Every Business Needs Video – Or Does It?

If you're a marketer, you know that great content will earn attention and engagement. But there are loads of different types of content. Blog posts, infographics, article reprints, newsletters – and let's not forget video, which has become essential to businesses for several reasons:

  1. People prefer it. Research says that 68% of people would rather learn about new products and services on video than on other media. And 87% say they want more video content.1
  2. It delivers significant improvements:2
    • Emails with video get 2-3 times more click-throughs than emails without video. 60% of viewers will keep watching a video for at least two minutes.
    • 94% of video marketers say the medium strengthens people’s grasp of their products and services.
    • 81% of video marketers say it generates leads. And more than a third of people who view a product video will follow up with a call to the vendor.
  3. Search engines like it. Google finds combinations of text, imagery and video more valuable than any single medium alone.3 How much more valuable? Websites with embedded video are 53 times more likely to show up first on Google than sites without video4
  4. Video can make good stories better. If your business has a powerful story, video can help you tell it in a highly compelling way, with music and movement that tap into visceral emotions, at a pace that you control.
  5. It generates excellent ROI. 83% of businesses say so.1 Video can be leveraged and repurposed across multiple channels, including your blog, your web site, your advertising and social media. It can also give you critical business insights about what components of your message are getting through to your audience.

So, are there reasons why a business shouldn’t use video? There are. The medium itself isn’t a magic wand. Your videos must be strategic. Which means that before you record a single frame, you should answer some key questions: Who needs to see the video? What should they know and feel when they see it? And what do you expect them to do next?

Likewise, if you can’t commit to quality, don’t invest in video. There are different types of videos for different needs and budgets. Not everyone needs to feel like a broadcast-quality TV episode or documentary. But if your script is weak, your lighting is inconsistent, your graphic resolution is poor, your sound is fuzzy, or your pacing and transitions are awkward, even a modest investment in video will be wasted.

Bottom line: There are so many times when video can help your business. And video usage is increasing rapidly. On Facebook, users watch 100 million hours of video per day. On YouTube, it’s 5 billion. And both sites have shown view increases of 99% (YouTube) and 258% (Facebook). Capitalize on this trend and its advantages, and you’ll take a giant step toward building your business and your brand.

 

1 https://www.wyzowl.com/video-marketing-statistics-2019/
2 https://www.renderforest.com/blog/video-marketing-statistics
3 https://www.rankpay.com/video-content-marketing-seo/
4 https://www.moovly.com/blog/4-great-reasons-you-should-use-video-marketing

When to Use Video – And How to Make Yours Better

Video has become essential to today’s businesses for many reasons. And there are so many different types of video you could try – ranging from broadcast-style documentaries to interviews, featuring live presenters, voiceovers and music, with or without special effects and animation. There’s no hard and fast rule for when to use video as part of your communications strategy – but our experience has shown us that it helps businesses:

  • Improve Audience Engagement: Video grabs attention and keeps people focused longer for a better impression of your brand. A short, ten- to thirty-second video entertains and informs your audience faster than reading can. You could point out key areas to visit on your site, showcase your latest product or promote an upcoming speaking engagement. Whether you post it on your website, link to it on your YouTube channel or live-stream it on social media, it’s all about giving your audience what they need, when, where and how they need it.
  • Deepen Connections: Once you have your audience, give them a more in-depth view of how you can help them out. Show your product in a way that they can use. Communicate the latest statistics in an engaging manner. Preface your next speaking engagement with a short welcome. Any of these video options help create an emotional connection with your brand and reinforce relationships.
  • Increase Understanding: People may use your product or engage with the service you offer, but they still need help understanding the many ways that they can benefit from it. That’s when you need an explainer video. Your software may require an instructional video to get people started, or to show some more advanced functionality.  Your company may need to help encourage employees to start using a new technology system.  Certain product knowledge may seem obvious to you – but not to your clients.  There are so many times when the right video can help people better understand your business that it’s hard to list them all.

Here’s one more important thing to keep in mind:  Video can help you do these things, but it’s still just a tool in your arsenal – and like any tool, it only works if you hone it and use it correctly. “How To Make Better Videos?” isn’t a short-answer question. But we have identified a few things that consistently help our clients.

