Tag Archives: Images

Say it With Pictures

4233301_s

How pictures excel in communicating what we want to say

All of us at some experience being at loss for words when expressing what we think or how we feel. When you lack the words to say something, post some pictures to put your message across. This method is very much effective as a picture can say a thousand or more words. This is because images are powerful vehicles of information that the brain can immediately process. In fact, the mind processes images faster than the written word. This is because with words, we first have to recognize the letters and read each word to discern the meaning of a statement. Pictures are the opposite. Everything you need to know is in the picture.

That’s why social media campaigns earn more success if you use pictures. As it is far more attractive to look at beautiful pictures than read even a short article, people engage more with businesses that post pictures on their brand pages. Let’s take the top 10 Facebook company pages, for example. According to M Booth, a global communications company, there’s more customer engagement on pages bedecked with pictures and videos (which are essentially moving images).

This demonstrates the influence of pictures on strengthening social engagement with your customers. Videos, especially those that are creatively made, attract more eyes, likes, comments and shares. Pictures are not to be outdone, beating text posts twice as much in the popularity contest. Here are some posts on Intrepid Travel to serve as examples:

This company page promotes travel as a way of life and allows people to see different sights that may inspire them. The pictures above are certainly stimulating and fascinating enough to make followers want to go these places and experience for themselves the wonder of beholding such creatures and places up close. This is the effect that images bring to viewers and visitors of Intrepid Travel’s social media page. Aren’t you enticed to go to these places as well?

There’s also Instagram on the rise, which brings back how Facebook achieved 100 million users, four years after its inception. But Instagram shows such a meteoric rise that threatens to break Facebook’s record. The rise of this picture-based mobile application is quickly gaining popularity with its 80 million subscribers…and counting.

Tumblr, a microblogging site which enables users to post text, images, videos, links and other forms of content, has been around since 2007. According to the Data Never Sleeps infograph, Tumblr blog owners publish an estimated number of 27,778 new posts per minute. This mind-boggling number translates to how much content this site is churning out every day. The data below show how images are so pervasive in the lives of Tumblr users. There are memes and GIFs or graphics interchange format that go viral because of its interactive quality that snags the attention of fans on this social network.

Here’s a sample post from Corgi Addict, one of the most popular Tumblr bloggers:

One reason this particular post garnered so many notes (combined number of likes, replies, and shares) is its format. Each picture in the collage is an animated GIF, which enable the images to move in rapid succession like a soundless one-minute movie on loop.

There’s also YouTube, where users are said to upload 48 hours’ worth of video every minute. Everyone (think 100 million users) can post a video on YouTube and show anything under the sun, below the ground or something beyond outer space. But only a small percent of videos become viral and generate more than 100 million views. There are music videos, as well as video clips about animals, baby antics, parodies, and more.

But when it comes to images, images, and more images, Pinterest is the reigning queen. Although its main market is women at around 80%, this percentage is slowly decreasing to accommodate the number of male users tweaking with the Pinterest interface and creating boards that illustrate their various interests.

Pinterest is a social network that shows off a dizzying variety of pictures numerous users share every day. Users can create boards where they can pin pictures that center around a theme. For example, you want a board that shows recipes of delicious vegetable dishes. All you have to do is name the board and pin images related to your chosen topic.

The picture power is illustrated on Pinterest, which became the leading social network in a short period of time. As a result, this site beat veteran social media networks like Twitter and StumbleUpon, and became number one for traffic referrals.

Pictures act like a flower with such an attractive scent that attracts thousands of bees. Many businesses use images to bring more traffic to their site and attract more potential customers. Therefore, use more well-taken pictures to make viewers pay attention, interact with your content, and generate more sales leads. Follow the example of businesses, which have successfully used pictures for their marketing campaigns. Check out Etsy and Whole Foods on Pinterest, and other ventures!

 

References:

Mashable.com

Social Media Examiner

Wikipedia.org

Ritholtz.com

YouTube.com

Photo Credits:

Intrepid Travel Facebook Page

Picture from Tumblr

Instagram Your Way to Social Media

11831166_s

How to Integrate Instagram on Your Social Media Campaigns

Internet users are quite fond of pictures. Show them images of a sleeping cat on a funny pose, as well as a glass building glinting with the soft light of the sunrise. Your pictures are sure to garner many likes within the hour. Businesses can take advantage of this obsession with pictures using Instagram. This mobile application has filters you can use to enhance the look and quality of your photos. Experiment with a few of your personal pictures to gain mastery in using the app. Once you got the hang of it, you can begin taking shots of your products and share them on the Instagram network.

Using Instagram is a potential gold mine for many businesses looking to make marketing success with photos. Since July 2012, there have been 80 million users on Instagram alone. Tapping into the demographics will allow you to reach an Instagram population that is 53% female and 47% male, ages 18-34 years old. If your target audience is within this age range, then Instagram is a good online avenue to start your marketing campaign.

