A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Photoshoot with Melvin’s Tea

Melvin's Tea Photoshoot. Check out our YouTube for the BTS video

Posted by E-LABZ Photography on Friday, October 6, 2017

We got an opportunity to work with the Melvin’s Tea brand on their product photoshoot for their new website.

The shoot included on location office shoot and a studio shoot, both of which took place on the same day. We were able to deliver the product shots of various looks and feel. We also got to undertake creative shots of the tea packages in order to bring out an office feel and look to the product.

As you can see from the BTS video below, each product required a different feel and look in order to capture client expectations and requirements, which we did successfully.

Check out this behind the scenes video of the shoot:

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Shamsi Music Thrilling Performance at Jazz Attitude 2

Following their successful album launch, Shamsi Music were back at it again, this time, at The Alchemist, for the second edition of Jazz Attitude.

It would be a night of Jazz and Electronic fusion that featured other bands like Maad Orchestra, Swahili Jazz, and other amazing musicians and bands.

As usual, Shamsi Music took the stage with vigour as they got the crowd excited with their soulful jams. As you can expect, most of their tracks came from their recently released album, The Audition, which has gotten very positive response since its launch.

Some of the songs the band played included the audience favorite, Murata, Nthenya, the love song, Elephants Parade, featuring a story by the band Saxophonist Laka, and Baby Baby cover done by the amazing and talented Kendi Nkonge.

Attending a performance by Shamsi is literary a glimpse of heaven. You can tell from their performance that they have skillfully developed focused behavior, self-discipline, communication skills, fluency of professional sound vocabulary and teamwork.

The fun that was #JazzAttitude 2. Missed out? Here's a taste of what went down!

A post shared by Shamsi Music (@shamsimusicke) on

From doing covers to performing at the Safaricom Jazz festival, this reknowned Jazz band now has an album out. Their growth has sought to ensure that their sound is nothing but authentic.

For me, Jazz is individual and personal. I believe it requires time, focus, listening, preparation, repetition, and more. The best kind of Jazz happens in groups and Shamsi is the perfect ensemble. The band members have come together to play music, each with a personal command of their instruments and voice to the ensemble which has established a level of repertoire and artistry for them.

I definitely look forward to the next performance and more great music from the band.

About Shamsi

Shamsi music is an instrumental jazz fusion band from Nairobi, Kenya, which prides itself in creating memorable musical experiences that capture the heart, mind and soul.

These six guys complement each other and have in a way ensured that playing music together is fun. Their collaboration brings up qualities and reactions that one can’t experience alone.

Paul Mbithi has control of his Keyboard like I’ve never seen before, he makes sound that blends with the group. He is the epitome of a Keyboard Guru.

Laka Waithaka, is the saxophone whiz as well as the perfect crowd sensation. Laka has just the words to get the crowd hooked on their sound. It’s next to impossible to get bored with Laka constantly ensuring that you are part of the sound.

Kenn ‘Biggie’ Njoroge is very distinctly aware of his role in the band. He has mastered the interpersonal elements of performing with his band. His drumming moves you from afar. His energy on the drums is a sensation and a delight to watch.

Immanuel Mohol, is the guitar marvel. His sound pushes boundaries, he breeds freedom of expression and personal choice.

George Nyoro, multi-instrumentalist, has mastered the use of music vocabulary,  instrumentation, and form.

Finally, Michael Munene makes sounds unheard before and identifies ways to breathe new life into standard repertoire using his bass guitar.

Shamsi Music interpret music, share original ideas, and use their artistic and intellectual imagination to play jazz. Their new album, The Audition is clear evidence of what they can do and how personal their touch is.

To purchase their latest album, The Audition, check out their website: www.shamsi.co.ke

You can also find them on social media platforms, YouTube and Facebook @Shamsi Music, Twitter and Instagram @ShamsiMusicKE

 

Faith Irungu is a blogger and content writer.  Her desire to believe in businesses and brands helps her leverage the online space and help them grow their brand. You can find her on her Twitter handle @hiramfay or reach her via email at faith@e-labz.info

 
 

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How to Leverage Events for Your Brand – 5 Things to Look Out For

One of the best synergies a corporate brand can make in today’s digitally-connected and hyper world is to create or plug into events.

