Visual Marketing Blog

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VMR 001 - Creating a visual marketing audit

Nancy was annoyed.

As the editor of a prestigious nonprofit magazine, she regularly received submissions from aspiring authors. They arrive in all stages of completion, and Nancy usually fixed them with a word of encouragement and a smile. But not today.

"Do you have any problems with the visuals you receive from authors," I asked.

"Oh my goodness, yes. I wish someone would teach these writers what kind of images I need," she said. "Actually, most times I get no visuals at all. When I do get them, they are usually tiny photos that they pulled out of a Powerpoint slide. I can't use that!"

I understood her frustration. Back when I was an editor, I experiences many of the same challenges. Articles submitted by intelligent professionals with thoughtful things to say often never saw the light of day. Why? Because they lacked visuals.

Not much has changed. Many marketers don't get the result they seek because they lack the visual illustrations that attract readers. What about you? Is success eluding your marketing efforts because your visuals aren't cutting through the clutter and reaching your target audience?

This first episode of #VisualMarketing radio steps you through 11 areas you can use visuals to improve the impact of your marketing.

 
 

How does your marketing stack up? Download your checklist, and see where you need improvement.

Download your checklist.

Download your checklist.

 

Don't miss the next episode.

 
004 - How to create a Social Media News Release

My notes

The normal news release

  • The news is presented in narrative form. Write the news release as the reporter would write the story.
  • Editor can lift the story and run it ‘as is’.
  • Use the inverted pyramid, so the editor can cut the story anywhere and still get the essential news.
  • You can include other assets -- photos & videos -- as extras.

Enter the Social Media News Release

  • In 2006, Shift Communications introduced the Social Media News Release template
  • PR professionals loved the concept, but you didn’t see it in practice much.
  • We could see the value, but you had to build it.
  • Today it is much easier to create.
  • Now it is more about organizing existing assets than building the SMNR from scratch

Now is a good time for organizations with news to use SMNR

  • If you don’t have "Washington Post" news value - traditional news releases can go straight to consumer.
  • You don’t need the media to get out your story (Google alerts).
  • David Meerman Scott articulated this well in The New Rules of Marketing & PR.

If you are trying to attract journalists, the SMNR can be helpful

  • Reporters don’t want to re-run your stories.
  • The format makes it easy for reporters to personalize and report the news.
  • Your SMNR presents all the elements for reporters to create a multimedia story.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Easy to share.

Call to Action

  • Make a list of all the multimedia elements you can create for your next news release.
  • Establish your Social Media News Release platform.

Encouragement

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate. - Steven Pressfield

LISTEN ON DEMAND

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CONNECT & CONTRIBUTE

I'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about branding with photography or a topic you would like me to address on an upcoming episode, email me.

Are you taking smart pictures to communicate your business or organization? Share them with me. Tweet them or post them on Instagram with the hashtag #smartpictures. I'd love to feature examples of your great work.

Was any of this helpful? Please take a minute to rate the podcast on iTunes. A brief review helps me share with other professionals just like you.

 

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003 - Creating an in-store photo policy
photopolicy.jpg

I have been tossed out of more stores than I care to admit because they noticed I was carrying a suspicious and pernicious device. A device so controversial that I was forced to choose -- to stay in the store or to put away this controversial thing -- my camera. Now...as a store that is your right. But is it your policy? That's where things always get murky. Let's talk about having a photo policy, what should it contain, and how you enforce it. 

Focal points

Why do you need a policy?

  • So you enforce either denying or allowing photography consistently
  • So you encourage or discourage a desired action
  • So employees know what to do
  • So your staff can explain your decision to customers

Should you allow in-store photographs?

Flickr photo by George Thomas.

Flickr photo by George Thomas.

  • Would it create a security issue?
  • Does it create a problem with the way your business will be represented?
  • Does it create a safety issue?
  • Is there the potential of infringing on your intellectual property rights?
  • Would it violate a reasonable expectation of privacy?

Why would you? 

  • Make it a business objective, marketing or sales strategy.
  • Helps you build a community.
  • Harness the photo sharing that already occurs.
  • Promote your best customers & give them the opportunity to share the love.
  • Improve your SEO and link backs.
  • Feed your Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest sites.
  • Market research on what customers like best.

What elements should your policy include?

  • Is photography allowed?
  • Under what conditions?
  • If yes, how do we encourage you to use them?
  • If no, why not?
  • When might permission be revoked and by whom?
  • What happens if you refuse to comply? (With an employee or another customer?)
  • Who is the enforcing authority on site?
  • What is the appeals/complaints process?
  • What equipment does it cover?

