Did you see that?
These are the stories that caught our attention this month – from digital marketing trends in the tourism industry to tips for catching millennials’ attention.
Scroll through to get our take and check out the quotes that grabbed us.
Click the links to follow a rabbit hole of interesting reads.
5 Tips for Choosing Images That’ll Make Your Content Engagement Skyrocket
By Ellen Desmarais
A report by CMO Council and Libris found that 65 percent of senior marketers say visual assets are core to their brand communications strategies. But what surprised Ellen Desmarais was that 35 percent did not indicate that visuals are core to how their brand story is communicated. In today’s visual age, it is widely understood among marketers that visuals are key to sharing your message.
So what’s holding that 35 percent back? The report found that many teams produce content in silos, rather than sharing resources (like visual assets). Desmarais makes the point marketers are struggling to keep up with the demand for visual content because of a lack of fluency in this new visual language.
To me, that missing 35 percent gets at an important idea: Many marketers still don’t know how to use visual content effectively. After all, many editors and marketers lack design training. We aren’t always comfortable choosing images, treating the task like a chore that we just have to grit through during the publishing process.
To inspire marketers who might need a little help honing their visual content skills, Desmarais put together five tips from visual content editors for choosing the right images for your content. They range from “don’t forget the people” to “match your mood,” which she demonstrated with this great Instagram post from Huckberry, a retailer and magazine for men, with a mission to “inspire more active, adventurous, and stylish lives:”
Visual Proof in Content Marketing: Why You’ve Never Heard of the Real First Person to Fly
By Scott Aughtmon
Visual content marketing is an increasingly important way for brands to drive engagement, but Scott Aughtmon argues it’s crucial for a completely different reason: visual proof. Aughtmon uses the story of Gustave Whitehead, who claimed to have flown two years before the Wright brothers, to explain the value of images in proving your message. For example, I could write marketing copy that says “It’s easy to add a homepage image to your Libris portal.” Better yet, I could have a quote from a happy Libris customer that shares that message. But if I share a gif of the simple process, you have visual proof.
Aughtmon explains that while convincing copy and testimonies from peers are important, they can only go so far, and an image can help your brand “seal the deal.”
Well, as you and your team work to create visual content marketing and use more images within your overall content, never forget that it’s not just a way to increase your engagement.
If you use the right visuals in your content, then it will also increase its influence.
Harnessing The Power Of Social Influencers Is The Way Into Millennial Wallets
By Jeff Urban
Brands are scrambling to capture the attention (and the disposable income) of millennials, and Jeff Urban says the way to do that is to partner with social influencers. YouTube celebrities, Instagram personalities and Vine stars have the power to shift your brand’s reputation in the eyes of millennials from a faceless company to a friend of a friend.
Social influencers are bridging the gap between traditional advertising and a recommendation from a close friend. Harnessing the power of social influencers is an excellent way to speak to millennials in an authentic way, especially if a brand or advertiser wants to reach a targeted, passionate fan base that will be more likely to engage with their product than through a mass campaign.
To illustrate his point, Urban shares the story of how Madewell partnered with social influencers to celebrate the anniversary of the brand’s classic tote bag. As popular lifestyle Instagrammers like Bethany Marie shared their #totewell tributes, Madewell encouraged fans to do the same. The hashtag has more than 10,000 posts, demonstrating that partnering with social influencers gives your brand authenticity and drives engagement.
An Inside Look at IHOP’s Social Media War Room on National Pancake Day: Tweets on fleek
By Katie Richards
Plenty of brands set up social media war rooms for the Super Bowl, the Oscars, etc., but iHop had one for National Pancake Day, and Katie Richards had a backstage pass.
A big part of the day includes monitoring trends that develop on social media and creating real-time content that reflects those comments. Whether it’s targeting millennials with a joke about Drake’s billboards for his album, or simply creating memes that younger fans will want to share (or retweet nearly 5,000 times), the goal is to connect with followers, 50 percent of whom are under 34 years old.
