what's sizzlin'?

sizzlepig blog - latest news, updates, goings on, etc.

How much does it cost to reach 1,000 people?

Would you rather pay $32.00 or $.25 to reach 1,000 people?

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(prices in above chart by moz.com, Brian Carter)

Most likely, it’s $0.25 cents.

All social media channels have ads and paid spots (or will), and, depending on audience and goals, they all can help drive results.

Facebook just has the biggest bang (and we mean BIG bang) for your buck right now.  1.2 billion active users (monthly), incredible data (as in everything but the kitchen sink kind of data) and crazy results make Facebook ads a must. 

According to Brian Carter on moz.com,

“Facebook Ads are the biggest marketing opportunity ever.”

  • They can reach as many people or more people as radio or TV, and in whatever country.

  • The minimum spend is just $1 per day.

"In other words, Facebook ads are mega-awareness raising, have good targeting, require very little commitment, and are unbelievably affordable."

What about organic reach you ask? The fact is organic reach is projected to bottom out.  They are projected to work at 0% in the near future.  Zero percent.  

Social@Ogilvy recently reported

“…organic reach dropped from 16 percent of followers of brand pages in 2012 to 6 percent in February 2014.”

 “…is on it’s way to hitting 0% “…”

For information on Facebook’s rationale for paid vs. organic, read Facebook’s Brian Boland blog.

So…bottom line, start making some ads.  

Consider in your planning the three main elements that can make them incredibly successful:

  1. The Target (who will see)
  2. The Creative (what they will see)
  3. The Call to Action Buttons (what you want them to do)

We’re going to cover off in more detail each of these areas in upcoming posts - for now we’ve included a Facebook document with the current ad placements and specs.   

Remember as you plan to make the creative relevant, as custom as possible, to each of your targets.  One of the many benefits of digital marketing is the ability to serve different assets and versions (tens, hundreds, even thousands).  You can’t do that in TV, or print or radio.

Some of our Clients have used sizzlepig to save lots of time and make more Facebook ads than they originally planned.  They inspired us to make some blueprints with the sizes built in…check out our video on how to make lots of images for Facebook ads fast using our new templates. 

 

(click on the chart below for this spreadsheet available on Google Drive)

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So what’s the difference between sizzlepig and css/js resizing, sprites, admin cropping, etc?  There are a lot of free tools, why is this such a big deal?

Short answer - there are a lot of big differences and some are more important than others depending on the needs.  

Steps were removed from the old process of resizing and the process (and the results) are faster, higher quality and easier - creating higher quality work and efficiencies.  And…you SEE your work BEFORE it processes, and, it processes very fast.  

Other big differences:

  • Batch to Batch sizing
  • Unlimited images to unlimited resizes.
  • Set up a blueprint for all of your resizes in one place, with different compressions for each size.
  • Set your crop and scale by size and then fine-tune resized images, in real time.
  • Change the compression of all images in a series with one step.
  • Add a new size to a set of images and will automatically process, name and save to Dropbox, Drive, Box.
  • Folder Monitoring for Retouches, New or Replacement Images.
  • Every setting and adjustment is saved and the folder is constantly monitored to look for new images or edits to originals.  All settings are applied to new or replaced images and placed back in the folder.
  • Visual Control
  • Completely visual tool - not action-script based.
  • Can see your edits in real-time.
  • Designers can now create different aspect ratios for a set of thumbnails without having to do a ton of extra work.
  • Multi-screen Output
  • Outputs for retina display and standard in one step.
  • Ubiquitous Integration
  • Cloud, Enterprise servers, media libraries, DAMs, etc. Accessible from anywhere, easy to share with large group of people out of office network, available on any device.
  • File Management
  • Can change the name of all processed files with one click.
  • Quickly audit images/names/edits/version.

There are different use cases for different needs - shoot us a line if you have questions and we’ll be happy to talk about if sizzlepig would benefit you and your team.  We can say that our customers are giving some pretty stellar feedback and saving a ton of time - letting them do the work they actually enjoy (which isn’t resizing images).

down and dirty pixel conversion

We have had a lot of requests for DPI, Inches, and other such tools within sizzlepig. So, just to back up a bit, we originally launched sizzlepig targeted more to the digital side of things, and we were keeping drop downs, menu items etc. to a minimum. That being said, we of course may add these items in the future. If you would like these as features within sizzlepig let us know - the squeaky wheel gets the grease!

In the meantime, I’d like to share with you a few simple ways to get what you need out if sizzlepig without needing new features added. Here’s a few ways to do it:

Photoshop File>New

Simply creating a new file in Photoshop is basically a PPI and pixel calculator. (I won’t get into DPI, PPI. LPI and all of that, in fact I’m not even sure if it matters that much - most people mean PPI when they say DPI anyway). In this example, I’ll use the standard 5x7 inches @ 300 PPI as an example. So here goes:

Open Photoshop

Select File>New

Make sure inches is selected for Width and Height in their respective drop down menus.

