How to increase traffic to your webinar

by Phoebe Chongchua

Webinars are among the top-rated ways to increase traffic to your Website and drive greater conversion rates.

But if you’ve ever tried hosting a Webinar you likely know that preparing your talk and the slides are the least of your worries.

Getting people to sign up for the Webinar and actually attend it is the biggest challenge followed closely by getting the audience to covert into customers. 

Robert Coorey, our guest on the Brand Storytelling podcast, is well-known for nearly setting a world record for having the most people on a single Webinar.

It was one of my biggest successes but biggest failures – because two minutes into the webinar, the platform actually crashed and died.

— Robert Coorey

That’s because he had nearly 8,000 people on the Webinar and although the platform had been tested, the technology at that time just couldn’t support the flood of people joining in.

Listen to the full podcast to hear what happened after the crash – and find out how Robert and others involved handled it. 

Robert says that this experience showed him how powerful webinars are for community engagement. 

“A Webinar is one of the very best forms of content… because if you have someone’s attention for 30 minutes or an hour, that’s worth a lot more than someone who is reading a newspaper or watching a TV show or listening to the radio on the way to work – because they’re engaged, they’re focused,” says Robert.

The main reason is because people online are only one click away from buying what you’re selling in your webinar.

Getting people into your webinar requires a relationship with them that’s built over time, using storytelling and content marketing strategies.

Three tips to get people to your webinar

1. Use storytelling pieces to attract your audience

Start by organising your core offerings so that you can then create content based on those key products or services. Each piece of content should offer value that is directly related to those core offerings.

Tell a story that shows how those core offerings solve problems and address the concerns of your target audience. Robert sent 10 emails prior to his webinar. The client was a well-known nutritionist so each email was designed to persuade the reader to sign up for the webinar.

“It wasn’t just a straight case study. It was all about the challenge the client had. What they tried before. What worked. What didn’t work,” explains Robert.

2. Consider using ads on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social platforms

Buying ads and advertising your webinar can generate a lot of traffic. Robert says that when they purchased Facebook ads they reached about 4,000 people who came to the webinar.

Buying advertising can be a great option for increasing webinar attendance, but you have to measure how much the cost is per attendant – and decide if it’s really worth it.

You can also do webinars for other people’s audiences and pay a commission for the sales.

Keep in mind that today, a good attendance rate is only about 30 percent because “people have seen so many webinars where there hasn’t been a good amount of value,” says Robert.

3. Webinar structure 

The ultimate webinar structure is 90% content, 5% offer, 5% question and answer.

The way you structure the flow of your webinar will directly impact your conversion rate.

“There is an art to having people convert at the end of the webinar,” says Robert.

Every piece of content must be aligned with your core offer and created with a conversion goal in mind.

“For example, when I do a webinar I say, ‘I’ve got a course that has 35 different modules, but obviously we haven’t got time to go through the whole 35 modules of content. But I can show you three of those 35 today,” explains Robert.

After giving away those three valuable and helpful modules, Robert says people often come back for more and that’s when the sale takes place because they want to learn about the other 32 modules.

“That’s the method that I have found is the very best way to deliver a sensational amount of value but it directly leads to the upscale at the end,” says Robert.

Content marketing, like any other marketing channel, needs to deliver a return on investment.


Mentioned In This Episode

World High-Five-Athon Begins in Sydney, Australia

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/punnkydotcomOur YouTube: www.youtube.com/PunnkydotcomOur website: www.punnky.comTwitter: www.twitter.com/PunnkyOfficialVideo produced by: www.randallevans.com.au

Posted by Punnky on Thursday, December 13, 2012


Find out more about Robert Coorey

Robert Coorey, is a number one Best-Selling author. The Huffington Post called Rob “one of the most influential online marketers across the globe”. He was recently listed by Startup Australia as one of Australia’s Top 50 Entrepreneurs and is followed by his global online community of over 10,000 serious business owners. He nearly broke the world record for most number of people in a webinar, filled up dozens of live events, has been featured extensively in the media, and has launched three best-selling books.

Rob was also the co-founder of Punnky’s World High-Five day. With no marketing budget, he organized thousands of people across four continents to give one another high fives, and the Facebook following quickly grew to over 130,000 fans.


PHOEBE CHONGCHUA IS A BRAND JOURNALIST AND CO-HOST OF THE BRAND STORYTELLING PODCAST & THE BRAND JOURNALISM ADVANTAGE PODCAST.

