COM0014 Blog #3 – Target Audiences

COM0014 Blog #3 – Target Audiences

For this week’s blog post, I’m going to delve into one of my more recent hobbies: diamond painting.  As a result of successive lockdowns and the ongoing pandemic, I found myself in need of a new hobby.  I’ve always done a lot of crafts, mostly cross stitch, ceramics painting, and other more obscure activities.  However, when my mother took up this new craft and suggested I give it a go, I jumped at the chance.  Now, I have been sucked into the world of social media diamond painters.

Diamond painting with square drills from ColoRelaxation

The diamond painting community is surprisingly diverse.  I had expected it to be mostly middle-aged women (which it is), but there are a surprising number of men who enjoy it as well.  It’s popular with children, mostly girls, and women of all ages.  The men tend to be middle aged or older, though, and are in the minority.  People with this hobby can be split into three distinct groups: those who prefer round drills (diamonds), those who prefer square drills, and those who like both.  This hobby is popular all over the world and diamond painters flock to social media to exchange tips, ideas, and store recommendations. 

Completed round drill painting by VizuArts

The most effective tools for communicating with this audience would be blogs/vlogs and Facebook.  Community members enjoy displaying and sharing their completed work and exchanging information about the best places to buy from and how best to frame or fix the images once completed.  Blogs would be a useful way of sharing projects, as would sites like Pinterest.  However, the biggest communities of diamond painters can be found in Facebook groups.  There are many such groups, some organised by geographical location or language, while others have a global following.  Getting a message out about new products, for example, would be best done in these groups.

What hobbies do you have?  Do they have large followings or dedicated groups on social media?

References

ColoRelaxation. (2021). Tea Time with the Girls – DIY Diamond Painting. ColoRelaxation. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0014/7672/2735/products/Diamond_Painting6_1b3cfdbd-1ced-420f-bf72-88ee022408a6_1024x1024.jpg?v=1575428151.

Roberts, J. (2020). Diamond art basics for beginners: Diamond painting tools you’ll need & how to do diamond art kits: Activities. 30Seconds Mom. https://30seconds.com/mom/tip/19828/Diamond-Art-Basics-for-Beginners-Diamond-Painting-Tools-Youll-Need-How-to-Do-Diamond-Art-Kits.

VizuArts. (2020). 10 Ways to Display Your Diamond Paintings. VizuArts. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0073/4914/1567/files/IMG_0137_673ac7db-1bef-4c63-9632-478a4c28d297_large.JPG?v=1584297580.

COM0014 Blog #2 – Storytelling and Communication Styles

This week’s module reaffirmed some efforts I have already made in my professional life, but there was one large takeaway that I think will only become more prevalent on social media moving forward.  

Now more than ever, we’re seeing brands publicly share their stance on social issues, and the ones who stay quiet are criticized. The module emphasized the need for brands to get to know their audience, and knowing your audience has a relationship with what issues the brand should take a stance on publicly.  

For example, following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, Nike built a campaign calling on consumers and companies to stand together in the fight against racism. This is not the first time Nike has been known to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but this ad in particular is a call to action.

Some might say this stance is damaging for Nike, since there are unfortunately a lot of consumers out there who just don’t believe in the BLM movement and will boycott the brand for supporting it.

However, I would argue that Nike knows their audience – they are a leading sponsor for athletes, including athletes of colour. They might lose some sales from people who disagree with their stance, but those people might buy a Nike product once a year. If they decide to remain quiet while sponsoring popular athletes of colour, such as Tiger Woods and LeBron James, they could lose multi-million-dollar contracts and in turn, sales could plummet exponentially. As a global celebrity, would you want your name tied to an organization that doesn’t support the community you are part of?  

At the end of the day, movements such as BLM aren’t political. Fighting for equality for a marginalised group of people is not a political topic, it’s a human right. But in a world where everyone has access to information and the ability to post anything online, brands must consider the audience on both sides of an argument, even if the argument should only have one right answer.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash 

For that reason, it’s so important for brands to get to know their audience and build campaigns accordingly. They don’t want to let their loyal fan base down, but they also don’t want to ostracize a group of people for having different values.

