Top o’ the mornin’ to ye on this fabulous Friday Fix the day after St. Patrick’s Day. Hopefully you celebrated your Irish heritage (or just your appreciation for the Irish) responsibly as today we’ve got a Friday to Fix, and the fixings are fine indeed (better than soda bread and corned beef!). Today, we look at content marketing lessons learned from video games, examine the current state of virtual reality, follow-up on what’s happening with Instagram, and get jazzed about case studies (yep!). Yesterday was a great day to be Irish; today’s a great day to get Fixed!
Though based on her gaming preferences, Meg Cannistra and I have a few years between us (my first console was an Atari; I still remember trying to (impossibly) get E.T. home), I totally get what she’s saying about the immersive stories told revealed through play. As it turns out, the same techniques applied for creating addictive story-driven video games are applicable to content marketing. Considering my dad spent countless hours rescuing Zelda in the NES Legend of Zelda game (with the family watching as intently as if he were about to be named Top Chef), video games have a special kind of lure, so check out Meg’s article and apply those epic powers to your strategy (think of it as leveling-up).
There are two things I (kind of) know for certain: one is that Austin is cool in the kind of way that I will never be; it’s hot but nerdy, and it’s where awesome stuff happens first. Two is that virtual reality is slated to be kind of a big deal in 2016 (oh, look what year it is!). So, cut-to Marco della Cava’s article on the VR situation at SXSW in Austin. I think this (awesome) quote from Chris Little of Strivr says it all and says it best with this accurate burn: “VR here is like sex in high school, everyone’s doing it, but not everyone’s doing it well.” Hence, Marco looks at why that is, what the problems are, and (possibly) how they’re going to be confronted.
Leave it to Taylor Mallory Holland to make case studies the kind of thing that I want to jump on as a writer. The way Taylor describes them, they have the very real potential to highlight your brand’s accomplishments; they can illustrate what you’ve overcome, which readers can take-home for their own brands. In this article, Taylor outlines five storytelling strategies useful for transforming your brand’s next case study from a snooze-fest to a page-turner.
Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad news, so Stewart Rogers is really taking one for the team by passing along this piece of less-than-desirable trivia (especially if you’re Instagram): Instagram’s interaction numbers are down despite a seemingly fantastic 2015. In this piece, Stewart reviews the changes Instagram rolled out in 2015 (including ads in September), causes for alarm, and the maturation process for the platform. Thankfully, the consensus is still favorable for the visual social media platform.
Daniel Ruyter starts this article by exploring the shift from 1990s marketer (you know, the kind of person who wore feather boas with three piece suits) to today’s “marketer”, which is an honest, shirt-off-your-back guy in Levis (presumably with fair trade coffee). Really, the industry shift has prioritized enterprise content marketing as a customer service driven force. Daniel examines what that means along side examples concluding that marketing is an “empowering” contributor toward the customer’s experience, which I find sounds quite nice.
Monster.com’s Matt Anchin is one who knows jobs (I mean, he’s the SVP of Global Communications and Content at Monster for crying out loud), and, after I retrieved my eyebrows from the ceiling after learning Kanye West was $53 million in debt (and here I thought I had issues), I was able to process and acknowledge the bourgeoning roles Monster has noticed emerging including: Trendjacking Specialist, Polymath Marketing Manager, Full Content Stack Producer, Creditorial Director, Data Hunter-Gatherer, and Reputational Narrative Advisor. I love that “hunter-gatherer” is about to come back into our lexicon as an actual job for the first time since we were all wearing Wooly Mammoths. On a more serious note, check out Matt’s piece to see what each job entails.
I think we’re all familiar with the placebo effect, which is what transpires when we believe we are getting something when we are in fact, not. As in, you think you’re taking aspirin (sugar pill) and you claim your headache feels better. So, how does the placebo effect play into content marketing? Well, let Nicola Brown spell it out. She references a recent psychological study to note that we “internalized performance-based emotional marketing to a shocking degree”…as in, you really think Red Bull gives you wings. I know this is true because my brother and I used to genuinely believe our Cheerios made us stronger as kids (like the way spinach made Popeye stronger). So, how can you embrace the placebo effect for your advantage? Nicola has the answer.
Austin Duck knows he’s not telling us anything new with the information that story-based marketing should be at the core of all of our content marketing endeavors; however, his breakdown of strategies for using contact data for telling those marketing stories might be a little more obscure. We’ve all heard that data-driven marketing is integral for telling strong stories and is a major component of content marketing success, but it’s easier said than done (telling a good data-driven story, that is).
Email marketing…that’s something that hasn’t been mentioned in a while, so thanks to Kyle Harper for bringing it up. He leads in talking about the thing that makes everyone cringe: junk mail. It’s been around for ages and yet –despite the fact that it’s literally tossed without being opened, it’s still a thing. So, how do you run an e-mail marketing strategy that gets your mail opened and –better yet—read? Click Kyle’s article for his analysis.
Nicola Brown is back with another smart piece this week; this time, she teaches us about the psychological concept of “flow” and how it pertains to happiness. To briefly explain, flow entails being completely immersed in an activity and to only be engaged for the purity and sake of the activity. To further illustrate, Nicola references GoPro, a brand story that’s all about flow. Conceptually, flow is something that helps your audience remember you among other positive things, which makes you kind of just want to go with it, you know?
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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