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The News Chair

King of Content Rules the Internet


Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

Globally, consumer Internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019, up from 64 percent in 2014. The sum of all forms of video will be in the range of 80 to 90 percent of global consumer traffic by 2019, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index.

Think about that. Video will be 80 to 90 percent of global consumer Internet traffic in just a few years. Why is video paramount to our online presence?

Coles Marketing Videographer Shawn Sorrells said video is so popular across Internet traffic on a global level because while “content is king,” video is the king of content.

“Video can tell a story and capture with it emotion and sincerity,” he said. “And it also gives brands the chance to feature testimonials from a consumer’s viewpoint. Being able to see and hear that personal voice of the consumer is much more believable.”


Easier to create, faster to deliver

Shawn Sorrells

Shawn Sorrells

Aligned with the influence video has is the ease with which you can now create your own video, post it online and share with the masses.

“Even five years ago, smartphones and other mobile devices weren’t as proficient with handling video as they are today,” Sorrells said. “That’s also true of the speed of your mobile device and of the cellular network you’re using — both are delivering data more quickly and efficiently than ever before.”

As noted by the Cisco Visual Networking Index, broadband speeds will double by 2019 — reaching 43 Mbps, up from 20 Mbps in 2014.

With faster speeds and user-friendly video apps for basic effects, consumers can become their own multimedia videographer and editor. But anyone loading video to the Internet still needs to make sure it’s a video worth sharing.


Produce a share-worthy video

“The video needs to be visually captivating beyond what you see on a day-to-day basis,” Sorrells said. He offered these video production tips:

  • Tell the story: As with any story, there should be a beginning, middle and end.
  • Use proper lighting: Make sure the light is bright enough but the shot isn’t backlit too much. The environment needs to be free of distractions and shadows, and keep people away from walls and windows. It’s better not to use the flash — good natural lighting is best.
  • Make the background interesting: Have a splash of color from a plant, wall painting, etc., to give a little pop without it being the focus.
  • Make the audio a priority: Use a microphone whenever possible, whether it’s a boom, stick, lavalier or handheld mic. And if you only have the onboard mic from your camera or mobile device, get as close as possible to the subject who is speaking.
  • Shoot more video than you need: Having more video will give you more options when editing and more ways to tell your story that you may not discover until after the shooting process.


It’s all about telling the story

What about once the video is shot? Depending on your operating system, Sorrells suggested iMovie and Windows Movie Maker as some of the best free video editing software applications available.

“Use a variety of different shots in your video and be precise,” he said. “Every shot has a purpose to help you tell the story and get the message across. And when you’re done, watch it — and have others watch it — before you go live. Because once it’s out there, it’s out there.”

Coles Marketing’s in-house creative team has the tools and talent for all your photography and video production needs. Learn more!


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Categories: 2015 July Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Email Marketing Metrics That Matter

Email metrics

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd

If you’re reading this, then you hopefully appreciate the value of email marketing.

Many companies understand the importance of communicating directly with their audience — both current customers and potential ones. Beyond blogs, advertising and social media, the storied tradition of the newsletter still lives on, only now in e-form. Newsletters like this one, along with direct pitches about sales events or company news, arrive in a subscriber’s email inbox loaded with information pertinent to them.


Standing out and being read

The challenge, of course, is making sure your e-communications are being delivered to the right people — and being read.

Metrics are analytical tools available through Google, or email services like MailChimp or Constant Contact, that allow you to see exactly how your messages are faring. You can use this feedback to adapt your e-marketing for maximum effect: changing the look, topics, length, frequency, time of distribution and so forth.

But which metrics matter the most, and why?


The meaning behind the metrics

  • Kevin Moore

    Kevin Moore

    Delivery rate: This indicates what percentage of your database actually received your email. People change email addresses, leave their company, etc. You should aim for as close to 100% as possible. “Monitoring this helps you keep your list up to date,” said Coles Web Designer Kevin Moore. “If the percentage rate is low, then it’s time to get rid of old or bad email addresses from your database.”

