Video Marketing: Capturing Attention and Keeping It

Video as a medium is one of the most efficient ways you can communicate to a mass audience and convey information. Within seconds, a viewer learns almost everything you want them to know about your brand, your goals, and your benefit to them. High-quality videos with engaging subjects and the right messaging can increase traffic to your website significantly. Content that both impresses and draws in your target audience. Below are five video marketing strategies that will capture your audience’s attention.

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HIGH VISIBILITY ON SOCIAL MEDIA

using-instagram-outsideMany social media platforms, notably Facebook, use algorithms that favor video formats. However, even without the boost from these algorithms, evidence suggests that people are simply more likely to share and engage with video content than other kinds of posts. A video is 53x more likely to populate a Google search than a text article and 40x more likely to be shared on social media. This means that if you have a message you want to get out, video offers the best chances of being seen on major social media platforms.

STORIES ARE YOUR FRIENDS

video-marketing-capturingStories are videos or photos that play for approximately ten seconds on various social media platforms, notably Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. They disappear after 24 hours and can’t be liked or shared, but people are more likely to watch them than to scroll to a post. I can say I am more likely to watch a chain of Instagram stories than scroll through the feed. It’s a great way to get your brand seen and to message in a concise format.

SPONSORED VIDEO ADS

types-of-youtube-adsIn the last decade, competition for attention online has gotten tougher than ever. In 2017 alone, video content took up 74 percent of online traffic. Companies are competing just as much within their industries as without to get attention and boost their brands. For instance, paid ads can be a leg up on the competition. This puts in a boost on social media platforms to get your content at the top of the stack and in front of people’s eyeballs.

EDUCATION AND TUTORIALS

woman-makeup-tutorialA great way you can connect with your audience is by posting educational tutorials or tips relevant to your industry. This simultaneously shows off your expertise in a subject. Subsequently, also engaging viewers to learn more about you and your business. They are also easy to serialize, as there is never just one thing people need or want to learn about in your industry.

CALL TO ACTION

conan-subscribe-video-pageFailing to stick the ending is a common video marketing mistake. Your audience might be fully engaged in the content you put out. However, if you fail to use that to motivate them into taking the next step, it will be all for naught. A call to action gives your viewers a next-step once they’ve watched your video. It can be as simple as directing your audience to your website for more information, or the ever present “Like, Share, or Subscribe.”

 

Video marketing is an exciting and interactive way for you to reach an audience. It is more important and more cost-effective than ever to create video content for your brand. Do you want more information about video-marketing? Check out our website and tell us if we can use video to take your online marketing strategy to the next level.

ABOUT US

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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Product Packaging: Our 5 Ways To Help You Stand Out

When it comes to developing product packaging, two thoughts that come to mind are: meeting the needs of the consumer, as well as capturing their attention in a sea of competition. Packaging presents an opportunity; messaging ends up straight in the consumer’s hand, and often their home. As a result, it becomes a constant reminder of that product or brand. Below are some tips and questions to ask yourself when producing a great package.

COMMUNICATING with your Product Packaging

Packages perform as vehicles for direct communication between brands and consumers, and should answer questions such as:

  • What is the product?
  • Are there benefits of using the product?
  • How is this product unique?
apple-product-packaging

An array of Apple products and electronics

Packaging is often considered the last advertisement a potential buyer will see before making a purchase. Use graphic design to speak to how the customer should feel with color, typography, texture, and messaging. Consider the design of an Apple package. Each component is arranged with care, making smart use of the space inside. The clean white boxes ensure the focus is on the product itself. Written messaging gets out of the way and product photos dominate the front of the packages. The tech is the star here. Each part of the inner package is considered; from the way cords are wrapped to the origami-esque components that hold instruction manuals. Each choice speaks to how Apple wants their product to be received by the customer: important, good quality, smart, and well designed.

Good design lives at the intersection of creativity and functionality. Imagine a consumer carrying the product out of the store:

  • How will the customer carry and purchase the product?
  • How does your product fit into their life?
dose-juice-product-packaging

Woman holding a bottle of juice

THINKING ABOUT THE CONSUMER

Therefore, product packaging that can be carried, stored, and reused, functions to remind the customer of your brand and its value in everyday life. Quality components make lasting impressions, especially if a branded component of the package becomes part of their experience with the product itself.

How does the packaging feel in the hand? Weightiness, often psychologically, communicates higher quality. Choose a material that is pleasant to touch. It encourages customers to hold it longer. The longer they hold it, the greater the feeling of psychological ownership. This can help motivate the customer to purchase an item.

