5 Key Takeaways from Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World”

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Back in November I had the pleasure of attending Contently’s Brand Publishing Summit in Manhattan. It was the first time I had ever heard Gary Vaynerchuk speak (or heard of him at all for that matter). Vaynerchuk is a great storyteller and is good at making the information relevant to his audience. He told us how he got started in his dad’s wine shop before creating Wine Library TV, and how that eventually led him–and his brother–to create Vaynermedia to help other brands tell their stories. At the end of his presentation, I was excited to learn that Gary would be sending a copy of his new book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World” (JJJRH) to everyone in the audience.

Albeit with far less profanity than one of his in person events, Gary’s in-your-face style of communicating is very much captured in the book. I, like many marketing pros, have a short attention span. I’m always on to the next article or topic—so what I like about JJJRH is that it’s entertaining, easily digestible and it speaks directly to those of us who tell our company’s stories – marketers and PR professionals.

Gary says the perfect “right hook”– the call to action in marketing speak– includes three characteristics:
1. The call to action is simple and easy to understand.
2. It’s perfectly crafted for mobile, as well as all digital services.
3. It respects the nuances of the social network for which you are making the content.

The book is neatly divided up by social network: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so on. “Each platform is unique, and requires a unique formula,” Vaynerchuck says. “ What works on Facebook won’t necessarily work on Twitter. Stories told through pictures on Instagram don’t resonate the same way when told in an identical manner on Pinterest.” At the end of each social network’s section, Gary lists the questions that content creators should ask themselves before drafting a piece of content, in order to help them succeed on that platform.

Did I mention the case studies? This book is chock full of examples of brands who he thinks got it right, were close to getting it right or who flat out got it wrong.

Here are my key takeaways:

Content may be King, but Context is the real ruler
It doesn’t matter how relevant or engaging your content is. If it’s not in the context of the platform you’re sharing it on, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Stop using social media as a distribution platform. Make your content native to the platform you’re promoting it on.

Brand your content
This is obvious, right? You wouldn’t believe how many companies forget to put a logo on their content, let alone on the image or update they used to share the content online. How can you succeed in building awareness for your brand if you don’t brand your content?

Multimedia is important – get it right
Is your image out of focus? Is the focal point of your picture too far away? Does your image speak for itself? Is it native to the platform you are posting it? If not, hire someone to get it right or, better yet, find a colleague who is passionate about photography or design and get them to create the image for you.

Keep it simple, Stupid
If you tell your whole story in your update, there is no reason for your reader to click on your link to learn more. Entice your audience to click on the link you offer up by giving them a sneak peek of your content. Also, if the image that you post on any of the platforms needs a paragraph to explain it, it’s probably not the right image for that network.

Your audience will know when you’re trying too hard – so don’t
“There is no formula for cool content, other than you can’t make it if you don’t have a deep understanding of what makes your audience tick and what they’re seeking when they use social media”, Vaynerchuck says.Do you know the hashtags that are relevant to your audience? If not, you are always going to sound like an outsider.

Now go out and get your copy of JJJRH. I think you’ll find it is a book every storyteller can benefit from. Especially for those of us fighting for attention in a noisy social world.


About Laurie Mahoney

Laurie Mahoney is the Director of Product Marketing at Cision. She is a regular contributor to Cision Blog mainly focusing on topics like content marketing, social media and SEO. Laurie is a Chicagoan now, but spent her earlier days in the South where she attended the University of Georgia. She has a weakness for good TV, sushi and anything that mentions “salted caramel” in the name. You can find her on Twitter @channermahoney.

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