TO CONNECT WITH PHOEBE ON TWITTER CLICK HERE.

Easy ways to come up with the best headlines

by Kath Walters

I was stuck for a blog post this week. I stumbled across a cool tool made by HubSpot, called a blog topic generator. It’s really very clever. So I put in the words “content marketing”, and I got this: “How to solve the biggest problems with content marketing”.

Then I Googled my headline and I found quite a few headlines just like mine. Not exactly the same, but close enough to make me look like a not-very-original blogger.

Thinking of a good headline is really hard, and it’s really important. Even if it’s brilliant, only two in every 10 people will click on it, the stats tell us.

This was the very first time I had been tempted to cheat. Really.

So when I realised how many headline help tools there are, I thought of good ways to use them so you think of fresh ideas and angles, but don’t get left red-faced.

  1. Headline Wizard. This is the hardest one to use (and it’s really ugly). You have to do the most work. If you are slipshod, you get really weird results. However, probably has the best potential for original headings. This is one I generated for this blog post. “How to generate great headlines, and make your readers click.”
  2. Portent. It’s cool and funny, and the best thing about it is that it teaches you more about how to generate headlines as you go. But there is not much control. You just put in your topic. Here’s what I got: “Why do people think headline help tools are a good idea?”

  3. Upworthy is actually a parody of a headline generator. Use it as a cautionary tale. For example,  “You will do a double take when you see what an autistic teenager found”.

  4. HubSpot topic generator. This really is a good way to think of ideas – it sparked this post, for example – but my advice is not to take it too literally. Here’s one that I got: “The Biggest Problem With Headline Tools, And How You Can Fix It”.

  5. Copyblogger isn’t going to do the work for you. But they have some fantastic advice, like using magazines like Cosmo to inspire you. And they also have the world’s best e-book about writing headlines.

  6. Content Row’s linkbait generator has four settings – fun, controversial, shocking and list. Here’s what I got: “How a headline help tool can make you filthy rich”. I’d have to just change the angle of this story, but maybe you’d prefer that.

  1. Have something to say. It’s a fail if you write a great headline, but the story doesn’t deliver.

  2. Use headline tools before you start writing to stimulate ideas, and get the creative juices flowing.

  3. Don’t take them too literally. Substitute words, play around.

  4. Learn the principles of good headlines and blog topics from the generators.

  5. Study the headlines that make you click.

  6. Google your headline before you use it. If it’s taken, go back to the drawing board, but remember headline writing is, and always has been, a formula. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Here are my favourites from the headlines shortlisted for last year’s Walkley awards for excellence in journalism (this year’s are not announced until October).

Brad Clifton, The Daily Telegraph, “Forgivings and a funeral”

Erik Jensen, The Saturday Paper, “Budget’s lifting also separates”

Paul Whittaker, The Daily Telegraph, “Cardinal spin”, “The Grapes of Bof”, “Palmersnorus”

And here is a list of “headline fails” that I found hilarious and hope you do too.


KATH WALTERS IS A JOURNALIST, EDITOR AND BLOG DOCTOR. VIEW HER WEBSITE HERE.

TO CONNECT WITH KATH WALTERS ON TWITTER CLICK HERE.

Telling Your Brand Story With Blogging

By Phoebe Chongchua

If you have a blog and are wondering how to build your audience, the answer is a word that many businesses have forgotten. Relationships.

The most important thing in life and business is relationships. The old mantra, that people buy from those “they know, like, and trust” is also highly relevant for those writing blogs.

Listen to the podcast or read below for the key take outs.

“We are relationship-based people,” says Lynn Serafinn.

“Somehow in the last century we’ve become kind of separated from that.”

That separation has caused our marketing to take a turn for the worse. Lynn says it became “hunter-based” as though we were preying on our next victim.

“We were told that marketing had to be very aggressive, that it was a hunter mentality,” explains Lynn.

But Lynn says that entrepreneurs and millennials are bucking this old-style marketing.

“It doesn’t work for them emotionally.”

Instead, content marketing and brand journalism via blogs and videos are reaching audiences and deepening relationship connections between brands and consumers.

Telling your brand story with blogging is about using the social aspects of marketing in an ethical way.

For instance, old-school marketing often used terms like “capturing leads” and “targeting customers”.

