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Creativity at Coles

We just wanted to give you a sneak peek at what we’ve been working on lately here at Coles Marketing. We love providing our clients with creative designs and seeing how they transform into things like this beautiful Corporate Overview Brochure for D-A Lubricant Company!

 

 

 

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Categories: Clients | Tags: Tags: , , , , , ,

Content Creation: Is Less Still More?

Coles Marketing Less is More

No matter what your vocation, from Hollywood actor to marketing executive, you’ve no doubt heard the advice that “less is more.” The phrase, first attributed to poet Robert Browning, has evolved into an almost universally-accepted truth

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd

that audiences appreciate a simple, subtle presentation over a loud, brash one.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in marketing and websites, where we’re constantly being told people don’t want to see a wall of text on a homepage, or wade through tons of content before getting to the information they came for.

 

Simplify and streamline

Jason DeMers at Forbes sums it up well: “We’re faced with increasing evidence, statistics, and research findings indicating that consumers are tired of being bombarded with extraneous information, which distracts rather than assists them in their buying decisions.”

In his article focusing on the marketing success of Apple, DeMers argues consumers want us to simplify the decision-making process. The best way to do this is by giving them the information they need to know — and leaving out the rest.

He also includes some salient data, like only 16 percent of website visitors read every word on a page, and the average American sees anywhere from 250 to several thousand ads or marketing messages every day!

 

Less>more? Still?

But is “less is more” really the right approach for EVERY circumstance and outreach platform?

After all, the great movement in marketing these days is “brand journalism,” in which companies bypass traditional media and tell stories directly to the audience. Also called content marketing, the goal here is not to just sell, but to provide useful and/or entertaining information that will lead them back to the company’s products and services.

For instance, one of the things we often do at Coles Marketing is create articles for a client’s website or newsletter, such as gardening tips or planning for the new Medicare investment tax. In this case, a well-researched column of 500-600 words, including attractive photos and useful links, would seem to fall under the definition of “more is more.”

 

Spare on top, thicker below

And in some audience engagements, people really do want more information than a superficial outline. Medical care and financial investment are two areas that immediately spring to mind.

If you were looking for an OB/GYN or someone to help you plan for retirement, who would you choose: someone with very vague rah-rah type of content on their website and messaging, or a company or organization that demonstrated its deep knowledge base?

Also, Google’s latest algorithms favor lots of subheadings and links, so more content is often better for SEO purposes.

Our take is your initial engagement with an audience should be simple and direct, but give them a pathway to discover more in-depth information about who your company is and what you do. The strategy should be like male-pattern baldness — spare on top, but thicker below.

For example, we recently created an entire new website for a healthcare provider client. Their homepage and navigation are models of elegant simplicity. But you can also go deeper into the subpages and find a wealth of knowledge about various medical conditions.

So in short: give them less, but offer them more. And Coles Marketing can help!

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Categories: 2014 September Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Prepare to Clear Up the Content

List_pic

The average adult’s attention span is now just eight seconds … which is down from 12 seconds in 2000. An interesting twist? That’s less than the average attention span of a goldfish, which is nine seconds, according to Statistic Brain.

 

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

And while you may think you are multi-tasking, you probably really aren’t. As noted in Entrepreneur Magazine, “Psychology Today” reports only two percent of people are actually good at multi-tasking. The rest of us are just scanning and browsing.

 

That means we need to make the content we deliver to clients and consumers more scannable and easier to digest.

 

Making content snackable

So what is snackable content? Kevin Dugan says, “Content is snackable when it is designed for simple and flexible audience consumption.”

 

While valuable content is a must, there are other elements that make your audience more likely to consume your content, whether it’s a blog, news article or social media post.

 

  1. Tell a story worth sharing: Ensure useful, timely and engaging content is created for the target audience.
  2. Headline grabber: Best practices for headlines include a focus on lower word count, asking readers a question, using a colon in the headline and giving an odd-numbered list of tips on a topic.
  3. Visuals matter: We process visuals more quickly than text, and they help the content stand out, inviting more user engagement.
  4. Get a design: Bring your content to life, no matter the platform, by applying a mix of aesthetic and utility to attract readers and make it easy for them to browse.
  5. Make it flexible: Your content must be compatible and ready to be consumed across many platforms, including mobile and desktop devices.

 

Get your list ready

Whether you love them or hate them, list-format articles — listicles — seem here to stay. Rachel Edidin from Wired says while lists may be overused, they are really, really useful.

 

Do you know why? Here’s a list. Lists:

  • Curate. Lists give us focused tables of contents in a world with near-infinite information at hand.
  • Give us additional ways to interact with information. Lists let us process complicated information spatially and place digestible bites of information in the context of a larger whole.
  • Are jumping-on points. A list will skim the surface of a broader body of content, giving you a series of contact points from which to explore further in your own time.
  • Are ethically neutral. Lists are not rotting your brain or lowering the standards of journalism. They are just another tool in the toolbox.
  • Are not giving you ADHD. As Edidin says in her article, “Is ADHD just a word you throw around when you want to complain about how much better things were in the Grand Old Days?” While lists have been picked apart and attacked, they probably won’t go anywhere soon.

 

The basics are evolving

Sure, a compelling story with valuable content is still most important. But if your company or organization wants to continue to engage clients and customers, then you need to adapt to our modern world filled with information and distractions.

 

Want a fun and factual list for every second of the day? Check out BuzzFeed’s The ListiClock!

 

Then, contact the Coles team to take your content to the next level.

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Categories: 2014 April Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,