So in the war zone of social media, brands are fighting for attention. Organic or paid, they must take into account the reality that, as content is continually being kicked out of fire hoses, engagement has become increasingly elusive. Recent data from RivalIQ puts average Facebook engagement at 0.09%.
It’s no secret that the vast majority of marketers rely on visuals to get attention to their posts. However, social media marketers often lack the skills or resources to consistently create engaging visuals.
For example, stock photos are the first choice for visual content. Venngage Research say 40% rely on stock photos, but only 13% say it helped them achieve their marketing goals.
Of course, there are all kinds of visual marketing strategies and a fascinating array of tools to create it. In this article, we’ll take a look at some smart ways to stand out and grab the attention of high-speed scrolling, as well as some of the tools that help non-designers create more enticing visuals.
1. Put your images in motion
Cinemagraphs add movement to photos. They can be packaged as GIFs or videos, depending on the application required. In a social feed, a cinemagraph in the form of a GIF will loop and present one or more moving elements.
“Getting through the mess in today’s age of infobesity is harder than ever, and maybe the media is doing it,” writes author and social media strategist Jessica Gioglio in an article on Convince and convert.
Motionleap (formerly known as Pixaloop) is an app that makes photo animation fun and easy with a plethora of special effects, elements, backgrounds, overlays, and more. Users often add splashes and flashes, add camera movements, and use effects to make the weather more dramatic.
2. State your message
While scrolling through my Facebook feed, I had to stop to read the next ad just because its whole type post was presented only a few words at a time. Where a static message like this might not have caught my attention, the ‘slow motion’ approach not only introduced movement, but also a sense of suspense that kept me there until this time. that the whole message be spelled out.
Creatopia (formerly known as BannerSnack) allows you to place text, images, buttons, and illustrations to create animated graphics for social media visuals. You can start and finish quickly using over 1000 templates for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
3. Style your stories
The Hootsuite blog says 500 million people use Instagram stories every day and add that a third of the most viewed stories are from businesses. Stories aren’t just a big part of Instagram’s popularity, it’s a big hit (and growing) on Facebook. LinkedIn is even getting into the stories action now.
Obviously, stories are an important channel for brands and provide a way to deliver fun content that looks and feels more personalized. While the stories feature of the different channels gives you great flexibility to present visual content the way you want, there are now apps available that elevate storytelling to an art form.
Unfold is an iPhone app from SquareSpace that makes it easy to create engaging stories starting with stylish models. You can add photo filters, stickers, textures and backgrounds. A branding kit is available to make it easy to reuse things like colors, fonts, and logos for consistent branding. The above example is from brands page on the Unfold website, which shows how the branding kit is applied.
4. Start with storyboards or models
The time and talent required to create videos drives away many marketers. Of course, the prospect of scripting, casting, directing, lighting and editing isn’t for everyone. If that’s you, stay tuned for two irresistible solutions.
Check Openstories. While you can go the manual route, you can start the process by entering a paragraph or URL. An AI video editor converts your content into videos. You can edit the content (text and images), apply a theme you like, select music and / or add a voiceover.
Boosted is both a web and mobile app that makes it easy to quickly create unique video ads for social media. It is ideal for promoting a product, sale, event, etc. You start with a template that’s optimized for the social media channel of your choice, and then customize each media element as needed. Pixabay video clips are offered for free or you can upload your own video or image.
5. Subtitle your videos
85% of Facebook and Instagram users watch videos on platforms without sound, according to Digiday. The obvious solution: add subtitles. “The video causes them to slow down their scrolling, but the captions keep them engaged,” writes Andy Crestodina in a guest article for TechSmith. He says captions let viewers know what the video is about, help engage foreign language speakers and the hard of hearing, and keep those who live in noisy environments from missing out.
Studio type is a super cool tool that not only takes care of the captioning for you, but actually allows you to edit video by editing the text. In other words, you remove a passage from the text of your video and the video responds by doing the same as if by magic.
6. Create carousels
Carousel posts and ads have been found to increase engagement. Social insider Report carousels generate the highest average engagement on Instagram. Shortly after the format’s introduction, Facebook reported that carousel ads offered lower conversion costs and significantly higher engagement.
Carousel ads are inherently interactive and allow your brand to highlight specific details about a product, showcase different products and offers, or tell a story with images, videos, or both.
7. Go live
Social media is now a way to deliver video content directly to your prospects and customers. You can live stream to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to announce new products, create how-to demos or videos, broadcast an event, and host webinars.
Facebook users are 4 times more likely to watch live streams than recorded videos, according to Social Sprout. Livestream marketing increases the sales intention of your target audience by 97% and boosts brand association by 139%, says Daily business news.
Give it a try. Live streaming is cost effective (er, free), engaging, and its transparency encourages trust.
Start experimenting with stop scroll strategies
With or without graphic design and video production skills, it has become easy to produce visual content to grab the attention of social media users. Try to implement the tools and tactics presented here to make visual marketing a cohesive part of your digital advertising and content marketing strategy.