Tag Archives: marketing

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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Great meeting you at SxSW2013!

We had a great time at SxSW meeting so many ThingLink users among musicians, film makers, brands and agencies.

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The ThingLink Twitter Card – How does it work?

This week we released our ThingLink Twitter Card, which allows anyone to browse the live tags in ThingLink interactive images inside a Tweet at  Twitter.com.

You can now create an image on ThingLink with in-image links to video and sound players, share it on Twitter, touch the image and interact with the links without having to leave Twitter.  This innovation opens up for new opportunities for personal expression as well as marketing opportunities for businesses and brands.

ThingLink and Twitter – How to set it up

Now if you haven’t already signed up for ThingLink, do it now. We’ll wait, it only takes 30 seconds.

Then upload or import an image and tag it with any of our supported rich media tags, which you can see in the presentation below:

 

Share the interactive image on Twitter by clicking “Share” or “Tweet” on top of the image or right clicking the image and selecting “Share image”.

 

Any user seeing the tweet can now browse the live tags on Twitter without having to leave the image. Click “View Media” and the interactive image opens up.  The image is also viewable by clicking the date/time stamp on the Tweet and the status update version of the Tweet will appear with the image and interactivity.

 

The image must be shared from ThingLink.com to be viewable inside Twitter.  We also suggest that you set up your own channel on ThingLink to allow for people to easily find other interactive images that you’ve created.

NOTE:  Twitter is still testing Twitter Cards with certain users/sessions. The ThingLink-Twitter integration works on ThingLink.com, Twitter’s mobile client and Tweetdeck’s web version. Hopefully it will work on third party clients in the future.

 

Tips & Tricks

Twitter will scale down any image that you share from ThingLink.com to 280 or 560 pixels on mobile and 435 pixels on desktop. That means that any messages in the image should be written in larger text and be more prominent for users to quickly see them. It also means that it’s better to use vertical images since the height of the image is not restricted.

 

BONUS!

We’ve implemented another fun feature for the Twitter Card. If there are Twitter tags in the image, we will detect them and automatically mention the users when you share the image on Twitter. That way the users in the image will be notified of it whenever the image is shared by you or anyone else. Check out this Twitter example below:

 

Visit ThingLink now to create your own account! 

Read more about ThingLink and Twitter @ Mashable and TheNextWeb.

Read What ThingLink’s Interactive Tweets Mean for BrandsSimplyZesty.

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The poster reinvented – now with 100 % more interaction

The modern poster dates back to 1870 when new printing techniques made colour lithography and mass production possible. According to French historian Max Gallo, “for over two hundred years, posters have been displayed in public places all over the world. Visually striking, they have been designed to attract the attention of passers-by, making us aware of a political viewpoint, enticing us to attend specific events, or encouraging us to purchase a particular product or service.” (Wikipedia)

Up until now, the poster has been a passive flat surface without any form of interaction but ThingLink users have shown that interactive posters are an artform in themselves: posters have become touchable.

Discover how museums, music marketers, political activists, film buffs as well as theatre and film promoters are making use of this new medium.

Day Of The Dead Exhibition (by Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum)

The Beatles Experience With Rain (by Broadway – San Diego)

 

Movember and Sons (by Turner Classic Movies UK)

Homeland TV-series promotion (by 20th Century Fox)

 

Youth Voter Registration (by Rock The Vote)

 

Disney’s Brave (by J’s Movie Stream)

 

Music Marathon and Movie Festival 2012 (by Paper Garden Records)

Oxjam Music Festival (by Lizzie for Oxfam)

 

The Darkness – Hot Cakes (by Wind-Up Records)

 

(By Grazia Daily)

If you have any examples of your own that you want us to highlight – tweet to us with @thinglink and we’ll feature it in our gallery.

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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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Add Interactive Photos to your Bandzoogle Website with ThingLink

This is originally a guest post by ThingLink’s CMO Neil Vineberg for Bandzoogle.

Using photos as a design element in web design is a powerful way to connect with fans. Great fan connections start with compelling photos. Bandzoogle makes it easy to add your best images to your website and also supplies a wide assortment of stock images that make your Bandzoogle site look awesome.

By using ThingLink, Bandzoogle users can make those personal and stock photos interactive with audio and video players, social links and social sharing.

