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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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.

chanel-suit

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 Brands you MUST follow on Instagram

Screen Shot 2018-06-08 at 1.38.27 AM.pngGood design is so important in getting the right audience to flock to your brand. Great design induces brand loyalty and affects the subconscious. It’s a lot more important than a lot of marketers realize.

I really would love to raise the standard of design in general for social media in Jamaica. I think it can be done. I see it in these pages. So let’s get into it:

  1. @Bijoux_ja is a mood. The luxury is finite on this page. But it still has the ability to be authentically Jamaican. I don’t know how they do what they do but I love it. You should follow them just for the aesthetic. It’s a must.
  2. @Swizzbeads The editing might throw you off but that’s what makes their page so unique. Not to mention the detail to the styling. The model seems to take her swizz beads everywhere. Makes us want to go too.
  3. @summerhouseja From the teasers to the attention to details, this page is an aesthetic. The images are inviting and it really makes you want to go. I’m not a fan of grids but I think this was a perfect way to launch the restaurant and spark interest. The content is also great. The way they gave you insight into the concept was very well thought out.
  4. @jaejolly This carefully curated feed is on point! They focus on creating an aesthetic and switch up between models poses and swimsuits images. The brightly colored swimsuits pop off the page and the whole island vibe got us wanting to live in the jungle. 10/10 would recommend!
  5. @maxiestores They make the effort to really curate their feed. It always has a theme! It might be red theme or a blue theme but its so seamless. I live for it!
  6. @chillitosjamexican I don’t know who their agency is but they look like they have one. Those images are taken with lighting and symmetry in mind. It targets the Millennials well with just a touch of humor to keep you wanting more.
  7. @cafeblueja Last but certainly not least Cafe Blue is one of my faves! It’s so authentically Jamaican and they are always doing fun to stuff to spark interest from their audience.
  8. @kayainc It’s all about the green! This carefully curated feed showcases the offerings of the dispensary Kaya Inc. It also give you developments in the cannabis industry.

Well those are the list of my favorite brands to follow on instagram. If there any other that have a great aesthetic: careful placement of photos, great photos and a thought behind it let me know. What makes a great instagram feed? Let me know.

Please don’t tell me about personal accounts. I want to know about brands only. I might do one for personal accounts soon. Let me know if you’re interested in reading that one! Don’t forget to follow me on instagram at @kesigardner

 

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!

The Way to Measure Social Media

Measurement of Social Media 

When we look at all the stuff brands are doing online to get attention above all the noise, we need to look at innovative ways to stand out in a crowd. However at the end of the day, it comes down to the ROI (Return On Investment).

As we look at the ROI of social media to dictate how a campaign is successful or not, we must also look at the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) :

Is the campaign successful in terms of getting the traction it should?

Are we getting a “buzz”?

Are people sharing organically?

Are people talking about it online as well as offline?

Brand Loyalty & Sales Spike

Surely, the impact of a campaign is no longer in just how much likes it receives. We also need to look beyond, not just if it is resonating with the target but if there is an increase in brand loyalty and ultimately, sales.

Top Ten Jamaican YouTubers you Should Know

After the success of my blog post: Top Seven Bloggers to Showcase your Brand, I decided to take a more in-depth look into the YouTube industry. This is my top ten list based on subscribers and the quality of the original content:

1. Andrew Trabass is not based in Jamaica but you would never know as his accent is straight “yahdie.” His blogs are original and hilarious! Trabass’s has over 284,081 subscribers and over 49,286,894 views on his channel.

He also has a personal v-log that showcases his day-to-day life. He’s a singer/songwriter and even sells t-shirts on his website.

 

2. With boy band looks and charisma, the YaadBwoys are the hottest “yahdies” on YouTube. They over 143,844 subscribers and over 14 million views!  These guys technically don’t live in Jamaica, (they are based in Florida) but the content produced is appealing to the Jamaican teen (girls) market.

3. JamaicanMakeUpArtist offers makeup tutorials and weave reviews. She hosts over 120,000 YouTube subscribers on and 1,393,935 views. She’s ranked in the Top 100 YouTubers on Social Blade. Great for beauty products and makeup brands.

4. See2TwinTwo are Jamaican twins who basically v-log about their lives. Even though they are all grown up, these young ladies would be great for the tween market. They have over 62,000 subscribers with over 4million views! Lots of tag and challenge videos.

5. Copping the Personal Achievement Award for Excellence in Blogging at the Caribbean Blog and Social Media awards last year, Dutty Berry has been an overnight success since he started posting his reviews of Tessanne on NBC’s “The Voice.” He hosts over 60,334 subscribers and has 4,984,166 views on YouTube. He’s currently the spokesperson for #NuhDuttyUpJamaica, a Jamaica Environment Trust public education initiative geared towards keeping coastal environments clean.

He’s also been nominated for YouthView Awards’ Favourite Break Out Celebrity of 2014.