We have documented plenty of events for our clients and the level of hype and enthusiasm that accompanies these events create a real goldmine for brands looking to bring awareness and gain publicity at a very low cost.

However, not all events are beneficial to your brand and not all brands can fit into the events space. Fortunately, a majority of brands today can take advantage of various events that happen to create awareness.

How though can you tell if an event would work well for your brand?

Here are 5 points to look out for:

  1. Your Brand Product Service vs Event Audience

Your audience drives your business. The more targeted your brand message can reach out to them, the higher the chance you’re going to connect with them and convert them to becoming loyal customers.

Your brand will need to plug into a space that ties in with your offering. If it is a music festival, what products or services does your company offer that would fit well with those attending the event? Remember, such an event will generally have musicians, music lovers, music industry stakeholders, and entertainment and event organizers attending. Is your offering well positioned to appeal to this audience?

  2. The Digital Experience

No event today is successful without some level of digital promotion and engagement. Based from the events we attend, the more hyped up an event is online weeks or months ahead, the higher the chance that it will be well received.

To get the most out of such events, you need to ensure your digital experience is also up to par. Your audiences are online trying to figure out which brands will be at the event. They are also looking to engage with you prior to the event online, and possibly on the ground during the event. If your digital experience is not satisfying to your potential customer, chances are you are not going to get real value out of the event.

  3. Post-Event Hype

The event itself should not be the end of your brand awareness strategy. Post-event engagement should continue to build up and get those who engaged with you on location to continue interacting with you online. The best events are those that offer such engagement, both to the attendees and those who missed it.

Creating content that appeals to your audiences after the event is key to achieving this. Whether its in form of pictures, videos, tweets, or blog posts, ensure the conversation is carried far beyond the event. If an event’s hype ends when the event ends, then much of the benefit from the event is generally lost.

  4. Collaborative Spaces

Events are not just for showcasing what you have on offer. They are also excellent for creating relationships with other suppliers, event organizers, and establishments. One way to build and grow your brand awareness is partnership at events.

Do you have a product or service that you can offer as part of your sponsorship for the event? This is a great way of building relationships while getting event promotion. Look for ways you can collaborate to get your brand more airtime during the event promotion over simply getting a booth or stand to showcase your work. Remember, the banners and posters created will live long after the event and your brand will always go with them.

  5. Sponsorship Deal

Sponsoring an event is one of the best ways of getting mileage for an event. Generally, event sponsors get to be featured on all advertisement material. In addition, they also get exposure at the event in various ways.

You can, for example, decide to sponsor drinks at subsidized rates, staging and lights, or offer affordable commute to and from the event location. Sponsorship deals can come in a variety of ways and it’s usually an agreement between the company sponsoring and the event organizers on what’s needed to make the event a success.

From experience, events are a great way of building brand equity. These five points should help you gauge if you are ready to leverage events to build your brand.

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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How the Internet is Changing Consumer Behavior

Consumers are increasingly on mobile now. Its fast and highly responsive, and most important, feels personal.

If you’ve been in business long enough, you already know that the changing face of business today is nothing new. Over the decades, and centuries, innovations and new inventions have changed how people live and work from one generation to another.

Today, the Internet, and what the Internet brings is changing the landscape again.

For many, the Internet has been seen as channel where they can interact with their clientelle. For others, this is the new way of doing business. Still for others, it is just a passing fad that will never replace the good old brick and mortar stores. Regardless of where you’re coming from, everyone has their opinion of the Internet.

The Bottom Line

People are talking to their friends, and family and their recommendations are changing how we buy products and services

Despite the different opinions and perceived notions of what the Internet is and isn’t, one thing is for sure – The Internet is changing how people buy and sell goods – and that’s the bottom line.

Whether you admit or refute it, your customers are becoming more aware of what they want, they’re expressing their opinions about your products and services more openly, and are looking at what your competition has to offer. The current generation of consumers are more educated and enlightened than ever before. They are also more open-minded and liberal.

