How to Create Highly Engaging & Sharable Graphics

Mash Bonigala CEO & Founder, SpellBrand

Posted on March 5th 2013

How to Create Highly Engaging & Sharable Graphics

When it comes to content marketing there is no doubt that visuals are an important component for increasing your reach. If visuals are not equally as important as the quality of the content they represent, visuals are certainly the next largest priority.

Of course, depending on the network in which you are promoting your content, the visual itself may be the entire piece of content, thus making it equally as important as the content it contains. 

This is largely the case when it comes to social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Vine. While all three allow for the option to link to more information in the comments, caption or description sections, the visual is the content for all intents and purposes since you can’t depend on someone clicking for more information.

When it comes to creating graphics for visual social networks, there are a few key ideas you should keep in mind to increase your reach.

People Want to be Educated.

While brainstorming what kind of quotes or information to include on your graphics, remember that people want to be educated. It’s fun to learn something new everyday – especially if that something is short, easily remembered and shocking, helpful, funny or particularly thought provoking.


People Want to be Motivated.

It’s true that people want to be educated and it’s also true that people want to be motivated. When it comes to writing or choosing motivational quotes for your graphics be sure to use a line that relates well to your target audience.

For example, if you are selling running shoes it would be better to use a quote about running than a generic motivational quote.


A running quote would be better than something generic like, “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts” by Eleanor Roosevelt. While the Roosevelt quote is a popular motivational quote (and can easily be applied to running), the Zapotek quote will resonate with your audience better because it is clearly specific to their situation.

People Want to be Inspired.

Very similar to the advice on motivation above, your social graphics should appeal to your audience’s design to be inspired. You’ll definitely want to choose your quotes or statistics carefully to ensure they resonate with your target market. You should also make sure any image you use in your graphic not only complements the quote but the industry you’re in as well.

People Want to Stroke Their Own Egos.

While coming up with educational, motivational and inspiring themes for your graphics, you also want to consider your audience’s ego and create accordingly. I don’t mean that your quotes or statistics should scream “I’m The World’s Best!” but some of them should subtly touch on stroking the ego.


People Want to Look at Pretty Colors.

When selecting which images and text colors to use in your graphic, strongly consider your target audience. Analyze the type of graphics that are already doing really well in your industry. Which colors come up most often?

Also consider the general psychology of color theory. For example, studies show that both men and women tend to really like blue and dislike brown.

Additionally, in general you should keep warm colors and cool colors separate:


But most of all, follow trends and use colors that blend well with your products.




You can see Nike uses neon-yellow text in many of their graphics. This pairs well with their popular neon-yellow sneakers that they debuted at the 2012 Olympics.


As you can see, the most highly engaging graphics have a sound strategy behind them. It's not enough to just throw some text on an image and hope your community "likes" it. Choose your words and colors carefully and you'll be rewarded by your community.


Mash Bonigala

CEO & Founder, SpellBrand

Mash loves working with small to medium businesses and helps them achieve the look, feel and search results of a Fortune 500 company. Mash's strategy, branding & marketing company, SpellBrand Inc., was founded in 1998. You can follow him on Twitter @Bonigala.

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Posted on March 5th 2013 at 12:08PM

Does anyone have any favorite user friendly programs they use to make eye catching graphics for clients?

Posted on March 6th 2013 at 11:17AM

Hi Nycole, photoshop is probably the go-to program for most people. However, almost all of the graphics in the above article could have easily been made using Pixlr is like a free, light version of photoshop.

Posted on March 6th 2013 at 11:53AM

Thank you! I will check out tonight.

Stephen Tamlin
Posted on March 6th 2013 at 5:10AM

Great article Mash, with some fantastic examples.

Nycole I use Adobe Fireworks which isn't as flexible and extensive as photoshop but it's easier to use and specific for screen graphics. It's worth it's price tage.

Also have a look at Power Point. It's a very flexible piece of software which can be used to create graphics. Look at this:


Posted on March 6th 2013 at 11:19AM

Hey Stephen, thanks a lot. 

I agree, Power Point can easily be used to create graphics like the ones in this article. I also like to recommend which is like a free, light version of Photoshop. 

Posted on March 6th 2013 at 11:54AM

Thank. How did I forget Power Point! I'll give that a try and look into Fireworks.

Posted on March 6th 2013 at 5:58PM

You just got me to read a 600-word Nike ad. Kudos.