content

Video Production & Why it Matters in Marketing

Did you know the average person’s attention span has shrunk to about eight seconds these days? Only eight seconds! That means that most people won’t even make it through this sentence before they’re on to something else.

Still there?

Okay, great! Because High Five Media has a little secret to help your business attract even the shortest attention spans on social media.

Video! Video! Video!

Should we say it again? 

If you want to get noticed on social media, you need to be posting video content.

Especially custom-made video content. Why videos? Well, let’s take a look at the facts.

Video Compared to Other Techniques

There are a lot of attention-drawing techniques out there for social media. Two of the most common techniques are linking articles and attaching pictures. Those aren’t too bad.

In fact, visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content, and content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.

But video takes things to the next level.

The list goes on and on!

Why is Video Better?

For starters, you get to engage viewers on two completely new levels.

The first one is motion. It may sound obvious, but movement attracts our attention way more than static images do. That’s because motion can convey feeling or cause emotions in the viewer.

For example, imagine you want to inform your viewers about the dangers of oncoming trains. Which do you think bring up the sense of danger better? A speeding, moving train or a motionless picture of one?

The second trick up video’s sleeve is sound. Again, it’s obvious, but sound and sight together engage our brains exponentially more than sight alone. 

What you may not know is that sound can even change the way we see something.

According to a recent study by UCLA, sound affects vision in a similar way to how smell affects taste. 

Moving music or familiar background sounds might literally change how your viewers perceive the content in your video.

When you’re targeting social media goers, you need the emotional connection that video provides.

Your Video. Your Message.

A properly made video won’t just give information; it will connect the viewer to the personality of your business.

That’s what makes video more powerful and more crucial than any other social media tool, because that’s what why we get onto social media in the first place—to connect.

Want to see what your business’s video could look like? Check out these videos made by High Five Media!

What have you done to capitalize on the video trend?

Does Your Business Need a Pinterest? We Think Yes.

Pinterest…really? Okay, we get it.

However, according to Pinterest’s blog back in September 2015, the site has over 100 million monthly active Pinners. “But Pinterest is just for women,” you might say. Not true, folks! According to Ahalogy, the monthly active male population that joined Pinterest grew 120% in the year of 2015.  Check out this article on Business for Pinterest’s blog to see more statistics and facts. 

Bianca Bosker of The Huffington Post wrote back in 2012 that the secret to Pinterest’s success is that we are all sick of each other

What sets Pinterest apart and makes it so appealing is its focus on who we want to be—not on what we’re doing, where we’ve gone, how important we are or how beloved.” Indeed, the site is unique because the goal of its users is not to get more and more followers; rather, Pinterest users seem to be content with sharing ideas—not about themselves—with smaller pools of people.

So why is this good for your business, and how do you most effectively use it? Wouldn't you know, we’ve got three tips for you

1. Pinterest drives traffic to your site. 

Let’s face it: Pinterest may be one of the best ways to showcase your business’ products. Not only does Pinterest integrate your entire web presence—bringing together your website, Twitter, and Facebook—it can help you discover what your buyers want to have. 

This also means that you’ll want your site to be Pinterest-friendly. Adding the Pin It button to your website will allow your viewers to easily pin your pictures and products to their Pinterest pages, which will only continue the traffic you receive from Pinterest. 

Furthermore, you can go to Pinterest’s Business page and get more information on adverting with Promoted Pins. 

2.  Link, add descriptions, and use correct keywords.

Some of the biggest marketing mistakes made on Pinterest come when businesses forget to add descriptions or use the incorrect keywords. 

Paige Velasquez, social media strategist and Pinterest specialist at Shelton Interactive says this:

The biggest mistake brands and businesses can make on Pinterest is not utilizing the Guided Search tool to their advantage. When creating descriptions for pins, it's important to understand exactly what the user might be searching [for] when looking for a specific pin. The Guided Search tool allows brands to discover what specific terms a user will most likely search for based on a keyword. Creatively using the key terms that come up on the Guided Search in your pin description will most likely make your pin more discoverable when users are searching for specific pins.

Incorporating these details can take a little extra time, but they will help you gain the most traffic! 

