Showing posts with label Branding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Branding. Show all posts

The Importance of Image Science in Marketing

Friday, July 29, 2016

With almost two billion images now uploaded across the internet daily, visual content is king. But brand owners, eager to tap into image-based user-generated content (UGC) to better connect with their audiences, are struggling. For though they may be a potential gold mine, online images are, in many cases, a data blind spot.

It's hard to argue with the power of the visual online. The ubiquity of the smartphone, and now the rise and rise of image-based social media such as Pinterest and Instagram -- on which more than 40 billion images have been posted since launch -- has revolutionized the internet, which is now evolving into what some call the "visual web." Countless eye tracking studies, meanwhile, show that internet users now focus more energy and attention on visuals than anything else.

However, when bombarded with images, consumers quickly ignore those without relevance or impact, prioritizing their attention instead to visual content that is authentic and not staged. Which is why a growing number of brand owners now want to make use of real rather than commissioned images so they can engage more deeply with their audiences and better connect.

But brand owners have a problem. An estimated 80 percent of images relevant to a brand don't have relevant accompanying text, which makes them impossible to track using traditional social listening tools. They can't find the images they could use and they can't take advantage of the global photo sharing phenomenon at scale. This is why 84 percent of U.S. marketers think there is a need for advancements in image-recognition technology to help assess the context of an image without text, according to a recent survey.

Help is at hand, however, and from an unexpected source: software engineers that build sophisticated computer vision programmes that can track and identify millions of different images online recognising everything from a person's facial features to everyday objects, locations, and even human emotions. Current estimates suggest the global image recognition market will be worth $33.3 billion by 2019.

Already, "in-image" advertising exists that allows advertisers to automatically place relevant digital ads within editorial images using image recognition. Crucial to this is relevancy. Technology can detect, for example, an image of a person running and insert an ad from a sports manufacturer.
In-image advertising's power lies in its ability to blend in without detracting from the content the consumer is there to see. And it is already delivering results with viewability rates of up to 80 percent more than that achieved by traditional digital ads

The work of "image scientists" is opening up new opportunities for content publishers to monetise editorial images on their platforms for the very first time. And they are offering brand owners premium inventory they've never before been able to access.

Looking ahead, as the visual web evolves further -- as it surely will -- and images increasingly replace words, the role "image science" plays in marketing will only grow, with software making it possible for brands not only to analyze what people are writing about them, but to see and understand how consumers truly feel about them.

Reading between the lines -- and delving into what hasn't been written next to an image, but what is actually in that image -- will provide for brand owners new and rich data about their consumers. And for a brand owner in today's highly competitive marketplace, surely, this depth of nuanced, actionable insight will be as good as any proverbial pot of gold.

 - Greg Pritchard, iMedia

10 ways a personal brand on social media helps the corporate #brand behind it

Friday, March 25, 2016

No one can say that there aren’t many benefits of having a strong personal brand on social media. 

After all, your LinkedIn profile is where practically everyone goes to check you out if they’re considering doing business with you in any way, shape or form.

If you have a few presentations uploaded to SlideShare, a few dozen posts published on a blog and a few hundred followers on Twitter, even better.

Using social media to showcase your background, skills, talent and expertise is a no-brainer.

But the benefits of personal branding on social media aren’t limited to the owner of that brand only.

Everyone around those who are prevalent and popular online, the “corporate all-stars” of the business world, as Edelman’s Steve Rubel so astutely labelled them in 2009, enjoys the fruits of their labor, from direct reports to supervisors, colleagues to clients, partners to employers.

How? Here’s how. Here are 10 ways a personal brand on social media works to the advantage of the corporate brand behind it and is a win-win for everyone involved.

1. Reach

A small company may not have a big audience on social media, but it may have a handful of people among its ranks with their own extensive networks.

Riding employees’ coattails makes sense if they can help get the word out to a broader, perhaps even better, audience. Like a good ripple effect, the more help brands can get from the people who work for them, the further and faster their messages will travel.

2. Thought Leadership

Social media makes it possible for almost anyone to establish themselves as a renowned expert. All you need is the time, talent and tenacity. Write a blog post. Record a video. Comment here, there and everywhere. 

Leaders within an organization should be leaders in their industry. From a selfish standpoint, that may be how to ascend the corporate ladder, but that’s also how to generously increase the visibility and credibility of the corporate brand behind you.

3. Education

Anyone who spends more than a modicum of time on social media knows what a treasure trove of educational resources can be found there.

Never mind attending conferences and signing up for webinars. Log in to this channel or that one and boom, you’re privy to all the news and information that’s fit to share. Social media is a living, breathing education on demand, and more often than not it’s on the house.

4. Camaraderie

Imagine having access to a circle of like-minded professionals, connections you can count on to keep you up to date and in the know, wherever you are, whenever you want. That’s social media.
People may not pick up the phone when you call or respond to your email, but if you mention them in a tweet or tag them on Facebook, suddenly you have their attention. 

That’s influence. That’s clout. That’s a big benefit to both personal and corporate brands.

5. Social proof

People are more likely to trust and support other like-minded people, not distant, impersonal corporate logos and brands. 

When you earn likes, shares and comments as an employee, not only does it go a long way toward establishing a great reputation for your own personal brand, it benefits the corporate brand behind you. 

Your influence and authority on social media reflects positively on the products and services you represent and can be used by those who employ you.

6. Inspiration

We all know the importance of keeping team members properly inspired. While often employers can’t afford to send their people to conferences and industry events, they can easily permit, if not encourage, employees to spend time on social media, listening, learning, reading and writing. 

