The Art and Science of Emotional Engagement

By Ashley Taylor Anderson


Fun fact: Neuro-imagery shows that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions rather than factual information. This is as true for brand-created content as it is for traditional advertising spots and banners.

We can see the power of emotional content at work in marketing campaigns that went viral. Always’ Like a Girl, Dove’s Real Beauty, and Apple’s Misunderstood campaigns all spring to mind.

But we’ve also seen how emotional content can go terribly awry — like those sad ASPCA commercials with Sarah McLachlan or Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen campaign.

As content creators, emotion can be an incredibly powerful engagement tactic, but we have to use it artfully. Let’s explore the science of emotion and how we can use it in an empathetic way to create more meaningful content.

Science of emotion

Emotional engagement is affected by a number of scientific principles that directly impact content creation. Here are four key areas:

  • Design
  • Color
  • Images
  • Branding


Designs often fall into patterns of sameness around the latest trends. However, designs that evoke the greatest emotional response tend to involve something out of the norm. Elements of surprise can prevent your content from being filtered out by Broca’s area in the brain.

Designs that evoke the greatest emotional response involve something out of the norm says @SFBakerGeek.
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Additionally, introducing schema incongruity — information incongruent to an established schema — has the potential to increase interest, memorability, and persuasiveness in consumers.

As an extreme example, this marketing video for consumer product Squatty Potty went viral precisely because it was so weird and surprising.

Generally, you don’t associate unicorns, ice cream, and English guys in doublets with …read more

Source:: content marketing

How to Create the Ultimate Branded Content Style Guide

By Heather Levy


I’m a sucker for first-person stories. When people share their personal experiences, especially in B2B content, they draw me in and I often read to the end, consuming their message while I’m at it. Often personal content humanizes a corporate brand and can pack a big impact — but only if that’s what the brand intends for me to feel.

American Express Open Forum features Member Stories to demonstrate how the global financial services company understands the issues faced by small-business owners.


In the poignant blog post (When It’s Not) The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, a National Life Group staff member reveals a tragedy in his life and shares tips on how to cope with holidays. The life insurance company’s Main Street blog post (a Best Blog Post finalist in the 2016 Content Marketing Awards) expresses its desire to care for a customer.


These tones used by American Express and National Life could work well for some brands and for others it would miss the mark. Ensuring that your content reflects and expresses your brand essence or voice requires a comprehensive style guide. Without it, you risk sinking into bland drivel that takes your brand nowhere or worse, undermines it.

Ensure that your #content reflects & expresses your brand essence or voice via @heathrpemberton.
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A brand content style guide should cover more than grammar and specify tone, language, structure and the overall voice of your content. It contains four essential elements:

  • Brand attributes
  • Style and tone
  • Style rules
  • Examples of how to effectively use the brand voice and how not to do it
HANDPICKED …read more

Source:: content marketing

This Week in Content Marketing: Is Content Marketing Actually a Thing?

By Joe Pulizzi


PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this episode, Robert and I discuss whether there’s truly a difference between marketing and content marketing and, if so, whether one works better than the other. In M&A news, Google Acquires FameBit, while more publishers are starting to search for new media business models. Rants and raves include a celebrity-tinged perspective on marketing engagement, and some missed opportunities by Hewlett-Packard; lastly, we explore why MassMutual is sending its Millennial-focused Society of Grownups initiative into an early retirement in our example of the week.

This week’s show

(Recorded live on October 17, 2016; Length: 1:04:21)

Download this week’s PNR This Old Marketing podcast.

If you enjoy our PNR podcasts, we would love if you would rate it, or post a review, on iTunes.

1. Content marketing in the news

  • Is content marketing a load of bollocks? (07:30): In his recent Marketing Week column, Mark Ritson gives his 2 cents on whether or not the emergence of content marketing as a separate discipline is distracting marketers from their “real job of communicating with customers and selling stuff?” Robert and I were confused about the actual argument being made here; but in general we both feel that, at this point, anyone who still feels the need to question content marketing’s existence should at least back up their assertions with solid factual evidence.

Questioning #contentmarketing’s existence? Back up your assertions w/solid factual evidence says @joepulizzi.
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  • Google acquires FameBit (23:45): <a class="colorbox" href="" …read more

    Source:: content marketing

Email Marketing: A Fresh Take From the Experts

By Andrea Fryrear


Email and content are long-time buds. Subscribers are central to building a successful business. There’s no better content distribution channel than email. What would email marketers have to do if content wasn’t there to give them something to say?

In fact, 93% of B2B marketers reported using email to distribute their content in CMI/ MarketingProf’s B2B Content Marketing: 2017 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends—North America research.

But, more importantly, 93% of those who use email consider it to be an important channel for their content marketing success.