3. Once you get that traffic, don’t forget to engage. 

Once everything is correct and in its place, you’ll have to make sure to post engaging content. The more you pin, like, and share, the more visibility you will gain. However, it’s a two-way street, and you do not want to post too much of your own content. You also don’t want to leave up outdated content. A good mix of diverse, fresh posts is the key to winning over your Pinterest followers. By engaging properly, you will create a subtext that says, “this company cares.”

While it is good to just have a presence, it is even better when you create a call to action. Your followers are always looking for more, more, more, and you must give it to them! Don’t be afraid to caption your posts and pins in such a way as to create the response you are seeking. “Tell them to visit the website for ore information, order, re-pin, etc.,” says Tim Lavelle, director of SEO and social media at U.S. Interactive Media. 

We couldn't agree more.

Do you use Pinterest in your business? If so, what kind of ROI have you seen?

3 Reasons Your Business Needs a Twitter

Here at High Five, we breathe social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +— You name it, we’re all over it. And while all businesses may not share this caliber of zeal for it, they definitely partake.

In fact, it’s as essential now for a business to be active on social media, as it is to have a phone number. 

Among these platforms, Twitter is an indispensable constellation of it’s own. The micro-blogging site, known for it’s 140-character post limit, hosts 310 million active monthly users

Ten years since it’s conception, Twitter has hatched and grown into a powerful communication tool to show us how much can be shared simply by being concise. Almost every major company, from American Airlines to Amazon, utilizes the platform

If you’re not part of the Twitter-sphere already, your business could be seriously losing out. That’s why we’ve complied a list of reasons your business should be on Twitter.

Connection

Twitter is an ongoing global conversation, different from other sites like Facebook, because the interactions it facilities are swift and intuitive. Organic, if you will. It’s the kind of space where you can pull a person, or business, aside and address them directly. 

It’s likely that your clientele is already on Twitter, sharing their opinions and concerns about your industry or business directly. They’ll appreciate you all the more for listening and responding. 

Branding

Hashtags are ideal for branding. Create custom hashtags for your business and use existing ones too. Local hashtags, like #OKCeats for example, will extend your reach to local audience and broad ones like #FoodPorn will expose you to a larger community. Establish your personality, and let the world see what makes you unique.

Twitter is a great place to fully engage people in what you’re doing. Utilize hashtag competitions, live tweets on events, Twitter ads and chats to interact with your audience. 

As an added bonus, consistently seeing interesting posts from your business builds familiarity and trust with customers. You’ll be on their mind when they need you. 

Expansion

Expanding your network goes beyond the customer base. When you’re active on twitter, it opens up a portal of communication to leading professionals in the industry. It lets you have a conversation with people you might otherwise not have access to. Just like you can see what your clients are up to, you can use Twitter to see what your competition is doing as well. 

Ultimately, you want what’s best for your business and to give it every chance possible at unrestrained success. So why not join this #party and make the best of all the opportunities it offers? 

Five Content Marketing Resources for Newbies

Content marketing, a word thrown around in the business world yet rarely defined. At High Five, we like to make sure everyone is on the same page and the same planet so let’s quickly break it down:

Content- consistent, valuable information through various mediums: articles, blogs, videos, pictures, social media posts, info graphics, etc. 

Marketing- the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service

In simplest terms, content marketing delivers valuable information to buyers in hopes that it will promote and sell a product or service

But, here’s the trick. 

Society is over feeling like they are constantly being sold something. They don’t trust you. I mean honestly who enjoys listening to that car dealer’s sales pitch, or furthermore, who actually trusts him or her? 

For content marketing to be successful, a business must master the art of intentional, genuine communication between their customer and themselves. Content marketing says, “Hey look at these DIY projects you and your honey can do this weekend.” Instead of,  “Come to Lowes, we are a warehouse full of building stuff.”

Oh, content marketing. How valuable you are to business when done correctly.

If you’re ready to dip your toe into content marketing, start with these five great resources

Search Engine Optimization: Want to make the first page of Google organically?  You first must understand the ins and outs of SEO.  

