Building Your Brand with Images and Video - Social Assurance
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Building Your Brand with Images and Video

August 29, 2018 10:30 pm
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The cliché is pictures are worth 1,000 words, and in the social media realm, the cliché is spot on. Social posts with images perform significantly better than status updates or links, and videos are the top social post engagement performer. Businesses that know how to effectively share images and video can leverage social media to build their brand and customer interaction

Join Social Assurance’s Ben Pankonin as he discusses the use of visual social content. Ben will be joined by a lineup of imagery and video experts as they share tips and tricks on successfully creating engaging visual social content. During this webinar, Ben and his guests will touch on:

  • The do’s and don’ts
  • Branding images and video
  • Creating professional looking images and video as a novice
  • Creating graphics and animated video
  • Investing in social advertising

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Ben Pankonin 0:18
Well, welcome back to social assurance. We’re bringing you a new webinar today about building your brand with images and video. And I’m really excited about this one. For all of you out there on Twitter, we had some high expectations this week, and I’m hoping that we can meet those. I’m excited for those of you who haven’t joined us for our social bank webinars before. I’m Ben Pinkerton, I’m a CEO and co founder of social assurance. So the exciting thing that we’re going to talk about today is we’re going to be joined with a special guest as we talk about how images and video are connected and how we tell stories with images and video and we’re going to talk about how we gather better content that is, for many of you, you’re not the only person taking photos for your organization. So you’re joining together with other people, and you have to help them to be able to tell that story today. So as I mentioned, we have a special guest today. And that special guest is sitting with me today here is Amber penken, and also known as my wife. So welcome, Amber. Hello. And so amber is is joined with us today. We’re also joined with rigo, who was a little excited to be on the webinar today. This is the first time we’ve ever had a dog on the webinar. So no, we’re not working from home. We’re right here in the studio. But we decided to bring him in for a little bit of extra social media content today. And he got a little bit excited to help as part of that intro. So for those of you who don’t know my wife, which is probably most of you, you may not know that she has a company called stir list in which you’re doing recipes website, you’re working with a lot of brands, brands, like smart chicken pulled this from their main site, one of your latest recipes, but you’re not just doing the recipe. Yeah. So tell us a little bit about what you might do with one of those,

Amber Pankonin 2:16
right? Well, you know, people eat with their eyes. So it’s about creating good food, but also making it look really appealing. So part of my role is to take images of food that look delicious, and make people want to prepare that particular recipe as a part of a family meal.

Ben Pankonin 2:36
Awesome. Now, so part of those recipes, you’re not just sort of crafting the recipe as a registered dietitian, but you’re also taking those food photos making and staging those, which we’ll be talking a little bit about what goes into that sort of process. But you’re also doing spokesperson work at this. I took this photo, just so we could go live From our family room as you were doing live TV in the kitchen, right, so, so a little bit of that work and understanding the visual elements into that, which are also important, important. But as we kind of talked about today’s webinar, we’re going to be talking about things like Instagram, we’re going to be talking about the photos and videos that go into making social media great together. So we’re gonna first talk just a little bit about why visual is so important. And, you know, one of those areas of visual being so important, is that it, you know, it engages so much more. You know, obviously, photos on Facebook are engaging much more than photos without it. But we’re also finding that it’s, it’s not just in Facebook, it’s all of the media platforms, that we’re engaging when photos become that central figure, if some good stats for those of you who are looking for those stats, but we’re also seeing here Huge uptake in mobile video, and I know you’re doing a lot more with with mobile video. And, you know, just as we were talking this morning about some Instagram stories, and things that are fun to kind of craft in there, you know, we’re seeing that mobile video is really increasing. So we’ll see, we’ll be sure to address a bunch of that, of course, as our cameras are getting a lot better. That’s, that’s pretty helpful. And then we’ll we’ll talk just a little bit about some of the platforms that we’re using. But you know, one of the things that we’re seeing is that it’s not just about getting that photo and video impression, that first time that they might see on Facebook, or Instagram, but it’s also about getting that to be repeated. So they people are retaining that information, you know, up to three days later, even when it’s not just on social so we’re seeing it that they’re able to recall some of those Images. So I think that’s really important. Now one of the things that’s helping us to a large degree with photos is that the tools are getting easier. Now you use a number of different tools that tell us maybe a little bit about the tools that you use to take photos,

Amber Pankonin 5:17
right, so when I take photos, I mean, I can use anything from my phone, so my iPhone, or maybe it’s a DSLR, or a digital camera, you know, those are definitely probably my to go twos. And then there are tools for editing. So you know, there’s, there’s tools that you can have on your phone for for editing. And then there’s tools that I have on my desktop so that I can edit other photos.

Ben Pankonin 5:43
Awesome. And now on your desktop, you’re using Lightroom and you’re using a Sony A seven, three camera right, as well as some other tools. We’ll get into some of those. But but the tools are getting easier to share. shoot video and and to make those things work. One of the things that we want to talk just a little bit about is when you’re taking a photo from your iPhone, what would you say that what what are the things you think about with an iPhone photo? We have kind of a this versus that kind of understanding some of the tools like portrait mode, but but how do you think about taking a photo with your iPhone?

