Posts By: Allison Carter

Engage Target Media Wins Coveted Film Award at SEMA

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Engage Target Media announces their short documentary film, “Just Kos: 60 Years of Kolor Power” won the Audience Choice Award, “Best in Show,” at the Optima Ultimate Film Festival on Nov. 2, 2016, at the Speciality Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.

“Just Koz” follows the evolution of the House of Kolor brand from inception to present. Based on interviews with founder Jon Kosmoski and long-time friends and colleagues, the short film details the triumphs and trials only found behind the scenes at a legendary company.

“The very fabric of custom car culture starts with Jon Kosmoski,” said Kristen Felder, CEO of Engage Target Media. “Today, many fortune 50 coating companies benefit by selling the very products he pioneered. We owe so many things to Jon that, as an industry, we’ll never be able to repay.”

Filmed inside Kosmoski’s House of Kolor shop and lab and throughout Minneapolis, Minn., the film features personal accounts, family photos and unique look at the builds that put House of Kolor on the map. 

Films were selected for the festival through three-part submission process focused on automotive content. Films were judged on story-telling, authenticity, creativity and individuality. Finalists were announced in late October. “Just Kos” was selected as winner on Nov. 2 by members of the automotive industry.

The film, which took nearly one year to complete, was produced and edited by Engage Target Media staff. Credits of the film include:

Executive Producer: Kristen Felder

Director: Eric White

Research and Writing: Allison Carter and Eric White

Producers:  Allison Carter, Eric White, Jenifer Childs and Avery Moorehead

Camera Operators: Corey Gattin, Terrell Case and Eric White

Lighting: Terrell Case, Avery Moorehead, Corey Gattin and Eric White

Sound Operator: John Kennedy

Editor: Terrell Case, Eric White and Corey Gattin

Technical Advisors: Tony Larimer and Kristen Felder

“At ETM, we felt that the opportunity to tell Jon’s story at the SEMA Optima Film Festival was small way of saying thank you.” Felder said. “This wasn’t a film produced for a corporation. It was a film made from the hearts of the painters that see color through the eyes Jon gave House of Kolor.”

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House of Kolor celebrated its 60th Anniversary at the 2016 SEMA Show. The annual trade show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world and draws more than 100,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries for unlimited profit opportunities in the automotive, truck and SUV, powersports, and RV markets.

“The staff at ETM believes that everyone has a story just waiting to be told,” said Felder. “We can never repay what Jon Kosmoski has given the paint world, but we can ensure that his story is never forgotten.”

Tips and Tricks for Capturing Quality Video with Your Smartphone

Social Content Marketing revolves around two goals:  Getting audience attention, and Keeping it. And the most effective way to do this is through video.

This information isn’t new. With the growing popularity of social media, marketers have found that videos of original content are up to ten times more likely to be embedded or shared than similar static social posts.

And a convenient way to get this content is sitting in the palm of your hand.

Your smartphone is capable of doing more than making calls and surfing for cat videos. You can shoot short-form, highly engaging video content perfect for Social Media simply by following these five guidelines.

Blog1. Turn, turn, turn

Do. Not. Shoot. Vertical. Video.

Websites, computer screens, televisions, movie theaters — even our own eyes — are engineered to be wide screen. Vertical video is squeezed between two black bars, giving the impression that your audience is missing out on the big picture. And it just looks bad.

Shooting horizontally, or in landscape, allows your smartphone to capture more of the picture, including backgrounds often missed in vertical shots.

And shooting a landscape will actually make your picture better too. By turning your phone, the video capture loads more resolution, allowing the video to be utilized on any platform, easily edited or even incorporated into existing higher resolution video.

Switching to landscape mode may also help with stability because it nearly forces you to use two hands.

2. Check Your Audio

Smart phone microphones are built to provide good sound quality for calls, but this does not transfer well to video, particularly when shooting at a distance.

And easy fix is to use an external microphone, which can be as cheap as $10.

Not so easy to fix is distracting background noises like traffic or voices. Even quiet sounds such as air conditioning fans can muddle your sound quality. To avoid these sounds coming through on your final video, film in a quiet, carpeted room if possible, setting the external microphone as close to the action as possible.

