Empowering audiences through the art of language

This week’s episode of the Brand Storytelling podcast delves into the influence of language in the way everyday audience behaviour is shaped.

Discussing the construction of powerful brand storytelling, inbound marketing and the language that powers it all up, FutureBrand CEO Richard Curtis sheds the light on how language has modelled his business’s success and how it can do the same for yours. 

 

Subscribe on: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | iHeartRadio or an RSS feed of your choice! 

Download the episode here

In this episode:

– Why language is so important in modern day marketing

– Why understanding the conventions of language in storytelling is crucial to brand success

– How to create sharp and precise messages to your audience

– Inspiring audiences through the art of words.

About the guest:

FutureBrand’s Asia Pacific CEO Richard Curtis has been in the agency field for two decades, and has seen the evolution of language make its way into modern marketing. With a passion for the “DNA” within language, Curtis has seen his business flourish through its knack for influential storytelling.

Links:

Creating content that speaks volumes in multiple languages

How to plan your content calendar in 5 easy steps

A content calendar to content marketing is like an editorial calendar to journalism. Perhaps that’s why companies who adopt brand journalism use the same term and approach as any news organisation.

Not only making sense in terms of productivity, a content calendar also serves as a strategic lever. It gives you opportunities to:

  • Adapt your strategy to react to important shifts

  • Proactively allocate and manage marketing resources

Now, let’s get into the details of creating this important tool.

 

Step 1: Start from the strategy

 

Ideally, you should already have a content marketing strategy in place. Remember, if you don’t belong to the camp of 37% of B2B marketers and 40% of B2C marketers who have a written content marketing plan, you should really start there before diving into a content calendar.

Next, extract information from the strategy to guide your content creation efforts. Specifically, start with your buyer personas and the topics they care about.

Tip: Get information about your sales cycle and buyers’ concerns from other departments such as sales and customer service.

 

Step 2: Take stock

 

This is where you look at your existing, as well as desired situation.

  • List all content types, e.g. blog, email, video, social

  • List all content channels, e.g. social networks, blogging/content sites

  • Determine how much resources you have and need to achieve your content marketing goals

Tip: Identify valuable and previously unexploited content assets that can be repurposed and fitted into the calendar.

Step 3: Create a yearly view

 

This is where you identify seasonal or significant events that can impact your publishing schedule and map them out across the whole year. Some examples:

  • Holidays

  • Industry events, trade shows

  • Peak buying seasons

  • Times of year that have industry significance, e.g. tax time for accounting

  • Recurring annual corporate events

  • Product launches

Example of events that could affect your content calendar. Source: Contentmart
Example of events that could affect your content calendar. Source: Contentmart

 

Step 4: Work down to a monthly plan

 

Next, place specific content pieces into a monthly map, considering the information from all the steps above.

The level of details depends on your industry and business, but generally, your content calendar should include:

  • Themes / Campaigns (tip: use colour-coded labels)

  • Topic / Headline

  • Intended date of publishing

  • Author / Owner

  • Status

Extras: keywords (for SEO), calls to action, URL of published content (for content audit)

Example of monthly content calendar. Source: Buffer
Example of monthly content calendar. Source: Buffer

At this stage, you should also consider whether you want to plan your content using a spreadsheet or another tool (e.g. CoSchedule, Kapost, Trello). Some questions to consider:

  • What do you value from your calendar, e.g. collaboration, progress? Decide whether you want to incorporate project management and content planning.

  • How easy will it be to find and use the calendar, considering cross-department collaboration, upcoming events etc.?

  • How varied your content formats are, mainly blog or social posts?

  • How much visual content assets do you plan to create? Some tools might support planning for these better than others.

Step 5: Keep an ideas repository

 

To fill the content schedule for the whole year, you can keep a list of content ideas either separately or integrated into your monthly plan.

Example of separate yearly, monthly plans and ideas list. Source: Buffer
Example of separate yearly, monthly plans and ideas list. Source: Buffer

Tip: Again, tap internal expertise and ask for employees’ input when it comes to ideas.

Going beyond your brand through content marketing – With Founder of MiGoals, Adam Jelic

This week’s episode of the Brand Storytelling podcast sees Rakhal partner up with founder of popular stationery label MiGoals, Adam Jelic, for a discussion on selling a solution, not a product. 

Having gained serious momentum across the industry, MiGoals now heads up the world of goal-setting with its functional, stylish collection — all designed to help entrepreneurs and general busy-bodies leverage their proactivity. 

The brand’s success can also be attributed to Jelic’s approach of delivering concepts to customers by using experiences and inbound tactics to weave a healthy content marketing balance.