Blogs:  An easy way to create more content for your business is to enter the world of blogging. 

Video Content: If you read our blog post 3 Trendy Social Media Takeovers in 2016 , you know that video marketing is vital

Social Media: #Twitter #Facebook #Instagram #crucial

Content Marketing Plan: Even if you’re not Type A, having a content marketing plan ensures that your online presence will continue to build. 

What are resources you use for content marketing? 

Ways to Cultivate Creativity in the Office

Carrie sat staring out the window, mesmerized by the glittery sunlight reflecting off the water. Longing to be out on the water, she let herself sink deeper and deeper in to the recesses of her mind. “Carrie?” a voice jolted her out of her hypnosis. She tore her eyes away and looked up. “Phone for you,” her assistant said. “Take a message,” Carrie replied. She glanced around at the piles that awaiting her attention; she felt the impending doom reach up and tighten around her airways. Deadline week. 

I wrote that little paragraph on a “mind break” in between posting for my social media clients and writing blurbs for our March Linked Magazine issue. Deadlines are stressful. Work in general can be stressful, but don’t have a panic attack like Carrie. Staying healthy is important—physically and mentally.  Here at High Five Media, we believe that a healthy mind is a creative mind, and vice versa. 

A study on creativity at Saybrook Universtiy showed that students engaged in a creative activities reported feeling “significantly happier.”  The researchers wrote: “Engaging in creative pursuits allows people to explore their identities, form new relationships, cultivate competence and reflect critically on the world.” 

 

So regardless of whether or not your job is inherently creative, it is important to allow space for your brain to exercise its creativity.

Maybe you aren’t a writer, singer or dancer. So what? The key is to be open-minded. Creativity can be applied to all aspects of life—from making your bed to sorting through data. Submersing yourself in a creative activity allows your mind to stop fixating on problems and think more broadly. It allows you to take a step back and see the big picture; it gives you the insight and clarity of mind that you'll need to think through other problems throughout the day. If that isn't enough, it makes you happier, too. 

Essentially, being creative helps you grow in insight, self-reflection, and how you interact with others. It grows you as a person. 

How can you be more creative in the office? Here are some tips and ideas for you: 

1. Surround your workspace with fun images that make you happy.

There are several research studies out there about designing offices. But what happens when you’re stuck in a building that was already there? Well, at High Five, we believe in making your space special to you. We are constantly finding fun posters or memes to print out and put on our personalized bulletin boards. Not only do the images and pictures make us h-a-p-p-y, they help us get a deeper glimpse inside our co-workers’ minds. The way that the people around you use the space that is given to them—their humor, favorite quotes, the way they construct their to-do lists—can all be ways to let you see just how unique they are. 

2. Keep a creative activity in your desk drawer. Pull it out and work on it from time to time. 

I almost always have some sort of embroidery project that I keep in my backpack. When my brain gets in a fog and I need to physically step away from my computer, I pull it out and find a seat by the window to unwind my thoughts. Knitting, embroidery, calligraphy, water coloring, and writing are all great ways to relax your mind so that you can go back to work refreshed. 

3. Brainstorm visually—let the ideas flow. 

Sometimes brainstorming is taxing … but it doesn’t have to be! Brainstorming visually and creatively is a great way to get everyone involved because there are fewer hindrances in sharing ideas. Plus, there are fewer distractions and everyone can focus more on the project before them. 

4. Have fun with your co-workers.

If we merely see creativity as “work”, we forget the beauty of it. Don’t forget to have fun with your co-workers. The more you can play off each other, the more great work you can create together. Laughter truly is the best medicine, and can keep everyone happy and working together effectively. 

5. Be supportive, be encouraging, be rewarding

Part of creating and working together is supporting and encouraging one another to keep the creativity going! Sometimes the hardest part about keeping the creative juices flowing is having the courage to keep them flowing. By being supportive to those around you, you provide a safe environment for people to branch out and dream their big dreams. 

Almost just as important is being supportive, encouraging, and rewarding to you. Stuck in a rut? Love yourself. Express yourself. By taking care of yourself, you can be the best that you can be for your workplace and those around you!

How are you being creative today? Tell us!