On outdoor, live-action or loud demonstration shoots, consider utilizing post-production music additions via a smartphone app.

3. Go Slow and Steady

Shaky-Cam may have made 90s horror films unique and exciting, but that camera trick doesn’t belong anywhere near your social media.

The most effective method of ensuring steady video is to place your phone on a tripod. These range from anywhere between $8 and $50 and are specially made for smartphones.

For shots that require mobility, invest in a gimbal. These handheld stabilizers hold your phone on an axis, allowing it to remain stable while providing a more fluid moving shot.

Gimbals can run anywhere from 50 to 400 dollars, so if you’re not ready to invest just yet, try this: start filming from a sitting or kneeling position, supporting your elbows on your knees to stabilize your hands.

If you need to pan, first stabilize your elbows on a solid surface such as a chair or table. Then pivot slowly, keeping you your elbows stationary. And although most mobile phones have a zoom function, the quality is better when the camera is moved closer rather than zooming in.

4. Switch on the lights

If you have ever had your picture taken with a smartphone’s flash, you know all too well that the photo is not likely to be flattering. But capturing video in low or poor light is not an option with a smartphone. They just simply are not advanced enough to capture video without adequate light. That’s why images and videos shot in low light look so grainy.

Consider investing in a lighting kit that includes a soft box. A soft box works by producing an even and soft light that reduces shadow without over lighting a subject. These start at $75, and an inexpensive starter kit with three lights can cost about $150.

For a more portable light source, an external LED flash and video light may be the answer. These wireless lights usually charge through a USB port and are easy to set up with any smartphone or tablet. These usually start at about $30.

5. Adapttangerine002

As useful as you smartphone may be, it does have limitations. But these can be overcome with add-ons that amplify your phone’s abilities.

For instance, if your content tends to center around live events such as races, sporting events or nature videos, consider investing in a lens adaptor. The adaptors can be used as external zoom lenses, fish-eye, wide angle, macro, filters…the list goes on.

These lenses run from anywhere between $50 and $500, but are worth it if you are looking for particular shots time and time again.

An external lens filter kit can give you special effects without utilizing an app or expensive hardwear. These small adaptors can split images into twos and threes, take closer video and add color easily, all for about $40.

Video Marketing Tips for Success

Are you using video to enhance your marketing plan? If not, what’s holding you back? Here are three great video tips that can help you get started or improve your current video strategy.

  1. Keep Your Content Short

As any filmmaker can tell you, editing is one of the toughest steps. Condensing your content into a few minutes can be a challenge.Unfortunately, viewers have short attention spans so you have to keep it short, especially in the beginning. As you build your video library and measure viewership, you’ll start to see where there is demand for longer in-depth videos.

When it comes to social media, short-form videos are a great asset. These videos are ideal for sharing on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. In this format, customers can quickly view a message as they scroll through their social media feeds. Brands can quickly send a message that will be seen by a larger audience.

2. Create an Emotional Response

To help you start, channel your inner storyteller. Make sure you show the stories behind your product and get to the heart of how your product relates to real people. Emotions evoke a response from viewers that will stick with them much longer than an ad telling them to go purchase a product or service. Consumers want to feel like they are a part of your brand and they like to buy from companies who make difference in the world.

3. Make Your Videos Engaging

Did you know that 80% of online visitors will watch a video, while only 20% will read text? Video in itself is more engaging than any other medium in advertising. Consumers are constantly bombarded with others vying for their attention. From sales pitches, case studies, product information and more, your audience is almost numb to advertising in these forms. As marketers, we risk being so eager to push information at buyers that we forget to think about whether they’ll enjoy it.

You can evoke emotion and establish a connection with your viewers in ways not possible with written word. Get your audience talking to you and about you in a positive way.

Increase Your Video SEO Ranking By Understanding Retention

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Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine available on the web?

With thirty million visitors per day and over one hundred hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, getting your video noticed can be a real challenge.

