Does Your Brand Need A Boost?

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Photo courtesy of batteriesandbutter.com 

This morning, on a chilly Winter day in Calgary, I went outside to start my vehicle only to find out that my battery was in need of a boost. You’ve no doubt been in this situation before and understand that it can make for a rather frantic start to your day. 😱

So, as one does, I waited an hour for a tow truck to arrive so my vehicle could receive a much-needed boost. It was an unforeseen expense and made me extremely (and embarrassingly) late for work. Perhaps if I would have been more diligent and had inspected my battery before the temperature dropped, I would have not been in this predicament.

So what does this have to do with branding, you might ask? Well, your brand is a lot like the battery in a vehicle, and a digital brand management service is the boost it needs to start running at the very moment you need it. Try to manage your brand logos, photos and videos without one, and you might just get stranded at a moment when you really need to respond quickly.

Being able to find and deliver your files in the right format at a moment’s notice is important. Here’s how CleanPix works: your assets are displayed in galleries for staff, press, the public to see. You choose who sees your files, based on the permission levels you set. A user will request access to specific files and you will be sent a notification asking you to approve or decline the request.

Once you approve the request, users will receive a unique link with access to the files you released. If you don’t approve the request, they don’t have access. It’s as simple and quick as that.

Being prepared for whatever comes your way is the key to your brand’s success. Take a 14-day trial account for a test drive and find out for yourself how it can be the jump-start your brand needs to respond quickly when the temperature suddenly drops on your organization. But take it from us: you won’t need a full 14-days to find out how CleanPix can boost your brand, because you’ll be up and running in anywhere from a couple minutes to a couple hours, depending on the size of your brand file library.

I learned my lesson today. Don’t wait for your brand to freeze over and learn that same lesson the hard way.

 

Graphic Design Trends For 2016 & Beyond – Part II

Our friends at Coastal Creative passed along this excellent infographic today, so we’re sharing it with you as a part II to our original article on graphic design trends in 2016. This is a great piece to print off and post on your office wall or in a communal space for your entire marketing team to see.

In both graphic design and in marketing, what we’re seeing is a continued foray into simple messaging that is very personal to the audience it is geared towards. The entire nature of the marketing industry is shifting quickly thanks to the rise in prominence of ad blockers and in the changing behaviour of  consumers, who are more intelligent than ever.

The next year will likely see native influencer marketing reach new heights, as marketers  look to create real engagement as opposed to reach. Twitter, Instagram and YouTube users may have been the key influencers sought after in 2015 (and will continue to be in the coming year), but users on Periscope and Snapchat will likely see increased influencer status as they promote real-time engagement of user-generated content.

Graphic design has to be equally as intelligent as the messaging it supports and speak to the product experience while creating a personal connection. It’s a fine line to balance, and one we’ll all aiming for as we strive for increased digital relevance in the coming year.

Take a look at Coastal Creative’s excellent design trends 2016 infographic here:

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A Year In Review & Looking Forward To 2016

 

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2015 has been a year of great change for many people.

It seems that more than ever, information and stories are thrown at us at a breakneck pace. As fast as news emerges, businesses have to be prepared to react at the drop of a hat. CleanPix is proud to partner with you and your team to take control and grow your brand exposure, thanks to your ongoing feedback.

This past year, we made several key improvements to the CleanPix service to enhance the value of the service:
• Default messages can be saved as an account preference for use with the media request approval system
• Active feedback for outgoing messages from CleanPix when an issue with email deliverability has been detected
• Introduction of custom metadata and fields
• Introduction of dedicated Author/Credit contact pages
• General improvements to category creation and for the category editor
• Public URLs can be customized so that they point to a specific category by default
• Ongoing improvements to overall usability and other adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience

In the coming year, we will continue to evolve the CleanPix service with you in mind.

We’re wishing you a wonderful holiday season and we look forward to being a part of your success in 2016.

Why Your Pressroom Is Your Greatest Asset

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Your digital pressroom is one of the most important components of your online presence, but most organizations seem to treat it as an afterthought. When building your online pressroom, there should be two main considerations made:

  1. Is it easy for the press to see what’s available so they can make informed decisions on what they request?
  2. Is this website simple for the media to navigate?

Your company spends a great deal of money getting your name in front of the press, so it’s vital to remove all unnecessary roadblocks in the way of getting your files in front of journalists. Media personnel live in a world defined by deadlines, and they’re often rushing to get a story out the door, so don’t make their job more difficult than it has to be with a confusing pressroom.