As a consumer, do you think it’s important for brands to take a stance on global issues? Would you stop shopping somewhere if you knew the organization supported a cause you don’t?  

COM0014 Blog #2 – Storytelling and Communication Styles

COM0014 Blog #2 – Storytelling and Communication Styles

This week I learned about the art of storytelling and the need to develop a communication style to be successful in writing internet content.  When developing a style, it is important to consider four main factors: clarity & conciseness; spelling, punctuation & grammar; active & passive voice; and practice.  It is also important to interact well with your audience to achieve maximum impact.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Many of the guiding principles of storytelling have remained the same over thousands of years, even if the formats have changed with the advent of social media.  Music, dance, art, and literature have been replaced with TikTok videos, DeviantArt posts, and fanfiction archives.  The way we consume media may have evolved, but the way we develop content that appeals to the masses has changed very little.  By developing a good relationship with your audience, you can receive feedback and constantly improve.  After all, an Elizabethan audience’s reaction to a Shakespeare play may have been supplanted by YouTube’s comments section, but the outcome is effectively the same.

Photo by The British Council

To communicate effectively, though, it is necessary to keep the content concise and clear.  Rambling on in an elliptical, meandering mess is a sure-fire way to turn off an audience.  Likewise, if the content is riddled with preventable errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar, this gives the impression that the author is lacking in either intelligence or in a desire to present quality work.  After all, if the author cannot even be bothered to proofread a few paragraphs, why should the reader take the time to trawl through it?  Another mistake people often make is to try to use passive voice to make the material sound more sophisticated.  Unfortunately, this is rarely successful and can come across as clunky and pretentious.  Finally, as any good writer knows, the best way to improve is practice, practice, practice.  Take the amount of time your work deserves, and you will soon become an accomplished storyteller.

References

Algonquin College (2021). COM0014 Digital Communication: Module 2: Becoming a Digital Storyteller Module Notes. https://ontariolearn.desire2learn.com/d2l/le/content/42478/viewContent/2060459/View

COM0014 – Assignment #2: Finding Your Personal Story

There are a lot of cool things I have done throughout my life that make for great stories, but the most important thing to know about me isn’t all that cool.

I have bipolar disorder.

Depression came and went my whole life, but it hit harder each time it came back. I would feel myself falling back into depressions and brace for the following weeks or months before I might feel better again. This happened for years, until everything came to a head in my last semester of university

I did not have any final exams, but I did have an internship at a magazine for 2 weeks. After calling in sick the first day, I had to be truthful on the second day, even though I was mortified and embarrassed to reveal how felt. I told the magazine that my mental health was too bad to leave the house, and I got a surprisingly warm and understanding response. Their response encouraged me to feel comfortable with honesty.

After that, I saw a psychiatrist and received my diagnosis while forming a treatment plan. I had a real job to start the following week, and I knew I was going to have to be truthful once again. I couldn’t hide the way I was struggling, and it felt better to get it off my chest.

I’ve come a long way since then and am now in a very good place with my mental health. But I will forever have this disorder, and it’s a big part of where I’ve come from and where I’m going. It still feels good to get it off my chest, and it will be one of the first things I tell any future employer.

They won’t know me differently; they’ll just know me better.

COM0014 Blog #2 – Did We Miss the Most Helpful Technique?!

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

Communication styles and techniques were the topics of discussion this week. Between “Grammar, Spelling, & Punctuation” and the “inverted pyramid,” we’ve been left with many ideas to ponder for our writing. Yet, one of the topics jogged a memory from my public speaking days that goes hand in hand with this week’s material. Que the THREE RHETORICAL APPEALS.

First, to jog your memory, the various levels of readers referred to the four stages that audiences go through while reading an article. Our job is to turn them from Elementary/ Inspectional readers to Analytical and Syntopical ones – we do this by being clear and concise. Achieving this is simple in theory, but could there be a perfect formula to promising you, readers who consume your content syntopically!? This is where the rhetorical appeals come in.

