Guide to Creating Visual Content for Social Media

Fields of flowers in the mountainsPosting visual content is one of the most important things you can do to improve your social media strategy.

A successful social strategy will often include photos, videos, and screenshots of infographics or other graphs.
 
But posting visual content for the sake of posting visual content isn’t the best way to optimize your presence on social media. It’s important that your visual content be compelling, relevant, and correctly formatted.
 
To help you create visual content your followers will love, QuickSprout created the infographic below. It’ll teach you the major types of visual content, the best tools you can use to create original visuals, and tips on creating the most compelling, aesthetically pleasing designs.
 
creating-visually-appealing-content-infographic
 
 

10 Cool Things to Do on Pinterest for Business

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While social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are great for sharing content, some businesses can benefit more by showing their visual sides on Pinterest.

The visual bookmarking site first began as a tool used mainly by women, but all that has changed. Now, both young and old, suburbanites and city-dwellers, males and females can all be found browsing boards and adding pins.

Today, more than 30 percent of Pinterest users are men, and 45 percent of all users are from outside the U.S. They’re not just pinning recipes and gowns anymore, either.

Below are cool things to do on Pinterest for business that will ensure your business is discovered by millions of Pinterest users who are looking to buy, plan, and do almost anything.

Verify Your Business Account

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people miss this critical step. As a business, you need to sign-up for a Pinterest for Business account. Verifying your business website lets your users know that your account is official.

To verify your website, go to Pinterest settings and click “confirm website.” Check out these steps if you need help. Once your business is verified, you will be given full access to Pinterest business analytics, rich pins and promoted posts.

The best part about verifying your Pinterest for Business account is that when someone shares anything from your website, the pin automatically gets tagged with your logo. This is just a simple step that will see users market your products for you.

Add a “Pin It” Button

One easy way of letting your prospective customers know about your presence and products on the social bookmarking site is to add a Pinterest button. The site has a variety of choices available on their Goodies page; find one that appeals to you.

Adding a Pin It button encourages your readers and customers to pin your products on Pinterest and this increases your business visibility.

Write Strong Pin Captions

Many Pinterest users search the platform for information and as a result, pins that provide the most relevant and valuable information perform better on the site. Businesses should include more information on their products so as to gain more exposure for their brand and ultimately drive sales.

Keep in mind that many people now browse on a mobile device and for Pinterest users using Android phones or iPhone they will only be able to see up to four lines of text for your description. Therefore, it is important that you write strong captions that will get their attention.

Pin a Variety of Subjects

Your followers have a wide variety of interests, so why only present them with a few subjects? Pin a variety of subjects and not just what you have on your business. Pinterest did this with its Things to Try in 2015 post. They encouraged Pinners to create their own boards and share across other social media sites such as Facebook.

Pin Others’ Pins

Did you know that more than 80 percent of all Pinterest pins are re-pinned? Before you re-pin, you first need to find out what appeals to your audience. What moves them? What interests them? What do they want to learn more about?

Find and re-pin pins with the desired topics and you will be seen as an expert in your industry.

Pin Your Own Content

While pinning others’ pins, it is important that you also pin some of your original content. Always remember, you want your users to find out more about your business, services and products.

Your followers want to see your original content and this could include new ideas, services and innovations that relate to your business.

For good return on investment, consistently pin content that links back to your email opt-in page, website or blog, and to your online catalog or product page. It’s a total buzz kill when someone clicks on your pin only to find that it’s a dead end.

Clearly State Product or Service Price

Remember to include your service or product price when pinning as it makes it easy for users to immediately tell how much something costs. You could take this further by using Rich Pins that allow for inclusion of extra info like availability of the item or changes in price.

If you, for instance, reduce the price of a product, Pinterest automatically emails anyone who had pinned the products, letting him or her know of the cut. This, in turn, directs more visits to your Pinterest account, blog or website, and may even end up in some purchases. You will have to add some code to your website for this function and Pinterest has all the details to help you.

Consider Using Buyable Pins

Pinterest upgraded its Pins last year, providing its users with Buyable Pins. The “Buy It” pins appear next to the “Pin It” button and once you click it you will be checked out. Checkout happens within the social bookmarking site or within the Pinterest app for mobile shoppers. Pinterest does not take any commissions from the sales.

Expand Your Reach With Group Boards

To be able to fully harness the marketing power of Pinterest, you need to stop looking at it only as a place for competition but also as a place where you can grow together with other sellers. Join forces and audiences by creating group boards. This allows multiple sellers to contribute content so users are always assured of fresh, interesting pins.

Create your own group board or join existing ones that are already doing well. Find boards that attract your target customers and then reach out to the owner and ask if you can contribute.

Measure Pin Success With Analytics

Did you know that Pinterest drives more traffic than Reddit, LinkedIn and Twitter combined? Do you know how much traffic your blog or website gets from it? Pinterest Analytics can tell you. You can also easily tell the pins and boards that are getting the most attention from the clicks and re-pins they are getting.

http://smallbiztrends.com/2016/01/cool-things-to-do-on-pinterest-for-business.html

5 Instagram Case Studies and What You Can Learn

InstagramCaseStudiesIt’s no longer a surprise that Instagram has grown to over 400 million active monthly users. What is surprising is the fact that only 23% of brands use it.

Why would anyone want to use Instagram to sell products or services? I mean it’s just a place to post selfies, food pics, your OOTD, and baby pics… Right?

