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Visual creativity: incorporating images in your social marketing

t’s easy enough to roll out endless posts, tweets or pins filled with interesting text-based content, but utlising images successfully doesn’t always come so easily. So we’ve put together a few tips for generating spot-on visual content that will gain more reach than image-free posts.

With the explosive popularity of sites like Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest, imagery is gaining traction in the social world at pace. And, more often than not, people will connect more emotionally with an image than they will with text. So if you’re not including images in your social marketing strategy, now is the time to start!

Here are our top tips for getting the right images in the mix on social platforms:

1) Utilise your cover/profile photo wisely. 

Your profile or cover image, depending on the platform, is a valuable piece of real estate. On Facebook, for example, your cover image can be utilised to promote a particular product or campaign, or generate leads by including a call to action.

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And if you’re simply updating a status, take the opportunity to include an image; a survey done last year found status updates with images generated more than 50 per cent more likes than those without. Encouraging people to engage with an image is a great, and easy, way to generate more organic reach. Asking people for their opinion about an image, running a caption contest, or asking people to share similar images all work well.

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2) Tap into free resources to help get your message across

There are countless ways to source images on the web if you need to spice up your content. Unsplash is a great, free resource for images, all of which are free of copyright so you can use, modify and distribute the images without attributing to their source or asking for permission.

If you’re a small business or don’t have Photoshop or other more advanced editing software, PicMonkey is an easy, free, downloadable tool that allows you to edit, recolour, add borders, text, and graphics to a picture.

Infogr.am is another great, and free, tool. This one allows you to create interactive infographics – easily add graphs, maps, text, and videos.

3) Pare back the text

If you’re going to use an image to tell a story, let the image do just that. It’s best to insert a quote or a headline, and then leave the image to work its magic. If you need to expand on the text added to the image, use the photo caption and write away. That way, the image is still engaging and isn’t cluttered with text, which takes away from its appeal.

4) Originality is key

Chose interesting imagery. If you’re going to pick a standard stock image, you’re much less likely to engage your audience that if you use, albeit maybe not an original image, but one that stands out from the crowd.

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5) Post far and wide

If you’re using images, make sure you distribute them as widely as possible. If you’re across all social platforms, Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest are central to the visual web. Flickr users upload and share 1.4 million images every day.

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How do you use images in your social marketing? We’d love to hear your thoughts.