Creating Powerful Visual Content for Social Media
What’s Our Story? We are Creators of Content, Makers of Mantras, Builders of Brands. In one short sentence we have just explained the essence of Knoxville Graphic House. The heart of successful social media marketing is storytelling. What's your story?
The next time you are standing in a room full of people and opportunities and someone asks you what your company does, don't give that run of the mill blurb, take the time to think of how you are different from your competitors. In a world that is saturated with content (unoriginal content), be the breath of fresh air. Big company or small, massive marketing budgets or no budget, all you need is a story, and every company has one.
We are going to break it down to you in 3 parts: Strategize, Tell Your Story, & Cultivate.
PART 1: Make a Plan - Strategize
Begin with a Marketing Plan. There are some key points to hit and if you get those, you can't go wrong. Everyone's marketing plan is different, every company is different. You should outline your Goals & Objectives; what's your mission and the vision of your company? It is important to write down your company culture. We take ours pretty seriously and you should too.
Who’s your audience? Where are they on social media? Are you B2B or B2C? All this information will help guide you down the right path. Did you know 2/3rds of all Americans use SM? (Marketing Land) And 88% of Businesses use SM. (Adweek) That 70% of Social Media time is spent on Phones. (Marketing Land) And SM users spend an average of 135 minutes per day online. (Statista) This type of information is found with just a little research on your part and will be valuable to you as you develop your marketing goals. Let's take a look at some neat facts when it comes to a few SM platforms....
The next step is to determine the challenges your company faces. Write each one out. You might want to increase brand awareness, maybe you need to drive sales, improve ROI, create a loyal fanbase, get a better idea of what is going on in your industry. Every company has challenges, only the ones that want to succeed focus each year on strategies to solve them. Did you know around 47% of companies outsource SM & Content Marketing. (Social Media Today) 78% of business now have dedicated teams for their SM (up from 67% in 2012). (Digital Marketing Institute) These companies see the importance that Social Media can play and understand that it takes many man hours to develop and consistently run. The companies that don't have the time or the manpower or the creativity look for firms that focus on SM success. Just like ours!
Gather inspiration, create mood boards. Look to companies that have a strong story and put together all of your thoughts into images, colors, fonts, etc. Get grade school and start cutting and pasting. What is the image you want to portray and be sure to include that.
Conduct an audit to asses your current SM use. Is it working? Is it not?
You'll have to have a budget. You never want to dive blindly into boosting SM without a monthly budget. You would be surprised at how far $75 can go, especially with the targeting technology that has been implemented in the past few years on all the platforms. So remember have a plan and know what you can afford.
Lastly you will need to put together a Social Strategy and set goals that you know are attainable. Find your recipe and research the best times for your industry to post per platform. Use this information and build a monthly content plan. The biggest mistake a company can make is to post randomly and inconsistently. Your content plan will have dates, times, platforms to use, special days & events, all in a custom calendar.
PART 2: Tell Your Story
Social Media is a competitive place that is cluttered with content, the good the bad and the ugly. So how do you deliver your content
without competing? If you haven't read the book Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne you should. The blue ocean is that awesome place where your approach is so unique it stands out easily. And on the flip side the red ocean is where little to no growth happens and everyone is fighting to stay alive in a super saturated market. We know where we would rather be! Seriously, read the book.
Example scenarios of great social media marketing tactics:
VanGoYourself.com. Museums are typically small and less funded for marketing operations so how do they become impactful with no budget? This group came up with the idea to encourage people to take a picture mimicking a piece of artwork on their site and repost it to different social media platforms. The goal was to get people interested in art. It worked so well it is being copied by other institutions all over the world and we just couldn't resist! Our Account Manager got in on the fun and let our designers dress him up in things they found around our office.
Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Many of their customers had issues with finding their nearest Cookie Booth when Cookie Season was in full swing. They wanted to drive booth searches on their official website and offer a mobile app. Using the Twitter App Install Campaign allowed users to easily download and open the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app from their twitter account. The result was a successful 19,500 app installations straight from Twitter!
Let's talk images. Invest in a quality camera because this is the most important tactic in Social Media. 75% to 90% of FB Ads performance is based on Images. (Consumer Acquisition) You can post creative team photos, customers, employees, behind the scenes, quote photos, infographics, etc. FB posts with images receive 2.3x more engagement than those without. (Hubspot) Just remember to keep those images top quality and think of taking them in a creative way. Steer away from stock photos unless you must, your followers will see right through them and they tend to be very impersonal when your are trying to tell a story. So add images to every post you can.
Videos or Bust. Think about all those people swiping over static text and images until they come to your moving content. It's an immediate attention grabber. 90% of online shoppers believe product videos help them make a purchasing decision. (SproutSocial) And 100 million hours of Video Content is watched on FB Daily and this fact comes directly from Facebook! About half of all SM videos last year were less than 2 min long. Remember that Instagram videos should be under 1 min.
Next comes your text. Have fun but get to the point. No one has time to read your giant book. Save that for your blog or linkedIn, where people are looking for a good read. Facebook posts with 80 characters or less receive 66% higher engagement. (HubSpot) Depending on the platform(s) you use do your homework and find the best text model for you.
For a company that has built a successful brand on storytelling you can look to Burt's Bees.
PART 3: Cultivate
Be Human - Like, share, comment, thank your followers, be a person not a machine. Customers spend 20-40% more money on companies who engage with them on SM (Social Media Today) Most users believe brands should respond to SM messages within 4 hours so be prepared to put in the hours.
Connect & Follow -Follow popular accounts in your Industry. Share industry articles. Track what is trending.
Hashtag often - Days of the week, Holidays, #Knoxville (Industry, National day of…) And don't be that guy that hashtags things that has nothing to do with their content!
Add Keywords to your profiles for search-ability. Put Links on websites, emails, and other platforms that direct straight to your SM accounts.
And lastly but most importantly run ads & track your results. Use metrics like reach, clicks, and engagement. And be consistent in your posting.
We hope this was helpful and will kick start your social media planning! If you are in search of an Agency to handle your social media then reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to help!