It’s all about going beyond the brand…

Subscribe on: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | iHeartRadio or an RSS feed of your choice! 

 

Download the episode here

In this episode:

– The importance of going beyond the brand to attract new customers

– Selling a solution, not a product

– Using experiences and inbound marketing. 

About the guest:

Adam Jelic is the Founder of popular stationery label, MiGoals. Through careful content marketing tactics that attract, not deter, Jelic’s approach to brand storytelling has seen the business expand its growth year after year.

Links:

How I Learned How to Sell Solutions, Not Products

3 Ways to Deliver Delightful Content Experiences

Why content marketing is still king in the B2B worldlr

Roughly 9 years ago, Seth Godin said content marketing “is all the marketing that’s left.” Today, with the rise of ad blocking, the benefits of content marketing still prove his statement. It’s more than a tactic, or even strategy, but rather, a mindset. 

So how does teaching and convincing potential customers with the resources you create help? Let’s dive into some obvious and less obvious answers. 

Increase perceived value

Content marketing, as Marketing Prof’s Ann Handley said, “allows you to unapologetically charge what you charge.” Why? 

Because content marketing builds a stronger brand, leading to being seen as a thought leader over time. The focus here is on “time,” meaning it doesn’t happen overnight. 

How much effort do you think HubSpot has spent on building its colossal marketing resources library? 

Source: HubSpot
Source: HubSpot

In economic terms, content marketing helps you achieve price inelasticity regardless of demand. When you get to that stage, your brand equals top quality. 

 

Marketing and sales alignment

“Old marketing was about how many. New marketing is about who.” In other words, content marketing can bring in more qualified leads and not lists of random contacts.  

This is done thanks to the much-needed collaboration between marketing and sales. Only 19% of buyers rely on salespeople for purchase decisions. Meanwhile, content marketing helps move customers through the buyer journey – awareness, consideration and conversion – by delivering warmer leads to sales. 

Here are some stats that show the kind of results you can get if marketing and sales work together on content marketing initiatives:

  • Some brands cut costs of acquisition by an average of $14 per new customer 
  • PR Newswire achieved a 30% shorter sales cycle within a year
  • DemandBase generated 1,700 leads with a content marketing campaign using multiple content formats

Flow-on effects to other channels

If you adopt the mindset of creating great content and act like a publisher, then you should attract people to your content marketing destination, be it your blog or an off-domain content hub.

HP’s off-domain content site
HP’s off-domain content site

Without having to get too technical, content marketing, in this case, helps improve a bunch of things such as your website’s domain authority, SEO, and backlinking profile. 

The idea is to create content/resources so great that people have to syndicate or link back to you. Marketers can also achieve this through guest blogging and branded content.

Great content gets shared on social media, and having highly engaged readers from social sources can benefit your SEO by sending “social signals” to search engines.

It’s a team effort

One of the less obvious benefits of content marketing is its impact on the personal branding of individual employees. This is particularly important for B2B businesses where there are extended interactions between customers and staff.

If you can tap internal expertise by letting people contribute ideas or help write blog posts, not only does it improve morale, but also increases customer’s trust. Nobody wants to deal with a faceless corporation. 

For instance, Kevan from Buffer, or Nathan from CoSchedule have written so much great content that people can project the trust placed on these individuals onto the respective brands. 

How Omny Studio enables podcasters to start monetising

On the Brand Storytelling podcast, we talk with the CEO of Omny Studio Sharon Taylor about how the podcasting industry is starting to monetise. With the market for ads expected to exceed $200 million in 2017, publishers and producers are turning their shows into live events. 

Publishers such as Slate, Gimlet and the Ringer are some of the brands making the most noise with multiple shows attracting the attention of advertisers. But this all pales in comparison when compared to the main staples of radio and television that routinely see returns in the billions.

Omny Studio is an on-demand publishing platform that works in alignment with radio and podcast producers. They enable brands to comprehensively host, share and monetize their shows to build a product audiences can easily access. 

Subscribe on: iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | iHeartRadio or an RSS feed of your choice! 

Download the episode here

In this episode:

– Why brands should be looking at avenues to monetise their content.

– How to build a show that will attract advertisers.

About the guest:

Sharon Taylor is the CEO of Omny Studio with a passion for the tech industry and working with brands in the startup community.

Links:

Why live podcasters are becoming a big deal this year – Digiday

The 5 Key 2016 Podcast Statistics – Convice&Convert

5 ways to monetize a podcast – Side hustle nation


Modern marketing influencers you want to follow in 2017

As marketers in the digital age, we have the luxury of being able to connect with industry peers from thousands of miles away. Learning from and keeping up to date with the best is only a matter of time, not distance.

