Tag Archives: band promotion

ThingLink: Upgrade to our Small Business Premium Starter Package: Now Self-Serve

If you’re a startup, a small-to-medium sized business, a not-for-profit, a political action committee, an indie record label, a college, a small publisher or a professional educator interested in using ThingLink’s premium features, now you can upgrade online to our Small Business Premium Starter Package.

For as little as $250 you get an annual account license with:

  • 50,000 Views — Add more views as you need them.
  • Unlimited Images — Post an unlimited number of images to your account.
  • Multi-User – Invite multiple team members and colleagues into your group/channel to create, distribute and manage images.
  • Make Images Public, Private, Unlisted — Set a preference for each image and control views – from public to private to unlisted.
  • Advanced Dashboard — Get detailed metrics on how your images and content perform, and metrics for web and social channels where your images are shared.
  • Personalized Icons — Upload company logos and graphics to customize your images.
Premium Small Business includes comprehensive performance metrics on each image.

Premium Small Business includes comprehensive performance metrics on each image.

 

Upgrade to Premium Small Business today and start driving higher engagement for your images on web pages and social channels.

Questions? Write Sales@ThingLink.com.

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ThingLink’s Twitter Card: Update

urlWhen Twitter launched Twitter Cards last year, ThingLink was the first interactive image solution approved by Twitter. Thanks to you, we’ve expanded the possibilities for engagement on Twitter beyond even their expectations.

While Twitter continues to evolve and refine the Twitter Card program, the Player Card that enables ThingLink is being scaled back to focus on video and audio solutions only. As a result, ThingLink will transition to an interim Twitter Card.

Here’s how it works:  When you post a ThingLink image to Twitter, viewers on desktop and mobile devices will see the image with icons indicating interactivity just like before. Those icons will no longer be interactive inside Twitter.  A click on the image, title or the URL provided with the tweet will lead the viewer to the interactive image on the user’s channel at ThingLink.com.

Because a majority of viewers on Twitter click back to ThingLink anyway, we think this solution will advantage both viewers and brands sharing ThingLink images on Twitter.

The current Twitter Player Card will remain active until September 30 after which all ThingLink users will transition to the interim Twitter Card.

For more visual information, check our slideshare presentation about this transition.

In the coming months we will be working with Twitter to enable a new Twitter Card type that enables interactive functionality on Twitter and delivers a consistent performance on both web and mobile devices.

Twitter is also requesting feedback from ThingLink about the kinds of Card experiences our publishers want to see inside the Twitter channel. Please send us your feedback on how you would like ThingLink images to perform inside Twitter.

In the meanwhile, if you have any questions about ThingLink and Twitter,  please contact our COO Cyril Barrow.

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ThingLink Mobile: Now with Image on Image

ThingLink Mobile, our iOS app, is constantly evolving and here’s a brand new feature for you. In addition to the ability to add video, text and @twitter IDs to your interactive images, we’ve added the ability to add image on image. Now you can tag a photo with images from your photo gallery.   This enables you to tell a deeper story through pictures like the one below, which was  created with an iPhone and ThingLink’s Mobile app.

Journalists, teachers, students, event bloggers and  iReporters can make full use of the new feature when creating interactive ThingLink images. Now you can tell a deeper story and capture fuller moments. Here’s my story about a Blackbird which had created a nest in an unusual place to feed her young ones.

HOW TO BUILD IT: Start out by taking or selecting the image on which you would like to overlay your other images. I had this photo with bikes on it so I started with that to tell my story.

photo 2

Tap anywhere on the image to add a tag and select which kind of tag you would like to make. We’re doing image on image so head over to your gallery by clicking on “Choose from gallery”.

image_2

 

Pick the image you would like to add to the image as a tag.

image_3

 

As usual you can add a text tag.

image

 

Add a few more tags, either using text, video or images, and then you’re done.

image_5

 

The image is now shareable to social channels, and browsable either in the app or online at thinglink.com.

photo 1

How are you using ThingLink Mobile?

 

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ThingLink Launches ThingLink Mobile –Interactive Image Creation for iPhone and iPad

TL mobile logoTake picture + add videos + add text + share

ThingLink today launched its free mobile app, ThingLink Mobile, available for download via the iTunes store, ThingLink Mobile is the first iOS app to let users create interactive images with video players and text instantly embeddable into pictures taken with their camera. The free app for the iPhone and iPad creates interactive images that are shareable to Twitter and Facebook, and are designed to live within the platforms themselves.