We can’t overemphasize the importance of planning ahead. Establish your strategy in advance, with careful research and a clear, well-honed message.  After all, the cleverest video in the world won’t work for you if it isn’t strategic for your business. Likewise, complete your script and storyboard with enough time to make sure that all the right people approve it before production begins. It costs more to make changes during or after production than before it. A lot more.

One more bonus tip: Just like Photoshop won’t make anyone a great graphic designer, cameras and apps alone won’t be enough to make anyone a great videographer (and we bet you’ve seen some pretty awful videos that prove this point). Professional scriptwriting, graphics and production may cost a bit on the front end, but they should pay off in results long after the video is complete.


relish adobe programs

Which Adobe Program Should I Use?

 

With so many Adobe products on the market, it is common for designers to become confused over which app to use for their projects. Many Adobe programs have overlapping capabilities, but each has a primary focus and specialty and while it may be possible to use more than one for any given project, only one will be optimal. So, how do you choose between them?

Adobe Illustrator vs. Adobe InDesign

We listed these two first because many designers mix them up. Adobe Illustrator is (as its name reinforces) an illustration program. Its strength is its ability to help designers create vector-based graphics, making it ideal for digital illustrations, typography, icons and of course, logos. Vector-based illustrations never pixelate — which means that illustrations can be adjusted to any size with no risk of pixelation or reduction in quality.

Adobe InDesign is a page layout program with powerful tools to help you design digital and print documents like books, magazines, newspapers, posters, and interactive PDFs. It’s great for projects that require large bodies of text and imagery. This program allows the designer the choice of embedding graphics in documents or simply linking to them, which keeps the file size down, especially when combining multiple elements on a page.

Both programs include powerful typographical tools, enabling precision control over the positioning of individual letters and blocks of text, as well as other capabilities. The key to determining which program will be best for your needs is the end result. Are you creating a brand or a magazine? Does your project have a lot of copy or a little? How important is page layout? How many images involved – and how much control will you need over them?

If your project will rely more on page layout than on vector-based control over your graphics, then you should probably use InDesign, whose handy grid tools allow for easily structured, well-designed layouts. If your project requires multiple illustrations, typographical effects, and vector graphics, your best bet is going to be Illustrator. Since both programs offer similar typographical, placement and adjustment tools, many projects can go either way – but ultimately, one is meant to be used for page layout, and the other for illustration.

Adobe Illustrator vs. Adobe Photoshop

This has become an age-old question among designers. The answer, however, is clearer than whether to use Illustrator or InDesign because the capabilities of Illustrator and Photoshop are so clearly defined. Illustrator is again, for creating and editing vector-based graphics. Photoshop is a pixel-or raster-based program. Vector-based programs create mathematically-drawn lines (through Bézier curves) that do not lose integrity when resized (even to extremes). This makes it ideal for illustrations that will be used in a wide variety of media and sizes (think logos and typography).

Photoshop is designed to work with pixel-based imagery, such as photography. It’s also ideal for creating web-based designs since computer screens are also pixel-based. If you’re still not sure which program is right for your project, ask yourself: are you creating an illustration that will need to be used in multiple sizes, or is the project more photographic? If the answer is ultimately, “both,” then you may want to work with your pixel-based images in Photoshop before creating the final graphic in Illustrator.

Adobe Photoshop vs. Adobe Lightroom

This comparison can be confusing for beginners because both programs have virtually identical capabilities — and Lightroom is technically a sub-program of Photoshop. Yes, you read that correctly. The difference lies not in functionality, but with the number of images the user will need to process. Photoshop includes a tool called Camera Raw, which pops up every time a file in a camera’s native photographic format (e.g., .RAW, .NEF, etc.) is opened. This tool is virtually identical to Lightroom’s photo editing tools.