“The nature of hunter marketing is that once you’ve hunted a victim, you’ve got to go out and hunt another,” explains Lynn.

But in the new paradigm of marketing, “you’re creating a self-sustaining system,” says Lynn.

“It’s about growing, cultivating – so that things nurture themselves. It’s very similar to farming where things are self-seeding,” explains Lynn.

“The key is to create that self-sustaining system where it becomes effortless after some time and blogging, I have found, is one of the cornerstones of that because it allows you to cultivate that relationship, nurture that relationship, speak from yourself but also speak with your audience.”

To make that connection and build your relationships with blogging, you have to focus on what your readers want to know rather than what you know.

“The biggest challenge is putting yourself in your readers’ shoes,” says Lynn.

Here are Lynn’s top tips for telling your brand story with blogging.

Be human

Find the connection to people and tell stories that matter to them in your blog to reach your audience. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes.

Cultivate close relationships

Cultivating relationships will make people want to read what you’re blogging about. They’ll share your content and refer others to it and to your company.

Ask: So What?

Before you write your next blog post or create your next video ask yourself, “So what?”

Lynn says people need to understand these questions: Why this article or video? Why should I care about it? How will it make my life/business better?

Use a Teaser

Lynn uses teasers in her blogs to help the reader understand what the article is about and why they should care about the post. These teasers are placed at the top of the article. This will also make sure that the article has an interesting summary that shows up in search engines.

“A teaser is a one or two sentence summary (160 characters) of what this article is about,” says Lynn.

Have a Call-To-Action

Make your call-to-action more like a conversation, not an advertisement. Invite the readers to learn more by sharing how you can help them put into action what you’ve shared in your blog post or article.

“If you keep delivering quality content on a regular basis that is of interest to specific types of people… you will grow your audience,” says Lynn.


Find out more about Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketing strategist, social media expert and speaker. She is author of international bestsellers “The 7 Graces of Marketing” and “Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically”. Lynn is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine. Her latest book, “The Social Entrepreneur’s Guide To Successful Blogging” comes out in January 2016.


PHOEBE CHONGCHUA IS A BRAND JOURNALIST AND CO-HOST OF THE BRAND STORYTELLING PODCAST & HER PODCAST, THE BRAND JOURNALISM ADVANTAGE.

TO CONNECT WITH PHOEBE ON TWITTER CLICK HERE.

 

Does my company need a blog?

By Kath Walters

The roadside assistance company, NRMA, was one of the first big companies to get into blogging as content marketing in Australia.

For over 90 years, the NRMA’s 2.4 million-plus members have received the organisation’s Open Road magazine.

In August 2012, the company’s then Head of Publishing, Emma Cornwell, took the company in a new direction; launching an online magazine called Live4, which served the 600,000-plus NRMA members under 40, who were not reading Open Road.

Blogging delivers your future customers

Within a matter of months, Live4 had attracted 50,000 subscribers. Only some of them were NRMA’s existing members. There is no password for the site – it’s available for anyone, not just members.

This is the nature of blogging, or content marketing. It’s a service to keep customers loyal, but it’s also designed to build a community from which new customers will emerge.

Google rules

When we want to buy any product or service – from our wedding venue to our dog groomer – we start with a search. Searching for products or services by walking down the street is an occasional pastime, but most business isn’t done that way.

And Google rules search results. Regularly writing, publishing and sharing content via email and social media builds interest in what you do, and moves your company to the first page of organic search results. Full stop. It’s all in the algorithms. Every time some geek tries to outplay the Google algorithm, Google updates it. It does not want its service to deliver rubbish results, so rubbish writing does not rank well.

No writing ranks nowhere. The money you spend on blogging, you will save on Google Adwords.

Learn to blog well

Today, more than 2 million blogs are published every day. Many of my clients worry that their blogging effort will contribute to the daily information overload, and be seen by their prospects and clients as spam.

Not if it’s good content – so good that your readers opt to get it – is my answer to that.

Live4 remains an excellent example of a good blog. It is focused on its readers interests, it does not mix its marketing with its editorial, and driving and cars is only one of the topics it covers. Others include: travel, entertainment, technology, lifestyle and opinion. It’s relevant to its audience, newsy, and doesn’t try to sell anything.

Another good example is the ANZ Bluenotes platform. 

