Table of Contents
- 1 2023 Guide to Creating Stunning Visual Content for Social Media
- 2 What are the visual contents on social media?
- 3 The importance of visual content in social media
- 4 14 tips for creating visual content for social media
- 4.1 1. Choose a colour scheme for your brand.
- 4.2 2. Make sure you choose thumbnails that are appealing to your videos.
- 4.3 3. Incorporate text into your visual content…
- 4.4 4. But be careful to make use of only a little text.
- 4.5 5. Make sure to use high-quality images and videos
- 4.6 6. Recognize the copyright of an image
- 4.7 7. Include your logo (where it is appropriate)
- 4.8 8. Images should be sized to the specifications.
- 4.9 9. Start your videos by using a hook.
- 4.10 10. Utilize Free tools and sources
- 4.11 11. Include alt-text descriptions
- 4.12 12. Pay attention to the latest trends.
- 4.13 13. Create a schedule for your visual content
- 4.14 14. Be aware of the representation.
2023 Guide to Creating Stunning Visual Content for Social Media
Like the common crow is drawn by shiny objects, social media users are also awed by visually appealing images.
Typically our visual sense is the first thing we notice and activate when we are exposed to an article on social networks. With all the information available, it’s crucial to ensure that brands are seen visually. Read on to learn how to create a successful visual strategy for your social media content.
Visual content refers to any form of visual content on the internet. Its scope includes visual elements that aren’t just text-based but also an experience for the eyes. For instance, a typical Tweet of 280 characters isn’t visible; however, a tweet with photos included is.
Visual content types
- Carousel posts (multiple images or videos)
Photos and videos have proved more engaging than text-based posts on various web-based platforms. Images on LinkedIn posts can get 98% greater than the average number of comments, and tweets with photos can be three times as likely to be viewed by users.
On Instagram, carousel-style posts get the highest percentage of engagement. According to the 2022 Statista report, the average employment rate for every article on an Instagram company page is 1.94 per cent. Carousel posts, however, are engaged at 3.15 per cent (what could we say about that? It’s because people love it when they swipe left).
These kinds of statistics lead American marketers to believe that videos are the most effective in social media marketing. In the 2021 Statista survey, 55% of marketers believed that videos are beneficial in achieving marketing goals via social media. It was also the most popular kind of content mentioned.
Not only are marketers beginning to recognize the value of visual content. People are aware that they prefer to view images and videos: video and photos. The 2021 Swedish study (also conducted by Statista) discovered that, when it comes to brands that use social media, 47% of people prefer to view images and content. Pictures. 35% of them said they like to see content from brands in video format.
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1. Choose a colour scheme for your brand.
Choosing (and adhering to) the right colour palette and mood that best suits your business doesn’t just create a beautiful feed but also means that your posts will instantly be recognizable to your fans. Include visual content in the Social Media Style Guide and develop visually appealing, recognizable content right from the beginning.
For instance, the viral nail polish manufacturer Pleasing offers a very appealing colour palette. The brand’s posts are vibrant, distinctive, bold and original, making a statement and standing out from the rest.
2. Make sure you choose thumbnails that are appealing to your videos.
When you post videos on social media, your thumbnail (or the “cover image” that the platform uses to show your content) is usually the first frame in that video. But the first frame of your video might be a less exciting–or representative–image.
Select a thumbnail by hand when uploading your videos (on IG Reels, TikTok, Youtube, etc.) and pick an image you find visually appealing or conveys the most details.
The thumbnail images of the bakery’s Instagram reels are Instagram-worthy, making the bakery’s most famous product (the cinnamon bun) the centre in the spotlight. The thumbnails contain text that allows viewers a glimpse of the reel’s theme, for instance, “Peach cinnamon buns giveaway.”
3. Incorporate text into your visual content…
Even in a predominantly text-based field, visual content is still available to promote your business. Magazines have succeeded in this integration of text. The primary purpose is to present the narrative (text-based); however, the publication uses visual methods to help promote the story.
For example, this Teen Vogue story is mostly text and not images. However, it is posted on Teen Vogue’s Instagram as an excellent photo with text overlay. Including text on the image will make the image’s intent very clear. It makes the photo easily shared (it is easily added to the followers’ IG stories).
4. But be careful to make use of only a little text.
While the text is an effective tool for communicating information, it’s difficult for the eyes. Excessive text can become visually overwhelming to viewers. It’s better to be sparse when adding text to your content.
It’s a great example of text integration. New York Times article is an excellent example of a well-thought-out text integration. The first picture features the headline for the story, and the next image is a thoughtful mix of visual content. There are videos, photos as well as images with small snippets of text. It’s a captivating, engaging piece of content with visuals that encourages viewers to look further (in this instance, read the entire article on the New York Times website).
5. Make sure to use high-quality images and videos
Duh, right? Visual content is primarily visually appealing, and you’ll need to ensure that you only post blurry informational graphics or photos that are out of focus ( unless that’s part of your branding, obviously).