 

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COMPETITION

grocery-store-isles

Grocery store isles full of various products

What do the competitor’s products look like? Does your product stand out without alienating the consumer? If multiple competitors are already using flashy colors and graphics, a product may actually stand out with a neutral palette and minimal design elements. For that reason, it’s helpful to take visual stock at real stores to determine your competitors’ aggregated color stories and how your product will fit into that landscape. Is there a story missing from the spread? Does your product fill that gap? Be sure to tell your audience why you’re using thoughtful product packaging design.

VALUES

boxed-water-product-packaging

Boxed Water is Better product

Packaging advertises a brand’s values. Audiences seek alignment with brands they purchase from. The ever-rising popularity of green products (which often purport sustainable practices, using recyclable/recycled materials, or using natural ingredients) is a reflection of this desire for shared values. It is also common to advertise other ethical choices such as:

  • Workers’ conditions
  • Whether you test on animals
  • Political stances

These values can be advertised directly on the box to make you stand out from the crowd. While even if your stance may be an unpopular one, an honest advertisement will keep loyal consumers. Consumers desire transparency and are alienated by inauthenticity.

LOCATION

woman-shopping-at-makeup-counterWhich stores will you sell the product in? Do those locations speak to the values that the brand purports? If you advertise sustainable, ethically-sourced products, selling products in a large discount department store might create dissonance with the target audience.

Also, you should consider the product’s location in the store itself, potentially using:

  • Point of purchase displays – These provide more physical space to convey messaging to the customer, as well as helping your product to stand out significantly (as it will no longer be on the shelves next to the rest of the products). Point of purchase displays can also encourage impulse buys when strategically placed.
  • Endcaps are another great way to boost visibility. They provide a platform for you to advertise items together that may not normally be near each other. Paired products present a convenience to the buyer. They might not bother to find alternatives. A good example of this is selling office supplies together that share an aesthetic theme.

EXPERIENCE

Bottles-sunglasses-product-packagingProduct packaging is an extension of your brand experience. Opening a product can replicate the joy and curiosity felt upon opening a Christmas present. There are many social media avenues where people share their unboxing experiences on camera, such as Instagram and YouTube. These present an opportunity for your product to gain organic engagement and generate sales. In this instance, the wrapper is sometimes more important than what’s inside. An especially well-designed or unusual unboxing experience will encourage people to share their experience with others. It can be a great choice to develop an eccentric package if you seek to tap into audiences in this avenue.

CONCLUSION

As with most designs, the foundation of your choices should rest on their authenticity to your brand identity and messaging. Above all, be sure to tell the consumer specifically what value your product offers to their lives before they even open the box.

Can our agency help you take your product from just another one lost in the crowd, to one that stands out amongst the rest?

ABOUT US

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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Aviation Marketing: The Latest Trends Taking Off

Big changes are going on across the Aviation Industry, and many of the most visible changes are in aviation marketing. With innovations in communication technology and audience preferences shifting more and more towards personalization, there’s a lot to keep up with. Let us guide you through a few of the biggest trends, right now, in marketing for the aviation industry.

STORYTELLING

Across all media and content, there is a marked shift in aviation marketing towards storytelling. Even more, people are naturally gravitating towards narrative and story. By making your marketing content more narratively structured, you make your brand relatable to potential customers.

But why bother even making a brand relatable? By creating a relationship with your audience, you foster brand loyalty. This kind of loyalty will engender a sense of community through specificity and story.

The well-known major American airline company, Southwest, has always beenaviation-industry-southwest-airlines-app known for its reputable marketing and advertising. The brand understands the importance of using storytelling in their aviation marketing strategy in order to connect with their customers on a deeper level.

Last year Southwest introduced the interactive microsite, 175 Stories, which was described in Forbes as being “a masterful example of brand storytelling”.

Visitors on the site could scroll their cursor over any seat and a picture of a real passenger appears, as well as a story and a video. “The stories serve to position the brand around a customer’s emotional moments—and works especially well in a category where competitors are often seen as lacking compassion. The new campaign is accompanied by television ads, social media posts, and shareable bite-sized content” -Carmine Gallo, Senior Contributor at Forbes. Check out this video case study below about how Southwest was able to tell 175 stories about real passengers.

Ultimately, what storytelling does well is develop a brand identity. Whether it’s how a business was founded or the lengths it might go for a customer, a story that builds brand identity makes your aviation business stand out from the crowd.

PERSONALIZATION

In the age of big data, there are a myriad of tools available to target and personalize your ads to the people who are most likely to seek out your business. These tools collect data and use it to target specific individuals who are looking for, or would consider, your business. Likewise, advertising on Google and Facebook are both optimized by using such tools. As a result, many airlines use marketing automation software for this kind of marketing. For example, after researching for this blog, I’ve already seen several advertisements for AirNorway, Delta, and Southwest Airlines.

