Five Hacks To Produce High Quality, Low-Cost Facebook Creative Today

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In recent years, one of the most consistent concerns of both existing and prospective clients has been, “how can we generate more high-quality creative quickly and affordably?”

With Facebook favoring video in the newsfeed and Instagram’s rollout of Stories, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and assume regularly producing high-quality creative requires a dedicated design and videography team.

That’s simply not true. From my experience working with many emerging e-commerce leaders, you can achieve your goals — whether they’re increasing engagement, greater click-through rates, or lower cost per acquisition– by following the five strategies below. I’ve seen these strategies used over and over to achieve great results without breaking the bank.

1. Create High-Quality (Not Overproduced) Content

One of the biggest misconceptions of Facebook advertising is that every piece of creative needs to look like it was made by a professional photographer or Hollywood filmmaker. More often than not, creative that looks user-generated will outperform its more polished counterparts. When an ad is overproduced, it can create “banner blindness.” Fast-scrolling thumbs won’t slow down to look at something if it looks too much like an ad. On Facebook and Instagram, ads that look like a photo or video from a friend are more likely to catch a prospect’s attention.

2. Use The Boomerang App

Boomerang from Instagram allows you to create captivating mini videos that play forward-then-backward, creating a neat, GIF-like video loop. These videos are fun, eye-catching and, most importantly, only take a second to produce. Boomerang videos do not include audio, which makes them great for mobile.

One of our clients, Brooklinen, has done a great job using Boomerang in its Facebook Ads. The bedding company created boomerangs of people jumping into bed, putting on a luxe duvet cover, etc. These eye-catching ads increased click-through rates, which in turn created lower cost-per-click and overall lower cost-per-acquisition of new customers. Customers have also responded positively, leaving comments on the ads describing the fun and quirky format.

3. Repurpose Online Reviews

Many online retailers would be surprised to see how many customers have created “unboxing” videos and uploaded them to YouTube. Unboxing is the unpacking of new products, especially consumer products, where the process is captured on video and uploaded to the internet. According to Think With Google, “unboxing fuels anticipation and provides useful product information.”

Many people think that unboxing videos are just for tech gadgets – not true. This same Google publication reports that “Food and drink, fashion and style and mobile phone unboxing videos have seen 42%, 90%, and 200% growth in popularity, respectively.”

Combining user-generated content with useful, relevant product information is a proven winner. Be sure to always reach out to the creator first for permission to use their content.

4. Crowdsource Creative

User-generated content, or user-created content, is any form of content created by customers or end users. UGC most often appears as supplementary to online platforms such as social media websites and may include such content types as blog posts, photos, videos or reviews. Many emerging brands are using UGC in their advertising campaigns as it speaks in the voice of the customer and is highly relatable.

According to the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Internet Trends 2017 Report, “Effective UGC can create 6.9x higher engagement than brand generated content on Facebook.”

Many successful brands have leveraged contests to generate more UGC, including one of our clients, MVMT Watches. The MVMT team holds a monthly contest where customers upload photos of their purchase to Instagram using a specific hashtag that enters them into the contest. This contest has generated thousands of pieces of high-quality content that are used in future advertising campaigns. It works because MVMT customers are highly engaged with the visual brand and want to help build the brand, thus creating more customer loyalty and further building brand identity.

Just remember to have clear rules and rights to ownership of content produced.

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

5. Use Snapchat Lenses

If your goal is to reach millennials, pay extra attention to this. According to a TechRadar writer, “Snapchat lenses are augmented reality filters – you’ll typically find these on the selfie camera, but some are available on the rear-facing camera – within the SnapChat app … use these to make your face look like a dog or give yourself a strange hairstyle.” These are fun, social and highly recognizable, which gives your brand familiarity.

These short videos can easily be repurposed and used for Facebook advertising. Another plus: They’re vertical (mobile-first format), which generates a full-screen experience on mobile.

These five tips alone will not create winning advertising campaigns, but they certainly can help take the headache out of creating content. With strong technical knowledge of Facebook advertising and consistent testing, you should be able to easily identify and source the creative that works best for your online brand.

