Welcome to the Friday Fix, our weekly rundown of the what’s-what in content storytelling, content marketing, brand journalism, and all things related. This week, we focus on the elderly from those snazzy weed smoking grandmas in Seattle to explaining social media to your grandparents. We also investigate trends in inbound marketing, SEO strategy, and innovative approaches in storytelling. All in all, it’s been a great week. So, get on your mark, get set, get Fixed!
If you’re still unable to solve the puzzle as to why long form content is oh-so-important, let Chelsea Baldwin buy you a vowel. As you probably recall, SEO used to be all about spoon-feeding Google keywords like an insatiable baby; however, when the algorithm changed, so did the game plan. Now, while picking up keywords is important, equally important is the amount of time your audience spends on your article and your site. Hence, producing relevant, high-quality content is the “secret” to “hacking” the system. All you have to do is be good, kid, real good.
While its trending more and more among travel bloggers and brands for travel writers to be self-starters (in that their social sites gain online traffic and then the writers are picked up by brands), the information in Nicole Spector’s article is applicable to all brands in which the blogosphere and brand marketing can come together.
As Olia Kudanova tells it, we’re beyond ads where brands pay for air time in someone else’s story; rather, brands are becoming storytellers with the critical point being the impact the story has on the audience rather than the longevity or any other merits of the video narrative. From unboxing to various pundits on the nature of interactive, immersive storytelling in visual ads, Olia concludes that story placement is headed to a whole new level and getting there first is anyone’s prize for the taking.
If you don’t or have never had a three year-old, here’s a fun little thing that they like to do. Just like in the Family Guy sketch with Stewie and Lois, tots like to stand right next to you saying, “Mom, mom, mom, mom….” Until you snap, “What!” That’s what Garry Cook’s analogy about brands that keep “tugging at the sleeves of their target” is remindful of. Instead, per Cook and everyone who consumes media, use stories to create content that people want to seek and want to share.
As a kid, I, like pundit Kyle Harper, loved choose your own adventure books. I used to read and re-read stories and try different pages. It was great. Like Kyle, I also would occasionally flip backward after realizing I’d chosen the path that meant certain death. Oops. Anyway, it’s nice to realize that we haven’t lost the same excitement once delivered by those stories thanks to interactive media. How? Check out Kyle’s article for specifics and examples (like The Onion’s popular “Clickhole”).
We’re just over the hump for 2016, but that doesn’t mean the year’s over yet. In this piece, Victoria Heckstall evaluates important inbound marketing trends, which relate to how you interact with and attract audiences. For example, while user-generated content is up, guest blogging for SEO is down. You can’t survive without visual storytelling, and e-mail marketing is making a comeback. Check out Victoria’s article to see what else is trending and how these aspects of inbound marketing are doing so.
Whether you made it to Digital Summit Denver or not, Jacob Warwick sums up the three key take-home messages that you need to hear. To summarize Gary Vanerchuk’s summary: evolve or die. From Ann Handley, tell a unique, empathetic story. From Al Madrigal, stop over sharing on social media and focus on engaging through storytelling. Your ability to thrive and survive depends on how close to heart you take these smart, no nonsense points. Sink or swim, right?
So, as we know, content marketing and brand journalism are two different things, which is why if you’re aiming to integrate strategies of brand journalism, you should take these tips from Sachin Kamdar to heart. What makes brand journalism so powerful? It’s the integrity relative to storytelling. Brand journalism’s goal is to tell human stories for no purpose other than to tell stories. The payoff? Trust…credibility…connections…everything content marketers want from their audiences.
According to Larry Alton, in 2015 we, humans, took 1 trillion photos, which is over ¼ of the photos that humanity had taken between the beginning of time and 2011. That’s a lot of pictures, people, but I know it’s true. Roughly 40,000 of those photos are of my kid (okay more than that). Larry’s point? Visual content is hugely relevant…it’s more relevant and important than it’s ever been, which is why your content marketing strategy needs to include visuals. Image-based social platforms, on-site photo galleries, and infographics are just a few ways Larry suggests spicing up your visual CM strategy.
In this article, Mark Baumgarten explores Seattle-based agency, Cut, and how they not only survived with the video “Grandmas Smoking Weed” (currently at 26.5 million hits) but is finding a niche in revealing truth in an interesting way. Mark’s story explores Cut’s continuing evolution and bid for survival while establishing an identity.
Have you ever tried to launch into an explanation about your job and how it relates to social media and quickly realized that you’re in over your head. Not only do you have way too much to explain, but the person you’re talking to still calls it “the Facebook” and has no idea why people keep putting the pound key (#) in front of their words. If this has ever happened to you (or if you’re wondering what you should say if and when it does), this article on explaining social media to your grandparents is for you.
Are you ready to better your business through content marketing, or are you looking for direction in telling your brand story? If so, let The Storyteller Agency help you find your voice. Contact us, and let’s start storytelling.