Increase Your Message Impact [webinar]

Posted 26 July, 2016 in Internal Communications



Please join us for insights into branding your SnapComms solution. We'll take a detailed look at message templates as well as customizable application elements. We'll show many, many examples, so you know what's possible! Get the info you need to take your messages to an entirely new level and delight your audience.


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Paula: Well, thanks everyone. Thanks so much for coming and joining us today. We're gonna be going through some of the fantastic things you can do with SnapComms in terms of branding and customizing all the visuals around SnapComms. 
There's three of us here today who will be doing most of the talking, there is myself, Paula Cassin, and I have Shelley. I'm really delighted to have Shelley here. She's our guru when it comes to templates and graphic design. Hi, Shelley.
Shelley: Well, good morning.
Paula: Yes, and Riya's here as well. Riya, who is on our Customer Success team, is going to be helping as well and fielding questions, answering them and bringing them up during the talk too.
Riya: Hi, everybody. 
Paula: And Shelley and Riya are both out of our New Zealand office, so they're up really early, which for the rest of us, we're pretty much in the middle of our day in North America, so thanks guys, for making the time. 
All right, so SnapComms, I think most of you are familiar with our company and what we do. It's a B2B enterprise software. We have the customers pretty much all over the world, and a lot of large and medium organizations using our software to reach their employees with critical messages, which help cut through all the information overload. 
I want to ask you a question too. Now today, our topic is branding, so I'm gonna put a poll question up right now for you to just let us know a little bit about, if you're a SnapComms customer, what are you doing right now for branding? If you're not a customer, just say, "Not applicable," but we're interested to know how much custom branding you've done already so we can make sure we talk to the appropriate...give you enough detail. So hopefully, you can see that. 
And got a few answers coming through, couple more seconds here. Okay. I'm gonna close that poll, and I'll share it with you too, so you can see it. 
So yeah, we had a bit of a split there. So some are using SnapComms Generic, some have already got branded templates, and for some it's just not applicable. Okay, good. Well, that's good. We will make sure we cover all those bases then, as we go through today. 

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And right before we get into the content, I just want you to know we really want these to be working sessions. There's a question area in the go-to webinar panel, and please use that. Anything that comes to mind, fire it through there, Riya is gonna…if she knows the answer, she may answer it back to you directly, and she may raise it as well for us to have a conversation about. So please, ask her what you're interested in, and we really want this to be practical. All right. And Shelley...there we go. That's a little bit quieter, there was a little bit of background noise there for a minute. So here's our agenda, why do custom branding? What can you customize in SnapComms? So we're going to answer these questions to start off. And then we'll get into what you can do with message templates, application elements that can be branded, and how to make it happen. So there we go, five main points to go over. And let's just get right into it. 
So custom Branding. Now, a lot of you are using SnapComms already, but there's two main reasons we see over and over as to why you really wanna go and use the great graphic design, you know, the corporate templates, get corporate branding on there. The first is trust and credibility, and you may not have had this happen, but we've seen it sometimes where generics are used, and people are a bit worried. They think it might be malware, they don't know if they should trust that message. So that's a huge reason why to make sure that everything you send has corporate branding at a minimum for the credibility, right? Especially since SnapComm's visual messages are a bit unique, and some people aren't familiar with that kind of message sent. 
And the second reason, of course, if you have fantastic branding and have some creative templates and information there, that's gonna help, it's gonna help with your cut through, which is what we're all after in the end. You wanna reach as many people as possible with these messages, get behavior change, or get that knowledge transferred, whatever your goals are. And branding can certainly support that and help you do that, it can accelerate that process. So hopefully, that all resonates with you. 
