Happy Friday Fix Day fellow content lovers! What madness is this that it’s March already, am I right? It’s possibly even more surprising that Leo finally won a (much-deserved) Oscar. Speaking of the Oscars, this week, we look at storytelling techniques from the nominees. We also look at types of interactive content for digital storytelling, what it means to be an original in content marketing, how to improve your content marketing images, and much more. It’s good stuff, this week’s Friday Fix. So, kick back, get comfy, and Fix your Friday.
Being original is a daunting concept because as Jon Simmons notes in an industry like content marketing, “If you’re not first, you’re…last!” Bummer, am I right? With over 1.6 billion blogs posted on a daily basis, the concept of originality becomes even more absurd; however, it’s doable. Jon nods to the one and only Dr. Seuss as a point of reference before suggesting two ways to be original that are easier to digest than green eggs and ham.
One of the beautiful things about storytelling is that it lends itself to so many formats and platforms including, as Ashley Taylor Anderson zeroes in on in this piece, interactive platforms. Interactivity is great because it enables the audience to be part of the narrative, which is –as we know—a major engagement goal. Ashley wisely speculates that interactive video, games, branching narratives, and sophisticated microsites are going to be taking over in the next couple of months. Read on to see how and why.
Though penned before Leo finally (finally) scored an Oscar for his work in The Revenant (and, let’s be honest, in every other film he’s ever starred in), Taylor Mallory Holland’s article reviews some of the strategies used by the creative minds who whose work received nods from the committee. As Taylor notes, their techniques can easily be translated into strategies used by content writers. Since one visionary suggests taking naps, I’m completely on board with applying the tips of Oscar nominated storytellers to my work.
Images…they’re worth a thousand words and are essential for content marketing, am I right? The thing is, not all images are created equal; some are better than others, and if you’re in content marketing, you want the best, right? But, we’re not all awesome at creating content marketing images. Cue Elisa Gabbert whose article shares five ways anyone (even my mother) can improve their content marketing image game.
So, as we know, there are things that go viral that doesn’t even make sense (author Kerry Jones reminds us of #thedress, which was possibly the most ridiculous thing that graced the spotlight last year); however, #thedress and the other PR “wins and fails” highlighted by Jones have something in common: they got attention through “controversial” media headlines, and the respective companies made the most of the PR. In case you don’t remember, the deal with “the dress” was if it was white and gold or blue and black; people viewed the exact same photo but saw it as either one or the other and minds were blown. It’s hard to say what will get caught in the wind, but if you look to give your story some tension (a little conflict and controversy never hurts), you’re much more likely to be both attention-getting and memorable (and maybe even viral).
I think we can all concur with Larry Alton in his assertion that “’content marketing’ and ‘social media marketing’ are virtually synonymous”. Um, yep. So, in this piece, he explores the major social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and analyzes what strategies works best for each of the platforms because like actual platforms (as in the shoes), one size does not fit all.
Daniel Ally starts his article with the rhetorical question of, “Would you like to build a brand that reaches millions of people?” Sigh. I mean, if I must. No seriously, how does one reach millions of people? I’m pretty sure that’s a dream come true for many brands. Daniel brings seven approaches to the table that you should be doing such as leveraging social media, creating a backstory for your brand, having strong websites, using visuals, learning copywriting, etc. If you do these things, well, you’ll certainly have the potential to be a brand worshipped and adored by millions.
While many suggest they know what “key” unlocks the door to content marketing success, Eric Enge seems to be in the right neighborhood with what he calls anchor content. If you read Eric’s article, you’ll see that anchor content is a lot like original content (mentioned earlier in this Fix); however, what Eric focuses on in terms of anchoring is audience. In other words, don’t dance like no one is watching, but don’t dance like everyone is watching because they’re not; instead, dance for the people who are watching. …Or stop dancing and read Eric’s article to make full sense of that metaphor.
I imagine at some point, we all feel like Tom Hanks in Castaway…just sitting there waiting for someone to come by and to notice him. In this article, Blaise Lucey addresses the conundrum of what I sum up as “brand abandonment.” How does it happen? Why? What’s more, how do you fix it? You’re like Kate Winslet on the piece of wood rasping, “Come back! Come back!” (aren’t you?). All right, clearly I’m still in Oscar mode with these movie references, but if you do feel like Tom or Kate, you need to read Blaise’s article to feel more like Jim Carrey in The Mask: “You love me! You really love me!”
Content marketing, I feel, is like a game that is constantly in session in which the rules often change without any kind of formal announcement. This game is also sometimes played in the dark, which adds to the fun. What I’m saying is content marketing is constantly evolving and for it to have the most impact, you have to be on top of what’s the most current. Hence, John Rampton’s article containing the six things you need to know right now is a must-read. Right now.
With over 400 million active users, Instagram is for more than sharing cute baby photos and making folks jealous with food porn and gorgeous beach photos (wish you were here?). Instagram is also a fantastically handy-dandy resource for your 2016 marketing strategy, and whether you’re already using it or haven’t been sold yet, check out our list of 10 things you need to know about Instagram that will help you transform your content marketing strategy.
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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