When it comes to your company’s social media presence, it can be easy to focus exclusively on the copy. With priorities placed on the right keywords, trending hashtags and proper word length, imagery often becomes a simple stock photo. However, according to a study by Social Media Today, stock photography posts only drive 12 percent of engagement, while content with original graphics drives 40 percent of engagement and videos drive 23 percent of engagement. And reaping the benefits of visual marketing has never been easier to do in-house. Here are some tools to create graphics and videos for all of your company’s social media platforms.
Unless you or someone at your business has a background in graphic design, navigating applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator can be a daunting task. Canva provides an easy-to-use alternative for those with more novice design skills (It can be easily bookmarked on your browser). With a library of pre-sized templates as well as user control over the design process, Canva gives your firm everything it needs to create your own social media graphics.
The program works in a simple, step-by-step process. After your firm selects a template, you can then proceed to add your own brand elements to the design with various images, illustrations and text. In a matter of minutes, you have a branded graphic that will generate more awareness and engagement for your company. For those with more experience, Canva also allows users to start from scratch with a blank canvas for a truly unique design.
While graphics are seemingly more easily and quickly created, the value of video on social media can’t be overstated. On average, videos on Facebook receive 135 percent more organic reach than photos. However, making a video for your company’s social media channels doesn’t mean just taking out your phone and hitting the record button for a few minutes. It takes professional sound and recording equipment, proper lighting and a whole lot of planning. Or, you could simply use Lumen5.
Lumen5 works by taking valuable content that your company has written such as blog posts and journal articles and transforming it into a video to share on social media. After you drop a link to your content or enter your own text, the application uses Natural Language Processing algorithms to make a video storyboard. Your firm can then add photos, icons or music from a diverse built-in library or by uploading your own.
Even with a number of user-friendly programs available, sometimes it just requires a professional touch to get the right graphic or video. But while programs like Canva and Lumen5 can be accessed for free or with a small monthly fee, hiring a graphic designer or videographer can get pricey, even on a freelance basis. Upwork connects your firm to a vast network of talented professionals that can be hired at a more reasonable price.
Designed like a virtual temp agency, Upwork’s talent marketplace includes motion graphics designers, mobile designers, video producers and creative directors. After your firm describes the project, Upwork provides a shortlist of the most qualified prospects with detailed profiles, portfolios, clients reviews and ratings so you can make the perfect choice for your needs. With invoices managed directly through the program as well, you only pay for the work you authorize.
If you want more movement than a standard graphic but not the length of a video, there’s always the option to meet in the middle with a GIF. Reigning like Mike Tyson in his prime, GIPHY is the undisputed king of GIF supply. With a simple search, your firm can instantly tap into thousands of GIFs related to categories such as reactions, entertainment and greetings that can be included on various social posts or story updates.
Since many GIFs are designed to make people laugh or smile, GIPHY also includes a GIF Maker tool which would allow your firm to create something more suited to your social media presence. These can easily be designed from photos, videos or a combination of the two, and then downloaded to be shared with your target audience. Along with its other apps for asset creation, the entire GIF-making process is free through GIPHY.
While they are more tailored to beginners than some programs, becoming a pro at tools such as Canva and Lumen5 still takes time and practice. Just as nobody learns how to ride a bike without picking up a few bumps and bruises along the way, your company will almost inevitably have some hiccups when it comes to creating graphics and videos for social media. If you’re interested in learning more about the value of graphics and videos in your social media presence, let’s have a chat about how we can create a more visual presence to drive real results for your business.