Now, in terms of SnapComms, what can you customize? There's two main areas, two main things that you can customize. First off, the visual messages, and I think if you are using SnapComms or found us, you know you can put a pop-up alert, a visual message on screen, whether it's a ticker scroll or a pop-up. And all of those, we can take your branding, template it up, and then you drop your message in, the body is in, and everything else is ready to go. You don't have to build it from scratch. So branding there, we're gonna spend a lot of time going through all the fantastic things you can do. There's a lot of new things you may not be aware of. 
The other side, which is less well-known, is application elements, I'm calling them. So these are some of the pieces of the SnapComms solution, the software, where you see SnapComm's branding at the moment. You'll see the orange S icon. If you're receiving messages, your client icon, you've got the message history window, which I have a screenshot up here. And if you're using the mobile apps on an iPhone or an Android device, those as well, all of those can be branded. So we'll get into that a bit later with some more detail. 
So now, let's get into all the beautiful stuff. And Shelley, I'm gonna call on you a lot to help me out here and share some of the great tips you have for people. Let's look at message templates. First off, the basics, and then we'll get into all the possibilities in terms of custom designs. 
So the basics template, you know, what are we talking about? I think most of you are gonna be familiar with it. What I wanna do, I'm just gonna pull over my browser window, so I'm in the SnapComms administrator side here. 
When we create a message, when we're talking about templates, you choose your message type, and I will choose alert here, and then you're asked to choose a template, right? So here you can see I have lots of different visual templates. Since I've been setting up this webinar, I've got a lot of fantastic examples in here. You may not see the same set of templates. You'll see your corporate templates or some of the generics that we deliver. But this is what we're talking about, and the branding that's gonna be skinned on the message that you've created, right? So that, I think, is pretty clear. And Shelley, why don't you talk just about the basic templates that we do for all customers?
Shelley: What you're seeing in front of you here is the kind of templates that we put together as a trial list. If their logo is sent in to us, we can take the logo, we can apply it to a simple templates like this. We'll go and have a look at your website, see which colors you use and your type and the caps stuff that's going to work well. And we color the scroll bar, the close button and borders around the templates. So you'll see pretty much similar to what you'll see here, but a little of things of your own branding style.
Paula: That's great. And also, this is really versatile, right? Because you sorta got a blank canvas, there's much you can do in the body of your message to. You can add in images, add in tables, add in all sorts of things. So you know, this goes quite a long way in terms of just making sure you have that credibility. Yeah, and you know, anyone, if you don't have that yet, definitely, we can set that up for you really quickly. But everyone probably has the basics here that we're talking about, right? Good. 
Then let's talk about customs. So here's where we're gonna spend a lot of time talking about what you could do, how far you can go with templates. And if you look here, I've just got a list of some of the elements that you might think about when you're creating your custom templates, right? So let's get into those a little bit more. First off, you know, the corporate logos, the titles, the text and pieces that are gonna be permanently on your messages. Here are some examples. If you look at the first one, HR News, so this one's used by HR only. We've got that really clearly indicated, they've got their corporate logo at the bottom. 
And the second one, the second one is quite interesting, because this is an example of one where we're pulling in more elements. We've got photos, those are gonna be links to different parts of the Internet or internal resources. And that one's got a very sophisticated header. And you'll see the one on the right too. This one, it's an example, we have a lot of hospitals that use the software, they can use our software for code alerts, so they're gonna keep it really simple. They'll have templates for one specific type of message, a code blue medical emergency message, for the example here. So that's some examples of what you can do.
And I've got two ticker examples as well, where you can see…usually, with a ticker scroll bar, we're gonna have the logo or the indicator on the far left, and space for your main headline message coming through on the right. Now, it's worth saying too that some of the things you can specify are default fonts, default sizes, and default layout placements for the header and the body of your messages. And Shelley, you mentioned to me earlier about the headline, so if we're looking at where it says, "Special Screening," or "Please read this message," you were saying to me that you can specify the color of the size, the font. But that's hardwired into your template, it's not something you change later on. 
Shelley: Oh, excuse me.
Paula: Yeah. 
