5 Most Instagrammable Places in Jamaica

If you’re traveling to Jamaica or consider yourself a dryland tourist, here are the top 5 places you must take for Instagram. These locations will have you using the #ILiveWhereYouVacay hashtag in no time. You can vote here.

The Grande is rafting on the Rio Grande

There are many variations to this, but any pose you choose will definitely be monumental. Go early morning and float gently through the waters on your long bamboo raft. The ride itself is about 3 hours but make sure you bring your own photographer because it’s difficult to keep your balance and take a selfie at the same time.

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so far so good 💕 #themacmillans

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Frenchman’s Cove is a Classic

Taking a picture at the famous swing at Frenchman’s Cove is a must when visiting Portland. Other major cool spots include the river flowing into the beach, Blue Lagoon and the Trident Castle. Almost every spot in Port Antonio is grand.

 

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Finallyyy wearing my swimmy @keishals loveee it😻😻

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Sandals Suite Life is the Living Your Best Life Hashtag IRL

If you want to say you’re truly living your best life, you have to photograph the over water bungalows. Jamaican Influencers such as Corey Hamilton, Natasha Leeds and Yendi Phillips have taken epic shots there. The drone shots of the heart shaped bungalow formation shot!

Take the Plunge at The Old Spanish Bridge

Another money shot is the Old Spanish Bridge, a hidden gem is just 45 minutes from Ocho Rios. The road may only be for the 4 wheel drive but it’s definitely worth the effort. With its rope swing, you can get a pretty cool capture like Kaci Fennel’s. If you’re into landscape shots the bridge in the background is also quite beautiful. If you’re brave enough,  get some video swinging on the rope!

Strawberry Hill Hotel is the Mostest

Just imagine an image that looks like you’re staring over a cliff overlooking Kingston but it’s really just an Infiniti pool? This optical illusion is a must for anyone visiting Jamaica. Not to mention the view itself!

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Reflecting…. • • "Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you" • • There are moments in life where I get lost in my head; lost in my feelings…just yearning for clarity. The past couple years have just been filled with so much loss it has left me doing a lot of questioning. Some persons who I truly loved, cared for, respected and held in high regard have left this realm. Some through agonizing illness, tragic accidents and some violenly ripped away. I ponder on each of them. I ask repeatedly "Why would God let bad things happen to good people?" Why would God allow His children who are serving His kingdom to experience such suffering? I remember struggling with this very concept with my mother's death and I was so hurt and felt so betrayed by God as a young girl that I turned away from Him. 16 years later, I am now asking again…this time from the perspective of someone who has rekindled her relationship and who is serving His kingdom. And while it still carries weight and pain, I acknowledge the promise of free will of man. I understand that as mankind we have choice. And with that comes so much of the turmoil we now encounter in existence. But I also more than anything understand that what we do here is not about us, but living in His truth and promise, in accordance to His word, to fulfill the purpose He whispers in our soul, and when the day of reckoning comes, to go home to Him knowing it is well and it is done. #MyHeartWasHeavy #SometimesYouHaveToBareYourSoul #But #IPlaceItAtHisFeet #ThePowerOfSurrender #Peace #Understanding #Clarity #ForMyFriends #ForMyLovedOnes #ForThoseFeelingHurt #ForThoseGoingThroughLoss • • Thank you @_jayenigma for this capture. • • PS. @keneealintonboutique I LOVE this dress!

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Honorable mentions include:

Waterfall at Serendipity Holistic Resort

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#serendipityresort #bluemountain #jamaica my #paradise

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Fleet Street

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В Кингстоне (столице Ямайки) мне посчастливилось побывать в замечательной местной школе (Holy Family Primary & Infant School). Здание этой школы и часть улицы (Fleet st.), на которой она находится, полностью в граффити (то, что вы видите, это лишь малая его часть)😍! Я не могу передать словами тот восторг, который я испытала, когда мы наконец-то нашли это необычное место (thanks, Jan😘)!!! Кстати, нам позволили зайти на территорию школы! Так что мы сняли на видео весь двор, маленьких ямайских детей в школьных формах и даже кабинеты!!!! Скоро я сделаю видеоролик👍🏿 #jamaica #kingston #art #family #school #streetart #travel #magic #street #fleetstreet #traveladdict #photography #graffiti #graffitiart #beauty #building #vacation #tbt #instaart #holiday #арт #стритарт #отпуск #путешествие #искусство #школа

