Unbound – The Power of Live Video

Last week we were at Unbound Festival – a technology festival where “brands, corporate executives and investors come together to meet with Europe’s most disruptive start-ups to forge partnerships and explore new opportunities”.

Photospire was selected to be part of Unbound 50 – one of 50 high potential startups exhibiting across the two days.

The biggest theme across the talks at Unbound was live video – many of the headline business leaders spoke about the major investment social platforms have been making in enabling and empowering live video and how live video is going to affect their brand.

unnamedAs Facebook Marketing Partners, we’ve been very aware of the bets Facebook has been making on live video and we’ve also put a lot of our own resources into ensuring the Photospire platform can effectively deliver in-the-moment video ads.

Using Photospire, it’s now possible to serve in-the-moment video ads on all the major social platforms. These in-the-moment video ads automatically update depending on dynamic factors such as weather, sports results or news updates. Just like live-streamed content, in-the-moment video ads offer unparalleled opportunities to make content increasingly relevant and engaging.

And it works – the results from our campaigns with large brands have proved the incredible effectiveness of in-the-moment video; especially when combined with audience-relevant factors such as location to run campaigns which, for example, drive footfall to different locations depending on weather changes or sports results.

It’s great to see so many industry leaders putting so much energy into live content and we will continue to focus on helping brands seize these new opportunities.

If you’re a brand or an agency who’d like to partner with us or if you’d just like to talk about Facebook Live, Unbound or the in-the-moment advertising, drop me an email jack@photospire.co.uk.

www.photospire.co.uk 

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The Countdown to Christmas

Christmas is upon us and unless you have been living under a rock for the last month or so you will by now be familiar with the Christmas messages from the big brands. John Lewis have unleashed their bouncing Boxer, Marks and Spencer have sprinkled a touch of sparkle over Mrs Christmas and Sainsbury’s have given time-strapped Dad the gift of family time this festive period. Just three of a huge sackful of brand campaigns designed to delight and inspire shoppers.

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Executed correctly inspiring shoppers is just what Christmas can do, and its often essential for the success of the brand to increase sales at this time of year. In fact, according to Retail Research sales generated during this period represent more than 20% of total retail sales for the year. The consumers appetite is there and people are more receptive to Christmas marketing but it is imperative not to become part of the barrage of communications that get lost in the crowd, especially when email marketing alone increases by 25% at this time of year (MarketingTech).

The key to keeping consumers engaged is to intuitively update your message to their
changing needs, taking the stress of out present shopping and making it as easy as possible for them. Here are some examples of how to make the most out of your festive content and keep your customers inspired:

Early bird offers
Once you have pressed the button on your Christmas marketing message its time to tailor it to those early bird shoppers who like to have Christmas wrapped up by the beginning of December. One of the key dates for this is Black Friday and you can let your customers know in advance your top deals, time frames for discounts and special loyalty offers.

In-store events
There are lots of events planned in the run up to Christmas and its the perfect opportunity to draw your customers in from the cold, enticing them with complimentary in store services and goodies. Invite them to their nearest store through their preferred marketing channels whether that’s email, social or post.

Last minute solutions
For all those early birds there are the same amount of people who wait until the last minute to blitz their gift list. Offer gift suggestions based on their purchases last year along with customer reviews and make sure they know your express delivery services, last ordering dates and gift wrap options.

Christmas is a lifecycle in itself and those brands that reach out at every stage of the Festive shoppers journey with relevant, intuitive content will reap the rewards.

www.photospire.co.uk

Facebook Video Advertising – 5 Things Brands Need to Know

We all know by now that Facebook advertising is big business and brands are really starting to embrace the opportunity to reach out to customers through social platforms. Video has proven to be the most engaging form of content and its popularity is breaking through the stratosphere. In July this year alone 16 million videos were uploaded to Facebook directly generating over 232 billion views for around 3.5 million different creators (Tubular Insights).

So how do brands make the most of video on Facebook?

fbook 3Campaign Goals
Firstly you need to nail down your campaign goal whether that be to raise brand awareness, drive sales or promote a service or product. Once this has been established you need to decide
what success looks like to you and how you will measure it (for example with click through rates, number of views etc)

Target audience

The beauty of Facebook advertising is that you can really target your audience and get an insight into behavioural patterns and demographics. The more you understand your audience the more you can target your content and really engage them. You can access information such as what pages people like who also like your page, what device they use to browse, their purchase behaviour and interests as well as location. In addition you can target people who share your current customers demographics and behavioural traits.