Why We OKC.

 Photo of the Oklahoma City skyline by our very own, Jonathan Burkhart

Photo of the Oklahoma City skyline by our very own, Jonathan Burkhart

It's a common misconception that Oklahoma is behind the times (sigh). 

However, many Okies know the REAL truth-OKC has been on the rise and is actually pretty fantastic. At High Five Media, we're proud of our capital city, which is why we're giving you five reasons you, too, should OKC (yep, it's a verb). 

Since its inception, Oklahoma has been the wonderers destination. It started with those wanting the rush of the open frontier, railroad men, and early 89ers, all determined dreamers, dead set on leaving their footprint in an unknown wilderness. Today, in the same vein of the fearless explorer, start ups, risk takers, and entrepreneurs are reclaiming a city.

The steadfast pioneer spirit embodies and new generation of visionaries, who are not only shifting the culture, but are making Oklahoma City cool, again. 

Oklahoma City’s reinvention of cool, most obviously starts with the injection of the Thunder. But let's be honest, the metro area circa 2007 was already a sports hotbed. The University of Oklahoma was and still is a big league with seven national titles, five Heisman winners, twenty-three Hall of Famers and the longest winning streak in D1 history, and we’re just talking football. Up north there’s the brightest orange with OSU boasting fifty-one total national titles, Mike Gundy, an Oklahoma native head coach that’s birthed a powerhouse program, and billionaire Boone Pickens, who makes us feel that half-time uniform changes are somewhere within the foreseeable future. Add in a professional basketball team and you've got yourself a sports utopia awesome enough to make a governor serve up a slathered up platter of ribs to any national sports analyst – oh wait, that’s already happened. 

Which brings me to scoot my chair right up to OKC’s ample food offerings. Steaks, BBQ, burgers, whatever your little foodie heart desires, the city has you covered. Just please remember to generously add Oklahoma’s own Head Country BBQ sauce. When it’s not your cheat day, OKC has an amazingly progressive healthy food movement. Zoë’s Kitchen, All About Cha, Cafe 7, and Cool Greens are unanimous favorites because they strive to bring patrons into a healthy lifestyle community. 

Community is everywhere within this city. The Plaza District, The Paseo, and Midtown neighborhoods are products of OKC’s Renaissance. Millennial owned art galleries, storefronts, and restaurants now line these once dicey streets. This is where art and innovation converge and the new age pioneer’s roots run deep. 

Capital is increasingly generated, and the coolest thing about OKC is that Oklahomans give back. There is a certain standard in our state and it’s one that never hesitates to take care of our own. During challenges of catastrophe, natural disaster, or a mere case of someone down on their luck our citizens are always willing to give--Oklahoma continues to reign in the top ten most charitable states in the nation

We know that outsiders think first our tragedies and secondly the misconceived lack of culture; however, I truly believe OKC residents are the absolute definition of resiliency and innovation. So last but certainly not least, the pinnacle of cool in OKC is the Memorial Marathon. Coined A Race to Remember because of the 168 we will never forget, the Memorial Marathon is one of the United States' top 10 marathons. Similar to Oklahoma City itself, participating in such a worthy cause only gets better with every year that passes.

The Intern Files: Put a Little Om in Your Heart

The holiday season brings with it joy, laughter, a few creeping pounds, family time, and yep...stress. November 4th, 2015 was National Stress Awareness Day which almost seems like it was in preparation for the turkey-and-Santa-filled drama that comes with the holiday territory. Being a college student, stress is no stranger to me. Sometimes I feel like stress is this guy who comes and checks into my mind, leaving his hat and coat at the door, staying indefinitely. And sometimes I think we like to glamorize our stress. It’s like we think that the more stressed we are, the more productive we are, which is actually quite the opposite of reality.

Sadly, whatever our season of life is, whatever the job or situation, we are most likely to be experiencing some type of stress. The unfortunate thing is that the human body doesn’t know the difference between our stresses. Whether we’re approaching impending doom or someone is mad at us, our body’s stress response is triggered no matter what the level or magnitude of stress. Fortunately, we also have a relaxation response trigger during which our bodies de-stress. 

