Are you feeling fabulous? Well, you should…not only is the weather cooling down and Honeycrisp apples are back in season, it’s Friday Fix Day! This week’s Fix is more chockfull of goodies than a trick-or-treaters loot bag on Halloween. In today’s Fix, we’re tipalicious; we have tips on how to improve your storytelling as well as how to fix marketing mistakes. We also look at the human side of B2B (so, get ready to give your B2B the “Tin Man” treatment and give it a heart). There are a few 2016 predictions in this week’s Fix as well, and lo-and-behold, they’re all about storytelling. So, grab a nice hot apple scone and a cup of your favorite caffeinated brew, and get ready to get Friday Fixed.
We’ve talked about visual storytelling, and in this article Jamie Heckler breaks down how to tell stories using visuals. Jamie employs a 5-step process or evolution (to use Jamie’s word) in which your visual storytelling evolves from Stone Age quality to an advanced wonder, if you will. Your ultimate goal? For your visuals to be defined before anything else. The way Jamie explains it, it looks so easy a caveman could do it.
Remember how last year, it looked like the theme for 2015 was going to be storytelling? Were you hoping that the trend would fade out faster than everyone’s interest in Beanie Babies in the 90s? Hopefully you weren’t because pundit Ted Karczewski asserts that better storytelling and visual storytelling will be what’s trending for 2016. In this article, he outlines how the world’s oldest means of expression will play a role in your 2016 marketing strategy.
According to Devra Prywes, B2B marketers have the oh-so-thrilling task of making the mundane magical. No sweat, right? I liken this to making the endless laundry one does as a toddler mom fun (oh, that sheet I just folded three times is a tent…again…seriously, only one of us is having fun). In this article, we discover the importance of moving from a B2B frame of mind to a H2H (human to human). How best to do that you ask? Through storytelling, of course! So, embrace the sheet tent, read this article, and learn how to go from B2B to H2H (Sidebar: I really hope if a content marketing band comes out, B2B to H2H is their name…or at least the title of their freshman album.)
In this article, Janet Armstrong tells an enviable story about a marketer of yesteryear who spent the better part of a year trying to come up with an ad for Heineken. Toward the end of his wondering, he wandered to Morocco to drink beer and to think. He eventually came up with a killer line, which stood the test of time. Janet’s point (aside from the fact that copywriting used to be way, way easier) is that today’s demand forces the modern B2B marketer to be both heartfelt storyteller and savvy business bot (though preferably, still human).
In this article, Alexandra Samuel steps up as a trend spotter claiming that data-driven storytelling is going to be the next big thing. Given that we often have more than one trend working at once, I think this is entirely plausible (also, I’ll point out that at the heart of every trend we’ve read for 2016 thus far, storytelling is there, drinking a Heineken from somewhere in Morocco and waving). If you’re curious how this works, Alexandra uses examples from Allstate, IBM, Intuit, and others to make her point. Check it out to see how data-driven storytelling is a tried and true method of achieving success.
I’m going to admit that I can’t envision a time when I will ever be on Michael Brenner’s level if he’s able to read 21 blogs per day, but you know what, hats off to the man (admittedly, I have a toddler, so I can’t envision a time when I’ll be able to go to Starbucks without screaming in the background). I would feel good with five of these 21 well-spotted blogs. Brenner’s blogs cover everything from research companies to tech firms to start-ups and of course content marketers. If you’re bereft of blogs to read or want to know some that one of the pros has on his must-read list, check out this piece.
We all know that content marketing success is defined by results. We live in a results-driven world, and I’m a results-driven girl. Hmm…that doesn’t sound right. Anyway, I digress. In this article, Jonathan Lang discusses four means to boost your results. They are: map your strategy, evaluate what’s working, prioritize quality, and use paid outlets for outreach.
Somehow, I almost feel like this article’s title promotes a taboo concept…selling? You’re supposed to be storytelling. Well, sure, but as one of our pundits this week says, you have to have a business brain to go with that storytelling heart. In this piece, not only does Max Christopoulos incorporate clips from Austin Powers and the Thriller video (he’s got my vote for president), he also makes salient points on how you can be authentic and use content marketing as a sales tool all at once. Make content a conversation starter, a momentum builder, and a resurrector. Oh, and make sure you read this article for the details on how to make that happen.
So, what exactly is a content marketing rut and how do you know that you’re in one? I consider it to be a situation where you’re doing the same thing day in and day out without seeing results, like when I kick-started my diet last spring and spent about a month running and eating healthily (wine is healthy, right? I mean, grapes.). For that very frustrating month, there were no results; however, eventually, I started to see results, and it was glorious. In this article, Dan Steiner definitely wants you to be tenacious, but you also need to rethink your regimen if what you’re doing isn’t working. Instead of treading the same trails, explore how you can do things differently. Dan advises being the first to post relevant content and initiating conversations as well as other approaches to get you out of your rut.
I know what you’re thinking, “Well, of course content marketing doesn’t equate content marketing success, silly.” I thought the same thing when I read the title of Dee Stephens’ article, but then I started thinking…actually, many probably do feel that if they plug in all of the right components of a content marketing strategy that they’ll achieve content marketing success. So, why isn’t that how it works? Well, to simplify, if you’re just plugging things in, posting on the Facebook without really knowing what’s going on, then chances are, it’s not working. See what Dee has to say on resolving any disconnects in your content marketing and your success.
In theory, content marketing sounds easy: create a plan that’s audience oriented and that reveals your brand identity in its most humanized light. In reality, this is as easy as say, being invited to step in for Amy Poehler at the Golden Globes or having a good hair day when the humidity is 100% (both equally unlikely yet giddy-inducing in my world). It’s not impossible, but attaining such goals definitely requires focus and effort. In the case of your content strategy, you might not be having the metaphorical fabulous hair day because certain components might be missing. Perhaps you’re not quite reaching your audience or your content isn’t as relevant as you think. Here, we’ve highlighted seven marketing mistakes you might be making.
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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