With research showing that social media posts with images are shown to get up to 2.3x more engagement than those without, it’s no wonder that people are looking to find content that shows instead of tells. But because this is isn’t a secret to any marketer, you’ll notice your social posts competing with a stream of other visually appealing images on news feeds.
This means that you’ll need to have an understanding of which types of images actually resonate with your audience. This article provides tips to help you come up with a solid social image strategy, which can in turn, help improve conversion rates.
7 tips to make your brand’s social media content visually effective to your viewers
As alluded to earlier, merely adding visuals to your social posts will no longer be enough to capture the attention and imagination of your audience enough to merit engagement. To help you be more effective with your use of visuals, here are seven tips to help optimize customer engagement.
2.Brand your social media presence
It’s been found that humans can form an impression in as little as 50 milliseconds. This means that a well thought out image accompanied by a witty caption may not have the time to resonate with your audience before they form an impression.
To work around this, you’ll need to have a recognizable social branding, which doesn’t only require a compelling social logo – it’s going to take consistency. As you can see with the example below from Blue Star Donuts, their social profiles have that recognizable blue star as their social logo. It is then accompanied by visually stimulating images of their products. The combination of the two across their channels allows them to communicate their brand value at first glance.
2. Choose images that are easy to digest
In a similar vein to being easily recognizable, you’re going to want to use images that are easy to understand. With a ton of content clamouring for audiences’ attention, you’ll want to use an image that quickly conveys your message.
It could be an animated text on loop, as Adobe Spark does below.
Or you could go a step further and utilize technology that’s gaining popularity. GoPro does this well with their VR videos, which not only show how much fun you can have with their products, it also allows audiences to interact with their content – a boon for any social post.
3. Use a variety of image types and formats
While there’s something to be said about consistency, there’s also great value in being consistently entertaining. And with platforms like Instagram regularly introduces new features and image formats, it would be wise to leverage your audiences’ interest in these to your advantage.
But it’s not just Stories features, different formats, and optimal Instagram image sizes you can play around with, you can also utilize the following to help your visual messaging:
- Use infographics to relay facts and stats.
- Illustrate how your products and services can be best used.
- Add screenshots to your tutorial videos.
- Create a graphical summary of your posts.
4. Go beyond static images and upload social media-specific videos
Videos can generate up to 34% more conversions as it makes content easier to digest for 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.
5. Optimize your visual content for SEO
Articles with relevant images get 94% more views, on average, compared to articles without images. This is because audiences respond well to the combination of text and visuals. Additionally, 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. As well, there are a number of tools that can help make creating infographics that much easier.
- 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.
One study found that 62% of millennials prefer the development of visual search over any other new technology. And with visual search continuing to trend, 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
6. 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 and give them a behind-the-scenes look at your new projects and events. 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.
7. 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 tools such as Canva, VSCO, and Adobe Photoshop Express that can spice things up even if you’re using stock photos. But of course, if you have the resources, the best case for you is to develop your own design team 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.