Recently, we interviewed Senior Interaction Designer Rami Waiche to learn more about the importance of visual marketing. He discussed the importance visuals play in shaping brand perception, the power of strong design in brand recognition, the use of color, and the role of stock imagery. For our second part, we’re discussing the role of visuals in social media marketing.
Social media demands visuals. There are many statistics showing the importance of visuals in social media marketing. For example, visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content (Source). On Facebook, posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images (Source).
Rami will tackle questions about how to create visuals for social media that resonate and discuss how marketers can keep up with demand for visuals in the fast-paced medium of social media.
What makes for compelling visuals in social media?
Creating content that is relevant or engaging to your customers or users is what is most compelling, regardless of the medium, print, web, TV, etc. Connect visually with your consumers to set yourself apart. Understand what you are offering and create compelling visuals to support it.
What design rules apply when creating good social media graphics?
Users have tons of content to scroll through when they pull up their social media feeds. You are competing for attention with so many other stories/posts at the exact same time. What is going to stop a person from scrolling right past your content? That’s the question everyone wants the answer to. Images are an important part of social media and content marketing. Consider that content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images (Source).
- Clean, clear, interesting visuals are best. Something that will make a person stop to look. Keep your brand guidelines in mind!
- The visuals should be relevant to your content, first of all. This helps immediately identify what the article or ad is about.
- Don’t be vague with the imagery to try to appeal to everyone. Basic example, don’t show an image of various pets if your article is specifically about cats.
- Create quality assets. If you have access to a design team, use them! Post on-brand, well-designed assets.
- Don’t post crappy stock images or assets you found on a Google images search (which you probably don’t have the rights to use)!
- Don’t use low-res assets or tiny images. Maximize the use of visual real estate that your channel allows. If you can post a 600×600 image, do it. Don’t post anything smaller. We are all fighting for pixel space, so use every last pixel you’re allotted.
- Color creates emotional responses. Subconscious and conscious response. Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80% (Source).
How can marketers balance the need for on-brand, high-quality visuals with the demand for real-time, instantaneous content, and even content that expires, such as Snapchat?
Great question. Developing a robust library of visual content would be a great start. This way the creative has been vetted through design teams/channels, would be more on-brand, and is a quick go-to reference for assets. Good creative takes time. If the investment isn’t there to develop good creative, then expect a lack of visual consistency in your posts. This is especially true if your company has non-designers responsible for finding and publishing visual assets on their own without any kind of creative review.