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What Makes a Good Media Story

instagram-1474232_1280According to Data Never Sleeps 4.0, in the past five years, “The global Internet population has grown by more than 60%, and there are more mobile devices on the planet than people.”

Every minute:

  •  Americans use 18,264,840 megabytes of wireless data
  •  3,567,850 text messages are sent in the U.S.
  •  Google translates 69,500,000 words

I guess you could say data is everywhere, being shared at a mind-boggling rate. And as more data is shared across a growing number of digital channels and social media platforms, it becomes more challenging to have your voice heard, your client’s brand noticed or your customer’s testimonial heard.

So what makes a good media story? And what makes that story stand out within the media buzz?

pencils-762555_1280The story:

  • Impacts people by solving a problem, providing an answer, generating an action or getting a conversation started about a topic
  • Touches the audience on an emotional level, helping motivate people to spread the word to others
  • Captures natural moments between people as well as the environment, evoking one or more of the senses
  • Contains fair and balanced information, telling a factual and accurate account
  • Revolves around a good character, a person who is a spokesperson for the story, offers a reflective testimonial and draws the audience in with his or her point of view

film-512132_1280The media–traditional and digital, print and online–has more stories to cover, more platforms to share to and be responsible for, and less resources to gather those stories.

Make sure your story is one that can’t be overlooked … or forgotten.



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Categories: Content Marketing, Social Media | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stats and Substance of Online Content


For online content, how long is too long? What number of words — or characters — is the ideal length? The answer is: it depends.

The Internet Is a Zoo: The Ideal Length of Everything Online” from SumAll and Buffer says, “Every piece of content should be as long as it takes to convey the message, and no longer.”

There may be no perfect length and no guarantee on the most engaging content for consumers.

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner


Your online presence: by the numbers

But there are certainly some scientific guidelines to lead you in the right direction, including:

  • Facebook: 40 characters. Posts with 40 characters receive 86% more engagement than posts with a higher character count.
  • Twitter: 71-100 characters. Tweets shorter than 100 characters have a 17% higher engagement rate.
  • Email subject lines: 28-39 characters. Email subject lines containing 28-39 characters get an open rate of 12.2% and click rate of 4% on average.
  • Domain names: 8 characters. The best domain names are short, easy to spell and remember, don’t have hyphens or numbers, and have a .com extension.
  • Blog headlines: 6 words. People tend to only read the first and last three words of a headline. Make every word count.
  • Blog posts: 1,600 words. Overall, 74% of posts that are read take less than three minutes to read, and 94% take less than six minutes.
  • YouTube videos: 3 minutes. The average length of the top 50 YouTube videos is two minutes and 54 seconds.
  • Podcasts: 22 minutes. Podcast listeners won’t tune in any longer. After 20 minutes, attention and retention rates crash.


A content breath of fresh air

But maybe it’s not the length of your online content that’s the problem. Maybe it’s the content of the content itself.

Are you having trouble coming up with new and exciting ideas for blog posts? Are you getting lazy with updates to your social media platforms? It’s time to put some pizazz back in your posts!

Here are some ways you can reinvigorate your stale online content, courtesy of Neil Patel with the Content Marketing Institute:

  1. Stay consistent. Content marketing can be slow-going and has a hard-to-define ROI. But stick with it, and you’ll emerge on the other side with more inspired online content.
  2. Ramp up your content production. Increased output can convey your business is renewing its commitment to online content, help you reach new audiences and spur more feedback. You can add to your output with more frequent and longer blog posts as well as adding in images and videos.
  3. Focus on doing one thing exceptionally well. Increase your output but only in the one content type you feel the most confident about working with, whether podcasts, email marketing, free resources, blogging or another medium. Choose the medium that best connects with your target audience.
  4. Narrow your focus. You might be trying to cover too many topics in your online content efforts. Usually, when you narrow your focus, you have the ability to go deeper and into more detail on the topic.
  5. Change your focus altogether. Instead of blogging into a black hole of zero traffic, shift your focus to a topic that might have more search traffic or a wider appeal overall. You can still stay in your niche, but just choose a different angle of approach.


If you are still struggling with your online content marketing, contact us today! We’ll help you develop and distribute the content to get your brand noticed.


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

Online Business is More Than Meets the Eye

Eye tracking studies

When you view a company’s website, where do you look first? And how long do your eyes stay there? Does that make a difference?

Eye tracking research is used in all types of fields ranging from neuroscience and psychology to business and advertising. There is a lot of information that can be learned to become a better online marketer, content writer or website designer.

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner


A peek into the power of eye tracking

According to Tobii, an eye tracking research company, “Eye tracking complements view and click statistics, in studies of e-commerce websites, banner advertising, email campaigns, electronic newsletters and in-game advertising. It provides new online branding measurements.”

In the field of Web usability, eye tracking can help businesses analyze consumer interaction between clicks and how much time that user spends between clicks. It gives businesses insights into which features on a website are the most interesting and which are ignored.


Valuable insight for online presence

Here are some important results from eye tracking studies, as noted by Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics:

  1. Put your most valuable content above the fold. You only have eight seconds to grab your consumers’ attention, so place the most enticing information above your fold. But don’t clutter that space by cramming in too much information or calls to action. Work on making messaging appealing.
  2. Put calls to action at the bottom of the page. The bottom is the second-most-viewed portion of the page. When people scroll — and they do — they go straight to the bottom of the page. That’s where you should put your call to action.
  3. People read big, bold headlines. In addition to the readable sizzle, a headline should also have dominant design elements — big and bold.
  4. Chunks of information are best. We can’t easily absorb massive blocks of text. People look at chunks, so your website should break up content into short paragraphs, provide headings, use bullets and create numbered lists.
  5. You need a lot of white space. Negative space is valuable because it facilitates movement through the rest of the Web page. The white space encourages clean movement and better intake of the data, helping the eye know where to go next.
  6. The left side of your page is important. Many written languages use a left-to-right reading pattern, so this has become ingrained. When designing your company Web page or placing content, maximize the left side of the page with important elements.
  7. Rethink your banner ad strategy.Banner blindness” was one of the first and most-talked-about usability phenomena in the early days of eye tracking studies. Unless you have no other way to monetize your website, don’t use banner ads.
  8. Pictures of real people are good. A Web page with pictures of a real person’s face encourages interaction and viewing and decreases the bounce rate. Using pictures on your home page, about page and social media profiles boosts a sense of understanding and trust.


New vision in the future

You can’t exactly guarantee that just because a consumer looks at certain parts of your website that he or she will then take a predicted action.

But where people look is still an extremely important factor. It impacts what they learn and possibly what they might do. A look comes before a click.

Looking for a website redesign to improve usability? Coles Marketing has what you need!


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