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The Price Paid for the Perfect Photo

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

An image can grab your reader’s attention or bring about emotion. It can encourage your customer to make a purchase.

Check out some statistics from Hubspot’s Amanda Sibley:

  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. (Sources: 3M and Zabisco)
  • 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text. (Source: Zabisco)

The power of visual content

Kevin Moore

Kevin Moore

“Seeing an image gives the user experience of being able to relate that image to a personal memory or emotion, tying you to it,” said Coles Multimedia Designer Kevin Moore.

With the growth of content marketing and social media, we continue to look for images to get our messages across. It seems easier than ever with countless images available online at the click of a button.

But it’s essential to take precautions when choosing images to make sure you do it legally.

Know the rules before you use

Noelle Federico, the CFO of stock photo site Dreamstime.com, offers these tips:

  • Get familiar with fair use laws. These laws operate on a case-by-case basis, but there are general guidelines.
  • Investigate the source of an image before you copy it from the Web. Just because you “can” copy an image does NOT mean you have the right to use it.
  • Get permission. It’s best to get images you have authorization to use. You can purchase stock photos or use a free stock image website, such as Stock Free Images.
  • Search smarter. You can search images under the “Creative Commons license,” which allows for images the photographers have released for common use.
  • Cite appropriately. It’s safe to use an image for educational purposes. But when you use a photo this way, cite your source, giving credit to where you copied the picture.

Do your research or create your own!

How can you find the photos you want without getting a cease and desist order you don’t want?

Tim Coulon

Tim Coulon

Plus, here are more sources to discover cost-free content!

And if you can’t find the right photo, you can always create your own! Did you see the article “Six Simple Steps to Better Photos” from Coles VP Creative Tim Coulon? You should!

A picture may be worth a thousand … dollars

“Because images are so readily available and people are so used to sharing them through social sites, I think some may not understand the consequences of grabbing an image off the Web and posting it in a blog or e-blast,” Moore said.

He suggested using TinEye, a reverse image search website. You can find out where an image came from and how it’s being used.

“An image that may cost just a dollar to purchase can cost you thousands of dollars in a lawsuit if it’s used without permission and the proper citation,” Moore said. “Plus, there’s the embarrassment of being found out. It’s just not worth it.”


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Categories: 2014 August Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Pinterest Should Interest



This month, ShareThis released the first quarterly Consumer Sharing Trends Report analyzing consumer sharing behavior across more than 120 social channels and two million websites. Pinterest is now the fastest-growing platform for online content sharing!


Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

This data reminds businesses that Facebook and Twitter, while still dominant players, aren’t the only platforms to use in social media outreach.


See what Pinterest can do

According to Alison Griswold in “Business Insider,” Pinterest gives businesses the chance to grab consumers with compelling images and colorful infographics to promote services and new products.


Now Pinterest has partnered with Getty Images, a stock photo agency with an archive of 80 million still images and illustrations. According to the Getty Images Blog, this is a “groundbreaking collaboration to drive a more visual world.”


Getty provides Pinterest with metadata in exchange for a fee. When a user pins a Getty image from the Web, the metadata for that image — including the description, photographer and date taken — appears next to that photo on the user’s pin board, says Kurt Wagner from Mashable.


More pin information is intended to make the pin more valuable to the user.


A picture is worth … a lot

Pinterest recently closed a $225 million round in funding, valuing Pinterest at slightly less than $4 billion.


Is it really worth that much? Sebastian Thomas of Allianz Global Investors says yes in an article in “The Wall Street Journal” by Spencer E. Ante.


“I think the valuation is reasonable given the commercial intent of the users. For merchants, there is a huge opportunity for brand building.”


Thomas cites Pinterest’s rapid growth, strong user engagement, and its potential to build brands and make money by driving traffic to a company website.


Pinterest has more than 70 million users, and Lauren Orsini cites social login provider Gigya’s numbers that show Pinterest grabbing 41% of e-commerce traffic.


Plus, there’s the value of improved rankings on search engines like Google or Bing.