When you have a gallery of media you need to protect, you don’t need to ask them to register for an account and password before they can even see previews of your best photos. CleanPix is designed so that the media are able to see what you have available without them being able to download anything until after your approval. Just think, you can be confident with each request coming in that they are extremely interested in your content!

It’s important to start by making it easy for the media to find, for example: yourcompanywebsite.com/pressroom. It’s also a best practice to post your press release in both text and PDF formats. This is great for SEO and for the overall experience you’ll provide to users. Your pressroom should also include an abundance of rich media material for press use, including logos, product images and pre-created social media graphics. These should be available in both print and web versions. A benefit of using CleanPix comes in here, as the service automatically converts your image file into a number of different media types, including jpeg, tiff and png.

If available, upload any video or audio material to your pressroom. In today’s digital age, engaging content is a requirement in order to get noticed – so make sure that you press room is stacked with content, videos, photos, logos, audio, video, etc. that press can include in their story.

When your pressroom is complete, it’s also helpful if you keep a page of recent press coverage on your website. Writers and journalists like to ensure they are not writing the same story as another publication, so they will want to reference previously written articles about your organization.

Take a look at a few CleanPix created digital pressrooms for yourself to see the above tips in action.

Memphis Travel

Post Hotel

Explore Squamish

Client Spotlight: Florida’s Historic Coast

 

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Image courtesy of FloridasHistoricCoast.com

“This system is our prefered method of delivering image access to requesting media. I love the fact tools that allow me to categorize images by subject matter and track where the images are being downloaded. And with the new platform developed this year, it has become our prefered method of delivering B-roll to broadcast outlets.”

– Barbara Golden , Communications Manager at Florida’s Historic Coast


 

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Florida’s Historic Coast –  St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches – celebrated its 450th anniversary in September 2015. As the nation’s oldest continuously occupied European settlement, St. Augustine has a rich history. But there’s also plenty that’s new on Florida’s Historic Coast. For more information, visit FloridasHistoricCoast.com

Ad Blockers Are The New Napster

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Photo courtesy of TechCrunch.com

As 2015 draws to a close, one of the most miraculous shifts to take a look at this past year has been the rise of ad blockers, and the massive blow they deal to the marketing industry. Most sites rely on these pesky ad boxes to generate their revenue, and without them, are largely unprofitable.

I’m going to be quite blunt: ad blockers are the new Napster. We all know that it is wrong to illegally download music and videos online. But what about “stealing” other content, such as articles? Make no mistake: when you’re using ad blockers, you are actually stealing content from publishers, who have spent countless hours researching and then writing and re-writing that content. Many publishers are reporting as much as 50% declines in revenue this past year, thanks to the use of ad blocking software.

But on the same token, I am empathetic to the average consumer. These ads are often intrusive and can be incredibly annoying, sometimes making it impossible to even visit a website thanks to all of the re-directs, automatic downloads and pop ups. Clearly, there is a reason consumers are using ad blockers, so we must adapt in this changing digital landscape.

The time to innovate is now. Ad blocking software has caused the entire industry to re-think the way we reach audiences and connect in a more organic way. This is where native advertising enters the conversation. If your marketing strategy is still focused on garnering clicks and impressions from big box ads on websites: stop. You’re likely missing a large portion of your demographic and wasting your marketing budget.

Native digital advertising is the place to put your money. This advertising content appears as editorial rather than paid advertising, some might believe this to be slightly deceptive. I’ll leave that for your to decide for yourself. There are a few options you have to consider when planning your marketing strategy:

  • Online publication advertorials / influencer blogger promotion
  • Video advertorials
  • Sponsored content
  • Instagram influencer advertorial (just about every photo on Andrea Denver’s Instagram is a product plug)
  • Publication takeover / full website takeover
  • Product placement (as performed masterfully in Hilary Duff’s latest music video)
  • Podcast sponsorship (anybody remember those MailChimp ads on Serial?)
  • Sponsored Facebook posts, Instagram photos and promoted tweets (in my experience, it can be very difficult to see actual ROI from these, depending on your product or service)

Ad blocking is here to stay, and no publisher can afford to be complacent. Reaching millennials has become more difficult than ever. This group is  digitally savvy, does not watch traditional television and according to Moz.com, 63% of them admit to using ad blockers.

But the bottom line in the ad block saga is this: your content has to be organic, authentic, and shouldn’t feel like an advertisement. So what are you going to do that will make your customers want to turn their ad blockers off?