Amber Pankonin 6:25
Well, I always make sure that I have plenty of charge on my phone when I’m going to be taking photos. I think that’s one thing to think about. But when using my phone, you know I love to use that portrait mode on my iPhone, but I also think about light and we’ll get into some composition tips later. But with iPhone actually it’s really easy. If you tap the screen so that you can focus in on something, you’re going to see a little box appear and then a sun appear on the right side. So if you have your phone, go ahead and try this out. And basically if you click on That sun, you can move it up or down to basically increase the exposure or decrease it and so I think that’s a really unique trick that not a lot of people know about.

Ben Pankonin 7:11
Yeah, yeah. Now I used to be a Samsung phone person and and Amber kind of gave me a hard time. And you did bring me over I do. I am really excited about my iPhone x. It’s been really a nice upgrade for me, but I also you know, felt like a lot of those tools were available in Samsung as well. So as long as you’re getting, you know, a nicer version of an iPhone or, or a newer Samsung or something like that, that are kind of not your base model. I would say not my dad’s phone, quite literally, you know, well, he’s above the flip phone. It is technically is a an Android phone, but it’s it’s an older version. Camera really just doesn’t have those kinds of features in it, but the nicer cameras or the nicer phones do have the ability to do something that we call photography, depth of field, right? So if we compare these two, that portrait mode on your iPhone can be a really nice tool to bring out some richness and, and focus. There’s also a few other features in there. You know, I don’t really use the studio light feature. I think it’s kind of gimmicky on an iPhone, that’s the one that kind of drops out and makes everything like, backdrop in there. But there are some other features in the portrait mode. You can do portrait mode on selfie camera with the new iPhones, which is kind of handy. Okay. And then, you know, there’s some other portrait modes that allow you to do contour and things like that. They’re a little bit more artistic. But you know, when we’re thinking about using an iPhone, certainly, you can think about how you zoom and what you keep in focus. Right? Right. So cool ideas. So the vast majority of what we’re going to talk about today, you could accomplish right with an iPhone or a good camera. So all of those composition techniques we could accomplish with an iPhone. But sometimes we want to ramp things up to kind of that next level. And this is one that I would say is a next level feature. So amber and I were recently in Chicago this summer and we were taking some video part of a conference but I pulled out you know, we have a an Osmo Mobile, which is a handheld Oh, it would be called a gimbal. But it allows me to take videos like the one here so I put my iPhone in that device, the one that I have, or the newest version, which is the Osmo Mobile two is it’s $130 device so you can use that to stabilize video. So if you are looking to take a little bit more video It’s a really cool tool, I’ve recommended it to a number of banks. Because you know, when you are out on location or you’re trying to get something that’s stable video, like, for instance, this little clip here would be impossible to do if you couldn’t stabilize that camera. So this is what’s called a motion lapse, which allows me to program there’s actually three stops on here that I’ve stopped the camera at, but it’s moving very slowly. So basically, the device is held stable for about a minute and a half as it moves from these three locations that I’ve programmed in by just tapping the screen on those three locations. And then it rotates that screen for about a minute and a half, and then speeds that up to be whatever this is about a four second video. So a really cool tool for you for stuff like this shot, but it’s also great if you’re doing this in person interviews. The only challenge that I found with it Is that if you don’t have external audio or a good audio clip, that’s that can be a challenge. So if you are doing interviews with it, that’s certainly a challenge if you don’t have good audio, so and then, you know, next level, when we’re talking about hiring a photographer, how would you draw that line? Amber on when you might hire a photographer?

Amber Pankonin 11:25
Well, I think again, it probably depends on what your budget is right? But also, what are you trying to accomplish? And what story are you trying to tell? I know for me, when I look at hiring a photographer, I obviously can’t take my own headshots. Right. So

Ben Pankonin 11:41
that is tricky.

Amber Pankonin 11:42
I hire somebody else to do that for me, because I feel like maybe they’re able to tell a story that I can’t tell or that I can’t see. And so I’ve always appreciated that in a professional.

Ben Pankonin 11:55
Sure. Sure. So we you know, you’re shooting with the thousand dollars Sony mirrorless camera. Certainly equipments probably not the reason from that perspective, right. But it might be if you needed advanced lighting, right? Or, or maybe you needed something that looked more like a studio. Right? So that might be something that that maybe you would need to hire somebody for if you needed kind of that advanced lighting. Right. So, you know, we’ve we’ve outsourced a number of video projects, because you know, it does require a lot more equipment if you want it to be really professional. Right. So I know we had we had a question in that was about can we shoot? Can we shoot our video and how do we overcome shooting video from an iPhone as opposed to hiring a crew every time and have you felt like that’s been able to have you been able to overcome shooting video you know from an iPhone as opposed to yes or hiring the VP best professional crew. Have you felt like that’s something that you could overcome?

Amber Pankonin 13:04
I think so again, it just takes that time and effort to learning, you know, the the software, especially when it comes to editing. So shooting really is not that difficult, but the editing process is what takes forever. And so that’s something that I think you have to be really careful about when evaluating your time, your budget and what your needs are.

Ben Pankonin 13:28
Awesome. Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense when you when we think about how we’re how we’re editing a video. Now, some of the things that we may talk about here today to is that we could shoot very short videos, right. And sometimes those can be really effective. Even five, six seconds is is we’re now seeing many more of those videos and right access to those

Amber Pankonin 13:49
right so I mean, one quick app is the apple clips. That’s one that I know we were experimenting with a few months ago. It reminds me a little bit of vine when We still had fine. So it’s a very quick but it does allow you to put graphics and to put music in. And that’s just a very simple way of using video on social. You know, when you when you have that question there about spending thousands on equipment. You know, it’s funny because I have some colleagues who are very popular food bloggers and they actually pride themselves on only using their iPhone for their photography and their video. So if you’re familiar with all of the tasty style videos are online right now, I mean, it’s all about food prep. It’s funny because they will shoot those with their iPhone, and I went to a workshop that was specifically for that style on iPhone. So yeah, I think we’re definitely seeing trends and making it a little bit easier.

