Content Marketing 101

Content Marketing is really simple: it’s using what you already know to market your brand for free. Here’s how to do it yourself:

  1. Identify your audience

  2. Figure our what value you can provide

  3. Explain it to them

  4. Give it to them

WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?

Your audience is anyone you want attention from. In a lot of instances, it is your customers - but it can also be people that will share your content to your customers, potential vendors, partners and those who just add to your credibility. 

Example: You are a Graphic Designer and your customer is Realtors. Your audience can include agents, property management, brokerages, interior designers and so on.

WHAT DO THEY NEED

The best piece of value you can provide to fill the needs of your audience, are your “secrets.” People want a reliable source for industry information, news, tricks of the trade and so forth.
Often the idea of giving away those “secrets” is met with reluctance. Why would I tell them how to do the service I am providing? It’s a strange misconception that has been embedded into our society.  The truth is, most people don’t have either the time, patience or skills to actually follow through with your information. People also like to understand - so if they “sort of get” how it works, they are far more likely to hire someone because they understand the need. 

There will be people who take your ideas and run with them. That’s just a numbers game. Acknowledge that not everyone is a customer and not everyone should be.  Those who do actually value your input and use it, will still bring back a ton of value in referrals and credibility.

WHAT CAN YOU PROVIDE

Make a piece of content (video, podcast, written form, etc) that walks your audience through a process, step-by-step. Make sure to highlight all of the hacks, tips and so forth with straightforward, exercisable actions.

The NUMBER ONE KEY is that the step-by-step guide doesn’t finish with “hire me.” That is the fastest way to discrediting your information. It needs to remain stand-alone without you

Example: You do graphic designs for real estate agents: create a step by step guide on how to make posters/flyers on the app Canva. 

HOW TO GIVE IT TO THEM

Find out where your audience is spending time and get your “info” in front of them. Because you’re not selling anything, more people will actually share and distribute it. 

Some Examples of Where to Share:

  • Connect with ppl on linkedin 

  • Fb groups (get permission from the administrator) 

  • LinkedIn groups (get permission from the administrator) 

  • Email directly

  • Posting it on all your own social channels

  • Offer it to bloggers/podcasts as guest content


So that’s the gist of it. Questions? Shoot our founder an email at mike@socialmediahouse.to. We’ll be happy to share our “secrets.”


How to use Instagram Stories Effectively

10 tips on using Instagram Stories for Business:

  1. Post stories as often as you can. Most brands try to post once a day. 

  2. Unless you have the time and budget to produce a show, the content in your stories can be treated as “behind the scenes” of your business. Since the content disappears after 24 hours, it can be as generic as a staff member’s birthday or work on new projects, or really, whatever you can produce lots of, easily.

  3. You can also repurpose content for stories, so reuse some of the same photos or videos a few weeks or months later. 

  4. Utilize the features that promote engagement like polls or questions. Users like to engage with the brands they care about, but only if you make it easy for them. These features also help you find out what your customers/audience want more of. You can quite literally ask them what kind of content they’d like to see, how frequently and in what format. The people who respond will be the ones who actually watch and engage with your content, so listening to them can be really helpful.

  5. Use stories to share posts from other people, especially customers or industry partners. It really helps build the community. 

  6. Repost tagged photos and stories in your stories. It’s a great way to showcase work or mentions from happy clients.

  7. Utilize the “highlights” sections to categorize and save your content since it disappears after 24 hours. Separate that content under categories like “clients” or “life at [brand name]”

  8. Use the “locations” function when you post stories by tagging your location. This will hugely improve your reach as Instagram will populate your content under that location’s story. That means anyone in your general area can see your story even if they don’t follow you.

  9. Hashtags for stories work the same way.

  10. Use video as much as you can. Here, you can get away with unproduced, rough video more-so than on your feed.

How To Run an Influencer Campaign

Influencer Campaigns are all the buzz right now, for good reason. In the next 2 years, expect a whopping 10 billion dollars to go into influencer marketing - with that same amount, decreasing in print spend.


