Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Testimonials & Endorsements

Testimonials & Endorsements

An essential tool of business or a potential disaster?

Most businesses do not set out to trick or deceive potential customers. However the inappropriate use of testimonials and endorsements can easily come across as such.

Testimonials from satisfied customers are often hard to come by or sound just not quite right. The urge to make your own or edit the ones you already have to be a little more favourable, can often be to tempting to resist.

Many businesses have fallen into a habit of using logos from prestigious customers as an implied endorsement, in place of a formal testimonial.

The former can lead to accusations of false and misleading advertising. The later is!


All testimonials must be freely given, be able to be substantiated and relate to your current business.

You are required to hold documentary evidence that a testimonial or endorsement used in marketing communications is genuine and hold contact details for the person who, or the organization that, gives it (UK. Code of Advertising Practice rule 3.45). 

·     You must have documented permission to use that testimonial/endorsement publically. 

·     That it is relevant to that business, service or product. 

·     That the review has not been incentivized (paid for in anyway).

·     Testimonials or endorsements must also be recent and up to date.

·     You cannot use former employers or previous businesses clients or testimonials as your own.

Once you have been accused of trying to trick or mislead your reputation will be very hard to recover.

Have you testimonials made professionally by a competent advertising agency and all this can be taken care of for you. It can be easier for customers to talk freely to an independent third party. Than to the person or business that they have been asked to review.

All reviews do not have to be good. The odd neutral or poor review can often help validate the good reviews. Nobody is perfect all the time!

Gavin Bryan-Tansley - Vid-FX+ Advertising

Friday, 20 July 2018

Seriously DIY is not a good idea.

In advertising, you do not score any points by doing it yourself.

All you demonstrate in doing so is that you do not have the confidence in your own products and services to invest in promoting them.

When advertising, you are not pleasing yourself, nor are you talking to your existing customers. Rather you are talking to your rivals customers. People who have already looked at your marketing and rejected it in favour of another's.

This is why it is often for the best to seek outside help and professional guidance, if you cannot afford to go the expense of hiring a commercial advertising agency.

The aim is to get a dispassionate outside view of your business. From people who are not invested in your business as either staff or customer. People who can look at your business with fresh eyes and as a potential new customer.

In advertising, the impression counts as much as the message you are promoting. The more it looks like you have invested, shows the confidence that you have in your business.

In short, if you don't have the confidence to invest in your business, why should anyone else?

How much does it cost to advertise? Ask instead how much will it cost if you do not.

Good advertising pays for itself... Not least that you can currently claim it all back from your tax and that there may be grants and loans available.

Gavin Bryan-Tansley
Vid-FX+ Advertising

Monday, 4 June 2018

Is communication an illusion?

To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw. 
"The biggest single problem in social media marketing is the illusion that communication has actually taken place."

How do you judge the success of your communications? 

Clicks, hits, views, likes, etc. Do not indicate that communication has taken place. The whole purpose of social media is to build a dialogue. For that dialogue to happen there must be someone there to respond to enquiries and most importantly make the sale.

Too often I see ad's vlog's blog's or even hear a podcast that piques my interest, I need to know more. I make further enquiries to find a website that is down and no one to answer my enquiries. By then I am talking to someone else who can answer my questions and convinces me that I really do need what they are offering and can negotiate a good deal. 

So, your advertising & marketing has worked, congratulations. Yet without someone there who can take the calls, field the enquiries, to make the sales. You have just given business away to your competitors.

Before embarking on an advertising or marketing campaign you MUST ensure that you have the infrastructure in place to handle the enquiries and sales that it will generate. If you don't someone else will.

Without effective communication, you have no sales. Without sales, you don't have a business.

Gavin Bryan-Tansley
VidFX+ Advertising.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Royalty-Free Images

Royalty-free images

Does not mean FREE images, there can still be FEES to be paid. 

Royalty-free, or RF, refers to the right to use copyright material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use, per each copy, volume or some time period of use or sales.

__________ || __________

Royalty free commonly means that you are required to pay a one-time fee for the right to use an image (or other copyright protected work), according to terms & conditions published by the stock library. Royalty free usually means that there are no on-going license fees due for further use. It doesn’t mean that the image is free of copyright or indeed FREE!

