Robert M. Coles

Author, World Traveler, Public Speaker

Category: Uncategorized

Content Overload: Setting Your Content Above The Rest

Originally written for Sona Creative Marketing by Robert Coles as a guest post.

Content Marketing Tips and Tricks From A Silly American

content-writingI don’t know about you, but I find myself constantly overloaded with content on the internet. Everyone is trying to sell something, there’s always a contest to enter, and someone is constantly trying to push a brand that you just don’t want to think about (like the Snuggie… Or is that just an American thing?), yet we as inquiring humans always want to know more.

With over 160 million blogs currently on the internet (only half of them are mine), and more and more being created each and every day, it’s difficult to weed through the quality content if you’re a reader. For a content marketer, this becomes a huge challenge, and it’s one that hasn’t entirely been solved yet. While we’re coming up with new way of marketing almost by the minute, the world hasn’t quite caught up to our brilliant minds.

We’re constantly having to come up with new methods of blog creation, and new ways to make our titles interesting. Simply put, if it isn’t interesting in the first 10 words, no one is going to read it. Fortunately, we content marketers have the numbers on our side, regardless. 46% of internet users read blogs more than once per day, and when marketing for businesses, that can convert to real leads, and real sales. Companies that blog have 55% more visits to their website than companies that don’t.

So what is the internet marketer to do? For starters, it’s about creating interesting content what will hold the reader’s attention. Check out these 5 ways to keep your content interesting and your audience begging for more.

#1 – Your titles are boring. Spice it up a bit!

If I read another “X Ways To Improve Your Business” article one more time, I’m going to throw my computer out my window and adopt a life without technology. Seriously, your titles matter. Consider coming up with something interesting. If you’re forced to write an article about ways to improve your business, think about what area you’ll be focusing on, and the spin it. If that article were to focus on ways to improve your business using social media, use a title like “X Ways Your Business is Failing (And How To Improve Them).” People are drawn to the negative, so use that to your advantage.

By the way, I did a Google search for the best blog titles and all I got were search results like “How to Write a Captivating Blog Title.” I didn’t click it.

#2 – Don’t forget mixed media. It can save your life.

In a world where 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, there will always be a video to spice up your content. The fact is, people are attracted to what they can easily see and watch. They don’t necessarily love reading anymore (and that’s a shame) so it’s important to spell things out for them. The best way to do that is with a video. If there isn’t a video out there, make one. With apps like Vine making short videos are easy, and if you want, you can use a website like fiverr.com to have a video created for you with graphics based on your script.

If videos aren’t your thing, no problem. Use infographics that drive your point home. You can also use screen captures if you’re referencing something you’ve found on the internet. For example, I wrote an article about social interaction, and included a screen capture of people interacting socially. It’s that simple. People just want to be able to see what they’re reading, rather than actually read what they’re reading.

#3 – Talk as you. Not about you.

People want to hear your voice rather than your life story. Sure, you should write with your own personal flare, and almost make fun of yourself (coming from the silly American), but people don’t want to hear about your life and what you ate for dinner. That’s what Facebook is for. Instead, consider telling about a product or service that you’re marketing in your own tone, but don’t insert personal stories about Aunt Cathy’s hip surgery.

#4 – Stay consistent

If you’re going to take a stance on something, stick to it, especially if you’re talking about a theory. People are going to site you and use your word as a source. If people end up linking to your blog, or your client’s blog, you are going to want to make sure that one blog post doesn’t contradict another. You’ve just made yourself or your client look ridiculous.

When you’re blogging, its also very important that you use consistency in your grammar, punctuation, and style. You can change things up a bit, but not too much. Your readers are going to get accustomed to your style, and if you change things too much they’re going to rebel. You’d be surprised how many people actually do read your words.

#5 – Offer a unique point of view

With over 160 million blogs on the internet, there are bound to be repeated views, but if you can find a way to present a unique point of view you’re going to captivate your readers. For some of my clients, I write the every day business blog because that’s what they want, but for others I have the freedom to experiment with humor and stylistic choices.

Content marketing is still very young in the marketing world, but it’s growing quickly, and staying ahead of the curve with your writing will ensure that you ride the content wave smoothly to the finish line. Good luck!

