Happy New Year! It’s a new year and a new Friday Fix (what a great way to kick off 2016!). While we certainly enjoyed the holidays, it feels good to get back and to start anew in the kind of way that only January 1 can inspire. In this Fix, we hone in on key content marketing tips and trends for 2016. Think virtual reality, storytelling in social media, and content marketing via wearables. We also look at measuring ROI, content marketing resolutions to make (if you haven’t already), and what we can learn from Star Wars (because honestly, who doesn’t love talking about Star Wars). What a way to kick off the New Year! Here’s to the first fantastically Fixed Friday of 2016!
While you’ve probably had your fill of forecasts and tips for 2016, make room for Manjunath Padigar who’s been featured in CMO Council’s “100 Most Talented Marketers.” In this piece, Manjunath reveals that our collective attention spans have dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. What this means is that you have 8 seconds to grab your audience’s attention (um, no pressure, right?). So, what are the three key strategies for achieving mission impossible? Videos, new distribution channels, and virtual / augmented reality content are Manjunath’s picks. Read on to see how to make them work for you.
A couple of the Friday Fixes between December 2015 and now have preached the virtues of virtual reality, which is primed to be the “it” technology in 2016. If you read the previous pundit’s article (Manjunath’s), then you know that the content of Nick Ochoa’s article is extremely relevant and important. In it, he talks about social VR, how VR is going to go beyond gaming (even though this will be Sony’s year for the plucking), as well as the fact that investors are looking at VR and increasingly saying, “Take my money.” Definitely read this piece for the details as well as Nick’s other key points regarding VR in 2016.
So, we all know that storytelling and social media marketing are kind of a big deal. Jane Danes acknowledges this while pointing out that your standout moment could come from storytelling on social media. Why? Because of the virtues of storytelling, which is that it produces experiences through a unique message while meaningfully connecting to the target audience, which in turn encourages sharing.
Dan Shewan’s article is pretty simple but super valuable; he (and hopefully others or some kind of aggregator) has taken the time to consolidate the top 13 most valuable content marketing advice B2C has to offer. While seemingly common-sense in nature (i.e., “only publish your very best material”), we’re all aware of the times we shirk the best practices in favor of what’s fast or what’s easy or whatever. Other tips are useful for decision-making; for example, “accept that not all content has to tell a story.” Trust us; Dan’s not bashing storytelling, but he makes valid points on how to know when to do what in this tip as well as the others.
One of the most anticipated new products of 2015 was the Apple watch, which didn’t perform quite as well initially (thankfully, it didn’t blow up like those Hoverboards), but advances in innovation and lower costs will rectify those hurdles. this along with other wearable technologies have created new horizons for content marketers per Taylor Mallory Holland. With wearable devices expected to reach 173.4 million units by 2019, this is a market worthy of everyone’s attention. Check out this article to read up on existing cutting-edge trends for wearable technology (like Nike’s data-based storytelling).
It may be a new year, but I’m still such a sucker for admiring successful content marketing campaigns. In this piece, Darryl Gordon vets the branded content from 2015 and analyses how they were able to make those deep, enviable audience connections. Darryl’s picks are Starbucks’ “Meet Me at Starbucks”, Intell & Dell’s “What Lives Inside”, Always’ “#LikeaGirl”, and Honda UNI-CUB’s “I Won’t Let You Down.” Check out what each of these four did right in 2015 and consider how it can influence your 2016.
While the New Year is a great time to clean the slate and start anew, it’s also a great opportunity for reflection and consideration of what the previous year yielded and what kinds of changes are afoot. In this article, Megan Costello interviews five agency executives from around the world to reflect on 2015’s biggest challenges and opportunities as well as what they’re most looking forward to in 2016.
You may have already committed to hitting the gym more often, but have you made your 2016 content marketing resolutions yet? I know the ball has already dropped, and January 1 has already gotten underway, but it’s not too late to jot down a list of commitments for your content marketing in 2016. To help you out, rugged startup pundit and male model (I’m guessing) Mike Templemann proposes six resolutions that we all should make. For example, “I will post on my blog more frequently,” as well as the important corresponding resolution, “I won’t wait until the last minute to come up with blog post ideas”. Well…let the content marketing self-improvement begin.
I know our last Fix had lessons from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but there really are a lot of important things that can be gleaned from the story franchise that’s spanned three generations. In this article, Armando Roggio hones in on the main film feature that content marketers can use (which is what I also identified because Armando and I think like twinsies when it comes to Star Wars), which are the virtues of recycling content; if you saw the original Star Wars and recently saw The Force Awakens, then you know how robustly the new film paid homage to the first film’s original plot and structure while advancing the story’s overall direction and focus; as a fan of the original trilogy, I was pleased with the new film. Other take-aways include answering questions, engaging the audience, and encouraging content-sharing.
Okay, let’s pause reminiscing on Star Wars for a moment and zero in on Andy Preisler’s main point, which is that if you’re not measuring your traffic, you’re losing audience members (eek!). After all of that hard work you’ve been doing to get them, this is the last thing you want, so use the Force and Andy’s well-appointed strategies and start measuring your ROI.
So, fun fact about our agency, we hate marketing, which we realize is a bit unconventional to say as a marketing agency. What we mean, though, is that we’re not into pushing products onto audiences. Remember when you were a kid and your mom still picked your friends? How many of those blossomed into lasting relationships? We’re guessing not many. We prefer a methodology that’s similar to how we like to make friends. We meet, we share stories, we get to know each other, and then we decide we can’t live without each other. It’s a beautiful thing. What’s even more beautiful is that even if you’re not sure you have the kind of story that can be used to build relationships, we’re here to prove that you do.
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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