The Best Documentaries of 2019 Revealed

2019 was another great year for documentaries.

Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have really taken the art of the documentary seriously when other platforms are still catching on. We need to cherish our documentarians because they’re telling the true story of our society and the reasons for our actions. 

As we look back on the events and characters of our recent past with some of the films that came out this year, so too will future generations about things that are happening now. They might not be blockbusters, but they serve a crucial purpose.

Today, we’re going to talk about the best documentaries of 2019 and why they were so impactful. Some are tragic and confusing character studies, while others take an in-depth look into the funny, terrifying, and absurd bits of the way we live.

If you’re an aspiring documentarian, these films are must-watches because they exhibit unmatched research, dedication, and overall quality. Use these to find inspiration for your next film project.

Meeting Gorbachev

Werner Herzog is a master of documentaries and narrative film, consistently delving into the depths of human experience no matter the medium. Meeting Gorbachev ditches Herzog’s dour and self-serious personality for a more jovial back and forth conversation with the former Soviet leader, nearing the end of his life.

It’s strange and exciting to see Herzog take on the role of a superfan interviewer, but the conversation does flow both ways. If you’re a fan of remarkable people talking about their remarkable accomplishments, this is the doc for you.

Fyre & Fyre Fraud

The rival Fyre Festival documentaries, Fyre (Netflix) and Fyre Fraud (Hulu), examined the eponymous music festival, which was doomed before it began. The cringe factor is at a 10, but you’ll end up feeling sympathy for some of the support characters that just wanted to be a part of something meaningful.

The villains are Billy MacFarland and former pop-rap superstar Ja Rule. Fyre is more of an examination of what went wrong and why, while Fyre Fraud actually gets MacFarland in for an interview to explain how it all went down…and down, and down. Both are highly entertaining.

Rolling Thunder Revue

Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue was a concert tour in the mid-70s when Dylan had become a mega-star in the recording world. The tour was an effort to reach fans in smaller towns to get back to his folk singer roots.

Scorsese’s film is a pseudo-documentary, blending in real interviews with the people that were there. That including Dylan himself, as well as fictionalized representations of characters that may or may not have been around. 

Whether you’re a fan of Dylan’s or not, the film is an entertaining trip through a time and place in American popular music and the mythical figure at the center of it. How things have changed. 

Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

Our fascination with the grotesque is on display in Conversations With A Killer. The 4-part Netflix docuseries takes a look at one of the most heinous criminals of the last century, Ted Bundy. Bundy was convicted of 30 sex crimes and executed 30 years ago.

The series focuses in on several conversations with Bundy while he was on death row. That’s mixed in with some background on the killer and interviews with people that came across him.

It’s a fascinating look into the mind of one of America’s most famous serial killers, but you don’t leave feeling any sympathy for him. You will feel some frustration with a legal system that saw Bundy walk twice before being caught on what was pretty weak evidence.

Apollo 11

Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11 might be the space film of the year. It features never before seen NASA-released footage of the moon-landing expedition. No effects, no interviews or voice-overs, just the incredible restored footage.

What you come away with is a sense of wonder of how this feat was accomplished 50 years ago and an appreciation of all those involved. In troubling times, it feels good to look back on something so unifying in American history books.

The names of the three men involved are almost religious in nature now, but the film does a great job of depicting them as mere men that are in a position to do something incredible. Buzz Aldrin even cracks a great joke about locking himself and Neil Armstrong out of the capsule.

While this film will put a lot of conspiracy theorists’ notions to bed, others will make note of the knack for filmmaking that the original documentarians had. When restored, it does look eerily similar to a certain Kubrick film.

American Factory

From the title, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichart’s American Factory would appear to be a grandiose take on the American recession. What it’s really about is how the loss of American factories has become such a simple and politicized talking point.

The film delves deep into an Ohio automotive plant. As a result of the 2008 recession, it shuts down only to be revived a few years later by a Chinese company. We then see the complications of a re-hired American workforce alongside a Chinese-American workforce.

It’s less about the socio-economic and cultural divisions between the two groups or the rise of China and the fall of America. But instead, it’s motive is to give a sense of how much of the world is run by power, big business, and profit.

The Best Documentaries of 2019 Revealed

These were some of the best documentaries of 2019, but there were so many more that it would be impossible to talk about them all. Finding inspiration in other people’s work is how all great documentarians get started. Don’t shy away from it.

Watch these films and figure out how you can take bits and pieces from each one to create your own unique style. To get help audio, video, and greenscreen production for your documentary, check out what we offer at Killer Spots Agency.

The 9 Most Recognizable Commercial Jingles

Do you feel like your market is having trouble remembering your company’s name? 

Have sales numbers been lagging as of late? 

