What’s Trending: See Ya, Status Quo

May 13, 2016

One of the most subtle and dangerous traps in marketing is a comfortable status quo. That’s not to say you should throw out time-tested tactics that get results, of course. But if the only reason for a strategy or tactic is “that’s how we do it around here,” or “it got results in the past,” it’s time to start asking questions.

Marketing is a fast-paced industry. The state-of-the-art from five years ago might as well be a relic from ancient Egypt. So keep what works but don’t be afraid to question why—and if there’s not a good answer, it might be time to look at your work from a fresh perspective.

This week’s trending content features big questions that seek to upend the status quo. What if storytelling, content, and product are the same thing? What if the key to knowing your customer is small data, rather than big? What if the way to build a professional brand is sharing personal stories? These thought-provoking articles, along with a generous helping of enlightening tactical posts, will help you challenge your marketing status quo.

Top Marketing Articles to Read This Week:

1. Content Marketing Is Moving toward a Zen State of Storytelling

“Boiled down, good storytelling and good content marketing are one and the same. It's the commerce of ideas wrapped in entertainment and manifesting products of our imaginations.”

This Adweek article is a heady rumination on how content, storytelling, and product create and feed into each other. Greg Hadden, Executive Creative Director at Motive: A Project WorldWide Agency, uses examples from Star Wars to Ikea to push the boundaries of what content marketing is, and what it can be.

2. How to Effectively Prioritize and Amplify SEO Content

Acronym’s VP of SEO Winston Burton offers tips on optimizing existing content, filling content gaps, and more in this article for Search Engine Land.

3. How “Small Data” Is Changing the Way We Market to Consumers

“It seems so small and insignificant but small data is really little pieces of us – pieces that we might not readily share online but still want to be seen. Although no one is advocating stalking your customers for the sake of unearthing their odd habits with regard to your brand, it does beg the question, ‘what is small data revealing about our target markets that large data is ignoring?’”

While big data is an indispensable marketing tool, some of the most vital information about your customers may be hidden in the details. Sherice Jacobs from iElectrify Web Services presents compelling examples of small-data marketing successes in this KISSmetrics article.

4. Voice Search Is Increasing: How This Changes Your Digital, Content and Social Media Marketing Strategies

In this post for Social Media Today, Marketing Professor Keith Quesenberry identifies the challenges voice search poses for traditional SEO, and offers strategies for marketers to take advantage of voice search’s growing popularity.

5. Portrait of a Content Marketer: More than a Marketer [Infographic]

Explore the complicated anatomy of a successful content marketer with this lighthearted infographic from Uberflip.

6. Interactive Content: The Good, Bad, and Wicked Cool

Content Marketing Institute’s Jodi Harris takes a deep dive into interactive content in this article. Jodi makes a convincing case for spicing up your content, then explores the various types of interactivity and what specific functions each is good for, with real-world examples to add clarity.

7. 6 Sneaky Places Brand Inconsistencies Hide (And How to Fix Them)

With the proliferation of channels available for marketers, it can be challenging to present a unified brand voice. Brandfolder’s Michelle Polizzi takes a look at brands that are getting it right to illustrate her points in this HubSpot article.

8. I Started Posting Personal Updates on LinkedIn. Here’s What Happened

“In fact, one of the most personal posts I’ve ever penned on any social network (let alone a ‘professional’ one like LinkedIn) generated hundreds of page views, likes, and comments—much to my surprise.”

In the face-to-face world, we understand that who someone is as a person can be an integral part of their business brand. According to LinkedIn Consultant John Nemo, that personal relatability is just as important on a professional network. John shares his experience with opening up about his personal life on LinkedIn, including advice on how to build your business’ brand through personal anecdotes.

9. Why the Future of Social Community Is Omni-Social

Where should you focus your social media resources: third-party networks like Facebook, or your own platform? According to Convince & Convert’s Jay Baer, the answer is a little bit of both. Jay calls his strategy an “Omni-Social” approach, and demonstrates four different ways to build your own Omni-Social community in this article.

10. No One Cares about Your Content…Yet.

Pardot’s Lead UX Engineer Cliff Seal shares tips for combatting content glut and audience apathy in this SlideShare presentation.

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