It’s Friday, and it’s Fixalicious! What a week…if the 4th wasn’t in you, then at least hopefully the 5th was in you. I’m kidding; what I really hope is that you were able to relate some of your content to May 4 and to Cinco de Mayo. Actually, more than that, I hope you were able to create some content that really resonated with your audience (isn’t that always the dream?). This week, we identify a few ways to make that magic happen. We explore the awesomeness that is long-form content and tips for telling data-driven stories. We also examine mistakes some CMOs are making (but not Target’s CMO…we look at how he’s winning right now), tips for creating better content, and how to use Snapchat as an entrepreneur. So, freshen up…it’s time for the Friday Fix!
My creative writing students have a challenge to write a short story in about 1,000 words; if you’ve ever tried to tell a good, compelling story that’s emotionally captivating in 1,000 words, you know this isn’t easy, which is why I absolutely agree with Lesley Vos’ point in this piece, which is that long-form content is indeed a very good thing and that it definitely has its place in your storytelling strategy. In content marketing, your long-form narrative should “combine elements of data journalism, storytelling structure, interactive graphics, and a passionate tone of voice.” Preach, Leslie, preach.
I’ll admit it; I’ve never watched Girls, but I know a little of what it’s about. What’s more, I was curious to see how what Joanne Tombrakos learned from binge-watching a season of it had to do with writing and with content storytelling. The piece is a model of thoughtful and honest writing that compelled me to read word-for-word from beginning to end. Take from it what you will, but for me, I concluded what’s been proven time and time again, which is that when writers write with authentic voice whether it’s for personal pleasure or for content marketing, the outcome is pretty darn spectacular.
Are you a CMO or do you employ a CMO or are you working under one? Well, if you were in creating content, chances are, you’re in the realm of a CMO. I look at Billee Howard’s article as a quiz: Are you making these mistakes? If so, here’s how to fix them. For example, do you silo marketing and storytelling? What’s more important, who you are or what you do? How do you approach storytelling? Do you approach it as a function of marketing or as a critical business competency? The distinction between making a mistake and doing it right is pretty thin, which makes Billee’s article a fairly poignant piece.
You’ve heard endlessly (by now) about the relevance of data in storytelling. Here, pundit Nicki Howell details why, which is that data addresses brands’ need to be seen by enabling brands to uncover new story angles. Nicki road tests her assertions on data storytelling with four real-world examples from Allstate, Intuit, Jawbone, and Kickstarter.
By now, we’ve all realized that data storytelling is where it’s at these days, right? Okay, good. Well, in this article, Dan Woods gets specific with three lessons relative to data storytelling. The first pertains to pre-biasing the data consumer; the second relates to an issue that keeps data analysts from telling effective stories; the third lesson deals with needing to present the data visually in context.
In this article, Rose Scott shares her experience as a blogger and the challenges that she learned to overcome because let’s be honest…creating and maintaining a good blog with compelling content is hard work, and we all know, ideation comes on strong and then can easily fizzle out unless someone works to maintain it (by someone, we mean you). So, how do you overcome the obstacles for a blog worth sharing? Focus on your audience and your goals, write like your life depends on it, vary the content, and more.
In case you haven’t heard, Matt Banner shares the statistic that you have 8.25 seconds to capture your readers’ attention. I don’t know about you, but I can’t even decide what kind of latte I want in 8.25 seconds. My point is, it’s not much time to hit your audience not just between the eyes but also in the heart in order to draw them in. Storytelling, painting pictures, and relating to readers are three of the five tips that Matt details in this piece.
It’s always interesting to see how brands are achieving success and notoriety in the content marketing world. Here, Sheila Shayon digs into Delta’s partnership with the StoryCorps app, which allows employees to share stories and reflections with customers and others. The StoryCorps idea is modeled after oral history interviews. In this article, the impact of the stories, how the collaboration came to fruition, and more is covered.
Before I start on the content of Emelina Spinelli’s article, I have to say great name. It’s the kind of name the cool heroine of a children’s novel series should have. I digress…Snapchat is the social media storytelling app. From what I keep hearing, its audience is primarily comprised of Millennials and a few confused older adults (me). Anyway, in this article, Emelina details how you can “become a Snapchat master”, how you can use the app to connect to social influencers, how you can listen with it, and perfect your story.
I know that I fulfill every Target customer cliché there is in existence, and I’m okay with that because it’s all hilarious. My kid had totally ducked into a rack of women’s clothing to poop (in her diaper). Target (and CartWheel) is my jam. Of course, I realize it’s not just the shopping experience that makes Target such a happy place. In this article, Kyle Wong interviews Target CMO Jeff Jones to see how he acquires and retains killer digital marketing talent. Spoiler: it involves being open to talent of all varieties and to not having silos.
Okay, so name one time you’ve moved and not had at least one great, re-tellable story from either the move or the subsequent open-house party. Recently, The Storyteller Agency changed addresses, an event worth celebrating, and this piece by Kathryn Jones dishes on some of our favorite tales from the open house party. From wardrobe malfunctions to steel drums to a classic ribbon cutting with (yes!) giant scissors, it was quite the event and one with many stories worth telling (so check it out!).
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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