Tag Archives: promotion

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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Album Covers Go Interactive With ThingLink

by Cortney Harding

Twenty years ago, I went to a record store in a mall in Clackamas, Oregon and bought a copy of Nirvana’s “Nevermind.” I tore the cellophane off the cassette and eagerly pulled out the packaging, looking at the photos of the three strange looking men with odd-colored hair and clothes fresh from the Goodwill. I wanted to know everything about them — based on that one image, I took trips to the library to read Rolling Stone, watched for their videos on MTV, and listened to that cassette until it wore out.

I wrote that extremely dated paragraph to prove a point — fans want to interact with artists based on images. And those most iconic artist images, their album covers, are key points of entry for many listeners. Luckily iTunes and Spotify haven’t destroyed album cover art — they simply made it another image to be shared and utilized.

ThingLink makes it easy for artists to transform an album image into a shareable container for music, videos and social connection. Now I don’t have to go to the library and page through back issues for more information on an artist. Inside an album image I can click on a link and read a blog post in a nanosecond. Ditto for waiting for a video to show up on the TV — just hit the YouTube link. And while listening to a new track once required waiting for radio to spin it, now it’s a matter of hitting a Soundcloud music player. And…well, you get the picture.

People, especially kids, still get excited about album releases. And what better way to connect news about the album with an interactive cover that contains music, video and more. In a way, it’s almost like going back to days of unfolding vinyl albums or CD booklets — people want to interact with the album art, but now they have an even deeper way to do it.

Take the cover of the recently announced Bruno Mars single, “It Will Rain,” which is also the lead track from the forthcoming Twilight soundtrack. The album cover shows Mars slouched beneath an umbrella and featured links to the Twilight trailer as well as his social media properties. It created the right mix of branding (rain, the umbrella) with an air of mystery — there was really no way to tell what the song was about, merely a call to keep following and figuring it out.

And what Mars’s team did is just the beginning. As I talked about in my previous post, a label could make a game out of spreading pieces of the cover and clips of a track around the web and asking fans to help put it together. Album announcements could feature a recorded clip from an artist with a special message that is changed daily, or pulled after 100 listens. Different pieces of the album art could feature different song clips.

 

The days of buying cassettes at the mall are long over (and thankfully, the associated hairstyles are lost to the ages, too) but the desire to interact with album artwork is as alive as ever.

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.

 

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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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ThingLink expert comment: Tools for Your Band

We invited tech public relations guru and musician Neil Vineberg to reflect upon his work with ThingLink and the benefits the tagging tool has for bands and music agencies. Enjoy.

:::

As an indie artist with a #1 world music CD, “Sacred Love,” I know first-hand the challenges faced by artists seeking to successfully promote music and engage fans online.

Do it yourself musicians today need know social media, digital rights management, distribution, touring and other fields of expertise to really compete. What’s exciting is that many of the tools and platforms now available to musicians allow them to operate their brand just like a record label.

The challenge for artists remains knowing the nuances of these often complex tools, how they work and and how they might best integrate together. That’s why I was honored to represent ThingLink on the Tools for Your Band panel at the recent San Francisco MusicTech Summit with J. Sider from RootMusic, Jaunique Sealey from Atom Digital, Josh Builder from The Orchard, Christopher LaRosa from YouTube and moderator Jolie O’Dell from Mashable.

My colleagues and I spoke about platforms and successful promotion strategies. I also shared my perspective as an artist and how I used some of the tools in my tool box.  Most artists I talked to agreed that photos are probably their most valuable marketing and branding tool, next to their actual music. So imagine if you could make your photos 10 to 50 times more engaging with fans?

That’s where ThingLink came into the conversation. We turn images into a platform for smart, in-image tags to your music, video, social media touch points, fan site, band site and points of purchase.  Everywhere you want a fan to go to experience your music, can be added INSIDE an image. So the image is much more than just a really great asset for a band. It’s now an interactive engagement tool. And one of the most powerful ones in your took box.

When your creative assets are bundled inside your photos, you’ll see fans engaging, because we also give you a social dashboard to track image views, hovers and clicks. And you’re likely to see click-through-rates that will be music to your ears.

After you set up an account at ThingLink, RT me @nvineberg and maybe we can feature you in our music gallery.

 

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