Creative Development
The key to advertising success is to connect with your audience. You need to engage your audience with the right message at the right time. Customers engage with personal moments and enjoy being part of the conversation, its important to spark interest and not give the hard sell.   Consistent visuals are also key to really emphasise your brands identity. Facebook suggest that adverts should be 80% visual and a max of 20% text. Its a ratio that works.

fbook 1Timing
After analysing millions of videos, Wistia data showed that on average, people watch more than 80% of a video shorter than 30 seconds. Its clear that the message needs to be concise and simple. You have to get through to your audience in the first 5 seconds if you want them to watch the entire video. The frequency is also important, its not about video overload its very much quality over quantity. For a series of adverts its important to keep consistent but offer fresh content each time.

Personalisation
To reach out to different segments you need to customise your videos to each target audience. There is no point posting a generic video for everybody. When you are targeting new or potential customers you need videos that build brand awareness and are informative, however existing customers may prefer to see new products and offers. You can take this one step further by personalising by location, demographics and interests to really offer a personalised experience to your audience.

Photospire is a personalised video platform that enables brands to tell their story in the most engaging way across all digital channels. For Facebook brands can use our technology to create multiple custom audiences and target them with the content that is relevant to them. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.

http://www.photospire.co.uk

The Art of Storytelling

All brands have a story to tell. Whether it is based on your origins, values, look or vision your customers should  know these core principles about you. Your story will differentiate your brand and allow you to build something that people will care about and want to engage with. It’s about creating loyalty and meaningful bonds with your customers.

On a basic level your customers develop a perception of your brand based on the signals that you send to them. This perception is made up of facts, feelings and interpretations meaning that part of your story isn’t even told by you. Every element of your brand from the logo to the tweets to the staff you employ should reflect who you are and your core principles.

With this in mind, here are three tips to maximise your brand’s story to reap the benefits:

Get to know your audience

brand-books12Once you know your customers you can begin to personalise your content to them and incorporate your story into each brand message in the most engaging way. The more detail you can get the better, especially when it comes to aspects like how they consume media, their demographics and shopping habits. You can then personalise your story to help them engage and reach out.

Be authentic and consistent

People can quickly see through unauthentic sentiment especially when they feel they are being given the hard sell. It’s important to stop and think about the message you are sending out and whether it rings true with your brand values and follows a consistent look and feel. The more consistent the image the more people with begin to associate that image with your brand.

Be original

brand-logos-thumbs-upAll brands and businesses are trying to connect with consumers and send content in the hope of engaging and garnering loyalty. Because of this your story needs to stand out. Whether that’s the way to tell it, what you say or how you say it, you need to be innovative and engaging from the offset. Your story should offer a fresh perspective, give the reader new ideas and inspire them. What’s interesting about your company and what makes you better than your competitors? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself when communicating with customers.

Photospire is a personalised video platform that enables brands to tell their story in the most engaging way. Whether it’s a welcome message, product advice or a post purchase lookbook Photospire allows brands to send personalised videos to communicate across all aspects of the customer’s lifecycle. For more information contact us today.

 

Photospire showcases its platform at Millennial 20/20

The Photospire team are heading to Millennial 20/20 today to showcase their personalised video technology platform to some of the worlds biggest brands and retailers.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 09.11.24The Millennial 20/20 Summit in London brings together over 3,000 brands, retailers, start-ups and corporates to focus on the future of business from the perspective of the digital savvy consumer. The summit shines a light on the innovation, disruption and technology that is required to meet today’s complex and ever-evolving consumer.

Photospire will be based in the Accenture World of ME which brings to life the consumer experience and store of the near future in an immersive environment. Visitors can explore how to capture the heart and loyalty of the Millennial through products and services that will influence the retail and consumer landscape.

CEO Ger O’Meara is looking forward to promoting how Photospire meets the needs of todays consumer: “Millennials have really upped the anti in terms of what they expect as consumers. With a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips they want relevant content that is personal and intuitive to their needs. Photospire’s platform allows brands to create short data driven videos that are tailored to each individual, and tells the brands story in the most engaging way.”

Photospire changes the way that Millennials consume content by giving brands the power to communicate through personalised, engaging video.

http://www.photospire.co.uk

All Hail the Mighty GIF

GIFs today are a far cry from their humble clipart beginnings in 1987. Todays GIFs are the go to medium for anybody wanting to express something in a fast and engaging way. Somewhere between a collection of images and a mini video the GIF format adds something special. They are visually stimulating and can be consumed in a matter of seconds on continuous loop. They tick all the right boxes for today’s time poor consumer.