What this kind of personalized ad does is speak directly to potential customers. Therefore it bridges the gap between someone looking to make travel plans and the businesses that can deliver the services they need. In effect, it reduces online searches by presenting information to people already looking to travel.

BAM MAIL

As an agency who have worked closely in the aviation industry, CATMEDIA discovered a way for organizations seeking to deliver information internally more personalized and accessible. Imagine having a face-to-face conversation with an entire organization in the morning, and hearing back from them by the end of the day. In a business climate where miscommunication costs you time, money, and productivity, effective communication is critical. Introducing BAM Mail® (Browsable Attached Media). A revolutionary tool designed to streamline communications in a way that is efficient and easy to use.

BAM Mail® is an informational portfolio delivered to designated inboxes in a self-contained PDF file with unlimited potential. CATMEDIA provided this bam-mail-processpatented piece of technology to the Federal Aviation Administration as a new way to connect to their audience. Consequently giving them a voice, while seamlessly integrating with existing web portals and communications tools. Most noteworthy making it ideal for leadership communications, briefings, company surveys, instructional training, and newsletters.

Click here to find out how CATMEDIA can customize BAM Mail® to fit your organization’s strategic messaging goals!

MAKING AN IMPACT

In today’s world, many consumers look for brands and organizations to be making a positive impact on society through motivational or encouraging campaigns. One of the most successful and impactful efforts CATMEDIA supported is the highly recognized Turn Off Tune In campaign. This joint FAA-NATCA campaign was one of several efforts under Foundations of Professionalism.

aviation-industry-FAA-catmedia-campaignTurn Off Tune In not only impacted its intended audience. Ultimately it also led the way for other collaborative FAA-Union efforts and campaigns. Turn Off Tune In’s success and recognition also spurred industry and international interest. As a result, gaining the interest and attention of former National Transportation Safety Board Chairman, Deborah Hersman. The AOC office still receives requests for communication campaigns similar to Turn Off Tune In, further demonstrating the campaign’s success.

MOBILITY

Making marketing materials compatible with mobile devices isn’t a new trend, but it isn’t a diminishing one by any stretch. Every year, more people are turning to their mobile devices and tablets for online searches. This means it is imperative that all digital marketing materials be compatible with a range of screen sizes.

How can you make sure your marketing materials are compatible? Check its presentation on a series of different devices. Changing the format of marketing to fit on a mobile device helps ensure that someone can access your content from anywhere on any device. How will it look on a vertical screen compared to a wide one? Are text and other details visible on a hand-held screen? These are all things that need to be considered and tested before releasing marketing materials for the aviation industry.

GET IN TOUCH

As in all things, innovation in marketing strategies, technologies, and tactics is integral to building a business and staying ahead of the game. Therefore, by keeping an eye on trends as they arise in the aviation industry, you can make sure your marketing plan for this year (and years to come) isn’t falling behind.

So, let us know how we can use our years of experience in marketing aviation to help your brand sore to new heights!

ABOUT CATMEDIA

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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Video Production | The 3 Stages

Video is an excellent platform to reach a large audience. It is imperative that organizations begin creating and incorporating video as part of a comprehensive content strategy. The statistics tell their story.

WHY VIDEO?

Most noteworthy, YouTube has more than 1 billion unique visitors monthly. With over 100 hours of video content being uploaded every minute.

So, how do you get in on the action?

Using the services of an experienced video production company will greatly affect the end product, the results of which hit goals that deliver a real Return On Investment (ROI).

guy-working-on-video-cameraProfessional video production companies certainly have the skills, equipment, and creative direction needed to produce a video with a clear message that your intended audience can understand. Therefore, it can determine the most efficient and cost-effective ways to pull it all together through best practices in pre-production, production, post-production, and delivery.

THE VIDEO MAKING PROCESS

A good video production company can “see” the script as a finished program. The script can include narration, dialogue, and visual and audio descriptions that tell the production crew what elements need to be captured. While during script development, the client should perform reviews and provide comments. Also, provide approvals on everything from the narrative, to the title, and graphical elements such as fonts.

Whether you are producing a 30-second promo, a training series, or a 90-minute documentary, the stages of video production are probably the same. Therefore, the video production process is broken into three simple stages:

  • Pre-production
  • Production
  • Post-production

Even more, it is important to build in checkpoints and milestones along the way for the reason that there are a lot of moving parts within each stage.

PRE-PRODUCTION

people-in-creative-meetingFirst, pre-production begins the moment script development starts. It involves everything that happens before shooting begins: project kickoff, research, script writing, and story boarding, casting, hiring crews, scouting and locking locations, scheduling post-production, and more. Anything and everything about a video production’s logistics are coordinated from scratch based on the script. Hence everything must be in place before the principle photography begins.