What is ThingLink?
ThingLink is a free app that turns any photo in a platform for content and sharing. By activating a ThingLink account alongside Bandzoogle, you can make your website photos interactive. Add music and video players. Sell merch and albums inside photos. Place any interactive photo as an app on your Facebook fan page. And fans viewing your interactive photos can share them across their social networks and embed them in blogs and tumblrs, extending the power of your Bandzoogle site through images that live across the Web.

Who is Using ThingLink?
ThingLink has been popular with labels and artists like Van Halen, Keane, Evanescence, Seether, Blink-182, Gorillaz. Hundreds and thousands of bands like JCQ from the UK and Conveyor from Paper Garden Records in Brooklyn, NY, also make images interactive with ThingLink.

Why Interactive? It’s all about Engagement
Fans like to discover stuff. If you’re building a fan base, Interactive images can help you engage fans in content discovery and position content (an audio player song sample) on an image right next points of sale (shopping tags for Amazon, eBay, iTunes, BestBuy and more).

Thanh Nguyen, digital marketer at Atlantic Records, who has promoted albums by Jason Mraz, Simple Plan, Christina Perri, and Bruno Mars, uses ThingLink to “aggregate and link back to all of the band’s social properties” and he suggests that promoters “customize the offering as much as possible…make sure the content is compelling.”

Nick Lippman, manager of Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20, sees ThingLink as a way of “promoting the different avenues an artist and a brand are trying to get out simultaneously, such as single, new video, new tour dates, fan club opportunities, contests and more – all in one place!”

Go Facebook Interactive
In addition to adding interactive images to a Bandzoogle website, ThingLink is a DIY editor for creating apps for Facebook pages. Now any interactive concert poster or CD cover with links can appear as a Tab (App) on your Facebook Fan Page. Here’s how.

Lynn Grossman, at Secret Road Music Services, used ThingLink on Facebook to preview tunes from Songbook, the new album by Ingrid Michaelson. “We came up with the idea of publishing an embeddable online songbook that would preview a song a day, offer downloadable lyrics to the song and have her talking about the meaning of each song leading up to the day of the release. The goal was for people to engage with the songbook daily for 2 weeks and to share this experience on their social media sites. Thinklink proved to be the perfect solution.” The click through rate on this campaign was >80%.

What Can You Add With an Interactive Photo

  • Showcase your videos, sound clips and social links inside a photo.
  • Add iTunes, Amazon or Topspin sales tags to an album cover image.
  • Add a Bandzoogle tag featuring your band’s URL so viewers can link back to your Bandzoogle webpage
  • Create a Tab on your Facebook fan page featuring your interactive image.

What Can you Do with your Image App on Facebook

  • Post a concert tour poster with interactive links
  • Publish a concert image with sound or video links
  • Turn a merch package image into a store with sales tags.

What Kinds of Tags can you use on your images?
Check this slideshare of ThingLink Rich Media Tags.

 

In addition to these awesome tags, you can add any URL and up to a 1500 character description to a tag and it will show up as a tag.

Get Started with ThingLink
Sign up for a free account at ThingLink.com. Bandzoogle users will receive a free year of ThingLink PLUS when you use coupon code “ILuvBandzoogle” during the signup for PLUS.

Setting up Bandzoogle and ThingLink
Now that you’re signed up on ThingLink, here’s how to make your Bandzoogle images interactive.

1. Locate your Thinglink account embed code.

2. Copy the embed code to clipboard.

3. Open your Bandzoogle site and go to Bandzoogle’s “Design & Options”.

4. Click “Footer Text” on left side menubar.

5. Paste the contents of the clipboard to the Footer Text box. If you already have some existing contents, just make sure that you don’t overwrite them, but put the code after the content.

6. Click Save.

While you are logged into Thinglink, log into Bandzoogle at the same time. You can edit your images at Bandzoogle as long as your Thinglink.com account is also open.

For questions about ThingLink, visit ThingLink’s support forum.

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Chris Graham, Digital Strategy Director at Wind-up Records, talks about music marketing, engaging fans and the effectiveness of ThingLink

1. How did you come to be in your current position at Wind-Up?

I started at Wind-up in 2010 and was originally brought in to handle all the labels physical and digital production, as well as digital asset delivery and A&R operations. Being an indie label, we all wear many hats. Having come from a creative background with Universal (was their prior to Wind-up) I grew to take on indie Sales + Marketing, then Digital Marketing and finally to hold my current position of overseeing the Digital Strategy as it relates to Marketing and Sales for Wind-up.