But if you use Instagram, how exactly do you reach your intended users? What do you do to get their attention and engage them with your content?

According to Jason Howie, social marketing can be executed on Instagram if you adhere to the following tips:

1. Partner Instagram campaign with other social networks.

Social media is a bigger world out there. Although Instagram has more than 80 million users, it has a relatively young audience. Consider reaching out to a variety of other age groups on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other social networking sites. This will make your products available to a wider audience and help you engage with other users who want to check out your merchandise online.

Integrating Instagram with your existing social media campaigns will also liven up your marketing strategy. Using pictures are known to fetch more engagement from followers, due to the visual appeal that photos generate.

2. Engage your followers.

Communicating with your followers is the number one rule when it comes to social marketing. Explore your followers’ accounts and make sure to like and comment on posts you’re interested in. Do this, especially for followers who often check out your content. This will make them appreciate you more and urge them to follow back more enthusiastically. Answering customer inquiries is also advisable, as many customers prefer to reach out online because it is more convenient than calling the hotline. Make sure to check your account from time to time to see queries you need to immediately respond to.

Launching contests and promotions using Instagram is also useful in exposing your pictures to more users. Arrange online events and offer enticing rewards like discounts and freebies to make users more interested in following your account.

3. Make behind-the-scenes shots accessible.

Showing your followers how you create or manage the products you sell boost user interest. Engage your customers with fun posts about your staff as they get ready for a full day’s work in your store. Pictures like these make followers feel closer to your business as a whole, and enable customers to know you better. Starbucks, the most popular coffee shops worldwide, engages its fans and customers with photos of events and other behind-the-scene activities.

4. Encourage staff involvement.

Involving your employees on your Instagram campaign can make them feel motivated as they have a part in your marketing campaign. Be sure to discuss guidelines on what’s appropriate to post so there will be no misunderstandings. Allowing them to post their pictures about the business will make followers take notice and see how you run your venture. This will spur more engagement, as followers feel closer to a business which shows transparency on how it runs its day-to-day operations, events and other processes.

5. Create your own hashtags.

When tagging your own photos, utilize hashtags specific to your own brand. Using popular hashtags will not be suitable, as this will show general results, rather than your brand. For example, you’re in the coffee shop business. Don’t apply the hashtag ‘#coffee,’ as this will point followers to results like these:

See, there’s more than 1 million photos for the #coffee hashtag. Your followers will have difficulty scrolling through the results. Apply your shop’s name to your campaigns to get more precise results. You can utilize the name of your store to tag your photos. This will have the added benefit of promoting your brand.

As Facebook and Instagram is merged, your pictures get additional exposure. Once a follower clicks ‘Like,’ your picture will appear on their friends’ news feed. When they click on your photo, they’ll see all the likes and comments, which encourage them to look at your photo more closely. This can make them share your photo and cause a viral effect. Other than the mentioned effects, creating your own hashtags will also help you measure the generated ROI. This will help you determine if your audience responds well to your Instagram campaign.

6. Use Instagram’s geo-tagging feature.

Use Instagram’s geo-tagging attribute to make followers more aware of your location. This feature can also help a lot in contests that will make participants look for something using Foursquare and other interactive maps. To connect Foursquare when sharing your Instagram photos, turn on the ‘Add to your Photo Map’ feature and name the location, then click ‘foursquare’ on the share options.

7. Pay attention to your analytics.

Studying your analytics data can yield information on what pictures work best for your campaigns. This will also help you learn who your most engaged followers are, and allow you to concentrate on those who can be your staunchest brand advocates. The statistics will also help you learn which social networks work better for your Instagram strategy. The best times to post your photos can also be mined from the data to ensure that you display your pictures during heavy online traffic.

8. Experiment with your pictures.

Instagram provides many free filters to improve your pictures’ visual appeal. There are also more available options for the paid membership. If you have enough budget, try checking out the choices to help you learn which filters work in making your photos look their best. This will help you promote your business and engage more followers.

 

References:

Social Media Today

Quora.com

Mashable.com

Branddnainc.com

SimplyMeasured.com

Jezebel.com

Photo Credits:

HubSpot Blog

Web.Stagram.com

Instagram Help

The Old Spice Effect: Business Videos with a Heart

6594282_s

Make customers stop and pay attention with a story about your business.

We have loved reading stories ever since we were children. We even make up our own as we strive to make the people around us wonder and imagine. Storytelling never fails to stir us, even in the form of unfounded news or hearsays. Marketing is no stranger to stories, as well. They use storylines to generate interest on the products and services they promote. This ability is evident through the commercials we see whenever we turn on the television.