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Victoria Pier Waterfront/DownTown Kingston 

So all these places are up for debate! Do you agree with picks? Which places do you think are the most instagrammable places in Jamaica? Vote here

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7 Must-Haves for Instagram going into 2019

So many brands and influencers are still struggling to master all the features on IG.

But with Instagram reaching a milestone of 1 billion monthly users in June, it is a platform that can’t be ignored. – Adweek

Some brands are losing out on valuable real estate by not creating something as simple as highlights but there are a few other things you should be doing on IG before the year is out.

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Vertical Videos: How-to

We never thought vertical videos would become a thing but they are here and here to stay! For now. Vertical videos aren’t just for IGTV however, they are now creeping onto other platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Probably the hardest thing to get right when shooting vertical video for IGTV is aspect ratio, which is the ratio of width to height of your video.

The reason it can be hard to get right is because unless your video is shot on a smartphone (which will usually record in 9:16 if shot vertically), you may need to edit or crop your video in post-production to get the right aspect ratio for IGTV.

So I would recommend shooting vertically, if you’re using a phone or shoot widescreen with the camera so you can always adjust post-production.

Why vertical videos? Instagram wants to encourage people to create video content but, at the same time, to do it exclusively for mobile. We already know that people are more likely to use their mobile devices in a vertical position, hence the type of video.

Advertising agencies will need to bear this in mind when creating their ads to include vertical formats for IGTV.

IGTV is predicted to become the new Youtube in 3-5 years.

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IG Stories Still Relevant

IG stories is a way to extend the conversation. So for example, you post a picture of yourself in an outfit, the stories can be used to tell the back story of the photograph. Where you got the outfit and maybe behind-the-scenes, etc. This will continue to be vital to engagement strategies.

Shoppable Posts an Added Plus

I see so many small businesses missing out on a simple app they can add to their posts that directly links them to the webpage. It’s called Later’s (Linkin.bio). It’s like $US4.99 a month, but the value, is a direct clickable link where shoppers can purchase the item. Instagram also has a shoppable feature that’s pretty simple to use. Not available in Jamaica just yet however, we’ll have to wait our turn.

IG Highlights for FAQs a Necessity

Personally, I get a lot of DMs from people asking  questions about what I do out of curiosity. I haven’t reached the level that I would want to have a FAQs section but if you’re a company or a big brand, I would definitely recommend you having an FAQ highlight so people can learn more about you without having to send a DM every time. Saves a lot of time!

Stories Ads will be a Must

The time of organic reach is over. Brands will have to invest in an ad budget in order to reach their target audience, but not just that, the content will have to be richer and more clickable. Also in terms of the variation in ads, I haven’t seen the numbers yet, but the animated, IG story ads seem to have more traction.

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AR Filters Bring That Cool Factor

So you’ve seen the diamond headband filter by Rihanna and the lip color filter by Kylie Jenner and other popular ones on IG lately right? Influencers will now be able to create their own filters using Facebook AR Studio.

 IG Worthy Branded Wall Backdrop: A Staple for Jamaican Parties

Every event we go to in Jamaica, now has a branded, customized wall. This is no coincidence. This is usually brightly colored wall that is easily identifiable in photos when people post to IG.

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Lil Duval lyrics

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Influencer Patronage will Kick up a Notch

The exclusivity of giving an influencer a special branded invitation to your event or token gift before a party creates a buzz that makes the viewer want to know more.

Frenchmen did it for their parties this year and Moda Market has been handing out special Moda Boxes with goodies inside.

Brands like Benefit of Bohoo in the US, have been able to take carefully selected influencers on a vacation. The idea is to create this cool girl lifestyle, where their followers can go with them on an adventure, wear their products and take IG worthy pictures.

