Sniffle, sniffle, cough, sniffle. 

It was only a matter of time. As soon as autumn arrives, you can almost smell the cold virus in the air – and it’s got me, dear readers. It’s got me.

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My little girl had it last week, and was rewarded with a day off school. Ahh, the perks of being young and cute.

Unfortunately, I’m old and balding, and digital marketing stops for no virus. Well, not for a human virus, anyway.

Though please rest assured – as sophisticated as the modern web is, there is no chance of you catching my cold by reading this week’s Digital Marketing Roundup. What I do hope is contagious, however, is my enthusiasm for the latest updates from our favourite networks.

We’ve got another Roundup first this week – Flipboard’s new brand storytelling feature – as well as the latest innovations from regular entrants Facebook and Pinterest.

Facemasks on? Excellent. Let’s take a look…

Flipboard Introduces Brand Storytelling Storyboard

Storytelling is well-known to be one of the most effective weapons in the content marketer’s arsenal.

Stories are engaging, emotional and memorable. But, beyond that, stories are human. As brands we use them to piece together all of our content deliveries in order to create a unified message that conveys our very reason for existence (I was going to say “raison d’être” but I’m too bunged up to pronounce it). In short, our whole purpose as content marketers is to connect with other humans – and thus storytelling has become our strategy of choice.

And so I’m very pleased to deliver the news that the content delivery app Flipboard has introduced a new feature that makes the whole game of brand storytelling even easier.

Here’s the word from the Flipboard official blog:

“Today, we’re introducing an all-new brand storytelling tool called Flipboard Storyboard™. Storyboard is a content unit designed to enable brands to tell a story on a mobile device with their best assets. Elegantly stitching together a wide array of content—images, articles, social posts, animated GIFs, and of course video—brands can compose powerful and complete narratives that blend in with how we present content to our readers.”

And here’s the vid:

This, I have to say, is a pretty cool little innovation from Flipboard. I suspect that a lot of marketers have yet to experiment with the platform, but if there was ever a time to start then it’s right now – i.e. before your competitors do.

If there’s one thing that we all love about Flipboard is its interactive user experience. And so, my suggestion is that you search your content archives and collate together, say, 8 or 10 pieces – and a mixture of blogs, articles, infographics, memes and video will be best – that are all coherently linked, and create a Flipboard Storyboard from them.

Indeed, along with storytelling, finding new and innovative ways to repurpose old content is one of the most important considerations we should have as marketers, and one great way to breathe new life back into it (for others, check out our most recent blog “Historical Optimisation: How to Breathe New Life into Underperforming Content”).

I’m excited about this, and can’t wait to start experimenting.

Even More Targeting Options from Pinterest

Just last month we reported on Pinterest’s new Engagement Retargeting feature – and by Jove, the network’s already at it again!

If storytelling and repurposing combine to form some of the strongest weapons in the content marketer’s arsenal, then targeting (and, by extension, retargeting) completes the holy trinity. Together, these are your rock, paper and scissors all in one.

You may have caught another of our recent blogs, entitled “Facebook Custom Audiences: How to Retarget Your Facebook Leads”. Facebook Custom Audiences has been around for some time. The tool essentially allows you to track your website visitors back to Facebook, and then create retargeted content for these people on the platform.

Now, Pinterest has its very own version – Pinterest Visitor Audience.

From the Pinterest blog:

“Our latest enhancements make it possible for you to take advantage of the traffic and engagement you get on your own website, too. Once you add the Pinterest tag to your site, you’ll be able to create audiences to retarget on Pinterest based on the things people do on your site – like browsing a category, adding an item to their shopping cart, or signing up for your services.

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“Now it’s also possible to create audiences from the data associated with actions people take on your site. If someone browsed a category on your site or made a purchase over a specific amount, it’s easier for you to show them the Promoted Pins they’ll find relevant. For example, you could identify people who’ve viewed the outdoor furniture on your website and show them a Pin displaying a dreamy backyard setting full of products they might find interesting.”

If you’ve already been experimenting with Facebook Custom Audiences, then Pinterest Visitor Audiences will be a breeze getting to grips with.

If you haven’t, then what better time to start with them both?

Instant Articles Monetisation Features on Facebook

Monetisation. Surely, in the end, that’s what all of our digital marketing efforts are geared towards. Of course, turning marketing into moula is often an indirect process – we create the content, the content creates the leads, and then the sales team creates the customers from those leads.

But, every once in a while, there is an opportunity to take the direct approach, and here we have just one such chance with Facebook’s Instant Articles.

Here’s the all-important quote:

“For publishers with direct sold advertising businesses, we now support larger and flexible ad units in Instant Articles, up to an aspect ratio of 2:3. Publishers can bring more of their direct sold campaigns to Instant Articles, including custom, premium formats. We expect this will expand available ads inventory and improve overall yield for publishers, while maintaining a great reading experience for people.

“Here are some sample formats that will be supported in Instant Articles:

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“For publishers who monetize Instant Articles with Audience Network, we’re happy to announce that video and carousel ad formats are now rolled out across iOS and Android. These high-value native ad formats provide a more engaging experience for people reading Instant Articles, driving performance for advertisers and revenue for publishers. No additional implementation is needed to benefit from this update.”

As a user of the Facebook mobile app, I like Instant Articles – after all who doesn’t want fast downloads of the stories they’re most interested in?

As a marketer, they’re also a great way to try and get more people to read your content – 20% more is the figure that Facebook gives us, which isn’t too shabby at all. And the ability to monetise our efforts directly has been a nice little bonus since the feature rolled out to all publishers.

All in all, a pleasing update.

That’s it! Time for a hot toddy… and it’s still a hot toddy even if I don’t have any honey or lemons. Honestly, it is…