As you can imagine, selling to an educated client is very different and is more challenging, over selling to one who isn’t. The former is more aware of the facts, more influential, and cares deeply about the name behind the brand they purchase. They are also bombarded by new information and research in regards to their interests and purchases.

How you communicate and sell to them is thus a whole different ball game to clients who aren’t educated about your process and your cause.

If You Do Not Understand People, You Do Not Understand Business

What your consumers say about you online has a big impact on how people perceive your products, services, and overall brand outlook

As a business owner or entrepreneur, it is not enough to simply offer a product and expect clients will come flocking. Your potential clients now have more options being thrown at them than ever before. Their news-feeds and timelines are always screaming for their attention. They no longer have to go look for products and services. Instead, these products and services seek them.

And this is where the challenge lies.

You see, unless you are constantly trying to get your customers’ attention and looking for ways to remain top-of-mind on your clients, you run the risk of getting replaced by your more aggressive competitor. As much as we are passionate about what we do, we also have to remember that we live in a highly competitive world. Everybody wants to be seen first and seen constantly. This is the side that your potential customers see.

Unless you adapt to the changing business environment, you will die, eventually. It is not enough to simply have a website, a Facebook page, and an Instagram account. Your clients already expect that of you. It is what you project on these platforms that win your customers’ confidence, trust, and increasingly their time and eyeballs.

Your customers are human beings and human beings care about causes. Do you communicate these messages to your clients and potentials? What does your business stand for? Do you give back to the community in any way? Do you advocate for a cause that touches others? You need to connect on a more personal level with your clients in these and other ways as well. If you do not understand people, you do not understand business.

How you communicate is also just as important as what you communicate. A blog is a powerful medium of communication. A picture however is more powerful. Even more powerful is a video. Learning how to leverage these new content types will also go a long way in maintaining your business relevance.

Internet adoption across the globe continues to gain ground. The future is online. By default, this means the future of business will also be online. What are you doing about it?

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

 

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Is Content Marketing Working for You?

You have to agree, this is an important question. More importantly, the answer.

Why?

Because the idea of content marketing has been preached by many bloggers and online marketers for years.

The result?

A majority of businesses do not really see the benefit, and quite frankly, there are no returns to show for it.

What could be the problem? Is it a lack of good strategy? Poor copywriting skills? or is content marketing just not cut out to what it’s preached to be?

Content Marketing is Not About Traffic

For a majority of us, we think the ultimate goal of content marketing is to bring attract and convert this traffic into sales.

Well, this is completely wrong, and very likely the reason why you’re not seeing any results from your efforts.

Here’s why:

Suppose you create a captivating blog post that generates 100,000 views. While this may seem like an impressive figure, it may not be valuable at all. Some people may visit your site for a minute or two, others may simply read and leave, while others may simply have seen an interesting link post on their social feed.

Traffic therefore does not guarantee sales.

The Next Step is What Matters

While a good written post may get you views and a highly-optimized post may rank you on top of Google, this does not guarantee sales. You may lack the persuasiveness or authority to convince your visitors to place an order or make a purchase, you may fail to gather the needed information to follow back, or you may never follow up and visitors forget you just as fast as they discovered you.

Any number of the above things can derail a sale.

For content marketing to be effective, it needs to help push your visitor to the next step in the purchase process.

Here are the steps to creating a successful content marketing strategy:

1. Build trust with website visitors

2. Give incentives like free e-book or access to your ‘premium’ content in exchange for their contact information

3. Keep reminding your prospects that you exist

4. Separate yourself from competition by offering examples of demos that differentiate you.

As you can see, content affects every stage of the sales process and those who make most money from content marketing leverage all of the above steps.

Here’s a table example demonstrating how to measure the effectiveness of your content:

Type of Content                            Indicator of Success                        Metric

Blog Post Headline                             Prospect Clicks Link                              Traffic

The Blog Post Itself                            Prospect Reads It                                  Time on Page

Free E-book Offer                              Email Subscribes                                   Opt-ins

First Email Subject Line                      Prospect opens email                             Open rate

First Email Body Copy                       Prospect Clicks Link                                 Email Clickthrough rate

 

As the above shows, metrics along are not important. The action the prospect takes is what matters most.

