Christmas Marketing Mythbusting for Blog Content Writers


What is it about the color red for Christmas? Well, Toppen af Danmark’s website lets us know…

That song about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?  Rudolph was actually the marketing brainchild of American advertising exec Robert May, who added a ninth reindeer to the front of Santa’s sleigh as part of a promotion for a shopping mall. Furthermore, Santa may have gotten his red wardrobe as part of a marketing campaign by the Coca-Cola Company!

Meanwhile, in Five myths about the Nativity, University of Notre Dame New Testament professor Candida Moss explains that, contrary to popular belief, the word “manger” refers not to a barn, but a trough to feed animals. In first century Judean houses, mangers (from the French verb “manger”, meaning “to eat”) were found both outside and inside homes.

Myth-busting is a tactic blog content writers can use to grab online visitors’ attention.  In corporate blogging training sessions, I explain to newbie content writers in Indianapolis that citing statistics to disprove popular myths gives business owners the chance to showcase their own knowledge and expertise.

In the natural course of doing business, misunderstandings about a product or service often surface, and demystifying matters can make your blog the place to go for facts. The caution to keep in mind, however, is that readers don’t like to be “wrong”. It makes a lot of sense to use a business blog to address misinformation along with dispensing valuable information. Just don’t do it a way that makes readers “wrong”.

Ten years ago, when this Say It For You blog was just getting started, I shared a tidbit about camels from a website called Zoo Vet.  Camels may build up a pressure cooker of resentment towards humans, David Taylor explained, and camel handlers can calm the animals by handing over a coat to the beast, who will jump on it, and tear it to pieces, letting our all their frustration on the coat rather than on the human.

The parallel I drew was this: When debunking myths, follow up by throwing readers “a coat” in the form of a tidbit of little-known information that makes them feel “in the know”.


Why and Why-Not Blogging for Business

book Aliens


Aliens would probably come to Earth in peace, quantum physicist Jim Al-Khalili assures readers in his book Aliens, proceeding to bust no fewer than five commonly held myths-from-the-movies about encounters with visitors from other planets.

The author uses scientific knowledge to debunk each myth:

Aliens will eat us. No, because, in order for them to process our molecules of amino acids and sugars, they’d need to have a biochemistry similar to ours, “a long shot for a species that hails from a different world”.

Aliens will breed with us.  No, we can’t even reproduce with our nearest evolutionary relative, the chimpanzee.

Aliens will look like us.  No, because their evolution would not have been parallel to human evolution and it’s “near impossible that they would have human-like features.”

Aliens will be living creatures. No, should aliens contact us, “we will hear not from fellow organic creatures, but from the robots they produced.”

Aliens will come to steal our water and metal.  No, most of our metal is in the Earth’s core, not its crust; asteroids would be better for mining, and icy moons would be easier places to stock up on water.

The Time article about Aliens is a good example of mythbusting, which is used in many fields to counteract counterproductive thinking. For that very reason, I’m a firm believer that myth debunking is a great use for corporate blogs.

In the normal course of doing business or operating a professional practice, misunderstandings about your product or surface are bound to surface.  (It’s even worse when those myths and misunderstandings don’t surface, but still have the power to interrupt the selling process!)

That’s why the de-bunking function of business blog writing is so important. It’s our way of taking up arms against a sea of customers’ unfounded fears and biases.  Blog content writing can “clear the air”, replacing factoids with facts, so that buyers can see their way to making decisions. The technique is not without risk, because customers don’t like to be proven wrong or feel stupid.  The trick is to engage interest, but not in “Gotcha!” fashion.

In other words, business owners and professional practitioners can use their blogs to showcase their own expertise without “showing up” their readers’ lack of it, assuring prospects and clients that they, like movie aliens, are coming in peace!.