Wrong!

It has become one of the top engaging social media platforms for businesses.

Instagram gives businesses the opportunity to share their stories with a vast audience in an inspired, original and creative environment. But are Instagram ads a wise investment?

Initially the ads were only available to large companies. However, recently the ability to run ads on Instagram has been opened up to everyone. So let’s take a look at 5 of Instagram’s pilot case studies.

1. Bloom & Wild

Bloom & Wild used the Power Editor feature to create their Instagram ads. First, they took their existing email list and created a lookalike audience from it.

Next, they tested their ad images by running a few low dollar campaigns posting like they normally would. However now they would compare the engagement between the photos and whichever photo received the most attention would be used for their main ad campaign.

They found that videos performed best for them and had the highest conversion rate.

After selecting their winning ad they scaled up the ad spend and added a strong call to action on their ads.

The Results “With the use of Instagram ads, Bloom & Wild increased their bouquet orders by 62%, and saw many new customers commenting on their account and buying bouquets from their shop.”

This is a great example of how a small business can be successful on Instagram. They didn’t have the money that a large corporation would. They simply created a small, but engaged following on Instagram.

2. Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees is a great example of small dollar physical products benefiting from Instagram Ads.

To promote their new collection, known as the lip crayon line, Burt’s Bees looked to Instagram Ads. Their goal was to expand awareness and increase ad recall within the beauty community.

They knew they could find a booming beauty environment on Instagram and looked to seize the growing attention of their market by showing off their products in a original, natural way.

First, they targeted females between 18 & 24 in the United States. Then they delivered ads to them that showcased their product and corresponded with their theme of “Delight Your Lips.”

The Results Burt’s saw a 5pt lift in product awareness and a 16pt lift in ad recall. I guess on “selfie central” it’s pretty important to know what you have on your lips.

3. Mercedes-Benz

Pretty much anyone who can drive has heard of Mercedes-Benz. So what was their goal when running Instagram ads? The well known car company was launching the GLA, which was their first compact SUV. They wanted to gain exposure in the new category.

First, they decided they would create engaging ads on both Instagram and Facebook for their followers and those that would see the ads. Then they reached out to photographers and asked them the question, “What would you pack in your GLA?” the photographers would take a picture of what they would bring, but the items would be laid on custom GLA cargo mat to show how versatile the vehicle was for a weekend trip.

Here are some of the photos they posted as ads:

The Results The automobile company saw a 14pt lift in Mercedes-Benz Instagram ads, a 54% increase in website visits from Instagram and Facebook branding ads, a 580% increase in website visits when Facebook and Instagram ads were combined with Facebook direct response ads.

4. PHILADELPHIA

Another example of a large brand utilizing the platform is Philadelphia (cheese). What type of boosts could a cheese company see? Philadelphia was one of the first companies or brands in Australia to use the Instagram advertising.

Philadelphia used very creative pictures to capture the hearts of foodies everywhere. Who can resist a food photo on Instagram? Check out one of their ad photos below.

Their goals were to target the 25-40 year old females that were prone to throw a casual get together party. The pictures helped show what you could do with the Philadelphia cream cheese to help those party planners. Looks like cream cheese is used for more than just bagels!

The Results Philadelphia saw an 8pt lift in message association, an 8pt lift in purchase intent and most notably they saw a 41% sales uplift.

5. LEVI’S

Lastly we have this classic American retailer. Levi’s focus has been the idea of living in the moment, and they express that in their photos. It helps that they have become the most recognized jeans in the world, but you would think because of that they wouldn’t see a benefit from the Instagram ads, wrong!

Levi was one of the first advertisers on Instagram. In the first 9 days their ads featured people wearing the iconic clothing while sharing a beautiful moment outdoors

They focused the ads on people within the age group of 18-34 in the U.S. They emphasized for their marketing campaign that users would see the image twice on average, and the picture would be put in the user’s feed only once.

The Results For their ad campaign Levi’s reached 7.4 million people in the U.S and they saw a 24pt lift in ad recall. That’s a huge reach targeting millennials.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2015/11/instagram-case-studies-learn/

How Online & Offline Marketing Can Work Together

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Inbound marketing is shown to be incredibly effective for attracting website visitors and generating leads. But for many companies, there’s still a place for outbound marketing tactics (like print advertising, broadcasting, and so on) alongside those inbound tactics.

So how can offline marketing work hand-in-hand with your online marketing efforts? Is there a way to incorporate both into your larger marketing strategy?

To learn how different online and offline marketing channel can work together, check out the infographic below from Colour Graphics. You’ll learn where companies tend to spend their online and offline marketing budgets, which marketing tactics give the best return on investment, and how you can help drive offline conversations through online marketing.

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http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/online-offline-marketing-together

How to Create Useful Content: 12 Steps to Follow Every Time

Gearing up to create your next piece of marketing content? If you want it to stand out from the rest of the noise on the internet, you have to be focused on producing something both delightful and engaging.

That said, there’s some planning to be done before you jump right in. What’s the purpose of this piece? Where can you fit in credible data and examples? Who’s gonna edit it once you’ve written — and rewritten — your draft? How do you plan to spread the word about it so, you know, people actually read it? You need a strategy.

To provide you with a process, check out the infographic below from Ann Handley and Visually. They’ve stolen valuable tips from Handley’s latest book, Everybody Writes, on everything from planning to publishing.

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/writing-guide-for-content-marketing