The 7 Catchiest Marketing Jingles of My 90s Childhood

Earworms of the Ages

catchiest marketing jinglesPerhaps I’m showing my youthful age in this article, but that’s okay. Jingles have been a part of the advertising world since around 1926, when General Mills broadcast its song “Have You Tried Wheaties?” on Christmas Eve. Since then, the world has seen jingles such as the song for McDonalds’ Big Mac, Coca-Cola’s “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke,” and Mentos’ ever-popular “The Freshmaker”(which I remember mostly from Clueless).

Jingles have become a staple for advertising, and people arespending up to $3.8 million for a 30-second commercial to display their latest jingle. Some fall flat on their face, much like “Chicken Tonight” from Ragu (the only thing it has going for it is that people are doing the chicken dance), and others are just plain awful like Sea-Bond’s attempt at humor (be warned… it will make you cringe).

#1 – Kit Kat Bars

Kit Kat did something really special with its candy bar commercials. The company made it about the everyday nine-to-five worker, and what he or she would want during their break. Their commercials featured construction workers, cashiers, office receptionists, and the common man and woman, all wanting to enjoy a short time away from work; and a new catchphrase was born. “Give me a break, give me a break. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar” became a common saying around offices.

#2 – Meow Mix

This jingle was a creative masterpiece because it was the first to introduce a jingle sung entirely by an animal. Sure, it was probably some girl standing in a recording booth doing her best Cats impressions, but to us it was a cute kitten who just couldn’t wait to get her little paws on some Meow Mix. You had better believe people sang that song in their heads for hours after seeing the commercial, which made it a highly effective marketing strategy for the cat food company. Commercial found here.

#3 – Oscar Mayer

If you’re like me, you grew up wishing that Oscar Mayer WeinerMobile would drive down your street passing out hot dogs. Sadly, that never happened (until I became an adult, but that’s a different story for a different blog), but I was able to enjoy the famous Oscar Mayer commercials with that glorious “My bologna has a first name…” jingle. It was all the talk on the playground, and all the kids at the cafeteria lunch table sang the song if their mom or dad packed them a bologna and cheese sandwich, and the whole table would join in song. It was just like a scene from High School Musical…only not really. Song here. 

#4 – Toys ‘R Us

It was the battle cry of a generation: “I don’t want to grow up! I’m a Toys ‘R Us kid!” We literally lived for those Saturdays that hardly ever came. Mom and Dad would take us to the toy store, give us five dollars, and cut us loose. We’d test drive every bike through the aisles, even though we knew we weren’t going to get one, and we’d play with the balls in the big wire contraption that kept them all in. The store’s jingle was pure genius. It made us believe that, with the help of a Furby, we’d never grow up. ’90s flashback here.

#5 – Chili’s

You know after that bass vocalist sang “barbeque sauce” you immediately wanted to head over to Chili’s for a slab of baby back ribs. It’s effective advertising. This catchy song (which closely resembles The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues”) got stuck in the heads of millions. It was even named one of Ad Age Magazine’s “10 Songs Most Likely To Get Stuck In Your Head.” Earworm link here.

#6 – Fanta

“Wanta Fanta? Don’t you wanta Fanta?” After seeing these flashy, colorful commercials? Yes. Yes I do wanta Fanta. The “Fantanas” took the country by storm with their adventures bringing Fanta to those who needed it most around the world. The commercials made you want to jump right up and grab one. Also, they use a form of subliminal messaging in these commercials. The singers all nod their heads when they ask if you “Wanta Fanta?” They’re telling you that you do. There’s no other option. And it worked. Millions of Americans did in fact wanta Fanta. Do you wanta?

#7 – Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum

If this commercial campaign taught us anything, it’s that if you chew Doublemint gum, you’ll fall in love with twins. Actually, the commercials were geared to a more sporty, athletic, and fun audience, and this showed in their commercials. They featured two sets of twins playing tennis and falling in love over their deep romance with chewing gum. Rekindle your crush here.

What are some of your favorite (or least favorite) jingles of all time and why do they make your list?

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