If you’re in business today,  you are a publisher. If you are not a publisher, then you will soon not be in business.

 

Show what you know

Sales today is about respect; something we earn over time, and content marketing is a great way to create it.

Sales expert, Sue Barrett, has an eloquent way of summing up modern day selling. “Selling used to be nothing more than product monologues – features and benefits dished up to a captive audience,” she writes on her excellent website. “In the 21st Century, product monologues are redundant.”

We need to show our readers that we understand them through our blog, that we care about them, and that we  know our stuff.

Buying today is personal: Brand building

In our commoditised world, our customers and clients buy our approach as much as our products and services. When I discovered the website design company, Jaxzyn, I loved their approach – witty and warm and crystal clear. Such a pity they have let their blog go out of date. It meant that I found them only because I was referred to them, and when I forgot their name, I couldn’t find them through organic search. The archives are good, but they could be getting much more value out of their site. 

Blogs inherently contain a lot of brand values. A regular blog demonstrates your professionalism, your reliability, your generosity, your knowledge and your confidence.

That’s a lot of work for a little ol’ blog to do. Look after it, love it and keep it well nourished and it will build you a lovely business.


To learn how Newsmodo can help you with a content strategy or producing blog content, click here.


KATH WALTERS IS A JOURNALIST, EDITOR AND BLOG DOCTOR. VIEW HER WEBSITE HERE.

TO CONNECT WITH KATH WALTERS ON TWITTER CLICK HERE.

 

Tips to prepare for the future of marketing

by Phoebe Chongchua

Several years ago, Darren Woolley was searching for customers with disruptive marketing, just like many other businesses.  

“We were using a database to bomb people with emails”, says Darren. 

“We were doing publicity, advertising, sponsorship, all of the traditional outbound models and then, at around 2010 / 2011, we decided that there was a new way of doing business and especially a new way of engaging with our customers.”

An inbound marketing campaign became their strategy with “content at the heart of it”.

Listen to the full podcast for all of Darren’s tips and insights, and learn how he increased the size of his audience by 300%

So what did their new strategy look like?

The one that would triple the size of the business in the near future? 

The first thing that the company did was to make sure that their content represented the brand and gave it a voice in their niche industry.

Then they made certain that SEO was effectively driving traffic to the Website so visitors could find the new blog content and they made sure it was shared widely through social media.

“The impact in the first year was the number of people coming to our blog increased 300 percent. When we started this process the blog was getting about 3,000 unique readers per year. Last year we got over 150,000,” says Darren.

He says that the whole company must be involved in content creation. Darren also cautions that this is not a short-term campaign; instead it’s a business strategy.

“Not only did we increase the traffic to our Website but, over three years, we doubled the size of our business. And, the other thing that happened, going from outbound to inbound, was our conversion rate before was around 30 percent of leads. But after we embraced inbound marketing it jumped to over 50 percent of leads because [visitors] are qualifying themselves by being attracted to what you have to say,” explains Darren.

What Darren learnt about content creation: 

  • Use videos, blogs, and the company’s podcast to produce content. A blog becomes the area you own, but there are multiple ways of collating content onto there, and getting it out.

  • Long-form posts tend to do better. “You have to dive into the topic and really unearth some of those key insights, which is what makes it so much more readable and shareable.

  • Much of content creation content revolves around trial and error.

  • Embrace technology and an omni-channel approach

In order to keep up with evolution of marketing, brands needs to realise that simply embracing technology is not enough. Structural changes may be needed to really keep up with the future of marketing.  

For example, an organisation that has a digital team and a marketing team that are separate would be fragmenting the way these departments interact and this prevents a customer-centric approach. 

Darren says companies have to function cohesively to be successful at inbound marketing. “It requires every part of the business to be engaged in creating, sharing, and curating content to a brand strategy.”

The CEO should, in many ways be the CMO of today. The [CEO] should be the voice and the face of the brand.

— Darren Woolley

While there are challenges, there is a great opportunities to restructure organisations to position marketing as the interface to the customer.

“The future of marketing is to move more toward the interface as the coordinator and the champion of the customer within the business and to arrange the business silos around the customer with marketing at that interface,” Darren says.

Tips to prepare for the future of marketing:

  1. Be incredibly observant.

  2. Monitor and observe what is happening with your customer business. “If you’re going to engage with people you need to understand them.”