These leaders have been earmarked for their dedication, expertise and authority in the content space, many of whom I’ve had the luxury of interviewing on the Brand Storytelling podcast. They have paved the way for our industry to grow, and will only continue to do so moving forward.

ANN HANDLEY (@MARKETINGPROFS)

Forbes recognises her as the Most Influential Woman in Social Media and one of the Top 20 Women Bloggers. Ann was the world’s first chief content officer when she started her current role at MarketingProfs.

BRIAN CLARK (@BRIANCLARK)

Founder and CEO of Rainmaker Digital (formerly Copyblogger Media), Brian has helped grow Copyblogger to become one of the world’s top marketing blogs. He also curates content for Unemployable – a leading resources hub aimed at freelancers, consultants, coaches, and entrepreneurs.

JAY ACUNZO (@JAYACUNZO)

As the world’s most craft-driven marketer, Jay writes and speaks about creativity in business and marketing. The former Google’s media strategist and HubSpot’s head of content marketing has had his work cited in Harvard Business Review, Washington Post and Shark Tank.

JEFF BULLAS (@JEFFBULLAS)

Listed as the No. 1 Content Marketing Influencer by Onalytica plus various other influencer titles, Jeff is a renowned blogger and speaker. His blog receives over 5 million visitors a year and his following size on Twitter is around half a million.

JOANNA WIEBE (@COPYHACKERS)

As the “original conversion copywriter” and the creator of Copy Hackers, she has spoken on more than 50 stages worldwide.  Joanna has also sold 40,000+ copies of Copy Hackers eBooks and helped 50,000 people increase conversion rates using copywriting.  

JOE PULIZZI (@JOEPULIZZI)

We have the term “content marketing” today thanks to Joe, who coined it back in 2001. Pioneering the movement, he founded the Content Marketing Institute and has given 300 presentations over the past 6 years. His books Content Inc. and Epic Content Marketing have become the go-to resources on this topic.

LEONARD KIM (@MRLEONARDKIM)

Recognised by Inc., Forbes and Entrepreneur as a Top Digital Marketer, Leonard is a personal branding expert whose content has been read over 10 million times. He is a keynote speaker and managing partner of InfluenceTree. You know his personal branding works as he even has his own Wikipedia page.

MICHAEL BRENNER (@MICHAEL BRENNER)

Named Top Business Speaker by The Huffington Post and a top CMO Influencer by Forbes, Michael is no stranger to the content marketing world. He wrote the bestselling book The Content Formula and has worked with many Fortune 500 brands including SAP and Nielsen.

RAND FISHKIN (@RANDFISH)

As the founder and former CEO of Moz, Rand has helped built an SEO empire and become the “Wizard of Moz”. He has been invited to speak to the teams at Google, Facebook, & Microsoft, and also co-founded Inbound.org – a leading marketing community.

ROBERT ROSE (@ROBERT_ROSE)

Robert is the chief strategy officer for the Content Marketing Institute, co-host of the top marketing podcast PNR’s This Old Marketing and author of the book considered to be the “owners manual” of the Content Marketing process.

SUJAN PATEL (@SUJANPATEL)

An avid writer, entrepreneur and data-driven marketer, Sujan has helped hundreds of Fortune 500 brands grow their businesses and acquire more customers. His book 100 Days of Growth sold over 30,000 copies last year alone. Known for his 80-hour work weeks, he is also the co-founder of Web Profits and partner at various other software companies.

Arianna Huffington’s journey from the Right to the Left

You could say Thrive Global started when its founder, Arianna Huffington broke her jaw 10 years ago. After taking her daughter around college campuses all day, she was working at her desk when she felt a chill. She got up to grab a sweater and collapsed, hitting her head on the desk.

Doctors told her she was burned out. At the time, Arianna was juggling the joint stresses of an infant Huffington Post and trying to be the perfect mother.

This incident started Arianna on a journey that would be realised when eight years later she authored her 14th book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. The book was the precursor to her latest enterprise, Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer wellbeing and productivity platform.

Her latest book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, has built on this latest obsession of finding a work-life balance that she found so difficult to strike early in her career.

In 1974 Huffington embarked on a career as a writer. Her first book, published with Random House, The Female Woman (1974), looks at and critiques certain trends in women’s liberation movements.

Having also tackled Greek mythology, biographies of Picasso and opera legend Maria Callas, it was her politics that saw her career blossom. In 1980, she started to write occasionally for conservative magazine, National Review.