Welcome! Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.

Ethos refers to the value and credibility of your words. Be that tapping into a joint ideology between you and your reader, or your credibility from life experiences, work, education, the list goes on.

Pathos is the effect on readers’ emotions. Could be descriptive storytelling that evokes a feeling from the audience. It grabs their attention from the start and reels them in for the rest of the article.

Logos, which conveniently refers to logic, is about using reason and rationality to solidify your point. Using logic, careful structure, and objective evidence can be a key to gaining respect from your readers.

Photo retrieved from Charles H Stewart on charleshstewart.com

If you want to persuade your audience to believe in your content and develop opinions around it, you have to find ways of compelling them and craft your article well enough to captivate them for the long haul. Using a perfect balance of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos mashed with the communication techniques outlined to us, we will be a force to be reckoned with online.

COM0014 – Blog #2: Bing Bang Boom–Story Telling

COM0014 – Blog #2: Bing Bang Boom–Story Telling

Image By Matthew Lightstorm

You can do it in whatever style you want, but you need to follow the basics of story telling. You need to be close to them, but not too close. You need a little suspense to lead them in, but not too much to get them lost. Imagine you are sitting by the fire and the audience has your attention.

Bing

The Bing is that initial ringing sound you hear that draws your attention. You know you hear that bing when your head turns, or something pulls you in, to read more. You are by the camp fire with a full moon and you want to tell your audience a blood-curdling story. You want to lead your audience into the story to ensure that you have their full attention. You may start by telling them, “I never told anyone this story about how I came across a dead body.” Or you may not want to tell them the ending right away and start with something alluding like, “I never wanted to know what it felt like to see a dead body.” You may choose to tell your story from the first person, second person, or third person, but the further removed you are from the story the less personal it becomes. You may also consider that you can make it personal in the second and third person by being a party or witness to the story.

Bang

The Bang is that sudden loud noise that makes everyone jump. The body of the story comes to life; just as a dead body in a horror story might awaken. All the surrounding details of how life after death are made possible in the supernatural, may convince the reader of the plausibility. The logic and facts used to convince the audience are just as important as how you convey them through your writing style. Perhaps, you will add that, “the government had been testing human cells in their ability to reverse their state of apoptosis or cell death–as you may have learned in Grade 10 biology.” Anything is possible when you begin to change the audience’s point of view and create the idea of new possibilities.

Boom

The Boom is the final act in the story that finally allows the entire story to come to some kind of conclusion and leaves the audience with some kind of closure or open-ended idea for more possibilities. Using the example of the camp fire horror story, the boom is the part of the story that just shocks the pants off your readers. Assuming the lead was catchy enough and the body was believable, the audience is now waiting for the final verdict–however shocking it might be. The boom needs to follow the same logic as the story and not introduce any new evidence; but more like an unfolding of all the facts. In the end, “behind the gates of the abandoned mine the government had contracted to use the grounds as an experiment to test its new reverse-cell-apoptosis drug on unclaimed bodies with decomposition profiles of less than 10 days.” My uncle worked at the facility as a janitor and was only privy to certain details. What happens to all the successful risen bodies after the story is entirely up to the reader’s imagination. After the story, the reader might even feel compelled to look up the word “apoptosis reversal” even if this is just a story about writing stories. Knowing what your audience expects from your content, making your point of view clear and applying the elements of good form and style, are the fundamentals of telling a story–whether fiction or reality. In view of Blog 2, it was a story about a story for the purpose of writing about writing and whether you believe it to be true or not; it would have left an indelible mark in the deep synapses of your mind.

Personal Reflection – Digital Communication

Personal Reflection – Digital Communication

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio (Pexels.com)

What I learnt in this course is, that we need great storytelling for compelling content marketing that will grasp the attention of the consumer. Especially in the fast-paced world of social media in that, we live today.

I also learnt that we should not be afraid to make mistakes and not to over-edit our work. We learn and grow from our mistakes – as writers and marketers. In the past, I was always too scared to make mistakes or thought I should not write about a certain subject, but after this course, I will change that.