 ThingLink’s web-based app has been used by major publishers and advertisers to increase engagement with their content. The Washington Post was the first news outlet to use a pre-release version of the ThingLink Mobile app, creating interactive images of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

tl_iPad_screen_A “ThingLink Mobile has one goal: to give more meaning to your camera images, allowing them to instantly come alive in new ways,” said CEO and founder of ThingLink, Ulla Engeström. “As a storytelling tool, ThingLink Mobile unleashes creative ways to capture deeper moments. It also brings the ability to microblog within images to anyone with a smartphone.”

Even in the beta version, users have found interesting uses for the app including: travel images with details of exotic meals, images of newlyweds with the first dance from the wedding embedded into an image, birthdays that come to life with video, and second hand sellers using videos and notes to illustrate the details of the items they’re retailing.

When users download ThingLink Mobile and sign up, they have a free channel for their images at ThingLink.com. Within ThingLink, users can add additional apps (tags) to their images with content from: SoundCloud, Spotify, Google Maps, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites. Those images are instantly shareable to Tumblr, Pinterest, Google!+, Facebook, Twitter, Edmodo and email.

ThingLink’s web-based platform has long been popular among advertisers and publishers for its ability to engage readers and encourage participation. ThingLink Mobile will bring that experience and ability to create compelling personal content to the individual user. People are invited to download the app to make their own interactive images.

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Shoppable Images with ThingLink: One Size Does Not Fit All

If you’re a retailer, a seller on Amazon, eBay or Etsy or a record label driving sales around songs, now you can use ThingLink to transform photos into Shoppable Images that are instantly shareable in social channels and embeddable on any web page.

ThingLink is the most popular shoppable image solution. Retailers and Etsy, Amazon and eBay sellers can use our free account to add standard shopping tags and icons to any image. When you share them interactively into social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, you’ll drive higher conversion rates. Post them onto web pages and folks will spend more time on page and shop through your images.

Custom Retail Solutions — And because top brands know that one size does not fit all, ThingLink offers brands an enterprise level account that lets you customize shoppable images with unique shopping apps and branded tag icons. Build and upload your own shopping apps with product previews, prices, preference, and shopping carts — and drive higher conversion. Use ThingLink to make your images uniquely yours with branded icons that speak directly to your customers.

Want to make your own images shoppable? Sign up for a free business account and get started today. And contact us if you’re interested in ThingLink Custom Retail Solutions.

Touch these images by Vogue magazine, Home Depot, Interscope, Cirque du Soleil, Ikea, Two for Fashion, and Olivia Palermo.

Vogue Magazine

Home Depot

Interscope Records

Cirque du Soleil

Ikea

Two for Fashion

Olivia Palermo

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ThingLink music marketing 101 by ‘stache media

Interview with Ava Ryerson, ‘stache media

stache media has been using ThingLink for artists like Slightly Stoopid, Kate Earl, Ryan Leslie, RNDM, Santana, Steve Vai, Paloma Faith, and many others.  CMO Neil Vineberg recently sat down with Ava Ryerson to discuss fan engagement and ThingLink.

Q:  How are you using ThingLink?

We are using ThingLink as a tool for our media partners and artists.  ThingLink images give media partners added value, interesting content and something cool for their site.  It’s also great for fans to engage with artists’ content in different ways.

Fans don’t have to leave an image to engage with content because all the magic happens within the image.  Fans also don’t have to enter their email address to discover, click on and play content.  It’s very low commitment with high engagement.

Q: What kind of content are you putting into photos?

We put music tracks, videos, social links, and anything we think will be fun for the fan really. If there’s a special or exclusive sound byte from the artist that you can only find within the ThingLinked image, that’s something that we also try to use as well.

Q: What do you find to be the most effective and popular content for engaging fans? I think people want to hear or view content, so audio and video players are most effective. If there’s a personal message from the artist, that is super valuable to the fan. ‘stache media is part of RED Distribution so we partner with retailers all the time. Depending on the campaign and the artist, we’ll tag the image with Target or an independent retailer for pre-orders.  A lot of the time we are tagging images with retailers like iTunes, Amazon, Best Buy, and FYE.  For the band RNDM, we tagged Newbury Comics who had a special pre-order package for the album.  

Q: What kind of engagement are you seeing, and how does ThingLink engagement differ from other media platforms? We work with a wide variety of genres so it depends on the artist. Our highest engagement came from a Jason Aldean Billboard magazine cover that actually lived on the Billboard website, country blogs and radio station sites. We’ve been sharing image performance with artists and it makes them want to get more involved as well. ThingLink is an interesting tool for the artists because images can also live on their Facebook page or band site and its just another way for them to reach their fans, so they dig it.  

Q: Does it always start with a great image?

Yes, the image has to be compelling. It’s a way for us to get the album cover out or an interesting press photo of the artist.