Take the Pinterest road more traveled

A study by Piquora found a pin on Pinterest can last thousands of times longer than the average tweet or Facebook post.


John Koetsier says “Twitter and Facebook are social networks with a massive emphasis on immediacy. When people visit Pinterest, they browse, they search, they surf, and they uncover more pins.”


“Sure, you get 70 percent of your clicks in the first two days,” Piquora CEO Shara Verma says. “But there’s a huge long tail. Clicks kept coming all the way for 30 days and even beyond.”


Pinterest users are sharing more. So, businesses need to get smarter about what gets shared.


Learn to pin with proficiency

Gabrielle Karol from “Entrepreneur” shares tips to master Pinterest for your business:

  1. Make your website pin-friendly. To encourage consumers to engage with your brand, have a “Pin It” button on all content on your website.
  2. Organize your content. Businesses should organize content by theme, making it easier for users to find and browse content.
  3. Brand your pins. Branding the images uploaded to Pinterest is worth the added effort. Use the company logo and other branding in photos when appropriate.
  4. Include shopper-friendly information. Pinterest users approach the platform with a shopping mindset. Therefore, include as much detailed product or service information with the images without making it look difficult.
  5. Engage the community. Company leaders should become active in the online community in a sincere way. This might include repinning content relevant to your boards and answering user questions.


Another fun tip? Predominantly red or orange images get twice the repins of mainly blue images. Pin that!


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Categories: 2013 November Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Instagram Video a Bonus for Brands



Like a lot of casual Instagram users, I use it to snap cool square-shaped photos, slap a neat-o filter on it and share it on my Facebook page. Kids doing cute things, pets pouncing playfully and eye-catching scenery make up the bulk of what I and my Instagram buddies share with each other.


Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd

So you may have missed the news this summer that Instagram added video capability to its lineup. It works much the same as taking and sharing photos — just look for the movie camera icon when you launch the app on your smartphone or mobile device to switch to video mode.


It’s easy to shoot and share

You can only shoot and share 15 seconds of video, but as we know with Vine and GIFs, smart content producers can create some compelling footage in just a few seconds.


You press and hold the record button, so you can stop, set up a new scene and keep rolling. That’s editing right in the camera just like good ol’ Sergei Eisenstein did! It even comes with 13 filters specific to video. My personal favorite is Gingham, which gives your mini-movies an old-timey washed-out look. Or select Moon to instantly convert to black-and-white.


Here is a guide from Mashable on how to create an Instagram video in seven simple steps!


Brands get the impact

Even if light users of Instagram didn’t grasp the impact of videos, brands certainly did. Smart companies soon began cranking out their own Instagram videos, whether producing new content, sharing feedback from customers or just repurposing video they already disseminate in other ways.


For instance, the National Basketball Association has used Instagram videos to show the Miami Heat collecting their championship rings, interviews with stars like Derrick Rose or just some dope crossover moves during team practice.


Over the past month, the Top 10 brand videos shared most are:


  1. MTV
  2. NBA
  3. Peanuts
  4. GoPro
  5. Miami Heat
  6. Wendy’s
  7. Topshop
  8. Starbucks
  9. ABC
  10. HBO (Girls)


Number three refers to the comic strip, not the edible nut. Most of the videos from Snoopy & Co. are simply clips of old “Peanuts” television specials — a pretty low-resource method to get a lot of eyeballs!


Vine who? 15 seconds of potential

In fact, according to tracking firm Unruly, 40 percent of the most popular videos shared on Instagram during the last month were created by brands. Seth Fiegerman at Mashable has the rundown for the eye-popping numbers of how many eyeballs have seen these videos.


With more than 150 million users and less stringent rules for business accounts than Facebook or Vine, plus the ability to link directly to Facebook, Instagram video currently has outreach potential for brands as wide as the sky.


Need advice on how to use video in your social media outreach? Contact Coles Marketing for a consultation!


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Categories: 2013 November Newsletter, Newsletters | Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,