Even free to use, or creative commons licenses, can have terms and conditions attached to them. The majority, specify ‘personal use’ which does not include commercial use. Nor the right to modify adapt or change the image or design. Only terms and conditions that explicitly allow for free commercial use are free to use for a business or any organisation that expects to profit from the use. This also includes not for profit or charities unless specifically stated in the Terms & Conditions

The best advice is read the stock libraries licence and terms and conditions before you use any of their material. Check specifically to see if they offer legal protection should some dispute arise and that you have specific permission to use the image commercially.

Always remember that you do not hold an exclusive licence to use royalty free images hundreds, even thousand businesses in your area could be using same images for their businesses. If you are looking for exclusivity, look elsewhere, or better still commission your own bespoke images.

Please note: this is only a summary, that one or more copyrights, licences or exclusions can exist on a single image. Always check the terms and conditions of the licence before use.

Gavin Bryan-Tansley
VidFX+ Advertising.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Advertising reaches the customers that your marketing can not.
Gavin at Vid-FX+Advertising.

All advertising and marketing starts with having a good idea, writing it down, then taking it from there...

So, what next, how far do you take it? 

No matter how good the idea. What you choose to do with it, could tell potential customers a lot more about your business, than you intend.

Whether you do it yourself with a home or in-house production. Get a friend,  student or intern to help. Or contract a commercial agency. Defines the value you place on your brand and your customers. Yet the cash value of each is remarkably not dissimilar. What it says about your business is!
1. You are marking time. You really don't want to grow your business much further.
2. You are still unsure and lack the confidence to invest in your business.
3. You are confident about your business. You are looking to grow and take on more business. You are prepared to put your risk your money behind your business.

Your advertising and marketing can say a lot about your business. Just make sure that you are sending the right message.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Brand Advertising - New Rules

A new code of advertising practice ruling on brand advertising is now coming into force.

Previously, ‘Brand advertising’ has been independent of the products or services you sell. The nature of the product or service you sell will now be taken into account when you advertise the 'Brand.'
For instance. There are strict rules on advertising foods with high fat, salt or sugar content (HFSS). Before it had been possible to promote the Store or Band alone. From today, ‘Band advertising' will fall under the same rules as the product/service the band sells.
So, if your brand is XYZ’s and you are known for the famous 'XYZ Burger'. You will now have to follow the rules on HFSS advertising on all your adverts. But, if your main activity is elsewhere, not associated with an HFSS product. That the majority of your sales are from other services. Then the old rules may still apply.
We now wait on precedent being set, to see just how this is to be applied in practice.

Gavin. Vid-FX+ Advertising.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing

On the 9th March 2017, the United Kingdoms Code of Advertising Practice. Published new guidance from the Advertising Standards Authority about recognising marketing communications. 
That is rules on how affiliate marketing must identifiable as an advert. 
Affiliates, need to ensure that consumers know that what they’re looking at is advertising. That means making sure it’s clear BEFORE consumers engage with it. Often, the context alone will make this clear. But sometimes the content might need to make it obvious that it is an advert.
This is often the case in social media, Vlogs, Blogs, news sites and voucher sites etc. Businesses, or individuals, who create content or websites that give an impression of independence. Must take extra steps to highlight content that is advertising for a third party. 
This new guidance, provides some suggestions, tailored to different platforms. Giving affiliate marketers some inspiration, but the key principles to bear in mind are;
  • Where a piece of content wholly relates to affiliated products. It needs to be clear that the whole piece is advertising. Thus it may be necessary to use an identifier (such as ‘Advert’ or similar) in the title;
  • If only some of the links and content to affiliated products. It is those aspects, that must be identifiable as advertising. By for example, labelling the relevant links/sections;
The guidance is also to remind businesses. That allowing their affiliates free rain over the content and targeting of ads. Does not absolve them of the responsibility for ensuring that marketing communications. That they reap the benefits from, must follow the advertising rules.
If you are an affiliate marketer. Or a brand that uses affiliate marketing. You can get up to speed with the new guidance shown here.

Testimonials & Endorsements

Testimonials & Endorsements An essential tool of business or a potential disaster? Most businesses do not set out to trick or decei...