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Social media sites are all on board now allowing users to upload GIFs, a platform on which they really come into their own. New online tools help even the most novice users find and create GIFs which they can then share. When scrolling through your news feed the number of GIFs displayed has massively increased in recent months both from followers and brands. Facebook finally rolled out proper GIF support to personal accounts and business accounts last year and Twitter has gone one step further by last month releasing a GIF button which allows users to search its catalogue of animated GIFs and then easily share them. It has also released a video sharing tool for direct messages.

Brands are now using this medium to engage with their customers in a new and fresh way. Although video is still incredibly powerful in marketing terms GIFs offer a different approach. They provide a more convenient, faster and silent way to engage. Brands can build hype and highlight key messages in as little as three seconds and GIFs frame-by-frame nature lets consumers stop and focus on a single moment or detail. Brands are seeing huge increases in click through and conversion rates when using this format in emails. They are also being used on product pages as how-to visuals, on social media to give customers a ‘sneak-peak’ look at new products and as follow up communications to keep the conversation going and continue to engage.

Whichever way you look at it GIFs are here to stay and are only going to get more advanced as technology progresses. Can your brand afford not to get on board? For information on how Photospire can reach out to your customers through visual content please get in touch today.

How retailers are engaging customers with digital displays

Retailers have long known that to keep up with their customers’ demands they need to offer an exciting and innovative experience to in-store visits. Today’s shopper wants a more engaged, personal experience when they shop in store and have come to expect the same resources that they have available when shopping online. Oracle’s 2015 Consumer Research report found that 76% of respondents wanted retailers to invest in new technologies that specifically engage customer experience, with 54% saying that converged commerce is key to this.

In answer to this demand digital displays have come to the forefront in helping retailers bring the online and in-store shopping experience together, allowing consumers to interact and connect with brands whilst enriching their shopping experience.

One of the great advantages to in store digital displays is the ease in which they can personalise and add value to a shoppers visit. They can either be controlled by staff on site for a more relevant, customised experience or externally to offer consistency and increase brand loyalty.

Here are some brands that are using this technology to really stand out from the crowd and offer their customers a new approach to how they shop in-store:

Audi City

An early adopter of digital displays, Audi have rolled out digital showrooms in cities such as London and Berlin. This innovative format uses state of the art technology that enables visitors to experience every possible combination of the Audi range in one place. The London dealership has four ‘powerwalls’ – floor to ceiling screens that display the customers chosen car after identifying the model, colour, engine and other specification from touch screen tables. They can then spin the car around, peer inside, open the doors and trunk and even watch it drive off, complete with authentic engine noises.

Argos

Argos have opened their first tranche of new digital concept stores. The shops use digital technology to make the customer experience more interactive.  Customers can use tablets in store to browse products (where once was the catalogue) and the mounted screens welcome the customer, showcase the staff on duty and display new products and promotions. The company’s Twitter and Facebook feeds can also be directed to screens, which provides additional content for customers to read while they wait.

The technology displays current pricing and uses live, local stock data to decide which products get promoted. In addition, each store is linked to the local weather station, which enables Argos to promote weather related products on-screen as appropriate.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren successfully integrates engaging graphics within their store displays. They recently showcased an energetic and engaging Polo Sport display in the window of Macy’s New York and at their flagship store on Fifth Avenue. Using props, mannequins and graphic content they grabbed shoppers attention in an energised and theatrical way. The digital displays ran a video loop with fast-paced edits, featuring athletes wearing the apparel that the mannequins were sporting in action poses.

Burberry

A lot has already been written about Burberry’s flagship Regent’s Street store and it continues to be one of the most innovative shops in the world. The concept has been taken from their web user-experience and applied to the in-store retail space to create a bricks and mortar version of the website. Concentrating on the digital display aspect, customers are greeted by a huge digital screen (the largest of its type worldwide) giving the sensation of physically landing on the home page.

The most highly innovate concept is the stores mirrors that transform into digital screens. A chip hidden inside each product triggers RFID (radio-frequency identification) enabled mirrors on the shop floor and in changing rooms to transform into digital screens, displaying product information and inspiration.

The beauty of digital displays is that they enable brands to impress with fast moving content that can be updated at the press of a button. Used well they can bridge that elusive gap between on-line and in-store shopping and the overall result should be designed to enhance the store experience and assist customers in all aspects of the buying journey.

www.photospire.co.uk

 

 

 

Why Email Personalisation is Key to Click-Through Rates & High Returns

Email in a rut

Although still the best marketing channel for return on investment, email has slowly seen a decline in productivity.  A recent report by Venture Beat Insights found a decrease in click through rates and an increase in unsubscriptions. It did, however, highlight that email is still the preferred marketing channel for customers.