A piece of content that gets few readers who convert is more valuable than one that gets thousands of views with no action taken.

In order to do this, you need to to create content that influences and market it to prospects with the goal of getting them to take an action. To do this, you need to:

1. Map out your prospects process before they purchase from you.

2. Create content for every stage to build trust.

3. Behind every content created, market it by asking them to take the next step

4. Measure the success or failure of the above action step.

5. Improve and market continuously until you perfect the steps and actions needed.

If you do the above, you’ll have built a process and content strategy that brings you returns for years to come.

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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The Internet is Changing

The Internet is changing at a rapid rate. Just 10 years ago, most of us probably didn’t own a smartphone and we definitely never had a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account. Some probably didn’t even have an email account. Today, it’s difficult to imagine living without any of these tools.

It can correctly be assumed then that 10 years from now, you’ll likely own tools or website resources that do not exist at present. The Internet will be a more mature place and likely a lot of our lives and properties will live online.

Running a business has also changed. You now need a website and social media presence to attract and retain customers. While these tools may be important 10 years from now, the game could also change and new tools and resources may be required to keep your business relevant.

Social is Changing

Over the last few years, the most dramatic changes that have happened online are largely in the way people consume content online. Social networks have become go-to sources of news information and for letting customers know of new offers, promotions, or new stock.

Social continues to change in other ways and we can expect more changes to come. Increasingly, the trend has been towards creating more visual on social sites. Videos have become an almost necessity if you want to noticed on a newsfeed or timeline.

Live video feeds and updates have also started to appear on newsfeeds and timelines of many social networks. This is a good indication of how user behaviour is changing on social.

Devices are Changing

A few years ago, almost everybody owned a desktop computer. Today, a laptop is just as good and better. But even more importantly, is the rise of mobile in the current Internet age. More than half of all devices connected to the Internet are smartphones.

This shift in mobile device use has also affected how people consume content. Mobile devices have small screens and multi-purpose. They also enable notifications on a more personal level. This multi-level use means that content is consumed quickly and with less concentration. The more visual it is, the higher the chances that it will be seen and acted upon.

Search is Changing

Google has almost become synonymous with the Internet. Billions are conducted every single day. However, how search is done has also changed dramatically over the last few years. Search engines have also quickly changed to accommodate the changing search behaviors.

Searches are now increasingly done on mobile and are becoming very specific. People want specific answers to specific questions. Searches are also increasingly happening around events and news happenings. As a result, there are search results for news content as well as ever-green content. Social content has also been integrated into search results which make it even more important as a news outlet.

As the above examples show, the current Internet is changing rapidly and will continue to do so. As a business, you need to adapt and ensure you meet the changing needs of your consumers. It means creating new content types and hiring the right staff to keep your business relevant.

The market is the market. It will not change for you. Rather, the change needs to come from you. The faster you can adapt to changing consumer needs, the better your chances of survival in your market.

 

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Gaming Event at the iHub

What a great time it was. We not only enjoyed gaming with gamers, we also got to take great footage of gamers in action.

The event included gamers from across Nairobi as they went all out and hard on PCs and consoles the entire night battling it out, in style.

Check out the video below:

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YouTube Videos – Why View Counts aren’t Everything

Are YouTube Views Everything?

When it comes to measuring video success, most use the proverbial public scorecard as the base.

The more views your video gets, the more successful it is, right?

Wrong!

Views are good on a video, but they aren’t and shouldn’t be the only way of tracking if your video campaign is a success.

In this post, I review two key performance indicators (KPIs), in form of questions, that should guide you when unpacking your success rate.

Q 1: What is Your Primary Campaign Marketing Goal?

As a marketer, your target audience will fit into one of these three categories:

  • Unfamiliar with your product
  • On the fence about a product
  • Ready to act

With these 3 categories in mind, your video campaign should aim to either increase awareness and consideration for your product or service, and ultimately influence sales.