The theme for 2015’s National Stress Awareness Day was “Employee Wellbeing as a Worthwhile Investment in Your Business”, so here are some ways to de-stress in your office (or wherever you find yourself):

1. Stretch out your body. 

Take a walk. Stand up. Do some office yoga. There’s a Huffington post article titled “5 Office Yoga Poses (That Won’t Freak Out Your Co-Workers)” with good poses to get your blood flowing. Obviously it’s not good to sit over your computer day in and day out like the Hunchback – stretch out your body.   

2. Stretch out your mind. 

Take a mental vacation. Breathe. Take some time to meditate. Look at pictures reflecting happy moments in your life. Going back to those memories and taking a few moments to quietly reminisce will help you switch out of functioning in the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight) and start functioning in the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation). 

3. Treat yo’ self. 

Eating (in moderation!) is really good for rejuvenation. Stress eating doesn’t have to be all bad. Eat a banana or potato (rich in potassium) to regulate your high-stress blood pressure – it will help with energy and recovery. Eating something sweet helps soothe the production of stress hormones; keep a bowl of Hershey’s kisses or peppermints on your desk to avoid binge eating while still reaping the benefits of the h-a-p-p-y feelings. “The connection between the gut and brain is huge and lots of interesting data supports the idea that the gut is a major mediator of the stress response,” says Dr. Drew Ramsey in a Huffington Post article. “Stress is a brain and immune system mediated phenomena, and your gut is the largest organ in your immune system.” 

4. Have a creative outlet (or two or three or ten). 

Doodle on your lunch napkin, listen to some music, keep crafty things like coloring books and knitting needles in your desk, and keep a journal and pen with you. There are studies that have been performed showing that an individual’s writing that is classified as emotional, valuable, and personal can help strengthen their immune system. A creative you is a healthy you – physically and mentally. 

Wherever you find yourself, and whatever stress you are experiencing, try one of these anti-stress triggers to calm down. They will help keep you from going postal on your co-workers or hiding under your desk and hyperventilating. Of course, there’s more de-stress techniques than the ones I’ve listed… how are you de-stressing? 

 

Peace,

The Intern

A Magazine Resurrection

We're pleased as punch that our Linked Magazine editor, Meg, decided to grace us with her blogging presence with this little entry on why magazines are still relevant. It's a resurrection just in time for Halloween. Enjoy!

Every writer is also an avid reader and a critical thinker.

We inhabit a space that's hard to describe unless you've been there - in which case, no explanation is needed. We always set out to keep ourselves out of a story, and we inevitably either draw on some personal experience to give depth to a piece, or become so personally touched by the subject of our writing that we leave a bit of ourselves in it. Writing is hard. It’s a constant state of self-examination and self-evaluation. Every comma becomes personal; every line as much art to us as the stroke of a brush to the painter or the contouring of a shape to a sculptor. Fortunately, professional writers (a category I find myself in, incidentally) have thick skins. So after we craft our art, we cut and edit it. We try to surgically remove our bias from our writing. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes you really think that last sentence shouldn't have been cut, but you hit publish (or send to the printers) and hope for the best.

Years ago, if you had told me that I would be at the helm of six magazines by the age of 24, I would have laughed. Magazines were declared a “dying” form of journalism so long ago, it's hard to see how they aren't already dead. Except, they aren't dying. That’s never been the case. They’re changing and adapting, and technology has allowed writers to connect with audiences on a much more intimate level than ever before. We can reach more people and get feedback in real-time after our magazines hit doorsteps. 

Dying? No. Evolving? Absolutely.

So before you discount long-form journalism, remember everything is cyclical. We live in an age where more young people choose to scroll through pictures on instagram than read the words in Facebook statuses, and where folks get their news in 140-character snippets from Twitter. But even now, it looks like that 140-character limit may increase. Buzzfeed has reinvested in longform journalism, and most comprehensive journalistic work in the world is being done for newspapers and magazines - articles measured in pages, not characters. Magazines matter just like stories matter. They connect us; they remind us why we cared in the first place. Linked Magazines are hyper-local. Our goal is to connect people by telling stories about the people and places around them. By covering stories in communities around the metro that aren’t being told elsewhere and by highlighting people and groups doing good—real good for people you know (or should know, if you’re new), we’re helping communities connect and grow.  