For width, type in 5

For height, type in 7

For PPI, type in 300

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Now, for the magic calculation, drum roll please:

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Change one of the drop downs, say width,  to pixels. Say what? It shows the amount of pixels! (Note: If height didn’t automatically change to pixels, change that drop down to pixels).

Now you have the pixels you need to type into sizzlepig width and height field. Ta Da! Your file is the correct size. You don’t even need to save the file, just put those numbers in sizzlepig or jot them down somewhere and hit cancel in Photoshop to close the new file window.

For existing files, just go to Image>Image Size and, if it is defaulted to inches, just change the dropdown to pixels.

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Another super secret way is to click on the text in the lower left area of Photoshop, where it says Doc: xxM/xxM Just click on the words, not the right arrow: older versions of Photoshop you have to hold down option I think (Mac).

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Art Directors Toolkit

So, this utility has been around forever. And it’s still extremely helpful. It’s 20 bux from code line, not too bad:

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http://www.code-line.com/software/artdirectorstoolkit/

It has a width and height in inches (and everything else) and DPI dropdown. Directly underneath them reads out the pixel amounts. There you have it.

Other links:

If you want to find out more about DPI, check out this simple article:

http://www.focus97.com/blog/photography/dpi-dots-per-inch-explained-how-much-do-i-need-and-what-is-it-anyway/

But really, this is all you need to know. Remember, DPI doesn’t even matter for website and device images. it’s all pixels, baby.

Fine Artist, video and hey Thanks!

sizzlepig

Award Winning Fine Artist Creates How To Video for Digital Photography Image Resizing with sizzlepig

Thank you Jeff Gaydash for taking the time to make this great “How To” video with sizzlepig, Box and your fine art.  Jeff published on YouTube yesterday.  

He uses the tool to resize images for his web gallery.  We couldn’t help but check out his art, take a look for yourself it is breathtaking and soulful.  

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We are flattered that he took the time make this video.  He’s a busy guy. His series, A Threatened Legacy:  Epilogue, was recently awarded the Silver Award in the 2013 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris in the Professional Fine Art Category for Architecture. His work was competing with thousands of photography entries from over 85 countries.  (Could you imagine what scripts could do to his pieces?  Ugh, gasp, sigh!) 

He’s also known as a pioneer in printing technologies and uses the Piezography printing system, producing the finest black and white digital prints available.  You go Jeff! 

I bet he didn’t even know yesterday was our one year birthday! More on that later but thank-you again for such a thoughtful gift.

We love to see all the different ways our sizzlepig friends use the service. We created to tool to make life better for anyone dealing with images.

How do you use the tool to make your life better?  

'Tis the season, are your images ready for m-commerce?

It’s that time of year where every major, minor and middle retailer is scrambling to secure their share of the Holiday e-commerce pie.  

eMarketer projects Nov and Dec online sales to hit $61.8 billion.   16% of this billion dollar spend is expected to come from activity on our smaller digital screens. 

  • mCommerce sales are expected to grow by 67%.
  • tablet Commerce sales are expected to grow by 89%.

Smartphone and tablet use is only going to grow.

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“Tablets are particularly significant for m-commerce sales…growth in tablet-based online sales should top 87 percent.”   (eMarketer)

InternetRetailer.com’s Bill Sawicki published a report and stated “It’s fair to say that in 2014, the predominant way consumers will spend time with e-retail is via mobile.”  

And an article by Chuck Jones, a contributor on Forbes.com, posted his findings, "MCommerce is on a Tear" showing the climb.

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So, what to do?  Don’t hang your head in defeat if you think you aren’t ready, take a deep breathe and then get moving.   

Concentrate on what you have right now and finesse elements to work harder.  Improve what you can over the next 3 weeks.

Focus on areas where you can make an impact and product photos make a significant difference.

The 2013 Holiday E-Commerce Preparedness Checklist, published by Practical E-Commerce, suggests a series of questions to help you focus. 

Specific to product images:

  • Is the image clear and in focus?
  • Is the product properly lit?
  • Does the photo show current packaging?
  • Would the image make you want to buy the product?

If you have to answer “no” to some of these questions, consider updating product images before the Christmas shopping season.

Images need to work on every screen, in every size, for all required resolutions and for horizontal and vertical displays.  When a tablet or a smart phone is tilted, the image size needs to adjust as does the image crop and focal point.

Resizing images for the perfect crop and scale for each size can be a time consuming task. That is why we created sizzlepig, to take the chore work out of image resizing, and let Designers have full control of their images. However, even with sizzlepig, not everyone can fit image production into their resource pool and timeline, especially during the holiday retail rush.  

We’ve extended our offerings to help Brands and retailers get up to speed fast with our Image Production Service. The same team that built sizzlepig for themselves will happily get your images ready for Holiday sales.  Our team will optimize all of your images, in all of your sizes and for all digital screens.  

Images are one part of the solution, a solid digital communication strategy is imperative.  Take the time in 2014 to plan a holistic digital marketing communication plan to succeed in all e-commerce and be prepared for the next Holiday with a solid mCommerce experience.