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.

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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

The Benefits of Personalised Video for your Brand

It has been proven time and again that audiences prefer video to text, so much so that according to Forrester 80% would watch a video over just 20% reading text. We also know that personalised communications with consumers increases sales and creates loyalty so by marrying the two together you have a very powerful tool that will benefit your brand.

Influence, Captivate and Connect

Video enables bBENEFITS1rands to open a conversation with the audience through the art of story telling. Engaging video can influence, captivate and connect emotionally with consumers as it conveys meaning quicker than text, and the content is more likely to be retained.
By personalising your message you further engage with your audience as it allows you to speak as if you’re face-to-face, but at your glossy best. According to Econsultancy 84% of marketers find that personalisation increases customer engagement and directly impacts retention and loyalty.

Broaden your Reach

BENEFITS3Brands can broaden their reach and exposure across multiple channels. Videos can be uploaded to your website, mobile platform, email, in-store displays and social channels such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Vimeo etc, This marketing through social media allows for immediate client feedback and engagement and will increase SEO, attracting traffic and new customers to your site.

Increase Sales

Ultimately this is perhaps the mBENEFITS2Bost important benefit personalised videos can bring to your brand. By customising your message to individuals, you will see a greater number of customers clicking through for more information. Conversion rates can increase six fold over direct mail. Similarly by sending targeted offers and product showcases you will see an increase in offer redemptions and product interest that will lead to sales. Giving your customers the right information at the right time   increases their confidence in your brand and encourages loyalty.

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

Increase Sales through the Power of Video

Currently in the UK one in three people view at least one online video a week – that’s a weekly audience of over 20 million and that audience is growing daily. By 2017 video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic according to Cisco. In fact, research suggests that consumers are more likely to view video than any other resource online. The message is clear, if you haven’t done already, you need to make video a priority if you want to engage with customers and increase sales.

Video is a great waFacts 3y to get consumers thinking about you, and talking about your product or service. It also encourages prospective consumers to engage with your brand and products as it enables them to get a better understanding of who you are and what you are offering. This increases engagement and brings prospects a step closer to being your customer and encourages your customers to become lifelong customers.

So what does video do that text cant? It creates intimacy with the audience and they connect more easily with what they are watching compared to text that can seem distant and detached. Video also conveys you message more clearly and quickly creating an instant understanding between content and viewer. Most people are visual learners and do not want to read for long on their computer screens be it on a website or in an email. Video allows them to absorb the same information but in a more engaging way.

According to comScore consumers are 64% more likely to buy items after watching a product or brand video. Now is the time to harness this power to increase your sales.

Photospire enables companies to auto generate video content at the click of a button. For information on how we can help your sales and customer engagement please contact us.

Why Personalised Video is the Future of Direct Marketing

The demand for video content is at an all time high driven by more powerful devices and faster internet connection. Brands are gathering more and more valuable data about their customers making the ability to personalise marketing communication more achievable than ever. Here are three reasons why personalised video is the key to effectively engaging your customers and strengthening your brand:

3 reasonsDevices– With such a large increase in the accessibility of online content, marketing videos will only get more exposure and create an even larger return on investment. Strategy Analytics expects the amount of devices that can access the internet per person to rise from 1.7 today, to 4.3 by 2020.

Video Engagement– Due to a continuous decline in attention span amongst internet consumers, video has proven to be the most successful way to keep people engaged. Cisco agrees and has predicted that video traffic will make up 80% of total internet user consumption by 2019

Personalisation– Experts are forecasting a 4,300% increase in annual data generation by the year 2020(informatica.com). The future of big data provides endless possibilities for personalisation. This is pivotal because 74% of online consumers state that they are frustrated with websites offering content that has absolutely nothing to do with their interests (Jonrain).

All of this points to the future of internet consumption being dominated by video content with easy access through the multitude of devices consumers will own. More big data will be produced and collected than ever before resulting in personalisation not only being expected, but becoming the norm. If these trends continue as they are predicted to do, personalised video will emerge as the future of direct marketing.