The perfect example of this relatable to Jamaica was when Campari took Shanzi.a to Italy for the unveiling of the Red Diaries commercial.

And Jamaica is such an IG worthy place in and of itself, that to really create a superior buzz, you would have to take the influencer out of the country.

However, we’ve seen these experiences happening right here with Garfene and Terri-Karelle going on road trips to Skylark Negril and Irie Diva going on a #staycation.

 

Instagram Worthy Curated Rooms or Walls

Creating an offline, Instagram-worthy experience for your customers can not only help you get more followers, but also generate more sales or visitors.

Think about it like word of mouth, but on Instagram: when a customer is at your place of business and you have created an Instagram-worthy moment, they’ll be happy and excited to snap a photo and share it to their Instagram feeds.

They can then tag your brand in the photo, caption, and location, and inspire their followers to visit your business!

This can be as simple as adding a chic, neon sign or wall decal.

What are some other cool IG Trends you see going into 2019?

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee Talk and Branding

No man is an island and therefore, having conversations with someone that speaks my language is very important from time to time. Picasso had Matisse, Basquiat had Warhol, you get the drift. It’s important for me to have people in the industry, that I can discuss things like social media, advertising, brand development and graphic design. There are very few people that understand all those things and that do them well, Phillip Clayton to me is one of the few people that uses his online platform in the way that I do—to connect with thought leaders from all over the world and learn and interact with them.  He is a branding development specialist with over 15 years of experience working in the advertising industry. He is also a member of the International Commission of Judges for the 2019 PAC, Global Leadership Awards, a commission that celebrates great packaging design in the world. Yes, that’s makes us design nerds! We are very much a like in a lot of ways, and so it’s great to talk shop with him from time to time.

We talked bout a lot of things in the span of four hours at a local coffee shop and he introduced me to this book called The Brand Gap, which is now my new favorite guide to branding. It confirms things I’ve known intrinsically for years, such as the no logo test and the idea that a brand is not just a logo (which I talk about in my previous article, Branding is More than a Logo. ) Anyways, let’s get to the nitty gritty.

We talked about a few things such as:

  • People skim on paying an agency to do research and develop their entire brand’s identity (not just their logo)  and rather pay a graphic designer peanuts to create a logo that will become obsolete in a few years or doesn’t appeal to their target audience.
  • A lot of people don’t understand the meaning of the word branding:

    Branding is a process of creating a unique image or name or logo or symbol or combination of any of these for a specific product in consumer’s mind which differentiates it from competitor’s products.

  • Phillip does not like the word “branding” and prefers brand development, whereas for me, the two can work interchangeably. However, where we both agree is that developing a brand identity is more than just a logo, it’s everything from how the company answers their phone, their internal comms, website–the full gamut of communication.
  • Many companies in Jamaica don’t understand the mixed messages they’re sending when their branding is so confusing. This can be as simple as a font choice. Color has a psychological effect as well, which I will touch on in another post.
  • The brands we love like Coca-Cola for example,  have been able to differentiate over the years by making only slight changes to their logo. The reason for this is that they understand their brand is more than just their logo, its everything from that signature bottle to the brand experience.Coca-Cola-e1453357263954-1024x407.png
  • Some brands know when to innovate by listening to their consumer, for example, Federal Express changed their logo to FedEx because that is what customers were calling the company anyway. So they listened and evolved.fedex4_thumb.jpg
  • Some brands think that jumping on every trendy viral topic is the way to go but if it isn’t true to the brand, then they should avoid it all together. For example, McDonalds decided to recreate the famous Banksy shredding painting with a graphic on their social media. The attempt seems lazy and forced and doesn’t speak well to Banksy’s painting or McDonald’s.

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AND finally, I’ve been talking about personal branding for years, and how using your presence online and offline can bring opportunities for you but David Olgivy puts it simply and we call can relate to this: you build a brand by doing the work, then the rest will follow.

 

So tell me what brands do you love and why? And do you love the brand because of the product or service it offers, or are the two not mutually exclusive? And should I continue this coffee talk series and talk to other people about branding and advertising? Who’s down?

