How to generate reviews from your sampling campaign

Product sampling campaigns are potentially the simplest, and most cost-effective way to generate awareness for your brand, and the item you’re trying to sell. One of the most significant benefits of these marketing strategies is that they allow you to generate more reviews and testimonials from your audience.

As many companies already know, reviews can be the key to creating trust in customers that have yet to sample your services for themselves. But how can you make sure that you’re creating a product sampling strategy that lends itself to increased review numbers?

Assess your audience

Before you even start considering the products that you might have available for an effective sampling campaign, you’ll need to make sure that you know the people you’re marketing yourself to. This will help to ensure that you’re directing your attention towards more engaged recipients, and in turn, this should mean that you can access better results.

Look at the goals you set for your business when you began considering a product sampling strategy. The chances are that you wanted to raise awareness of your brand with at least one target audience. Ask yourself what you need to know about that audience before you start putting your campaign into practice.

For instance, do they respond better to certain items in your portfolio? If so, then you can focus on giving away the free samples that people in your network appreciate most.

The happier a customer is with the sample they receive, the more likely they are to write a review on your behalf.

Choose the right products

Once you know which audience you’re going to appeal to, make sure that you’re selecting the products that best lend themselves to reviews.

For instance, customers are far less likely to purchase a product they know nothing about. If you’re concerned about raising attention for a new product, try giving people free samples to generate trustworthy reviews for future prospects.

It might also be worth thinking about how you can tie your products in with trending topics and issues in the marketplace. This will help to make your brand more conversation-worthy and could enhance the chances that your customers will want to talk about you on social media when they have the chance.

Remember, reach out to your customers and ask them for reviews after they’ve had their sample. People are much more likely to give something back to a brand that has already offered them something of value, thanks to a psychological need for reciprocity.

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Conversation LAB Wins Darling and Frika

South Africa and UK – Adding to its recent Kinky Hair win, creative agency Conversation LAB now adds two new leading hair brands, Darling and Frika, to its growing female hair care portfolio.

Conversation LAB is now the digital agency of record across the complete stable of dry hair brands for Godrej, which ranks among the largest hair care players globally.

Darling, the best-selling dry hair brand in Africa, has operations in 14 countries, whilst Frika, also hair extensions and wigs, enjoys a premium positioning in the South African market and is the market leader in key accounts in organised retail.

Prashant Chako, head of marketing for Africa, speaking from Dubai, said: “We enjoy a close strategic partnership with the team at Conversation LAB which is fully entrenched in the world of ethnic hair. The agency has been leading the full portfolio of digital activity for Godrej wet hair brands, Inecto and Renew, for the past three years, delivering exceptional results and winning awards. So, it was the natural choice to appoint Conversation LAB as agency of record for our dry hair portfolio, including Darling, Frika and Kinky”.

The agency will be responsible for developing, implementing and tracking a multi-layered digital eco-system for both brands including management and development of all content across a range of social media platforms, websites and mobile sites, fully optimised for the huge search market as well as influencer engagement. It will offer a full end-to-end digital solution for Godrej SA’s dry hair care portfolio.

Commenting on the new business win, Samantha Hewitson, account director at Conversation LAB said: “Research constantly shows that the hair care category in Africa is one of the most competitive consumer businesses, and we at Conversation LAB are always up for a challenge. We are excited about continuing to grow market share for both Darling and Frika and further entrench them as household names on the continent”.

The post Conversation LAB Wins Darling and Frika appeared first on Conversation LAB.

