Science behind Visual Content

Science behind Visual Content

Before we start, here are a few facts for you (backed by science and market research, naturally):

  • 30% of collective internet usage is currently dedicated to social media use and interaction
  • 65% of all humans are visual learners
  • Everyone loves memes

Ok, that last point may not be as relevant as the other two, so we’ll get to that later, but the fact remains that with statistics like that, it’s hard to ignore just how essential visual content is to marketing your brand online.

You must have experienced this for yourself numerous times. While a lot of people simply can’t be bothered to read a lengthy article, they are more than happy to open a photo (or series of photos), GIF, video, or the like. Even infographics can be pretty attention-grabbing in their own right.

Which leads us to the question: How can you use visual content to improve your branding online? Like anything else, there are some rules to this, though we prefer to call them tricks of the trade.

1) Write Less, Visualize More

Instead of a lengthy paragraph, why not shorten it to a few lines on an image? Similarly, graphs and pie charts are much more effective than long descriptions and statistics. Keep it short and concise- less content for a wider reach.

2) How Often Should I Post?

Hardly anyone enjoys being overwhelmed by updates, even if there are from a popular person or brand. Post consistently, but not overtly. Make a schedule and post updates accordingly. It appeals to our human need for routine- even if only subconsciously.

3) Put the Fun in Funny

Everyone enjoys a play on words, a reference to pop culture or (you guessed it) memes. There is a reason why entertaining content is continually going viral. People love a momentary distraction or a bit of a laugh. That being said, using humor excessively or unnecessarily will not gain you any favors; so use it wisely, but use it.

4) Consistency in Color and Font

This is essential for brand recall. People need to be able to associate that particular font and color with your brand in order for it to be effective. Choose a font that works well for you, ditto for the colors, and stick to it.

5) Optimize as per the Platform

Every platform of social media these days has its own specifications for image dimensions. Make sure your image is the right size for that platform for maximum impact.

6) Appeal to the Human in Me

If Facebook has taught us anything, it’s that we love the human touch and getting involved. Post wishes on festivals, share condolences when there has been a disaster, share photos of the company annual day. Humanize your brand.

7) Make the Grid Work for You

When it comes to breakdown of information, you can’t beat the grid. They are masters of order and proportion and, scientifically, they just work.

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Five Content Strategies For Advocate Marketing

Marketers have long accepted the fact that successful content is that which is helpful to the business’s audience and not overt brand advertising. We know that if the content we produce is to be consumed and shared, it must entertain and inform our audience, instead of simply selling to them. As more and more businesses produce such useful content, however, making your content more relevant has become a new challenge.

Five Content Strategies For Advocate MarketingDrew Bernard, the founder of Facebook app development firm Action Sprout, recently shared his “lessons learned” on content creation and how to make it more appealing (and thus viral) for advocate marketing. He says not only must content be relevant and informative to its audience, it must be “something that fans want to be personally connected with as it becomes part of their online personal narrative.”

Below are the five content strategies for advocate marketing he recommends to do just that.

1. Bring a smile

While we all love a post that makes us smile, marketers often feel pressure to stay on message. This often translates into being serious because organizations fear that making light of something could cheapen their brand. If you’re creating content for an organization with a serious mission, look for tasteful ways to inject humor into your Facebook posting regimen and you will find that overall reach and engagement will go up.

2. Be Inspiring

Look for content that will inspire hope or other positive emotions. Inspiring content consistently does well because Facebook users want inspiring content to be part of their personal narrative. One way to inspire people is to celebrate success.

The Sierra Club’s “Thank the California Fish and Game Commission Protecting the Gray Wolves” posts celebrate success and inspire hope while providing fans a way to inspire their own friends. As this post performed well organically, Sierra Club chose to promote it as well, which resulted in a very high return on investment: more than 1600 people signed up to receive email communication from Sierra Club from this post.

3. Help your fans become a trusted source of information

It’s long been known that one of the best ways to build a large and loyal network on Facebook is to be the trusted source of information on a topic which people care about. The real magic here is about fans wanting to be the trusted source of information to their friends, which leads them to share your content with their network. Infographics with interesting facts and figures are a good example of posts that typically outperform average content as they help fans show their friends they are a trusted source of information.