So, in the case of industry or commercial media, pre-production can include:

  • Project kickoff
  • Production schedule
  • Script development
  • Storyboards
  • Graphics concepts
  • Location scouting
  • Prop and wardrobe identification and preparation
  • Post-production preparation

PRODUCTION

guy-shooting-on-a-video-cameraProduction is when all the planning during script development and pre-production comes together. “Action!” is called, and that is when the cameras roll and the fun begins. A professional video production crew has an eye for detail. They should be meticulous about lighting, have a penchant for capturing great sound bites during interviews, directing talent, and capturing relevant and beautiful B-roll. Likewise, our animators and graphic artists work magic – creating the best animations and graphics to represent your brand.

POST-PRODUCTION

editing-video-on-a-laptopFinally, Post-Production. In other words, the final stage of production. This is when the production team digs into the recorded video and audio footage and assembles it in accordance with the script. Collectively, graphics, music, sound effects, visual effects, color correction, audio sweetening, and sound design pull together the final piece.

Ultimately, producing high-quality professional video takes an experienced team, solid pre-production strategies, and project management skills, a tried-and-tested production process, and a quality assurance system. As a result, these combined efforts will produce a video that matches your brand, meets your objectives and above all, exceeds your expectations.

Interested in exploring video marketing? We are a full-service video production agency that can assist you in your production needs! Give us a call today!

ABOUT CATMEDIA

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA.com

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Creativity: It’s Important to Your Business

What do you think of when you think about creativity? Some people think that creativity only lies within the paintbrush of an artist or in the sculpture of an architect, but perhaps creativity can appear in more places than just a studio. In reality, creativity is not detained within one sector, and that’s the beauty of it.

So, what is creativity you might ask? Well, according to Gestalt psychologists, creativity is defined as something that generates a new idea, insight, or solution through imagination rather than through logic or reason. Creative thinking often takes a different approach to problem-solving, and when that kind of approach is taken in a business atmosphere, the outcome can be both rewarding and pleasantly surprising.

Creativity and Innovation in Business 

creativity hands griping paperHave you ever heard of a business that had great success without any creative or innovative ideas? The chances that you have are slim to none because creativity is the driving force behind most businesses’ success. Creativity and innovation are often the reason that businesses flourish in today’s world—setting the bar higher for the next ‘big’ idea. Creative thinking leads to the implementation of innovative ideas in the workplace.

Importance of Creativity in Business

creativity strategy meetingCreative business ideas set companies apart from one another. Without creativity and innovation, every company would follow the same patterns in marketing/promotion, technique, or even the goods and services they may be selling. Creativity is crucial for businesses today, especially when the market is dependent on innovative, breaking technology. The collaboration of creative minds has the ability to push creative business ideas into reality. Once your business brain is able to think outside the box, the possibilities are endless.

Now that we’ve established how important creativity is to business success, it is only fair that employees have the opportunity to channel their inner creative mind.

Importance of Creative People in Companies

ight-bulb-on-green-backgroundPeople who believe that they aren’t the ‘creative type’, are probably the same people that believe creativity only comes from an artistic perspective, but the truth is, everyone is able to channel creative thinking when put in the right environment. Employing creative people to join your team allows for a more imaginative approach to business problems. Creative thinking can ultimately set your business apart from all of the others, making consumers want to have your product and service over others.

What if you were to channel the whole team’s creativity? Yes, in many cases there is only a small part of the company with the responsibilities of creative work, but your business could prosper much more if you had your entire team involved with creative brainstorming. 

What You Can Do to Implement Creativity in the Workplace

Implementing creativity in the workplace can be a challenging task, especially when you have a diverse group of employee skill sets. Get your employees engaged in more creative thinking and ideas with these tips.

Intellectually challenge your employees.

Match your employees with problem solving experiences that will help them think and approach situations creatively. Give the employee a certain problem or task and have them solve it in numerous ways. It is important that your employees are challenged a little bit every day. Too little of a challenge will cause boredom, but too much will cause stress. It is important to find a healthy balance.

lilian-cordova-focusing-camera

Freedom of expression.

Employees are most creative when they can choose which work methods they would like to use. If a method or line of work seems to be too difficult, it can suppress creativity. Avoid this negative byproduct by allowing your employees to work in their own way. It is also very important that employees take breaks from certain projects, assignments, or problem solving. When a break is taken, the mind regroups, and creativity can strike up again.

Create diverse work groups.