 

Follow Phillip Clayton on instagram or twitter.

 

Branding is More than a Logo

n-5-packshot-default-125530-8801294680094Chanel is one of the most iconic brands in the history of the world. The logo hasn’t changed or been updated since its inception. It was created in 1925 by the owner of Chanel empire, Gabrielle Coco Chanel herself and is basically her initials. Her brand is a champion for the feminist cause hence their association with strong women like Marilyn Munroe and Nicki Minaj.

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But it’s so much more than that. The inventor of the little black dress (LBD) and Chanel No. 5, her products will still be in high demand years from now.

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All the brand elements scream luxury. From the entrance to the stores, to the branding, to the ad campaigns –they all symbolize one thing, sophistication.

 

But great brands are more than just the logo and the branding. They’re built on story telling. Coco Chanel, grew up alone in an orphanage and fought her way out of poverty to success. The communication built on her journey to success, is why her quotes are posted by modern women everywhere, and the iconic Chanel suit is a staple in every successful woman’s wardrobe.

So ask yourself do your customers know your brand’s story? When customers fall in love with a brand its because it connects with them on an emotional level, it makes the brand stand out.

What do customers think of your brand? A lot of people think that creating a brand for your business just involves designing a logo. And although a logo is an important statement its not the only thing to consider.

Do you need help creating your brand identity? It’s not as complicated as it sounds.

Before you begin the design stage of your logo, here are a few things to consider:

Define your brand

What do people like about your product or service? How does your product or service stand out in the marketplace? The first step is to define your brand. Think of it as having a personality. People are attracted to your personality by the colors that you use, your choice of words, the images that you select for your graphic design materials, the designs that you use for your signs and of course, your logo.

 

The brand identity depends on your target audience

Your brand identity also depends on who you are trying to reach. If your customers are the youth market, you may want to use fun colors and catchy phrases. If your customers are a niche market, you may want to use a more technical language that is applicable to the industry.

These tips are valuable in helping you create an brand identity that suits your messages and appeals to your target audience. Professional help can make all the difference.

 

 

Jamaican YouTubers to Follow in 2018

I haven’t written a blog post like this in awhile and the last article I did about this topic got picked up by Buzzebly. You can read it here if you’re interested. This got the highest views to date so I’ve decided to an updated version.

Now a lot has happened in the YouTube atmosphere. A lot of the old YouTubers I mentioned before, no longer post on YouTube. I think some of the mainstays just know how to stay dedicated and keep at it. It takes awhile to build a following and with YouTube becoming the most popular network, there is a market for it.

Now I won’t list them by any relevance. These are the ones I think have the best content, regardless of subscribers.

    Dutty Berry. Dutty Berry has been doing this thing for a couple of years now and I haven’t caught up with him in awhile but I’m pretty sure he’s making a decent living off this YouTube thing along with making appearances and hosting. He has over 140,000 subs and  averages about 100,000 views per video. Dutty Berry has videos sponsored as well, which is a good move. What makes him stand out? His content. You can tell he does his research and makes sure the videos are jam-packed with jokes and up to date news and gossip.
    RushCam. Now if you haven’t seen his YouTube channel yet, you should definitely check him out. He has done a wide range of videos with very relatable Jamaican themes. Everything from Carnival to comparing Tastee and Juicy Beef. This dude has personality and the videos aren’t too long but they leave you laughing your head off and somehow wanting to know more about this character. He has the potential to really grow his following as long as he keeps paying attention to making great content.
    LaurenOLauren Lauren doesn’t live in Jamaica anymore so her videos are based on her life in California but she is still definitely worth a sub. Point blank, this media veteran is hilarious with her rants about trolls and people’s reactions to her hair. Her content has definitely improved and varied over the years and she has grown to 10,000 subs and 18,000 followers on Instagram.
    Lyric Rochester is blowing up YouTube with her makeup tutorials and has almost 200,000 subscribers. She does mostly makeup tutorials but has charisma and is interesting to watch. She’s partnered with Fontana Pharmacy in the past.
    Trabass TV is still going strong with his vlogs, music videos and comic skits. He basically just vlogs his life with his wife Deannae but he’s fun to watch and keeps his viewers entertained. He’s really trying to break into the music industry and he’s been doing it for awhile. He’s had some success with appearances and tours.
    Chantay Lainey has over 4,000 subscribers on YouTube. She does mostly makeup tutorials but has a bit of vlogs mixed in along the way. She’s a twenty-something just living her life with her friends and has brought us along for the ride!

