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The News Chair

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blending Viral Video into Your Marketing Outreach


It seems like every other day some video surfaces as the new viral hit, racking up millions of views in a short span of time. Often it’s serendipitous footage someone has managed to capture, such as a cute puppy breaking up a fight between two other dogs, or the world’s worst parking attempt.

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd


More and more, however, viral videos are not just camcorder highlights but the carefully-thought-out efforts of a company marketing their products or services. Think of the ad craze for “The Big Game,” in which the sharing of and commenting on the commercials has become a cultural event unto itself.


Viral ≠ Expensive

But it’s not only video produced for broadcast on network television. Some of the most impactful ads are ones that were never even aired. Indeed, brands will produce something they know will never make it past network censors, such as this clever one starring Anna Kendrick for Newcastle Brown Ale. The entire piece is her lamenting that their commercial never got made.


Many videos are made for a fraction of the cost of a TV spot, and they are never intended to play anywhere except for YouTube, social media and the company’s website.


Some of these are one-offs that become a viral hit and then go away. But really smart brands are using humorous multimedia as a central plank of their outreach strategy, producing entire campaigns of videos.


Blended efforts produce results

One of my favorites is the “Will It Blend?” series from Blendtec, a company that manufactures high-end blenders.


Founder Tom Dickson wanted a way to demonstrate exactly how powerful their blenders are, and he began making videos of himself stuffing all sorts of crazy objects into their blenders and chewing them up — credit cards, a whole chicken and children’s action figures among them.


Dickson soon began fielding requests from people who wanted to suggest other things to be pulverized in a Blendtec blender. Thus, the name of the viral video campaign was born. The campaign really took off when Dickson put a first-generation iPhone into the blender and turned it into dust.


“Will It Blend?” is awesome because it memorably shows off the features of the product they’re selling while being hysterically funny. (Dickson’s dry “science guy” wit is a big bonus.) To date, the viral series has seen dozens of episodes with more than 300 million views on YouTube — and boosting Blendtec’s sales tremendously.


Challenges with online video

Of course, there are dangers in this sort of “rogue” marketing. Humor is challenging, because not everybody is funny, and not everyone will react the same way to the humor. One person’s killer joke is horribly offensive to someone else.


You also have to consider who your base of customers is and if you can reach them through YouTube and social media.


The best online videos are short — preferably 90 seconds or less, according to Shawn Sorrells. He should know: in addition to being Coles Marketing’s in-house videographer/photographer, he was also a TV news videographer and editor for many years.


“Nothing has the emotional impact of video,” Sorrells said. “If you can hit an emotional chord with someone, you’re well on your way to converting them into a customer.”


Looking to convert potential customers or clients with videography services and an integrated marketing campaign? Contact us about our Creative Shop Services today!



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Categories: 2014 July 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,