Photospire is a web based platform that enables companies to auto generate video content at the click of a button incorporating real time data, user generated content, brand identity and more.  For information on how we can help your sales and customer engagement please contact us.

Author: Jon Goldenberg – Photospire Marketing Executive

Focus: Shoppable Visual Content

For retailers, connecting and engaging with consumers is key to growing sales and strengthening customer loyalty. One of the most successful ways of doing this is through targeted visual content. But how can retailers get more from their campaigns and increase their conversion to sales rates?

One simple, yet underused answer is to make their visual content shoppable. Whether consumers are reading a blog, watching a e-video or scanning a lookbook, they want to be able to buy the products on offer as effortlessly as possible. The time in which they make the buying decision and purchase is key in turning content in to sales.  As such, interactive, visual content is one of the most important trends in content marketing for retailers.

shoppable contentInnovative brands are reducing the friction between the content they produce and the purchasing process by making their content shoppable. H&M, for example, have harnessed this trend as part of their homeware campaigns. Their lookbooks not only feature images of products in context, but also splits the screen and separates the products out individually with each item being clickable and easy to ‘add to bag’.

Dyson have taken this one step further and have produced e-videos showcasing their machines and enabling the consumer to click on an image within the video to be taken to the product webpage. Other brands such as Juicy Couture, Nike and Mr Porter also enhance their videos in this way.

So the question is, how are you going to step up your content and increase your conversion rates? Photospire enables retailers to create high volumes of personalised automated, shoppable evideos at the press of a button. What are you waiting for? Contact us today for more information.

Personalised Marketing – Getting it Right

Personalisation helps to reduce the noise around your marketing message and allows that message to evolve and develop based on your customer interactions and behaviour.  Achieving this is becoming more and more important in digital marketing, using personalisation to create a focussed marketing message and call to action is what makes it highly effective.

personalised_marketing2Executed correctly personalisation can succeed in getting the right communications to the right people at the right time. Companies that can do this on an individual basis rather than mass market are seeing excellent results. However, there are certain things to consider before embarking on this type of marketing to make it a success:

Real-time

Every email that you send to a customer needs to be relevantand timely. Email is still the most effective form of digital marketing, but its value can be weakened by sending endless generic emails. Identify customer segments and send them personalised dynamic emails that are tailored to the time and location the emails are opened.

Know your Audience

As well as demographic analysis, location and behaviour, tap into your customers purchase and browsing history to really target your message. Insight needs to be gathered not just online, but across all customer touch points to ensure you have rounded view of each individual. As well as listening to customers to understand what they like, what is ignored is just as important. It’s about putting the right product and information in front of the right customer.

The Devil is in the Detail

Mistakes often happen when assumptions are made based on data that is incorrect or incomplete leading to a bad experience. Personalisation relies on data and technology working together, but still requires monitoring to make sure that the message reflects the brand and consumers they are targeting. Personalised marketing can be executed at scale but the right systems need to be in place to maintain accuracy and relevance.

Beware of Over-Kill

Companies should be mindful of how they use their customers’ data when communicating with them. Personalisation is a highly effective tool in building customer engagement, however if you are too intrusive you run the risk of invading a person’s privacy and this will have a damaging impact. Only communicate with them when you have something relevant to say.

According to Econsultancy research, 74% of marketers report that personalisation increases customer engagement and 84% report it directly impacts customer retention and loyalty.  Whichever way you look at it personalisation is here to stay and represents an exciting new way of thinking for marketeers and brands.

Why Visual Content is So Important to Your Content Marketing

Photos and videos are vital for any good content strategy as they truly engage your audience and create a genuine connection, making them a powerful marketing tool for your brand. Videos in particular are arguably the most personal form of communication between you and your followers after face to face contact.  As such it is crucial that your video production, as well as its content, is engaging, relevant and true to your brand. Axonn Research found 7 out of 10 people view brands in a more positive light after watching interesting video content from them.

