So, I had the audacity to blink and viola, it’s Memorial Day weekend. As we get comfy and loaded on caffeine to bask in the glorious Friday Fix, can we all pause for two reasons? First, let’s all take a moment to reflect on the significance of Memorial Day and the people who make our celebration of this weekend possible. Second, let’s all take a moment to assess whose Memorial Day content marketing best made its mark. The thing is, if you’re going to tackle Memorial Day, you have to do it with the proper tone and reverence befitting of this momentous day; otherwise, you’re better off not going there at all. In addition to this observation, we round up the usual suspects looking at content marketing’s value, how to improve, and other insights. Now, let’s get Fixey with it (read the Will Smith piece; you’ll get it).
If you’re wondering what I meant in the introduction about handling Memorial Day with proper care in your content marketing, then read this piece by Kara Trivunovic. Kara talks about the specifics of her family’s military history and incorporates into the story a Memorial Day e-mail from a store that hit close to home. Using this example, Kara provides three tips for properly incorporating Memorial Day into your content approach.
I know I appear to be constantly blown away by the month we are in, but it’s because I am. How are we almost to June? How have I done nothing to plan for my toddler’s second birthday (in a few weeks) other than to buy cupcake wrappers and fantasize about icing choices? (I also got her a beach towel, so that’s something.) Speaking of beach towels and getting back on topic, Kiran Gopinath reminds us that with Memorial Day comes summer and much traveling. This is actually a great time for content marketers to get people’s attention and to hook new audiences, but you have to do it right. Read on to see how to make the most of your summer content campaign.
This is a story all about how Will Smith got content flipped-turned upside down. Sajeel Qureshi’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, about how Will Smith became the Fresh Prince of a thing called content, yeah. Okay, I’m going to stop before I seriously infringe on some copyright laws. So, about Will and content, according to Sajeel, Will’s winning strategies are knowing his strengths and his audience, and the fact that he’s persistent. To projects that he’s not suited for or to audiences who don’t like him (I’m not sure these people exist), he’s like, “Yo homes, smell ya later.” So, read Sajeel’s article and see how you, too, can have maxin’ relaxin’ content like Smith (and others mentioned throughout the piece). (Coincidentally, Sajeel only makes one Fresh Prince reference, so if you survived me, you’re in the clear.)
Usually when we think the bottom line, we think dollars and cents, but as Cheryl Goldberg astutely points out in this piece, there’s more to your bottom line than just your line-item budget. Relationships, collaborations, and customer advocates are among a few things she mentions that you really can’t put a price tag on (especially devoted audience members). Click and learn more about helping your bottom line.
Before you let the headline get you worked up (whether your strongly agree or disagree), read what Tom Kaneshige has to say. He makes some very salient points about how content needs people, how digital isn’t going to answer anyone’s problems, and how ineffective content marketing is essentially spinning wheels. This is just a rough and dirty summary because you really need to read the whole piece to fully understand Tom’s ideas, the crux of which is that content marketing requires labor to be successful.
Jayson DeMers’ title reminds me of those Cheez-It commercials where the cheese has to mature to make a proper snack food. I remember the commercials because I think they’re ridiculous, but I love Cheez-Its (and I can’t have them because I’ll eat the whole box in one sitting). This lack of self-control is sad, and ironically, it’s kind of what Jayson gets into in this piece. Just as I cannot make the same Cheez-It binge-eating mistakes of my early 20s, content marketers can no longer make the same frivolous mistakes of two or three years ago. The group has grown too much; there are expectations now. Want to know what they are? Check out the always-clever Jayson’s article.
Jem Weasel’s piece corroborates what Jayson is getting at in his piece, which is that you have to have some deliberation in your content strategy now. In other words, rather than doing as I did in my debaucherous youth and closing your eyes and throwing the dart (surprisingly, no one was seriously injured by me), you have to know what you’re doing. You have to be able to answer some key questions –who is this for? What’s my point? Why am I doing this? Who’s buying the next round if I hit the bulls eye? Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.
Andrea Lehr takes a closer look at native advertising and content marketing and aims to distinguish which one is better, when, and why. This is a particularly important read because if you deal in designing content strategies or developing content marketing, someone may very easily ask you, “Why you over native advertising?” and you’d better be ready with a good answer. Andrea provides statistics and valid support for why content is the basket to lay the eggs in.
I know what you’re thinking, “But, Mom, I thought we were supposed to be compelling?” And, as John Miller also notes, you are. Content should be compelling, but that’s a bit of a given. It’s like taking anyone’s job and saying, “Okay, do good at this, yes?” The problem is, just telling someone to be compelling is bad advice; telling them how to be compelling, according to John, is much better, so John takes it upon himself to do just that. Click to learn more on the seductive art of being compelling.
So, we all know that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with content marketing; in fact, it’s kind of the best thing since sliced bread (only with a really good cold-pressed olive oil and a little fleur de sel (I may be very hungry)). Anyway, I digress, as per Don Broekelmann, a lot of brands are shying away from content marketing? Why? Dan brings four truly problematic reasons that trouble brands, so learn what they are and help them overcome their fear of content.
I’m mentioning this Tips of the Trade Tuesday piece on the history of the hashtag because it’s not only an interesting read, it also has invaluable tips on how to not become a hashtagging pariah. Do you know where hashtags come from? Why do they matter? How can they be misused? What are the consequences? If you can’t answer these questions, then this engaging read is for you (I’m allowed to talk about how much I enjoyed it because I didn’t write it).
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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