So, why bother with Lightroom at all? Lightroom is designed to edit large amounts of photos with lossless (non-destructive) algorithms, whereas Photoshop has both lossy (destructive) and lossless algorithms. So it comes as no surprise that many photographers use Lightroom to quickly batch process and edit large numbers of photos. Photoshop, however, is the more powerful choice for heavy, individual photo editing. Granted, Photoshop has some batch processing abilities but lacks the library and organizational capabilities of Lightroom.

In short, if you have a large number of photos that need to be organized and edited in a similar fashion (e.g., they all require a similar kind of color correction), Lightroom is the way to go. If you only have a few photos, or your images require more intricate editing, Photoshop is a better tool for the job.

Adobe Premiere Pro vs. Adobe After Effects

Both of these programs are great tools for video editing and special effects. As with other programs in the Adobe product suite, both have many overlapping features, but they differ in the design of their workspaces and workflow.

Adobe Premiere Pro is a video editing program — designed to organize and arrange audio and video clips onto several timelines. It also has some easy-to-use color-correction tools. Adobe After Effects is a video compositing program — designed to combine multiple elements into individual images within a video. It also has some powerful video-oriented special effects tools.

Sometimes, a project may require a designer to do both video editing and video compositing. If that’s the case, determine which tool you’ll need to use first. Either way, it’s important to have a firm grasp of your project scope to efficiently take full advantage of both Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Knowledge is Power

Many designers find it confusing to decide between Adobe programs because they understand some of the capabilities of each program – but they don’t know enough to take full advantage of each program’s true strengths. Additionally, using the right application can make it easier for anyone else who will need to use your files in their native format later (e.g., a magazine publisher, video broadcaster, etc.). Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know and pursue opportunities to learn more. Advanced education can make you more aware not only of any given application’s capabilities but also of its limitations.

Ultimately, the right choice will make it easier for you to do the work at hand and for others to use your files later while streamlining workflow and helping you make the best use of your time.

 


At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward. Savor your brand. View our client work. Work with us! Contact here.


How To Make a GIF

Look anywhere online and you’ll see a practical explosion of animated GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) files. These cute little moving pictures are popular because they add quick humor and spunk to blog posts, emails, messages – really any digital platform. Best of all, they are easy to create.

Let me walk you through the process of making a stop-motion-style GIF – in this case, an animated banana peel.

1. First things first: you will need to take some photos! In order to keep your background consistent and still, mount your camera on a tripod in an area where the lighting is unlikely to change. Between each photo you take, move your subject slightly until it has progressed through some kind of brief movement or story. If the photos were strung together in a flip book, a fluid motion would be visible. Below, you can see my workspace where I took 15 photos to progressively move a banana peel across the frame.

camera setup

 

2. Next, import your photos into Photoshop. Place each photo on top of the last so that the bottom layer is the first frame, and the top layer is the last. Then, click on the "Timeline" view in the Window menu.

Photoshop timeline

 

3. In the timeline panel that appears below your composition, a button will either read, "Create Frame Animation" or "Create Video Timeline." Use the dropdown menu to the right to select “Create Frame Animation.” Then click that button.

Photoshop create frame animation

 

4. Now, locate the hamburger menu to the top right of the Timeline panel and click it to make a drop down menu appear.

Photoshop timeline hamburger menu

Make sure the menu has a checkmark beside "Create New Layer for Each New Frame" and not beside "New Layers Visible in All Frames." Then, click "Make Frames From Layers."

Photoshop make frames from layers

 

5. When a series of frames appear in your Timeline, click the arrow beside the word "Once" on the bottom left of your Timeline panel. Change "Once" to "Forever" in order to make your GIF loop infinitely.

Photoshop loop forever

 

6. Now, you will need to select the length of time each frame should play by clicking the dropdown to the right of "0 sec." on each frame. If you want all frames to play for the same length, hold down the shift key then click each frame to select all. When you change the speed on one dropdown, all the frames will all play at that speed. You can view the animation by clicking play on your Timeline. I left my animation at the default because I want it to move quickly, but feel free to play around until you’re pleased with the animation speed of your frames.

Photoshop frame length

 

7. Time to export!

Before attempting to save your animation, Click Image/Image Size, then adjust the dimensions to make sure that your image is reasonably sized. Since this is a digital file, your resolution does not need to be more than 72 ppi, and and your height and width dimensions should both be under 1000px. Anything much bigger may make for a much longer and unnecessary exporting process.