Ben Pankonin 14:49
Yeah, well, I think what that’s helped us to do is making videos quick and getting to publishing faster. So I’ve recognized That, you know, you mentioned that I know you have, there’s a couple friends that you have that are doing that together, whether it’s all right bones, which is awesome, but I think one of the things that it helps produces an authenticity. That’s really fun because now I don’t think of what they’re doing as something that’s very staged. Right? I don’t think of it as something that’s pretend made up. It feels a little bit more raw. I think that’s a great feeling.

Amber Pankonin 15:26
Right? Well, it’s funny because in food photography, oftentimes you see those health bloggers who will post things and the messages, you should eat like me, right. And then when I look at these ladies, I think their messages shoot like me in terms of how you shoot the photo, and what type of equipment you use. And so it’s all about making it easy to just capture that moment right there in your kitchen.

Ben Pankonin 15:51
Cool, cool, great tips now, and we’re going to talk a little bit more in depth about what that takes to do visual storytelling. And for for many of us, we sort of think about a photo as just that. And I grew up in a family that did not take very good photos. And we kind of laugh about it now, because it was one of those families where it was like line, you know, line up, or in a smile, and, you know, probably isn’t infocus. And we’re only gonna take one photo. But now that’s really changing when we think about the evolution of photography. And we have to think deeper about each photo. So we’re going to take one of your photos Amber, and I, we would just love to learn from you about and this is a food photo. And I recognize that a lot of us aren’t able to spend the kind of time that you might spend to take this food photo, but but we’d love to learn a little bit about how you took this photo. What’s the story behind this? What are you trying to convey when you took this photo?

Amber Pankonin 16:57
Right? Well, this is actually a client project. But whenever I’m working on a photo that is for a client, or that’s going to go and social media for a client, I really think about a couple of different things. One, I want to think about, obviously, the composition of the photo. So no, I know we’re going to talk about rule of thirds, or the rule of thirds later on, but, you know, geometry patterns, frames within a frame. So this composition of this photo, it’s funny because that bowl is sort of like a frame. So you know those one shots where you see a car and the rearview mirror of the car, and you can see an image in the rear view mirror. That is like what we call that frame within a frame in this photo that is the bowl. And so then you can see the elements in there of the chicken and the tomatoes and the other vegetables. So this is an overhead shot. And so this is just one example. You could also do, basically a straight on shot and you’ve seen you’ve seen some of those folks. Those where the food is stacked. Right or maybe that’s a stack of books. So that’s what we would call that head on shot. And then there’s also that 45 degree angle where you are, you know, just shifting slightly, and you’re taking a photo so that you can really feature that image. Again, considering that rule of thirds. For me, one of the most important things though, is do I have access to natural light. So I always wait until the sun is at, you know, a good point in the day where it’s coming in my windows so that I can have that natural light. And I I try to avoid very harsh light because you don’t need a lot of harsh light, especially when you’re trying to edit photos. So for me, I would never take a subject, you know, Ben, I would never position you right in front of a window, right to take your photo, I would, or at least you know, I’m standing in front of you with the window behind you. I would move to the side and so we would call that Maybe nine o’clock light or three o’clock light, and so that I can capture that sun that’s hitting you at an angle.

Ben Pankonin 19:07
So you want the sun kind of coming in at an angle. So I know, I know, because I’ve gotten to see a number of times I wish I would have put a photo of of one of your photos of you taking these photos because because it’s sort of like, you know, some people have this kitchen table that kind of sits in the middle of the room and we’ve got this table that’s over kind of by a window so you can have light at different times that day. But you’re you’re kind of walking around it pulling that light in from the side,

Amber Pankonin 19:33
right. So we would call that basically nine o’clock light. If you know the sun, you could consider that 12 o’clock light so move around to the nine o’clock or the three o’clock position. And then you’re able to actually capture something that that looks pretty especially with that light shining in.

Ben Pankonin 19:51
Awesome. Awesome now know what were you focusing on in this in this photo? What What were you sort of pulling out To show people who are seeing this,

Amber Pankonin 20:03
right, well, I mean, the the hero in the shot is the the salad, the bowl, right? I mean, of course chicken is part of that because this was for one of my clients. But yeah, you know the other things to consider were the textures of what was going to be used also the colors. So I wanted to keep it colorful. I have some different textures. You can see the linen, you can see the wood, you know, the cutting board. And then of course, the utensils there are made of wood. And so yeah, we’re just trying to draw out like what are the different elements here without it being too overwhelming and too busy.

Ben Pankonin 20:41
Awesome. Now I’ve watched you stage some of these where where you’re pulling out a very specific element that you make sure is in focus, and the rest of it kind of fades out into the background and you reference that and you call that your hero.

Amber Pankonin 20:56
Right? Right. So that could be your hero shot and that can Be that could be even a headshot of somebody right? where maybe you know that there’s other things going on in the background, but you’ve got your hero out front and center. Or again, if you’re using the rule of thirds, maybe they’re over to the right slightly. But yeah, you definitely want to make sure you’re focusing in on on something. So whether that’s food or a person or an animal, right, you want to make sure that they’re in focus.

