A Guide to Creating Visual Content for Social Media Marketing
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by James Daily, Content Manager at Flash Essay
Social media marketing remains one of the most important aspects of brand promotion. Whether you are an independent blogger or a company representative, social media matters now more than ever.
But how can we attract new audiences while also retaining the existing customer base familiar with our products? Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have their distinct styles of visual content that appeals to their audience.
Visual content creation strategies can improve our engagement as well as provide an adequate communication channel throughout different social media platforms. What are some of the most important guidelines to follow when it comes to creating visual content for social media?
Content Creation Timeline
Proper planning and scheduling should always precede content creation. Whether you are a designer or a writer yourself or are delegating work to someone else, try to develop a timeline before creating anything. A good way to get featured on social media and become viral is to follow a strict personal schedule.
If your followers know which days are reserved for what type of content, they will automatically start checking their news feeds. Having a concrete timeline to work with can be beneficial both to you and your followers alike.
Choosing Resources Wisely
Visual content creation can be tricky. Designers and professional content creators know how much trouble you can get into over wrongful copyright use, even if it happens by accident. Whenever you use visual content, there are several factors you should consider:
- Stock photographs need to be free for commercial use – otherwise, you may face penalties or infringement charges.
- Creating content yourself (designing) should be done carefully – consistency and quality are important.
- Lifting completely designed visual content is a no-no. It’s better to build your own design skills than lift content.
- Taking photos yourself means that you need to protect them from infringement. Creative Commons is a good solution for social media marketing content.
- Collaborations (cooperation) should always be annotated – never claim you are an independent creator if you are getting help from someone.
Implement Text into Multimedia
Posting plain text on social media is often ineffective. Users have a much easier time sharing and understanding your content if a visual context is involved. This can be anything from a random blurred photograph to a relevant picture pointing to your text.
If you have any trouble with formatting your text, you can always take a look at ResumesCentre.com for professional writing help. Social media updates should always be accompanied by some form of visual content no matter how trivial the news might be.
Avoid plainly posting text on social media since that type of content is often reserved for specialized blogs and news websites and then linked back. This type of two-step text sharing is often the smartest move considering social media users expect short and direct messages instead of long-form texts.
Tell a Story
Posting content without context won’t work for long. Audiences expect consistency, storytelling, and quality above all else. This means that every piece of content you post should coincide with your brand, statements and mission goals. Every piece of visual content should be clearly branded so that people know who you are as soon as they see your content. You can do this in several ways:
- Choose distinct fonts, colors and visual elements that repeat in each subsequent piece of content.
- Use your logo, tagline or contact information in the footer or header of your content for easy identification.
- Follow a content structure that revolves around recognizable topics in the context of your niche.
- Don’t be afraid to use blogging to your advantage – visual content can boost your traffic via social media.
Use Trendy Visual Content
Depending on your audience and brand, you can use trending topics and content to your heart’s content. These often include funny taglines, popular images, and topics that are currently “hot” commodity. Using these to your advantage can significantly raise your visibility to new audiences and convert them to followers and subscribers.
- Memes are a good way of attracting younger audiences and those that are familiar with pop culture. One of the best meme sites with a creation tool attached is 9gag.
- Gifs are a good way of using visual content to add some humor or added value to your main point. Gifs are often created using movies, games, TV shows and even interview footage (and are free to use without copyright infringement).
Collect Feedback Often
Your comments section is the number one source for any feedback you might receive. Rarely will a person send you private messages or emails in order to complain about a piece of content. The fastest way for anyone to leave feedback is to comment on the content itself.
Take time to evaluate these comments and gather objective feedback that can later be implemented. This is one of the best ways to upgrade your content from its infancy and ensure that your audiences are content with the service you provide for them.
Visual marketing strategies for social media depend on the type of audience you are working with and your main product itself. If you are a fully-digital entity (like a blogger or a designer) you should implement different strategies as opposed to someone that sells retail products (like shampoo or food supplements). Use your best judgment and don’t be afraid to ask your audience what they want – they will often know exactly what to tell you.
James Daily is a professional writer and content manager at Flash Essay. When he is not involved in career-related tasks, he follows his other many interests, including astronomy, psychology, and cinema. Feel free to contact him via his personal blog Brainished.