Enhance Your Marketing Efforts with Journalistic Brand Content

Posted on Apr 28, 2017 7:23:00 AM by Steph Marsh

Some of my fellow StoryTellers recently attended the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s event surrounding their annual 40 Under 40 publication, which highlights young local leaders who’ve made an impressive name for themselves, and rather quickly.

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Posted in Journalistic Content

Why You Need to Stop Using C-Level Execs in Video Business Stories

Posted on Apr 25, 2017 4:27:12 PM by Gregg Litman

 "Don't use guys in ties." That's a newsroom saying from my TV days that still resonates whenever I see a company video with an executive as the main character. 

"Guys in ties" is newsroom-speak for the kinds of stories that focus on officials — male or female — rather than real people. Need some examples? Interviewing the fire chief instead of the firefighter who saved three kids or the father whose home just burned down. Interviewing a police officer or the police spokesperson about a neighborhood crime alert instead of the scared homeowners. And the most classic "guys in ties" stories feature elected officials — mayors, governors, legislators — talking about laws, taxes, or policies, rather than the real people who are most affected by those policies.

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Posted in Video Production

How to Use Content Marketing to Grow Your Online Footprint

Posted on Apr 22, 2017 8:54:34 AM by Kevin Page

According to Mintel, 70 percent of American consumers shop online. That means more than 200 million people have access to your digital footprint. I’m no mathematician, but when we are looking at things on that scale, I’d say it’s pretty damn important to not only be proud of your organization’s online presence, but also constantly creating new, interesting content online.

However, too many businesses are focused on growing their digital footprint as opposed to improving it. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one nonetheless. You can do a great job creating and sharing valuable content while still occupying a lackluster footprint. Sure it may have grown in sheer volume, but that just means you have more poor content out and about, representing your brand in a negative way.

Instead, focus on improving your business’ digital footprint. I’d suggest that you:

Do you see the difference between growing and improving now? Good. Here are some tips to help you follow through.

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Posted in Content Marketing

5 Hidden Risks of Creating Boring Content

Posted on Apr 18, 2017 12:25:41 PM by Julia Tiedt

Is there anything worse than bad TV? You know, the kind of show that sounds just good enough to watch, but once you tune in you can’t get off the couch fast enough? Like Fuller House?!?!  It could have been bad in a number of ways (the most obvious being a bad story line), but for whatever reason, if the show was a product and you were a customer — you weren’t buying it. Worse yet, if a network has too many shows like that, it could ruin the ratings for all of them.

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Posted in Blogging, Content Marketing

Why Storytelling for Business Matters and How to Start

Posted on Apr 11, 2017 3:33:26 PM by Ed Heil

“We have an important story to tell,” is something I hear from business owners quite often. They then proceed to tell me about their story of value, their story of variety, or their important story of affordability. To which I respond, those aren’t stories. Value propositions, perhaps, but not stories. The idea of storytelling for businesses is a notion that has gained traction in recent years and yet the execution of the concept is misinterpreted and misplayed. Sadly, most business owners and marketers aren’t journalists and they don’t really know where to start when telling a story.
So, let’s set some ground rules — real stories have characters, not value propositions. They have a beginning, middle, and end, and they leave the reader or viewer better off, or more knowledgeable and connected, than before they discovered the story. In this post, we’ll discuss why stories are important, what makes a great story, and where to find your business stories.
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Posted in storytelling for business

Boost Your Content's Credibility With These Principles of Journalistic Objectivity

Posted on Apr 7, 2017 11:51:34 AM by Gregg Litman

Fake news is a real problem — and not just for journalists.

Look no further than a new survey that says 75-percent of Americans find it difficult to determine what news is accurate and what is not. Worse yet, when Stanford researchers studied the ability of students to analyze the credibility of information online — the same kids we all consider "digital natives" — the researchers described the results as "bleak."  They were "shocked" by how many students failed to effectively evaluate the credibility of that information.

So, what's the solution? "The world needs the truth now more than ever," says Hamish Nicklin of The Guardian. "In a world where the most important people on the planet are using fake news to undermine the values so many of us hold so dear," she told a roomful of reporters at The Guardian's 2017 Media Summit, "it has never been so important that we have a strong and vibrant media, and remember that facts and truth are sacred.”

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Posted in Video Case Studies, Journalistic Content

5 Steps to Sourcing Content that Makes Your Posts Better

Posted on Apr 5, 2017 2:14:29 PM by Carolyn Hansen

All great ideas are made better when they are supported by other great ideas. This is especially true in inbound marketing, where we aim to spark conversations around our clients’ businesses. When we produce blog posts, we build on others’ successes and – ideally – we credit them with their brilliance, invite them to the discussion, and benefit when they share our thoughts, too.

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Posted in Content Marketing

ROI Reporting Templates and Tools That Really Rock

Posted on Apr 3, 2017 3:03:13 PM by Brittany Laeger

 Proving the value of your marketing efforts is absolutely essential, but that doesn’t mean that you want to spend hours and hours creating customized reports and searching for data points to show the ROI of your marketing efforts on a quarterly or monthly basis.

With 900 things on your to-do list, finding a ROI reporting template that helps you wrangle business metrics can be an easy way to save yourself some time and create a repeatable process so you can check this item off your list and get to the next thing.

Creating a clear and concise reporting template is essential, because the human brain can better translate data when it’s presented visually instead of in rows and columns on a spreadsheet. And when you’re presenting complex marketing metrics to bosses or clients, that’s even more important. Peter Caputa of Databox explains it like this:

As soon as your audience sees a KPI spreadsheet, their brains must decide whether it is worth the cognitive energy. If you want them to stay engaged with your progress, you need to make it simpler for them to understand your achievements.

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Posted in Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Reporting, ROI