What is a Social Media Influencer?

Someone who has a voice of authority in a particular niche or industry who uses a social platform as the vehicle for their influence. This could be a blogger, youtube star, videographer, comedian, activist, writer, athlete, celebrity, and so on.


So how do I run an Influencer Campaign?

Running an influencer campaign isn’t very difficult - but running a successful campaign that actually provides value to the specific goals you have for your business, takes careful planning, execution and strategy.

There are 6 basic steps:

  1. Determine your goals

  2. Establish type of campaign

  3. Identifying your influencer

  4. Communication strategy

  5. Coordinating campaign

  6. Measuring results

Step 1: Determine your goals

There’s three broad categories that basically all measurable goals can be broken into:

Brand Awareness/Credibility

Lead Generation

New Target Audience

Establish an actionable goal. Here’s what that looks like:

A) I want to host an influencer experience so I can have enough photo and video content for my next year of social media – and develop meaningful relationships for any future events/products I release.

B) I want to drive a ton more traffic to my blog/website.


Step 2:  Establish Type of Campaign

Here are the most successful, proven and popular types of campaigns:

Giveaways

Contests

Discount Codes

Lifestyle Promotion

Experiences

Ambassador Campaign

Reviews / Instructional

The type of campaign you choose really varies on your business, product, service and goals.


Step 3: Identifying Your Influencer

First things first, expect to compensate your influencer. There are far too many crappy marketers out there asking individuals to do stuff for them for free - as if it is some great honour to be associated to your brand. It’s not. Influencers work HARD. Their brand is their business. Respect that.


The general rule for compensation per post/piece can be broken down into the following:

.01/follower, so 100 followers per $1.00. $500 means 50,000 followers.


Is my influencer a GOOD influencer?

Calculate their engagement and check for fake followers.

To learn how to do this, check out the following link written by one of our favourite marketing experts, Caley Dimmock.

Fake Followers? WHAT?

Yeah, they exist. And too many marketers look at big following numbers and completely forget about engagement - which is really what matters. Faking engagement is hard to do.

Check on an influencer’s engagement rate is a really simple way to figure out if their followers are fake. If a users engagement rate is WAY below the average it is fair to assume at least a chunk of their following is not real. Avoid these influencers. Not because it’s unethical (though it is that) but because when they promote your material, their audience won’t actually care.

THE MORE SERIOUSLY YOU TAKE YOUR INFLUENCER, THE MORE SERIOUSLY THEY WILL TAKE YOU

Step 4: Communication Strategy

Reach out via DM or email. We’ve developed a formula for simple, effective outreach that gets results. Do not exceed 6 sentences. No one has time to read an essay.

  1. Say hi.

  2. BRIEFLY introduce yourself

  3. Compliment/ compare brands. “We loved that post you did about...”

  4. THE ASK (one sentence)

  5. Provide contact information

Here’s an actual example of an outreach we did on behalf of Dymatize Canada:

Hey [name]!

I’m [name], the Community Manager of Dymatize Canada’s social team. We’re a supplement brand based in Toronto and are looking for a couple of fitness influencers to work with our brand. I really liked the post you made last week about the right kind of diet for intense training and would love to chat with you about opportunities to represent our brand. If you have any interest, please shoot me an email at [email].

Cheers,

[name]


Step 5: Coordinating Campaign

After you’ve found your influencer and reached out…

  1. Outline the deliverables on both sides. Make sure they know what you want from them and ensure they know what you’ll be compensating them with – whether it is a product or a pay check.

  1. Prepare hype for the campaign by posting about it. Instagram Stories is a great place to push that hype. Make sure your community is pumped.

  2. Campaign Launch! Start tracking metrics that relate to your goal such as traffic to the website, followership increase, impressions and so on. Make sure you share all posts or created content across all of your channels.

Step 6: Measure Results

Thank the influencer, provide compensation and make sure you receive all original photos and videos. You’ll be able to use them later.