  3. Use behavioural data and research to keep informed and to “start predicting what your customers are going to need before they need it. The most successful companies in the world do that.”

  4. Innovate and use your business to test what your customers want. “Find weekly, daily, or monthly innovations and test them to see if it gets a response.”

  5. Constantly look for ways to turn even small ideas into innovations that work for your brand.

Darren says if you don’t you may lose your market share.

“To make your content strategy works, you have to continue to innovate in quality, and quality means relevance but also in the ways you’re delivering it to people to find what is the right way to deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time and right place.”

Darren says this requires constant innovation and testing because if you stick with one channel it will eventually wear out.

Find out more about Darren Woolley

Website

Twitter

Mentioned In This Episode

Trinity P3 Inbound Marketing Strategy


PHOEBE CHONGCHUA IS A BRAND JOURNALIST AND CO-HOST OF THE BRAND STORYTELLING PODCAST & HER PODCAST, THE BRAND JOURNALISM ADVANTAGE.

TO CONNECT WITH PHOEBE ON TWITTER, CLICK HERE

4 Strategies To Rebrand Your Business

Does your brand need a fresh approach?

Your sales are low, your market’s changed, and your competitor has launched a new product.

Sound familiar?

Spring has just blossomed in the Southern Hemisphere – and now’s the perfect time for renewal, resurrection and regrowth.

How can brands reinvent themselves? And what does it take to remake who we are and how we’re perceived? Four well-known brands show us how it’s done.

 

Re-positioning

Berocca

Known in Australia as a hangover cure in the 1990’s, Berocca took its own advice and B-B-Bounced back in mid-2013. This was in an attempt to compete with energy drinks like Powerade and Gatorade. Berocca has re-positioned itself as a ‘prepare’ not ‘recover’ product with its ‘Big Days Start with Berocca’ advertising.

Berocca did this by using a classic re-positioning narrative: present, deconstruct, and rebuild. You don’t always need to create something new. Re-positioning your product can work for you if you leverage your existing brand.

  

Re-branding

McDonalds

Health and wellness is a fast growing trend. This combined with social responsibility, has left a bad taste in McDonalds’ customers mouths. McDonalds has recently committed to becoming a ‘progressive burger company’ – how very unMcdonalds.

The current ‘Create Your Taste‘ campaign aims to shift negative associations with the brand. To remain relevant, McDonalds had to listen to its customers and invest in issues that matter to them. Take Mcdonalds’ lead and listen to your customers. Update your mission and let them know with a re-branding campaign.

 

Re-connecting

NASA

In the 1990’s, NASA was reserved for scientists and technology geeks. The purpose and values of the organisation had been lost on the minds of the greater community. The days of watching man’s first steps on the moon had vanished from most minds. NASA recognised their fading relevance and set out to reach non-traditional audiences through social media.

The brand’s 480+ accounts are now on a mission to inform people about science, math, engineering and technology. NASA uses content and events to discover their communities’ interests. Then they help them to understand these interests better.

Learn from NASA. Don’t just use social media as a broadcast service for your brand. Think about creating an engaging profile that people will want to connect with.

 

  

 

 

Re-targeting

National Geographic

The yellow bound magazine became a coffee-table staple but in the 1990’s subscriptions decreased, because the younger generation wasn’t reading National Geographic. To ensure the brand didn’t close its doors, National Geographic got itself in front of young readers by going where they were – online. Yet National Geographic has remained committed to using ‘storytelling to change the world’. It has done this by adapting its products for the digital space.

This combined with a strong social media presence, has allowed readers to connect with the brand on the platform of their choice. Don’t wait for customers to come to you. Consider developing products for specific audiences. Then take them to where your customers are.  

 


Rachel Kurzyp is a writer and communications consultant helping businesses build their digital story.

To connect with Rachel on Twitter click here

Website


Thinking of rebranding your business? Check out these three templates to save you time and money on your marketing.  

 

 

Four Insights Into Amplifying Your Brand With Influencers [And A New App To Help]

by Phoebe Chongchua

Do you need to amplify your brand’s message?

Jules Lund is an Australian TV and radio host turned social media whiz and digi-geek. He gave his tips on how brands can leverage the power of influencers and describes the new app that will facilitate these relationships.  

Below are his top four insights on using influencer marketing to amplify brand messages.

Listen to the Brand Storytelling podcast for the full discussion. 