Photoshop resize

 

8. Click File/Export/Save for Web (Legacy)...

Photoshop Save for Web

A window will appear, where you must select GIF as the file type. Click Save, name your masterpiece and select the location where you wish to store your GIF animation file.

Photoshop GIF export

 

There you have it! Place your GIF into emails, webpages and any other digital media for a rad visual enhancement, sure to sweeten your content.

 

 


At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client work. Work with us! Contact here.


Photoshop redness reduction

Photoshop Tips & Tricks - How to Remove Skin Reddening

How to Remove Skin Reddening


In Photoshop, there are many ways to achieve a single result. There often is no "wrong way" to do something. There can be, however, a faster way.

I learned some helpful tips and tricks at the informative and inspiring Photoshop World Conference in Orlando, Florida. And in this blog, I’ll be passing some of them along to you.

Here, I will show you a quick way to remove skin reddening using a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. For kicks, I’ll edit a photo of myself eating a burger.

You will see that there is some redness in my cheeks, as I am caught RED-handed, about to chow down. Let’s fix that.

Photoshop Hue/Saturation layer

1) Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. To do this, at the bottom of the Layers panel, click the half dark/half light circle. Drop down to "Hue/Saturation." There is also a "Hue/Saturation" button in the Adjustments panel.

2) From the Master drop-down menu, select Reds.

3) Increase Saturation to +100 to see which parts of the photo have been selected

Photoshop red hue

4) Click in the center area of the markers in the spectrum at the bottom of the Properties window and drag left or right to narrow down the selected area.


Photoshop narrow selected area


5) Adjust the Hue slider to lessen redness in selected areas. In this case, I’m sliding right to add cyan (opposite red on the color wheel), which eliminates redness. Don’t forget to adjust Saturation, too.


Photoshop add cyan


6) If certain areas are affected that shouldn’t be, paint on a layer mask with a black brush to hide the effects in particular spots (in this case, the bricks and my lips, fingernails and dress).

Photoshop layer mask


Using simple tools in Photoshop can make a big difference and produce results just as elegant as my burger was tasty.


At Relish Marketing, our fusion of creative and strategy unlocks your brand and propels it forward.
Savor your brand. View our client work. Work with us! Contact here.


Nuts for Leo & Viv

 

Video is an effective, engaging way to reach new and existing clients. This short animated film follows Leo and Viv as they discover how video can grow their business.

 


The Mysteries of the PowerPoint Slide Master and How It’s Used

 

Slide Master is a tool used in Microsoft PowerPoint to create slide templates. Slide Master can save slide layouts, including the background, color, fonts, effects, positioning, etc. One benefit to using Slide Master is that you can make universal changes to every current and future slide within your presentation by only adjusting the Slide Master. You can also embed images and other graphics you don’t want touched into slides associated with a Slide Master. This keeps them in the background and out of the way when you are editing slide content.

Every version of PowerPoint is slightly different, but access to the Slide Master can generally be found in the same way. In this particular version (PowerPoint 2011), Slide Master can be accessed by navigating to View > Master > Slide Master.

 

View-SlideMaster

 

Once in Slide Master, you can create and edit slide layouts just as you would edit any other PowerPoint slide. Remember, this acts as a template, so you only want to put content into the slide that will be universal for every slide. You can create as many Slide Masters as you would like, with each one acting as its own template.

 

Main-SlideMaster

 

Once you are done creating your Slide Master layouts, click “Close Master”.

 

Close Master

 

Now, you can apply these masters to your actual presentation. Go to your Home tab and click Layout to see a menu of all of the layouts associated with the Slide Masters you have created. Click the one you want to apply to the slide – and the rest is easy. Any time you want to change your slide layout, just go back to Home > Layout to see the menu of all your masters and select a new one.

