It’s Friday, glorious Friday! Time to distract your work-weary brain with the Friday Fix, our weekly run-down of what’s up in content marketing. Find out how to rock influencer marketing, why millennials love food chains, and how to kick your blog into gear with storytelling.
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The Friday Fix
It’s hard to believe this is the last Friday we have to Fix this August. In case you’re popping in for the first time, the Friday Fix is our weekly run-down of all things in the past week of content marketing. This week, we talk about our approach for telling great stories as well as getting seniors on social media. Speaking of social media other pundits explore finding the right social platform and ways to use videos on social platforms. We also look at the biggest brand winners and losers from the Rio Olympics as well as how story can save your brand. All in all, it’s a great way to bid August adieu and to anticipate what the future holds (we’re looking at you, virtual reality).
Content doesn’t equal story. Mic drop. Exit stage right. No, I’m kidding. There’s more to this piece by Kyle Harper, but the essence is indeed that content and story aren’t synonymous. “Stories,” writes Kyle, “are what happen when a piece of content convinces its audience to engage and begin anticipating the next step of their narratives.” This is a key element marketers often miss in an almost-“Gold Rush” moment in content marketing in which social platforms are rapidly growing and often (or seemingly) outpacing marketing professionals.
Whether you’re a freelancer, a brand with writers on board, or someone else involved in telling stories, Brianna Hand’s article is a great read. Here, she interviews Skyword editors on what they’re looking for in hiring (and um, not hiring) freelance storytellers. From neglecting the brand’s voice to disregarding what the client wants out of writing, the editor’s concerns are totally valid, and the pro tips they provide, invaluable.
Story envy is a very real thing. In this article, Dylan Thaemert talks about some of the resources big brands have that little guys long for. For example, they have the budget to hire celebrity endorsers or to piggyback off a story of big budget projects using product placement. Sure, that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t mean that a small story can’t have a big impact just by smartly using social media, sharing your personality and POV, and using a few good videos.
There’s an assumption among many social media users and brands that social media platforms are kind of like “one size fits all”. As untrue as this is for underwear, it is also so for social media platforms. The exact same post, video, content, etc. that you share on Twitter isn’t really the same on Instagram and Facebook as one John Montesi so accurately points out. Instead, you have to figure out your brand’s story, what medium you want to tell it in, and then which social media microgenre best fits the bill.
Whenever folks talk about mastering something, I always think of a Rocky-esque training montage in which one trains hardcore to Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone” or Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” before taking on the big challenge and then getting completely knocked out only to get up, train harder, and try again. In this piece, Aaron Agius outlines 10 essential skills to master like conducting research, promoting and distributing content, and telling a compelling story (among seven other skills). Aaron gives tips for each but as you probably know, it’s going to take longer than an ‘80s movie montage (possibly longer than the actual ‘80s) to truly nail each of these skills, but hey, no worries…you’ve got time.
Staying ahead in the social media marketing game can be tough because as Richard Smith points out, social platforms are “saturated” with great written content. So, how do you standout? In a better-than-your-usual-rundown-style, Richard details where to use video and precisely how (step-by-step) to make it happen. He covers videos and Twitter Ads, streaming videos (delayed and live), and videos and Facebook Ads.
So, as a non-betting woman, I’m not willing to bet my mortgage that in the next year or so, the majority of our focus as content marketers will be on using VR to tell stories; however, if I were, not only would I bet the mortgage plus 10%, I’d also already have a drone and at least one VR device (okay, that may be more of a cash flow issue rather than being tech-savvy). Anyway, in this piece, Tal Chalozin specifies precisely how VR is going to reshape content marketing as we know it.
While the world’s most skilled athletes demonstrated their collective prowess in Rio this past month, brands also put their best foot forward (or at least they tried to). In this piece, Tony Connelly calls out Coca Cola, Under Armor, Nissan, and Samsung as being on top while McDonald’s, Ambush Marketers, and Ryan Lochte came out on bottom. Oops.
The title of Annie Pilon’s article is right…her mash-up of lessons featured on Small Biz Trends seems random, but they’re actually really good and important things that you really do need to get good at in order to thrive as a content marketer and storyteller. From being able to capture the magic of Instagram stories to “mastering the art of Facebook marketing” to figuring out whether or not humor works for your brand’s voice…there are several ways to improve your skills and be better at what you do.
Email marketing…it’s a lesser-discussed aspect of content marketing because it can seem less creative than other areas; however, in this piece, Pippa Chambers brings focus back to e-mail marketing. We all know how many e-mails get deleted each day, so what does it take to get them read, and does email marketing, in fact, have the potential to inspire more creativity than originally presumed?
It’s easy to assume that social media and senior citizens don’t mix, but the reality is that social media can be super enriching not only to the lives of senior citizens but also to those of us who are already active on social media. Our hopes are that our Golden Social Project, which involves helping get residents at Somerby at Santa Rosa Beach active on social media platforms will prove just that. After all, who better to collaborate with to #tellgreatstories than those who’ve lived (and continue to live) great lives?