Magazines do a better job at this than any other form of media out there. They have staying power and allow us to spend more time with our subjects. When I’m writing a story, I don’t have to worry about hashtags or SEO. I’m focused on you, the reader. I’m focused on delivering you beautiful photos and stories to match. I’m I'm focused on sending you a magazine you'll pick up and read. I’m focused on your community, your story and your world.

What do you think about magazines? Do you enjoy long-form journalism? 

Getting Honest about Your Potential

It’s interesting how there’s really nothing new.  

All high school graduations employ the same cast of characters—the popular ones, the beautiful ones, the athletic ones, the smart ones, the weird ones, the quiet ones.  Watching my daughter cross the stage at her graduation reminded me of my own high school experience, and it got me thinking about a person’s potential.  

Ah, high school

Those simple words are likely to evoke a range of emotions and memories ranging from excitement to nausea. Depending on who you ask, high school is defined as either a battleground where people claw for survival or a kingdom to be surveyed and ruledNo matter what sort of experience you may have had, though, there’s something universal about the experience—high school is a fertile ground for potential.  

Everyone has experienced that utter surprise when you’re told the deadbeat who sat beside you in History is now a venture capitalist for a multi-billion dollar company, or when, conversely, the

Valedictorian with all the prospects becomes a drug addict who’s living in his parents’ basement. The surprise is visceral and stays with you. This is because a person’s potential is important but it’s only one part of the puzzle for success. In high school, kids dream recklessly—they announce they’re going to be doctors and lawyers and astrophysicists with the aplomb of a British royal.

But potential, like high school, brings with it its own baggage. Some people shine when they’re told they have great potential, while others break out into hives and whither.  In business, it’s crucial to understand the potential of a sale or of a client, so in my own life I’ve given a lot of thought to the subject. The way I see it, people experience two lives—the life they believe they’re capable of and the life they actually live.  In order to succeed, I mean really succeed, you must not only reach your potential, but surpass it. Because blog posts are about boiling things down to sound bites and quotes, I’m going to make this part 1of a 3 part series on how to meet (and then exceed) your potential.

Step 1:  Be honest.  

This might be the most difficult part of the puzzle, because, let’s face it, you think you’re hot shit.  This comes out when you apply for jobs way out of your experience level, don’t get the job, then proceed to tell everyone how idiotic everyone at the company is who didn’t hire you. It happens when you play indoor soccer against an All-American and are genuinely surprised and frustrated when he or she absolutely schools you.  Having confidence is important—it’s actually crucial—but you can’t confuse confidence for cockiness. 

Taking stock of your skills, really understanding your capabilities, your strengths, and (you     guessed it) your weaknesses is a significant part of getting real with your potential.  So many times in job interviews I’ve asked candidates to rank their skills on a set of 1-10, and invariably they spout off a host of 8s, 9s, and 10s. If it’s for writing, I’ll then ask, “If Mark Twain or Jane Austen is a 9, what are you?”  Puzzled they’ll sputter, “well, ah, I mean I guess I’m a 3 or a 2 or (God forbid) a 1.” 

So many people have absolutely no concept of what they’re really worth. This happens on both ends of the spectrum and both sides are equally detrimental. Understanding, I mean really understanding what you have to offer is like putting prescription glasses over your 20/8 eyes.  With honesty you’re able to assess when someone short shifts you, when you’re overwhelmed, or when you need to ask for help. Self-assessment is hard, but totally worth it.

I’m not saying you need to constantly compare yourself to the greats, but I am saying you need to really understand what it means to be an 8 or a 9 in your field. If you’re a 5, what are you going to do to bump up a number? This is a tough pill to swallow, because many of us had (and still have) big dreams for our lives. We see ourselves as capable of anything, so when we fall short, it’s a shock. Getting real with your talents allows you to remove the rose colored glasses and see your work for what it’s worth, and then assess how you can improve it. 