Ben Pankonin 21:26
Awesome, awesome. So very intentional. When we look at a photo like this, it’s very staged. Now a lot of the opportunities that we have to take photos within the banking world, we can’t quite stage at this level, but all of the elements are the same. So we’re going to try to spend some time kind of walking through some of those together to understand what types of things we can think about. Now Amber, when you and I have talked about Instagram and and Instagram accounts that I work with a you work with, that we kind of think through, there’s some things that we talk about about One of those is, you know, making sure that kind of Instagram when you’re a brand that it looks like, that’s the kind of photo that fits in with the rest of your Instagram profile.

Amber Pankonin 22:11
Right? You know, I think some of the best Instagram accounts that I follow, I can tell that it’s coming from a specific brand without even having to look at the name at the top, you can just tell, and it might not even feature a specific product. So it may be the filter that they use, and maybe the colors that they use. And, of course, you know, that wording, that description that they use at the bottom of the photo.

Ben Pankonin 22:39
Awesome. And you know, when we talk about those, sometimes we also see some alternating that goes on and a lot of those where they might take a real photo and then do an animation. It kind of alternate those. I like that approach if that fits in with your brand message. Really part of that if you’re looking at Instagram approaches is making sure that it’s fun. thing that fits in with your brand.

Amber Pankonin 23:01
Right? So if you’re doing the animations or even just the the inspirational quotes, you know, making sure you’re using the same fonts and the same colors.

Ben Pankonin 23:11
Yeah, yeah. So making sure that you’ve got if you’ve got a brand book, that’s great. If you don’t have a brand book, I think it’s a great opportunity to just establish part of that and say, these are the three, you know, fonts we’re going to use. If if we’re going to go that far. Or here’s the the two colors that we want to use in anytime we’re doing an illustration. Now we’ve got some examples of when we take a photo, what types of things work or don’t work. Now, what captures you when you look at the photo on the left versus the right, any anything that sort of stands out to you if you look at the one on the left?

Amber Pankonin 23:50
Well, obviously you can see the the hero of the shot, you know, she’s, you know, checking out what’s happening now you know what’s happening around her world. The other shot looks a little busy. You can’t really tell what’s going on and who the hero of that shot is.

Ben Pankonin 24:08
Yeah. And we see this a lot of times, you know, sometimes we go out to take that photo, and we take a photo of everything going on in the room, you know, and I think there’s, there’s validity to that. But there’s a time to say, hey, actually, we want to take you like this photo on the left, because we’re sort of walking with her into this this area. I

Amber Pankonin 24:30
want to know what she’s looking at. Right?

Ben Pankonin 24:33
Right sort of draws you in, because we’re thinking about what is it that she’s thinking or where she headed, we’re sort of get a sense of it drawing us into that motion, where the other one because there are so many things going on, it’s not a bad photo. We’ve got some really good color, which is a lot of fun in that photo, but but it kind of blocks us a little bit because we feel like there’s nothing drawing us into it. So I like that sense of you use this word hero and I love That, you know, we’re thinking thinking about it in that term with her to say, hey, she’s she’s drawing us into something of interest. The composition is really kind of interesting. And we notice kind of where where she’s placed in that photo drawing us into what’s happening. Now, one of the things that we noticed there is really subtle. But if you’re using, you know, a grid format, that would help you to do what we call a rule of thirds, and maybe, maybe describe what what you think of with a rule of thirds,

Amber Pankonin 25:32
right? Well, here you can see the grid, it’s just where those lines are crossing. So again, if you were to divide that photo into nine different quadrants, you can see where the lines cross, and that would be where you would want to place your hero or it’s the subject of interest in your shot. So yeah,

Ben Pankonin 25:52
so if we thought about the nine boxes where those nine boxes intersect, those four points are the four points points where we want to put that hero or that big portion of our image to make it more interesting. That’s kind of kind of hard to do, because sometimes we have landscape photos or we have square photos. But Instagram makes that pretty easy if you’re using that Instagram camera,

Amber Pankonin 26:17
right or even your iPhone or probably your Android as well. If you go into the photo or the camera settings, you can turn the grid on and that’s a really easy fix. Of course, with any DSLR camera, you can flip the grid on and you can see exactly where you would want to place your subject.

Ben Pankonin 26:37
Yes is a great great learning tool to think about where those little spots are to focus on. I think that’s a it’s a really important piece that will make your photos naturally more interesting to think about how that how you’re composing a photo and where you want that specific point to be focused on.

Amber Pankonin 26:57
It also helps with balance in your photo too. Because as you can see in this shot, and then she takes up that majority of that right side. And so it’s not like replacing her right in that lower right hand quadrant, right, where that crosses, it’s taking up that whole third. And so I think that’s interesting too,

Ben Pankonin 27:16
right? You know, when I took digital digital design in college, one of the things we also looked at a lot was what they’d call a C or a reverse C, and we see that in this photo, where it sort of draws us in because it’s shaped like a C so. So when we think about what draws us in, it’s that, hey, it’s focused on that one spot. But it’s also kind of flows in a really interesting way. So another one that you talked about a little bit was understanding that hero that you called it, now the hero in this shot. Isn’t the person holding the dog? It’s the dog, right? And so, you know, I like this example of these two Because both are good photos. You know, both are in focus. You know, cute dog on the right. Seems like they’re interesting, but but the one on the left has that element that pulls us into it. Right,

Amber Pankonin 28:14
right. Well, you can see the the dog, obviously is pretty happy.

