It’s the last Friday June, which means three things: one, it’s the last Friday Fix of the month; two, you’re halfway through 2015…is your content marketing going the way you’d hoped?; and three, it’s hot outside.  So, saddle up with your frozen or iced coffee and dial into the Fix to get a good idea of what’s hot on the minds of content pundits this week.  From our perspective, we explore what is up with Google+.  Meanwhile, other Fix contributors look at Google ‘News Labs’, essential components of great storytelling, and how one company achieved mathematically impossible success just by implementing a strategy.

5 Elements of Great Storytelling

We know that you know that we know that you know that to make in content marketing right now, you have to be telling stories, right?  Right. That’s super, but it’s way easier said than done.  Wouldn’t it be nice of there was some kind of formula for telling great stories?  Well, other than just being honest, there kind of is. Check out Brian Kramer’s breakdown on elements to telling a story that will resonate with your audience.

Google ‘News Labs’ Builds on Storytelling for Advertising, Content Marketing, Journalism

According to Laurie Sullivan, Google is taking a closer look at how it can teach the world to “tell more compelling stories through journalism and advertising.”  The News Labs features data, tutorials, and other resources on best practices and produce use tips.  There’s also access to the new Google Trends service.  Why this and why now?  Well, surely lots of reasons; as per Laurie, Google has always had an interest in storytelling, and the timing is surely right.  Case and point, Microsoft Bing plans to give its video search engine a facelift and personality makeover making it possible to preview videos from search results.

How to Convert Your Audience to Digital

I was a little shocked when I read the statistic Jim Disco shares in the introduction to this piece, which is that the average customer owns four digital devices, but then I realized, wait, you’re one of them.  In terms of these technologies’ importance to peoples’ daily lives, they’re at number three below the Internet and personal hygiene (so long, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs…who needs eat and sleep when you have all of these apps?)  I digress, so Jim rhetorically asks how can you influence customer’s digital actions? Well, it’s easier said than done, but unsurprisingly, video storytelling is one highly successful way to make the connections necessary to coax conversions.  Read on to see how and to get other ideas.

4 Tips to Successful Small Business Storytelling

While small businesses and large enterprises have a few things in common when it comes to content marketing and strategy, there are some essential differences (like budget).  Approach also needs to be a little different; people simply have different expectations from a small enterprise versus a large one.  So, when it comes to storytelling, what should small businesses in particular be prepared to do?  According to Phillip Thune, at least four things including evoking emotions, which makes you memorable and motivates the audience toward action.

Why Content Isn’t a Commodity Anymore

Julia McCoy’s article reflects on the evolution of content marketing arriving at today’s culture, which necessitates that certain things are happening for content to work.  Specifically, these three key facts are what content requires today: content must be user-centric; storytelling earns the most shares, and good storytelling isn’t cheap.  Julia not only explores these facts in detail, she also goes on to explore why we create good content.  If you’re skeptical about storytelling or on the fence in terms of its relevance, this piece will help you see the light.

How to Develop a Plan of Attack for Your Content-Marketing Strategy

It’s not just Kelsey Meyer who suggests that strategy is the Achilles heel for most involved in content marketing.  Despite the fact that having a plan is essential, still only 35% of B2B marketers have one.  The ramifications for not having a strategy are damaging while the reward for strategizing are mathematically impossible (according to Kelsey, Influence & Co.. witnessed a 474% positive ROI since implementing a content marketing strategy in January).  I’m no mathematician, but that’s pretty substantial.  Read about their company’s five strategic steps and figure out how you can make them work for you.

5 Signs You Should Settle Down with a Content Marketing Agency

Committing can be hard to do, but sometimes –like when you’re talking about content marketing, taking it to the next level is important because without that next step, you’re never going to go anywhere.  While there are tons of guides for when to stay and when to run when picking a romantic partner, there aren’t as many for when vetting a content marketing agency.  Enter Kerry Jones who gives you insight on what to look for when it’s time to get serious about content marketing.

5 Content Marketing Trends Driven by Wearable Technologies

Previously, we talked about how mobile devices was driving content, and many predicted that wearable devices –like the Apple watch—would further that trend.  Now, courtesy of Larry Alton, here we are, evaluating how wearable technology is influencing content marketing.  Curious to know how?  A few ways include: shorter articles, niche articles, and geographically relevant content.  Check it out if you want your content translate into wearable technologies.

The Best Cannes Season for Content Marketers

Last year at Cannes, content marketing had no winners.  This year, Shafquat Islam and others are more hopeful that that branded content will deliver the craft, digital, and social elements deserving of a Grand Prix.  Surely, so particularly given that the existing agenda is progressing content marketing with sessions like, “Science vs. poets: The art of connecting data to storytelling,” and “Blood, Sex, and Storytelling: Turning Crowds into Audiences.”  Others look at how Kim Kardashian –love her or love to hate her, knows how to work content platforms or how experiences can create the most effective content.  Check out Shafquat’s fascinating article for the latest and greatest on Cannes 2015.

10 Inspiring Content Marketing Examples from Charities

Jack Simpson focuses his look at content marketing on charities fro two reasons: one is that doing so increases awareness; the other is that it shows folks where charitable donations are going.  Jack’s post looks at 10 different charities with the videos that tell their stories embedded; he suggests what makes each video impacting.  Check it out and see if you agree.

What’s Happening to Google+?

Google+ came to the world with so much promise, so much optimism, and so much gusto that it’s kind of sad to see them wilting under the social media pressure applied by trying to triumph over Facebook (silly Google+!).  While they’re definitely down, they’re not out.  Check out how Google+ is aiming to revamp its approach and hopefully establish its identity as the comeback kid.

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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