Like any storytelling aid, PowerPoint can be both a tool...and a crutch. Used properly, it elevates a story to new heights, but used improperly, and your audience will feel lulled into a Koala-like slumber—not your target crowd. Combine your presentation skills with a sharp PowerPoint deck and you will win over a crowd.
Part 1: If you're reading this, you should damn well be blogging.
Well, hello. Fancy meeting you here. We weren't expecting company, but we're glad you dropped by. Who could blame you, really? I mean here we are, a sophisticated marketing juggernaut. Then there's you — the enquiring mind, parched for fresh ideas.
This beautiful thing we've got between us? It's more than passing fancy. It's a blueprint for taking your brand from Point A to Point Kicking Ass. You see, blogging deepens the relationship with your audience along a number of important dimensions. So slip off your boat shoes and stay awhile. Let's chew the proverbial adipose tissue about the whats, whys and wherefores of blogging.
First up, the whys. Here are four undeniable reasons to get the blog train choo-choo-chooing.
1. You're a suspicious character and probably full of crap.
After all, you're SELLING STUFF. And people who sell stuff are pathological phonies who'd say anything to make a buck. Or, maybe... I don't know. Maybe you're not so dastardly after all. I mean, that limerick in your blog wasn't totally cringe-worthy. And you seemed so... Darn. Genuine. Are you human? I'm starting to think so.
Amazing new technologies have come along in recent years that enhance or improve almost every job in the advertising field — except writing. So far, no new program, gadget or other modern convenience has come along to help a writer write a great headline, clever copy or improve a bad idea. Since the beginning of advertising, a writer has had to resort to his or her wits, intelligence and reasoning to come up with great ideas and the words to express them.
As much as copywriters love creative control, we learn quickly that we're neither owed it nor are we likely to receive it. However, there's one medium in which writers potentially can let their voice be heard: radio.
On July 22nd, 1962, the Mariner 1 spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral on a mission to photograph Venus. Within minutes, it veered out of control and was destroyed by safety officers on the ground. The culprit? A missing hyphen in the guidance system’s code. Years later, author Arthur C. Clarke dubbed it “the most expensive hyphen in history.”
In print advertising, headlines are critical. They’re the bait. They grab your attention, and once you’re hooked, the body copy begins reeling you in with product or brand benefits, Unique Selling Propositions (USPs), reasons to change your behavior and so on. After this, either the fishing line breaks and you’re off the hook, or the CTA brings you aboard the boat and throws you into an ice-filled Styrofoam cooler marked “sold.”
Whether you work at a marketing agency or a law firm or an oil drilling company, creativity is a part of your daily life. And it isn’t a linear process. Sometimes you’ve gotta move sideways to forge ahead.
Regardless of the marketing mix for business-to-business brands in 2014, storytelling is a common theme that reigns as marketers strive to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace. Psychology has confirmed that stories break the barrier of intellectual defenses, and to humans, a good story is received as a gift.
In order for you to believe that I’m a comedian, I need to tell you a joke. I can tell you all day long how hilarious I am. But until I actually make you laugh, you won’t (and shouldn’t) believe me. It’s a claim, not a brand position. That’s the point of content marketing. Produce ‘content’ that proves your brand position.
I’m a con artist. And, honestly, it’s a label I wear proudly. Don’t act like you’re innocent. If you’re in the marketing biz, chances are you’re a con artist as well (or at least on your way).