1) Brands are buying the influencer’s audience, not the influencer

Brands have to understand that influencer marketers are helping spread the brand message to their core audience. Look carefully at the audience of the influencer because you’re not buying the influencer. You are, however, hoping to reach the influencer’s audience.

Study the opportunities and trends that exist. Keep a close watch on the influencers you’re considering. Follow them and see how they engage with their audience to ensure that it suits your brand.

2) Collaboration is key

Jules says brands can generate the brief for an influencer but then the influencer needs to have enough autonomy to come up with a creative social piece that resonates with the audience.

“Don’t forget, influencers are the best, most specialised content creators in the world for their tribe,” says Jules. “They have crafted relentlessly, post per post, a dialect with their tribe that they have refined and is exclusive and intimate to them. No one can come and say, ‘You’re better off doing it like this to talk to your tribe.’”

Sometimes this means creating content that wouldn’t normally be created by the brand itself. Ultimately companies have to trust in their influencers, because they know how to connect with their audience. 

Brands that are brave are getting far greater results because it has an authenticity to it.

— Jules Lund

 

3) Brands should have final approval over influencer-created content

Even though Jules believes influencers need to be able to have the freedom to create content, he says influencers should still have to seek final approval from the brand.

However, Jules says, “Just because an influencer can talk to its tribe doesn’t mean that the influencer can talk brand. Balancing commerce versus content is a really special skill.”

In an ideal influencer marketing program, brands work collaboratively with influencers, giving freedom to the influencer to create content that will resonate with the influencer’s audience.

4) An app called TRIBE

As a media presenter and influencer himself, Jules Lund saw an opportunity for brands to get their message across to consumers using influencer marketers. 

A new app called TRIBE (releasing soon) – will be providing a marketplace for influencers and brands who need them.

TRIBE is a platform where brands can easily invite and brief these influencers to activate powerful one-to-one campaigns and engage audiences they’re desperate to reach.

TRIBE will be cutting down the tedious and time consuming task that many PR and marketing agencies and departments have dealt with in the past – the process of building relationships with influencers. 


Mentioned in this episode

Find out more about Jules Lund

Twitter @JulesLund

Jules Lund’s versatility across Television, Radio & Digital has rewarded him with a wealth of experience. On TV, Jules has hosted Getaway, the Logies Red Carpet, Game-shows, Reality TV, live events, celebrity interviews and more.

And yet in the digital world, Jules’ momentum has never been stronger. With a background in Graphic Design, Photography and Film, Jules quickly became obsessed with social media. In 2013, he led ‘The Fifi & Jules’ Facebook Page to become the most engaged brand-page in the entire country.

In 2015 Emma Freedman joined Jules Lund as co-host of the new national nightly Scoopla show from 6pm on SCA’s Hit Network, covering the fickle world of entertainment.

PHOEBE CHONGCHUA IS A BRAND JOURNALIST AND CO-HOST OF THE BRAND STORYTELLING PODCAST & THE BRAND JOURNALISM ADVANTAGE PODCAST.

TO CONNECT WITH PHOEBE ON TWITTER CLICK HERE.

Why Instagram And Pinterest Usage Has Doubled

By Josh Hoffman

A recent Pew Research Center survey shows the number of Instagram and Pinterest users has doubled since 2012. In comparison, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have seen minor gains.

Certainly, Instagram and Pinterest are newer platforms compared to the other three networks, so we can attribute some of their growth to the fact that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn largely piqued before or around 2012.

However, this doesn’t tell the entire story because, ultimately, a social media platform can only acquire and retain mass followers if the platform’s user experience matches its hype. Instagram and Pinterest both embody an incredible user experience – an experience that in many ways is superior to that of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

When I was studying journalism at San Diego State University less than a decade ago, there was an ongoing focus on the death of traditional newspapers by virtue of the Internet and an ever-growing consumption of digital media. However, as print newspapers were dropping like flies, the 20,000 magazines that were in print and circulation at the time barely took a hit.

The theory, my professors explained, was that magazines had survived the digital content tsunami because they offer niche-based, self-serve, visually engaging content with a better user experience than newspapers.

On the other hand, newspapers were not niche-based and self-serve – you had to buy an entire newspaper even if you just wanted to read the sports section, for instance – while featuring heavy amounts of text and less visually aesthetic content as a whole.