Diversity allows creative minds to collaborate and solve problems. When in a group, employees can listen to different approaches and build their opinions and thinking process off of one another. Have you ever been in a meeting where different thought processes were being expressed, and a great idea popped in your mind after someone voiced a similar approach? Working in diverse groups can help your employees further reach their creative capacity.

Being in a safe place.

Most of a person’s creativity evolves here. When an employee feels safe in their environment, they will most likely voice more of their creative business ideas. In order for an employee to feel safe, they must have encouragement from their managers and fellow coworkers. This helps employees know that they can think freely and creatively without judgment. This is not to say that you can’t let an employee know when they aren’t doing their best. That’s when corrective criticism can come into play.

man-putting-pictures-on-wall-creative

Organizational support.

This goes along with encouragement. Your entire team should praise creativity and allow others to feel as if they can discuss their ideas openly to multiple people in the office. You may not agree with some ideas, but never make a person feel as though it was a bad idea.

Allowing your employees to utilize their creative thinking throughout the workday can enhance self-confidence and motivation. Furthermore, by motivating your employees, they work harder to help make the business a success.

Advantages of Creativity in the Workplace

creativity team having a meetingIt’s clear to see that accepting creativity and innovation into the workplace can be advantageous for everyone. By implementing creativity, you open the door for employees from all different departments to come together as a team, increasing engagement and interaction in the workplace. When employees are able to work as a cohesive team, the staff morale goes up, making the environment more fun, happy, and laid back. This ultimately attracts more employees and retain quality workers. Creativity will always make your employees want to learn more by seeking multiple options, ideas, and solutions for the business. Your business can’t lose with creativity on its side.

CATMEDIA Knows the Importance of Creativity

Here at CATMEDIA, we know the importance of creativity in the workplace and put our creative minds to work every day. Without creativity and innovation, we would not be able to meet our client’s needs properly. Want to know more about our creative services? Visit our website! 

References 

[1] https://hovgaards.com/2011/04/06/what-is-creativity-and-why-is-it-important-for-businesses/

ABOUT CATMEDIA 

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA.com

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Graphic Designer vs. Graphic Artist

You’re probably thinking, “Can there really be an entire blog devoted to the differences between a graphic artist and graphic designer?”

You may not realize there is any difference, but there is. The purpose of this blog is to help explain what they are.

PERSPECTIVE

As a designer who has worked as both a graphic artist and a graphic designer, I understand the confusion. After all, graphic artists and graphic designers do have the following things in common:

  • Both rely on visuals to execute their work
  • Both work in digital and print formats
  • And, of course, both start with the word “graphic.”

The roles of graphic artist and graphic designer actually have different objectives. Based on my experience and knowledge, I will break down the differences.

GRAPHIC ARTIST

The sole intent of a graphic artist is to create visuals that facilitate an idea or story. Sometimes there is no logic to the creation of the designs, and in other instances, the visuals are the platform for an entire story.

Above all, there is no limit to the kind or amount of mediums a graphic artist can use.

Graphic-artist-Taylor-SwiftThe design principles are not strict, but that doesn’t mean they should be disregarded. (For a refresher on the basic design elements and principles reference my blog, (“Construct, Compose, Create; A Basic Guide to Graphic Design”.) Consequently, graphic artists tend to bend or break some of the design rules, but only if it fits the composition or story being told.

To better understand what a graphic artist might do, it may help to identifygraphic-artist-cartoon-comic the kinds of work they produce. A graphic artist’s portfolio might include:

  • Cartoons
  • Illustrations
  • Graphic Novels
  • Comic Books
  • Movie Illustrations

WHO MAKES A GRAPHIC ARTIST?

The common denominator between all of these pieces is that they are more artistically inclined. A graphic artist’s work can cover a wide range of subject matters, from inanimate objects to human beings, and everything in between.

Each piece does not follow a uniform set of rules. The styling is limited to that particular piece of artwork. If the graphic artist’s intent is to tell a story, the visuals come first and the story second. Depending on the story, visuals are influenced by dynamic action, dialogue, or stylizing within the composition.

GRAPHIC ARTIST OBJECTIVE

Here’s an interpretation of how a graphic artist could be shown through humanistic qualities:

graphic-artist-image-of-a-girl

The main objective of a graphic artist is to entertain the viewer. The appearance of the subject may or may not have a correlation to a story. The main focus is the art, which reflects in their styling. The subject matter tends to be more natural and artistic. For this particular example, the subject matter is a human with natural and utilitarian elements. The hair stylizing is natural, and the clothing is purely for its utility. There is no other underlying message.