93% of those who use email say it is an important channel for their #contentmarketing success via @cmicontent.
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It’s clear that solid email strategies underpin successful content marketing efforts, but you can’t just send a weekly newsletter to your entire list and expect great results. Marketers need to create email that subscribers want to open.

A panel discussion with B2B marketing experts during Content Marketing World 2016 yielded invaluable insight into how content marketers can take their email to the next level and includes ideas about list segmentation, email relevance, and inactive subscribers.

Led by Chris Bondhus, senior director of demand generation for Brightcove, this roundtable featured Ardath Albee, B2B marketing strategist with Marketing Interactions and author of Digital Relevance; Carla Johnson, president of Type A Communications and co-author of Experiences, the 7th Era of Marketing; Skyler Moss, director of digital marketing for HCSS; and Dusty DiMercurio, content marketing and strategy, Autodesk.

Segment your list for increased relevance

You create content with a particular persona in mind, and you should do the same when drafting an email. It takes little effort to allow new subscribers to select their email preferences during their initial sign-up, but these few seconds can pay huge dividends during content delivery.

Create #content with a persona in …read more

Source:: content marketing

How to Turn Research Into 27+ Content Pieces [Case Study]

By Anna Talerico


A few months ago, our research report was complete. Instead of simply rejoicing at its delivery, we pounced on the opportunity to use it as a core part of our content marketing strategy.

Now, we share what we did, what we learned, and how we’re using it today to help you learn how a single piece of good content can launch a robust content marketing effort.

Research report

The 19-page study, Deliver Peak Experiences from Interactive Content, detailed the results of a randomly sampled survey of 20,000 marketers about interactive content crafted by the report’s co-sponsor, CMI.

The study provided a strong foundation for a host of targeted content highlighting the industry-wide move to interactive.


We didn’t just want to share a PDF that people could download (and hopefully read) after providing their contact information. We wanted to scale the content into something that would engage a broader audience. Here is how we did just that.

Create infographic-on-steroids landing page

We distilled the most engaging facts from the report — the top three types and most popular uses of interactive content — to create a freely accessible interactive infographic.

Distill the most engaging facts from a research report (into) an interactive infographic via @annatalerico.
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The goal of the infographic was to provide potential readers with an authentic taste of the report and offer them an impetus to give their information to download the full report through a sign-up form (in the upper right). That approach was more helpful than sending them to a landing page …read more

Source:: content marketing

[New Research] B2C Marketers Need to Give Content Marketing Time

By Joe Pulizzi


If you follow Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs annual research, you learned three weeks ago that our most recent survey shows that content marketing has taken a turn for the better. Sixty-two percent of B2B marketers consider their organization’s overall approach to content marketing to be much more or somewhat more successful than one year ago. The same trend holds true for 63% of B2C marketers as we see with today’s release of B2C Content Marketing—2017 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America sponsored by Hightail.

63% B2C marketers say approach to #contentmarketing is more successful than 1 year ago via @cmicontent.
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As I detailed in my blog post about B2B marketers, there are several reasons why marketers are reporting that their organizations are more successful with content marketing this year; B2C marketers report that they’re doing a better job with content creation (77%) and developing or adjusting their content marketing strategy (71%).

77% B2C marketers are doing a better job with #content creation via @cmicontent. #research
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But what can we learn from the 23% of B2C marketers who say their overall success is about the same as one year ago? To what factors do they attribute their stagnancy? The top two reasons they cite are strategy issues (49%) and not enough time devoted to content marketing (48%).


Quick hits vs. long-term results

One of the disconnects we observed in the research is that while 71% of B2C respondents agree that their organization is focused more on building long-term relationships than on getting quick (campaign-like) results from their content marketing, only 52% agree that their leadership team gives them ample time to produce content marketing results.

<img src="×398.jpg" alt="2017-b2c-research-opinions" width="600" height="398" …read more

Source:: content marketing

7 Tips to Harness Your Event Superpowers

By Amy Higgins


From planning and promotion to execution and follow-up, great events require a killer strategy with a heaping dose of tenacity to pull off. Those who do it well seem superhuman, with powers we mere normals do not possess.

Never fear; a social media event plan is here. Social superpowers … activate.

1. Fire up the engine

Once you have a confirmed date and location, start promoting your event through social media — even if you haven’t finalized all the details.

  • Dash out of the gate – As soon as possible, spread buzz about your event. Develop social posts that include speakers, sponsors, and influencers to help increase reach.
  • Involve your employees – Don’t forget to create excitement among your closest stakeholders. Even better, arm them with tools to help with promotion. Make it easy for your co-workers to share the event by writing social posts for them. Share this via any internal communication tool — internal newsletter, Slack thread, Yammer channel, or even an email.
  • Create a promotion-code plan – Invite your influencers by sharing a promotion code. The earlier you get them involved, the sooner they can help you promote your event.