We also need to remember to be transparent in the relationship with our customers. So, I will try and find a piece of myself in every story that I will write from now on.

I was also too afraid to be too personal in the content that I post online, but now I will start to embrace that and be more transparent and share more personal stories.
Thank you!

Who am I & Why did I Start My Business?

Who am I & Why did I Start My Business?

Photo by: Eike Peter Scholz; 2017

I never thought or even had the dream of becoming a model. But in 2011 I accompanied my sister to find her wedding dress in a Bridal Store in our hometown in Germany.

When we were ready to leave, the owner asked me if I wanted to model for her on the runway. And that’s how I landed my first model gig.

The owner of a bridal store hired me for three runway shows. I had never modeled before which meant I was about to learn how to pose and walk like a model on the job.

Luckily, some of the other and more experienced models gave me a few modelling lessons while we were waiting to go on the runway.

This experience was my first and only model experience until I met a photographer named Eike on the Frankfurt Zombiewalk in 2014, three years later. (He made all photos you can see on today’s blog post)

Photo by Eike Peter Scholz; 2014 – Zombiewalk Frankfurt

I don’t know how Eike saw that I could be a model for Portrait and Fashion photography, but he approached me that day at the Zombiewalk in Frankfurt and told me to message him to set up a photoshoot. Later I found out, that we just lived across the road from each other. Small world!

Photo by Eike Peter Scholz Fotografie

But this was the beginning of my modelling career. Since moving to Canada and because of Covid-19 it has slowed down quite a bit. But I’m sure it will pick up again when things get back to “normal”.

But you never know how your life might change. I certainly never thought I would model but I enjoy it very much and have found really good friends through it.

Did something like that happen to you as well? Let me know in the comments.

My Personal Brand

As a freelance model, I had to think quite often what kind of qualities or characteristics set me apart from models in my area.
One might be obvious. My red hair and my fair skin.

But the reason why some photographers keep booking me again or recommend me to their colleagues is that I am very professional, reliable, friendly, kind, confident and disciplined.

If need be, I can also plan and organize a hole photoshoot with a few days or offer an idea to a photographer. All of this I learned in the past 6 years of working as a model.

I have a Facebook business page and Instagram page for my modeling where I post about every two weeks. I also joined modeling and photography groups on Facebook to network and find new contacts for photoshoots (since I am still fairly new in town). Even when I do not post new content in those groups often, I do comment and/or engage on posts of other photographers and models.

After Covid-19 I plan to start meeting with photographers again. This time with photographers I have not made any photos yet to expand my network.

Any tips and tricks you can share with me? Then please, leave me a comment! Thank you.

Oreo’s Daily Twist Campaign

Oreo’s Daily Twist Campaign

Photo owned by Kraft Foods – OREO (found on Pinterest)

In my post today I want to talk about the Daily Twist campaign that Oreo launched in 2012 for the 100th anniversary of the Oreo cookie.

What I like about this campaign is that Oreo is not trying to sell us anything with this ad.

They are trying to connect with the consumer and I believe they were successful.

How Oreo made advertising fun

They took holidays and days that we celebrate (like pride month, grandparent day), current & historical events, meme’s from the internet and landmarks etc.

Oreo shared those ads daily on their Facebook page. Their 30 million followers loved it and shared it with their friends without Oreo asking them to do that. People just loved it that much.

Photo owned by Kraft Foods – OREO (found on Pinterest)

Oreo’s Daily Twist was engaging, colourful, aesthetic and fun. This ad did not want to sell anything to you. It was entertaining.

Photo owned by Kraft Foods – OREO (found on Pinterest)

It shows us that advertising or engagement with our consumers does not always have to be “you have to buy this product!” Or “buy this product because it is the best out there!”. Ads can be fun and show off your product in a new way that your consumers have not seen before.

Try it out, you might be surprised!

Any similar ads that you can recommend to me? Or any advice on how to improve business to consumer advertising? Thank you for reading.