As a brand, you should understand the value of a solid social media strategy. It’s always been important that you reach out to your customers where they’re most active, but in a world where pretty much everyone is connected on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, these are the channels that a lot of us marketers now focus on. As audiences increasingly demand more visual content, these channels act as the perfect place to blend creative formats into your content in order to see higher engagement and a boost in sales. Discover how to enhance your social strategy by creating better visual content…
Include Images To Enhance Social Posts
Let’s start with the basics. The chances are that you probably use images throughout your social strategy already. Adding a picture into a social post can increase engagement, make the post more shareable, and simply make it look nicer too.
But it’s worth confirming exactly what kind of image will really enhance your social posts. For example, sharing original content is a big positive as it gives your brand credibility by proffering something unique and genuine.
However, that pales if your photo is a grainy, poorly-framed shot taken on an old smartphone. But with smartphone technology improving and a plethora of simple photo editing suites available for free online, it’s fairly easy for every brand, even those on a budget, to create unique photo content for their social sites.
If your budget is one of time rather than money, it’s still possible to provide if not truly original content, then at least a close approximation of it.
Open photo sharing sites such as Morguefile, Unsplash and Burst offer thousands of unique, royalty-free photos. With such a wide variety on offer, and the fact that a lot of marketers haven’t heard of these up and coming stock-photo sites, it’s unlikely that another brand will pick the same image as you.
Validate Your Brand With Video
If you’ve been to any digital marketing conference this year, you will have no doubt heard that video is ‘the next big thing’ and a marketing channel well worth investing in. Using video in your social content can result in 1200% more shares than copy and pictures together; a considerable figure that can pay dividends for your brand.
The efficacy of video lends itself, in part at least, to its flexibility. The creative format can be used for a diverse array of purposes, such as:
- Educational: provide authority and value to your audiences by educating them on issues related to your niche, e.g. a DIY company sharing a video on how to fix a boiler.
- Reviews or guides: deliver value by providing your customers with an overall review of your product or service, or by offering a walkthrough of how it can/should be used.
- Entertain: simply creating an entertaining video that will engage your audience can also help enhance your social output.
But don’t just use your social video as a means of pushing sales either. Incorporating an element of visual storytelling around your brand can be a great way to captivate viewers and encourage a more emotional response.
Storytelling on social is perfect if you’ve bought a new business and want to give it some personal branding. Simply create a video that tells a story around the business, extolling your USPs, outlining any charitable initiatives you may be involved in and presenting your business in a way that will appeal to your target audience. Next, share it on social media to get it to the masses and turn your new venture from a business into a unique brand.
To really take your video content further, consider branding them with custom thumbnails and intro/outro slides. These effectively serve as vanity cards that provide links to your homepage, contact details, and so on. Brand them by using the same uniform design across all your videos, including your business colours and logo throughout.
Memes Mean A Mightier Social Community
Once solely the domain of students and internet forums, memes have become legitimate pieces of visual content that brands of almost any industry can use. And just as emojis are slowly supplanting certain elements of digital conversations, so too are memes.
Using memes on social media helps strengthen a sense of community around your business. You can poke fun at yourself or your industry in a way that your audience can relate to, piquing their interest and grabbing their attention in an increasingly-noisy space.
But treading the fine line between excellent meme execution and a brand that seems to be trying too hard to be cool can be challenging. Before using memes, consider whether your target market is receptive to it. A quirky drinks brand? Perfect. A funeral director? Perhaps not.
Do your research: memes often go in trends, and what might be funny and current today might seem clumsy and dated tomorrow. Be sure to use them in the right context too. Plenty of brands have fallen afoul by using memes in an inappropriate context. Websites such as Know Your Meme can help ascertain what is current and how each meme should be used.
Intrigue Your Audience With Infographics
Infographics are also a surprisingly underutilised visual format that is perfect for enhancing your social strategy. They’re pretty, readable, and provide value in the form of easily digestible bite-size facts and figures.
And while they might seem the domain of B2B and stuffy, uninspiring products, infographics can work well across virtually any industry.
Yes, infographics would be perfect for a B2B audience looking to see why they need a certain accounting software. But equally, they can help entertain a B2C consumer base by providing some interesting stats about Valentine’s Day.
Infographics are also ideal as a springboard for generating sales. Use statistics to highlight a need your customer has, but isn’t aware of, for example: “people spend X amount of time in the kitchen”. You can then position your product as a solution to their new desire, such as a time-saving device that they need in their kitchen.
Take your infographics further by repurposing them into video content. Pick up a single statistic that resonates with your audience and turn it into a 15-second video clip, including a call-to-action for your product or service.
Social platforms and visual content work harmoniously together, delivering value and authority to your audience. As a result, you can see higher sales, more engagement, and a stronger relationship with your customers. By following the tips above you can take your visual content to the next level and significantly enhance your social strategy in turn.
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Victoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing expert and freelance writer who can usually be found browsing YouTube for inspiration. You can read more of her work on her blog Victoria Ecommerce.