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When a photo says more than a tweet: Creating effective social media images

We've all heard the phrase, "a picture is worth a thousand words," but in today's content-heavy world, many companies eschew this perspective in favour of blog posts, how-to guides, and other text-heavy approaches. These types of content have a place, especially when it comes to SEO, but where does that leave visual content? Too often, it seems, visual content is an afterthought.
It’s time to ramp up visual marketing content, especially on social media. Visual content engages your audience more quickly, enhances text content, and helps readers remember you. Unsure where to start? Here are four ways you can produce impactful marketing images. You may be surprised just how quickly you see results.

1. Learn the trade

One of the biggest problems with social media images today is that many are produced by people who don’t understand the format. Maybe they don’t have the right tools or they don’t understand visual composition, but regardless of the issue, the result is images that look amateurish. That’s why it’s important to learn the basic rules of photography before you launch a visually heavy social media campaign.

For example, before you start clicking away at pictures, consider the setup of the frame. How your image is arranged is called “composition” and there are some standard rules that can help you improve the composition of a shot. Arrange the central component of your image so that it stands out and isn’t in a cluttered environment. Also, make sure you have lighting that won’t create unintended shadows or distort the colours in your final image.

Another key aspect of composition is the rule of thirds. This rule divides your shot into a grid – three sections across and three sections vertically. Your camera may even show you this grid to make things easier.

According to the rule of thirds, you want your point of interest to be approximately where those grid lines cross each other. This is where people’s eyes go first in a shot. If you arrange your image in another way, an unintended object may be more prominent than the subject.

2. Edit out distractions

You’ll need to know a few basic Photoshop tricks in order to run a serious visual campaign on social media. Luckily, the program is more intuitive than many believe.

When you look at your original image, start by searching for small, unnecessary features. Are there power lines running in the background or some litter on the ground? You can use the clone stamp tool to remove these unsightly features, while keeping the overall scene consistent. If done properly, your audience will never know these blemishes were there.

3. It’s in the eyes

Editing out red eye in photographs is such a common correction that you can do it in almost any photo program on your phone or computer – and you should. But what you shouldn’t do is excessively edit the eyes, a common bad habit of digital photographers.

Typically over-edited eyes result from the belief that the whites of our eyes are pure white, when this isn’t really the case. If you try to make them look this way, instead of getting a great, clean shot of the eyes, you’ll end up with a creepy alien-like subject. That’s not what you want at all.

4. Combine your content

Visual content is powerful, but you can make it even more effective by combining it with other parts of your social media. Take Twitter as an example: the site, which is famous for its 140-character limit, now allows users to add other kinds of content, like links and attachments to their messages. When working with such a short format, you can significantly amplify your message by adding an image, making it stand out from other posts.

Great visual content is the key to reaching a broader audience, but with so much out there, it needs to be high-quality content. Don’t hesitate to invest in the right tools – they may seem expensive at first, but there are a lot of reasonable options available, including ones that can be used to modify smartphones. These tools will quickly show a positive ROI and you’ll reach a broader audience than ever before.

14 Jun 2016 12:43

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About Boris Dzhingarov

Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as Tech.co, Semrush.com, Tweakyourbiz.com, Socialnomics.net. Boris is the founder of MonetaryLibrary.com and cryptoext.com.




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