There are the Mentos commercials, which feature the “Freshmaker,” and show how your breath can be made fresh with just one candy. Look back on an Old Spice ad that presented a half-naked, towel-clad Isaiah Mustafa telling viewers to “Smell like a man, man.”This commercial told a story that fans of the Old Spice Facebook page clicked. They then typedtheir comments, liked the posts, and shared the page.

This aptly demonstrates the power of storytelling in an ad. Old Spice, the company, contracted Mustafa, a former football star player, to help spread the message that the Old Spice scent can make a man smell more masculine. The reactions above showed how effective the campaign is, making it achieve 14,393 likes and 7,864 comments. This commercial was released last 2010, and it still got comments up until three months ago.

How do you create stories that will imitate the Old Spice effect and make customers pay attention to your content? How do you make them interested with your products? Here are a few ways:

1. Create introductory videos.

Make a video that introduces your business well. Show footages of your store and merchandise, along with your office and employees. If you have a production area, show that in the video, too. Let the CEO make an appearance and explain how your business can be of service to the general community’s needs. You can show this video on your website’s home page, which gives visitors a bird’s eye view of your business processes. This video can also be featured on your social networking pages to engage your followers.

Doggytopia, a dog day care center based in Kelowna, Canada, uses this technique well to tell customers how they will take care of your pets while you are at work. Brenda McBurnie, the owner of the establishment, showed the place where dogs can play and be taken care of. This video serves as a good marketing tactic to attract more customers to visit and entrust their pet dogs to Ms. McBurnie.

2. Product Videos

You know how great your product is, and how useful it can be to perform a certain function or purpose. Customers don’t automatically know that, so make a video that will show them how special your merchandise is. They key is not to tell them, but to demonstrate how. General Electric effectively used this type of video to feature a machine that detects the presence of cancer cells in a patient. This video showed GE employees telling viewers how fulfilled they felt when they helped create something profound like their cancer health care equipment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJCiZ7J4Al4&feature=player_embedded

 

Here are some examples of the reactions to the ad

3. ‘Competitive’ Videos

Provide a video detailing the reasons your business is unique. Think of special qualities that sets you apart. It can be about your many years of experience, longevity in the industry or the value of your products. Discuss how you started your business and made it grow. Impart some stories about how your family or friends helped you set up your venture and make it through the lean times. This can help customers know you more and make them feel you have something in common with them.

One video under this category is Kathleen King’s story of how she entered into another venture. This was after being booted out of her first bakery, which she established and managed for twenty years. She illustrated how she maintained her strength and determination to carry on and become successful again. These characteristics made her stand out against other bakeries near her locality.

http://www.inc.com/chris-beier-and-daniel-wolfman/how-tates-bake-shop-founder-kathleen-king-lost-it-all-and-bounced-back.html

4. Statement Videos

Shoot a short video that showcases your business commitment or mission. This allows customers to know your goals and what principles you stand for. This can help them decide that they’ll support you to attain yourobjectives. For example, you manage a hospital and commit yourself to ensuring your health care staff provides the highest quality of care available. Illustrate how you fulfill your commitment statement with a video.

Blackboard, a company that fosters online and mobile learning, declares its commitment to be ‘accessible’ to students with a high-speed Internet connection. This allows them to reach students and impart the education they need. Rajeev Arora, former Vice President of the Marketing Department at Blackboard, reiterates the company’s commitment on the video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiG67InGZ4Y

5. Corporate Personality Videos

How does your company define your business? What are you passionate about your corporate culture? Illustrate how you love your enterprise with a video. Answering this question makes it necessary to go back to the time when you first decided to set up your business.  Why did you choose to establish a restaurant, for example? Is it because you like to feed and make people happy through food? Or you love to cook and create dishes that make people satisfied with the taste?

Kristy Greenwood, the owner of Victory Love+Cookies, explains her passion for baking cookies as a way to “get them out into the world, spreading love and light, sugar and flavor, by whatever means necessary.”According to Ms. Greenwood, her zeal for life and making other people feel good is represented by her cookies – light, sweet, and delicious.

http://vimeo.com/32883545

Bottom Line

Using videos to tell stories is a great way to engage your visitors. Almost nobody can resist a feel-good story, which inspires them to do better. Use this to connect to your target audience. Maybe you’ll reach them the way Old Spice did. 😉

 

References:

MarketingProfs.com

Forbes.com

Adweek.com

Inc.com

Swipely Works Blog

No2Pen.com Blog

VictoryLoveandCookies.com

Photo Credits:

Old Spice Facebook Page

Web Images and Graphics that Fascinate

How Pictures Serve to Captivate Customer Curiosity

You’re looking at your website one day and wondering why it’s not attracting more customers. Analytics report that once visitors enter your website, they don’t stick around for more than three minutes or so. You study your website again and notice the plain black background and the white text splashed over it. The content is good enough in conveying what your business is all about. Why, then, is your website not getting you more leads?

