Are you using visuals in your social media marketing strategy? Would you like to learn how to create more effective images for your social media campaigns?
Visuals have become an essential part of social media marketing, with the fastest growing social networks (Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) all putting a larger emphasis on image and video content. This then raises consumer expectation more broadly - even on the more established networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) posts with visuals now drive the highest engagement.
If you're not creating and using visual elements in your content, you're likely missing out on a ton of engagement, and the opportunities that extend from that.
Here are some key tips on how to create effective images for your social media campaigns.
1. Create different images for each social network
Each social network is different - the images that drive high levels of engagement one won't necessarily perform the same on another.
For example on Instagram images with more background space do well...
Whereas the opposite is true on Pinterest...
There were also other key differences - on Pinterest reddish-orange images do well, while on Instagram blues perform better.
The study underlines the need to create different images for different social media platforms, instead of just sharing the same one everywhere.
Before creating an image, take a look at the best practices for the platform/s you're looking to post to, including image dimensions, color trends, patterns, etc. Only after you have this information can you ensure you're maximizing your image performance..
2. Have a goal for each image
Before you create an image, you also need to consider the goal you're trying to achieve with it - i.e. drive traffic, increase engagement, get followers, etc. This will help you create an image that will align that outcome.
For example if you wanted to drive more engagement on your Facebook Page, you could create an image with an engaging quote or fact like the above one from UberFacts.
But if you were looking to drive traffic to a blog post, you might be better off going with the auto-generated link thumbnail or similar enticing image, like this one from Content Marketing Institute.
The aim here is to generate curiosity and get the person to click on the image and check out the post.
You should always try to have one goal in mind and creating each image. If you have too many goals, you could end up trying too many things, whch can confuse your social media followers and deliver poor results.
3. Always keep your audience in mind
People are only going to click on your image, share it or like it if it resonates with them. This is why you always need to keep your audience in mind and create images they want to see.
You can do this by considering colors (what are the dominant colors on posts your audience has responded best to in the past?), patterns, and fonts. If you're not sure what types of images your audience wants to see, you can use surveys and polls to find out, or you could examine the successful posts from your competitors or people in your field (search via hashtags is an option) to getter a better idea of what's resonating with your target audience.
4. Use background images
Anyone can quickly create beautiful and effective visuals by starting with background images, as opposed to starting with a blank page.
Using an effective background image can make it much easier to create a great, effective visual post - you can come up wth a beautiful image within seconds or minutes using inexpensive tools like Canva and Stencil.
You can find hundreds and thousands of background photos and designs that are credit and royalty free online. Just download them and add your text.
If you want to take the extra step you can take your own photos or hire a designer to create original background images for you.
You could even use user-generated content - a tool that can help you quickly find user generated content on Instagram is Yotpo.
Yotpo will not only help you find the image, but it'll also make it easy for you to ask permission from the creator of the image so you can use it in your marketing. You can then directly share the image on Instagram, or even on other social platforms like Pinterest.
5. Add your text, illustrations and brand your images
After you choose your background images, it's time to add your text.
If you're using any of the aforementioned mentioned tools, you'll have ready to use templates that make it easy to add the text in the right places.
For best results, choose one or two templates and use them for all the images you create, as this will help develop brand consistency in your images.
You can accompany the text with an illustration or two - if you use an image creation tool, they'll have a library of illustrations and icons that you can add with ease.
After you add the text and illustrations you can then brand your image even further by adding your company URL or logo. This way people will always know that you created it, even if someone else shares it.
These are just a couple of key ways that you can use to create better, more engaging visual elements for your content. Follow the above steps and you'll be able to create effective images that perform extremely well on visual-centric social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and more.