Shelley: It's really helpful when someone does send us some outlets from custom templates to have the text mock up in it, so we get a good overall look at the look and feel of having sort of contetnt to present, once I have it show up on your screen.
Paula: Very good, that makes sense, because the one on the right with all the little people, super cute, but you can see it's a much smaller space for the message, isn't it? So it just makes that really clear ahead of time so there's no surprises later. 
Great, and then frames. So I wish I'd got Andrew…Andrew sent me a screenshot of showing a pop-up, a SnapComm's alert that was white and had no frame, and that's a bit tough, because sometimes, it blends in with the background. So in terms of frames, you can see there's lots of ways you can go, this one with the dots on the left. Wow, no one's gonna miss that message. I would say you probably don't want many images in the body. It could get quite busy if you had lots of stuff inside your message for that one. But let's have a look at the other one here. I love this one you did a while back, Shelley, with the birds on it. We actually have a little bit of a custom shape, if you see where the bird's wings are. You know, we've got a little design element there standing out, taking it beyond just a rectangle, which is quite cool. 
So right now, we're just going through a few examples to show you some of the possibilities. Here are some ticker examples as well, where you can have some custom shape at the end of that ticker, and I'm going to pull one up on screen right now. A live ticker on my screen, okay, just to show you what this looks like. And it should come on top. Yep, now it's gonna be quite tiny on your screen. But what I've just done is triggered the SnapComms news ticker, the actual ticker itself, which is the message that's been published to me. And by the way, it's quite smooth on my screen, if may be a little jerky on yours. Sometimes, GoToWebinar will slow it down. But I wanted you to notice too on this ticker, do you see the far left, the little chevrons, there's two chevrons, they're actually blinking, so that's a nice touch as well. Not only do we have a little icon image there, but we've got additional movement here to draw the eye. I'm gonna close that now. 
And Riya, do we have any questions coming through so far?
Riya: Not yet, Paula. 
Paula: Okay. I got little. Okay. I'm just looking at my text mistake on this screen, I will just say it. Here's some examples too, when you look at your templates, you've got all your buttons, you've got your close buttons, you've got your Read Now, Read Later buttons. Anything that's a link or someone's going to click on that, that can be customized as well. You can get quite fancy. Right now, these ones say, Read Now, Read Later, Now, Later. But even the text itself, if you have different terminology, you can certainly customize that too. And let's have a look now at some...where you can go a little bit further as well. This is with pop-up notification. So when we're talking about a pop-up notification, we mean that little intro notification for an alert, a survey, a quiz, a video and RSVP-type message, so a message where we're gonna give them a little bit of information and say, Read Now, Read Later. We're gonna give 'em a chance to defer that message, right? So that's what we're looking at here. And once they click Read Now, they're gonna see the main message. 
So this is a little teaser. I like your word...Jane used this word, a colleague of mine, earlier. This is your little teaser on screen that's...this is hardwired. So this one, the size doesn't change, this is for the PC, not for mobiles. But this one, it is set, and you can get really creative with these if you want to. So I've got some examples. And Shelley, you wanna talk a little bit about some of the things you've seen, what have you seen people do with these pop-ups to really draw the eye and make it interesting?
Shelley: Well, the pop-ups, they're static in terms of the dimensions, like the message window templates are designed to go on to a variety of different devices or to be maximized on screen. The pop-up which will appear on your page say, it doesn't have those…I suppose we can call them constraints. So there's quite a lot of freedom there in terms of shape. And yeah, it can be a wonderfully dynamic thing, much like the stuff that you see here. 
Paula: Yeah. So we've seen it where people have a conference that they're generating interest in, or maybe some sort of an event or product launch, and you have all this fantastic branding on the Internet or on other resources, well you can extend that out to SnapComms too. You could do a template and create something special just for that event and use SnapComms. Okay. Good.
