Do you want to ramp up your marketing in 2016 with visual content? Not sure where to start? Which tools to use?
If yes, then this post is for you. I show you 3 ways you can put a firecracker under your visual content creation in 2016 (and be sure to check out #3 – it’s super fun!).
As we head towards 2016, plenty of people are talking about the importance of visual content for the year ahead.
It’s just one of those things that brands and businesses need to embrace if they want to stand out with their marketing.
So how in the heck do you ramp up your visual content creation in the right way so you can get noticed and get results.. when there are so many options, platforms, image types and choices for how you plan, create and post visual content.
It’s overwhelming to say the least.
So I have 3 ways for you to start creating a visual content strategy that works.
Oh and stay tuned for #3 as it may just be the one strategy that helps you put a firecracker under your visual content in 2016 – and your marketing in general!
Ready? Let’s jump in!
#1 Get Consistent (but do it this way).
I often talk about the importance of consistency, and how you should be consistent with posting visuals.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest – whatever the platform, you need to make a decision about how often and where you will post – whether it is hourly, 3 times a day, daily or weekly.
But so many of us jump in, try to be consistent across more than one platform and fail. It’s because we forget to do this:Focus your visual content efforts on 1 platform. Get it working well before moving to another.Click To Tweet
We try doing them all at once. Not ideal.
I’ve tried focusing on being consistent on 2 or 3 platforms before, and what happens is often mediocre scheduling or posting that eventually drops away a little… or a lot.
I’m not saying to ignore all the other platforms. Far from it – keep posting where you have a presence. What I AM saying is this:
Pick one platform and make it your primary focus – get systems and consistency in place on that platform so it’s easy and it begins to take you less hours each week to create, post and engage (not more) – Then and only then move on to another platform.
When you NAIL your visual content creation strategy, the planning, image creation and posting for that platform becomes much easier to manage. That platform takes less of your time and frees you up to focus on another platform, where you can make your image strategy effective there too.
For example, in my business we were not posting consistently on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter particularly well. So a year ago we pulled back to focus on the following platforms, one at a time as follows, in the following order:
- Twitter – I knew that I was able to quickly establish a clear content and visual content strategy on Twitter. Now that we have a strategy, we have tweets posting almost hourly with loads of great content AND I am freed up to engage with people more. I use tools like Edgar and Agorapulse to manage my content, curate the content of others and schedule my tweets.
- Instagram – It may be surprising that I turned to Instagram, not Facebook next. But, I knew that on Instagram we could get a consistent posting schedule established – one that would ultimately help me with Facebook. We started posting 2-3 times daily on my @SociallySorted account with two benefits (1) those images have now built up a huge library that can be repurposed for Facebook and (2) Engagement on my Instagram images has gone up 3X. Our “flow” for creating, sharing and engaging on Instagram is now working well, which has allowed us to focus back on:
- Facebook – we are establishing a combination of original images and shared content using tools like PostPlanner’s new Find – Plan – Post feature. PostPlanner helps you to find great posts to share and inspiration for creating more visual content – which feeds back into the images we create for Twitter and Facebook.
And now that Twitter is featuring square-shaped images, the images we create for Instagram and Facebook get to be repurposed 3 ways!
#2 Batch your visuals (but do it this way).
I am always talking about how you should batch your visual content. But it goes further than creating 10, 20, 30 images at once. There are 3 things we batch now:
- We batch plan our images (and edit between team members) – on a consistent day every week my content manager and I discuss content that will be created. We have systems for recording ideas, and turning them into confirmed images to be created.
- We batch create our images – doing them in one group at a time, so we are set then to schedule ahead for a couple of weeks.
- We batch “repurpose” our images – we regularly repurpose images for other platforms like Pinterest by changing size, topic, headings and we also regularly take images that have been posted to one platform, and reschedule them for another if they are suited to it. We tailor the description/copy and call to action as necessary – and do a batch of images at once. Blocking your time like this saves you hours.
Leading into next year – start creating your visual content creation system like this and you will find that it becomes easy and efficient. And you can do the same thing with curated content – it doesn’t just have to be content that you create yourself. A mix is good!
#3 Join our FREE #VisualChallenge
All this “strategy” talk may be giving you a headache but there is an easier way. It’s our 2nd FREE #VisualChallenge – starting in January.
Last year we had so much great content being created across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest,Twitter and Google+. This year we are ramping it up – more tips, great tools, and some awesome PDF action planning sheets that you will get not only during the challenge in January but starting RIGHT NOW we are sending them out to subscribers… there will be 2 or 3 more before the challenge starts. Find out more here.
Want to get the word out? Help us by tweeting it out:Join the #VisualChallenge with @SociallySorted in January!Click To Tweet
Why are we doing it this way? Because we have two phases of the challenge:
(1) a Visual Strategy Review at the end of the December 2015 to get ready for the new Year! (don’t worry it’s easy).
(2) the Visual Challenge in January – over 2 weeks with daily tasks, challenges and tips!
So you can get get a head start now and start planning right NOW for the challenge in January – go here to find out more.
You’ll start out 2016 with a clear visual content strategy (armed with visuals, ready to go).
I could go on and on about the challenge, but to get the skinny on what it is, how it works and how you can join, check out this page.
When you join in on the #VisualChallenge you will
…create visual content you wouldn’t otherwise have created.
…get hands on experience with new tools, skills and strategies.
…attract more traffic to your blog or social media platforms.
Last year we had users who were not on Instagram much, venturing over to double tap on an image, participants sharing each other’s images and posts.
Participants of the program also learn to promote the right way on the right platform for them – using native visual content. Last year we had people learning new and unique ways to promote their business.
When asked to quote themselves, participants found some innovative ways to do it, producing some awesome shareable images for their industry. Here is a great example from Amanda from Cooker and a Looker, her blog with a food theme.
This was a perfect example for Amanda – she was able to create an original piece of content to “quote herself” while entertaining her audience (and making me hungry)
Jump in and come and play with us. Join the #VisualChallenge. and put a firecracker under your visual content creation!
Over to You.
Are you participating? Thinking about it? Joining us again? Let me know in the comments below!