Ben Pankonin 28:19
Yeah. Yeah, he’s, I mean, he’s happy. We’ve got that the third’s concept there. But it’s also kind of, you know, she’s a little bit in the background of that photo. So when we think about that is we have brought the hero to the foreground, made sure that that this dog is in focus. So I think that’s a fun one. To think about how how we format that. Now, another one is, when we think about text, we have a lot of times where we’re putting text on an image or we’re, we’re formatting something this could be in your branch, this could could be elsewhere. A lot of times, we have images that look more like the one on the right, where we have a lot of text, and we’re not really sure where to focus. So I think it’s really interesting to think about that we have a hero in the in terms of text as well. So in this case, we want to know about the talent show, the talent show is our hero. So there’s a hierarchy to the way we think of text. And there’s one thing that we want to take away from each of these visual examples. That think that’s one of the things that we miss a lot of times, and especially when we first start taking photos, and again, we’re trying to prep this in a way that we realize many of you who are in marketing roles are comfortable taking photos, you might be doing Instagram for a period of time, but you also have a challenge in helping others to be able to find and uncover those types of photos. So helping them to realize that there is One subject, maybe two things that you want to get out of a photo, and there’s not a lot of them. And so when we start thinking about that, I think that’s really important too. So here’s another one, we think about capturing content. You know, both good photos. I love the colors of the one on the right, I think it’s a lot of fun. But the one on the left sort of has that because we’ve got a human element. It kind of pulls us into it. Right?

Amber Pankonin 30:26
Right. Well, I know that we you and I have talked about stats before with those photos that actually feature a human being do get more engagement and it does tell I think, a deeper story so again, here obviously maybe the story is possibly back to school. As so you know, having her right there working on her project versus seeing you know, the the bags or the aprons on the wall there again, it just tells a greater story with with her in the photo.

Ben Pankonin 30:58
Yeah, I think You know, there’s there’s certainly some stats that draw us in. And, you know, we’ve got some stats to back that up that, you know, faces, you know, photos with faces or get 30% 38% more likes and 32% more engagement. So clearly the stats kind of speak for themselves as something that’s really important. But we’re also seeing that a lot of that happens when we have faces that people recognize. Mm hmm. So when you have that the friendly teller or that person in the bank that people might know, pulling them into your photoshoots are really important. Plus, then we we have an easier time with photo releases and components like that where we can bring in someone who’s on staff that people know that are willing to smile,

Amber Pankonin 31:44
right? Because when you’re using stock photography, that can be expensive, right?


also, it might not necessarily tell the story that you’re looking for. So I think you know, trying to shoot your own photos isn’t really possible. thing.

Ben Pankonin 32:00
Yeah. And as you start to get more people that are taking those photos, you’re going to have more to choose from. And so hopefully you can come up with some that that really works. So I think that’s a great one. Now, when we think about, you know, some of these elements to taking photos, we have a challenge to of gathering photos, making sure that people know that, that we need a photo from them. And so many of us feel like we’re kind of on an island or are out, you know, in our own planet, trying to find photos. And we’re doing marketing for an organization that’s in a lot of places that’s involved in a lot of nonprofit activities, as I talk to, you know, so many of you and community banks, you’re doing so many great things in your communities, but oftentimes, it’s pulling those events back into your marketing to say we were here when this happened. And so one of the things we want to do is help provide you some tools to getting your staff to be more creative. So one of those ways is to pull aside some people at each location and find out what they might be interested in and see if they could begin creating some of that content. Now, Amber and I have had this account for Riga the rocket because well, one he’s really cute. But to you know, we we recognize that our friends are probably annoyed with only dog photos on your personal Instagram account or on your Facebook page. So it allows us an opportunity to separate those out and if you want to see pictures of rigo the rocket you can go see as many as you want to on his Instagram profile. But we’re not muddying that up. But the third thing that I think you can help people with is Instagrams a great way to teach yourself how to be better at photography. And so you know, finding something that you’re interested in if it’s your dog, creating an Instagram account for your, for your little dog or it’s, you know, finding sports or whatever it is that really engages you is a fun way to learn these tools that we talked about it sometimes because we look at what works and what doesn’t work for, you know, this little cute puppy, and I think that’s a fun way to learn too. So we’ve learned some things about the the tools

Amber Pankonin 34:29
well and the difference between your still shots and your portrait shots. So obviously abrigo moves around a lot.


we get some practice, they’re trying to follow him with the camera. But when you’re shooting, you know, a human subject versus let’s say, I play a pancakes, right. There are different things to consider. And so your human subject is probably going to move around and smile, not smile, maybe their hair has some whiskey that need to be pulled back, you know, where you can control. Maybe it’s the stack of books, or I saw some little piggy banks that somebody had posted as an example of a photo that he took at his, his bank. And so there’s just a difference there, right, and a style that you have to get used to.