— IHOP (@IHOP) March 8, 2016
Every brand has its moment. Your fans might rally around a product launch, graduation day or a big game. Whatever it is, it’s important to make sure your team has easy access to a strong image library, so they can pull visual assets and create engaging content quickly.
How Digital Content Has Reshaped the Way We Tell Stories
By Lauren Sozio
In How Digital Content Has Reshaped the Way We Tell Stories, Lauren Sozio predicts how digital asset management (DAM) will empower content marketing in our increasingly visual, digital world.
As the number of publishers in content marketing continues to grow, more content will need to be indexed. The task is no longer about pure content production. It’s about sorting, finding commonalities, and building recommendation engines that make sure relevant content bubbles to the top. And that’s where a DAM comes in.
Sozio highlights how content is no longer static – it is flexible and ever-changing. Unlike with print, you can update a piece that lives online with new information, new photos and videos. And those photos and videos – those digital assets – can take on a life of their own, and be reused in new contexts in the future. Sozio argues that using DAM and maintaining metadata will help creators build on an archive and produce something new. Consider, for example, the ability to quickly locate and access archive B-roll to use in a new ad campaign. If you can leverage existing content for a new purpose, your team will work efficiently, cut costs, and see a higher return on your visual assets.
Infographic: The 16 Hottest Travel Marketing Trends of 2016
Contently: The Content Strategist
By Nicole Dieker
A Best Western in Denver regularly shares dinosaur photos like this one on its Facebook, and fans love it – more than 86,000 people follow the page.
Nicole Dieker uses the story of the Best Western Denver, also known as “The Dino Hotel,” to illustrate new research from NetAffinity, which ranks content marketing and relationship marketing as the top trends in hotel marketing for 2016. That means engaging visual content and social media are the future.
Anyone can provide basic details on rates and availability, but the smartest hotels are promoting themselves with mobile content, video, personalized emails, and, in rare cases, dinosaurs. The content is only going to get better, by the way.
One of the standout points in NetAffinity’s infographic is “video everywhere.” As brands in the travel industry increasingly focus on visual communication, teams must have solid strategies for visual storytelling across platforms.
Facebook Adds Boarding Passes to Messenger and More Digital Marketing News This Week
By Jeremy Kressman
Digital marketing is a hot topic for travel brands, from destination marketing organizations to hotels to tour operators. Each week, Jeremy Kressman rounds up the top stories on digital marketing in the tourism industry for Skift.
His most recent post featured our study with ATTA, Trends and Challenges with Visual Communication in Adventure Travel, as well as a fantastic interview with Royal Caribbean’s Chief Marketing Officer.
Royal Caribbean is one of a number of brands in the cruise industry in the midst of a major overhaul of their product offering and marketing strategy. A recent interview with Jim Berra, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, provides some additional insight into how one of the industry’s most well-known brands is adapting its approach to address changing travel tastes and new demographics.
Royal Caribbean made waves late last year with the Periscope campaign #ComeSeekLive, where travelers shared their adventures through a live feed from one of Royal Caribbean’s ships.
Expedia and St. Jude Bring The World To Hospital-Bound Children
By Gabe Zaldivar
Expedia and St. Jude are teaming up to send children on virtual journeys around the world using cutting edge technology.
Expedia’s team traveled to Argentina, Miami and Mexico to bring a bit of adventure to young people who aren’t able to traverse the globe as easily as healthy travelers.
And, as a press release notes, the innovation was a historic one: “This was the first time 360° filming, projection mapping and live streaming technology were used together.”
Gabe Zaldivar breaks down this campaign’s incredible video series, which includes behind-the-scenes interviews and stories of the children who got to travel thanks to this magical project.
Grab a tissue, and check out all the videos here.
In Case You Missed It
Here on the Libris blog, we’ve shared tips for video marketing from daily news reporting, best practices for setting up your brand’s visual media library, a case study on how to beat the smart phone cameras to social media and more!