Pro tip: Always use a visual to promote your event, and be sure to hit up speakers, sponsors, and influencers via social to take advantage of their networks.

Always use a visual to promote your event says @amywhiggins. #contentmarketing
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2. Leverage your speakers

You engage speakers to provide original insights on the day of your event, but don’t forget they are also powerful allies to promote the big day.

  • Design sharable speaker cards – Ask a designer to develop a sharable social media graphic that includes room for a headshot, quote, and brief event details. Ask the speaker for a quote …read more

    Source:: content marketing

How to Use User-Generated Content to Drive Sales

By Sujan Patel


Who’s responsible for creating your company’s most valuable content?

Your marketing team?

An agency?


How about your customers?

Customers are generating quality content for companies all over the world around the clock. In my experience however, few companies have picked up on that fact – let alone realized how valuable this user-generated content can be.

In fact, user-generated content can be more effective at driving sales than the content you create. That’s because prospects are more likely to take their peers’ word at face value. To them, user-generated content is more authentic, more trustworthy. Don’t believe me? A study by Reevoo found that “70% of consumers place peer recommendations and reviews above professionally-written content”.

User-generated content can be more effective at driving sales than the content you create via @sujanpatel.
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That’s a huge help when it comes to driving sales.

What is user-generated content

UGC is content created by a brand’s audience (who may or may not be customers) – anything from reviews and social media or forum posts, to testimonials and blog posts. In short, UGC is any type of content that’s relevant to the company and created by the user.

UGC is any type of content that’s relevant to the company & created by the user says @sujanpatel.
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Of course, not all types of content – UGC or otherwise – helps drive sales. Content has to target users at a particular point in the sales cycle, and move to the next point (ideally, making a purchase or becoming a customer).

Let’s look at what types of UGC are most effective at driving sales and how you can leverage them in the sales process.

User reviews

Reviews have to be the most prevalent form of UGC, and when it comes to selling, the …read more

Source:: content marketing

How to Produce Quick and Effective Video Content With Your Phone

By Kristin Twiford


Video is the rising star of content marketing. In our survey with the CMO Council, 79% of senior marketers say video’s role will increase in overall visual content strategies. And since we all carry powerful cameras in our pockets every day, content marketers have no excuse not to experiment with video.

79% of sr. marketers say video’s role will increase in #visualcontent strategies via CMO_Council @GetLibris
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Not every video can be shot on your phone, but authentic, timely video can have a high impact even if its production quality is lower. It requires little financial investment, has a short learning curve, and offers high potential return. The key here is speed: Quality phone videos are a perfect fit for sharing stories in the moment. Here are three tips for creating effective video content in a flash using your phone.

Quality phone videos are a perfect fit for sharing stories in the moment says @KristinTwiford.
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1. Shoot for a fast edit

If you want to turn video around quickly, take your time while you’re shooting so your edit is easier. Make sure to get enough footage but not so much that it is impossible to sort through all the clips to quickly find the best one. A few long, steady shots are better than a ton of shaky, short clips you can’t use.

TIP: Hold the camera shot longer than you think you should. Clips always feel longer when you’re shooting than they do in the edit bay.

Don’t forget to differentiate your shots. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to get caught up in the action and record everything from the same angle. Remember to think about the editing process as you’re shooting. You will want …read more

Source:: content marketing

This Week in Content Marketing: Thought Leadership Requires Actual Leading Thoughts

By Joe Pulizzi


PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this episode, we discuss the new Flex Frame native advertising unit introduced by The New York Times — and what it can teach marketers about user experience. We also dissect the art of thought leadership, which requires both thought and leadership, and grill McDonald’s for its YouTube channel fail. Rants and raves include a video on why businesses may be walking away from the Twitter negotiation table, and the launch of Facebook’s new Marketplace; then we wrap up with an example of the week from Pressed Juicery.

This week’s show

(Recorded live on October 10, 2016; Length: 1:04:27)

Download this week’s PNR This Old Marketing podcast.

If you enjoy our PNR podcasts, we would love if you would rate it, or post a review, on iTunes.

1. Content marketing in the news

  • The New York Times to replace banner ads with a new proprietary format (07:40): Responding to the trend of platforms like Facebook and Google developing their own signature ad units, the Times is rolling out its own cross-device ad format, called Flex Frame. According to the The Wall Street Journal, the move is meant to modernize the Times’ display ad business, while improving the experience for both readers and marketers. Robert offers his thoughts on how the new format seems ripe for high-quality content, while I discuss my reservations that this business model will be effective over the long term — particularly if and when the popularity and profitability of native advertising starts to decline.
<a class="colorbox" …read more

Source:: content marketing