Remember that your consumers no longer have a simple, linear experience. They have a variety of touchpoints that include mobile, social, and reviews. With each of these touchpoints, you move them closer to a purchase decision. Video is just one of these touchpoints.

Q 2: What are your KPIs?

Now that you have a marketing goal in mind, the next step is to dig deeper into your campaign KPIs. These KPIs can fall into various categories.

Compare your marketing goal and the following KPIs to determine what you want to achieve with your video.

 

Video KPIs

All of the above KPIs are measurable. You can use Google Analytics, YouTube Analytics, and AdWords to determine and measure your campaign success.

When optimizing your KPIs, avoid using competitive or industry benchmarks. The creative choices for each video vary too greatly.

Instead, set your own benchmarks based on your past campaigns, A/B testing, and real-time optimization.

Putting One Brand to the Test

The Infinix brand of smartphones is one of the brands that continues to gain popularity. We executed a campaign on YouTube with the goal of growing awareness of it’s new brand of smartphones.

Here’s an example of what happens when you put the Infinix campaign through the exercise above:

Q 1: What is Your Primary Marketing Campaign Goal? The primary goal was to be discovered through YouTube Search

Q 2: What Are Your KPIs? As we mentioned in the graphic, one good awareness indicator is unique users. We focused on getting discovered for key search terms through YouTube Search. Looking at YouTube Analytics, 55% of the views came from suggested videos by YouTube and 33% from a YouTube Search.

 

 

Infinix Video Stats

On this project we had a clear brand goal. Every brand has specific challenges that need to be solved. In case, it was being discovered on Search.

Hopefully, you now have a better approach and understanding of why YouTube view numbers aren’t everything. Rather, the objective is whether you’re meeting your primary campaign goal and KPIs. This will not only ensure your campaign goals are met, but it’ll enable you to reach your target audience in the most important moments along their journey.

 

By David GitongaVideo and Online Content Creator

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SnapChat Video Views Now Rival Facebook

Snapchat caption

As you are probably aware, SnapChat is the new social media kid on the block compared to veterans like Facebook and Twitter. The new network has particular appeal to 18-34-year olds, but like any other social network, the usage eventually converts to an older audience. This is the magic of social media and why any serious brand should be doing social.

Vertical Video vs. Horizontal Video

According to recent reports, Snapchat now has over 8B video views. What is even more interesting is the fact that SnapChat videos are vertical as opposed to horizontal which seem to fit most social media timelines like Facebook and Twitter.

Research has shown that users are more likely to watch vertical video over horizontal video. In some instances, vertical videos have a completion rate of up to nine times over their horizontal counterpart.

Vertical videos have more appeal

An Engaged Audience

While Facebook boasts photo uploads of between 300-350M per day, this is less than 35% of its 1.59B users. SnapChat on the other hand has over 65% of its users uploading pictures daily. SnapChat’s frequency of use is clearly a selling point that any marketer should consider.

Time spent on popular social networks

Engagement is an important metric when it comes to measuring online success since the more engaged audiences are with a brand, the higher the chances they are going to talk up posts, share products, and offers. SnapChat clearly delivers on the engagement front.

Skewing Towards a Younger Audience

Millennials love SnapChat

SnapChat has the 6th-highest concentration of millennials with 76 percent of them being on SnapChat. With most younger generations using several social networks, it is good to note that SnapChat is not as saturated with ads and brands as Facebook and Instagram. This makes it a better platform to gain visibility quickly and get the attention of this young generation.

Apps on SnapChat

Are you on SnapChat? Are you looking to connect with a more engaged audience? Are you looking to test out a variety of media like video and images to grow your brand? Consider getting onto SnapChat before it gets saturated. It’s working for big brands and it can do the same for you.

 

 

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Back to Meru – With CloseUp

I was back again to Meru, this time, with the CloseUp team to document their promotion for the #12HoursofFreshness Twitter handle. It was an early morning at the Kenya Methodist University (KEMU) where it all started just a few minutes before 6:00AM. It was a surprise for the sleepy students as they were greeted by the faces of the Kenya musicians DNA and Avril with CloseUp gifts on their hands.

Here are some photos of what went down:

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