You will see Graphic artists’ work in a print or digital format. It depends on the purpose of the design. Their work is created by hand or on a computer, and the artwork they produce often works in both print and digital format.

image-Roaring-Rails-film-poster graphic-image-Katzenjammer_Kids graphic-artist-image-Frida-Kahlo

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

In contrast, the graphic designer’s main intention is to get the viewer to interact with the content within the design. With interactivity, the viewer can read, scroll, or click through the content being displayed. In the world of graphic design, content is king, and the purpose of the design is to help optimize concise information while providing a visual platform.
designer-looking-at-logos
To better understand what a graphic designer might do, you should be able to identify the kinds of work they produce. A graphic designer’s portfolio might include:

  • Infographic
  • Marketing Collateral
  • Print Design
  • Digital Design
  • Web Design
  • Instructional Design
  • Presentation Design
  • Logo Design

WHO MAKES A GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Certainly the common denominator for all of these pieces is that they serve as platforms for content that can be used in various forms of media. A prime example of graphic design is marketing collateral for a company. The company will want a consistent design throughout all of their marketing materials (i.e., brochures, flyers, business cards, advertisements, websites, etc.) across all mediums.

GRAPHIC DESIGNER OBJECTIVE

Here’s an interpretation of how a graphic designer could be shown through humanistic qualities:

graphic-designer-image-of-a-girl

The main objective of a graphic designer is to deliver the content in an eye-catching manner. The composition and how the design interacts with depends on the content being displayed. The shirt has a graphic element, but with complementary colors: blue and yellow. The shirt also has a design, but it is balanced because of its symmetrical composition. Color and balance are two elements of design.

Remember graphic design relies on the composition of the content, and the graphic design elements and principles are essential in laying out a composition.

apple-logo-designimage-of-a-book-of-fonts graphic-designer-image-of-paint-swatches

CONCLUSIONS

  • Graphic designers must follow strict guidelines due to the parameters of the content and medium (i.e., brochure, website, poster, etc.), but graphic artists have more relaxed guidelines due to the unlimited possibilities for ideas and stories.
  • For graphic designers, content is of the utmost importance. The designer cannot create visuals without understanding the content it will facilitate.
  • For graphic artists, the visual possibilities are endless. The design depends on an abstract thought, and it is impossible to set guidelines.

The main difference between a graphic designer or graphic artist is the importance of the imagery within the work. A graphic designer’s main intention is to facilitate content, and a graphic artist’s main intention is to facilitate an idea or story. They both involve visuals and can be in various forms of media, and both are essential because they facilitate different needs in the visual realm.

About CATMEDIA

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA.com

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Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2019

Each year, the vast landscape of marketing continues to change. Just when we the experts think we have it figured out, in walks in another (better) method of making valuable connection with your customers. Although many of these developments have been around for some time, it’s necessary to keep up with last year’s growing trends that will lead to this years success. So buckle up! We’re about to dish out the top 7 marketing trends of 2019!

1. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

No, we’re not referring to the 2001 Steven Spielberg film about robots that resemble humans and contain the capacity to have emotions. Even though some believe we’re not far off from that. Your Siris and Alexas are considered A.I., after all. It exists within many other platforms and online services that you might not be aware of. For example, Netflix has the ability to suggest new TV shows to you based on your viewing history, thanks to its’ recommendation system.

What A.I. is bringing to the table for marketing is an easier way to monitor half-brain-half-artificial-intelligenceconsumers behavior and patterns online in real time. From targeting future leads more rapidly, to performing data analysis more easily, A.I. is transforming the way companies personalize their consumer experiences. Which leads me to another example of artificial intelligence…

2. CHATBOTS

chatbot-on-a-phone-graphicHave you ever gone to a website and seen a pop-up message from the corner of your screen? It says, “Hi! Is there anything I can help you with today?” You begin to speak with the individual, but something doesn’t seem totally, well, human. Close, but a little off. Chances are you are speaking with what is known as a Chatbot, or “conversational agent”, and it’s the way of the future. These friendly software applications mimic human speech and written words to sound like a real person. While some don’t necessarily like these robotic-esque machines, they are becoming more and more popular and even more advanced, with the ability to learn from conversation.

Companies are taking the capabilities of these conversational agents to the next level, getting creative with how they are used. Disney has used the chatbot systems to promote several of their movies, making it possible for you to chat with characters from the film. This example specifically attracts a younger audience, but creates an enriching and entertaining experience for fans. Real estate and medical companies are also beginning to reap the benefits of these fast-responding bots. From answering medical questions to helping you find new homes on the market, chatbots aren’t going away anytime soon.