[“Source-forbes”]

Is the Flyboard Air Real or Just A High Flying Stunt?

A new product has been sweeping the web since early April – and most aren’t even sure if it’s 100% legit.

Zapata Racing, a French company, announced on April 8 that it has “achieved the dream of all men” in creating an alien-like hover board, which they have dubbed the ZR Flyboard Air. The hover board claims to be the result of four years of hard work and planning.

The Flyboard Air

A video surfaced online earlier this month of the UFO-shaped device, titled “Flyboard Air Test 1:”

The video begins with a man suited up, speaking confidently to the camera, before he dramatically lowers his visor and takes off on the small platform. At the end of the video, it’s claimed that the board reached 55 km/h and flew for nearly four minutes.

Since this initial video, the Internet has been abuzz with excitement.

flyboard air hover board

Unlike the hover board that got the Internet talking back in October (the Hendo), which used magnets to ‘float’ above specially coated floors, this model allows complete freedom of movement. It even boasts on the product page that the Flyboard Air will have a top speed of nearly 93 mph and elevate riders up to 10,000 ft.

If this is true, that means this personal hover board will move faster than even the fastest unmanned drones, which top out around 80 mph for comparable-sized machines. A lack of detail on the design, control, and a questionably edited promo video, have started to raise some red flags, however.

flyboard air hover board

The company’s site currently doesn’t have a purchase or preorder option for the hover board, and the sudden appearance and big talk has some people appropriately skeptical. For the time being, the claim is that they are “pending government approval” before going forward with mass distribution. There’s also an offer to explore their other ‘jetpack’ options made for flying over water.

These suspect viral videos are peppered with plenty of theories regarding the validity of this hover board, making it clear that whether they think it’s true or a hoax – the Flyboard Air has people talking.

For many people, the idea of flying around like the Green Goblin is tempting enough to hold onto hope.

With the public hungry for the promises of the future we’ve come to expect from Hollywood, hover boards are something guaranteed to catch the eye of a large online audience. However, this also makes them ripe for the exploitation of clever marketing campaigns. Much like Tony Hawks role in promoting the Hendo last year, this could just be a clever and complex promotional stunt.

Real or not, the Flyboard Air certainly has peoples attention.

Images: Video Stills

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

What it takes to organise a high profile product launch

(c)iStock/Maxian

Earlier this year, Imagination was tasked with coordinating the launch of the new Land Rover Discovery.

We knew that with this quintessentially British product we had to pull out all the stops – and we did, along with the help of our team, Bear Grylls and 5,805,846 bricks of Lego.

To give you some background on the product we were launching, over six decades, Land Rover has developed into a British icon. This much-loved vehicle has come a long way since its inception as a post-war agricultural workhorse. Its latest iteration, the Discovery 5, markets Land Rover as a highly desirable and versatile premium SUV.

Family friendly: LEGO’s role

While keeping its rugged specs, the Discovery is also aimed at families. As such, we needed a dramatic concept that would demonstrate its high-grade engineering along with a family-friendly aura.

So, we chose LEGO – the ultimate engineering tool for children, after all – as our centrepiece. Tying this in with the ‘national instution’ theme, we went for a recreation of Tower Bridge and a crack team of LEGO master builders built the scale replica for us.

Once completed, this was the largest LEGO structure ever created, giving us a great media opportunity with the Guinness Book of Records.

Risk and drama: Bear Grylls and Zara Phillips

In the launch event, we also needed to include an element of risk and heightened dramatic tension; highlighting the adventurous spirit of the brand.

As such, we got Bear Grylls on board, along with Zara Phillips to both perform some spectacular stunts.

Three days of rehearsal at the deer park in Packington Estate were needed for this half-hour presentation, in conditions of complete secrecy and unpredictable weather.

The key to an effective reveal for a brand like this is creating and managing a sense of anticipation

Bear Grylls’ stunt partner, Dangerous Dave, had to rehearse a helicopter drop in a strong wind, and Zara Phillips prepared to execute a daring horse jump.