Now take a deep dive into your analytics and find out what worked best. Some important metrics to consider in your reporting are:

Website Traffic
Sales Data
Social Media Growth
Influencer Insights

That’s it.

Influencer campaigns are truly one of the most effective marketing techniques of 2019, and will only continue to grow in the next few years. If you’re looking for a deeper dive into all this, email our founder at mike@socialmediahouse.to

4 Things Social Media House is Doing Differently

At its foundation, we’re a digital marketing and consulting agency designed to improve marketing inefficiencies, increase ROI and provide insight on what works and what doesn’t in all elements of our clients’ marketing — so they can focus on operational functionality, making their customers happy, and doing what it is they actually do.

That being said, a lot of digital marketing agencies are pretty good at what they do.

Here are 5 things SMH is doing differently:

  1. Hyper customization. We craft a mix of social ad campaigns and training based on the specific goals of our clients, to help them get where they need to be as efficiently as possible. We’re good at it because we’ve worked with hundreds of clients across dozens of different industries. The parallels across industries allow us to have a broader understanding of what can work, where.

  2. We’re all about value. Like teaching people #DIYMarketing and offering up a ton of tangible, actionable information on running your own social media accounts, social media marketing and digital advertising through our blog, social feeds, podcast and youtube channel. Seriously, if you want to learn how to run marketing campaigns, grow your social media accounts, build Facebook and Instagram ads or run influencer marketing - you can learn how to do everything yourself.

  3. We do workshops and custom strategy sessions for social media, literally training teams and individuals how to create social media content, manage social media accounts, and run social marketing and advertising. We’re putting the power of social communications back into the hands of business owners - who are the ones who know their brand's voice, direction and essence, best. It’s actually a pretty unique product - since most agencies are looking to take on more clients, not teach them how to be independent.

  4. Lean Marketing. Media buy doesn't necessarily equate ROI. In the beginning, we didn’t have a lot of money to play with so we learned how to get very good at leveraging small amounts of money to get good returns. We’re efficient as hell and it’s earned us a really good reputation.


Since launching in August 2015, we tripled our revenue after our first year - and doubled that the next.  We’ve worked with over 300 brands and businesses across dozens of industries. We are recognized as a top Branding Agency on DesignRush, and have built a name for ourselves in the digital marketing world - and we’re just getting started.

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10 Life Hacks for Social Media Managers

Social Media used to be a thing we did for fun and now, some brands have entire departments for Instagram Stories alone. It can completely consume your time, energy and sanity. As a social media manager, it’s really easy to get stuck in a cyclical trap where you feel like you’re getting nothing done yet you’re “working” all the time. Organization is important for many job descriptions, but for social media in particular… you’re completely f*cked without systems.

Here are ten life hacks for the Social Media Manager, by SMH’s very own Social Media Manager:

1. Track everything. Divide and conquer by brand or task. If you manage more than one, make sure you keep them isolated. Maybe Monday morning you only work on brand A and move to brand B in the afternoon. Or respond to ALL comments before moving on to engaging with other brands.

2. Turn off notifications on your mobile device. Many high functioning professionals allot specific times to read emails exclusively. Notifications will pull your mind from your current task and continuously distract from what you’re working on.

3. Use an agency planner and coordinator such as Agorapulse, Hootsuite, or Later.

4. Within your choice program- actually learn how to use all its functions. Don’t use facebook notifications for one brand and Instagram on mobile for another. That’s the easiest way to miss things.  Seriously, take the time to learn how to do everything within your program. It will make you better at your job and it will keep you sane.

5. Step away from your computer between brands. Do some stretches, whatever. Without a physical break between adopting the voice and mentality of your next brand, it’s easy to slip into monotone - where basically all of your stuff looks and sounds the same across brands. Not good.

6. Create all your calendars in the same week (or two). If you can, try to build at least most of your content calendar a quarter at a time.  When you’re in the creating mindset, it often helps to stay there for as long as possible. You don’t need to “refresh” yourself as frequently.