5. Award winning Jamaican Video Blog of the Year in 2012, The Duke Powell Show is funny, authentic Jamaican content with over 49,375 subscribers and over 5 198 302 views.

Popularly known for his video that went viral: “The Pum Pum Tun Up!”

6. Bella Blair is a comedic actress who writes and produces a lot of her own content. She also has a show on RETV called Bella’s Bizarre World. She was recently appointed the brand ambassador for Cran Wata. She boasts over 36,141 subscribers with over 3,690,984 views.

7. With over 15,900 subscribers, Wally British is the rawest talent on the roster. Her unorthodox preaching keeps fans engaged and screaming for more. Subject matter is very adult, so best suited for the 18 years or older crowd.

British would be a great candidate for a public awareness campaign around sex education or any subject matter centered around sex and reproductive health.

8. A modern day Louise Bennett, Carla Moore was inspired to start a channel devoted to sharing her love for her country after going away to study. Just recently, Carla presented a competition sponsored by Jamaica Jazz and Blues requesting video submissions of their best Mariah Carey impression. The winner received a 3-day pass to the event.

With over 10, 463 subscribers, she would be a great spokesperson for anything Jamaica.

9. MakeupbyPetiteSue showcases mostly makeup tutorials and weave reviews. Interesting note, she doesn’t wear foundation! She has over 5,996 subscribers and over 110,201 views on YouTube.

10. Mamachell is a well-poised, sassy media personality and lifestyle blogger who talks about everything from Teen Wolf to the Kartel Murder Trial. She would be great for partnering with brands targeting the entertainment or travel/tourism industry.

Top 7 Jamaican Bloggers to Showcase Your Brand

With the Jamaican blogging community steadily growing and brands trying to find new and innovative ways to engage, marketers need to go beyond traditional media.

Here are a few of my favorite bloggers by category:

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💚

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Fashion & Lifestyle

1. Natasha Leeds is a young, stylish fashionista who blogs about her fashion and natural hair journey. With over 16k followers on Instagram, she has the potential to reach a wide audience. Best for 16-25 yo. Great for fashion designers, retail and department stores, lifestyle and cultural events, natural hair and beauty products. *Updated: Natasha moved to Miami but visits Jamaica every year.

2. Natalia OH: is a mother of two who blogs about Fashion, DIYs and Lifestyle. Best for 25-40 yo target, Twitter Followers: 5k, Instagram Followers: 8k.  Lots of #OOTDs! Winner of the 2012 Jamaica Blog Awards for the Best Beauty and Fashion Blog and is a Gleaner Lifestyle contributor.

Best for fashion designers, retail and department stores, makeup and beauty retailers, restaurants, lifestyle and cultural events and lifestyle brands.

*Updated: Nataliah is now Marketing Manager for Maxie stores.

3. Lauren O Lauren has been around for long time (see previous post on our interview with Lauren O Lauren). She moved to the US couple of years ago but still has a strong following in Jamaica. Best for 18-30 yo hipster, Gen Y group.Talks a lot about weave! Twitter followers: 6k, Instagram: 7k. Over 5,000 subscribers on YouTube. Best for tech companies, fashion designers, lifestyle and beauty products and services, fashion and retail outlets. See her most viewed blog which has over 21,000 views.

*Updated: Lauren lives in California with her husband and dog, Henry.

4. On Orange Street: Lifestyle blog for the life and style of young Caribbean women. Co-founded by Afayah Pendergrast and Monique Kennedy. The content is vivacious! They blog about budgeting and career building. Won the 2014 Caribbean Blog & Social Award for Best Lifestyle Blog. Small following on social networks but there is potential for growth.

Best for banks and insurance companies, the automotive industry, fashion designers, boutique shops and furniture stores, lifestyle and cultural events and lifestyle brands.

*Updated: This group no longer has a blog together but both are doing well as individuals.

5. Irie Diva: is lifestyle Jamaican blogger who writes about a variety of topics including recipes, hair and beauty products and cultural events. Oh and her munchkin!  Twitter Followers: 3k Instagram followers: 1k

Best for cultural and lifestyle events, ital/vegetarian products, natural hair and beauty products, travel and leisure, kids

 

Make Up 

6. Chunchi is a YouTuber who averages over 500 views per video. She vlogs mostly about her makeup skills and reviews beauty products both Jamaican and US based. Twitter Followers: 4k, Instagram Followers: 1k. She would be a great advocate for makeup and natural beauty products.

Food

7. Jessica in the Kitchen won 2014’s Caribbean Blog and Social Media Award for Best Food Blog. Creates innovative, vegetarian recipes fit to be in any food magazine. With beautiful imagery, this blog would be great to feature natural food and drink products. Twitter: 1.4k, Instagram: 1k

If you know any bloggers who you think should be featured, let me know! I’m always looking for new bloggers to follow!