I’m excited to continue with this 3 part series, and hope you find it inspiring so that whoever you were in high school, you’re able to achieve a success you can be proud of today.  

What are ways you can get honest with yourself? Do you feel you’ve reached your full potential? Why/why not? 


The Intern Files: What Happens When You Don’t Like PSL? *gasp*

So because we're really weird and love our Intern, we've decided to dedicate a few posts to asking (read making) her try out new, hip thangs because she's a new, hip gal.  Her musings and thoughts combine to form (dun, dun, DUN) The Intern Files. 

Hello, Kennedy the intern here, enjoying a great day of fall weather. I’m a college kid, so hours spent at Starubucks are not foreign to me. On a study session a couple of nights ago, I got to drink Starbucks’ newest drink, the Toasted Graham Latte (#TGL). I’m a lover of all things fall, but one thing I’ve never been able to get behind is the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I prefer my sweet drinks to be in cold, Frappuccino form. So when I walked into Starbs last night, I was surprised to see a poster for a brand new drink in the emerging #PSL season. 

Our Intern getting her #TGL on.

I must admit, my mind went straight to skepticism. I consulted my barista, Hannah (yes, we are on a first-name basis), and asked her opinion. “It’s really subtle,” she warned. “I’ll make one for you and then you can add a syrup to it if you want.” Ladies and gents, this latte needed no extra syrup.

What I found in that drink was the best tasting flavored latte I’d ever tasted.

Perfectly subtle, in-between the black, vital coffee we find ourselves drinking and the sweet, frivolous coffee drinks we enjoy with our friends. 

There’s an article on Eater.com that refers to the TGL as “graham crackers and milk all grown up”. I think perhaps in our world of extra-shots and fancy syrup combos, the simplistic nature of the TGL gets wrongly categorized as too simple—a drink for reminiscing about simpler days. I think that it could be intended for invoking nostalgic feelings, but not so we can sit around and wish for simpler days. Instead, we should use it as a time to simply have a pleasurable moment in the midst of our busy days. When we embrace the here and now, we get the best of both worlds: a simple pleasure that recognizes and appreciates both joyous childhood memories and the life we currently live. 

Thank you, Starbucks, for capturing a more unconventional part of fall and for teaching us a lesson about enjoying life. 

Happy fall, 

The Intern

3 Reasons Engaging Content Still Matters

Hello there, today we're going to beat a dead horse, but it's going to be fun and completely hypothetical and non-violent. Today, we're talking content, how to use it, and why any of this even matters. Let's dive right in sans weapons, shall we?

What sets you apart from the rest? What makes your post have the most likes, the most views, or the most subscriptions? What makes content matter so much? 

Everything has become a tagline.

How do you get attention-grabbers, while still maintaining a sense of professionalism?  Why does this matter?  In this digital age, your content becomes synonymous with your name. Unfortunately, sometimes it is hard to get good quality materials for your content in the world of 140 characters. Some of those in the writing world turn their nose up at the thought of social media and online content replacing their beloved hard-copy pieces they grew up dreaming about writing. But we’re here to tell you that written content is still king in this age; it just shows up in different mediums.  

Here’s a few reasons why good content matters: 

  1. Content is the essence of every idea. A challenge companies could face in the age of endless scrolling is having a single, overriding message. Themed blog posts, catchy hashtags, or creative titles have ways of tying everything together nicely. It’s no different than serial publishing from years ago—it’s just taking a different form.
  2. Content’s form is make or break. Content reaches a much broader audience than in previous years, and with so many formats and layouts like Instagram, Twitter, and Google +, the format of a post could make or break it when it comes to views, likes, shares, and ultimately a reputation. 
  3. Content will live long. If content is well-crafted, the idea it presents will reflect well on every aspect of the company. Content will only last long in the reader’s mind if it is noteworthy.

Written content, in all its forms, is the same. If anything, this digital age challenges writers to be more on top of their game. In a world with a short attention span, writers are called to be even more relevant, clear, and creative. We are not all defined by our #hashtags. Content at its best is self-evident, self-affirming, and completely essential to today’s written world.

What are ways you use content to reach and engage with your audience? Do you think content matters to businesses?