 

Home - layout

 

Congratulations! You have unlocked the power of Microsoft PowerPoint’s Slide Master! You can now enjoy the advantages of having preloaded slides that will make building your presentation easier and more efficient. Have fun!


street art Atlanta

Grafitti or Street Art: How It Can Inspire Us All

When I first moved to Atlanta over two years ago the first place I went was Piedmont Park. I had literally just pulled up to my new apartment in Midtown, unpacked a few boxes out of my car and threw on my backpack to take off on foot to a new place. Being unfamiliar with the Beltline I walked on an unfinished path into a group of trees and found a very interested piece of street art. They were eyes. Just eyes.

street art Atlanta

Five billboard size canvases looked at me and reminded me of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg’s eyes in The Great Gatsby. I was taken aback because the eyes meant so much more to me than just black and white prints – my friends and family had been watching me, waiting to see where I would live, where I would work, and what I would do after graduation. This one experience began a hunt to find art all over Atlanta.

Turns out there is a lot. In 2015, The Huffington Post ranked Atlanta the 8th best city in the United States to see street art. One year later, I can attest that Atlanta has continued to expand in both Street Art coverage and creativity.

With so much art to be seen, from Living Walls ATL to Tiny Doors ATL, many Atlantans may wonder what makes great street art? Here are some questions to ask yourself while when observing:

Is it disruptive?

Being disruptive can been seen as a positive or a negative – depends on the area, who you are talking to, and if that individual has had coffee. (We love our coffee here in Atlanta.) To be disruptive, at least one person must break away from the norm. Whether it is the artist or the viewer, the mural should be different from the person’s definition of truth and norm.

street art Atlanta

What questions – intended or unintended – does it inspire?

Some art is politically driven or seeks to defy authority. Question the message and the emotion behind the street art. You may see it as a political message that questions society, but the artist may be just conveying a personal story. The idea is for every set of eyes to read the art differently. Question everything: the color, the type, the illustrations - and think for yourself.

street art Atlanta

Why is this art in this place at this time?

Some of the most powerful street art murals are intentionally designed for the place and takes into consideration the neighborhood, the people, and the time. If you are seeing a mural that isn’t common to where you live, think about the audience that the mural was intended for. Context is everything.

street art Atlanta

Who is the Artist?

Street art typically defies authority and makes a provocative statement. Even when artists are hired or given permission – which is common for art on the Atlanta Beltline – the artist had to start somewhere, and that involves risking their safety, freedom, and finances. They go out late at night to purse a passion. Amateur or professional street artists deserve at least a few seconds of attention and a spark of emotion.

street art Atlanta

I do not encourage vandalism – but I do ask you to stop and consider when you see a message on a wall that you can’t read, or an illustration you don’t understand, or even a mural that makes you angry. Again, think for yourself and hopefully there will be some street art that speaks to you. Happy street art hunting!


Editing a PDF

Editing a PDF

A PDF captures all elements of a printed document in the form of an electronic image. It can be navigated, printed, or forwarded to others. Correctly marking up (or redlining) a PDF is important because it helps provide clear directions on what changes need to be made. Ryan, our Design Manager, provides a detailed video on the correct software, tools, and methods to make the process the utmost efficient.

 


Word template

Create a Word template in 5 easy steps

Microsoft Word is a beautiful design tool. There! Now it’s on the internet, so it must be true, right? But actually, it can be.

Yes, the Microsoft Office Suite has its limitations, but a user-friendly Word template can be formatted to look good. Limited capabilities and strong design don’t have to be mutually exclusive. And great work is often inspired by limitations. So, I maintain that it’s true: You can design a beautiful, compelling, easy-to-use template in five steps. And I’m going to show you how right here.

Step 1: Set up a color palette. This is important for a lot of reasons – my previous posts about color discuss some of them. Regardless, if you’re following a brand standard, you’ll want to set up those colors in your template. If you’re not following a specific brand standard, you still need a cohesive palette of colors that will work well together to tell your story.

Theme colors PPTOn a Mac, set up theme colors in Powerpoint

Theme colors WordOn a PC, set up theme colors in Word.