Below are some of the key things to think about when sharing visual content:


Brand Identity
– Videos and photos express your brand’s personality and show your audience who you truly are. It is important to portray your brand’s values through the imagery and incorporate any brand information that you wish to share. For example you may work with a charity and wish to include a clip at the end of a video about the work that you do or you may have a strong connection to your local area that could be incorporated into product photos.

photospire_visual_story_playThe Big Share Photos and videos are by far the most shared type of content on the Internet. The likes of Twitter and Instagram have enabled videos to play in users’ feeds instantly and keep visual content in the news feed much longer than text because people are more likely to click on and share photos and videos. Google now show YouTube content in search rankings as well as sites that contain lots of relevant visual content. In addition Google is beginning to use social indicators such as shares and likes to determine value and relevance. These changes will result in visual content having a much bigger impact on SEO.

EngagementVisual content is so successful because it is more instantly engaging than text. In turn, this allows you to build a stronger connection with your audience and encourages them to interact with your brand. Videos and photos allow you to creatively inform your audience on the key messages you wish to get across. The more engaging the content the more likely your audience are to share with their friends, thus creating invaluable PR and advertising.

Stand out from the crowd – Most companies are actively using social media to market themselves. Blogs, tweets and posts have become an integral part of a company’s marketing plan and are continually managed and reviewed. However, creating and sharing high quality visual content takes more time and involves more work and resources. This means that there is less competition in this area at the moment, therefore paving the way for you to stand out from your competitors. Visual content also allows you to use your creativity to drive your brand to the for front of peoples minds.

Photospire enables companies to auto generate visual stories at the press of a button incorporating real time data, user-generated content and brand identity. To learn more please contact us

5 Key Trends for Retailers in 2015

1) Social networks as shopping platforms

Brands have been using social media to market their products and communicate with their customers for years, however 2015 will be the year that they add ‘selling’ to the list. Facebook and Twitter now have ‘buy’ buttons and Instagram teamed up with Curalate to create their Like2Buy platform. This selling route will continue to grow and become more sophisticated and widespread.

2) Focus on customer loyalty

Retailers need to offer more than loyalty points to keep their customers coming back by delivering more imaginative rewards and incentives. Loyalty programmes of the future will reward shoppers for their engagement and actions rather than just purchases. These rewards will be customised to each individual in the form of offers, services and experiences and in doing so the customer will feel more cherished and will be more inclined to engage and remain loyal.

3) Growth of in-store technology

We are already seeing retailers adopt in-store technology such as beacons, wearables, POS systems and virtual platforms and this will continue to grow in 2015. Cloud based point-of-sale systems have proven to be more efficient than till points in all respects and more retailers will make the switch. Although there has been a lot of talk about Beacons retailers are still finding their feet as to what this technology can do for them. The early adopters of platforms such as virtual fitting rooms and interactive widow displays have lead the way in improving the in-store experience.

4) Continued mobile growth

Mobile devices will account for 30% of global retail e-commerce spending by 2018, according to Adobe. Retailers who know the importance of smartphones and tablets in the shopping journey are starting to introduce mobile loyalty programs where customers can track and redeem their rewards straight from their phones. The number of consumers turning to mobile payments will also increase due to solutions from the likes of Google, Softcard and Apple. Retailers will have to respond to this trend and adopt the technology to offer their customers.

5) Retailers with omnichannel strategies will prosper

Retailers that understand the importance of offering multiple shopping channels to their customers will continue to grow and prosper. Many studies have been carried out showing that consumers are now much more informed on products before they purchase. They expect to be able to research the product online, view and try in-store, talk to sales people who are knowledgeable on the product and then buy from a host of different channels for their convenience. Retailers who can keep up with this and provide a seamless service will continue to reap the benefits.