Are you concerned that your current marketing strategy just isn’t as effective as you’d hoped? 

Maybe the solution isn’t to invest in social media influencers or spend hours writing blog posts that might not even get read. Instead, why not consider writing a catchy jingle for your company?

Jingles appeal to everyone, help people to remember your information, and they don’t have to get updated to get with the times. 

Just think about some of the catchy commercial songs you remember from decades ago!

Read on for a list of the most popular commercial jingles ever, and get some serious inspiration for how to come up with an awesome jingle of your own. 

1. Kars 4 Kids

Interested in donating your car? 

If so, then you already know to call Kars 4 Kids, a nonprofit who helps to fund childhood education using cash from selling used vehicles — even those in rough shape. 

The jingle is incredibly catchy, and it also includes the organization’s phone number and a brief description of the services they offer.

Effective jingles do exactly that — and it helps that the commercial also features children playing the instruments for the jingle themselves. 

2. The Oscar Meyer Song

No list of catchy jingles would be complete without a mention of what is arguably the most famous jingle of all time: 

The Oscar Meyer song.  

The celebrated jingle was written in just an hour in 1962, and spurred many contests, imitations, and of course, sales for the company. 

One of the biggest reasons for its success? 

It was written by experienced jingle composer Richard Trentlage, who also created jingles for V8 and McDonald’s. 

3. Empire Today Carpet

If you need your carpet cleaned, chances are you already know exactly who you’re going to call: 

Empire Today. 

The familiar “800-588” scale jingle gets stuck in your head almost immediately, and the bouncing animations of grey-haired men cleaning the carpet help it to stick around.

Jingles that include contact information are especially beneficial to smaller, niche businesses.

4. Huggies Diapers

With children everywhere desperate to prove to their parents that they’re “big kids now,” it’s no wonder that the Huggies pull-ups diaper’s jingle took off the way it did. 

Plus, combine a catchy tune with adorable videos of babies waddling around, and you’ve got a recipe for instant success. The jingle is still used today, and has helped make Huggies one of the most popular diaper and baby brands of all time. 

5. The Kit Kat Jingle

If you’re in need of a “break,” the Kit Kat’s commercial jingles urge you to find someone who will break you off a piece of their candy. 

The jingle has been a popular hit since 1986, and usually features images of someone snapping off a delicious chunk of a Kit Kat bar. Chances are good that you won’t be able to resist getting a piece of candy after hearing the song.

6. Meow Mix

It’s tough to imagine how a company could make the sounds of cats meowing not only into a jingle, but also into good jingle

The creativity of the “Meow Mix” jingle is what sets it apart from the competition and makes consumers remember it so well. We’re sure that the cute images of cats and kittens certainly don’t hurt, either. 

Interestingly, the company decided to retire the beloved jingle in 1996, but once they realized how much customers missed it, they decided to bring it back to the airwaves in 2012 — much to the satisfaction of cats who “want chicken” everywhere. 

7. Doublemint Gum

Are you ready to double your pleasure and double your fun? 

If so, then you already know that it’s time to reach for a piece of Doublemint gum. This iconic and lively jingle helped to make Wrigley’s an incredible success, and people certainly still sing the jingle today. 

8. Folger’s Coffee

What’s the best part of waking up? 

For coffee lovers everywhere, the famous Folger’s jingle reminded us that it’s “Folgers in your cup.” 

Coupled with a close-up shot of the Folger’s coffee tin and a nice cup of morning joe, this is certainly one of the most well-recognized commercial jingles ever. It’s still used today and has had no problem standing the test of time. 

9. McDonald’s 

Are you “lovin’ it?” 

Thanks to one of the most popular jingles from fast-food giant McDonald’s, the answer is probably “yes.”

Sure, other fast-food chains (think Subway’s “Five Dollar Footlong” jingle) have created some pretty catchy tunes over the years. However, nothing quite comes close to the familiar five-note intro to McDonald’s, “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle. 

The best part of the jingle? 

For many, it’s the little-known fact that Pusha T wrote it.

Ready for Commercial Jingles of Your Own?

While this list of popular commercial jingles has no doubt been a fun trip down memory lane (and has gotten at least one jingle stuck in your head) we hope it’s done more than just that. 

You should stop to consider just how much of a long-term impact jingles can have on a brand, and how they can set you apart from your competitors. 

Are you interested in developing a jingle for your company to run on the radio or online? 

If so, then we want to help you make it happen. 

Reach out to us to learn more about our jingle-writing process, and get ready to have everyone signing your company’s tune. 

Your Guide to a User Friendly Website

user friendly website

People are busy, always on-the-go while looking for the next big thing. Consumers expect companies to keep up with their needs. Otherwise, their digital experience won’t fit in with their life in the real world. 

So how do you give customers what they want?