Ben Pankonin 35:19
Yeah, I think that’s a lot of fun to think about those individual styles. And, you know, it is a difficult thing to shoot. So I think it’s, it’s a great way to get engaged. You know, I’ve talked to a lot of executives about getting involved in social media. And a lot of times, they’ll wonder, hey, I don’t feel like I understand Twitter would be a comment that I get a lot of times and I’ve talked to a lot of them and said, what is it that engages you? And they’ll say something like, well, I watch NFL football, or I watch, you know, baseball or I care about, you know, outdoors. And I’ll say, Hey, here’s an account. Let’s go find your interest. Let’s find it. Then you can start engaging, you know, and so I think that’s a great way to get people to off the sidelines to start practicing. Now another thing is thinking about where to find the right image. So educating a staff to say, I don’t always need this beautiful work of art, part of what I need, especially in the banking world is I need things like this that are a hole in the ground. So, you know, if you’re working with your commercial lending team, and they’re going out to a job site or looking at a construction project, you know, getting them to take a photo of that hole in the ground is a really important part of figuring that out. So getting them to go take a photo of that spot, would be really important. So this is a great one, you know, just because it’s up close, but this is something that we could always caption and show what that hole in the ground is going to be. helped create the rest of that story. So grabbing that photo, it might be that they do it in portrait, and we use it in an Instagram story. Or it might be that we do end up using it right on Instagram. But you know, sourcing and being able to source some of those photos is a great reminder. So, here’s a few examples now. Now we’re going to actually send out as a follow up to this webinar, a helpful tip guide for you to be able to pass along to staff members who might be taking photos for you. So in that way, we can get you to be able to send something to them and get some ideas but you know, here were obviously a few that we know are going to equate to, to good things. So when we think about you know, hey, is there a way that we can talk about home improvement or, or student activity or pets? You know, I always talk to to lenders, and say Where do you get the most business Tell me about your personality and where you get those activities done. And a lot of times they’ll say, I have to work with a lot of papers. Sometimes we like going to a coffee shop, and getting that done there because it feels less threatening. And we can, you know, very quickly move through things. And I’ll say, well, that’s a great opportunity for you to take a photo of something that people are always going to like, you know, one of our staff members, we always talk about how, you know, if we just gave away puppies and coffee, this would be a really a really easy thing to do, because that part is really important. So getting those puppies and coffee, things like that those photos back, allow us to then add on to that those more difficult and challenging photography, elements of banking products, branches, things like that. But those are a great example of things that we can do. We can also get people from within our organization to help grab those photos. From specific spots, so it could be, it could be that we’re looking for that local restaurant that’s down the street from your branch location. And that can be a great opportunity, you know, taking a photo, either of their food or of their location, and sharing some of those things that show that you’re local, that show that you’re in that area, but then also looking for those activities that might be important. Now, what a lot of times we’re working with banks on doing is helping to gather that content in a more structured manner. So they can, you know, download our mobile app and share those photos. So you could invite a loan officer, have them take a photo, and then upload it right within the mobile app so that you as a marketer Can, can sit back and gather those photos. But in order to do that, you know, we have to be able to get them to take the photo. So one of the things we’ve seen is this statement that hey, I sponsored this event. You’re going to this golf Adding,

you know, we need the mantra that it’s a photo or it didn’t happen. You didn’t, you didn’t leave the office to go to this golf sponsorship. If you didn’t take a photo, if you didn’t take a photo, then we don’t believe you were there. And I think that we’ve seen that mentality start to proliferate, which really helps to generate some accountability. So sometimes that involves text messaging, sometimes that involves putting a calendar reminder at the middle of that event, so that that person gets a reminder on their on their Outlook calendar that says, hey, you’re supposed to take a photo for me from this event. And here’s what I’m looking for in that. But there’s a lot of opportunities for those to extend that view of what you’re getting at that location. Now, the other thing that we’ve started to do is see that when you are sending someone out to that event, you know, maybe they’re that commercial lender, who happens to be out there. is to tell them very specifically. And as I mentioned, we’ll we’ll send this in a follow ups that you have something that you can pass along to those people. But a lot of times, it’s what we would call an event checklist. So we would say to a staff member, hey, here’s what we want you to capture. And, you know, we want you to get a staff group photo from this event, because we know that a large amount of our staff are out there doing this event, we’d like to see some behind the scenes photo, or a photo with our logo, we know that our logo is on a banner at this event. Would you go find it right? So you’re sending people out on that scavenger hunt to find that, that photo or location. Now I liked these a couple examples. And one of the things I liked is, you know, the one on the right with westbank is that they were gathering logos and pulling those in with people which which was a lot of fun. And then you know the one with Magnolia here that was really fun is that there are actually kind of showing you behind the scenes, what they were doing. And I think it’s fun because it feels like you kind of went on this journey with them to this event. And so when we can kind of show that, hey, we kind of went along behind the scenes. I think that’s a lot of fun. And Amber, I know you’re doing this every week when you go to the studio to shoot for, for local news when you’re going to take a photo. And a lot of times you’re doing Instagram stories at the beginning. And you’re kind of showing this the story of what happens on doing the news. And I think it’s really fun to see what what you think about and where do you start that story and how does that progress when you make that story?

Amber Pankonin 42:46
Right? Well, I think it just depends, you know, every week you know, when you do when I do it a segment on the news, which is about three minutes. It actually takes me about seven to eight hours to prepare just for that three minutes. And so I tried to give people a realistic perspective. So that could be even starting the day before in prepping for the segment the next day, maybe that’s grocery shopping, maybe that’s prep. As you’re you’re mixing up the ingredients, maybe that’s loading the car, as you’re pulling out, you know, getting an image of what time you’re leaving the house. As you arrive to the studio as you’re carrying things in. You just let people follow along in the journey with you. And some of those stories have been my most engaging.