Other issues

  • You can manage the process by creating areas favorable to photography -- better light and presentation opportunities.
  • What is your flash photography policy? 
  • Advertise your photo op policy and preferred locations in store - "We smile for photographs"
  • Don't tell them what to photograph. Many photographers don't want to be a part of your propaganda machine. They shoot what they want.
  • Can you re-use photos with permission?
  • How does the policy differ for professional photographers?
Flickr photo by Viewminder.

Flickr photo by Viewminder.

Call to action

Do you need a photo policy? Use the questions above to begin the conversation and a first draft. Let me know what you create.

Encouragement 

What are the two things more important to your success than natural talent? Decisions and effort.

Links

Flickr discussion: Help us define Starbucks in-store photo policy

New York Times: Restaurants turn camera shy

Busboys and Poets: Media FAQs

Listen on demand

Subscribe using iTunes
Follow with your RSS reader
Listen on Stitcher

CONNECT & CONTRIBUTE

I'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about branding with photography or a topic you would like me to address on an upcoming episode, email me.

Are you taking smart pictures to communicate your business or organization? Share them with me. Tweet them or post them on Instagram with the hashtag #smartpictures. I'd love to feature examples of your great work.

Was any of this helpful? Please take a minute to rate the podcast on iTunes. A brief review helps me share with other professionals just like you.

 

Get more great advice like this delivered to your inbox. Subscribe now.

002 - Creating a trend story
trendstory.jpg

I was driving down the street when I saw the words "Est. 1913" on the side of a building.

"They've been in business 100 years. That's so cool," I thought. "I wonder how they are celebrating?"

whatsthestory.jpg

A quick Google search of the business turned up -- nothing. No celebration. No story about their history. No profile on the founder. Nothing.

What a lost opportunity. This is where a trend story can be a great tool.

Trend stories are easy to create and provide an easy way for your clients to connect with you and follow you over time. Here's the good news. You don't have to wait 100 years.

Listen as I discuss more on trend stories and how you can create them for your business or organization.

Links

My business bio features a photo of my Dad's first self portrait when he was 15.

The encouragement segment was inspired by a portion of Marianne Williamson's famous poem, "Our Deepest Fear."

CONNECT & CONTRIBUTE

I'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about branding with photography or a topic you would like me to address on an upcoming episode, email me.

Are you taking smart pictures to communicate your business or organization? Share them with me. Tweet them or post them on Instagram with the hashtag #smartpictures. I'd love to feature examples of your great work.

Was any of this helpful? Please take a minute to rate the podcast on iTunes. A brief review helps me share with other professionals just like you.

 

Get more great advice like this delivered to your inbox. Subscribe now.

001 - The missing ingredient in your content marketing
book-nopics-title.jpg
The wisdom of an 8 year old might help you connect better with your audiences.

Episode 001 uncovers the missing ingredient in many communications or content marketing strategies. Why won't your customers read... or click... or engage? The answer is so simple, it came from my 8 year old.

What you will learn

  • What is the one ingredient most content marketing "gurus" are leaving out of their recipes for your success?
  • I'll share some hard facts on why you don't want to continue making that mistake.
  • I'll offer a three-step strategy you can begin using to help you create products that attract and engage more readers.
Use colorful illustrations to attract more readers. It's as easy as C C C. (You'll get it in the podcast.) :-)

Use colorful illustrations to attract more readers. It's as easy as C C C. (You'll get it in the podcast.) :-)

You can find the backup articles for the statistics I cited on my Pinterest board, Photos Work.

Connect & Contribute

I'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about branding with photography or a topic you would like me to address on an upcoming episode, email me.

Are you taking smart pictures to communicate your business or organization? Share them with me. Tweet them or post them on Instagram with the hashtag #smartpictures. I'd love to feature examples of your great work.

Was any of this helpful? Please take a minute to rate the podcast on iTunes. A brief review helps me share with other professionals just like you.

 

Get more great advice like this delivered to your inbox. Subscribe now.

000 - About Smart Pictures Sell - my Shark Tank story
I'm a big fan of the ABC show, Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs seek funding from celebrity investors. The business owners' stories always begin with the pain that inspired their inventions. This is my shark tank-inspired story.

I'm a big fan of the ABC show, Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs seek funding from celebrity investors. The business owners' stories always begin with the pain that inspired their inventions. This is my shark tank-inspired story.

You really don't need to listen to another podcast. I get it.

SSP-podcast-600.jpg

Here's something you might not know: You can increase the likelihood that your customer will read your release tenfold and stay on your pages three times as long by adding one thing -- pictures. 

Sounds simple? Maybe. The thing is..not just any pictures will get people to consume your ideas and take the actions you ask.

Do you know how to use pictures in your existing communications strategy to help you get even better results? That's why I created this podcast. We will look at the intersection of communication and smart photography.

Now this is starting to feel an awful lot like a Shark Tank story to me. Listen to this pre-podcast to see what I mean.