Tag Archive | "Marks"

15 Marks of Exceptional Writing that Gets Noticed

One of my favorite writing exercises requires very little original writing. Want to know what it is? Find 3 pieces…

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December global festivities Google doodle marks day 2 of Google’s holiday doodle series

Today’s doodle shows Google’s animated penguins celebrating the holidays with their warm weather friends.

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Pedro Infante Google doodle marks 100th birthday of iconic Mexican singer & actor

Born in Mazatlán, Mexico, Infante helped popularize mariachi music around the world.

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Mary Pickford Google doodle marks 125th birthday of the ‘Queen of Movies’

A celebrated actress, director, and producer during the silent film era, Pickford remains one of the most powerful women ever to work in Hollywood.

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Ida Lewis Google Doodle marks 175th birthday of ‘America’s Bravest Woman’

As Rhode Island’s most famous lighthouse keeper, Lewis saved a number of lives from drowning, including the two soldiers that inspired the doodle.

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6 Marks of Effective Content: ‘The Lego Movie’ Edition

how to snap together effective content marketing

Shortly after the release of The Lego Movie (2014), more than one professional marketer went on record to say that it was the best piece of content marketing they’d seen in a long time.

Well, I finally saw the movie, and I don’t buy that claim. Why?

To be honest, I have a hunch it won’t pass a simple test — a test I’m calling “The Six Marks of Effective Content.”

And what exactly are those six marks? They are:

  1. A headline that instantly commands attention
  2. An opening that hooks your audience
  3. An element of education, inspiration, or entertainment
  4. A persuasive story
  5. A single, focused moral
  6. A well-crafted call to action

Seems easy enough to pass, but before we dive in, do me a favor if you have seen the movie: Think through how you would grade the movie based on these six marks. And then let’s see how we compare at the end. Cool?

Here we go.

1. A headline that instantly commands attention: A+

If we were to evaluate the title of the movie based on the four U’s of headline writing, The Lego Movie is a below-average headline:

  • Is it useful? No.
  • Is it urgent? No.
  • Is it unique? Yes.
  • Is it ultra-specific? Not really — all we know is that it’s a movie about Lego bricks.

A headline I would write for the movie using the four U’s might look something like:

  • Soap Bubbles and 44 Other Surprising Things You Can Make with Lego Pieces
  • The Fellowship of the Brick
  • Lord Business Is No Megamind

However, the headline doesn’t have to do much because of the hefty value of its brand name. Except for space aliens, everybody knows what Lego bricks are.

See, The Lego Movie as a headline is equivalent to announcing “Free Money” or “Sex.” Few people need to be told the value proposition behind those headlines (that first headline was once used by a bank, the second one by a bookstore).

The creators of the movie didn’t have to be clever — just clear and concise.

That’s because we’ve all been waiting forever (whether or not we knew it) for a Lego movie. Just hearing those three words — The Lego Movie — made us all squirm in anticipation like a batch of soft, fluffy, yowling puppies.

But there is a lesson that shouldn’t be missed here: unless you have an A+ brand name, write magnetic headlines.

The movie seems to be off to a good start.

2. An opening that hooks your audience: A

The second mark of effective content is a strong introduction that immediately hooks your audience member — and keeps her reading or watching.

For your content, use short, engaging sentences that could:

  • Tell a story.
  • Ask a question.
  • Share a metaphor, analogy, or simile.
  • Invoke the mind’s eye.
  • Quote a statistic.

The Lego Movie gets an A here because the movie grabs and keeps our attention when we meet the hero of the story, Emmet — an average guy who religiously follows an instruction booklet.

Then, his world is turned upside down. (I will stop there, for those who have not seen the movie.)

That’s the essence of a well-told story.

3. An element of education, inspiration, or entertainment: A

Effective content marketing educates, inspires, or entertains an audience.

A balanced piece of content will usually have a mix that is 40 percent education, 40 percent inspiration, and 20 percent entertainment:

So, how does The Lego Movie fare? It’s clearly full-scale entertainment, but there is an educational element, too: there is a time to follow rules, and there is a time to break them.

Ancient wisdom, if you think about it. The movie gets an A in this category.

4. A persuasive story: A

A captivating novel, movie, or TV series begins with a character in conflict, then amplifies that conflict so that life becomes miserable, and eventually ends in a satisfying resolution.

The same is true for your marketing story. You need a hero, a goal, an obstacle, a mentor, and a moral.

They can also use metaphors, case studies, examples, and other techniques to engage your audience and illustrate a point.

Of course the movie aces this one.

5. A single, focused moral: B

Yes, great content tells stories that show people just like you overcoming obstacles and attaining their goals. It shows how customers become better versions of themselves — how customers can overcome external and internal obstacles to gain what they’re searching for.

But great content also always states its purpose.

In the sea of distraction that is the web, don’t be afraid to spell it out. Be clear and direct. Clarity is golden.

Here are a few examples of morals in content marketing:

So, how did The Lego Movie do?

While the message wasn’t necessarily direct, it certainly was clear: You are special. Believe in yourself.

That’s certainly a moral, but I think it’s a lame one because when everyone is special, aren’t we all really just average then? ”</p

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Alice Paul Google Doodle Marks 131st Birthday Of The American Suffragist & ERA Activist

Paul played a primary role in getting the 19th Amendment through Congress and was the original force behind the Equal Rights Amendment.

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What Is The Mountain Of Butterflies? Google Doodle Marks 41st Anniversary Of The Natural Phenomenon

In 1975, a team of Canadian zoologist found millions of monarch butterflies that had migrated to the eastern most part of Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains.

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Inge Lehmann Google Logo Marks 127th Birthday Of Woman Who Discovered Earth’s Inner Core

She was the first woman to receive a William Bowie medal – the highest honor awarded by the American Geophysical Union.

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