Are you interested in telling great stories but aren’t sure how to get started? Contact us at The Storyteller Agency and let us help you to find your brand’s voice, to stop marketing, and to start storytelling.
It’s mid-July and blazing saddles hot outside, which means you have our permission to take a break for an iced latte and the Friday Fix, our fantastic weekly run-down of the past seven days in the world of content marketing. This week, we zero in on what might be going wrong with your business blog, why direct response marketing is here to stay, how to use visuals for impactful content marketing, and examples from awesome digital marketing storytellers among other things (like how to improve your content marketing). So, kick back and get yourself a helping of our Friday Fixings.
Humans are sensual beings…we just are. Look at how many of us eat with our eyes? Admit it…you’re following at least one chef on Instagram for the food porn (or you’re that one weird person who legitimately hates pictures of food). Well, in this article, Karen Taylor digs into why images are so evocative; she explores how and why they’re memorable, emotional, and tell stories (among other things). She also makes suggestions for how you can use images for visual storytelling and to punch up your content marketing.
There’s nothing quite as useful as picking apart the working pieces of a successful brand story. How’s it told? What’s working? Why is it working? How can I implement that into my storytelling? In this piece, Chris Middleton takes it straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth by talking to digital marketing leaders and getting their insights and breakdowns on what makes their stories successful.
There are plenty of pundits who talk about why storytelling is integral for successful content marketing, and here Amy Cowen puts her spin on it. The reality is that stories are memorable. Chances are, some of your earliest memories involve being told stories or pertain to stories that excited you as a wee one. Thus, Amy explains why storytelling should be the base for every content marketing strategy. Why? Stories are real, they’re relatable, they make us feel, they hold our attention, and they’re memorable.
Still working on your content calendar for this August? Let Armando Roggio inspire you with a little FYI on what’s trending (aside from Pokemon Go). First, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio will take place this August. What else happens in August? Oh, yeah…back to school. If you think about it, you can still remember what your school smelled like that first week of school. Other happenings? August 20 is National Honeybee Day as well as World Mosquito Day (shudder). Another suggestion? Create interest by talking about and relating to historical happenings for the month of August (like Jesse Owens winning the long jump in Berlin in August 1936).
Small business marketers, take notes…Chelsea Baldwin is onto something with her points that direct response marketing still plays a role in business copywriting. Why? Because at the end of the day, the goal is still to make sales, right? As a small business, you don’t have the manpower to pull off ad campaigns like Coca-Cola or similar. With direct response marketing, you’re addressing specific problems and adding value, which audience’s respond to.
In this piece, John Ring begs the question that is surely on the minds of many (at least every so often), and certainly the tides seem to be turning in that direction, do they not? Well, yes and no. John analyzes the current field and upon close analysis comes up with a conclusion that indicates that advertising still has a role.
Though the idea of thinking of a lawyer might spawn stereotypical thoughts of thinking like an unfeeling shark, Shayla Price reveals that thinking like a lawyer (not a stereotypical one, though) might be exactly what your content marketing strategy needs. How so? Use your inner lawyer to create compelling stories, aim to solve real problems, stick to schedules, provide multiple solutions, and adhere to a code of ethics.
If you’ve heard about content marketing but haven’t been swayed by the idea of it (after all, where does selling and making money come in, right?), then let AJ Agrawal’s five reasons every company should be using content marketing compel you toward the light. As AJ points out, sharable content is trending…this increased traffic builds attention for your business…and that attention can translate into sales. Content marketing helps audiences get to know you; without that perception, you’re just another stucco (or website) façade, and who wants to do business with a façade? Content marketing also encourages action among other things.
If you spend enough time embroiled in content marketing, most of these dos and don’ts will become common sense or second-nature; however, just in case you’re wondering if you’re doing it right, let John Foley Jr. spell it out. He tells you how to do the dos like: finding your target audience, being original, and keeping it short and sweet while he also breaks down avoiding the don’ts, which include: pushing your product, promoting ads, copying the competition, and being self-centered. Good advice.
This week’s lean toward improving your content marketing concludes with Michael Noice’s article on ways to improve your content marketing. Consider implementing new approaches that you hadn’t previously used. For example, a monthly newsletter might be just what your business needs to boost engagement. On the other hand, you might want to look at more frequent interaction through a different vehicle. The point is, there’s no one-size-fits all approach to content marketing, which is why you want insight on your options and on what might work best for your business.
You know that your business needs a blog, and you may have already started one; however, it’s not garnering much attention, which makes you wonder if the blog’s even necessary. To answer your unasked question, yes, it is. A blog can do wonders for your business if it’s done right and by that we mean posting on a steady schedule, doing keyword research, focusing on your target audience, incorporating visual content, and investing in content writing.
Are you looking to improve your reach but aren’t sure how to do it? If so, The Storyteller Agency can help. Contact us and let our experts show you how to improve your content marketing or to establish your brand’s voice, to build a better blog, to tell your story, and more.