Those are my picks if you know any YouTubers you think I should add to this list. Let me know!

I Got My Current Job Because of Linkedin!

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There is a misconception that Linkedin is not effective in Jamaica. Although recruiters and hiring managers may not frequent Linkedin as much as they do in the US, it is still a relevant way to network with other professionals and make valuable connections.

I got my current job because of Linkedin! When searching for candidates, my name kept coming up in search and so they reached out. So Jamaican employers are headhunting, especially in niche industries like Advertising.

First of all Linkedin is focused on showcasing professional accomplishments, a lot of which we don’t go about displaying in our daily lives. So put that award you won or that MBA you worked hard for. This is the place to brag a little about your accomplishments. It is the perfect place to connect with people in your industry who could potentially hire you or recommend you for a job.

So here are a few tips you can use to make your profile more appealing to potential employers:

  1. Use a professional profile photo: Take the time to invest in a professional photographer. You can hire one of many spectacular freelance photographers there are out there or you can visit Photodayz in Soverign Centre. Depending on the industry you work in you can dress accordingly. For example, if you work in accounting, you should wear a suit. However, if you work in the creative industry, you can get away with a crisp, white shirt. Women, spend a little extra and get your makeup done. A nice professional photograph just makes you put your best foot forward.
  2. Create an impactful headline: The headline under your name is the first thing people read when they search for your name. Make it count. This you can use to say one, amazing thing about you as a professional. Use adjectives that describe who you are. For example, mine says, “I build brands!” which in a nutshell what I do in my professional life. It’s catchy and it gets the attention of the people that I’m targeting– potential employers and clients.
  3. Tell a story with your bio/summary: This is the opportunity to tell a story about your professional journey and list three accomplishments you’ve made in your career thus far. Keep it concise but quanitfiable. Like for example say, “I increased productivity by 25%.”
  4. Network, network, network: Reach out to people you’ve met offline and in some instances, reach out to people you may be interested in meeting but haven’t had the opportunity yet. Be tactful in your approach. Note that while not everyone would be open to connecting with people they don’t know, others see the value in connecting online.
  5. Share valuable content: Just like any other network, sharing valuable content like blog posts, articles in your industry and quotes is crucial to raising your profile and rank on Linkedin. Share once a day to really add value. People in your network will see you as knowledgeable and come to you for advice when they need it.

Things I Learned from “Creating Winning Social Media Strategies”, Day 2

635987909554348478191657497_social-media-illoDay 2 had a much more in depth breakdown of creating winning social media strategies and there are several things I can share about what I learned but for me the mainstays were the following:

Create a compelling story: When thinking about your content strategy bear in mind that people appeal to positive, compelling stories. Make sure to think of the post as a conversation between the brand the customer. Speak in the voice of the brand– a voice that speaks to its personality and in the way that they can understand. This sets you apart from the noise and helps to build the brand’s story.

Best Times to Post: Now depending on the content you can determine what the best time to post for each platform. However, the times that people are most likely to see your posts are:

Twitter 12-3 pm Monday-Friday, 5-6 pm Wednesday

Facebook: 12-1pm Saturday-Sunday, 3-4pm Wednesday, 1-4pm Thursday-Friday

Instagram: Anytime Monday-Thursday, except between 3-4pm

What works in Jamaica: Jamaica is a special place with its own culture and sayings. With that said be sure to play on the few things that appeal to the Jamaican audience, which are  are culturally relevant like for example, sports–which is very important to the average Jamaican.

If you want to learn more about social media and how to create a winning strategy, I highly recommend this course. It goes into detail which is quite helpful.