The best type of content for social media marketing will always be visual content. People don’t pay as much attention to text updates; it is the images and videos which get the most likes, shares and comments. When you are running a social media marketing campaign, creating and sharing visual content is essential.
If you want your business to stand out, you need to create content that resonates with your audience in such a way that it speaks directly to their desires and needs.
The infographic below shows that only 7 percent of marketers are confident with their current visual content strategy.
These day’s social media users are savvy. They will quickly dismiss the typical run-of-the-mill image unless it appeals directly to their needs or emotions. Once your business starts crafting the right messages for your target audience using a personal approach, you will find that it leads to more growth and prospects in your networks.
Below are some visual marketing strategies that will help you to stand out from your competition.
- Create Stand-Out Content
Going visual on social media is best done by creating and sharing your own unique content. Whether it is photos, videos, infographics, professional images or memes that are created using a range of tools and editing programs, creating unique content is the best way to go.
You do not have to have a big budget to do this. There are a number of free, low-cost resources available such as Slideshare, Canva, Flipagram, Pablo and Adobe Photoshop.
- Snippets and Previews
In addition to creating and sharing your own visual content, you can make previews of the content you wish to share by way of snippets or movie clips. Social media sites like Facebook automatically pick up an image from the content and create a preview. When combined with a catchy headline, this preview image will give your viewers and followers a taste of what to expect if they click on your link.
- Get the Style Right for Each Social Network
You will need to find out where your target audience is hanging out most and then focus on creating awesome visual content for that platform. The content you use will need to match the format of the specific platform, but also be responsive for your followers and community.
For instance; Facebook and Instagram garner a large response from personalized photos, funny or emotional videos, quotes, or product images.
Below is an example from an Instagram marketing expert.
If your target audience prefers Pinterest then coloured images tend to get more interaction than low-saturation images.
Below is a good example:
One of the most effective ways to see what images are effective is to research what your competitors are posting and doing well with. You could even take their ideas and add your own original spin.
Try and keep a record of what is working and garnering response and look out for any repetitive patterns that stand out.
- Crowdsourcing your Images
Another quick way to get together some good visual content is to crowdsource. Why not give your social media followers a challenge! One thing you could do is ask your followers to send you creative pictures they have taken with your products. You can then post them to Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.
This method is a great way for your followers to participate directly with your brand and provides you with some cool content. You could even make it a competition where the winner gets one of your products for free. This will ensure a greater response from your followers.
Below is an example of a restaurant chain who involves its fans by asking them to send in creative pictures of their dining experiences.
- Getting the Most out of Your Visual Content
Creating and sharing visual content on your social media channels will lead to more activity and engagement, but below are a few more ideas you can use to leverage your content and make the most of it:
- Actively use visual social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram to take advantage of their capabilities to automatically share to Facebook and Twitter.
- Take the time to choose the right image for your profile and ensure that it delivers your brand message and vision. This is very important for your Timeline Photo on Facebook.
- Start looking to invest into content creation tools. These should be easy to use with lots of cool features that allow you to create lots of awesome visual content.
- Make sure you set up a schedule for posting on a regular basis. There are many tools that can automate this, allowing you to spend one day scheduling content which will then post on auto for the rest of the month.
- Try and add videos as part of your visual content marketing strategy. These just need to be short 1-2 minute clips that will encourage activity among your followers.
- Style and Size
It is important to get your style and size right for the different platforms that you will be creating visual content for. Always check your images when you post them and make sure they look how they should. Different social media sites have different sizing requirements, especially Facebook who often make changes to their size requirements.
Below is a chart that can be referred to for the sizes required on different platforms:
The rule of thumb is to have your images at the biggest size that the platform allows. If it is videos that you are uploading then post then upload them directly to Facebook rather than link them. Google + is integrated with YouTube so they will need to be pulled from here. For short videos posted to Instagram and vine websites, you can use tools such as iMovie and Flipagram to edit and upload.
- Make it Fun
Just like regular content you may post onto your blog, try and focus on providing valuable content that is relevant and worth sharing. In addition to this, make your visual content fun! Fun content is usually the main reason why people share and like it. It inspires them, entertains them and makes them laugh.
Try and find a balance between informing and entertaining them.
In the foreseeable future, visual content is going to continue to climb as a dominant force in growing your online business. Through relevant, creative and original images and videos which speak directly to your audience, you are going to find that you get a larger, loyal following and better conversion rates. Providing your followers with high quality content that represents your brand will go a long way in ensuring that you will get more followers who will want to share the content you offer.
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