Monthly Archives: December 2014

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Your Teachers Were Wrong: Why It’s Okay to Use Incomplete Sentences and Sentence Fragments

Peppering your writing with incomplete sentences will keep readers of your marketing materials more engaged. In other words, they’ll pay more attention to what you have to say. Seriously. (That last statement was an incomplete sentence.)

Good writing needs drama

Too many marketing materials are downright boring, because the writer doesn’t want to embarrass himself by making any grammatical mistakes. If you want people to read what you have to say, you have to challenge the norms and keep your readers on their toes. And that calls for mixing long and short sentences together in the same paragraph. Even incomplete short sentences. (That was another one.)

Yes, your teachers always taught you that was a no-no – and you have the papers with red marks to prove it. But if you’d taken creative writing classes in college, your professor would have most likely encouraged the practice. If you worked in an advertising agency, they would demand it.

It’s like music or painting. First, you’re taught the rules. Then, you’re taught how to take things to the next level by breaking some of those rules.

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The Five Keys to Creating a Viral Marketing Campaign

Thanks to social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), it only takes a couple clicks for someone to share something special with their friends. And if those friends share it with their friends, who share it with their friends, who share it with their friends, you suddenly have a “viral” campaign.

But getting hundreds or thousands of people to turn your advertisement, video or publicity stunt into a viral marketing campaign is extremely difficult. The idea is very attractive to most small businesses (free advertising on a large scale), but making it happen requires real skill and savvy. Five secrets to success are included below.

#1 It has to be unique

If you want your ad, video or publicity stunt to go viral, it has to be unusual, different, new, unique. The “content” (the video, photo, message) and the idea have to be things people haven’t seen before. Simply copying another viral campaign won’t work.

For example, in a very unusual YouTube video campaign promoting the kitchen blender Blendtec, the company’s chief executive put random items into the blender. The blender reduced an iPhone to dust in one of the videos. More than 12 million people watched the videos – leading to a 700 percent increase in Blentec sales. See the Blendtec YouTube video.

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