With a user-friendly website, you can make your customers’ lives a lot easier. UX design could also boost your business.

According to research, a well-designed user interface could increase conversions by 200%. Meanwhile, a better user experience design could increase conversions up to 400%.

By now, you’re probably wondering what user-friendly web design entails. Keep reading to discover what makes a good website through user-friendly design. 

1. Start Responsive

Most people keep up with the world from their smartphones. 

According to research, 61% of site users will choose a competitor’s mobile-friendly site over one that’s not. Meanwhile, 45% are less likely to visit a site a second time if they had a poor user experience. 

To develop a user-friendly website, you first need to keep your mobile users in mind. 

Make it easier for people to use your website from their smaller screens. This can include creating a mobile-friendly or responsive site. 

To optimize for mobile users, keep navigation, font sizes, and buttons in mind. Photos and videos should all scale for smaller screen widths.

Otherwise, your mobile users will end up pinching and zooming out, trying to see your content. 

2. Simplify the Nav

People can’t explore your website if the navigation is difficult to use. 

For a user-friendly website, simplicity is key. Make sure the navigation is easy to use and understand. Try not to complicate the nav with multiple tiers, either. 

Instead, minimize the number of sub navigations you use. Make sure each page is named appropriately and clearly. That way, your site visitors can get around without struggling.

3. Show Your Logo

How will site visitors recognize your website is yours?

Branding is also an important component of user-friendly web design. People expect to see your logo in the top left corner. They should also have the ability to click on the logo to return to the homepage.

For additional branding, keep your color scheme and imagery in mind. 

Keeping branding consistent throughout the design will help avoid confusion. If people switch from one page to the next and encounter a completely different design, they might think they’re on a different website.

Branding helps improve user experience by creating a seamless path from one page to the next. 

4. Speed It Up

30% of consumers expect a website to load in one second or less. 

If it takes forever for your pages to load, people might leave. After all, they’re busy. When one website takes too long to load, they’re likely to leave and take their business elsewhere.

Use this tool to test your website speed. The site will also give you recommendations so you improve your site speed. For example, you might consider using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

AMPs follow a set of standards meant to improve the mobile web experience. 

AMP helps speed up your pages by optimizing your content. This feature is best for websites that don’t require additional javascript or sophisticated functionality.

If your website is a little more complicated, you can create a Progressive Web App. These pages create an app-like experience for mobile users. The web page will look and feel like a mobile app without directing users to the app store. 

Both of these page types are designed to improve user experience by speeding up that experience.  

5. Set Up Search

Make it easy for your visitors to find what they’re looking for. 

Set up search functionality on your site. Most user-friendly websites display the search bar in the top right, above the navigation. 

Adding search functionality will streamline the user experience. Instead of wasting time searching through pages one by one, your visitors can immediately find what they need.

Great websites that simplify the user experience also show site visitors your company is ready to help.

6. Clarify CTAs

Your CTA, or call-to-action, clarifies what you want people to do on that page. For example, you might want visitors to fill out a form or call your company.

Placing visible CTAs on the page will help you direct your visitors to take action. When you make the CTA clear (and easy to find), visitors won’t have to wonder about what you want them to do.

Use an eye-catching color for your CTA button. 

Meanwhile, make sure the button also resizes for mobile devices.

7. Clear Up the Content

Seeing a lengthy paragraph will make your visitors tired before they start reading. 

Instead of giant blocks of text, break it up. Try to condense each paragraph to a few sentences, or shorten your sentences. You can also use headings, subheadings, and bullets to break up the text. 

Reorganizing your text will improve readability.

Since people are always in a rush, making the text easier to skim and digest will keep your site visitors from leaving. 

8. Balance It Out

Once you improve the text for your user-friendly website, consider your imagery.

It’s important to create the right balance of high-quality images and text. Otherwise, you could risk overstimulating your visitors.

Stay careful not to overcrowd the page. Many companies are moving toward minimalistic design. This design uses more white space, allowing the content to breathe.

9. Make It Easy to Share

Use social media to your advantage. Make it easy for visitors to share your site content. 

To do this, add social sharing buttons to your content. Making it easier for visitors to share your content will invite new customers to your site. 

10. Add Accessibility

Accessibility for disabled, blind, or elderly users is important as well.

Consider following these guidelines to improve your web design for these visitors. That way, your site is easy to use for anyone who visits your site.

Website Goals: 10 Tips for a User-Friendly Website

Give the people what they want! With these tips for a user-friendly website, you can improve the user experience for anyone who visits your site. The better the user experience, the more likely visitors will become paying customers.

Contact us today for your user-friendly website!

Why Your Business Needs an Inbound Marketing Strategy

inbound marketing strategy

Let’s bring it in! Inbound marketing (also known as content marketing) allows you to increase traffic to your company’s website. Once you attract visitors, you can engage and delight them with your content.