  • Bounces: These emails are returned as undeliverable, and this metric is helpful in culling your email lists. Some bounces are “soft” and usually temporary, such as an “out of office” reply. “Hard” bounces generally indicate an email address is no longer valid.
  • Open rate: This refers to how many people opened your email. This metric can be somewhat murky, since some email clients (Yahoo, iPhone) automatically open emails, skewing measurement. Other clients use a preview pane, and if an impression pixel (a 1×1 pixel image included in the email) is not tracked, it won’t count as an open. In general, an open rate above 20% is considered good.
  • Click-through rate: Whenever a reader clicks on a hyperlinked item in your email, that’s a click. The most common click-throughs are on “read more” links that take the clicker to read the rest of an article after a teaser paragraph or two. “This gives you a sense of the kind of content that users like to read,” Moore said. Anything above 10% is stellar.
  • Brian Coles

    Brian Coles

    Unsubscribe: These are people who received your email and have indicated they no longer wish to be included on your database of receivers. You should do them the courtesy of removing them ASAP. If you consistently get many unsubscribes, it may mean your content isn’t properly tailored to your audience, said Vice President Marketing Brian Coles.

  • Campaign codes: Tracking codes within the email. “These allow you to integrate your email links into Google Analytics, so you can further track or attribute emails to action that happens on your website like purchases and contact signup,” Coles said.


Navigation of email traffic

If you’re unfamiliar with how email metrics work, Coles Marketing can give you a primer and walk you through your recent results. We can also shoulder the entire burden of e-marketing for you!


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Categories: 2015 June Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Preparing a Social Media Plan

Social Media Calendar

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

Those of us who manage social media platforms and content — and those who don’t — know the news cycle never ends. Habitual phone-checking has become the norm, whether you’re browsing your social network feeds for the latest on Twitter or just because you’re bored.

Therefore, there is a constant need for fresh, timely content on your brand’s social profiles. How can this be accomplished without being completely overwhelmed?



Make time to manage social media

I’m always a big proponent of planning — and having a social media editorial calendar as part of your social media strategy can save you valuable time and effort.

Chris Mercier

Chris Mercier

“A social media editorial calendar includes promotional and helpful content that is both seasonal and timely for your company or organization,” said Coles VP Public Relations Chris Mercier. “It helps you organize your thoughts and writing projects into concise messages that support your brand and appeal to your audience.”

Sure, creating a calendar can be time consuming on the front end, but then you’ve got a plan in place to guide you in your daily social media activities. You’ve already done research into appropriate topics and articles and when you want certain posts scheduled.

“It basically gives your brand a blueprint of your outreach goals for the next month or so,” said Coles Senior Copywriter Christopher Lloyd.

And it keeps your brand on track with your online strategy.


Calendar contents and creation

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd

“Most social media editorial calendars include specific messaging topics, verbiage and links,” Lloyd said. “This allows for posts that feel spontaneous and fresh but can be vetted beforehand by all parties with a stake.”

Here are some items to include in a social media calendar:

  • Topic to highlight along with copy
  • Appropriate links and Web addresses
  • Headline for post
  • Related hashtags
  • Photos, videos or other visual content
  • Publish date and time

Think through what events and initiatives your brand might be involved in, and make sure to develop content to promote them.

Also, research national holidays and observances, and wrap some related social media content around those dates.

“Editorial calendars are worth the planning time,” Mercier said. “They help you get organized and deliver valuable content to your customers.”


Allow room for adjustment

“Planning ahead helps avoid panic and can serve as a roadmap to determining the best fit for your content and help you organize your writing projects,” Mercier said.

But just as planning and preparation saves time, leave a little breathing room for some social media flexibility.

Lloyd mentioned a great example: Oreo’s social media messaging when a blackout shut down the 2013 Super Bowl. With some quick thinking and a bit of a shift from their social media strategy, Oreo’s brilliant tweet made major headlines.

In addition, if you schedule posts too far in advance, you could get into some trouble. If breaking news happens or a tragedy occurs, your brand could look insensitive by running a scheduled post during a crisis.

When produced and used the right way though, a social media editorial calendar saves you time and energy and helps you consistently publish high-quality content.

“By putting in a little thought and strategy, it will help you stay true to your brand goals and audience,” Mercier said.

And we’ll develop and distribute the content to get you noticed. Contact us today!


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Categories: 2015 May Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,