An event like this involves a host of engineers, lighting technicians, logistics experts, sound designers, graphic artists, 360 animators, medical staff and caterers. It’s my job to make sure everybody’s happy and on the same page. I have to be unflappable; I make sure we have a contingency plan for everything.

But I don’t mind admitting that on the night, as Zara launched her horse over two Land Rovers and a horse box, the audience weren’t the only ones feeling the excitement course through their veins.

Reveal finale: Sir Ben Ainslie

For the reveal finale, we had Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie on board to drive his team under a bridge through 900m deep water, towing a LEGO scale replica of the Land Rover BAR speedboat.

Stepping out, the seven-strong team demonstrated the vehicle’s versatility, and helped us nail the message of ‘Bringing it Home’ with their warm endorsement.

Such associations encourage Discovery consumers to feel they are not only ‘Buying British’ but, like the BAR team, representing their country in terms of global competition. And, in forging strong partnerships such as this, not only is inestimable value is created for a brand, but exposure in terms of earned media is vastly increased.

The key to an effective reveal for a brand like this is creating and managing a sense of anticipation. You want to create a buzz that will have maximum impact and, in this respect, timing is crucial.

One of the hardest parts of our job has been keeping a lid on social media, preventing leaks that could dilute the impact of the reveal. Inside information about a hotly anticipated car like this is catnip to a legion of trade journalists, car-fans and bloggers; in this respect, and many others, it is hard to underestimate the value of a strong sense of team spirit.

A crucial part of my job was fostering loyalty in a large crew and building the client’s trust, so that they could be confident that when the live-stream went close up on our bridge and the #DISCOVERY sign lit up, the world would take notice.

The launch was covered in a number of publications, including Auto Express, which has a host of pictures and videos from the evening.

[“source-ndtv”]

Is America in the Midst of a High Tech Entrepreneurship Boom?

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If you read the business press, you probably think the answer is yes. The popular media is full of stories about start-ups like Facebook, Groupon, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, Yelp, and Zinga. American entrepreneurs are starting high tech companies at a feverish pace, the media experts say.

Perhaps you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the popular press. Careful analysis of Census data outlined in new report by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation shows that entrepreneurial activity in the high tech sector has declined substantially over the past decade.

John Haltiwanger of the University of Maryland, Ian Hathaway of the policy organization Engine, and Javier Miranda of the U.S. Census Bureau, examined business dynamics in the high tech sector from 1978 to 2011, using data from the Census Bureau. Classifying industries as “high tech” or not according to a method developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the authors identified 14 high tech industries – ten information technology and computer-based lines of business plus architectural, engineering and scientific R&D services, aerospace manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals – and aggregated them to measure the “high tech” sector.

The authors looked at the fraction of firms under the age of six in the high tech sector every year since the late 1970s and compared it to the share of young companies in the economy overall. They found that the percentage of high tech firms aged five-and-under has declined considerably since 2000. They concluded that “in the post-2000 period, the high-tech sector is experiencing a process of economic activity consolidation, away from young firms and into more mature firms.”

The decline in the fraction of young high tech firms since 2000 is similar to the decline in the share of young firms in the economy overall. For both high tech businesses and companies overall, the U.S. has experienced a decline in entrepreneurial dynamism. In both high and low tech sectors, the fraction of companies under the age of six was considerably lower in 2011 than it was in 1982.

In high tech, the post-2000 pattern differs from pattern that prevailed over the 1994-2000 period. In the late 1990s, young firms accounted for a declining share of overall businesses, but an increasing share of high tech companies.

The authors don’t explain why high tech deviated from the long term trend towards less entrepreneurial dynamism between 1994 and 2000. Perhaps the opportunities generated by the initial rise of the Internet offset the general downward trend.

While the report raises a number of interesting unanswered questions, it also makes clear that the media’s slant on high tech entrepreneurship in America is wrong. Rather than booming, start-up activity in high tech has been in a long-term decline in this country.

Perhaps someone should tweet that message or Facebook some reporters about it.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]