Category : Thinglink users

How to reach and engage your audience with ThingLink

Decca Records recently ran a campaign for up and coming music artist Alessandro using ThingLink to great success. Our Creative Director Jonas Forth spoke with Digital Innovation and Platforms Manager David Heath about reaching your intended demographic, creating engaging campaigns and making the most out of ThingLink.

 

Q. Where do you find value in the service?

I think the value in a service like ThingLink comes from the opportunity to engage consumers from all demographics. Creating something your audience can relate to and understands is vital in establishing a connection with them, and this is a simple and effective way of doing that. Everyone can relate to an image, and musicians are more frequently incorporating strong visuals as lead elements of their campaigns.

Using mouseovers and hover actions actively encourages users to interact with these images and this is where the real beauty of ThingLink lies, because people are inherently curious and they want to know what might be hidden away. They don’t want to miss something valuable that might be tucked away in a corner. If you’ve judged your audience correctly and you’re giving them the content they really want to consume, they’ll be back.  

 

Q. What kind of features have you created using ThingLink?

This year we’ve been running a campaign around a brand new global priority artist who happens to be a Franciscan Friar called Alessandro. We’ve used Thinglink to put together an interactive map of Assisi – the birthplace of St Francis and the place Alessandro lives – as a way of showcasing all the most important locations from around this historic catholic town.

Using artwork sourced from a local tourist information booklet created by the friars themselves, we were able to use ThingLink as a way of revealing audio from his debut album along with photos, videos and more over a six week period prior to the release. It’s kind of a tour guide, but more fun, and making use of content shot on location with Alessandro himself. I think it can be difficult to meaningfully engage this kind of market digitally but we’ve had some good success using ThingLink purely because it bridges the gap between technology and the kind of content people naturally gravitate towards and find themselves sharing.

Q. What advice do you have for bands who want to promote their music with ThingLink?

Firstly, think about what you want to achieve. Do you want to drive data acquisition for the mailing list, increase Facebook fans, sell gig tickets, generate new fans, or are you simply rewarding existing fans without having any quantifiable target at all? Whichever it is, the answer will drive the content you need to be producing.

Secondly, thinking about how you want to reveal that content can make all the difference. A great way of encouraging repeat visits is to stagger the content that is available, but if you’re not giving fans what they want the first time round are they even going to come back for a second?

Q. What is it about ThingLink that helps drive traffic?

I think the numbers we saw on our campaign with Friar Alessandro reflect a very engaged, very content hungry fan base who appreciate unlocking and experiencing that content in exciting, non traditional ways. This is a demographic that wouldn’t usually listen to track previews or streams through SoundCloud. We’ve found ThingLink to be a brilliant way of removing the barrier that exists there by letting people interact with something that makes sense to them and delivering them SoundCloud content through it.

Although there were several content reveals each week on the map, streaming the new audio clips was always the most popular and the ThingLink platform effectively renders the underlying technology behind that invisible. This is hugely important in ensuring we’re connecting well with our audience and not alienating or penalising non technical fans.

Listening to the feedback we’ve had so far has been extremely positive. I can see ThingLink being an incredibly useful tool for us in future if for nothing else than its ability to engage meaningfully with the people we are trying to reach, day to day.

Follow Decca Records on ThingLink.

 

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Tips For Driving Fan Engagement with ThingLink


Interview with Bryan Vaughan, Wind-Up Records

Wind-Up Records has been one of the most successful users of ThingLink for artists like Evanescence, Seether, James Durbin, Civil Twilight, Jillette Johnson, and The Darkness.  CMO Neil Vineberg recently sat down with Wind-Up Records’ Bryan Vaughan to discuss fan engagement and ThingLink.

Q: What kinds of artist images do you tag?