Original Composition and Sound Design for Moments

Our interview with CP Pro Audio’s Chris Plante on composing custom music for brand experiences.
<p>Earlier this year we explored <a href=”http://cramer.com/story/how-your-meetings-music-impacts-your-audiences-emotion/” target=”_blank”>how music choice can influence your event audience’s emotional experience</a>. The mood of a meeting is heavily influenced by not just what the audience sees and experiences, but also by what the audience hears.
</p>
<p>The right music, whether subtly playing in the background of a networking opportunity, or setting the tone of your big screen conference opener for thousands of attendee’s watchful eyes and ears, can make or break the moment.
</p>
<p>Billboard’s top 40 and classic pump up rock jams are easy go-to’s to speaker entrances or award ceremonies, but when it comes to the media elements at your show, and ensuring the delivery of an impactful message, you may find your brand experience needing more.
</p>
<p>Just like how <a href=”http://cramer.com/story/how-our-stories-embody-our-craft-the-catalyst-custom-illustrations/”>stock art sometimes won’t cut it</a>, neither will stock music. For those instances, there is custom composition. We’re talking designing music specific for a moment. Investing in an original composition, or even an entire score, for your events and marketing content. That’s true attention to detail. That, friends, is art. And it’s something we’re passionate about at Cramer.
</p>
<p>”Nothing is more powerful than composing to picture,” says Executive Creative Director, Mark Wilson.
</p><figure data-type=”quote”>
<blockquote>”Music is not be overlooked. And when I say music, I’m not just talking about songs, and picking the right entrance stinger for a keynote. That’s important, because it’s so incredibly personal and to connect persona, with ego, with energy, through the perfect track is really great. But on another level, I mean sound design in its truest form. And treating sound with the same care and quality that we would give motion graphics within a visual story or live event components.”

</blockquote></figure>
<p>There are more content creators than ever before, and more demand for quality music to accompany all that content. Services like <a href=”https://www.musicbed.com/” target=”_blank”>Music Bed</a> and <a href=”https://soundstripe.com/” target=”_blank”>Soundstripe</a> allow creators to license high quality music for film projects starting at $15.
</p>
<p>It’s an incredible time to be a filmmaker, event producer, and marketer with how quick, easy, and cheap it can be to put out great looking and sounding work. Fortunately, it’s become quicker, easier, and cheaper to create custom compositions as well!
</p>
<p>On the higher end of commercial and documentary production, even sound design for brand experiences, you’re not going to want to license a track that your audience may hear in 10 other various projects or settings. You want something as unique as the experience and the message that your content is conveying.
</p>
<p>In the past, original music has been costly due to expensive composers and studio time, but these costs have been driven down by more accessible technologies. When the impact of the project truly matters, there should be no reason not to go custom.
</p>
<p>On one of our favorite composed projects to date, we brought in our friend and owner of <a href=”http://www.cpproaudio.com/” target=”_blank”>CP Pro Audio</a>, Chris Plante.
</p>
<p>Chris is the mastermind behind the music that accompanied the IBM Amplify conference opening video. First, check out the video and take a listen below, then dig into our interview with Chris where we chat about the craft of music composition and the unique challenges of writing music for moments like these.
</p>
<p><br>
</p><center><figure data-type=”video”>