Oh, now we get to the fun stuff. So here is something I wanted to talk about which is relatively new, and let me just...I wanna pull up an example here of a template. I'm gonna pull a pop-up on my screen, okay? So we'll have a look at this. And hopefully, you can see the movement here. This one is a little quick, but we had the logo fly in, we have...and I'm gonna hover over the close button, you can see this one does a little twirl. We have some fantastic examples here where we're actually using animation, sort of like many GIF pieces in the messages themselves. So that has fantastic possibilities. And what I'll do too, I'm gonna pull up another example that I have going as well. 
Now this one, you can see each little block of this template here pulls in, and we have some text sliding in from the side. And if I close this one…hopefully, you're seeing the Lotus Morning News template. When I close this, you'll see, each item sort of disappears, there's a little bit of animation when it goes as well. So that's something to think about, if you have your templates, you can have some movement. There's one more to...I wanted to pull up...I sent one a little bit earlier that I wanted to show you, which is one of the latest ones that you guys have, that I know our design team have been playing with. So I have an alert on screen, which looks quite plain. But see if you can tell what's going on here, we have a color animation in the background here. So all sorts of things you could do with your templates to make them dynamic, really make 'em pop, and get the high response...just make them more engaging. There we go, I'm gonna...
Shelley: Makes them really memorable also.
Paula: It does, it does. It does make 'em memorable, absolutely. Yeah. Right. So there's another possibility for you. And another point we wanted to make too, we're not talking about one corporate template. So many companies have series of templates. This here is the screenshot of the code alerts from the hospitals, which I'd mentioned before, and they have those. They have corporate templates too. We also have companies that will do IT outage templates. They may have a red one when there's an outage, and a green one that they send out when it's all clear. So using color and using their templates to give people visual queues. 
Other examples, we have some large Fortune 500 companies, where they let each division have different templates. So it's really clear which division, where this message is coming from, right? What part of the organization. Yeah, it could be department, it could be division. And on the right here, I just have the Snap Video, Snap News. So we see that a lot too, where if you're using survey quizzes, alerts for news, you may have some variations, you give people a visual cue, but we have that consistency in the branding. So that's there too. 
Okay. So scaling. Let's talk a little bit about these templates. If we look at this one here, this is a simple one, the HR News one. We've got a scroll bar there. This may be the default size for the pop-up alert, but with these templates, you know, we do the work on the back end to make sure that you can scale them, you can resize them. So here on the right hand side, this is...I preview my message, and then I go and I tweak the actual dimensions of this alert so that it fixed my content, want that scrollbar to go away. So that's built into all of our messages. 
And to take that a step further, now we have more and more people using pop-up alerts, not just on computers that have variable resolutions on their screen, but they're using them on tablets and on mobile devices as well. And of course, that's called Responsive Design and SnapComms is set up for that. 
So here's an example for you, this is that Lotus example I showed before. And we can have it large to know, this could be the default for your PC. And then if you're on a tablet, you can see where we dropped that light blue square and adjusted the text over. And then here, this is what I really like, so here, we're not gonna take up that much real estate on a phone. Imagine, if you had the big lotus and the big headline, that would just take up way too much space on a mobile phone, so it resizes down. And Shelley, talk a little bit about that. I know you'd said, when you get stuff from customers, it's good if they help specify what they want there. 
Shelley: Yes, it's really great if customers are able to send us what they want, their templates to look at, so different sizes, like what we expect the template to look like on a desktop, on a tablet, and on a mobile. And it's especially helpful if there's [Inaudible 00:22:29] so there is a really clear indication of how much space is available there. 
Paula: Good. And this, I have here too. So here are a couple of examples. Shelley, talk about what happens with some of the things you don't wanna do if you're delivering content out to different device types. 
Shelley: Sure. With photographs as a background image, they don't really work, because they get squeezed if they're put onto a mobile phone. And if the image also was to be maximized on a PC screen, then every one of those pixels will be stretched, and the image would end up stretched, distorted, and blurry. So we don't recommend using photographic images in the background. I would rather people just save them to put them into the content manager later on. 