A: The types of images we use with ThingLink varies. We’re actually starting to create images specifically for ThingLink and its interactions. We’ve been doing more and more with lyrics. We use the album artwork for every band. “The Darkness” has a poster image; the text in the image has its importance. Its kind of fun figuring out where in the image specifically a tag is going to have the most effect, how it ties in with the overall image. It’s not just about putting any tag on the image. It’s more about ThingLink-enabling the image as an entire, whole creative unit.

Q: How do you like the new graphical and color tag icons?

A: The new color and graphical tag icons have made the images stand out more. They drive people to really interact with the image more because they now know what they’re looking at when they hover over an image. They may not want to go to every icon on the page, but if they’re looking to specifically listen to the song or to buy it from iTunes, they can do that inside the image.  Similarly with the color differences in an actual image, you can bold different things with different color tag icons to draw different reactions for the parts of the image you want to point out.

Q: What is it about ThingLink that helps drive traffic?

A: It’s the ease of discovery and the surprise element. Fans are used to searching all over the Internet for content. Now with a little bit of movement and interactivity all that content lives inside an image. Putting that unique content in an image is now really essential. When you see the still image and then hover over it, your attention is automatically drawn to what’s going on inside the image.  It’s curiosity that drives people to not only hover over things, but to actually click through as well. That click-through is really important to us for really driving traffic.

People also have shorter attention spans. It’s crucial to cater to that shorter attention span and get engaged users doing things. With a single ThingLinked image, you can hover to find all the information you want, watch videos, play music, hear a band’s voice – all in once centralized spot. It’s really unique and essential.

Q: What advice do you have for bands who want to promote their music with ThingLink?

A: Find a surprising and fun way to use an image thats never been done before and create unique interaction between a band and a fan all within a single image. It’s a constant exploration of what am I really trying to drive with this image? What is going to catch peoples’ eye. And once we have an image ThingLink-enabled, what’s going to draw fans to the image?  The main thing is focusing on what you’re trying to get out of it, what you want fans to get out of it, and not just adding tags for the sake of it. Keeping an image focused with a limited number of tags versus hundreds — is crucial for marketing.

Q: How’s the new ThingLink working for you?

A: With ThingLink there has been lots of engagement with fans who emailed us and spoke on Twitter and Facebook about what they could do through the images.  Now with the newly launched ThingLink, its crucial because fans can actually share the image with their existing fans and friends.  And we’ve seen quite a few comments on the recent images – “This band is my favorite band…”.  That’s crucial hearing from fans so we know what we can improve on to make ThingLink more efficient with the next images we post.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. With ThingLink, it’s worth about two million.

Follow Wind-Up Records on ThingLink.

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Try ThingLink yourself and add sound, videos and social profiles to these images

Everybody should get a chance to try how ThingLink and Rich Media Tags work together. That is why we left a couple of photos taken by ThingLink’s team members open for you to tag. No strings attached. Consider it a test drive before signing up.

You tag by hovering the image and selecting “Edit tags” from the top left corner. Why not start by selecting a tune from SoundCloud, or video from YouTube or a Twitter profile and placing it in the link field in the tag. What kind of media association do the images bring to mind and what tags and links could give it another dimension?

Once you’ve tagged the image you’ll be able to share it through Twitter, Facebook and email. You can also choose to embed it wherever you like. Get busy!

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At your service: ThingLink’s new community support

First of all: thanks for all the good questions we have received by email in the past months! To make sharing questions and answers easier, ThingLink now has community support on Get Satisfaction.  Our community page allows you to post service- and feature-related questions and comments to us directly, and check how other questions have been answered.

You don’t have to create an account to post your questions. However, by creating an account you can get updates on when your question was answered, and you too will be able to answer questions.

Just hover on the image below to see some of the features that the community forum offers:

 

 

Looking forward to see you on the ThingLink community page!

 

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The winner of the ThingLink sticker challenge is…

Two weeks ago we launched the ThingLink sticker challenge. We received some but not a lot of contributions and the competition has now come to an end.