So, what does it take to get noticed? To answer that, you will need to understand how YouTube ranks its videos.

One of the most important factors for ranking is content that can hold the attention of your audience.

YouTube ranks your video based on how people engage with it. This engagement can be measured by video retention, comments and shares to social media.

When it comes to video retention and watch-time, the longer people view a video and stay on YouTube because of your video, the better your video will rank. Your video can be of any length, but if you choose to make longer content, but make sure that it’s something that will hold the attention of your audience.

By looking at YouTube’s analytics, you can find the audience retention tool. Here’s how:

1.Log in to your YouTube account.

2.In the top right, select your account > Creator Studio.

3.On the left, select Analytics > Audience retention.

4.Click the name of the video and play it.

You can use the Audience Retention Report to get an overall measure of how well your video keeps its audience. Use the report to see:

•Average view duration for all videos on your channel

•Top videos or channels listed by watch time

•Audience retention data for a specific video for different timeframes

•Relative audience retention for a video compared to the YouTube average for similar videos

Keeping your video at a length that matches the average view time for your videos can help increase your audience retention.

For example, if you have a video that is 10 minutes long, and your viewership goes down by 75% after the first 3 minutes, you may want to shorten your videos down to closer to 3 minutes.

It’s also important to note that likes and dislikes, view count and amount of shares plays a role in how you are ranked when searching YouTube. Social media shares will help get your video out to your audience, which hopefully will lead to more views.

Bottom line, the more views and the longer your audience stays tuned in, the higher your video will rank on YouTube. Follow these tips, and you should start seeing results.

Looking into the Future: 7 Social Media Predictions for 2016

 

2015 was a huge year for social media innovations. Marketers once again saw changes to their algorithms, leading to a need for increased paid promotions. Facebook also continued their policy of curtailing posts that seem too promotional, making the number one social media site even more difficult to to budget for.

Twitter’s growth really began to stall in 2015 after seeing its peak growth in August 2014. Marketers began to shift their focus from this platform to another emerging and popular site, Instagram. With its 400 million monthly active users, Instagram became the new hot spot for reaching an audience in 2015.

But 2015 has come to an end and the changes to the social media landscape happening more and more frequently. Here’s what to expect for 2016.

     1. More Powerful Social Media Searches

In November, Pinterest announced a new search tool allowing users to zoom in on specific objects in a Pin’s image and search for similar objects or patterns. It works like Google Image search, allowing users to find products in a new way. In 2016, expect other platforms to catch on to the idea of new and improved ways to search for content and technologies to change the way we use these sites.

     2. Live Social Broadcasts

Periscope didn’t exist in 2014, but by the end of 2015 it had become Apple’s iPhone App of the Year. With more than 10 million users, Periscope’s unique live broadcast abilities have become the new way to interact with consumers. In 2016, Periscope will continue to grow, so expect to see other sites (Facebook!) to find ways to capitalize on this new technology.

     3. Buy! Buy! Buy!

Leave it to Facebook to find a new way to take our cash. In 2014, Facebook started a trend in social media that we felt through last year. Buy Buttons have recently become part of the interface of Instagram and Pinterest, so expect to start seeing these ads more often in your feeds and your budget.

     4. Video at the Forefront

Humans are visual beings, and we like videos. It’s the easiest way for us to learn and retain knowledge. Cisco estimates that by the beginning of 2017, 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be video, so marketers need to be starting a budget for video production for 2016.

     5. User Privacy Concerns

In 2015, about 32 million Ashley Madison users found out the hard way that privacy isn’t necessarily guaranteed online. With one of the largest hacks on record still fresh in their minds, social media users are now looking for assurances that their private information is, in fact, private. Expect to see major increase in protections offered from Facebook, Instagram and any other sites that store personal information like birthdates and credit card info.

     6. Incoming Messages

According to Forbes, the frequency of incoming messages are up almost one third from 2014. Consumers are catching on to a new way of connecting with companies, so expect to keep seeing an increase on incoming messages throughout the platforms. Don’t be one of the estimated 82% of brands who do not respond. Pay attention in 2016 and engage in a new way.