4. Empower people

Roughly 10% of people who engage with a given Facebook post that includes meaningful content are willing to do something beyond like, share or comment. Because fans almost certainly view your organization as working to bring about change they want to see in the world, they are willing to take an action that results in greater viral sharing and, in the process, sign up for email communication.

Posts that empower people to make a difference help them show others who they really are. Simultaneously, these posts work to deepen relationships as people sign up for future direct communication.

5. Run special offers that align with your mission

Contests and draws are proven strategies to boost engagement. To avoid engaging with people more interested in the value of the offer than your organization’s mission, I recommend offering the potential to win by taking an action (whether it’s simply clicking like or signing a petition) to tap into the power of offering something of small monetary value (e.g. your organization’s t-shirt) while still keeping it relevant. This keeps both engagement and quality high. The most effective of these campaigns make your fans feel like they are doing their friends a favor by inviting them to participate, too.

The practice of advocate marketing must become a more subtle science. Consumers have become less likely to share brand or product information – however useful it is or however much they love the product – if it does not align with their personal brand narrative. That’s the common thread in this list: Content marketing that goes viral isn’t just about good content but the audience’s perception of how sharing that content will influence their personal brand among THEIR audience.

We’ve all become conscious of the fact that our social media posts form the basis for the world’s perception about us as individuals – professionally or personally.  Your consumers will share more of your content if it elicits a more positive impression of them or if it more closely aligns with their personal values.


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Data Tagging for Content Marketing

Content MarketingData tags are key to digital marketing success, allowing marketers to add context to content. Hashtags, geolocation, topical categories and product IDs enable B2B and B2C social media marketers to target and communicate more effectively.


Hashtags: The Beginning:

IRC networks have been using hashtags to label groups and topics for some time, but the term became popular when Twitter began using the metadata tag to improve search. Since then, social platforms adopted the hashtag functionality to their sites, with Google+ being the most recent adopter. Users and brands use this feature to search social posts by topic and contribute to conversations with their own responses. Since the inception of searching social media by topic, brands regularly use hashtags to encourage and amplify relatable content using content curation services like Bazaarvoice Curations.

Geolocation Tags:

With the rise and popularity of searchable social content by topic, a few social platforms such as Foursquare took advantage of the data tagging momentum and introduced geolocation data tagging to create another search criteria – content by location. This additional layer of location-based targeting puts online conversations, photos, and videos in the context of where they are happening. Brands now have the power to launch location-specific social campaigns, such as contests at events or displaying the reach of their brand using a geotagged map.

Social Commerce Tags:

Social commerce tagging is a trending concept that activates the e-commerce potential of user generated product posts. Tagging FeedMagnet-social-commerce-taggingcontent about products with associated product pages allows brands to lead customers from a social interaction to a purchase. By putting the tagging function in the hands of marketers, content platforms like Bazaarvoice Curations enables a new connection between discovery and closing a sale.

Product tagging is ready for retailers in every category, mapping directly to the projected rise of the e-commerce industry and the ongoing importance of the ROI of social media marketing. We’re excited to see some of our clients already using these capabilities to pioneer social commerce microsites, and we look forward to helping more clients realize their e-commerce potential!

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7 Rules of Content Marketing Design That Convert Customers

Content MarketingPoor design can kill your content marketing. Let’s say that your content is great, and you’re also being effective at promoting it. What else could you do to get more and better leads? You’ve got to optimize your design.

It doesn’t matter how good your content is – if you don’t address design and navigation issues, your audience won’t stick around to see it. Good design is about taking users through an engaging and persuasive journey. You don’t want your users clicking all over your blog just to find a link.

Uberflip’s latest SlideShare covers 7 tactics to optimize your content marketing design and drive conversions:






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5 Steps To A Damn Good Content Marketing Strategy

Standing on the sidelines of the digital world can be daunting for businesses. You know you need to participate with a website, blog and content but for many the social web is seen as a necessary evil rather than an opportunity.
The doubt starts with the question, how do I stand out online when there are over 900 million websites, nearly 200 million blogs and 144 billion emails sent every day.
This torrent of data screams for attention. You feel insignificant.
Also many questions flood your mind, what technology do I use, how do I market my business online and where do I start? The list goes on and on.

Quite often these paralyzing perturbations stop you from making that first step. The seeming complexity and overwhelming noise is perceived as a distraction from the real job of running a business.
The challenges seem insurmountable.