In the mid 1990’s, Arianna rose to prominence as her then husband and one term congressman, Michael Huffington unsuccessfully ran for Senate. As she assisted his campaign she became a regular on talk shows and was a of voice of conservatism in Comedy Central’s coverage of the 1996 U.S. Presidential Election.

Then, while working on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher in 1997, she and the writing team were nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program at the Emmy Awards.

With TV and writing covered, Arianna co-hosted a weekly radio program where she again offered a conservative perspective.  

But, by the time the Huffington Post had emerged in 2005, her conservative stance on political issues began leaning to the left, particularly on issues of ecology and corporate reform.

Her books titles over this period speak to this change: How to Overthrow the Government (April 2001), New York Times best seller Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America (2004) and Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream (2011).

After selling the Huffington Post to AOL for US$315 million, in 2011 she became its president and Editor-in-Chief. She led the site to a Pulitzer Prize and expansion into 17 editions around the world, and it all started as a blog with liberal punditry and news aggregation.

Huffington has been recognised by Forbes on several of their famous lists, including Power Women (2016) and the first-ever list of the Most Influential Women in Media, (2009). Time Magazine included her on their list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, in 2014.

Now, Huffington has left the Huffington Post she is an advocate of reducing stress to boost productivity, getting beyond money and power, better time management and business culture.


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Modern marketing influencers you want to follow in 2017

As marketers in the digital age, we have the luxury of being able to connect with industry peers from thousands of miles away. Learning from and keeping up to date with the best is only a matter of time, not distance.

These leaders have been earmarked for their dedication, expertise and authority in the content space, many of whom I’ve had the luxury of interviewing on the Brand Storytelling podcast. They have paved the way for our industry to grow, and will only continue to do so moving forward.


Ann Handley (@MarketingProfs)

Forbes recognises her as the Most Influential Woman in Social Media and one of the Top 20 Women Bloggers. Ann was the world’s first chief content officer when she started her current role at MarketingProfs.

Brian Clark (@brianclark)

Founder and CEO of Rainmaker Digital (formerly Copyblogger Media), Brian has helped grow Copyblogger to become one of the world’s top marketing blogs. He also curates content for Unemployable – a leading resources hub aimed at freelancers, consultants, coaches, and entrepreneurs.

Jay Acunzo (@jayacunzo)

As the world’s most craft-driven marketer, Jay writes and speaks about creativity in business and marketing. The former Google’s media strategist and HubSpot’s head of content marketing has had his work cited in Harvard Business Review, Washington Post and Shark Tank.

Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas)

Listed as the No. 1 Content Marketing Influencer by Onalytica plus various other influencer titles, Jeff is a renowned blogger and speaker. His blog receives over 5 million visitors a year and his following size on Twitter is around half a million.

Joanna Wiebe (@copyhackers)

As the “original conversion copywriter” and the creator of Copy Hackers, she has spoken on more than 50 stages worldwide.  Joanna has also sold 40,000+ copies of Copy Hackers eBooks and helped 50,000 people increase conversion rates using copywriting.  

Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi)

We have the term “content marketing” today thanks to Joe, who coined it back in 2001. Pioneering the movement, he founded the Content Marketing Institute and has given 300 presentations over the past 6 years. His books Content Inc. and Epic Content Marketing have become the go-to resources on this topic.

Leonard Kim (@MrLeonardKim)

Recognised by Inc., Forbes and Entrepreneur as a Top Digital Marketer, Leonard is a personal branding expert whose content has been read over 10 million times. He is a keynote speaker and managing partner of InfluenceTree. You know his personal branding works as he even has his own Wikipedia page.

Michael Brenner (@Michael Brenner)

Named Top Business Speaker by The Huffington Post and a top CMO Influencer by Forbes, Michael is no stranger to the content marketing world. He wrote the bestselling book The Content Formula and has worked with many Fortune 500 brands including SAP and Nielsen.

Rand Fishkin (@Randfish)

As the founder and former CEO of Moz, Rand has helped built an SEO empire and become the “Wizard of Moz”. He has been invited to speak to the teams at Google, Facebook, & Microsoft, and also co-founded Inbound.org – a leading marketing community.

Robert Rose (@Robert_Rose)

Robert is the chief strategy officer for the Content Marketing Institute, co-host of the top marketing podcast PNR’s This Old Marketing and author of the book considered to be the “owners manual” of the Content Marketing process.

Sujan Patel (@Sujanpatel)

An avid writer, entrepreneur and data-driven marketer, Sujan has helped hundreds of Fortune 500 brands grow their businesses and acquire more customers. His book 100 Days of Growth sold over 30,000 copies last year alone. Known for his 80-hour work weeks, he is also the co-founder of Web Profits and partner at various other software companies.