<figcaption>IMB Amplify Conference Video – Produced by Cramer, with music by CP Pro Audio</figcaption></figure></center>
<h4></h4>
<h1>An interview with CP Pro Audio’s, Chris Plante -</h1>
<h3></h3>
<h3>Let’s start with IBM Amplify. Can you tell us a little about your inspiration for the track here?
</h3>
<p>During the conversation I had with Mark, and Brendan O’Brien, I think Mark said something like, “they know you better than you know yourself,” and that really said it all for me. That was going to be the emotional driver behind the piece. And the goal was to make this sound like a song that already existed, and not like a bed or stock track.
</p>
<p>The lyrics were going to subtly, but directly, convey what the audience would be seeing on screen. In that way, it’s so much more powerful that picking any random tune to pair with the video.
</p>
<p>What was so great about working with Cramer on this was that the team had such a strong direction and vision for what they wanted this to feel like, that they sent along 8 or 10 temp tracks which I used to basically decipher, “what is the line tying all of these together?” Whether production or vibe, chord changes or tempo, I could use that, and then create something original that would really suit the project.
</p>
<h3>So you prefer when a client sends you some starter tracks rather than a blank slate to work with?</h3>
<p>I think if the client has already found something they like and know the direction they want to go in with the music, it can be really helpful to not waste time going down the wrong path. So a lot of times I do prefer getting those temp tracks as a starting point. But for something like a movie, I would be less likely to want that, and would rather have full creative liberty to interpret what the scene demands.
</p>
<p>Getting something with demo tracks isn’t a bad thing though, because it gives me a benchmark to beat. And that’s my whole job. To beat the hell out of stock music.
</p>
<h3>When might you say stock music is a viable option?</h3>
<p>I mean stock has its place. Use stock if the music is neither here nor there. If you’re just delivering text on screen for instance and the piece doesn’t need to be emotionally important and dynamic.
</p>
<p>If you want control over the emotional dynamic and want people to really come away from a video feeling something, stock may only get you 70 or 80% there. Music can so deeply affect the way that you react to a visual, that if your project does have that level of importance, you’re selling it short by not going with a carefully crafted original piece. You wouldn’t use a stock script right?
</p>
<h3>Ok sold. No stock! Can you paint us a picture of your process when you’re starting to compose something original?</h3>
<p>Every time I get something new, I kind of quasi black out! It’s strange but there is a moment when I watch something for the first time where I just feel such a strong pull towards where I can take the piece sonically.
</p>
<p>I feel like I’ve always had pretty good instincts for where important sync points and lifts or lulls happen within video storylines, but sometimes I may be wrong, and that’s okay. It’s an exploration exercise.
</p>
<p><img src=”http://madrogator.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/EeOXl7CHSHbFL9VmBGjUQcPLS7_riF9Fw9-43Wu6wmBNutWxXq_UdO6FmJfx7GI863C_Mf4GUGqN_XYeEjzvI9awhTIs1200″>
</p>
<h3>Does your process change depending on the medium you’re composing for? Say, a video for web vs. a video for an event?</h3>
<p>Well it’s all about understanding what we want the audience to feel, in a moment, no matter where that moment takes place. And then translating that into music.
</p>
<p>The main question that I always ask the production team is what do you want the audience to feel when they watch or listen to this? Because the answer to that question is the answer to what I’m going to do musically.
</p>
<p>But, for events specifically, there are some cool places we can take sound design that changes the writing process. For a different project with Cramer, we had an event with six screens flashing on and off at different important sync points, and using stereo imaging, we were able to make the audio impact sync with the visuals.
</p>
<p>When the video cut hard left, so did the audio, which helps draw audience attention where we wanted it to go and that is a better experience for the attendee. You need to mix a track differently for a big room too. Where the music is going to play makes a difference.
</p>
<h3>Are you ever given an audience persona to consider as you think about who they are and how to make them feel?</h3>
<p>Who a person is, from a traditional marketing persona standpoint, doesn’t matter as much as you might think.
</p>
<p>Even though we all have different tastes and come from different walks of life, when we’re put in a situation where we’re watching a film or a video, especially in a theater or at an event, music will affect us similarly across demographics.<br>
</p>
<p>If I’m writing for C-level executives, it’s not much different than writing for the 4,000 people they employ. At the end of the day they’re all affected by music, regardless of their position at a job.
</p>
<p>Sometimes the age bracket is an important consideration, as far as style goes. You know, writing music for 8th graders vs. a sales team. But what I really feel moves people is tempo, harmony, and melody. You can take a similar mix of those three things, and produce something stylistically different depending on the audience.
</p>
<h3>What would you say to a client, who may be on the fence, to help them understand how thoughtfully crafted original music is worth their investment?</h3>
<p>You’re already investing so much in an experience, and you’re hoping for your audience to come away with a certain lasting feeling, and it’s important to note that a large percentage of what they do feel is going to come from the music and the sound design.
</p>
<p>Although we focus on visuals because we’re visually-oriented creatures, a lot of what’s happening in our brain is actually based more on what we’re hearing. Music is a much bigger experience than we often give it credit for, but I would argue it’s as important as any other element of your program!
</p>
<h3>To connect with Chris, visit <a href=”http://www.cpproaudio.com/” target=”_blank”>cpproaudio.com</a><a href=”http://www.cpproaudio.com/”>.com</a>. To chat about an original composition to compliment content design for your next brand experience, <a href=”http://cramer.com/contact/”>contact us</a>.</h3>
<h4>For some fun final proof in how drastically music and sound design choices can influence how you feel about what you’re seeing and the messages you’re absorbing, may we now present the Ms. Doubtfire trailer, recut as a horror movie.</h4><figure data-type=”video”>
<p>

