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Scroll Stopping Content Strategies With Asterios Kokkinos

6 min read

MarketMuse co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer took time out to talk with creative director extraordinaire, Asterios Kokkinos. Asterios is also a comedian, podcaster, entrepreneur, and has done everything there is to do that relates to television, broadcasting, advertising, and advertising content. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Highlights from the conversation with Jeff Coyle and Asterios Kokkinos.

Show Notes

How Asterios got into advertising

  • He was the only Asian American standup comedian in Los Angeles.
  • Swanson needed a comedian to play Genghis Kahn in a series of viral videos for Hungry Man dinners.
  • He got the role and they asked him to do some writing.
  • He stuck around at the agency before moving on to other opportunities.

How do you bring the fun to organizations who might be focused on features?

  • Take something people already like, and then we stick our product or service in there.
  • Hope that the thing people like rubs off on you and you can find something people care about, maybe it’s humor.

When you’re positioning something from a social media perspective or from excitement or celebrity, how do you sell that internally to a team that’s only ever written about themselves?

  • You have to try your best and you have to know that ultimately they may not go for it.
  • A way to sell buy-in is to use other existing cases that the marketplace has proven.

How do you source your ideas?

  • Competitive analysis or cohort analysis.
  • Asterios thinks that what you need to do is get them excited about the potential.
  • Your heart is the first thing to say yes to something, like you see the thing you fall in love with the thing.
  • A good idea finds the money or the will, or the logistics.
  • It’s the trust in the person that’s bringing the mind, the idea as well, that you’re building over time.
  • Build trust and then predictably. If a person brings you three campaigns and two of them work well, we’re pretty confident that the next one he brings is a little more likely to work than it is not.

Sometimes you see brands jump on trends, just because

  • Asterios brings up the example of St. Louis style bagels. As he explains, “if everybody can talk about St. Louis style bagels, and maybe you shouldn’t be, maybe you should be looking for that kind of blue ocean content that my buddy Jeff Coyle was talking about.”
  • You’re probably better off focusing your efforts on topics where you have demonstrable expertise.

Researching a company’s strengths and weaknesses

  • You should be looking at things that they’ve done that have worked and where their strengths are for you.
  • This can give you insight into where they have momentum.

Marketing is a bit like a roulette wheel, so spread your bets

  • Put some chips on the black because that will come up 48% of the time
  • Put some on zero in case it hits big
  • Spread your bets around a little bit too so you increase the likelihood of winning.

Do your research

  • See what works and what doesn’t.
  • If this content isn’t good, it doesn’t matter how reliably it’s informed by strategy and past performance.
  • You should probably come up with the simplest possible idea that even if it’s not as exciting to you as big lore, it has to be good.
  • Even a line is too long to explain it to somebody who has no idea what your brand is.
  • Use tactics to get people to consume the whole thing.

High quality content is the minimum

  • Examine and understand your audience.
  • Look for ways to associate your brand with your audience in exciting ways.
  • It has to answer the questions and meet the expectations of the audience.
  • The most valuable thing a consumer can give you is their attention.
  • You can’t just be serving grool.
  • Challenging somebody or reaffirming them are both valuable.
  • If your content doesn’t pass the sniff test, you’re in trouble no matter what you’re doing.

Why your job exists

  • Your job as a marketer is to get people’s attention.
  • Asterios uses the example of ball bearings.
  • People don’t care enough about ball-bearings as much as they should.
  • MRIs wouldn’t exist in the first case and cancer rates would soar without them.
  • You have to lead with something people care about to hook people.
  • Celebrities, a historical figure, a weird fact, or a weird little trend.

Making medical issues interesting

  • An audience challenge where Asterios offers feedback on how to take something that’s, on the surface, rather boring and make it appealing.
  • His suggestion, start with something the target audience would be interested in. It could be something like, “Here’s how Stephen King got through his chronic pain,” or it could be a new therapy, or maybe a new therapy recommended by the Cleveland clinic, or…
  • An interesting fact from a peer reviewed study gives credibility. Example, is a ball bearing company gonna tell you they have the best ball-bearings, or are they going to say thet’re the worst ones?
  • Prove it to me through something else.

If you’re trying to position for boring industries, you’ve got to make it less boring or make it interesting through data

  • Example – you’re writing about shipping cars. What cars are the most expensive to ship?
  • Or, other regional auto transports disasters.
  • Asterios points out that “the most expensive ___, will always get people to stop.”

You’ve hooked me with something I care about.

  • Tell me about your product or service.

  • Make sure it’s an exhibit of expertise done in an entertaining way.

With content, especially long form, you can exhibit your expertise in creative ways

  • You can say here’s how you work.
  • Talk about the worst-case scenario and how you can protect against that.
  • Or, hey, here’s the disaster you never heard about? Because we stopped it before it started.

Insurance content marketing

  • Focus on risk if you’re marketing to insurance companies because that’s all they care about.
  • Think about the client first and think about the audience in the industry that you’re focused on.
  • You gotta show them that you know them with the content.

What you should do now

When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you publish better content, faster:

  1. Book time with MarketMuse Schedule a live demo with one of our strategists to see how MarketMuse can help your team reach their content goals.
  2. If you’d like to learn how to create better content faster, visit our blog. It’s full of resources to help scale content.
  3. If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Stephen leads the content strategy blog for MarketMuse, an AI-powered Content Intelligence and Strategy Platform. You can connect with him on social or his personal blog.