7. Set aside an hour each morning (or evening) to go through all DM’s and respond. Do it systematically. Do the same for all communication. Do not jump back and forth between brands. You will go crazy (I speak from experience)

8. Use tools like Awario for competitor research. Make sure you’re keeping up with the Jones’.

9. Learn the basics of graphic design, video editing and photography. There are apps for all of those things. For in platform content, like Instagram stories or Facebook posts - its a lot easier to pump out the content yourself than get your team’s graphic designer (or hire one) to make you a photo that says “Happy Thursday.” Apps like Wordswag, Videoshop, VSCO, A Color Story, Lightroom, Snapseed and Canva - will really help.

10. Build or download a social media calendar that can help you stay on trend and ensure you don’t miss major dates. Download ours for free here.

Three reasons why the #metoo movement needs to carry on into 2019

  1. For the first time in history, more women are seeking help to rebuild their lives after sexual assault.

  2. More women are reporting sexual assault to police.

  3. More Canadian businesses, employees and employers are reviewing their approach to sexual harassment complaints.

women's tshirt

This March is Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day, so we wanted to bring your attention to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to gender equality in Canada. Today, we invite you to donate to a foundation that refuses to forget.

Donate to “After Me Too” here: https://www.aftermetoo.com/

Read the full article here: https://www.canadianwomen.org/blog/three-reasons-why-the-metoo-momentum-must-continue-into-2019/


The Ultimate Social Media Content Calendar

Welcome to SMH’s social media content calendar for 2019! Whether it’s National Cereal Day, Mental Health Week or Indigenous History Month, this free downloadable calendar will make sure your brand’s social media is keeping up with trending topics.

Not every holiday relates to every industry or every brand, but if you have pretty much all of them in one place, you can pick and choose what is relevant to you.

Download below!

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YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE FULL CALENDAR: HERE

OR Sign up to get more great content from the team.

Instagram Marketing in 2019

In 2018 Facebook & YouTube dealt with major privacy issues. Snapchat nearly ran out of money. Twitter took another dive and spent most of the year killing off bots and fake accounts. But Instagram introduced global shopping, a couple dozen new features, social responsibility filters for things like bullying and mental health – and took over the influencer marketing world.

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Currently, over 500 million people use Instagram every single day – which is close to 60% of total users.

Why is Instagram blowing up the internet?

Because of its unique nucleus: pushing individuals to self expression, through the most popular form of digestible content on earth – photos and video – while policing brands to promote social responsibility through excellent, beautiful content that people want to consume.

What does this mean for 2019?

  1. Organic reach is going to drop. It already did in 2018, but the more users on the platform sharing and consuming more and more content, the less people are going to see your content. If you go into a small grocery store first thing in the morning in your hometown, chances are you’re going to run into someone you know or someone you recognize. But if you head to the city centre on a friday night, surrounded by thousands of people – chances of bumping into people you know (even if there are 5 times as many) are much slimmer. Make sense? That’s how saturation and reach works.

  2. Buying followers or using bots are a thing of the past. Meaning, they still exist, but it’s very uncool to jump on that bandwagon. But bits bigger than off trend: the chances of you being booted off the platform, penalized and losing all your social proof – are drastically climbing. Instagram is getting smarter and they can afford to be far more exclusive between people and brands who’ve actually put in the work to build and curate a beautiful feed and following – and those who haven’t.

  3. Instagram Shopping is going to change the world. Okay maybe it’s not as breakthrough as the internet – but it’s not too far off. Instagram Shopping essentially adopted a pinterest hybrid, where users tap on the photo and the platform then provides details on the items within the image with links to purchase on mobile. 72% of Instagram users have purchased an item through Instagram shopping already – and a lot of people don’t even know that it’s a real thing yet. That’s going to change in 2019. In fact, as of last month, 98% of all fashion brands are on Instagram and either haveenabled Instagram shopping – or plan to.

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What we can expect in 2019 for Instagram Marketing…

Influencer Marketing continues to skyrocket past all other forms of digital marketing in both popularity and effectiveness. Paired with Instagram Shopping right in the platform – expect this trend to continue. Keep an eye out for micro influencers specifically.

