Blog

Great Resources for Free Stock Photos

stockI was driving on the highway the other day when I noticed a billboard with a friend of mine on it. Well, he wasn’t really a friend so much as a stock photo that had seen quite a bit of service over the years. I must confess that I had used that image myself once or twice.

If you’re a blogger or a designer, I’m sure you’ve run into this scenario: limited budget means using stock photography; using stock photography can mean relying on a stale pool of cheesy or over-used images.

Fortunately, the digital age is trending in a new direction. Recently there has been a proliferation of quality royalty-free sites springing up on the web. Costal Creative Reprographics has culled 17 such sites, all with free, high-quality stock photography.

Just a quick note on these sites–they fall into two categories: “really free” and “kinda free.” The really free sites are just that; you can download and use the images any way you want. The downside is that they tend to offer a more limited pool from which to draw, but if you’re willing to take the time to hunt around, you might just find that perfect image. The “kinda free” sites require you to add some form of attribution–be it in the form of a link or a line of text.

Here’s a sampling from Costal Repro’s listing:

  1. Unsplash
  2. Picography
  3. Snapographic
  4. Deathtothestockphoto
  5. Startupstockphotos

You can see all 17 sites and brief descriptions of each, as a well as a decent description of licensing requirements (scroll to the bottom of the page), here.

Happy hunting!

Michael Chuchvara, our team’s graphic designer, is our creative genius, designing eye-catching flyers, inserts, and e-blasts.

Posted in Advertising Tips


How Well Are You Connecting with Millennials?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials now make up the largest share of the U.S. population, at 28.7 percent. A Brookings Institution analysis states that by 2020, one in three adults will be a millennial. And millennials currently account for more than $1 trillion in U.S. consumer spending.

So how can brands best connect with this generation? NewsCred’s recent study, The Millennial Mind: How Content Drives Brand Loyalty, sought to find the key to millennials’ hearts, minds, and wallets. The results showed that 62% of millennials feel that content makes them feel more connected and loyal to a brand. The problem? Only 32% find today’s brand communications helpful.

So what can you do to make sure you’re leveraging your content to successfully reach this generation? According to this blog post, 10 Proven Ways for Brands to Connect with Millennials, employ these tactics:

  1. Tailor content to individuals’ unique cultural interests
  2. Make sure content is useful or helpful towards solving everyday problems of millennials
  3. Avoid being sales-y or self-promotional
  4. Keep it short
  5. Aim to be thought-provoking and intelligent
  6. Be funny
  7. Be authentic
  8. Don’t bank on virality or social endorsements alone
  9. Ensure personalization by price point, location, race, etc.
  10. Deploy formats that are easy to digest and share

And what shouldn’t you do? Check out NewsCred’s infographic on the seven reasons why content fails to resonate with millennials:

newscred_millennials_content

Posted in Advertising Tips, Content Marketing


Why You Should Consider Video Advertising

videoIn the article “The 4 Digital Advertising Trends That Are Reshaping Advertising” for Entrepreneur magazine, writer and CEO of engage:BDR Ted Dhanik spells out the importance of video marketing–most importantly, how to cultivate video consumption on handheld devices. He points out that 30 percent of all online videos are played on smart phones and tablets, and that with the rise of the phone/tablet hybrid–the “phablet”–we can expect that number to continue to climb.

Video might now be one of the most lucrative ways to advertise, as smartphones are becoming a way to avoid more traditional advertising. Dhanik explains: “When TV commercials begin, people look down at their phones. On the bus or subway, people focus on their digital screens instead of the ads passing by in the cityscape. When radio ads begin, people change the station. However, when people are already looking at their smartphone, nothing is going to distract them.” Digital Sherpa reports that “80 percent of online visitors will watch a video in its entirety, while only 20 percent will read content in its entirety,” while “80 percent of Internet users recall the video ads they see online.”

The article includes lots of other helpful tips, such as developing “native advertising” and looking at viewable impressions and behavioral data.Read more here and consider how these trends could shape your advertising strategy.

Kirsten Privett is our email operation ringmaster, who oversees all house Newsletter and Eblast production.

Posted in Advertising Tips, Online Advertising, Video


Nonprofit Marketing Trends for 2015

What is your number one priority in 2015? In today’s fast-paced society, marketing tactics and communications channels are constantly changing. Quickly identifying areas of growth and adapting to new technology are essential to success.

The fifth annual Nonprofit Communication Trends Report sheds light on current nonprofit marketing strategies, failures from 2014, and upcoming plans and challenges in 2015. The report gives an excellent baseline to the norms for nonprofit communications in 2015.

Expect many nonprofit marketers to increase the frequency of email and print marketing efforts. Another key shift in 2015 is making donor retention a higher priority than new donor acquisition.

Some of the biggest challenges facing nonprofit marketers are: lack of time to produce quality content, lack of budget for direct expenses, and the inability to measure effectiveness.

Communication and Marketing at your average nonprofit in 2015 include:

  • “Engaging Our Community” as a top priority.
  • Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the most important media sites.
  • Email newsletters and email appeals are both sent monthly.
  • Direct Mail appeals are sent twice a year, print newsletters are sent quarterly (if at all).

The full report is available online at NonprofitMarketingGuide.com

16205853026_7109691047_k

 

Serving as a Marketing Analyst, Josh Wood whips our team into shape with his eye for strategy and trends. He also has over 20,000 Twitter followers.

Posted in Advertising Tips, Email Marketing, Online Advertising, Print Advertising, Social Media


Maximizing Social Media Sharing

What is a better advertisement than the recommendation of a friend? When someone who knows me well endorses a product, or suggests I check out an article or a website, I will almost definitely take a second look. Social media is where most of this kind of sharing takes place these days, so it’s important that you are considering how to maximize your word-of-mouth marketing by encouraging your customers to share their positive experiences on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, and anywhere else their friends are listening.

Social Media Link recently completed the 2014 Social Media Recommendation Index, an annual survey of 24,000 active users of social media that studies how consumer recommendations and social networks impact purchase decisions. The results showed that Facebook and Instagram were the most popular platforms for sharing purchases, and that trust in recommendations made on Pinterest grew by 12 percent in the past year. Consumers also overwhelmingly said they did not mind if the reviewer had received free products in exchange for the review—88 percent of respondents said they trusted such a review, especially if it came from a friend or family member.

The infographic below details more of the study’s findings and takeaways that can help your brand develop strongMaxer sharing strategies through every stage of the purchase process.


Social_Recommendations_Index_Infographic_2014 (2)

For more on the study, go here.

 

Laura Leonard is an associate editor, managing this blog as well as BuildingChurchLeaders.com, IgniteYourFaith.com, ChristianCollegeGuide.net, and SeminaryGradSchool.com. 

Posted in Online Advertising, Social Media


Page 1 of 2512345...1020...Last »