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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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

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

How Brands Can Shine on Instagram

As the fastest growing and most engaging social media network, Instagram offers a huge opportunity for brands to engage and gain visibility to its 300 million users.

InstagramA recent study by Iconosquare found that:

  • 62% follow a brand because they love it
  • 54% follow a brand to discover new things
  • 48% follow a brand because the content is entertaining

So we know that Instagram has great potential for your brand, but what is the best
way of maximising your presence so that you can engage with current fans, become more visible to potential customers and ultimately increase your sales?

What to Post?

It is important not to INSTAGRAM QUOTEsell sell sell, social media is a two way conversation between
you and your followers. They want to see your products and new seasonal lines but they are also interested in the inspiration behind them and the opinions shared by other people as well as the culture of the brand as a whole. Rallyverse have come up with a golden ratio for social marketing. They claim that the ideal content is 30%
owned, 60% curated and 10% promotional.

Your posts should be clear, active and engaging with a call to action which can be anything from ‘tag a friend’ to ‘click on the link’. Similarly competitions have proved to be very successful with followers, in fact according to Iconosquare’s report 41% of users follow brands for offers and 70% have taken part in a competition.

Video v Photo

While an Instagram photo is a quick and easy way to tell the story of your brand, Instagram videos provide another layer of storytelling and interaction with your followers.

Instagram videos can bring to life what behind-the-scenes photos can only glimpse. In 15 seconds, you can show how to style an outfit, perform an exercise move, style your hair, or pack hand luggage for a week’s holiday. The opportunities are endless.

Who is doing it right?

NIKE 2Two of the most popular brands on Instagram are Nike with 20.6 million followers and Victoria’s Secret with 20.8 million followers. Scanning through their posts you will see glossy photos of their products interlaced with videos of athletes working out, models backstage at fashion shows, inspirational quotes,
clips of interviews and events and more. Their
posts show variety and importantly offer their followers tips, discounts, special offers and event invitations. Who wouldn’t want to follow them?

Photospire is a platform that allows brands to automatically generate video for social, email and web channels. For more information please contact us

www.photospire.co.uk

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

Top 5 Reasons to Utilise Personalised Video Marketing

We live in a world that is constantly evolving based on new possibilities provided by enhanced technologies. The marketing industry is no exception, and has recently shifted towards high levels of personalisation. The industry has also become dominated by video because it has proven to be the most engaging type of content. These recent developments have sparked a new marketing trend combining both personalisation and video content.

Here are 5 reasons your company should utilise personalised video marketing:

  1. Increase Engagement- Consumer engagement is a very valuable measurement to determine if your marketing campaign was a success. According to Forrester, using video as a marketing medium will increase the average click through ratio by 200%-300%. The first step is getting the consumer to open your advertisement; including video is the key.
  1. 5 ReasonsReduce Opt-Outs- Eloqua discovered that including a personalised video in an introductory email reduced the number of consumer opt-outs by 75%. Retaining these customers allows you to build loyal relationships and gain an edge on the competition.
  1. Build Brand Loyalty- Having customers that are loyal to your brand and consistently purchase your products is crucial to having a successful business. KAYAK concluded that personalised video marketing results in a 73% increase in brand loyalty.
  1. Boost Sales- The ultimate goal of any marketing campaign is to reach current and potential consumers with a message that inspires them to buy your products. Switchvideo.com found that companies who consistently use personalisation in their marketing efforts see an average 19% increase in sales.
  1. Video Content Produces Best ROI- Every investment in marketing is done with the hope that you will produce more sales, and in turn make spending your money worthwhile. 70% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content that produces the highest returns on investment (MarketingProfs).

The benefits of personalised video marketing go far beyond these five points, but they do provide a glimpse into what this revolutionised marketing approach can do for your business. Photospire has perfected the production of this content and 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.

Author: Jon Goldenberg – Photospire Marketing Executive