 

2. What are the most important digital trends in the music industry right now? What tools are artists and labels overusing, and what are they under using?

I think the most important trends differ depending on where you are in your career as an artist. For instance, a new band, with no major, or major indie backing them can do so much more than ever before. It’s been said a million times, but you can do a lot on your own now. You can use Sonicbids to book shows, you can sell direct to fans with Topspin, you can get your music on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and numerous other sites. You can sell it, ask fans to pay what they want, you can give tracks for email and really create a fanbase like never before.

However, having said that, I feel as if I am just repeating what the masses are saying. You still need to separate yourself from other artists. You need to be creative with how you do everything, you need to really have a plan and your plan must be consistent, creative and in-line with what you want your bands image to actually be. And then at the end of the day, your music has to be GREAT.

   

As far as tools, I think it depends on the band and their audience. Twitter and Facebook are obvious and should be used, but sites like Foursquare to offer specials at your shows and drive merch sales and awareness should be considered. Using the basic tools to spread the content in a creative way is far more valuable than spreading yourself thin and trying to establish a relationship with fans on numerous platforms. As a band, use what you would use yourself as a fan and then grow your base from there. Know where your fans are and know how to use the technologies you do use.

I think Flickr, or Instagram works for photos, Foursquare for check-ins, ThingLink for embeds and video promos/photo promos, as well as Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis. You might want to use Google+ and integrate YouTube into that since they tend to go hand and hand, but the most important thing is to not repeat yourself on these platforms. I also think a lot of artists are using Topspin, but I think more should. It feels underutilized to me for some reason. I also think bands are overlooking mobile. Have a mobile website – make sure everything loads on an iPhone and Android, as well as a Kindle and iPad. Do that right now.

 

3. What are the most common mistakes artists and labels make when engaging fans online?

Not asking a question to the fans and thinking that just posting “something” is engaging

 

4. What did you first think when you say Thinglink, and how have you used it with your artists?

I saw what Simple plan did and wish we had gotten to it first. Then we launched some exclusive Evanescence photos with it and they become some of the most shared items ever. I thought it was so simple and effective, that I was actually looking for “what else it did” – it didn’t need to do anything else though – it accomplished numerous items that we use so many other things for. It allowed for sharing, purchasing, following, liking and was engaging and creative all at the same time.

 


 

5. If you could create one killer app or digital tool for artists, what would it look like?

I can’t say because we are currently trying to build the answer to this question.

 

This is the first interview in a series on best practices for using ThingLink in publishing, e-commerce, education, and entertainment. Stay tuned for more.

Interview by Cortney Harding.

 

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Five Ways Interactive Images Can Enhance Brand Engagement

This post by ThingLink CMO Neil Vineberg was recently published by MarketingProfs.com.

Remember image maps? Invented in 1993 at Honolulu Community College by student Kevin Hughes, image maps allow you to include multiple “clickable” areas within one image that link to specified URLs.

With more than 100 billion images online, several companies have expanded on the image-map concept with interactive image technology that lets users aggregate and tag content within images, offering marketers news ways for engaging brand communities.

Continue to the story.

 

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Real Estate Agents – 5 Steps To Creating a Web Page On Facebook

With more than a billion people, Facebook is the community of choice for communicating and sharing with friends and customers. A new interactive image tool – ThinkLink Tabs for Facebook – makes it easier than ever for realtors to engage effectively with home buyers and renters.

Why should realtors be on Facebook?

Marketing expert Laura M. Donovan explains,”94% of businesses are using Social Media to Market. Are you still in the 6%? If you are – you are missing a great opportunity to really get your business, service and brand out to a large group of people, translating into more revenue for your company.

Broker/Owner Michael Byrd of SLO HomeStore.com, adds: “There are a lot more people on Facebook every day than visit my site in a year. As an Exclusive Buyers Broker I have no listings with which to stimulate inquiries so, simply put, I have to go where the people are.”

Here are five steps for creating a powerful real estate sales / rental Page on Facebook using ThingLink Tabs.

 

1. Take a Screen Shot of your Home Page

A screen shot, also called a screen grab, is a quick way to capture an image you’ll need to tag for your Facebook page.