     7. Easier Publishing on Instagram

Instagram can be a time-consuming nightmare for social marketers simply because it must be used in real-time and is exclusive to mobile devices. If nothing else changes from last year, let’s hope Instagram has made Post Scheduling their New Year’s Resolution for 2016.

How Social Media Can Be A Nightmare For Businesses

Social Media can be one of the greatest marketing tools a company has at its disposal, but it can also create nightmares if used incorrectly.

In 2014, American Apparel came under fire for their July 4th Tumblr posts meant to celebrate the holiday. What the company thought was an image of a firework exploding across the sky in a patriotic plume was actually a press photo of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986, which took the lives of all 7 astronauts onboard. Although the company removed the post and apologized, American Apparel continues to suffer long-standing backlash from the flub.

But not all social media nightmares are as easy to spot as that news-maker. Failures on Social Media outlets can be a headache for companies in ways they may not have expected. Small details can mean the difference between a successful social presence and a negative image being presented to your target consumers.

Avoiding these costly mistakes and pitfalls is crucial when launching a successful social media marketing campaign. Be sure to be wary of the top 5 mistakes companies make when managing their social media pages, and help avoid welcoming the wrong kind of attention to your company.

  1. Failure to Continue Posting

The biggest mistake a company can make after establishing Social Media pages is to stop updating these pages regularly. For customers and potential customers, this makes a page look empty and uninviting. The page then becomes a billboard shouting “We Aren’t Here” rather than an way to invite new customers to your storefront.

Not staying current suggests that not only your pages, but your company, may not be up-to-date. Why would a customer think that you are accessible, current and the best place to take their business if their Facebook page hasn’t been updated in 6 months? The customer may assume you are lackadaisical or lazy and it’s likely they may think you are no longer in business.

  1. Posting Too Often and On Too Tight a Schedule

While posting too infrequently can cause a page to look barren, posting too often can cause content engagement to drop dramatically. An important post, such as a new sale or product, can get lost in a sea of less important content. Likewise, creating too much content can flood customers’ News Feeds, leading them to tune out the excess noise by unfollowing your page.

Once you discover what constitutes a healthy number of posts for each of your Social Media platforms, it is necessary to ensure that these posts go out in regular, yet organic intervals. Social Media is unique in that it allows individuals to present information in real-time. Publishing content at the same time on the same day and at the same interval will dispel this image. A customer should feel they are looking at a page managed by a human, not a robot. Mix it up.

  1. Not Responding to Questions

Social media outlets can be excellent places to present new products and information to a targeted audience, but your responsibility to the pages does not end with posting content. These pages also create a 24-hour hotline for customers to interact with your company. For example, midnight owls and early risers can ask direct questions to your company without the constraints of “Open” hours.

Problems arise when these questions go unanswered. Missed questions leave a customer feeling as if they are not being heard. It also removes the appearance of an active and engaged company. Social media pages are a unique way to present a personalized, accessible image of your company and ignoring customers on your pages dispels this image in a very public way.

  1. Not Responding to Feedback

Social Media is an extension of your customer service abilities, so failing to respond to customer feedback including comments, can give consumers the impression of an apathetic company. Just as your customer service professionals wouldn’t simply ignore a customer’s call, your pages shouldn’t ignore customer feedback either.

Companies who reply to customer comments, both good and bad, appear engaged. They appear to not only care about their customers, but their brand as well. They seem trustworthy. A customer knows if they chose to purchase a product from that company that they will have somewhere to turn if they need further assistance, such as returns or repairs.

Negative feedback left unanswered on a page creates another problem. It can distract potential customers from all other content. One negative review can dissuade customers from further engagement with your company, but a well thought-out response to negative feedback can both re-engage the dissatisfied customer and promote trust that when consumers do have a problem, you are prepared to take care of it.

  1. Using the Wrong Medium/Platform to Drive Business

Just because a social media platform is available doesn’t mean that it is the right fit for your company. Using the wrong content on the wrong social media platform can not only make you look desperate, but cause disengagement and a bad taste in consumers’ mouths.

