Happy, Happy Friday Fix Day! Today is extra happy because not only is it Friday Fix Day, it’s also Black Friday and delicious Thanksgiving leftovers day (which many look forward to more than the meal itself). Chances are, you’ve kicked up your outreach for the holiday, but are you nailing it or are you a Black Friday marketing misfit (cringe!)? This week, we cover Black Friday content marketing trends that can be applied throughout the holiday season. We also talk about causes to give thanks as we well as looking at the big picture, content marketing sales types, and reasons to create video marketing in house. So throw together ham, dressing, and cranberry sauce biscuit sandwich, kick back, and be thankful along with us that it’s not only Friday, it’s also time for the Friday Fix.
Black Friday is one of those things that folks seem to either love or hate. On the one hand, there are killer sales; on the other, you’re often overwhelmed with e-mails, catalogues, and specials that are so overwhelming I usually end up doing nothing and staying home and noshing on leftovers. What Emily Faget looks at in this article are what consumers do and what successful shops do (hint: 65% of folks are not cool with Thanksgiving Day sales). Meanwhile, Cyber Monday’s numbers continue to rise while other companies have promoted doorbuster deals in anticipation the big event; some companies aren’t participating to give employees a long weekend; it’s a bold move, which could pay off. So, check out this article to see how your Black Friday style measures up.
Rob Remington-Drake reveals that mobile sales account for over 44% of global e-commerce sales, which doesn’t surprise me at all considering I’m one of those people who does almost all of her non-grocery shopping online. The obvious take-home is that your web presence could be the most important thing you have going for you this holiday shopping weekend / season. In this piece, Rob covers using social media, creating impact, and using your online position to influence audiences (among other things).
If you’re following along with me, you know from Rob’s article that social media more important than ever during holiday shopping palooza. Lauren Johnson isn’t wrong is likening holiday shopping to the Super Bowl for companies like Macy’s (I mean, they have a parade for crying out loud). So, here’s what Macy’s is doing that’s rocking our socks off (other than the parade which is among my Turkey Day MVPs). They’re telling episodic stories through short films, so you watch one, then later that day, there’s a new film. I’m not sure more needs to be said on the genius of this strategy, but you should probably read Lauren’s article to get the specifics on how Macy’s is making this magic happen (is there anything about Macy’s that isn’t magical? Have you seen the parade!?).
I love KC Claveria’s article because it kind of reminds me of the way you categorized kids in high school…you have the jocks, the preppies, the popular kids, the stoners, the nerds…well, this run-down is handled similarly. KC typecasts seven kinds of purposeful content like “the ice-breaker”, “the challenger”, and “the solution” (plus four others) with a description of each and how they work (as well as why they’re all essential for content marketing for sales. Let’s put it this way, high school wouldn’t have been the same without its niche of characters; sales marketing wouldn’t be the same without these crazy kids.
Whenever someone says “big picture” I always think of a novel series like Game of Thrones. Within the larger story, you have chapters (stories in their own rights), character storylines, etc. all of which the audience not only relates to but also gets super invested with. The catch is, you have to have a plan. Per Jay Longacre, that plan involves starting with the audience. Who are they? What are their needs? How can you help them? As a content marketer, your bigger story involves understanding these things and addressing them. If you show that you get them, they’ll repay the favor with loyalty and interest.
It’s kind of hard to believe that we’re only a month away from 2016 and pulling our scales of shame back out from under the dresser, but like it or not, 2016 is upon us, which puts us ever-closer to seeing if forecasters like this article’s Tim Asmios are right about what’s going to be trending and ending in content marketing. Relative to B2B marketing, Tim predicts the demise of “digital marketing” while things like advocate marketing, marketing apps, and podcasting, live streaming, and video shows are things to keep an eye on. He also predicts an e-mail marketing resurgence, a proclamation that certainly raised my eyebrows a hair.
It seems Red Bull does more than give you wings; it also gives you ideas for coordinating your content marketing strategy. Per Todd Wasserman, Red Bull is among companies like Marriott and Pepsi who are looking in to create video for output. Why? Well, for one there’s cost, but the real incentive is that doing these things in-house enables more creative license over the story. Also, as Todd illustrates using Progressive Insurance as an example, producing video content in-house allows the company to create more stories than just Flo’s (and with different tones). More or less, it enables brands to tell more intimate, well-crafted stories that are keenly appealing to specific audiences and that can ultimately lure audiences to affiliating with a new brand.
Here’s a fun fact: my parents still use checkbooks. My mom is a small business owner, and when they talk about advertising or getting sales, they talk like the rules that worked in the 90s still apply. What I’m saying is their a tad outdated, which is essentially what Ana Andjelic points out about many luxury brands. Rather than embracing an opportunity to use rich, historic and cultural stories to build brand affinity, they’ve wholly stayed glossy and predictable in their marketing. Only a few are stepping up and storytelling, a move that will benefit them in the future.
I think explaining content marketing to someone who’s never really heard of it is about as awkward as telling a child where babies come from for the first time. You say, “Do you know what I mean?” a lot, and they just look at you with a blank expression as if to say, “Why would anyone do that? Does that even work?” Well, the question begged by Sam Bartlett of where we find original content is very much like that and is one that many experienced content marketers struggle to answer (I suppose this is akin to parents of toddlers where to make the magic happen because as it turns out, it often feels like options are limited if not non-existent). Thankfully for content marketers, original content is everywhere; it’s just a matter look at things in a totally different way.
Just in case you weren’t inspired enough already or perhaps needed a few examples of content marketing mavens in action, Sherice Jacob covers four killer content marketing campaigns and analyzes why they worked. She looks at HubSpot, Adobe, GE, and FireRock; each company nailed it in a different way. The take home? Everyone has a different purpose and different assets; these companies just happened to figure out what theirs are, and they’re flaunting them like rock stars.
It’s impossible not to be mindful of all of the things we have to be thankful for this time of year; most important among those (things) are people and their love and support, which makes our lives that much better. Some of the people we spend the most time with are our work families, which is why it’s important to show thankfulness in the workplace (and not just the week of Thanksgiving). See how far a little show of appreciation will get your business.
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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