This decline is due to irrelevant, generic content being pushed out to recipients who have less time and patience and are seeing higher volumes of marketing emails crowding their inbox.

Personalisation works

PER EMAILHowever, the report also showed overwhelmingly that personalised emails counter this trend with companies continually reporting an increase in open rates and click-through rates when sending emails that are personalised to their customers. In fact this technique also affects their revenue and has shown to increase transactions by 500-600%.

Personalisation works because recipients like to receive information that is relevant and of personal interest to them. When conducted properly this type of communication has been proven to prompt sales, increase engagement and generate loyalty.

To find out how Photospire can help you benefit from personalised email marketing then please get in touch here.

Photospire

5 Reasons Mobile Video is the Ideal Marketing Tool for Brands

Video consumption on smart phones has sky-rocketed over recent years. In fact 50% of global viewership on YouTube comes from mobile devices (YouTube Insight Team). A recent study by Google and Ipsos found that the mobile phone is the number one screen choice for millennials wanting to watch video and once engaged they are twice as likely to remain focused as opposed to viewing it on other platforms. The study also reported that more than 50% of the smartphone video viewers said they used video to help them make product decisions in stores and online.

Here are five reasons your brand needs to join the video mobile craze:

Maximise Space
Video allows you to maximise your content delivery on the smaller mobile screen space. When customers access a website or landing page on their mobile devices the text is either readable but very abbreviated or else difficult to navigate and read.

In contrast video is automatically delivered in full screen mode on mobiles and enables on-the-go users to gather the information they need quickly and clearly.

Instantly Engage

mobile-video-and-tabletVideo grabs your customer’s attention and shows content in a quick, concise and engaging way. Through mobile videos, you can add powerful visuals and branding elements to your content. A well-crafted video is easy to consume and enjoyable to watch, something that can be difficult for many websites to accomplish on a mobile device. Its important to include a call to action to use this engagement effectively.

Turn up the Volume
Sound adds another dimension to your marketing content to make it more memorable. The audio in the video can deliver your marketing message, even if the video is not closely watched. Clever use of music, voice-over and sounds really helps to promote your brand and message. Busy consumers are able to gather the content through audio even if they can’t focus intently on the visuals.

Just Press Play
Everybody knows what to do when they see the play button therefore it makes it very easy for consumers to engage with your marketing message. Not having to navigate or scroll makes it much more likely that your message will be understood

£££
A high quality marketing video can be very cost effective to produce. By leveraging your current marketing assets, you can have a highly effective video produced for a relatively low cost. It’s easy to re-use logos, images, video footage, etc to create an engaging and successful marketing video.

Photospire can help you deliver exciting, personalised videos to your customers at scale. For more information please contact the team here

www.photospire.co.uk

Six ways to increase sales with personalised emails

Everybody likes to feel special and marketeers know that that personal touch can have huge effects on customer engagement, loyalty and sales. With the high volume of emails people receive on a daily basis, those that are personalised to each recipient really stand out. Research has shown that 80% of customers prefer receiving personalised emails with product recommendations based on previous purchases.

Here are a few tips to make personalised email marketing work for you:

1. Catch the eye and set the tone
Such a simple thing but nothing can seem more personalised to customers than a customer’s own name. It immediately makes them feel that the information they are being sent is relevant to them. It essentially sets the tone to your message in a positive way.

2. Showcase relevant products
Once a customer has bought something from you then it is the perfect opportunity to show them other products that relate to their purchase. You are not hard selling, just making suggestions that you know they will be interested in.

3. Reward with tailored offers
Research shows that personalising your offers increases conversion to sales. From sending out a birthday ‘gift’ to offering a special deal for a category that they have been browsing, personalising your offer will increase their use. Cart abandonment can be reduced and sales increased by sending a personalised offer for products that have been put into a customer’s cart but not purchased after a set time.

4. Ask for customer reviews
Making customers a part of your marketing strategy is a powerful tool. By asking your customer what they thought of a recent purchase you are giving them a sense of importance. You want their opinion so that you can keep improving your service as well as getting to know them better.

5. Remind customers of their purchase history
Providing customers with their purchase history makes them feel that their purchases are being cared for and their custom appreciated. Having their history easily accessible will also remind them that they already have a relationship with your brand which all adds to their sense of loyalty.

6. Targeted invitations and previews
The more special a customer feels, the brighter the chances of a sale. Send them previews of new collections, invite them to store openings in their locality, keep them up to date on new products they may be interested in and share with them your news.

Photospire enables retailers to create high volumes of personalised, automated, shoppable videos at the press of a button for use across all platforms including email. Contact us today for more information