Ben Pankonin 43:33
Yeah, I think those are great, because, well, for a lot of us, there’s a nerve racking component of like thinking that we might be on live TV, right? So there’s this moment of anticipation, right, which is a good story always gives to us is it would give us kind of the setting, and it would give us an anticipation that will something’s going to happen here. And so what I like that you started to really do well, is that you don’t just sort of leave us hanging in that anticipation and I see a lot of people do this when they go to, to do the work thing, right? Where they’re sort of like, Hey, we’re about to do this thing. We’re about to go to this event. we’re gearing up. Here we are. And they don’t give me a conclusion.

Amber Pankonin 44:15
Right, right. Are you see somebody who’s going on vacation? Right? And so they start posting when they’re packing. And then when they’re loading the car as they’re driving, you know, to wherever it is, but then you don’t actually get to see the final destination that can be set to let down.

Ben Pankonin 44:31
Right, right. Giving you know, giving that final destination is kind of the Hey, it’s the conclusion we’ve built this thing up. Help us to see that this was a fun event.

Amber Pankonin 44:42
Something else was stories too, if you are going to, you know, flip that camera around and let’s say you’re the focus of the story and you’re talking in your story. I would also make sure you’re doing the captions underneath, at least to summarize the main points of what you’re trying to say. Because you might have some folks who can’t actually turn the volume on and listen to you. And so they can read that or if they’re hearing impaired, you know, that person can also be able to take away what you’re trying to say.

Ben Pankonin 45:13
Right? Um, no, I think that makes a lot of sense. As you know, sometimes we don’t think about access, we don’t think about the access to people. We also sometimes don’t think about that in audio, that sometimes we’re in a place where, you know, I might be thumbing through my Instagram stories, not that I’d ever do it during a meeting. Maybe but but maybe I’m you know, you’re sitting in the doctor’s office or you’re sitting at an event, where audios not really appropriate,

Amber Pankonin 45:43
right? Well, a lot of us do that right? Even

Ben Pankonin 45:45
Okay, good.

Amber Pankonin 45:48
Right, you can’t turn the volume on or let’s say somebody’s trying to watch TV at the same room as you so you don’t want to turn the volume on.

Ben Pankonin 45:56
Yeah. So I mean, good thoughts about your sort of it needs to stay And on its own, yes, sometimes, you know, we were taking that short video of somebody speaking and they’re doing that engagement. And we know that that’s happening behind the scenes. And so you’d have to turn on audio to capture it, we can always caption it.

Amber Pankonin 46:13
And I’m more likely to read when they have something that’s posted at the bottom that’s summarizing what they’re saying.

Ben Pankonin 46:20
Right? Right. So I think those compliments are really important when we think about that. So So some of the time what we may want to do is we sent out that person from the bank, like this example here, where we’re giving them that checklist and we’re saying, Hey, we know that this is happening today. It’s on our content calendar, we’ve scheduled it out that something’s going to happen on this day. Who’s going from the bank? And you know, we’ve sent them out with that mantra, and we’ve, you know, we realize we have to beat it in into people’s head if they’re not used to social all the time, so photo or didn’t happen. And then we say, Hey, would you capture so and so talking and Then we can pull out that sound bite from that event, as some of you have seen me at some conferences where I might take our little Osmo and shoot a little bit of video. And what you may not know is I don’t always edit that video. You know, if I’m at a conference or I’m at an event where I don’t have the chance to really dig into that video, I upload it back to our team, and I coordinate with them beforehand so that they can edit that video before it gets out. So sometimes I’m this person that needs the checklist. And sometimes they’ll say that to me, they’ll say, Hey, would you make sure to grab this? Now it’s also I think, important. When we think of landscape and portrait oriented photos, it’s important to to let people know which you need so if you are working on something on Instagram, usually if you can tell somebody, Hey, take me a portrait view, then I know it’s probably going to work on Instagram. Well, at

Amber Pankonin 47:56
least for Instagram stories. I mean, you can you can monitor To find out a little bit if it’s on your main feed, but it can be tricky.