And also the message window, unlike the little pop-up with the Read Now, Read Later buttons, the message window needs to be able to be resized. So this needs to be taken into consideration when you're creating your design, because the background image, again, it's gonna get squashed if we need to put it on a phone. And it's going to get stretched and distorted if it's put on [inaudible 00:23:55] screen. So I would recommend for the main message window to use a rich linear shape. It's fine to have rounder corners, but to keep the overall shape of that quite simple. But for the teaser, for the pop-up that pops-up in the corner, before the message window loads, that's what you can go crazy on, because it doesn't need to resize. 
Paula: Fantastic. And yeah, I have one more example, which I know you'd sent through saying, definitely, you want guidance from people, how do you want this to look up the devices smaller. Yeah, you can't have it...
Shelley: Yeah, that's right. The example in the list have a particular piece of artwork came through to us. We didn't receive any instructions as to how they wanted it to look on mobile. If the message window has taken exactly [inaudible 00:24:52] and is resized, then the content area becomes very, very small, and then when they put the question of, "Well, what's important? What do they [inaudible 00:25:00] flow the text over the basketball image. Do you want the basketball image to become smaller, or do you want the basketball image to be removed all together for mobile? So it's really important to have that information up front, that really helps to streamline the processes and increases turn around time.
Paula: Okay. Good. Fantastic. All right. So hopefully, that's given you some good possibilities. And I'm just gonna take my screen out of...I wanna take this out of full screen mode here, because I've been waiting for a pop-up message to come through, and it's not actually coming through. So I'm gonna send an actual live message through right now, again. Just hopefully, we can see the whole process with a custom template what it will come through and how it will look. And while we're waiting for that come through… And I've just published that on my other screen. Let's talk a little bit about the other parts of SnapComms that you can customize. Excuse me. 
So if you look down, I'm gonna just one...let's get one slide on, I'm gonna click on the right thing here, maybe...there you go. Now my advance isn't quite so good, but…okay. Now, here's the S icon, this is the SnapComms client, that's on my screen, or that's in my taskbar, if you will. So there's the orange circle with the S, which is quite familiar to people, I'm sure. And over on the right too, this is the icon, the background application icon. So those can be customized, instead of that S icon, you can have another little small icon and brand it. Brand it, so that it matches your company branding, it's really clear that it's an internal message platform. Nobody has to learn what SnapComms is, they're going to see corporate branding really clear. So that's step one. That's something that can be customized, you may not be aware of that.
And then, if we look at our...let's see, I'm gonna pause for a second. You can see the Supergirl here in the corner, right? Can you see my little pop-up, it says, Read Now, Read Later. And we've got a little question mark, a blue question mark that's bobbing up and down. So I'm going to interact with this message. This was the example message I just published. I'll interact with this, and then we'll talk a little bit about the next piece of the puzzle. 
So here are my templates, and this another great one that you guys have done, Shelley, Because we can see the responsive design. If I make it smaller, you can see Supergirl gets tiny, and brand logo gets tiny, and that question mark moved around a bit. And what I'll do, I'll just answer the question and close it off. But hopefully, this is giving you some ideas. Oh, I thought I answered it. Here we go, click, now I've answered it. And this was a quiz, it shows me my answers at the end, there we go, we'll close that off. All right. 
And then let's get back to this part, SnapComms icon, that can be customized to have your branding. And then this, here is my message history window. I bet you're all familiar with what we're looking at here. When you click on the SnapComms Client icon, this is the window where I can go and pull out my messages. These are messages that have been delivered to me as an employee, and they're still active, they're still valid, they're not expired yet. If I wanna go and check them out, if I wanna go look at them again, I can. So this message history window, you can see, it no longer looks like the one you're probably familiar with, and I say that, because most people haven't customized it, they have this window, the message history window. But this SnapComms and has our great orange and black on it. But it can be, so imagine you have that icon customized, you have this window customized, and it's got your company branding, and you have it aligned with your Internet, so clear that this is an official messaging channel. So that's the possibilities here. 
