Are you a political news addict? Here’s how “the addiction” engages the audience.

CNN news I am a political news addict, and I’m trying to kick the habit. There I admitted it. News addiction? I did some research – and here’s the most powerful drug ever: the visceral gut feelings of outrage relieved by the most powerful emotions of all . . . the thrill of your tribe’s victory over its enemy and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Movies and TV shows use that psychological formula to engage the audience – so why the news?
Because it’s done for ratings: The outcomes of news debates are carefully fixed by the producers – whether you watch CNBC, CNN or Fox news – it’s fixed so the home team has the best chance to win. That keeps viewers coming back again and again, which means more advertising dollars. How to apply that addiction to social media marketing? Stay tuned, it’s a little later in this blog.
Neuroscience has known for years that “news junkies” or “political junkies” were in fact addicts… junkies …who got their addictive dopamine hit from the emotional roller coaster of unbridled outrage followed by the dopamine releasing experience derived from the thrill of watching the victory over your ideological enemy tribe.
Does your product appeal to everyone? Does your product have an enemy you can identify? Can you target a specific demographic that can emotionally side with your product versus your competitions product or service? Can you develop a tribe-like addiction to your services or products?
Are you or your client are willing to play an aggressive role, like a politician or news channel, and possibly at the expense of “your brand?”  If so, then just maybe you can create addicts to your services or products. I’m not condoning the approach, just engaging news addicts …

3 ways to create a better blog title, the difference between a good and bad blog title, and why should you care about a blog title?

best presentationsTo pull in your audience, create a compelling title to your blog that is On Fire!

3 ways – 1. List a “number” of reasons, 2. offer comparisons or concerns, and 3.  the “why should” approach. They are effective because they make a very specific promise of what’s coming.

Here are  two blog topics by a law firm client of mine, (one on elder law, the other on estate planning), and both topics use three different approaches to create engaging titles.

List Approach: 

  1. 3 ways the elderly are now protected by law
  2. 5 reasons to review your estate planning now

Comparison or Concerns:

  1. Are the elderly better served in civil or criminal cases?
  2. The pros and cons of estate planning

“Why Should…” titles:

  1. Why should we care about elder laws?   
  2. Why should you worry about your estate’s assets?

Best shark photo ever?

Here’s the National Geographic Photo of the Year for 2016, (supposedly). This is a pretty dramatic effect and it would be a great photo – if it was real. This is a  pretty good attempt at visual impact, but I’m sorry to say – it’s Photoshop art. Can you spot the clues to this being a fake photo? Give it a try, my 7 clues are below the photo. Are there any other Photoshop clues you can spot that I missed?

Great white shark photo

1. The strong lighting is coming from the left on the shark but the lighting is subdued  on the surface of the water, no strong highlights on the waves – so they just don’t match up to the lighting on the shark.

2. Note the waves coming straight up out of the water – with that weight and volume there should be a swelling up or surge of water surrounding the dramatic waves, not just cut straight across.

3. Because the shark is so smooth and sleek, there wouldn’t be a large cotton-like puffs of water pushed above his head– they would be trailing more behind him.

4. A bloody mess. I’m thinking this shark had to swim pretty fast to jump this high, so it seems reasonably that the blood around his mouth and nose would have been washed off from that much effort.

5. With the sharks mouth partly open I probably would have made streams of water flowing out of the corners of his mouth.

6. The color of the background is much easier to work with when just a simple fade from light blue to medium blue is used. Looking through the wave at the color of the sky behind the left lower side of the shark’s body, it should match the sky behind it – it’s slightly a different blue color.

7. Water surges would flow up based on the drag of the force shooting up. The dramatic waves flowing up don’t quite match the shape of the shark. A little short on one side, a little wide on the other, and in the middle there isn’t a part of the shark that would cause that large water surge to drag up.

Anything I missed?  If you liked this, please share it with one or more of the social media buttons below.

Online Gallery for Artists of All Types and Mediums …

I recently created an online gallery of my creative images from the past few years and it’s divided into 6 categories:

Gary Greer Artist Gallery

1. Digital Art (creating images using Photoshop), 2. Abstract Symbolism (acrylic paintings on stretched canvas), 3. Photography (images primarily captured on my iPhone and some have a bit of Photoshop enhancement), 4. Fantasy and Romance (a combination of using 3D software and Photoshop), 5. Steampunk (gears and the Victorian future), and 6. Illustration (commercial art used in company literature).

One of the cool things about this site is that it visualizes for you what an image looks like when printed on canvas, steel, beach towels, pillows, greeting cards and even shower curtains! (And many other decor items too). The company hosting the site takes care of the printing, shipping and payments – easy-peasy!

Check the gallery out at: Greer Galleries

 

How technology lowers our productivity and provides “short-burst” branding opportunities in social media.