Micro Influencer: a personal brand or individual on a platform who’s built their influence and fame through the content they share.

  • Use social media a vehicle for success

  • Typically use their profiles as lead generation tools for business or service they provide outside of the platform

  • Active members of a niche community (yoga, fashion, tech, fitness etc)

  • Hyper engaged in their social media accounts, communities and relationships

  • Typically 5-50K followers on Instagram

Mainstream influencers have gradually reduced their effectiveness and people are really sick of famous celebrities. Authenticity is the new “in,” mass marketed to the individual as self expression. People want to support the up-and-comer – but like, you need to know who they are too. Since 2017, influencer marketing doubled. And 93% of those campaigns ran through Instagram. Youtube and Facebook tied for second, but their numbers topped at half of instagram’s bandwidth.

One of the coolest things about advertising on Instagram is the ways users interact with ads, sponsored content and brands. While on Facebook, only 32% of users interact with brands on a regular basis – that number jumps to almost 70% on Instagram.

Why? It all boils down to one key factor: Facebook tells you why to buy from them, while Instagram shows you.

Instead of avoiding sponsored content, Instagram users don’t care if it came from their friend or a really cool brand. It’s all about the content. And it keeps getting better.

Sources

http://business.instagram.com

https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/important-instagram-stats/e

https://www.websitehostingrating.com/instagram-statistics/

https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-marketing-industry-report-2018/

https://www.ecommerceceo.com/why-brands-should-embrace-instagram-instead-of-facebook/

How To Edit Video for Social Media

There’s no doubt that social media is jam-packed with video content. Over 90% of mobile users watch videos on their phones every day, and according to a 2018 HubSpot survey, that isn’t even enough for consumers – 54% said they want to see more video content from brands they support.

So posting video content is a good idea, but you’ll want to make sure your videos are easily consumable. Here are 6 important tips to remember when editing video content for social media:

Check your content

We like watching video content, but what that actually means is we like watching goodvideo content (read: attention-grabbing, simple, and easy to consume). Firstly, and most importantly, your content has to be interesting and serve a purpose for your audience. It can be an ad, an announcement, or something as simple as a funny video for laughs, but it has to have a clear objective. So before continuing, make sure your content checks those boxes.

Know your audience

For your post to be successful, you have to know who you’re speaking to and what they’re looking for from you. Ask yourself if your content answer a question or solves a problem, and if the answer is no, you probably want to rejig your content.

Your audience also determines the length and style of your video. Should it be perfectly polished or should it look homemade? Should it be quick and to the point or long and informational? Really understanding your audience will answer these questions.

Know your platform

Every social media platform handles video differently, so consider repurposing your content for each platform. Readers are looking for different experiences when they log into Instagram versus Twitter, not to mention the optimal video length differs per platform. For example, Twitter users want short, bite-sized videos that are 10 seconds or less, whereas Instagram and Facebook users don’t mind sticking around for longer content.

Grab attention quick

Yes, this is said over and over on every blog post about social media tips, but it’s true: we have no attention span. You have 7 seconds at best and 3 seconds at worst to capture and keep your viewer’s attention. Use your customer profile to make an educated guess about what will work. What do they care about? How will they emotionally react to an image or concept? How can you stop them in their tracks and get them to watch more?

Add captions

In order to have an easily consumable video, you have to make it accessible for everyone, no matter how they watch. 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, so captions are the easiest way to retain your audience’s attention. Plus, there are studies that suggest people retain information when it’s presented with text and imagery together, rather than just text or just an image. Just beware of auto captions – always proofread before posting!

Use the right tools

Videos don’t need to be expertly shot and edited these days, so fancy editing software is not necessary! There are tons of apps out there that can trim and resize your video in a pinch, or add voiceover, graphics, or text. (We really love Videoshop!)

Take A Peek Inside the SMH Toolbox

As a small business, we really rely on our tools.

