Boo! It’s Friday Fix Day! Did I scare you? Not so much, huh? What can I say…I was just getting into the Halloween spirit. Admittedly, I’m not nailing it like a friend of mine who is posting which horror movie she’s watching that night, an activity I’m enjoying vicariously (but this way, I don’t have nightmares). I’m pretty sure this is a brilliant content marketing strategy in disguise (if nothing else, the weekly blog that should thus follow would make for some great storytelling, am I right?). I digress. At least there’s nothing particularly scary or nightmare inducing about what we have for you in today’s Fix. Today, we get real about episodic content, why you should get into a magazine frame of mind, using data in storytelling, and how you can incorporate Halloween into your content marketing strategy. So, sneak a piece of candy (you earned it!) and get your Friday Fix on.
I’m finishing the rhyme in my head, and I kind of feel that content marketing and journalism’s first kiss would have to be super awkward…maybe even a little reluctant. Personally, I see content marketing and journalism like Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand in The Way We Were…great together (and in this case, destined to stay together) and always challenging each other. Sefiso Hlongwane goes in a slightly different direction with this piece and analyzes how content marketing and journalism not only come together, but how they reproduce (cue Rufus and Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good”) and ultimately live happily ever after. If you’re a sucker for a good romance like me, Sefiso’s article is for you (wink).
Jamie Heckler is a pundit after my own heart; my notes throughout school were peppered with more sketches and doodles than they were actual notes…something I often got in trouble for; though, this could be for illustrating my most heinous teachers with much-deserved horns and tails. I digress. In business, Jamie endorses business doodling not only for the doodle’s ability to aid in problem solving and information retention but also for authenticity / humanization and other awesome functions. So, doodle on you crazy diamond (and read to see how else the glorious doodle can enhance your quality of content).
If you recall last week, we discussed how data use in storytelling was going to be trending in 2016, so Taylor Mallory Holland’s question is kind of the million-dollar question this week. Even though big data and storytelling seem like they go together about as well as oil and water or my interest in Halloween candy and my not wanting to break my scale, they really do. Data can be a major benefit for your brand for a plethora of good reasons. Not sure what those are? Read this article and find out.
We are vibing with Ted Karczewski on this one; we’ve mentioned the merits of episodic content in previous posts. In this series of posts on 2016 must-haves, Ted explains why episodes are important, how they can be used to build suspense, and other critical merits. There’s so much episodic content can do…stay tuned for more. I’m kidding. Click on the article and read what Ted has to say on episodic content...then stay tuned for the next trend next week.
I promise I wasn’t intending to make this GE week, but Sydney Williams’ article on engaging audiences is a good one. Here she talks about making contact with that most elusive generation, the Millennials. As one who teaches Millennials (and who is on the cusp of being affiliated with that generation), I can say that while they’re certainly a different breed, asking and answering the same key questions (such as what’s my audience’s passion?) will help you reach them.
There’s nothing I love more than a good story. As most of us who have already been engaged in content marketing know, good storytelling is simply essential. In this piece, Alfredo Castro explains why and what storytelling can do from a business POV. He explains that “one of the best places to use storytelling is sales management” and how to make that happen in a genuine way that’s not creepy in a used-car sales kind of way.
Matthew Yeomans’ article picks up on two things we’re already discussing this week: one is the role of journalists in content marketing; two is GE. Here he talks about how the rise of the online magazine has enabled content that is both engaging and intelligent (among other things). Essentially, the online magazine creates a platform for engagement that is deep, meaningful, and accessible. He uses GE as an example and discusses other companies that have also created what he calls a “magazine mentality.” So, one must now ask, are you in a magazine frame of mind?
Q&A: GE’s Chief Marketing Officer on Storytelling in the New Digital Industrial Era: Linda Boff Discusses Virtual Reality and Branded Content
I’m a sucker for any article that gives real insight from a company that’s got staying power like GE. Katie Richards interviews Linda Boff GE’s CMO (formerly the executive director of global digital marketing). You’ll have to read the article for the details, but what I liked most about it is how relatable GE’s approach is. For example, Linda says that they never sit around asking, “How can we make the GE brand cool,” nor do they think, “How do we reach the most people?” like I did in middle school (side bar: I was never popular; let that be a lesson to you.). Rather, GE just vibes on its own nerdiness to continued global success. That said, this article is a great read if you’re looking to pick up pointers, to see what GE’s planning next, or if you’re just curious to see how other folks run their content marketing.
I can relate to the concept presented by Mary Ellen Slayter in this article. I often find that when pressure starts to mount and I start to try too hard, the gears grind to a halt. It’s like trying to make a square peg fit; I end up frustrated and with a big mess. So, how can you avoid the stress that invariably comes with pressure? Mary Ellen Slayter suggests you stop overthinking it, which is easier said than done and is why she also has suggestions for what could be causing you to sweat (and how to ease the pressure).
Fun facts: 48% of those with a strategy aren’t documenting them. This revelation presented in Barb Mosher Zinck’s article poses some definite concerns. Though we’ve discussed the importance of documenting, it hasn’t really sunk in yet (at least not with everyone). If you’re not documenting or aren’t sure why it’s important, then read this article; it explains how documenting enables communication, clarification, accountability, measurability, etc. The take away? Document, document, document.
Aside from the ambiance and the free pass to snack (or I’ve told myself), the holidays are a smashing time to let your themed content marketing ideas shine. Halloween is afoot, which means it’s time to start rolling out your fall and Halloween marketing strategies (if it sounds cliché, it’s not; trust me, people love it). So, what can you do? We have a few suggestions from creating a Halloween infographic to letting your audience choose your costume to Halloween incentives. Check it out and see how you can add some holiday allure to your content marketing.
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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