Social media marketing

Have you noticed in the past few years how much shorter the lines are now at the grocery store, traffic light, doctor’s office, and restaurants?  Or, do the lines just seem shorter because you are now secretly enjoy waiting so you can browse Facebook, messages, emails or Twitter, with the thought, “What will I get?” When we unlock our smartphones, we subconsciously crave for variable rewards or something to occupy our minds. This yearning for variable rewards makes us refresh social media feeds and email inboxes – repeatedly.

social mediaHere’s an effect you may not have been aware of: According to neurological scientists, 10 minutes on social media can raise oxytocin levels by up to 13 percent, (a generosity-trust chemical in our brains). That’s a hormonal spike equal to what some people experience on their wedding day! People of all ages are addicted to the euphoria effect of their smartphones.

social media marketingPeople use their smartphones everywhere. In elevators, for instance,  I’ve seen people miss getting off their intended floors because of checking Facebook postings.  It’s the norm to use smartphones as we wait at banks, gas stations and even Starbucks.

Does social media technology decrease productivity or are we simply filling what was empty non-productive spaces in our lives?

social media marketing smart phonesIn a world where we brag about 24/7 connectivity, our phones keep buzzing. But we rarely receive calls. Social media notifications, useless emails, and instant messages have made us ‘multitaskers’.

But multitasking reduces our productivity by up to 40 percent. Each time we are interrupted, it takes us several minutes to refocus. Before those refocus minutes are up, we get distracted again. Is it not surprising that these are the least productive times in the history of mankind?

trump tweets

This social media phenomena  also provides opportunities for short-burst marketing and re-branding. The most famous re-branding person of our time? Donald Trump. He uses Twitter to “re-brand” his adversaries. It use to be, “Don’t judge people by what they say about themselves, but by what they say about others.” That still may be true for some, but unfortunately social media has made many believers in stories people want to hear or hope to believe.  Social media can now quickly cast false and deceptive re-branding of people and companies.

As a marketer, please consider taking the truth-road.  Check Snopes, PolitiFact or other “fact checking” websites before passing along juicy tidbits that could falsely re-brand companies, products or people that worked so hard to create value in their brands.

Are you old-school or new-age sales?

Technology sales personIf I was evaluating a technology-based sales person with a lengthy resume, I would base it on more recent sales history – no farther back than the last 10-15 years. Back 20+ years ago computer and technology sales people could boast big impressive sales numbers because sales were “easy” compared to selling in today’s  highly competitive marketplace. Why? The world was switching over from paper and fax machines to computers and networks. Plus, connecting to the early stages of the Internet. Every company was buying technology and computer related products.

Back then the sales approach was totally different – you could make an easy sale on computers and networks based on price or superior technology because it was changing so quickly. Companies were buying entire telecommunications and computers systems – they were all basically building from scratch.

computer sales

Now successful new-age sales sells the “value” of a company’s technology – because there isn’t as much difference between the competition as there was in the early technology days. Yes, most companies now think they have something new and different, but typically not different enough for the customer to recognize or understand the difference without a lot of marketing and sales communication.

A new-age sales person articulates value propositions and creates the perception in the customer’s mind that the product and company is unique and offers a better value than the competition. That takes additional time, effort, and patience

best selling tipsAdditionally, it is equally important for the new-age sales person to partner with marketing because a successful sales person is part of the sales process and not the whole process. They are patient and learn how to become an important part of the “social media engagement” process. The new-age sales person understands how social media marketing and a company’s website are now an integral part of the entire sales process, as they are not the lone-wolf sales person glad-handing and selling like the good ole’ days.

How these “simple tricks” get your emails read.

Whether you’re a millennial or an old dog, here are some easy and new tricks to get higher readership out of your emails.

tricks to writing emails

This blog’s subject line (which could also be an email), uses these 7 tricks that are likely to get more readership:
  1. Putting quotation marks around a phrase or statement increases readership
  2. The word “How” makes people think (rightly) that they will get some advice.
  3. The word “these” makes the advice sound specific.
  4. “Simple” makes it sound easy – and the word “easy” in the subhead also increases readership – because people hate hard work.
  5. “Tricks” makes it seem easy as well.
  6. The phrase “get your emails read” increases readership because it makes the sentence active – that simple approach does the trick.
  7. The word “your” helps, too, because people are interested in themselves.
Eight more tricks you can use …

marketing tricks1. When providing a list, use numbers instead of bullets to increase readership. Readers typically finish reading a numbered list to see if something resonates with them – and refer to the number of solutions or tips like I did using the number “7.”

2. Use the words “you” or “your” it’s certain to increase readership.

3. But that’s not all. (Use bold text for subheads or as an introduction to paragraphs like I did in this long-winded blog – it breaks up lengthy text and creates more visual interest).

Getting people to read your text4. The subhead needs to encourage people to start reading your full story – it’s a bit like an appetizer in a restaurant.

5. Does the use of questions keep people reading?  Yes, because they suggest answers to come, so does a list of specific examples – because when someone suggests something to you, you often say to yourself, “What do you mean?”

6. Did you notice that the paragraphs in this blog vary in length? One is only nine words long. The mind enjoys variety, and the empty spaces allows the eyes to rest.

7. “Use simple words everyone knows. Then everyone will understand.”

email tricks for readership8. Should the writing style be the same as casual chat? Typically it’s more formal – but writing is really nothing more than a well-organized speech. And when you write you have time to think things out and arrange them in ways you cannot in the rush of a speech.

Wether you are new to the game or an old dog learning new tricks, keep your message simple and to the point – because people have little time to dig for what they are looking for.

 

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