Scaling Creative – a discussion with Joe Morley from Facebook

Photospire Facebook Panel

Photospire were in Germany this week for dmexco and we were delighted for our co-founder and COO Dave O’Meara to join Joe Morley (Director, Facebook & Instagram Partnerships, EMEA) and two other Facebook Marketing Partners (Vidsy and Genero) on stage to discuss creative at scale.

In front of an auditorium of 200 people the panel shared a number of key insights related to creative at scale.

What is the biggest challenge for marketers in a mobile first video environment?

  • Attention has shifted to the small screen but the attention span has shrunk.
  • Mobile is changing customer expectations; they are consuming more video content than ever before but still expect it to be fresh and relevant like the content in their newsfeed.
  • The main challenge that results from this is how to create relevant ad content to meet the massive demand.

How do you define the term ‘scaled creative’?

  • The ability to create the right story for the right audience at the right time.
  • Storytelling is changing, Facebook and the power of their audience data is making the scale part possible.
  • Scaled creative is about not sacrificing the quality because of the quantity.

Do you feel there’s a conflict between technology and creativity?

  • Technology doesn’t replace creativity, it enhances creativity and provides new mediums of expression. Some examples of this in other fields are the evolution of cinema and TV, the electric guitar and photography as an art form.
  • As great creative people see how tech can enable them to tell better stories they will seize the opportunity – and we are seeing this already.
  • The most engaging content of the future will be created through collaboration between creatives, data and technology.

What’s the one thing you’d like the audience to take away today?

  • They key message is that technology is an enabler – it should not be seen as an obstacle to creativity but as something that can enhance it.
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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 

Facebook F8 – Key features that have got the Photospire team excited

Facebook’s annual developer conference is taking place this week and some of the announcements have got us excited. Below are some new features that are going to change the user experience and greatly enhance the social giants offering.

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Augmented reality

Facebook have declared that the camera is the most important part of your phone.

Of course, its already key to sharing photos and videos with friends but the new augmented reality tools will enhance reality when viewing life through the camera. You will be able to place virtual objects and messages into the real world and add more information and detail to your pictures.

Facebook wants you to share photos of your run with your pace and time superimposed over the top and leave your reviews on the windows of restaurants. Pieces of art that can only be viewed through your phone will, in Zuckerbergs own words “have people standing around looking at blank walls”.

Camera Frames and Masks

The new camera effects platform will allow users to enhance their photos along the same lines as Snapchat but with more features.

The new ‘Frame Studio’ is an online creative editor that allows developers to make frames for pictures and images taken with the Facebook camera. In addition they are launching the ‘AR Studio’ to help content creators make their own masks, filters, animated frames and effects. These enhancements will respond to the environment, movement and interactions in live videos..

Messenger Bot Enhancements

Facebook is launching Facebook Messenger Platform 2.0 that uses even more artificial intelligence to connect users with businesses and visa versa.

For example, mentioning on a chat that you want to see a film will trigger messenger’s virtual assistant ‘M’ who will list the times and cinema locations in your area and then help everyone buy their tickets. Facebook want you to use messenger not only as a place to chat with friends but somewhere to organise your social life and more, differentiating it from What’s App.

These are just a few key developments that have come out of F8 so far, we can’t wait to see what else they have up their sleeve.

http://www.photospire.co.uk

Social Video Strategy – Have you nailed yours yet?

We know that video is the way forward when it comes to engaging customers new and old. Its now time to look more closely at the different channels that your brand videos are being used for, specifically how to get the very best results from posting video content on social media.

To get the most out of this powerhouse within your marketing mix its imperative to have a social video strategy in place that really delivers on the brand awareness, conversions, sales and loyalty that can be achieved.

Your video strategy should target customers at all stages of the marketing funnel and executed correctly can enable you to move customers from ‘awareness’ through to the all important ‘conversion’.

Facebook

Facebook has 1.79 billion monthly users and combined with Google accounted for 99% of the $2.9 billion in advertising growth in the third quarter of 2016 (Fortune). Brands are turning to this platform for a reason – the results can be very lucrative but its not without its challenges. You have to compete against a plethora of content to engage audiences and changing your video material to meet different audience needs can be costly and timely, but is ultimately key to its success.

In terms of the marketing funnel for Facebook we see the following three areas as being key target:

marketing-funnel
The ability to segment your potential customers into targeted audiences on Facebook allows you to build brand awareness by engaging each target audience with tailored, relevant video ads. Once this has been achieved you can retarget the users who have engaged with more specific videos that will move them closer to conversion.
Whatever your plans for video in 2017, if you want to make the most out your content you need to put in place a social video strategy that targets audiences at the key stages of their journey from awareness of our brand to conversion into customers.

Photospire provides the leading solution for implementing a personalised video strategy across Facebook, Instagram and CRM (email) marketing. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your brand.

www.photospire.co.uk

Customer Engagement – The What, When and How

“Customer Engagement” is a cliched term that you’ll find heavily used in reference to all aspects of sales and marketing. However, truly understanding how customers engage with your business has never been so important and will be a major factor in determining if you are still in business
in five years time.

Different customer groups have different needs and behaviours and how these groups interact with your products and business is changing all the time. The starting point in understanding what customer engagement means to your business is defining what each customer group wants, when they want it and how do they want it delivered.

What
customer-engBrands that have successfully learnt what their customers needs are have moved away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to engagement to a ‘one-to-one’ personalised model. Today’s customers expect tailored messages that are relevant and specific to them – and why not? The days of generic, standard marketing messages are over. The brands that are succeeding offer their customers useful information that has meaning and makes their day just a little bit easier. Whether that’s offering style advice in relation to the weather that day or sending user guides for products they have recently bought, every communication needs to be reactive to your customer and add value.

When
Engagement should be intuitive, it needs to react to customers needs before they are even aware of what that need is. There are multiple stages throughout the customer journey when you should reach out with reactive content and should view personalised communications as an ongoing conversation and not just a one off that ticks the box. From welcome messages to event invites to post purchase advice and abandoned basket reminders every message needs to add value exactly when your customer requires it.

How
solution-brief-shopper-engagement-e1445462828673Today’s consumers interact with brands in a variety of ways that involve more than one touch point. It is vital to understand how customers behave across all channels so that communications can be consistent, fluid and clear. Targeting the right channel per customer is key to maximising the impact your communications have. Sending an email when the recipients preferred channel is social will waste valuable time and budget and you will not get the interaction and engagement your business needs.

Reaching out to customers with relevant, personalised information through the right channels before they have to ask for it will keep them engaged, make it easier to be your customer and improve their experience of your brand. Customer engagement might be marketing jargon but ignore it at your peril.

Photospire gives brands the power to engage with their customers through smart, reactive videos that are intuitive to each individual customers needs.

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