To set up a palette on a Mac, you actually need to do the first part of this step in Powerpoint. Go figure. (On a PC, you can follow these same steps in Word.) Under the Themes (Page Layout) tab, choose Colors > Create (New) Theme Colors. Change each color to suit the look of your document by double-clicking on swatches (or using the drop-down menu and selecting More Colors). At the bottom of the dialog box, name your theme. Click Apply to All (Save) to close the box. On a Mac, under the Themes tab, click Save Theme and store it in the Office Themes folder, on your desktop, or in the job folder for the template. Then open a Word document.

On both the PC and the Mac versions of Word, click the Home tab, then select Themes. If you saved the theme in your Office Themes folder it will appear as a Custom Theme. If you saved the theme somewhere else, select “Browse Themes”, find it on your computer and select it. Your palette now appears in your formatting tabs, where you can access them quickly and easily.

Step 2: Create background images. You’ll use these in the header and footer. They can be full backgrounds that are the size of your document, or they can be individual elements, like a logo or a graphic that appears in one corner. Using image editing software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop, Pixlr, Acorn, etc.) create your images and save them as .JPG or .PNG files at 150ppi minimum, 300ppi if the document will be printed professionally.

Step 3: Format The Background. Think of this step as designing the “stationery” on which your content will appear. You’re going to create this background in the Header and Footer area of the page. Don’t be thrown by the idea of an actual header or footer – you actually can place header and footer images anywhere on the page. But because it’s technically part of the header or footer, it will be difficult for users to accidentally edit, move or delete those images when they’re adjusting text in the document.

Format Picture Mac

Format Picture PCSetting up the background or "stationery" for your document

Start by double clicking the header area of your document. Then, under the Home (Insert) tab, you can add and format the images that you created in Step 2, which you’ll select as “Pictures,” “Text” or “Shapes.” After placing each image, make sure it’s selected, then click the Format Picture (Format) tab. Select Wrap Text > Behind Text. This will allow you to move and resize the image as desired, without impacting any text on the page. Shapes can be formatted and used in the background, in the same way, as sidebars or other graphic elements. Add any background text and adjust the font size, margins, etc. however you want. If you want page numbers to appear on every page, you can do this from the Document Elements (Insert) tab, as well.

Step 4: Format Text Styles.

Format-Styles-Mac

Format-Styles-PCChange font and paragraph styles

Start typing in your document – it doesn’t have to be real text, but you want to set up headlines, subheads, body copy, footnotes, and any other styles of text you’ll be likely to use. Format the font, size and color that you want to use for each. Now, open the Styles window in the Home tab by clicking Styles, selecting the icon with the ¶ symbol (or the expand arrow) to open the Styles window. Highlight the headline in your document and click on the dropdown menu next to Heading 1 in the Styles window. Select Update (Heading 1) to Match Selection. Use the same drop-down and select Modify Style. A new dialog box will open where you can change the style’s name and other attributes. Use the Format button in the lower left corner to adjust paragraph settings such as indentation, line spacing, paragraph spacing, tabs and many other options. Repeat this process for other text styles.

Step 5: Adjust the Layout. Under the Home tab in the Paragraph section, you can choose the number of columns on a page. Use the rulers at the sides and top to set up margins and insets from those margins.

Save your file as a Word template (.dotx). Now, every page using this template will have consistent design elements, which can be used over and over again.

Appendix: More Advanced Options. There are many more ways in which you can customize your template.

  • If you want a cover page, you can create a cover that differs from the interior pages (it’s a header/footer option –Different First Page).
  • If you want 2-page spreads, you can create facing pages that differ from eachother (another header/footer option - Different Odd & Even Pages).
  • If there are defined parts of your document, you can establish individual sections (Insert > Break > Section Break) and give each section a Different First Page.

As with the rest of the template, design your cover and interior pages creating text boxes for the document title, section title, footer information, page numbers, etc. The goal is to standardize any content that will appear in all documents created with this template.

Page-layouts-Mac

Page-layouts-PCSet up a cover or section pages, and facing pages

Section-breaks-Mac

Section-breaks-PCCreate a new section of the template

Word is not as precise, efficient or powerful as professional publishing applications. But when you need to create a document that non-designers can update regularly and easily, Word templates can give you a surprisingly effective way to do it.