They help us be efficient, solve problems, accomplish tasks and essentially, manage our entire day from top to bottom. Here are some of our favourite tools and apps we can’t live without.

 

 

Photo & Video Editing

  • Adobe Creative Cloud – The Creative Cloud has everything you need, from photo editing (Lightroom) to photo manipulating (Photoshop) to graphic creation (Spark Post, which is free!) to video editing (Premiere). But it is quite expensive and there’s definitely a learning curve for each of their programs. Luckily there are lots of more feasible alternatives, such as…

 

  • VSCO – An app for photo editing and sharing. You can add filters over photos in the app, or buy their filters to use on other photo editing software.

 

  • Canva – This is graphic design made easy! Canva is essentially a free, simplified photo editing tool where you can create any kind of graphic that fits on any social platform.

 

  • Snapseed – Another photo editor, but with a bit more serious editing capabilities that would rival Photoshop itself.

 

  • A Color Story – A neat tool that combines photo editing and content planning. Upload your photos, edit them, and then preview your Instagram grid to see how your content will look when it’s live. This is great for helping achieve a consistent aesthetic. (We love this app!)

 

  • Word Swag – Create graphics and add professional-looking custom typography quickly and easily to your creations.

 

  • Videoshop – An advanced video editing app that’s much quicker and simpler to use than iMovie or Premiere, but with all the same capabilities. You can also add music, compile multiple clips, add transitions, and trim your video to fit on any social platform.

 

  • CutStory – A video editing tool that cuts long videos into shorter clips so you can post them to your Instagram story.

 

 

Stock Photos

 

  • www.reshot.com – Hand-picked images that don’t look like stock photos. The library is smaller, but in our opinion, the quality is better.

 

  • www.gratisography.com – Not your average stock photo site! Find your quirky, eye-catching images here.

 

 

  • www.pngimg.com – Tons of PNG images available to download for free, so you don’t have to waste time cutting out an image.

 

 

Useful Websites

  • www.socialblade.com – Social Blade gives you analytics for YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. You get access to global analytics for anyone or any brand on any of the aforementioned social platforms, which is helpful for finding influencers or seeing which practices are useful for growing an account.

 

  • www.ninjalitics.com – Ninjalitics lets you check out the Instagram analytics of any account, so you can monitor your own account, your clients’ accounts, or your competitors.

 

  • www.influence.co – Discover Instagram influencers and check out their analytics. You can search by category, by follower size, by location, or by reach.

 

  • www.contest.agorapulse.com – Agorapulse lets you run contests on Facebook right on your timeline. Select which post you want to use as a contest post, choose the type of contest, set the winning parameters and choose a winner, all through this free web tool.

 

 

Social Media Management

  • Hootsuite  A dashboard for managing all your social media content across most platforms. Schedule posts, track engagement and listen in on conversations happening online. One bummer: Hootsuite doesn’t auto-post on Instagram, but instead sends a reminder that it’s time to post. You’ll have to manually post to Instagram.

 

  • Grum – Schedules AND posts on Instagram for you. That’s right – Grum doesn’t send a reminder to post on Instagram, it posts for you. Bonus: you can post a comment as well, so you can nest your hashtags in a comment when the post goes live, instead of writing them in the caption.

 

  • Linktree – Gives you the ability to use that one precious “link in bio” on Instagram to link out to multiple places. It’s perfect if you have lots of content you’re trying to drive followers to.

 

  • Snug – Snug lets you upload your content and preview your Instagram grid before you post so you can get an idea of how it will look once it’s live.

Tips For Creating Platform-Specific Content

If you’re copying and pasting the same 280 characters and hitting “post” hoping for the best, you’re doing it wrong. As platforms develop and carve out their niches, a one-size-fits-all content strategy just won’t cut it anymore. Each major platform is different, so cutting corners and recycling content across them isn’t doing you any favours.