Ben Pankonin 48:03
Yeah, sometimes if they’re used to taking those portrait photos, or you know, or those landscape photos, then when you go to pull it into a square photo on Instagram, you feel like you’re you’re kind of missing it out, especially if you’ve got a lot of people in, in a location. So sometimes, I’ve seen this happen, where I was just taking a group photo, and the person who was taking the photo, of course, had their phone or had their camera in landscape mode. And one of the people I was with said, Hey, could you take one in portrait, so that way, they got everybody in the photo. So if they made it square, they would all still fit, right? So those can work. And then I think it’s also important to say what not to capture. So sometimes if you’re going to one of those events, and you say, Hey, you know, I just want some of our staff doing volunteer work. Or maybe it’s an event where there’s a lot of kids and you say, Hey, I don’t really feel comfortable, you know, there’s especially if there’s kids in need or things You know, we’re doing a lot of things in nonprofits and, you know, I’m on the board locally of our of our food bank. And, and you know, there’s a lot of sensitive things around that. So, you know, when I’m there, I tried to make sure that it focuses on the people who are doing great things, and not on the people who were there to serve. And so I think that’s a really important component, when you’re thinking about the social media aspect of that. And, you know, my friend mckaela does are the social media for a local food bank, and she does a great job of doing that. So she’ll highlight staff and in often some really fun ways, but in ways that also cause you to tear up a bit, right. So I think there’s great ways that you can do that visually. And then, you know, a last way that I’d like to think about gathering content that we don’t always think about is that it doesn’t always have to come from the bank. Sometimes, we’re using maybe campaigns or user generated content, so We’re gathering content from those people who, who we serve. And I think it’s a really fun way to build trust in your community. By sourcing that content through those people who are out in your community. We’ve facilitated a number of different campaigns, some of which we had a great bank that we’ve worked with for a long time that said, you know, we need to update the artwork for our bank. Could we do a photo contest to update the artwork for our bank? And so it was a great way to just say, hey, let’s, let’s pay people for the artwork that they’re going to submit to us or they’re or that we’re going to select out of that. But then, you know, we’re going to solicit artwork from around our community. There’s a lot of ways to do that. Everything from kid generated content, to getting content for landscape photos, to understanding what is your community really look like? And we found some great ways to extend Then that content as well. So maybe you’re pulling your brand message into that, where you’re offering a pen or a water bottle or a towel or something from your bank that has your logo on it, and having people take photos with that, in, in the community or at events. Those are some great ways to get your brand message to actually be a part of those photos. And it can be something that can live on beyond that day as well it can live beyond that contest. So I think that’s a lot of fun. Now, we think about gathering content. There’s also the paid side of content. So I saw there were some questions about generating video, and some of those about generating video on Facebook for ads. So I wanted you to be aware of Facebook’s latest, what they call it video ad generator just came out this week, but it’s a really kind of a cool tool. You’ll see it three quick hear from that they’ve actually put together which essentially allows you to gather. In this top one you’ll see it’s it’s two to five images. So you can gather any anywhere from two to five images. So you’re gathering those around a product. And then you’re pulling those in so that the next view, you can see those three images across the top. And then it allows you to sort of put those into a short video. So Facebook actually assembles the video for you. And you can use that for advertising targeting. So it’s a really interesting and slick tool. Of course, Facebook at the end of the day wants to see you place more ads with them, but it’s a cool way for you to get some more ads out. That might be pretty quick to create. Just gathering a few a few photos, putting into a short video. It also makes it look a little bit more personal and like it’s got some motion to it. Obviously being part of video. So, a lot of cool stuff in there. Amber, you’ve highlighted a number of things during this during this whole presentation for us about how you take photos, how you think about photos, is there any any advice you would have for people that are starting out taking more social media photos? Is there anything that that is really struck you that you’ve been learning about? in taking photos?

Amber Pankonin 53:27
I would say just experiment, you know, get out there, whether it’s with your your cell phone, or if you’ve got a nicer camera, just start taking photos to practice. You know, you don’t have to be an amazing photographer right away you that’s what practice is for.

Ben Pankonin 53:45
Awesome. So I think practice makes a lot of sense. There are also a lot of questions we had around, you know, making sure that it’s not perfect. And I think, you know, when I saw the question come in, one of them was how can you assure us It’s good to be okay if it’s not perfect. And I think it’s, it’s saying, hey, I’ve got plenty of examples of great social media content. That wasn’t perfect, but it worked.

Amber Pankonin 54:11
I think there’s a difference between perfection and consistency. Sure. So again, when you’re thinking about colors and filters and fonts, all of that can actually really be pleasing to the eye.

Ben Pankonin 54:24
I think that’s a great statement. You know, the other thing that we’ve seen is that you might outsource that, that major video shoot, maybe it’s once a quarter, maybe it’s every six months that you’re doing kind of a major video shoot, that you really want to get a longer story from that local video production firm or somebody that’s there’s really putting that together and helping you tell that story. But I think it’s also worthwhile to say to them when when you’re shooting that video, is hey, you know, we’re gonna shoot this longer video. Could you cut this up and give me five videos Have a short bumper on the front, and then a little statement in them, and maybe they’re 15 seconds long. So that’s one way to, to repurpose some of that content. And another way is to say, Hey, we’re still going to do those, those really well produced videos every once in a while. But in the meantime, let’s set a goal. And let’s set a goal for ourselves that we’re going to publish a video on our social media profile every month. And by publishing that one video, you know, maybe we can make sure that that starts to ramp up a little bit. And those videos can be very short. We’ve talked about that a little bit, but it could be that you go out to that golf outing, and you just get a video that’s short enough of a person hitting a golf ball. And that’s going to take about two and a half to three seconds for them to hit a golf ball. And that could be a video that you use with a good caption on it. And it just begins to show more emotion in what you’re doing on social media. So we want to help you produce more content. We want to help you publish more content. And we certainly want to help you gather more content from all of your staff. So Amber, thank you so much for being with us today and sharing about images and and how we tell better stories.

Amber Pankonin 56:17
Yeah, my pleasure.

Ben Pankonin 56:20
But for all of you out there as well, if you have other questions about how to gather content better about how you might be able to assemble and organize your team and make sure that you’re publishing content, with compliance in mind, please reach out to us. I’m glad to help with any of those elements. shoot me an email if you’ve got ideas. We love it when people are tweeting at random times throughout the days, nights and weekends, and they tag hashtag social bank and say, Have any of you run across this, a lot of times we can find somebody who has run across that challenge that you’re facing. So thanks for joining and being a part of this community. We really appreciate you as a community of community banks celebrating with us today. So thank you

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