I’d like to take a moment to remind you of something Seth Godin once said: “How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”
The world of inbound marketing, too, has provided so many amazing elements for us to use to our advantage, so it’s time we stand out above the rest and conquer!
To start, we’ve compiled this list of marketing stories of the week to help you get a better understanding about what’s changing in the world of marketing. You’ll notice that each of these stories follows along the same few themes: quality matters, visuals are important, people have short attention spans, and social media is always changing, but usually for the better.
Ready to get schooled on the marketing stories of the week? Here we go ...
5 Content Marketing Trends for 2013 You Haven't Heard Yet, From ClickZ
Earlier this week, you might remember we posted a SlideShare presentation titled, “Crap. The Content Marketing Deluge” from Velocity Partners. The concept behind the presentation was that marketers (in every industry) are catching on to this “content marketing” thing and it will increasingly become more and more difficult to rise above the noise. The only solution to this cluttered marketing world is to create a 'Great Content Brand,' which involves digging through the “crap” and creating real quality content that stands out above the rest.
Okay, great, so we need to start creating higher quality content and not just creating content for content’s sake. Got it. But how does one actually do this? ClickZ came up with a list of content marketing trends you should be thinking about (whether you have or haven’t heard of them yet), which includes strategic partnerships, thought leadership, editorial briefs, visual narrative, and measurement (which surely you’re doing already, but more specifically, measuring the value of producing and sharing high-quality content). As ClickZ mentions, “Authors are becoming publishers and publishers are becoming brands.” This is certainly something to think about while you’re adapting your strategy to suit the new rules of content marketing. Want to see more? Check out the full story here.
Twitter Makes Video Marketing More Accessible With GIF-Like Mobile App
Back in October 2012, you might remember hearing that Twitter acquired a video clip company called Vine. This video clip company never actually launched publicly before Twitter snatched them up, and we haven’t heard much about the acquisition since. However, this week, Twitter just announced Vine as a working integration. With this new app, you can capture and share a short looping video (6 seconds or less), which goes along nicely with the brevity of 140 character tweets.
If you’re interested in trying Vine out for yourself, the app is currently available on the iPhone and iPod touch. Imagine the quick marketing videos you could make to further engage your social media audience! If you’re using Instagram for marketing, you’re already halfway there -- just use the same mobile device to shoot videos for your company too! Some ideas for creating marketing videos using Vine could be sneak peeks to promote an upcoming event, “behind the scenes” shots, or showcasing a new product/service. Want to learn more about how to use Vine for marketing? Read the full story here.
Visual Storytelling: The Key Weapon to Content Marketing, From Search Engine Watch
Although it’s becoming more and more difficult to rise above the noise, visual storytelling seems to be able to help brands stand out in a crowded content world. Search Engine Watch mentions that, “storytelling is practically in our DNA. In pictures, even songs – we’ve relied on stories for thousands of years to help us understand, retain, and share information.”
It’s true. Think about music, art, design, and communication throughout history. It has certainly changed through the years, but it always remains in some form or another. As a marketer, you must take updates such as the new Vine app or the ‘Great Content Brand’ into consideration as a powerful way to be heard. Even if you’re of the data-driven, technical mindset, you can be successful with storytelling through graphs and charts that answer or give insight into a specific problem. If you need some ideas, Search Engine Land lists a few such as “Overcoming the Monster,” “The Quest,” or “Rags to Riches.” Interested to see more storytelling ideas? Read the full story here.
Facebook Is Done Giving Its Precious Social Graph To Competitors, From TechCrunch
You might remember hearing about ‘Graph Search,’ a new Facebook/Bing search engine announced last week. Well, it seems that this week Facebook wasn’t playing nice with competing social networks and apps such as Twitter, Vine, and Voxer over some data-sharing issues, including data from Graph Search. They cut off access to Find Friends, Facebook’s API that allows you to find and connect with your Facebook friends on different apps, citing its Platform Policy. But why? Vine was being so kind to Facebook, allowing the user options to share videos on both Twitter and Facebook. So why shouldn’t Facebook return the favor?
It seems like Facebook reevaluated and made some serious clarifications to its Platform Policy after shutting down this data access and experiencing user uproar. Sometimes you just need to live and learn … which is exactly what Facebook did. Now the Platform Policy reads, “If you use any Facebook APIs to build personalized or social experiences, you must also enable people to easily share their experiences back with people on Facebook.” In other words, if you play nice with Facebook, they will play nice with you. Curious to hear more? Read the full story here.
6 Ways Social Media Marketing Is Changing (For the Better)
It’s very obvious that social media is changing, as usual. Even from the stories just listed in this post, you’ll notice two very big changes including Facebook’s new Graph Search and Twitter’s new Vine acquisition. The questions is, are all of these changes just for the sake of staying current, or are they actually making a difference?
We truly believe these changes will help marketers in the long run, although they’re certainly tough to keep up with. Some examples include social media’s weight as a sales tool, looking beyond just engagement and looking closer at ROI metrics, and social search’s impressive evolution. Social media isn’t just a means to chat with your pals, it is truly an amazing way to generate real leads and customers. Social networks are realizing that marketers play a huge part in the world of social media today, and they are adapting for us. Want to know if you’re taking fully taking advantage of all social media has to offer? Read the full story here.
54 Examples of Brilliant Homepage Design
We’ve been meaning to ask you: how’s your homepage lookin’? If your answer is, “not so good,” you might consider looking at this Website Redesign Planning & Progress Kit so you’ll know exactly where to start and end. But before you even plan out your redesign, sometimes it’s nice to get a little visual inspiration to know which direction you’d like to go in. Note that “the average online shopper expects a page to load in two seconds or less, down from four seconds in 2006; and after three seconds, up to 40% will abandon your website,” according to a study by Gomez. Attention spans are growing shorter and shorter, hence the visual storytelling suggestion and Vine’s 6 second videos listed in this round-up. Does your website pass “The Blink Test?”
To give you an idea of what this ‘Blink Test’ actually means, we’ve provided some examples of brands we think are doing it right. Examples include Austin Beerworks, a craft brewery based in Texas, Captain Dash, a SaaS platform that produces interactive and visual dashboards to help companies organize data, and Sagmeister Walsh, a New York City-based design firm. To see all 54 examples of brands that are totally killing it with their homepages, download the free flipbook here.
Have you come across any other interesting marketing stories this week? Share them in the comments below!