3. SMART SPEAKERS AND AUDIO

Speaking of robots talking to you, the next trend that isn’t slowing down anytime soon are smart speakers. According to techcrunch.com, 47.3 million Americans own or have access to a smart speaker of some kind. Whether it be through their mobile device, laptops, or the very popular at home speakers that have taken over, asking for the nearest pizza places or the daily weather has never been easier. Not only does this make it easier to find information quickly, but consumers enjoy that it cuts down on screen time.

smart-speakersSo why is this the time to hop on the smart bandwagon? Voice-based commerce sales in the United States climbed to $1.8 billion in 2017 and are projected to reach $40 billion by 2022, according to Search Engine Land. With the growing popularity, these smart speakers are more affordable than ever, opening the door to countless marketing opportunities. Consumers are searching for a deeper connection with tech. With these devices, marketers can more easily reach their target audiences and, therefore, personalize content and messaging. Timothy Nichols, ExactDrive, Inc.

4. LOCAL INFLUENCER MARKETING

phone-food-photoSo far, we’ve discussed how technology and artificial intelligence are changing the marketing landscape. But fast response and tech advancement are not the only thing consumers are holding high on their expectations these days. With all the skepticism in the world, no one easily buys into the fluff of a simple ad anymore; they want credibility. First, it all began with celebrities endorsing products for companies, drawing in all of their fans and followers— even drawing in those who weren’t their fans. The point is, it got buyers attention. However, this began to stir even more controversy for some companies, leaving the consumers to question if the celebrity endorsers even used or liked the product, or did they just receive a hefty paycheck?

In walks in local influencer marketing. Now with the social media stage, fame has become achievable for the average person willing to put in some extra effort to climb their way to “influencer” status. These are “real” people that can relate to other real people, and companies are seeing a greater response from their audience. These sources of review are more trustworthy because they provide a more honest perspective in the eyes of the consumer.

5. SOCIAL MEDIA STORIES

We’ve stressed the importance of video in marketing today in several of our blogs. redbull-instagram-storyHowever, video is coming in many forms now, is being watched on every platform imaginable, in various different formats. One of those formats being vertical video. We began to see this vertical video with the rise of Snapchat stories. These stories eventually made their way to mega social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Suddenly, not only we can see what Carol from high school is up to these days, we can get a 24 hour play-by-play of her life. While this has made the need for high school reunions almost unnecessary, it’s expanded the possibilities for marketers to reach their audience.

Instagram-on-a-cellphoneNow instead of the permanent posts made to your social feed, it’s possible to post something that will only live on your “story” temporarily. It also cultivates more of a relationship with your audience by allowing them to feel like they are part of your activity. It has proven to be a successful way to stir conversation. So if you’ve begun to strategize for the new year, you might need to build an entire strategy around video specifically, keeping vertical-form videos in mind.

6. VISUAL SEARCH

Have you ever had or taken a picture of a product on your phone, but don’t know Target-brand-on-a-cellphonethe name or brand, or perhaps are just looking for something similar to it? Typed and voice searches just weren’t enough, so visual was introduced. Some that have already begun to thrive off of this visual search technology are companies such as Pinterest, Bing, and a little business called Google. Users can now snap a picture in real time and be guided to a place where they can purchase the same item, or find others like it. This advancement has specifically caused excitement for e-commerce retailers and is driving customers to their sites.

Pinterest has really taken off with this technology through its app. It even allows you to select a specific area of a Pin that will then pull up similar images to that selected part. Recent research from L2 found that only 8 percent of retail brands have built visual search capability into their web inventory. It’s safe to say this method of search is only going to continue to grow and become more accurate.

7. PERSONALIZATION

woman-on-a-laptopFinally, let’s discuss one of the more controversial marketing tools that have taken the world by storm. Simply referred to as personalization. More and more social media users, and even those who have a smartphone some argue see ads pop up on their feeds that give you this deja vu effect as if you’ve seen them before. Well, you probably have. Or at least you searched it online. Through data, algorithms, and analytics collected through means of search engines, marketing campaigns, and even the buyer behavior of a loyalty customers to name a few. Some find this a bit creepy, which is why it’s stirred the question “Am I being spied on?”.

However, the big takeaway from personalization is that it conveys that your company is paying attention to you and your needs. In a way, it helps to erase the irrelevant content that doesn’t pertain to you and makes browsing more efficient. It’s likely that there will still be a level of concern regarding privacy from the perspective of your consumers, which is why you have to be thoughtful about how far to go with personalization.

What do you do now?

Don’t get overwhelmed with the amount of change and new trends emerging in the marketing world. Each and every business is different and can find that implementing some of these trends into their 2019 strategy can prove beneficial or not.

Let us know what your goals are for the new year! CATMEDIA can help guide you down the path that best fits your needs!

Is your organization in need of creative servicesmarketing and advertising or social media management? CATMEDIA is able to see what your competition is doing on social, amp up your digital marketing and give you assistance to help you step up your game. Give us a call today!