Regular exposure to such resources goes a long way toward enabling and empowering people to go above and beyond in their work on behalf of the brands they represent.

7. Scalability

If practice makes perfect, social media is the place to go to hone your skills in the areas of writing, networking, research, thought leadership and branding. 

For the individual practitioner, work done with these tools and technologies can lead to something more valuable to the brand he or she represents. 

Status updates can result in potential new customers and clients. Blog posts can be turned into white papers. Time spent on Twitter can yield new findings, data, insights and connections that are ripe to be taken advantage of at an enterprise level.

8. Accountability

Those who are active on social media for business reasons are invariably those who are passionate about their jobs, careers and professions. They are bold, brave, outgoing and engaging, people who are blessed with the qualities associated with leaders, accountable to their respective roles and responsibilities. 

After all, like speakers, writers, artists, athletes, performers and entertainers, they’re putting their reputations on the line every time they share something with others. 

Their activities are both public and permanent, so they had better know what they’re doing or else they’re subject to criticism.

9. Networking

They don’t call it social media for nothing. The more active you are on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and the like, the more connections you’ll amass. 

Yes, those so-called “corporate all-stars” Steve Rubel referred to have legions of followers, people who can help not just themselves, but the brands they represent. 

Unless a corporate brand is a household name or a celebrity of some type, it takes a lot of time to build a large, engaged audience. Those with strong personal brands can help their employers get there more quickly by providing access to their own networks and triggering engagement among their constituencies.

10. Authenticity

Even if you are well-known for one reason or another, a corporate logo will only get you so far along the path to long-standing, mutually beneficial relationships with your audience members. The trust factor looms large on social media. 

That’s where a good personal brand enters the picture. Employers can draft behind their employee ambassadors in order to win over new followers and fans, people who will give them much more attention if only due to their confidence in their friends.

The bottom line is that it takes a village to come out ahead on social media. Both personal and corporate brands should take great pains to work together and to realize that we’re talking about a collaborative activity, not one that exists in a silo.

It pays for employers to not just activate their employees on these channels, but to join them in the conversation.
by  Bob Cargill, Director of Social Media at Overdrive Interactive

What the Geek Squad Can Teach You About Branding

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

As a small business, you've heard of branding and the role it plays in your identity and marketing. However, most small business owners are confused or overwhelmed by the concept of just what branding is... is it my logo?  my color scheme? my website? my tagline?

So, what is branding? According to Bill Chiaravalle, Principal and Creative Director of Brand Navigation, “brands are promises that consumers believe in.”  He simplifies the entire branding process down to the fact that if a company has done a good job branding themselves, the consumer will trust them and ultimately develop a strong emotional attachment to them.

So what can Geek Squad teach you? They know branding. They've embraced the full concept of customer confidence, loyalty and recognition through their amazing branding strategy.

The Geek Squad understands that branding covers every single aspect of business.  It’s never just about your website or business logo (although that’s part of it). Branding is about creating a feeling and a response in the minds of your clients and customers.

Here are 10 ways the Geek Squad can help you explore your own brand:

1. Company Name.
The name of your company is an integral part of the branding process. You need to ensure that your customers understand who you are and what your represent through your company name.  Obviously, the name “Geek Squad” speaks volumes.

2. Website.
Your website needs to offer your prospects a big picture look at your entire brand. Everything on your site should promote the promise that you are making to your clients and customers.

3. Mission Statement.
Your company mission statement should be a natural extension of your brand. The Geek Squad states, “We’re an army more than 18,000 strong, on a singular mission to rid the world of rogue technology. We’re still oddly dressed, but we’re now oddly dressed and saving the day across the globe.”  Brilliant.

4. Phone Tactics.
Yes, branding even entails how you answer the phone. Think about ways that you can integrate your brand and your business phone. The Geek Squad doesn’t just “answer the phone.” Instead you are prompted to enter your “top secret pass code” or speak to a Geek Squad Special Agent. The on-hold music consists of a compilation of spy movie theme songs.

5. Dress Code.
If you can incorporate your brand into the way that you or your employees dress, this will even add more believability to your brand. Of course, Geek Squad employees dress in white shirts, dress pants, “geeky” ties and yes, some even flaunt the pocket protector.

6. Tweets.
If you’re going to use Twitter as a marketing tool, make sure that you use it as a platform to develop powerful brand awareness regarding your small business.  @GeekSquad tweets daily tips on fixing your computer, removing spyware and other “geeky’ topics that their dedicated customer-base loves.

7. Blog.
One of the most important marketing tools for today’s small business is maintaining a blog. There is no better way to communicate directly with your prospects, customers and clients.  At the Geek Blog, the writers go into depth about geeky technology, geeky facts and geeky jokes.

8. Videos.
Have you heard about GeekSquad TV? That’s the ingenious Geek Squad videos that showcase the intelligence and utter geekiness of these likable employees. Again, their videos continue to drive home the fact that these guys know what they’re doing.

9. The Car You Drive.
If you are creative enough, branding can even be a part of the car you drive. Take a look at the “Geek Mobile,” a compact, little VW emblazoned with the Geek Squad logo. If that doesn’t create brand awareness, I don’t know what would!

10. Consistency.
One of the most crucial aspects of branding a small business is that you must be absolutely consistent. Every single interaction that your customers have must send the same message. You are ultimately creating experiences for your prospects, clients and customers that create trust and build emotional attachments to your company.

So, as you begin the task of building a brand that creates fierce and intense loyalty in your market area, don’t forget about the Geek Squad. They are branding masters.

Jessica Swanson is a Manta Marketing Expert