On a Mac – Use Command-Shift-3.

On a PC – Use the “Print Screen” button (may also be labeled “Prt Sc”, “Prnt Scrn”, “Print Scrn”, or similar).

 

2. Edit the Screen Shot

Edit your screen shot so it looks like your web page.

On a Mac – Open the screen shot using the PREVIEW app. Grab the part of the image that you want to appear on Facebook.

On a PC use any image editor and grab the part of the image that you want to appear in Facebook.

Here is the SLO Homestore.com page.

“I improvised by printing the page as a .pdf, converted it to .jpg then cropped it to look like a screen shot,” added Byrd.

Here’s the website image:

 

And here is how that page looks on Facebook.

Notice how Michael tagged key part of this image with links to his main website. ThingLink Tabs is your tool for adding links and posting the image to your Facebook page.

 

3. Import the image into your ThingLink account.

Sign up a free ThingLink account. Import your an image into ThingLink following the instructions at the site.

 

4. Tag the image.

ThingLink Tabs is an easy way for realtors to share content inside one image on a Facebook page. ThingLink features an interactive photo editor that lets realtors add tags to any photo. ThingLink’s exclusive Rich Media Tags feature popular media players and apps — from YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Google Maps, Spotify, FlickR, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, iTunes, Etsy, Mailchimp and FanBridge. Realtors can also create links inside images to anywhere on the Internet.

Byrd added, “ThingLink allowed me to create and post a tutorial for the most important functions of my home page. More importantly, it allowed me to make all of those functions directly accessible from one place on Facebook. I have other tabs, but they just lead to a single function compared to the ThingLink tab that provides nine specific functions. To my way of thinking, that is a very big deal.”

 

5. Post the Image on Facebook

Your image can be posted to your Facebook page with a few clicks of the mouse. Inside the ThingLink editor, simply click “Create a Tab on Facebook” and your image with its links will be transferred to your Facebook page.

ThingLink images are shareable with one click to Twitter, Facebook and email, and embeddable (like YouTube videos) into any blog or website. Every account includes metrics so realtors can monitor engagement. No programming experience is required and interactive images can be created and sent to Facebook in minutes.

ThingLink images are compatible with all websites, and can also be published and edited on any Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress.org blog.

For more information visit ThingLink.com.

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How to create an interactive ThingLink App for your Facebook Page

Engaging your audience on Facebook with ThingLink images is now easier than ever. We’ve built a feature that smoothly exports the image you choose to be featured as a ThingLink App on your Facebook page. This tutorial that takes your through the process as well as instructs you how to remove your app.

Start by tagging an image. Remember that you can upload an image to ThingLink, import an image from Facebook or Flickr or use any image URL.

After you’ve tagged the image, you will have the option of creating a ThingLink App on Facebook. Click the Share button, that you find above the comment field next to the image, and click the Facebook option furthest to the left.

 

Having begun the process, you have the option of seeing how the image would preview on a Facebook page, or to proceed. If your image is small, we center the image, and if your image is wide, we scale it down to fit. It’s always a good idea to preview your work to avoid confusion at a later stage. Remember that your image can be 810 pixels wide with Facebook’s new format, allowing for a lot of tag exploration.

 

If you are doing this process for the first time, regardless of if you logged in with an email address or your Facebook account, you need to enter your Facebook account again. At this stage, we verify the pages to which you have admin rights and provide you with a list of them. As you can see from the image, it is possible to also overwrite an old image for a page. There is no limit for how many times you can overwrite a ThingLink App.

 

Give your App a name. It’s by default called ThingLink, but you’re free to name it however you want.

 

Bravo, you should have your ThingLink App up and running. Go and see how it looks!

If you want to change the icon of your ThingLink App, you can find Facebook’s instructions for it here.

 

Your apps appear on the top navigation bar. To ensure maximum visibility for your ThingLink App, you should feature it visibly as one of the first three apps. If you for any reason want to remove your App, this is how.¨

 

Uninstalling your ThingLink App on Facebook

 

 

To delete the app, click the little arrow on the right. This opens the editing options for your entire layout.

 

To delete the app, click the editing tool and choose Uninstall App from the drop down menu.

 

With your free ThingLink account you can create an unlimited amount of ThingLink Apps on Facebook, with a small bit of ThingLink branding.

Start creating now!

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