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Yesterday saw the latest development in Google's search advertising product.
Shopping ads, or product listing ads (PLAs), are set to appear within Google image searches.
I asked for some initial thoughts from agency search practitioners. Here are a few things to look out for.
GIF and video backgrounds are spreading.
Focus on enjoyable customer experiences has led many to create focused, unfussy websites that provide clear messages and unforgettable images.
Open source platforms and social media have played a large part in perpetuating this trend. The rise of the smartphone means we're more comfortable with scrolling experiences, so content can be dispersed down the page.
I've kept this list simple and it's a fairly accurate idea of what I use day-to-day.
I didn't use any of these tools when I started working on the Econsultancy blog. I'm still not an advanced content creator but I do have some small tricks up my sleeve.
Take a look at this list of tools to aid you in your image, video and text travails.
What is travel?
Airbnb is certainly trying to define it, with the message that inclusion and community make for memorable experiences. We shouldn't stand for standard, the homogeneity of a hotel chain.
The internet in general is encouraging a fightback again corporate globalisation (though perhaps these are simply our death throes?), with everything from homespun craft available through Etsy and crowdsourced cycle routes on Strava.
I watched John Kearns perform recently (a storytelling comic that won the Edinburgh Comedy Award) and he had one line designed to show how much he wanted to return to a more personal world.
He spoke about seeing tourists in the more garish areas of London promoted by guidebooks, such as Picadilly Circus, and how he wanted to talk to each of them and tell them about the really niche and beautiful parts of London, often tucked in neighbourhoods that tourists never make it to.
I'm getting to the point here. lastminute.com has produced a lovely piece of content designed to show parts of London that only the discerning have discovered*. It's called 100 Things in London and it's a nice bit of content marketing.
Let's take a look and I'll attempt to point out why it should go well.
Not everybody loves a hero image or a carousel. But imagery is a continuing trend in ecommerce.
Whilst brands don't want to compromise load times, the increasing uptake of tablets and their use for shopping means that images can help a site stand out.
A browsing experience is a lot more fun, and arguably realistic, with some big imagery thrown in.
Here are six websites that hit those retina-popping notes of colour on their homepages and beyond.
I’ve only recently been thinking about Gmail and its trial of grid view, though the trial has been happening since the end of March 2014.
The announcement had passed me by until I chatted to someone from an email build company that specialises in creative use of imagery. See this post on agile creative in email.
If you’re not familiar with Gmail’s grid view, it’s the ‘Pinterest-isation’ of the promotions tab in Gmail’s tabbed inbox, currently only for addresses that end in gmail.com.
There’s an example of such a ‘Pinterested’ inbox further down this post.
The tabbed inbox itself is a bit of a mixed blessing for marketers. On the one hand, it encourages intent on the part of the consumer. She only engages with promotions when she feels inclined to do so, and your message is less likely to have disappeared into the morass of personal or social email in other tabs.
On the other hand, she, the user, may never click on that promotions tab. The implications of such tendencies, I’ll go into further down this post.
But what are the implications of Gmail’s grid view? Here are some ideas…
When it comes to shopping, consumers have always preferred a more tactile and visual experience.
The growth of ecommerce and social networks like Pinterest means that brands are increasingly allowing, even encouraging, consumers to share images of products online.
Here, I'll look at how the mobile revolution and the prospect of wearable technologies like Google Glass are set to change how retailers can use images to drive both brand awareness and, ultimately, sales.
Images are increasingly important to the customer experience and search yet many sites are not optimised to take advantage.
In the early days of the web images were typically small and of low quality. We all remember the little animated men at work icons that littered the web in its infancy.
However, as users have moved from dial-up to broadband connections, the number, size and quality of images on the web has increased significantly.
With more than 9,000 messages being sent every second, Twitter can be a noisy place, so it's always important to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
Luckily, Twitter has a few features that can help, including Twitter Cards, promoted tweets and images.
So here’s the bad news. It’s no longer enough for your site to be ‘usable’ and ‘intuitive’. Today’s best in breed online retailers mastered the usability thing a while back and have long moved on.
To survive in a competitive market your site must also draw customers in, provide ideas, inspiration and help all without being overly attentive and obtrusive.
Whether your site is selling high fashion or stationery, we can all learn something from the most successful online retailers. We used whatusersdo.com to find out what was working best on two big fashion retail sites: ASOS and H&M.
Here are the five key themes both have hit upon to help them to their success.
If you’re a regular user of Google+ (and if you aren’t, here’s some good reasons you should be), then you may have seen a few unusual posts popping up on your feed today.
This will lead to speculation that despite its previous ‘No ads’ stance, Google may be willing to include a few Facebook style promoted posts to add spice to the G+ mix...
Google Plus has announced a host of new image editing features, which integrate the brilliant Snapseed application into the social network.
There's also an 'awesome' twist with the addition of animated gifs for sequence photos. A collection of useful tools for anyone who wants to use original imagery in their content.
On Wednesday Google+ announced a host of improvements. For me, involved in the content side of things, I was particularly interested in the new image features, particularly after hearing that they'd integrated the excellent Snapseed app.