HD videos and photos are pleasing to look at and present your brand’s image and, in some cases, show your business’s influence or impact on the world. This photo-based post of high-quality quality taken by Huda Beauty is a great example that illustrates how well mattifying cosmetics works.
6. Recognize the copyright of an image
Finding relevant images can be challenging, especially when trying to understand copyright. However, it’s essential, especially as infringement could have grave consequences.
Check the fine print before using templates, stock photos and illustrations. Ask the owner or the site for more information if something needs to be clarified.
Similar to contracting and licensing. When negotiating contracts with artists, they should be evident in the agreement where you plan to utilize creativity, who owns the rights, and so on.
If it’s required (typically), give credit when credit is due. This is especially true if you plan to reuse or distribute the content users create. Certain companies, such as Agoda, also use contracts for these purposes.
Disney’s official Instagram often shares user-generated content that includes the original poster mentioned with a caption.
7. Include your logo (where it is appropriate)
If you intend your photos to be shared with others, it could be beneficial to add the logo.
Pinterest is an excellent illustration. Every pin can be repinned, and with a logo, it might be easier to remember the source of the nail. Additionally, according to Pinterest Pinterest, pins with subtle branding are likely to perform better than ones that don’t. Ikea has its logo on almost all of its posts (many include images that have been shared many times).
Good branding is evident but is manageable. This usually means placing the logo in the corner or outside the visual. Choose a uni-colour or greyscale version if your logo’s colour is incompatible or makes the graphic look too hectic.
The National Geographic logo is an excellent illustration of subtle branding. The yellow rectangle appears on nearly all their content across all platforms.
8. Images should be sized to the specifications.
One of the most significant offences you can commit while sharing images through social networking sites is to use the incorrect size.
Images with an unsuitable aspect ratio or low resolution can get stretched out, cut, or cut out of proportion, which can negatively reflect your company’s image.
Each platform has specifications, and you must adapt your content to the forum. We’ve put together a social media dimension guide to assist you.
Always strive for the best quality image. This includes resolution and pixels.
Also, pay attention to the aspect ratio. Why? Specific platforms automatically crop previews of images according to aspect ratio. So if yours is different, it could result in a haphazard crop or leave important information out.
9. Start your videos by using a hook.
When you create Instagram Reels, TikToks or even videos for Facebook, Linkedin and Youtube, ensure that the initial few seconds are captivating and enjoyable (if you don’t, the viewers will probably scroll by).
For an example of launching visually-driven content with hooks, consider the creators of culinary content. They’re adept at drawing you into the final product, ensuring that you’ll be interested in the whole recipe. This recipe for tofu begins by cutting across (impressively) crisp tofu, immediately compelling interest. The sound of the knife and the bold opening line of the creator (“I dislike tofu”) is only a bonus to the captivating visual.
10. Utilize Free tools and sources
Employing an artist or photographer to create custom content for your company is generally recommended.
If your budget could be more generous or you need some extra tools, plenty of tools are available, and many are entirely free.
11. Include alt-text descriptions
How people experience visual content is only the same way.
When creating content for social media, ensure that you make it available to all people and in as many different circumstances as possible. Content that is accessible lets you connect with a broader audience and may even outdo those who aren’t inclusive in their approach.
It also helps you build trust and respect among your fans (and those who will follow you).
Visual content accessible on social media may comprise:
- Alt-text descriptions. Alt-text can help visually impaired users to comprehend images better. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram now provide fields for alt-text descriptions of images.
- Subtitles. All social media videos must include captions. Not only are they essential for viewers with hearing impairments. They also aid in noise-free environments too. Language learners benefit as well from subtitles.
- Descriptive transcripts. Contrary to captions, these transcripts provide the most important images and sounds that aren’t obvious or spoken. Descriptive audio, as well as live-described video, are two other alternatives.
While TikTok automatically shows each video’s sound, this content creator uses captions to deliver precisely which part of the song they are referencing, ensuring everyone is in on the joke.
12. Pay attention to the latest trends.
It’s crucial to stay informed about what’s hot on each platform. This will help you stay connected with your followers; the latest trends are an excellent source of inspiration when you need help finding your creative juices dry.
Trends can be visually appealing. However, some include a recognizable visual element, such as that of the Horace Dancing trend you can see on TikTok.
13. Create a schedule for your visual content
You can create the most captivating, stimulating visual content that is easily shared across the world… however, when people can’t see it, it doesn’t matter.
Because of the massive number of users on social media (globally, over 4.62 billion users use social media), it is inevitable to see, at minimum, some people view your content. However, you can dramatically improve the likelihood of your content gaining traction by posting it when your viewers are actually on the platform.
14. Be aware of the representation.
Are the people you depict in your images reflect the diverse audience you are targeting? Are you perpetuating stereotypes about race or gender in your photos? Do you encourage positive body image? These are just a few of the questions you need to be asking yourself when creating images on social networks.
It’s not only socially responsible but also intelligent. It’s easier for people to envision themselves using a product when they see someone similar. Check out your analytics on your audience and the characteristics of the target market, and then incorporate these into your design process.