other skills does one need for their content to be nothing but net? Check out Ryan’s article for the other pointers.
Craig Zingerline’s title reminds me of my first year of college when I had a serious crush from afar on this really cute guy named Jonathan. He drove a 4-Runner, had a golden surfer-boy tan, and sported just enough facial hair to be both boyish and “manly”. Even though he was in two of my five classes that first semester, I probably only ever said half a word to him. My ability to promote brand awareness was sorely lacking. Don’t be like me. Instead, do what Craig suggests and use visual campaigns and social influencers among other things to get your audience’s attention and to make them all yours. So, read on and go bag your Jonathan.
In this piece, Sheenan Reed ponders the nature of content marketing / advertising, what we are paying for, and what the return is…she also asks is it working and is it worth it? There are a lot of variables at play here, and what Sheenan comes up with to answer an increasingly nebulous problem is no surprise. Spoiler alert: Sheenan advises getting more creative and improving the quality of creative content. Check out the article to understand how and why Sheenan arrives at this conclusion.
So, the reality is that content marketing is always changing; you can’t be too comfortable because the horizon is always fast-approaching and transforming. Here, Sujan Patel looks at what’s changing in 2016 and how you can adapt in order to succeed. Among other things, Sujan notes that video power and presence is on the rise, search engines are promoting content with “rich answers”, and it’s time to branch out from social media.
Content marketing: are you doing it right? Maybe…but are you doing it like a boss? Not sure? Let Mark Simmons be your guide. Mark advises using a data-driven approach to establish and drive your content marketing strategy. Do you know what your most shared content is by keyword or the best days to publish in your marketing sector? If the answer is no, Mark’s piece is a great read to take your content marketing from the subordinate level to the boss level.
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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