ABOUT CATMEDIA:

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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The Brand Name-Game: How Visuals Solidify a Brand

Branding, by definition, is “the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product” (Business Dictionary). Your brand is the voice and personality of your organization and needs guidelines and rules to maintain its identity. How does an organization ensure its branding is being handled well both internally and externally? Brand and style guides define the standards and technical parameters for the design of documents, signage, and any other form of brand identifier. As a result, they guarantee consistency in style and formatting. Consequently, ensuring no erosion of the brand identity in the design of logos, collateral, social media, and web presence.

Types of Style Guides

In the world of company branding there are two type of guides that companies utilize to project their identity through design: style guides, and their sibling, the brand style guide. These two types of guides outline the rules of design and are essential to a company’s growth, and certainly in the world of design by helping the company establish a personality. Guides focused around presenting the visual aspects of a company are essential to the outreach to the firm’s clients.

A style guide canvases the basic visual elements of a company in order for it to develop and maintain a successful and well-rounded brand. A style guide would include subject matters on logos, secondary logos (if the company has one or more), brand colors, typography, trademarks, an overview of the brand itself, information on website design and layout, advertisement examples, and the copy interaction with design.

LOGOS (Prime And Secondary)

The backbone of any organization’s identity and style guide is the logo. Brand style guidelines include information and visual examples of the size of the logo, when and how to use the mark, the backgrounds that are usable against the mark, exclusion zones around the logo, and the incorrect usage of the logo. While the logo is the primary visual identifier that clients see, a company can also utilize one or more secondary logos (such as individual products or services). The secondary logo should complement the prime logo and can be used in different circumstances to help strengthen the brand. The secondary logo section of a style guide should have the information about logo sizes, usage parameters, and should identify incorrect usage.

Color Palette

It is essential that a company style guide contain a color palette. A color palette displays the brand colors along with the technical color codes in accordance to the medium in which the graphics will be used. For example, Pantone and CMYK for print or hex and RGB for web. These color codes are displayed as swatches, enabling the user to take a quick at-a-glance visual of the palette. This section would also show the correct and incorrect usage of the colors with the logo.

Typography

CATMEDIA-Typography-Brand

Branded typography includes the different typefaces, fonts, or style of text that a company uses. These typefaces are typically used in the primary or secondary logos that have a typography element, marketing collateral, or any published material from the company. Likewise, the style guide establishes the formats, size, and layout of the typeface and font across all branded materials (print, web, and digital media).

BRAND STYLE GUIDE (or Brand Bible)

Similarly the brand style guide, sometimes referred to as the brand bible, is a more elaborate version of the style guide. While the style guide covers the basics of branding a company or corporate identity, a brand style guide provides more detail in more categories of issues related to the brand. These categories cover topics that pertain to the brand and the design.

For example:

CATMEDIA-Colors-Brand

  • Logo design
  • Secondary logo
  • Colors
  • Typography
  • Iconography (images)
  • Photography
  • Graphic language
  • Editorial voice and tone
  • Templates
  • Legal guidelines
  • Brand platform

Similarly, brand style guides are like style guides in that they share similar categories. However, brand style guides provide more comprehensive information for each category. An example of this is the logo category. In a brand style guide, the size, spacing, exclusionary space, and incorrect usage is included. Also included are examples of the logo in both print and web format and trademark examples. One of the more important categories that appears in the brand style guide is the “Photography” category. Above all, this category is crucial to companies that use pictures in advertisements and an essential part of the brand style guide.

CATMEDIA-Photogrpahy-Brand

Different but the same

So, do brand and style guides vary from industry to industry? Though the style and look of the guides may change, the bones of the style guide (the essential information), remains the same. There are many ways in which different companies share their information. Skittles, for example, uses funny pictures and stories to present information. Where Adobe’s approach is simpler and monochromatic with very little flare.

Finally, while the structure of the information is similar, the different elements are simply presented in a way that showcases the brand. Every brand needs a style guide. Even more one that specifies the necessary guidelines and rules to maintain the brand’s identity. As well as consistently present the company image. Visual aids are the best way to help people quickly understand the quality of work and services your company can deliver. It’s all in the visuals!

What else is visual and get’s your audience’s attention?

Video marketing is an exciting and interactive way for you to reach an audience, and thanks to the digital-technology boom of the last 20 years; it is more important and more cost-effective than ever to create video content for your brand. Do you want more information about video-marketing? Check out our website and tell us if we can use video to take your online marketing strategy to the next level!

About CATMEDIA

CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Stay Connected with CATMEDIA:
For more information, please visit CATMEDIA.com

Check us out on social media!
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