 

Here are three simple ways to create platform-specific content:

 

  1. Define your audience

In order for content to be successful, you need to speak to your audience in the right way. What makes sense to a middle-aged teacher, for example, won’t make sense to a 22-year-old graphic designer. In order to speak to your audience in their language, you need to know who your audience is. Define your target customer or your brand’s main demographic by coming up with marketing personas. Think of questions like how old are they? Where do they live? Gender?  Interest? What problem can you help them solve? The more you understand about your audience, the better you can tailor your content to them.

 

  1. Understand the platform’s audience

You might think blasting out your content to as many audiences as possible is a good thing, but consumers are more media-savvy than ever before – and each platform has its own function. We open specific apps for a reason. We wouldn’t browse Instagram for news the same way we don’t go looking for memes on LinkedIn. While that’s an obvious example, some social platforms have more subtle discrepancies, so do your research! You don’t want your content to miss the mark and be ignored by an audience who’s looking for something different.

 

  1. Align the objective of your content with the platform

Ultimately, every platform has a specific purpose. People consume quick, bite-sized content on Twitter, and video content on YouTube. Keeping your audience in mind, make sure your content objective fits in with the platform – don’t try and force the platform to adapt to your content, because it just won’t. You may know your audience, but your content can still miss the mark if it isn’t optimized.

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How To Create Eye Catching Graphics For Social Media

Whether you’re creating a graphic for a digital ad, a blog post, or a Facebook post, you want it to have that “thumb-stopping” power that will get people to stop scrolling and pay attention. With so much visual content online these days, it’s tough to get your audience to engage. Research shows having the right image can increase engagement by 96%, so the extra effort is definitely worth it.

 

Here are five simple tips to follow when creating your next graphic:

 

1. Choose the right size

Make sure your graphic will fit on whatever platform you’re pushing it to – each platform sizes and optimizes differently. Using a vertical or square layout is the safest bet when creating a graphic. Check out our guideline.

 

2. Use the right colours

Having a colourful graphic is key. Research shows colour increases readers’ attention span and recall by 82%. But don’t go overboard and choose wild colours for the sake of being loud. Stay consistent with your brand, or choose a colour palette that has a bit of a pop.

 

3. Use whitespace

Whitespace is all of the space in your graphic around your subject, and it’s super important when creating professional-looking graphics. Don’t crowd your image – let it breathe and give your viewer’s eyes a place to rest.

(Which one is easier to look at?)

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4. Go easy on the text

One of the main benefits of using visual content is that it quickly catches the viewer’s attention, so let your graphic do the heavy lifting. Studies show visuals are processed 600,000 times faster than text, so sticking with a short message (i.e. a blog post title or a brand tagline) is key.

(Facebook’s 20% text rule grid is a good rule of thumb)

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5. Stay on brand

Keeping a cohesive and consistent style is a great way to increase brand familiarity and create a professional look. Choose your colours, fonts and layout according to your brand, but strive to be creative and original.

How to Choose the Right Image for Your Post

If you’ve ever posted content regularly on social media, you understand how big of a task it is to get and keep good audience engagement. Visual content is easily and quickly digestible – something social media users crave – and in turn is the most engaging. According to Hubspot, visual content is more than 40 times more likely to be shared than other types of content.

So at this point in the social media game, it’s a no-brainer to include an image, graphic, video or gif when you post your content. But how do you make sure it’s the right one? Here are a few tips to help you pick:

Make sure it makes sense with your content

This might go without saying, but don’t pick something completely unrelated. It’s not engaging your audience, it’s confusing them.

Keep it simple

Usually, the most obvious imagery choice makes the most sense. If you’re using photography, pick something with a simple composition. If you’re making or using a graphic, don’t go overboard on the design. You risk becoming white noise and fading into the background of a busy newsfeed.

Use an image that does the heavy lifting

People using social media are often scrolling through their feed on their phones, so try and use an image that is specific and tells most of your story without relying on text. For example, if you’re writing content about dog walking, using an image of a person walking a dog is more effective than an image of just a dog.