ThingLink can happily pronounce the winner of the Sticker Challenge to be… (drumroll please)

Karri Saarinen and Jori Lallo with their minimalistic design that you can tag by writing on it. Karri’s and Jori’s design received 1569 views, 1150 hovers, or mousings as we like to call it, and 1127 clicks, which makes for a whopping 75 % CTR level. The fact that the tagged image didn’t have any links is a different matter.

The design will be printed and used to tag physical objects, starting with ThingLink’s laptops.

We congratulate the winner and thank all of the other participants and voters. An iPad is on its way to Karri and Jori.

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Which sticker design deserves an iPad?

Rats. We didn’t get hundreds of submissions for the Thinglink Sticker Challenge, so perhaps we take Bruce’s advice and won’t try this again. Anyway, the great news for those who took the challenge is that they have less competition in their fight for the iPad! Who do you think deserves it? Just mouseover your favorite and your vote is counted!










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Amazon associate beta testers wanted

Thinglink will beta release an Amazon associate feature today. This means that you’ll be able to link your image tags to Amazon products and generate revenue on sales completed through your links. It’s already working like a charm but we would like to know what our users think. Therefore we’re now looking for a few good beta testers.

Just drop a line to info@thinglink.com and we’ll tell you more about it.

What is the Amazon Associate Program? and how might I benefit from it by linking my images?

 

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Thinglink helps Seiska Engage Readers

Improving reader engagement and retention are among several key challenges facing online publishers. That’s why Seiska, Finland’s largest weekly magazine, is transforming their images with in-image links by Thinglink.

“Tell me and I forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand,“ sub-editor Lide Murto from Seiska magazine, quotes Benjamin Franklin when sharing her view on the importance and role of pictures in today’s media. Thinglink gives reader a possibility to involve deeper as they study the picture in detail.

Lide works for Seiska, Finland’s largest weekly magazine with a circulation of over 220 000.  The magazine’s online version Seiska.fi features celebrity and fashion photos.  The popular site receives around 200 000 unique visitors per week.

“At Seiska we pay special attention to the selection of pictures.  Too often in media we see examples where illustration is done carelessly, for example the caption and the illustration don’t work well together. There is an article telling of a miserable celebrity, but a picture of a smiling celebrity is featured.  In Seiska we think that every picture is full of details. The details tell much more of the person and situation in the picture than the distinguished look on the face”, says Lide.

Thinglink as an editorial tool

Web Editor Milla Leinonen works daily with online photos, writing interesting captions with all the juicy details about photos.  Thinglink adds a new and exciting dimension to her work.  Now she can Thinglink the people, places and things in images to past Seiska stories about them, their style and lives. Thinglink also provides publishers with real-time data on how readers interact with images, including metrics on views, hovers and mouse clicks.

Milla says the Thinglink tool is easy to use and it increases reader engagement and time spent at seiska.fi.

Images in mobile and tablet devices

Seiska’s editorial staff believe that images will play a more central role in the future. As reading online magazines on mobile and tablet devices becomes more common, images will become a key navigational surface for search.

Want to improve reader engagement at your blog like Seiska? Create a Thinglink account and implement your personal tagging tool today.

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Koto Living blog likes Thinglink

Koto Living is a Finnish lifestyle blog featuring tips on creating Christmas decorations and gifts, along with product recommendations, food recipes and more.

Host and editor Anu Harkki recently added Thinglink in-image tags to her photo inventory. Thinglink lets you tell the story of things inside your photos. You can link objects (people, places and things) to information channels (Facebook, Twitter, video, e-stores and more) and foster social connection around things.

“When Thinglink was enabled on my blog I became extremely happy,” said Anu. “Using Thinglinks, we’re improving the experience of readers by connecting Koto Living products directly to points-of-sale and fun information.”

In addition to blogging, Anu Harkki has hosted two seasons of a DIY & Crafts show, Ratula, on Sub TV Finland. See video with Anu sharing her Thinglink experience (in Finnish)

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