‘What I Did on Summer Vacation …’

Happy Day After Labor Day folks! Hope you got all your barbecuing done this weekend, because now it’s back to school, back to reality and back to work. Summer hours are a thing of the past, but before you stow your flip flops, here are some of my favorite things I’ve worked on during the Summer of 2016.

Happy Day After Labor Day folks! Hope you got all your barbecuing done this weekend, because now it’s back to school, back to reality and back to work. Summer hours are a thing of the past, but before you stow your flip flops, here are some of my favorite things I’ve worked on during the Summer of 2016:

Amtrak WWTT videoA Weekly Whacky Video Series

From KFC to  Zappos’ #ImNotABox, from McDonald’s to T-Rex chatbots … this has been a busy summer of video for me. I launched “What Were They Thinking?” with our associate content editor Taylor Knight on June 3, and we have created 14 videos together (actually 16, since we did some extra work to get ahead when possible). It seems as though our audience gets a kick out them, which was my goal: to entertain while shedding some light on the good, the bad and the utterly confusing things in marketing. This past week we shot a video based on my first viewer suggestion, which was awesome to receive, and great fun to put together.

Compelling Content MemeRobert Rose Dropping Serious CM Knowledge on the TM Audience

I met Robert at the 2015 Content Marketing World (2016 CMW is going on right now, and I sadly can’t be there due to a MASSIVE client project, so ALL my content love to the some of the hardest working folks in Cleveland!) and got to see him speak multiple times throughout the event. Following that, I caught a number of his webinars and podcasts, and knew that the opportunity to work with him myself was high on my 2016 to-do list. Well, during this past June’s Intergrated Marketing Virtual Conference, I did just that, moderating his session, “The Content Show That Never Ends: Repurposing Like a Media Company.” Not only did I get to use song lyrics from Emerson, Lake and Palmer in my intro of this wonderfully smart dude, but he broke down repurposing content in a way I hadn’t thought of before. The virtual show is still available on-demand, but only through Sept. 27, so register and CHECK IT OUT!

Snapchat fear memeInsta Stories Being Easy Like Whoa

I know, I know … I shot a video back in the spring about how whoo-hoo, look how easy Snapchat is! I created an account for Sass Marketing … and then barely did anything with it because it was such a headache. Then Instagram Stories came along, I rolled my eyes, but then sat down and wrote a Pros and Cons list about the newest Insta feature (you know, an app I use CONSTANTLY) and decided, okay … maybe this could work for me. Then Taylor shot this fantastic video breaking it all down, and well, I highly recommend watching it:

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I got access to Instagram Stories in mid-August, and I have to say, I’m a fan … personally and professionally … which leads me to this:

Sass Marketing Facebook PageThere’s More Sass on Social!

That’s right … there’s now 200 percent more sass out there on the interwebs (I think … math and I don’t get along). I launched a Facebook Page AND an Instagram account in August because I didn’t want to keep hijacking our brand accounts. So find me in both those spots to get behind the scenes photos and videos from my “What Were They Thinking?” shoots, random photos of my desk and whatever other antics I get up to.

What fun things did you work on this summer? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Instagram Stories Pros and Cons

Last week Instagram introduced Instagram Stories, and like most new digital things, the Internet erupted into the usual yelling debate about new things like: “Instagram ripped off Snapchat!” and “Instagram Stories is waaaaay better designed than Snapchat!”

Instagram Stories MemeLast week Instagram introduced Instagram Stories, and like most new digital things, the Internet erupted into the usual yelling debate about new things:

“Instagram ripped off Snapchat!”

“Instagram Stories is waaaaay better designed than Snapchat!”

“Ugh. Another feature.”

And so on.

Oh, and Facebook is now testing selfie filters, à la Snapchat. Snapchat’s like the sister with all the good clothes that keep getting filched.

I may be only 34, but there are days when I feel like I’m 82 in regard to new features on things I already use, and feel like I use pretty well. And originally, this post was titled “Instagram Stories, Get Off My Lawn.”

No, really:

Blog post in WordPress back officeBut then, like a good blogger, I took a little time to do some reading, and, well, my opinion — much like the Battering Ram ride at Busch Gardens — has swung to and fro a bit.

So here are my thoughts, in a classic Pros and Cons list. Because if a P&C list can help me determine if I should date someone who loves Phil Collins and owns a lot of plastic sheeting, it should help me come to a conclusion about Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories Pros

Marketers have been using Instagram successfully for awhile now, and it has a wider reach than Snapchat.

• It is way easier to find and follow people on Instagram, compared to Snapchat.

• I personally use Instagram constantly, and I could set up another account professionally for Sass Marketing with ease. Snapchat? Not so much.

• The design is cleaner and easier to understand, which means there will be fewer people saying they’re afraid to use it (unlike Snapchat).

• The stories won’t be in your Instagram feed. Instead, when someone you follow posts a story, a ring will appear around their profile photo. You can then either check it out, or ignore it.

• You can hide a story from anyone you don’t want to see it, without having to make your account private. You can even hide stories from people who actually follow you (Whoo-hoo! You can keep your aunt from creeping on you!)

• I always wanted to be able to draw laser beams coming out of my cat’s eyes.

Instagram Stories Laser-Eye Cat

Instagram Stories Cons

• Seriously, what is the deal with people wanting stuff to disappear after 24 hours? Is there something about hour 24 when you realize, “Oh god … I have made a MISTAKE!”?

• Even though Instagram didn’t do anything wrong (you can’t copyright an idea), it still comes off as a little lame to not only use almost exactly the same idea, but to not even bother renaming it. Or as Jack Brody, a product designer at Snapchat put it:

Wow … I can’t think of any other cons, aside from my general crankiness over new features that I don’t feel like using, but with Instagram Stories, you don’t HAVE to use it. You can completely ignore it, as well as the stories of other.

All right, fine. With my Pros and Cons list being a solid 7 to 2, I get the picture. Though I’m reserving the right to claim “cool” or “lame” until I actually have access to Instagram Stories.

In related news … dang Hubspot … you released a guide on how to use Instagram Stories TWO DAYS after the feature’s launch. It’s taken me this long to get cranky enough to write this post (mind you, I publish every Tuesday). Teach me your ways, oh Orange and Sassy One.