Try and avoid a lot of text

Having a line or two of text to tie the image back to your content is fine, but including a lot of copy on the image is disengaging. It’s a good idea to pare down your content to a single message that doesn’t need explaining and that acts as a good introduction to your content. You want to intrigue your audience and make them want to click, so bite-size copy works best.

Rappers/Artists - How to Get Cheaper Social Media Boosting

This Technique Works For All Types of Music and Artists

This article will teach you how to:

  • Drive down the cost of boosted posts on Instagram and Facebook

  • Find the right audience, faster

As an artist, your business goals boil down to building a following and leveraging that attention to sell your music. Whether through shows, albums or anything else  – you are always looking for people who appreciate your content.

With so much content published on social media, music streaming services, youtube and other platforms, building hype and getting your music out there can be expensive as f*ck. How do you build a following without going broke? This article will show you what has worked for us.

Facebook and Instagram are platforms you’re likely already building a following through. With over a billion users on Instagram as of June 2018 and nearly double that on Facebook, getting your content in front of your audience is tougher than ever. Organically, less than 10% of your following sees your content in their news feeds and pushing it in front of new people is tougher than ever.

So how do you maximize your efforts so that the money you do invest get the best return?

Lookalike audiences.

What does that mean?

Lookalike audiences are new audiences based on similar interests, demographics and traits – built out of pre-existing data sources. They identify people in your current “audience” and then find more people that are similar; people who are highly likely to also enjoy your music. This pre-existing baseline can come from pretty much anywhere such as current followers, website visitors, custom lists uploaded to Facebook, and so on.

What is the best way to do it?

The most current and up to date people are the people who engage with your content, so find those people and start there. Many people use “people that follow my page” to build their audience. The problem is that the people who started following you, in the beginning, may not be relevant anymore. So dig deeper.

Ok great, so how do I use this?

  1. Facebook Business

    – You need to have a business account to start. You can set up a business account at  business.facebook.com. Go through the registration process and then move your existing pages into the profile. To read more on how to do this, read HootSuite’s article here.

  2. Build The Engagement Audience 

    This step will pool all of the people that engage with your content in one place. This audience can also be used to send a second layer of content to the people that are already paying attention to you. Follow these simple steps.

     

    • Go to business.facebook.com

    • Click the Burger Menu and select “Audiences”

    • Then click the blue button to Create Audience Select “Custom Audience”

    • Then “Engagement”

    • You will want to create one for both “Facebook Page” and “Instagram Business Profile”

    • Choose your page from the drop-down and select “People Who Engage with Any Post or Ad”

    • Leave the date as 365, Name the audience “Facebook Engagement Audience”

    • Then Save!

    • IF THIS AUDIENCE IS LESS THAN 750, BUILD IT UP BY USING YOUR REGULAR TARGETING BEFORE MOVING ON

  3. Create The Look-Alike Audience 

    Now that you have those people together, create a look-alike so that Facebook and Instagram can find people who are most similar to those people. 

    • While still in audiences…

    • Click the blue button to Create Audience

    • Select “Lookalike Audience”

    • Source: Choose the custom audience you made in the step above

    • Location: Country that the audience primarily lives

    • Audience size: 1%

    • You should also create a 2%, 3%, 4%, and 5%

  4. Use The Audience To Boost Content 

    While you are boosting existing content or creating ads/dark posts in ad manager you can now target people who are most similar to your current engaged audience. 

  • In Ad Manager click “Create Ad”

  • Select “Engagement Ad”

  • In the “Audience” section, pick the “1% Lookalike.” 

  • DO NOT CHANGE ANY OTHER PARAMETERS

  • Run the ad at $5-10 per day to start. If it works, increase it after a week

LLA-Audience-SS.png

We have seen the cost per action drop by up to 90% by using this technique

Staying ahead of already saturated social platforms can be the difference between blowing up and mediocrity, so take this seriously. This spring, we’ve been focusing on helping hip-hop artists with their brands and have already applied this technique to several artists we work with. The results? Incredible success and huge growth. To learn more about digital marketing for hip-hop artists, shoot us an email! mike@socialmediahouse.to