Q: What about the new ThingLink?

It’s important for us to have all of our artist images available within one area where people can find our artists and media tools. I think the new social integration is great , we see new fans engaging and discovering images. I love the fact that I get notifications when I have new followers and when people are commenting on images.

We’re working with Kate Earl on Downtown Records; her album cover is very compelling and beautiful and the video for One Woman Army plays within the image. It’s awesome to see fans discovering her album and video through ThingLink.  The layout is interesting as well…very similar to a Pinterest or Tumblr. There are tiles of the images and its easy to digest for viewers.  Also stoked on ThingLink going Mobile!

Check out the ‘stache media channel on ThingLink.

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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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Guest Post: Cortney on ThingLink

Going in to my first pitch as a consultant to ThingLink, I have to admit I was a little bit skeptical. Sure, it took about three minutes for me to be completely sold on the product — sitting in a freezing room at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York, I saw a demo and immediately wanted to be part of the team. But would my contacts in the music industry feel the same way? I had set up a nice handful of meetings to showcase the product, sure, but were these folks just doing me a favor because they knew me from my days as an editor at Billboard? What had I gotten myself into, anyway?

About ten minutes in to the meeting, I saw the label president’s eyes light up as she slowly said “this. is. so. cool.” And then I knew I had made the right choice.

We get that reaction a lot, and I joke that ThingLink is the dream client — the product is easy to use, free, and offers infinite possibilities. And people in the music industry are starting to see it that way, too, for the most part. I’m constantly excited by the level of creativity and thoughtfulness in the ThingLinked images labels and managers send me.

In some way, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. People in music are creative types, and if any artist ever tells you they aren’t concerned with and invested in their image, they are lying. Even those who cultivate an unwashed, slacker air, do so with the utmost care. Some, like Lady Gaga and Kanye West, are open about creating and manipulating their visuals, while others pretend not to mind (but you know they paid $200 for that perfect bedhead haircut, and those shredded Rogan jeans don’t come for free, either).

But once an artist had created the perfect visual and hired a great photographer to commit it to film, there was nothing else they could do with it. Until ThingLink. Now, an artist, label, manager, or publicist can take that perfectly crafted, often not-cheap-to-capture image, and use it as a jumping off point for telling a story, creating a puzzle, or driving commerce.

 

Storytelling:

Alex Damashek is great indie hip-hop manager, and used ThingLink within his own site to tell the stories of each of this artists. Where he previously had a list of links, Alex embedded audio, video, and links in photos of each of his artists and let ThingLink tell the tale. It’s a great way to get viewers to explore the page, click around, and listen and learn.

     

 

Commerce: Thanh Nguyen was an early adopter who understood the power of ThingLink and used it to drive interest in the new albums by Simple Plan and Shadows on Stars. He went so far as to have Simple Plan actually make a video explaining the product and driving users to play around and pre-order the new album. In the first few hours, the click through rate for the image was over fifty percent.

 

Social media:

Ed Kiang at Wind-Up is a digital genius, and used Thinglink to tag an image of Evanescence with links to all the band’s social media platforms. It was a great way to announce the band’s new album, get fans excited, and make sure they were aware of all the band’s online properties.

   

 

Ticketing and events: The new Eventbrite tag could be used to sell tickets to the event, as well as embedding video of the opening acts to get fans excited enough to come early and check them out. In the past, there were too many steps between seeing a poster for an event and actually buying a ticket, but with the Eventbrite tag, the process is seamless.

 

And I could go on and on, listing examples, but that seems like a cheap way to flesh out a post. And this is all the process of a summer’s worth of work — who knows what will happen in the next three months (six months, year)?

I think we’re just scratching the surface of what the music industry can do with ThingLink. One idea I’ve tossed around is to break an album cover into six parts, assign a clip of a new track to each, and then spread that all over the web for fans to find. The traffic could potentially go through the roof as fans tried to figure out the puzzle. ThingLink can also be used for announcements and brand partnerships — link up whatever a stylish artist happens to be wearing to an ecommerce platform and watch the fans click away.

Only a few months after that first, nerve wracking meeting, I’ve come to see the disruptive, amazing power of ThingLink for music. And, to quote that cheesy song you’ve heard way too many times, “we’ve only just begun.”

 

Cortney Harding is a music evangelist for start-ups, including ThingLink and official.fm. She was previously the music editor and indies correspondent at Billboard magazine, and knows way too much about the music industry for any sane person. Follow her on Twitter or on Tumblr.

Meet Cortney and the ThingLink team:
September 12th – San Francisco Music Tech Summit, Hotel Kabuki
September 13th – Tech Crunch Disrupt, San Francisco Design Center Concourse

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