Checking up with different web designers has brought the same answer: the website is overly simple, and that it lacks pictures and other graphics. In fact, one designer baldly tells you that your website looks boring and appears to be created by an amateur. They all tell you that a website must have bold colors and high-resolution images that will help catch and keep attention to your well thought-out content.

Visitors are more impressed with well-designed websites. They are more liable to access the Contact Us page if they see that you worked hard to present flashy images supported by engaging content. You’ve hired a professional photographer to take good pictures for your website. In considering which images to put in your site, you must think about two elements: (1) images with story appeal; and (2) images that are relevant to the content.

An example of a well-selected image is this picture from the home page of thewebsitedesigncompany.com.au:

Notice the background image of this real estate and property management company website. A woman happily smiles at the one taking the photograph, conveying her happiness with the gem of a property being shown to her. The image instantly captivates the visitor’s attention. The eyes are then drawn to the marketing copy above the picture. Both elements are satisfied. The picture has a story in it that makes one stare and think about it for a while. It also meets the relevancy requirement. If the picture is pasted on a website of a theme park, visitors will get confused and be likely to click the back button.

Other qualities to consider in putting images in a website are the following:

1. Proper Placement

Imagine if the picture in the above website is not properly placed. Instead of its original position at the bottom of the text, the picture is placed behind the paragraphs of black-colored words. Wouldn’t that be exasperating to see? This makes it important for web designers to choose the right positioning of images. A correctly placed photograph will enhance the beauty and attraction factor of the website.

2. Well-worded Captions

Captions are important because they draw the visitors back to the content in your website. Once they’re entranced with the main photograph, their attention might not flit back to the content if you don’t have a good caption to bring the eyes back to the text.

Let’s go back to the screenshot of the website above. The caption reads, “ROBERTSON. PERFECT FOR YOUR WEEKENDER.” The caption is white in color, easily read and noticed. When visitors see this, they’re reminded of the reason why they entered your website—they want to buy or sell real estate.

3. Anchoring Margins

When organizing the text, always remember to align it always on the left side. Never right nor center. If you do that, you’ll make it hard for your visitor to read your company. And since web visitors have a notoriously low patience threshold, they’ll soon close the window or look for another company with a website that has clearly aligned paragraphs.

4. Upload Pictures with Care

It is best to choose carefully which pictures to upload in your websites. If you place high-resolutions in every page, then your page might not load fast enough, especially for visitors with slow Internet connection. When this happens, expect a lower number of visitors to contact you because web users are more liable to look for other websites with faster loading times.

 

References:

Kissmetrics Blog

TheWebsiteDesignCompany.com.au

How to Use Instagram for Business

Shooting Fine Pictures to Make Your Business Popular

Pictures, when taken properly, can convey more than a thousand words. Make your business known to the growing community of budding photographers and image lovers in Instagram. Take pictures of your products artfully arranged and filtered to inspire wonder in your viewers. With Instagram, you can increase your popularity and make more people come to your store.

Whether you own a flower shop, an arts and crafts gallery or a clothing retail outlet, Instagram can let you make your business well-liked and admired by Instagram users. This photo-sharing application has more than 40 million subscribers. Just imagine your wide reach to potential customers when you use Instagram! If you’ve managed to attract five people, this number will gradually increase once you’ve gained mastery of taking pictures and using this application. Learning how to make your pictures prettier and more alluring would also increase your chances.

How do you make your photos intriguing enough to catch attention?

Apply professional tricks to create interesting photos. Play with the angle of the camera and shoot from below, above or the sides. Pick the most attention-grabbing images from your series. You can also tilt the camera or compose the scene you’re taking to accommodate the whole space in the photo. Contrasting angles that naturally lead your viewers’ eyes from one edge to the other make it look like your pictures are moving. This livens up the images.

Zoom your lens to capture the fine details. Beauty appears when one detail is sometimes emphasized. Dewdrops on a pristine white rose can make it look fresh, untouched and appealing to look at. Make your pictures absorbing to gaze upon. Focus on the laugh lines on your grandparent’s face or the bird that flits over the branches of a high tree.

If you need to show the background in your picture, make sure that there are no distracting elements like a colorful curtain or smudge on the wall. These elements can take away the attention of the viewer from the subject of the picture. If you’re shooting a portrait, make the focus stay on your subject instead of the flower hanging over his or head. Better yet, take away flower and clean up the surroundings a bit. This will help make the viewer’s attention stay on the subject.

Using Instagram will help increase interest in your business. Engage your followers with a personal post once in a while. This will connect you more to them, which can only bode well for your venture.