Hello, Friday!  It’s been a great first week of fall, and the fact that it’s time for the Friday Fix is the cherry on top, don’t you think?  This week, we talk about branding from who’s nailing it to how to put it first for those who aren’t.  Speaking of firsts, we’re also highlighting tips and advice directed toward content marketing newbies and small businesses.  Everyone has to start somewhere, and we don’t mind being your tour guide!

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Kings of Content: 9 Lessons from Brands Who are Doing It Right
We love examples because they’re like interesting little stories where you also happen to learn a lot (talk about a twofer).  In a nutshell, Pratik Dholakiya breaks down how YouTube sensation Laura Luke is marketing content through video and how Brichbox (and Apple) get audiences all hot and bothered by dangling metaphorical carrots to build anticipation for product reveals.Time to unleash your inner tease.

Integrating Content Marketing with Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing is so pre-2K while content marketing is so now, but Brad Kuenn shows how these two star-crossed strategies can work together to make beautiful marketing music together.  For those who doubt the marriage will last, Brad illustrates his points with examples of a few triumphant crossovers.

Photo credit: http://www.justwatchlah.com/

Photo credit: http://www.justwatchlah.com/

Kevin Spacey Wants You to Tell a Better Content Marketing Story #CMWorld2014
In Kevin Spacey’s keynote address at Content Marketing World 2014, he elaborated on the current water cooler buzz, which is that good content marketing stories are like the Uni on the content marketing menu.   Though there are countless recipes for concocting the perfect story, we think Ellen Gipko put a clean spin on the whole affair providing three key ingredients for a delicious content marketing story: conflict, authenticity, and audience.  Just stir, season to taste, and enjoy!

Content Marketing Must Focus on Brand Not Sales Objectives
Steve Hemsley pulls out all of the stops to illustrate how and why sales-centric approaches will flop.  He incorporates statistics, iconographics, and case studies to drive his major points home, which are that if you get your content marketing strategy right, you’re rewarded with sales and loyalty, but if you get it wrong, you face an uphill battle.

Great Content Marketing & Branding Starts with Stellar Images
It’s a no-brainer that given most folks you ask will identify themselves as “visual learners” that visuals are critical to your content marketing approach.  Lee Traupel paints a clear picture of how to get your visual content media up to scratch and how to use those images for brand engagement.

Seven Content Marketing Tips for Media Pickup and Massive Exposure
Larry Kim earned bragging rights for the story he got in on that generated over 400 website views per minute.  How’d he do it, you ask? Check out this article for the details.  Larry unselfishly provides tips for how you can follow in his footsteps to media greatness.

Photo credit: Nina Hale

Photo credit: Nina Hale

Digital Dilemmas: Why is Most Content Marketing So Forgettable?
You want your content to figuratively scream, “Notice me!” and at times, you’ve considered making it literally scream because you just –ugh—can’t seem to catch a break!  Jon Davie explores why most content marketing seems to end up down the drain.  In his analysis, Davie throws back to the olden days when content marketing was called editorial; we think he’s onto something.

Do You Have Content Marketing Klout?
It’s always an awkward moment when you realize that you’re not as relevant as you think you are.  Are you the BMOC or guy on the sidelines?  Amanda Clark suggests getting your Klout score and finding out; if you’re a 100, then you’re one of the social media big wigs. If you’re a one, then you’re about as relevant as dial-up.  No matter what your Klout score, once you know, you can work your way up.

How to Assess Your Company’s Content Marketing Maturity
In a similar vein to getting your Klout score, determining your content marketing maturity helps you gauge what level of the field you’re playing on.  Eric Murphy says by checking your capabilities, resources, talent, strategies, and tactics scorecard, you can then strategize how you’re going to level-up your game. 

3 Content Marketing ‘Best Practices’ That Small Businesses Should Ignore
If you feel like the majority of content marketing advice is targeted at big businesses, then you and Elisa Gabbert have something in common, which is why Elisa highlights three “must-dos” that maybe aren’t for you (and some may surprise you).

What is Content Marketing?
We and writer Joshua Steimle understand that some of you fabulous readers might be content marketing virgins and in a world where it seems like everyone else is already doing it (and doing it well), you feel like a late bloomer asking first-timer how and why questions.  If you have questions you’re too embarrassed to ask colleagues, this article is for you.  Also, we don’t mind answering your questions.

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.

Connect with Amy:  LinkedIn