</p></figure>
<p><br>
</p>

4 Social Media Trends to Follow in 2018

ChristinaSirabella_2018Trends.jpg

By Christina Sirabella, Junior Copywriter

Long gone are the days when simple text or image updates made for effective social content. As new technologies emerge and online demographics shift, tactics that worked five years ago ― or even one year ago ― are rapidly becoming obsolete. So, to keep your brand content on the cutting edge, here are some trends to stay ahead of as we look to 2018:

1. Live Streaming

It’s no secret that video has become essential to any marketing strategy in the past few years, but live streaming is the most recent video application to take social media by storm. Between current devices’ increased streaming capabilities and the continued focus on video content, live streaming has already grown tremendously. Currently, live videos are broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and even Tumblr ― but with 82% of audiences preferring live video to social posts, expect this tactic to gain even more prominence next year.

2. Augmented and Virtual Reality

This year, an estimated 40 million people in the U.S. have engaged with some form of augmented reality at least monthly. With its lens features and real-time virtual camera effects, Snapchat has made the biggest push into this sphere. Mobile gaming applications like Pokémon Go have dabbled in AR as well, but in 2018 the widespread availability of AR and VR will create new opportunities for marketers to make their content on social platforms more interactive as well as engaging.

3. Chatbots and Messaging

Personalization is key in the current social media landscape, especially with regards to messaging. Two billion messages are sent each month between people and businesses through chatbots, which are relatively simple AI interfaces specializing in natural language processing ― think Siri or Cortana, but less sophisticated. They live on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp and provide an automated but (ideally) satisfying way for companies to answer individuals’ questions or provide information. When done right, bots allow businesses to message audiences in a more immediate way, on a more personalized level, at scale. For brands, messaging apps have mostly been for early adopters till now, but expect that to change in 2018.

4. Influencer Marketing

It’s imperative for brands to access and tap into consumer trust, and one of the best ways to do that is through influencer marketing. 45% of online shoppers say they are influenced by the opinions of others, and 84% of millennials do not trust traditional advertising. In 2018, more brands will partner with influencers and embrace this tactic across channels as a more authentic way to build customer relationships.

 

What social media trends do you expect to see in 2018? Share in the comments, or contact Likeable Media to find out how we can transform your social media strategy in the new year.


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Conversation LAB goes back to school with Hilton College

Conversation LAB goes back to school with Hilton College

Conversation LAB have been appointed by Hilton College, one of the most prestigious private boys’ schools in the country, to design and build their new website and consult on their digital strategy. Hilton is a traditional all-boys private boarding school, who pride themselves on remaining contemporary and innovative within the educational space.

This win adds to the impressive collection of academic institutions that Conversation LAB currently works with. These include several brands from the ADvTECH Group – Varsity College, The Business School, Vega, Rosebank College, University of Africa – as well as globally recognised International Hotel School.

The scope of work covers all website activity: management, art direction and photography, search (SEO) and content management, UX, and analytics. The agency has also assisted in Social Media strategy.

Headmaster George Harris commented: “Conversation LAB was recommended to us through our network and we were impressed by their education sector credentials, as well as their design and development capabilities. We have full confidence that they are the right choice to help define our digital strategy.”

Conversation LAB UX Lead, James Murray, stated: “In a highly competitive education sector, a
website, or Facebook page, is often the first interaction that the prospect has with the school. It’s now more important than ever that the user experience is seamless and that a school’s website demonstrates the why and the how the school is the best in class.”

Conversation LAB, which is headquartered in Durban, recently expanded into Johannesburg, Cape Town and London.

For more information, contact Kevin Power at Conversation LAB.

031 536 3412 / 071 340 3119

The post Conversation LAB goes back to school with Hilton College appeared first on Conversation LAB.