In my estimation, that is precisely why Instagram and Pinterest have seen this type of growth during the last three years: Their user experience is a lot like that of a magazine.

On Instagram, for instance, we have the ability to flip through visual content a few seconds at a time, sometimes stopping for a bit longer in order to further engage in a photo or short video. Sounds just like the experience of a magazine, right?

Even more than Instagram, Pinterest is essentially the digital version of a magazine. With the ability to follow specific boards of an account – as opposed to an entire account – Pinterest takes the concepts of niche-based and self-serve to a whole new level. That’s like saying, “I only want content about the Los Angeles Lakers in the LA Times.” Unprecedented. And of course, Pinterest is all things visual.

I remember last year, Mark Zuckerberg said that he wanted Facebook to represent a newspaper of sorts. In many ways, it already does: loads of content about topics across the board, in a variety of formats (photos, videos, links). LinkedIn and Twitter essentially offer the same experience.

If the rise and fall of newspapers is of any indication, Instagram and Pinterest will continue to enjoy growth and success – while eventually, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may start to go by way of traditional newspapers as we know them.

 

Josh Hoffman is an international social media consultant and the author of the Social Media MasterCourse. Connect with Josh on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

 

Why Brands Are Hiring Journalists

by Phoebe Chongchua

It’s a change that’s sweeping the marketing world like wild fire.

Not only are brands carving out budgets for PR & marketing – but they’re also putting journalists on the payroll to create quality branded content.

The fight for audience’s attention is tougher than ever – and this is pushing brands to think more like publishers 

Two examples that highlight the shift towards embedding journalists are: The Dollar Shave Club and Casper, a mattress company that hired Elizabeth Spiers, former editor-in-chief of the New York Observer and founding editor of gawker.com. Brands like these and many more are hiring professional journalists to help create their own newsroom.

Listen to the podcast or see below the top four reasons brands are hiring journalists to create content. 

 

1) Tight deadlines

On an average day, a journalist may be given an assignment at 8am and expected to hand it in at 10am. A sense of a fast-paced work ethic and ability to get things done, fast, is instilled in journalists from the early days of their career.This is something that non-journalists can struggle with as it is not a natural way to work for everyone. 

2) Research and interviews

Storytelling for brands is made stronger by having source interviews. Every journalist knows the importance of researching and interviewing multiple people to find the best quotes for an article. Often these aren’t directives from the brand but rather the journalist doing the work the way a reporter would–“really dig in and do original reporting,” says Angela.

Finding the best story angle and people to tell that story will create more engaging content and help the brand form relationships with its audience by giving a diversity of voices and reliable information. 

3) Adaptability to brand guidelines

In the age where publishing an article or video to the world, literally takes just a few clicks, hiring a journalist to create that content can be invaluable.

“We’re very adaptable and ready to take on the voice, style, and tone that our clients set. It’s something that we have to do as a journalist; we have to do exactly what our [media] outlet wants and that’s really easy to do for a brand client as well,” says Angela.

4) Multiple skill sets

Many journalists who are print writers are also photographers. Angela says this can really help a brand because a single hire can help create both quality articles and the photography that goes with them.

Other journalists are multimedia brand journalists who can create audio and video content that helps complement the written blog post or article.

Many of the former TV reporters are also available to host your videos, gala events, and Webinars.

But if you’re not used to hiring journalists, this can be challenging. One of the best places to find journalists is through agencies like Newsmodo. The main reason is because they vet the talent pool and offer you the best in the business. It’s also much easier to contact just one agency and have an opportunity to choose from many different journalists who have broad backgrounds in niche market specialties.

 

Find out more about Angela Tague

Website

Twitter @AngelaTague

Angela Tague writes web marketing content for major brands including Purina, Overstock and Walgreens. She also provides feature articles and photography for magazines including Club Traveler and TIME. And don’t miss her health and lifestyle blog posts for Fit Pregnancy, Everyday Health and Tom’s of Maine. Tague has worked in news writing and photojournalism since 1998 but after working for several publications Angela started freelancing and has been doing that for brands and media outlets since 2009.

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PHOEBE CHONGCHUA IS A BRAND JOURNALIST AND CO-HOST OF THE BRAND STORYTELLING PODCAST & THE BRAND JOURNALISM ADVANTAGE PODCAST.

TO CONNECT WITH PHOEBE ON TWITTER CLICK HERE.