And this message history window can be any size. We have the time and date stamps in this example, those could be gone. You could have more information in there. We've even had customers put in permanent links like an Internet link, a button on their message history window, some links to other critical areas that they wanna make sure people can get to easily. So that, hopefully, is food for thought for you. 
And now, one other area, and we're almost at time here, but it's not too bad. We'll just go a couple minutes over, I think. We have our mobile application. So this is can see here screenshots of the iTunes and the Google Play Stores. We have an app where you can get that and have people install that app on their phones, and when you send out your alerts to the PCs, your audience members get it on their phones as well, right? So some people use it for only portions of their employee base, some have everyone using that app as well to make sure that they reach them with critical messages, even if they're not at their desk. 
So our generic app is what we're looking at here, but we can do custom apps, and we've done this for a few companies where we don't want people installing the SnapComms one, we want something completely unique for us. So we can do that, we can come up with a private sort of a custom app, if you will, that's completely skinned and branded for a company. So that's one more possibility if you're on the mobile side. And, of course, there's more work involved than branding. You have to get the apps, they're gonna be separate apps, they're gonna need to be approved, and you go through a process to get those apps to your employees, but yes, absolutely, that can be done. 
Okay. So now, I'm hoping you saw something inspiring, some cool design ideas that you might take to your graphic designers or might go and play with. And how to make it happen? Well, we've changed a little bit what we do in terms of templates and there's... Okay, sorry about the slide, but I'm gonna send you the slide deck, and this is the link you want. This is a hidden link, this is a page on our website that has a template order form, so it will walks you through all the steps, it walks you through what we need and the whole process of doing custom templates. And that's rather new. So we'll get that to you, and you can go have a look. 
I would say too, we mentioned on here there, custom templates cost, there's a nominal cost for them. And I would just say that the reason for that is some companies, they're gonna want two templates, and other companies may want 20, 25, right? And so we just pass on just the...we're really not making money off of it, we pass on the cost of setting it all up and making sure it's gonna render perfectly no matter what device your people are on. All right. 
And that sort of brings us to the end. And, you know, why custom branding? Really, it's gonna engage your audience more, we know that. And hopefully, you understand now all the possibilities in terms of what you can customize within SnapComms. So any questions? Do we have any questions from anyone on the call? Riya, do you see any coming through?
Riya: No questions yet, Paula. Most probably, you've answered all their questions.
Paula: I hope so. I hope so. Yeah.
Riya: Yeah.
Paula: Yep, yep. But I know one question that does come up is, we upload our template, we upload our own design? And the answer is no. I think you can understand why. There's a lot we do to make sure that they scale, to make sure that they are going to render properly on every device type that you're sending them to, there's a lot behind it. So we have Shelley and her team that know exactly how to do that, turn it around quite fast. And so we handle that part. Actually, that's true too, whether you are on our cloud or locally hosted, and it's really easy for us to upload them once they're done, it's really quick to upload them and get them to you. 
Well thanks, everyone. Thank you so much for your time. If there's no questions, then I think we'll wrap it up there. And I really hope to see some fantastic designs coming our way and see you taking your SnapComms messages to the next level in terms of engagement and just making 'em absolutely pop. If you have any questions, we're all here for you, happy to talk through any aspects, and have a great day. 
Our next webinar will be in two weeks, by the way, and we'll delving into screen savers and wallpaper and what you can do with those fantastic channels to really reinforce information over time. So please join us in two weeks, look out for that invite, which will be going out pretty soon. Have a great morning, everyone, or a great afternoon, depending on where you are. And we'll close down now. Take care.
Shelley: Thank you, Paula. 
Paula: Sure. 
Riya: Thank you, Paula. 
Paula: Thanks Riya. Take care. 
Riya: Bye. 

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