Vincent Sevilla is a professional web designer and inbound strategist for Grit PH. His goal? To innovate ideas, create good art, and to travel all the best places in the Philippines. You can follow him on Twitter @easyvince.
With research showing that social media posts with images are shown to get up to 3.2x more engagement than those without images, it’s no wonder that people are looking to find content that shows instead of tells. As humans only perceive a limited amount of information overload that they receive on a daily basis, whether it be their social circles’ posts to international news transferred instantly to their feeds, individuals scrolling through social media drones out most of what they see online to either what’s informative, shocking, or entertaining.
Because the common internet user is no longer as easily swayed by text alone, brands have incorporated into their social media strategy the need to improve the conversion rate of their posts with the use of visual imagery. Mixing both the use of effective copywriting and eye-catching visuals, social media marketers have made compelling success from using visual imagery as an effective tool for engaging with their customers.
7 tips to make social media content of your brand visually effective:
Just the use of adding visual elements to your content won’t be enough to make your posts more visible. It takes planning, research, and proper utilization of social media tools to maximize the effectiveness of using visual imagery in social media marketing. Here are seven tips that can help you and your team develop a more efficient and effective design strategy in promoting your brand.
Brand your social media presence
The first few visual elements that a user will see of your brand is its name, display picture, and its cover banner. Every other element and content of your brand will only ever be seen if people are drawn to seeing what those three key ingredients have to offer. Because of this, you need to ensure that you have compelling content to subscribe to. This can be in the form of having engaging, entertaining, or informative posts that relate to your target demographic.
One possible way to promote your brand’s mission and vision is by supporting advocacies. Brands that support advocacies such as mental health awareness and LGBT rights make use of frames that can be used for other users’ DPs. Facebook frames allow your followers to support the cause while making it known that they advocate for it and so do you to their social circles. Be sure that you’re aware of all the quirks of the platforms that you use so that you can capitalize on spreading the message and the visibility of your brand through your own followers.
Choose images that are easy to digest
With research on posts with images showing an increase of over 47% click-through-rate for websites, it cannot be denied that images play a huge part in a brand’s attractiveness. Brands use a mix of images that are eye-catching but not too jarring to attract engagement. Minimalist design choices have become increasingly popular as they can represent a simple yet effective visual iconography of topics and issues in a unique and stylized way. Above all, you should make the visuals of your posts compelling for your target market to see what you have to offer to entice them to know more about your brand.
Use a variety of image types and formats
Though it can be argued that users are slowly moving away from the social media juggernaut that is Facebook, it still holds the crown for having the highest number of monthly users compared to its other competitors. With the flexibility of interaction that’s made to cater to different industries, it’s still a viable space for brands and businesses to enable their brand to flourish.
Integrated mobile-driven businesses exercise the use of optimizing their images to cater to mobile interfaces. Because of this, any brand that plans to utilize social media platforms for their social media campaigns needs to be in the know with regards to platforms and their image types both for desktop and mobile devices. Dimensions for Instagram image sizes, headers, DPs and the like should be common knowledge that your creatives team should know about.
Thankfully enough, there are aides available to make sure you don’t mess up with your images. Facebook developer tools can be used to review your posts with regards to link previews for articles and shared posts. Keeping a close eye on your visual content and how each type attracts different types of engagement from your followers will enable you to plan more effective campaigns in the future.
Go beyond static images and upload social media-specific videos
Videos generate up to 80% more conversion as it makes content easier to digest with individuals on the go. Capitalize on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube that allow you to post both short and long videos that can be used to engage your audience.
Subtitles are integral to engaging people on the go as over 85% of videos on Facebook are viewed without the need for sound. Optimize your videos in a way that they can work just as effective on mute as it does with sound on. Incorporate animated texts or subtitles to highlight the key points of your videos to make it easier for your viewers to digest the information in your posts.
Optimize your visual content for SEO
Content-specific images increase the number of views to post to over 94% compared to those without images. SEO doesn’t just affect keywords in your copy, but it also uses visual search as a factor in your ranking. Optimizing your visual content to include keywords that relate to the subject matter of your posts is an effective way to increase your brand’s visibility, this is why it’s integral to have thumbnails in videos that effectively convey what the content is about. Using varied forms of images can make it easier for search engines to pick up on your content:
- Infographics: Instead of reading a manuscript on informing people about your product, you may opt to use infographics to visually present your numbers and statistics in an enticing and attractive way. Visually represented data incur over 12% more traffic and over 200% more shares compared to posts that do not make use of images.
- Visual instructions: There’s no better communication tool than providing visual guides to your audience. Making use of visual imagery through how-to photos or screenshots will make it easier for customers to follow you on posts that are concerned with product instructions, promo guidelines, and even help desk processes.
Visual search takes up a significant chunk of search engine traffic take up to 10% of the total search results. Make sure that your images are indexed with strong keywords and descriptions through their ALT tags in the source code so that it’ll be easier for the engine to include it in searches.
Leverage Facebook or Instagram Live
One of the many invaluable assets of social media platforms is its live-streaming function. Facebook and Instagram offer live streaming which allows your subscribers to follow your content with regards to the behind the scenes of current projects or events underway. Allowing your customers to engage with you live adds another layer of being able to interact with your brand. Having them interact with you and each other by sharing their experiences in following an ongoing event makes it easier for them to feel that they’re a part of a community.
Make sure that your followers are made aware of potential live streams so that they can tune in and make time to be a part of it to engage with your posts. Awareness is key in hyping up your viewers to look forward to special events, especially if they have a customer’s incentive to stay tuned either in the form of entertainment value or through giveaways and prizes to be won.
Observe copyright laws
Making use of copyrighted images is a simple way for your brand to go down in court due to infringement. Penalties and legal ramifications aren’t forgiving as to whether you accidentally used a copyrighted image or not. Free stock images are often the course of action for brands as most of them are free for use. On the other hand, making use of licensed images may be tricky as you might have to ask permission or to buy the license itself to have access to using it for your products.
Thankfully enough, simple and free photo-editing software such as Canva can spice things up even if you’re using stock photo images with the addition of simple text-editing. But the best case for you is to make a habit of having your own team design for your content. A brand manual can make it easier for you to deal with quality control while ensuring that the images and graphics used for content are in line with your brand’s message.
Proper communication is the key to creating an effective digital marketing strategy. The effectiveness of a brand’s image is only as strong as the team behind it, that includes your graphic designers, marketing heads and social media managers who coordinate, execute and maintain the consistency of your brand’s look.
Curating a content strategy guide can be an effective solution to ensuring that you have your own personal rulebook in knowing how your followers want to engage with your content and how effective certain types of digital marketing strategies are to them. Train your team in how to research and develop content, with posts properly studied and analyzed to see whether they were effective or ineffective in reaching your success indicators. By keeping a close eye on how your followers respond to the type of content you produce, you’ll be able to cater what works for them by keeping them enthusiastic in looking forward to more content by engaging with your brand.