You’re in an ice bath. You’re in an ice bath is what I am currently telling myself because apparently the sun got lost and is attempting to land on my city. So, I’m not actually in an ice bath, but I am –thankfully, nursing a frozen latte while I get ready to chill with the Friday Fix (I highly recommend you do the same). This week, the Friday Fix talks about what’s cool in content marketing like bringing diaries back, how to succeed like a rock star on Instagram, and how your data can make you one heck of a storyteller. So, join me in knocking back a cold brewed coffee and chilling as only Friday Fix will allow.
As one who used to journal extensively, I can vouch for Sofia Hoflin’s sung praises of diary keeping in this journal. At first, journaling was a great way to rate my crushes. Later, it became a vehicle for self-analysis, exploration, and growth. Eventually, those journals became a resource for my thesis project (and, when a chasm opens up in the universe allowing more time to work on it, a book). Using a journal or diary in content marketing is pretty similar; though, it’s less about crushes (Dear Diary, Truffle Pig’s hiring department still hasn’t written back. Why don’t they like me?). In a professional diary, you record ideas in your own voice, sketch out ideas without worrying about anyone seeing them, capture ideas and images, and tell it like it is. …Okay, you can still talk about your content crushes.
I don’t oft use the expression ‘cutting through the crap,’ but in this article journalist, writer, editor, and content strategist Stephan Trano does just that explaining why you would be doing yourself a disservice to hire anyone but a journalist to write your content stories. Journalists are unique as truth seekers and truth tellers (which is probably why so many of them become awesome novelists later in their careers); unfortunately, not all writers have these chops, and while I’m not saying non-journalists can’t also be critical and analytical, I am agreeing with what Stephen says in that you don’t want some run-of the mill word-pusher who’s going to say the same thing everyone else says in the same way because it’s what works. Check out Stephen’s article if you’re ready to shake up your stories. Rattle some cages, people.
In this article, National Geographic creative photographer Kike Calvo advises that when it comes to succeeding on Instagram you should, “Be yourself -- everyone else is taken.” Honestly, that’s good advice, especially for Instagram, which is unique as the only visual social media site out there. In case you’re not on Instagram, it’s more than just adorable pictures of my baby. With over 300 billion users, Kike shares that 53% of Internet users are on Instagram with 49% using the site on a daily basis. What we’re saying is that’s a huge volume, but –like the rest of your content marketing strategy, you have to use Instagram’s awesome powers properly. Thankfully, Kike’s article is a veritable roadmap to Instagram success.
Understanding why you do something is sometimes as important as how you do it or what you do at all. As per Anna Francis’ article, given that the goal of many marketers is to change their audience’s behavior (via loyalty or conversion, for example), it makes sense that understanding both their and your motives would be very beneficial. See how reciprocity, fear of missing out, social proof, the paradox of choice can help you. Definitely take the time to analyze this article.
I know it seems like Jeff Quipp’s going back to basics with this one, but the thing is, these ideas can’t be reiterated enough. Content marketing is being employed more than ever, but what good is it if you’re missing something essential? What good is it if you’re not being relevant or you’re not measuring your data? I’m going to speculate a whole lot of not good, and when you factor in your content marketing budget, it pays to go back to basics and make sure you’re not making what Jeff wisely cites as a common mistake.
Distinct from Jeff Quipp’s previous article, Charlotte Howell’s piece focuses more on ideas that many have (or have had) that are fundamentally flawed. They all make sense, though, the first one, “Marketing is a Fad,” is my favorite possibly because I’ve been re-watching The Office on Netflix, and delightful office oddity Dwight Schrute will occasionally make comments indicating that the Internet is a fad, which is hilarious; however, if you recall, some people really did feel that way. Guess what? Some people feel that way about content marketing, but the thing is, like the Internet, it’s not going anywhere. While you may not hold this particular misconception, you may hold others, so check out Charlotte’s piece.
As we all know, it’s important to be able to be an original storyteller in content marketing; it helps you stand out from the rest of the noise. Obviously, if you have that ability, that’s awesome, but like anything else, it’s never enough; you have to be able to be and to do more. But, I’m giving it all I’ve got, Captain, you say. Well, maybe not. As John Rampton points out, you –and you alone—have the power to transform your data into gold (read: you can turn it into original storytelling). Pray tell how? Read the article to find out; I’d explain it, but I’m not a chemistry professor, and I don’t want to ruin John’s perfect formula.
Well, I may not be a chemistry professor, but school is in session with Nischala Murthy Kaushik’s article on discovering what content yields conversions. As Nischala explains, converting content is a vehicle for achieving goals. The crux of this line of thinking is placing your goals in the context of your content. So, it’s about more than writing an awesome or original story; it’s about what John was talking about as well, which is using data and metrics to make savvy choices. What I’m saying is who knew that one day, math would help you tell a better story? What sorcery is this? What universe am I in? Mom!?
In this article, Nathalie Tadena tells a classic tale of how the lumbering media giant joined forces with the new technology to make storytelling better than ever. Awe! In this case, the giant is YouTube, and the new technology that gives YouTube the confidence to dance at prom and to learn to love is 360-degree video in the form of TrueView ads. Not only more affordable but also immensely more functional, see how this unlikely romance has blossomed into a power couple and try to figure out how you can make them work for you (this would be like getting Brad and Angelina to show up at your charity event or something).
I love a good “by the numbers” jam session and this week Louise Marsland brings it. Predictibly (because, you know, it’s in the heading), more and more people are relying on content marketing; 80% rate social media as the most effective outlet. The majority also rate customer loyalty / retention as their number one priority (**cough, storytelling, cough**). In addition to this information, Louise’s article highlights what folks have spent the majority of 2015 working on (a website to better convert visitors with) and what they’re going to focus on in the next year (a better mobile strategy). So, um, after you read Louise’s article, **Cough, next article, cough**
As you surely know, your website is an essential extension of your company; sometimes, it’s the only aspect of your company that a client ever sees, which is why it’s so important to nail your website. What do we mean by that? It needs to be accessible, mobile friendly, and nice-looking (less is more in terms of stuff on the page). Your website needs to be updated, and the content needs to look and sound professional. Your website, like the office toilet paper, is neither the time nor the place to pinch pennies. If you’re not a web designer, professional writer, or graphic artist, hire those people to make your website shine like the beacon of awesomeness you envision your company to be.
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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