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How to Choose Authentic Photos for Content Marketing

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+ How to Choose Authentic Photos How using authentic, relevant imagery helps marketers grow faster. Micah Cohen Director of Growth, Twenty20 @miccohen Liz Bedor Content Marketing Strategist, NewsCred @lizbedor #ThinkContent


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Agenda •  Importance of authenticity •  What makes an authentic photo •  Difficult terms •  How to search for authentic photos •  Brands doing it right #ThinkContent @miccohen


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Authenticity is vital for your brand. #ThinkContent @miccohen


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Consumers buy from brands that feel authentic. It’s important for brands to: Communicate honestly Don’t let customers down Always act with integrity Have brand recognition Be more appealing/exciting than competitors Be popular among my peers 0 25 50 75 100 Buyer preferences, based on a survey of 12,000 across 12 markets | November 2014 #ThinkContent @miccohen


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Authenticity affects your bottom line. Several studies have shown that authenticity - real or perceived can directly affect sales. For example, a study from Cornell University showed that when menu items had geographically or culturally influenced names (i.e. traditional Cajun beans or Grandma’s chili) patrons ordered them more and said they tasted better. New York Times #ThinkContent @miccohen


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Photos are they way to express your authenticity. 1.8 billion photos are shared everyday on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, & WhatsApp. As the major method of judging info on the web and social media, photos are the way to express your authenticity. New York Times #ThinkContent @miccohen


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How to quickly spot authentic photos? •  •  •  Technical execution Trace of humanness Relatable #ThinkContent @miccohen


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1 Good technical execution Exposure Focus Composition The amount of light that enters the camera through the lens. How sharp or blurry the subject you are photographing is. Where in the frame of the photo you place your subject. #ThinkContent @miccohen


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We’ve all seen photographs that nail basic technique: Exposure? Check. Focus? Check. Composition? Check. (rule of thirds approved) #ThinkContent @miccohen


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But don’t obsess over quality. #ThinkContent @miccohen


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2 Tell a human story #ThinkContent @miccohen


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Just because a photo nails the technical component doesn’t mean it’s effective. #ThinkContent @miccohen


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What makes the difference? The human element.


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This photo is technically imperfect: Exposure? Overexposed on the face. Focus? Soft. Composition? A bit off. But emotionally? It feels authentic…like looking over at a friend sitting in a coffeeshop. #ThinkContent @miccohen


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Test: side by side comparison Which tells the most human story? A #ThinkContent B C @miccohen


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Trace of humanness Photos that connect to your customers’ lives always win. A #ThinkContent B C @miccohen


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3 Be relevant Photos must be relevant and relatable to your audience. #ThinkContent @miccohen


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Imagine your customer’s world. “Who is my audience?” Where do they live? What is around them? What products are familiar to them? What is the weather like there? #ThinkContent Playing a modified game of whodunit is the best way to learn the nuances of your consumers’ media consumption habits so that you can fit right in. @miccohen


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Targeting millennials? If so, you’d fail with this ad. Your consumers aren’t riding in taxis. They’re calling Uber & Lyft on their smartphones and renting rooms off Airbnb while Snapchatting their friends about what they just saw on Instagram. @miccohen


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Be relatable to your audience’s style. People crave consuming user-generated content on social media. Use real-world photos in your marketing •  Take photos of employees and activities around your office •  License authentic UGC from real-world photographers #ThinkContent @miccohen


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Key Takeaways An authentic photo should: •  Be technically good •  Have a trace of humanness •  Be relatable Micah Cohen Director of Growth, Twenty20 micah@twenty20.com #ThinkContent @miccohen


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Introducing NewsCred Content Software Strategy Liz Bedor Content Marketing Strategist, NewsCred liz.bedor@newscred.com #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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The Challenge Finding authentic photography is difficult •  The web is filled with terrible stock photos •  Finding authentic photography is time consuming •  It’s tough to think outside the box #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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For example… #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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Technology #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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The typical stock photo choice Futuristic Hands #ThinkContent Apps Emerging from Devices Glowing Earth @lizbedor


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Authentic options Vintage Technology #ThinkContent Abstract Technology Close Up @lizbedor


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Success #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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The typical stock photo choice Hands up holding trophy #ThinkContent Person on top of mountain Puzzles @lizbedor


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Authentic options Top Down/ Bird’s Eye View #ThinkContent Satirical Amazement / Awe @lizbedor


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Challenge #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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The typical stock photo choice Person in Front of Maze #ThinkContent Rock Climbing ‘Challenges Ahead’ Construction Sign @lizbedor


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Authentic options Tough Surfaces / Barricades #ThinkContent Narrow Pathway Stark Landscapes @lizbedor


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Career #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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The typical stock photo choice Thumbs Up Happy Employee #ThinkContent Arms Crossed Multiple People Surrounding One Computer @lizbedor


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Authentic options Flat Lay Supplies #ThinkContent Perspectives From Office Real Life Collaboration @lizbedor


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Health #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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The typical stock photo choice Stethoscope Close Up #ThinkContent Health Nut Yoga on the Beach @lizbedor


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Authentic options X-Ray #ThinkContent Crops of person exercising Remedies @lizbedor


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Tips for searching for authentic photos •  Use photography terms •  Think of the emotion you’re trying to evoke •  Be specific #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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1 Use real photography terms Low angle Defocused Motion Blur Silhouette Long Exposure Depth of Field Wide Angle Front View #ThinkContent Head and Shoulders Selective Focus @lizbedor


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“Flat lay brunch” #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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“Low angle view of wave” #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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“Silhouette of city skyline” #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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“Long exposure Port Melbourne” #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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2 Think of the emotion you’re trying to evoke #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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Sample Headline: 7 Essential Roles for a Successful Content Marketing Strategy Emotion to Evoke: Calm #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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The typical stock photo choice 7 Essential Roles for a Successful Content Marketing Strategy #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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Authentic option 7 Essential Roles for a Successful Content Marketing Strategy #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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Sample Headline: 7 Content Marketing Mistakes + How to Avoid Them Emotion to Evoke: Action #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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The typical stock photo choice 7 Common Content Marketing Mistakes + How to Avoid Them #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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Authentic option 7 Common Content Marketing Mistakes + How to Avoid Them #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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3 Be specific #ThinkContent @lizbedor


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Let’s say you need food images Instead of searching for “soup” #ThinkContent Try “clam chowder” @lizbedor


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Let’s say you need hairstyle images Instead of searching for “hairstyle” #ThinkContent Try “fishtail braid” @lizbedor


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Brands doing it right #ThinkContent


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Mom.Me mom.me #ThinkContent


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#ThinkContent


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#ThinkContent


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#ThinkContent


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Bloomberg for Enterprise bloomberg-datacap.cms.newscred.com #ThinkContent


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How to Structure an Outsourced IT Project for Less Risk, More Leverage #ThinkContent


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Banks Face Basel Push to Prepare for Higher Interest Rates #ThinkContent


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First Round Capital firstround.com/review #ThinkContent


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#ThinkContent


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#ThinkContent


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#ThinkContent


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+ Want to learn more? The Ultimate Guide to UGC newscred.com/theacademy #ThinkContent NewsCred Strategy Services strategy@newscred.com


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+ Thank you Micah Cohen Director of Growth, Twenty20 @miccohen Liz Bedor Content Marketing Strategist, NewsCred @lizbedor #ThinkContent


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