Content Flow Chart Blackboard

The other challenges

The clamouring questions and the digital commotion often hide the other challenges. These include:Time :

Where do I find the time to produce content, market it and optimize it for search engines? I have a business to run, proposals to write and emails to respond to. Who has time for this content creation.

Unlearning :

Most of us were not born as a connected generation. The millennials, born into a world of web and smart phones seem to be able to text and Facebook while walking and even sleeping. Some of us feel like we are all thumbs. We are more comfortable with print, telephone and mass media than Google and Facebook advertising. We are also used to talking about our products and services rather than what our customers want to hear.
This means we need to “unlearn” old habits. Embracing the new often needs letting go of the old.

Regulations :

Many traditional businesses such as finance, insurance and health (to name a few) feel that marketing is too encumbered by rules of onerous regulation and disclosure. It can seem to be an annoying roadblock to advertising and promoting your business. So are you frozen with inaction yet?It doesn’t need to be complicated. In 2008 a small business was fighting for survival. The “Great Financial Crisis” had hit and sales had plummeted. The order book was slim and the inquiries had dried up. It was traditional type of business and the term “content marketing” wasn’t in their lexicon. Marcus Sheridan and his partner at River Pools decided to take action. What did they do? Its not complicated.

Listed all the questions their clients asked everyday turned those questions and answers into articles on their blog  took those articles and made them into a free ebook collected emails when people downloaded the ebook kept answering questions (content) and informing and updating potential customers via email  they didn’t have a big social media presence, their website looks boring and I wouldn’t call it a cool industry. But it worked. They started writing content to save the company.  Today their website has more traffic than any other pool company in the world! A closer look let’s take a deeper dive into what they did at River Pools and how they created an effective content marketing strategy in just 5 steps and how you can apply it to your business.


1. The questions
The questions were broken into 4 categories.
How do I find the right pool shape?
What options and accessories should I consider?
Should I consider a DIY installation (self installation) or use a pool contractor?
How do I find a reputable pool contractor?
How can I ensure I am getting a fair price?
It may seem that these questions are a no-brainer but as experts in our industry we are often blinded by the “curse of knowledge”. This can stop us making sure we simplify the process and answer the “beginner 101″ questions. So keep it simple and don’t use acronyms.
So if you are struggling for content that is where you start. When you are at a client meeting or on the telephone, start jotting down the questions and keep doing it.


2. The blog
They then decided to unlock the answers from their grey matter and make it public and put it online on their website blog. Many of us fall into the trap of keeping the information to ourselves. You need to make your content free and easy to share online. This is called “liquid content”. It needs to be free to flow and roam across the web.
So take those questions and publish the solutions on a blog. You are now a publisher and a “content marketer”
Why Content Marketing Doesn’t Need to Be complicated the blog looks very average and wouldn’t win a design award. It’s all about the content. Yes, you may have to work on your headline skills and discipline yourself to write a regular blog but the results will make it worthwhile.


3. Created an ebook
Their ebook is only 16 pages and 5,500 words. It’s not “War and Peace”. They created it from the blog posts that they created over time.
Why Content Marketing Doesn’t Need to Be complicated.  So plan ahead and write an outline of your ebook and then turn that into a series of blog posts. This is called re-purposing of content. It isn’t complicated it just requires a bit of planning. I am sure you have written longer essays at high school!


4. Built an email list
River Pools knew they had to build an email list in 2008 and today on this social web it is still as important. It is one of your most important digital assets. You own it. They collected an email address from every ebook download.
So start building your email list now. Get your web contractor to set up your email system today. There are a lot of simple to use email platforms including Aweber and Mailchimp.


5. Use your email list
They also used that list to keep communicating with those potential customers. So when they were ready to buy, the River Pools brand was top of mind. When you are creating educational content you can send emails every time you write a new blog post. You are not restricted to that “monthly” newsletter.

The opportunity
In many traditional and what can sometimes be seen as boring industries, you can stand out just by solving your customers questions and problems.
Remember, no one cares about you and your products… it is what your products and services can do for them.What about you?Have you started content marketing? Is it working for you? Remember that this type of organic marketing will take time and you may not start to see results for 6-12 months. But if you follow these simple steps you will be surprised by the results.

What’s stopping you?

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