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Getting intimate with the classics

19 Mar

These are among the most beautiful examples of architectural photography I have ever seen. The photographer took full advantage of the movement, light, and natural construction materials used in the design.

When I fist saw the top image I was blown away by the design of the room, the beautiful skylights, and the afternoon sun streaming in.

Then I realized I was inside a violin. As a classically trained violinist I probably should have been quicker on the uptake.

These shots are part of a larger campaign for the Berlin Philharmonic, with the tagline “closer to the classical.” “Closer” is an understatement: we are looking at the inside of some of the most recognizable (from the outside) classical musical instruments.

Did you know what you were looking at right away?

(photos courtesy of ibelieveinadv.com)

5 – er, make that 4 – essential ways to increase your blog’s popularity

25 Oct

Zombie hand with four fingers

There are about a billion posts out there giving blogging tips, so why bother reading this one?

The zombie hand of course. Beyond that, we’ve written nearly 700 posts in 3 years and have seen our blog not only bring us major new business, but been nominated for a West Coast Social Media Award and been runner-up in the US-based Fuel Lines Blog of the Year poll.

That’s our credentials anyway. Now onto your blog and how to boost readership. Here are 4 keys to building on your own successes.

1. Focus on your audience. Once you’ve defined to whom you are writing and have that fixed as a mental image in your mind, it’s simply of matter of speaking to them through your content and language. For example, when writing a post for potential new businesses, never make the assumption that they have the same level of experience in the bowels of your industry. Don’t just write about what’s important to you; write about what matters to them. “You” is still the most powerful word in sales.

2. Write about the stuff you’re crazy about. If you’re into wombats or zombies, find a relevant way to introduce this area of interest into your content. You personalize your posts when you do this, bringing your personality to the writing, which distinguishes your blog.

More importantly, you engage yourself, which becomes more important the more of the damn things you write! I might suggest to someone at Copeland that they write about the value of brainstorming, but I shouldn’t expect too many woohoos in response. But if I suggest they write about the value of brainstorming to survive a zombie apocalypse, different story.

3. Communicate the complex simply. Everything seems complicated at the moment. Technology that seems straightforward to you may baffle your readers. You need to distill the complexity, not just in terms of the language you use, but in the visual look of your post. If you can achieve that, you will have communicated that you are straightforward and easy to deal with as well.

This is where editing is key. Write your post. Let it sit for a few hours. Then revisit it with the intention of shortening it by 25%. Reduce the length of the longer paragraphs and eliminate the waffle. You get to the nub much faster this way, which respects your readers’ appetite for simplicity and recognizes that there are many other things they could be doing at that moment.

4. Make the posts looks tasty. Readers often decide in a glance whether they want to get stuck into your post or not. So make it visually appetizing. I advocate the use of exceptional photos or illustrations to give it some pop. A visual also can set a tone or create a personality for the post out of the gate.

Short paragraphs give people a chance to visually breathe during the read, especially important when they are skimming over a longer post. It’s as if they are crossing a pond on stones, and each stone (or paragraph break) is a place to regroup. You don’t want to have the stones too far apart.

There are certainly many more tips than these, but I’m out of fingers.

Nobody likes your chatterbox ad

3 Jul

Clients, please trust your agencies when they tell you that there is too much going on in your ad and ask to cut back.

Businesses, like some people, tend to cover too much ground about themselves when given the opportunity, such as an ad.

You can probably recover personally from going on endlessly about yourself during an encounter. But out there in media land, your busy ad will be ruthlessly tuned out and will probably not be given a second glance again, despite all the media money you are committing to it.

If you can be short and sweet, your audience will far more likely welcome further engagement with you. If, however, you seize the moment to blab on about everything you think is great about yourself and include as many call-to-actions as possible, please don’t be surprised that the idea got lost (hoping there was one), the ad didn’t work and that no one wants to play with you now at recess.

Say one thing. Say it well. Say it memorably well. Then shut up.

Like these did.

ad against racism in sport with swastika kicking football

Lego ad imagining how a child sees a real plane from two simple lego pieces

Had ad with Hitler and Charlie Chaplin

Knorr ad for sealed storage bag that keeps fish fresh