When done right, an inbound marketing strategy allows you to turn website visitors into paying customers.

Better yet, you can encourage those customers to come back for more through brand loyalty. 

In fact, inbound marketing through content costs 62% less than outbound marketing and produces three times as many leads.

Still on the fence? Keep reading to learn the six benefits of developing your inbound marketing strategy.

1. Inbound is More Effective Than Outbound

Outbound marketing strategies such as flyers and billboards aren’t going anywhere. While they can help you increase brand awareness, these tactics aren’t always effective.

Think about it. Flyers go out to anyone within a certain location. That means you’re not targeting your ideal customer. 

Then, you have to hope the message sinks in. Even with a strong call-to-action (CTA), there’s no guarantee people take action. If they do, how do you know that lead came from that flyer?

Sometimes, outbound marketing strategies come off as interruptive and annoying.

Think about the last time you watched Hulu or a show on TV. The commercials distract from the show you’re watching, just to make a sale. 

Since you can’t always match an outbound campaign to the right audience, some of the ads end up irrelevant to the people who see them. 

An inbound marketing strategy, on the other hand, allows you to choose a more effective route.

Instead of interrupting someone’s experience, inbound marketing strives to help make the consumer’s life easier. By creating content your audience wants and needs, you’re showing customers you’re an informative resource. This also creates a more authentic experience for your customers. 

The precise targeting also ensures companies avoid wasting their marketing budget. 

Instead, you can find your ideal customer and show them your expertise through your inbound marketing strategy.  

2. Target Throughout the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey moves from awareness to consideration to decision. Before your website visitors becoming paying customers, they go through all three steps of this journey. 

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can guide people along their buyer’s journey. 

With a billboard, you only have one chance (and a few seconds) to make an impact. With inbound marketing, you can target potential customers along every stage of their journey. 

For example, let’s say someone visits your website. Maybe they put an item in their cart, then leave. With remarketing, you can show them digital ads of that same product.

Then, you can remind them to return to your website to complete their purchase.

In this example, the prospect starts with awareness—they know about your product. They consider buying your product, but instead abandon their cart. With remarketing, you can spark awareness again, then help the consumer to the decision-making step.

If you don’t have an e-commerce site, the useful content on your website can also guide site visitors along the buyer’s journey. Blog posts and case studies can answer questions, inform consumers, and direct them toward the decision to call your company.

Either way, you’re directing a site visitor straight towards a sale. 

3. Continuously Build Your Audience

With inbound marketing, the goal is to attract prospects and convert them into leads. Once they’re interested, you want to close the sale and turn a lead into a customer. Finally, you want to delight customers so they help promote your product. 

Inbound marketing uses a number of tactics to help you build this audience. 

During the “Attract” stage, you can use blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and advertising. 

Then, you can use a form or chatbot on your landing page to convert visitors.

Email marketing and CRM integration can Close the deal. Then, surveys and referral programs can Delight customers into becoming promoters. 

4. Personalization Pays Off

34% of consumers are more likely to make an unplanned purchase if a brand personalizes content.

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can split your audience into buyer personas. These personas make it easier for you to personalize content per their interests.

Traditional marketing uses a “one message fits all” approach. With inbound marketing, you can focus on customers at a more personal level. This makes it easier for you to build trust with your prospects and turn them into customers.

5. Save Time and Money

Don’t waste time with leads that don’t have any interest in your business.

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can focus on the people already searching for your product or service online. These are people who want to buy already.

Inbound marketing allows you to attract these prospects to your website.

Instead of wasting time pushing a product or service they don’t need, you can attract people who already want what you offer. This makes it easier for you to attract qualified leads using content that aligns with your audience’s needs.

Inbound marketing also uses automation. You can automate tasks to save yourself time and money. These tasks include email marketing, social media posts, monitoring, and reporting. 

When you save time and money marketing, you can spend more time and money on what matters: your business. As a result, you’re able to increase your ROI and compete with bigger companies in the industry. 

6. Measure the Success

You can’t accurately measure a flyer or billboard’s success to boost brand awareness.

With inbound marketing tactics, however, all the data you need is a click away. You can generate reports and measure the success of your campaigns. Then, you can make informed decisions for improving campaigns in the future.

With inbound marketing, you can also set goals and milestones. If you’re falling short, you have the data in hand to show you want needs improving. 

Bring It In: 6 Reasons You Need an Inbound Marketing Strategy

It’s time to bring in new business. With an inbound marketing strategy, you can attract, convert, and delight your customers. Then, you can optimize your campaigns for continuous success. 

Stand out from the competition. Contact us today to grow your company using an inbound marketing strategy!