In a recent study, researchers revealed that nearly 71% of adult internet users are on Facebook, which suggests that’s a great place to start promoting your company. But not every company lends itself to Facebook. A funeral home, for example, may appear less professional if offering sales and specials on Facebook, and garner the wrong kind of attention when such posts show up on customer’s News Feeds. It’s not to say this cannot be done, but posts should keep in mind the audience and be appropriate for the industry and platform.

Each company is an individual, and not every social page is going to work. Finding the right fit for you is integral to ensuring your reaching your target audience. Remember, a post can only be impressionable and drive sales if your customer sees it. Make sure it’s going where it needs to go.

At the end of the day, Social Media is a great way to engage with your customers and potential customers, but managing your social media pages is time-consuming. Be prepared to take a little time everyday (or sometimes many times a day) to ensure you are paying attention to those customers who are engaging with you, and that you are reciprocating. Social media works both ways — make sure it’s working for you.

Image Size Matters

DrawingsStandardSizesDrawingSheetsWhen it comes to social media, we all know that content is king. However, content with images is like a world-leader, sitting on a throne of viral content. Images are critical to your content being seen. Why? The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than it does when decoding text.

However, when it comes to using images, it’s important to make sure you use the right size for where you’re sharing. Research shows that social media content with images is shared exponentially more than content without pictures. This blog will help you make sure you the best image sizes for your favorite social media site.

Twitter

Tweets with images are retweeted 150% more than those without an image. In fact, 89% more tweets become favorites than those tweets with just plain text. Image also see 18% more clicks.

  • The optimal image Dimensions: 1024 x 512 pixels; also acceptable: 440×220 pixels
  • File size 5 MB (3MB for animated GIFs)
  • File Type: JPEG, PNG and GIF

Facebook

Posts with images account for 87% of all interactions on Facebook, worldwide. Posts with images are shared 87% while posts with links are shared on 4% of the time. On 3% of posts with video get shared.

  • Optimal Dimensions: 2048×2048 and 1200×630 pixels (for shared links); also acceptable 720×720 pixels
  • File Size: must not exceed 15MB
  • File Type: JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF and TIFF

NOTE: PNG files larger than 1M may appear pixelated on shared links.

Open graph images may not include more than 20% text – this includes logos and slogans as a part of the image.

Google+ images

  • Optimal Dimensions: 2048×2048 and 1200×630 pixels (for shared links); also acceptable 720×720 pixels
  • File Size: must not exceed 36MB
  • File Type: JPEG, PNG, and GIF

Tumblr

  • Optimal Dimensions: 1280×1920 pixels for high-resolution images (except for super-wide panoramas); also acceptable 540×540 pixels
  • File Size: must not exceed 100MB
  • File Type: JPEG, and PNG

NOTE: The maximum width for animated GIFs is 500 pixels and may not exceed 1MB.

Images wider than 300 pixels automatically scale to fit the dashboard.

Instagram

  • Optimal Dimensions: 640×640 pixels; also acceptable 612×612 pixels
  • File Type: JPEG, PNG, and GIF

NOTE: Instagram allows higher resolutions photos if they are taken with the Instagram App. Photos uploaded from another device will have a lower resolution.

Pinerest

  • Optimal dimensions: 736 pixels wide; also acceptable: 236 pixels wide.
  • Pinterest automatically scales the height for you based on the image width.
  • File Size: must not exceed 10MB
  • File Type: JPEG, PNG, and GIF

NOTE: To pin a video, you must first upload it to a video site such as YouTube or Vimeo.

LinkedIn

  • Optimal Dimension for shared images: 531×399; also acceptable: 400×400 pixels
  • For shared links: 180×110; also acceptable 165×101 pixels
  • File Size: must not exceed 100MB
  • File Type: JPEG, PNG, and GIF

NOTE: To prevent spam in the LinkedIn feed, you cannot repeatedly post the same shared content.

So, there you have it, image dimensions for most of the popular social media sites. If you want to increase your exposure, share a picture! But not just any picture, one that works best for the site. Use this ‘cheat sheet’ to make sure your image gets you noticed.