Intelligent placement of custom graphics can boost your blog's readership and expand your social media footprint. However, it takes more than simply pasting a graphic on your Facebook profile or in the header of your blog to engage your viewer. Don't get us wrong, those things help, but there are many other ways your design team can incorporate graphics in your social and blogging strategies.
Before we look at these approaches, first some basic marketing design housekeeping is in order. Prior to placing your graphics, make sure your graphics are actually, you know, cool. To that end, we suggest you acclimate yourself with some free graphic design tools to help you along. Second, as you embark on your graphic design, make sure your graphics have a visual connection to your logo and brand. Third, keep things simple in terms of your color selection. According to design expert Dustin Stout, “When it comes to blog design and creating your personal brand colors, it’s best to use a maximum of three colors. Two primary colors and one accent color should be the basis for your color palette. You can use as few as 2 colors, but never exceed 4-5 colors in your design. Keep it simple, keep it specific.”
OK, with that as introduction, here are six ways you can include customer graphics into your social and blogging strategies:
- Add your company's logo to every original graphic. A simple step, but a powerful one, as it reminds viewers of your brand every time they see the graphic.
- Experiment with your Facebook cover. Another basic marketing design tactic, but one that will keep your Facebook profile fresh and engaging. (As a reference, the size of your Facebook banner graphic should be 851 x 314 pixels.)
- Make graphics shareable. Wouldn't it be cool if followers on a social network shared one of your great custom graphics? Of course it would be, so make sure the graphic can be shared and don't be shy in encouraging followers to share. Speaking of which...
- Share the love. Let's say you want to share a post from one of your favorite blogs. You include an excerpt and a link on your blog and on your Facebook profile. But why not go a step further by including the graphic or logo of the blog itself? By doing so, you do three things. One, you make it more likely that people will read your post since content with graphics get read more frequently than mere text posts. Two, it diversifies your range of graphics and builds a kind of "graphic kinship" with another cool blog. And three, the original blog will see what went down and may be more likely to share your content and graphics in the future.
- Create visually stimulating CTAs. We admit, CTAs aren't as edgy as an Instagram-filtered photo manipulated in Photoshop. Nonetheless, the more visually-appealing your CTA is, the more likely people will click it. For assistance in how to create CTAs that convert, click here.
- Organize your graphics. A single graphic can be powerful. But dozens of engaging graphics, when viewed in totality, can have an even more powerful effect on viewers. Just think about the impact of seeing a dozen amazing photos in a Pinterest set versus just a handful. Sometimes more is more. To that end, take your graphics and catalog them by topic or theme. Then embed them across social media sets that are conducive to a more thematic-oriented presentation of graphics. We're thinking things like Pinterest boards, Instagram sets, and SlideShares. When doing so remember that square images work best on Instagram, Facebook, and Google+. Vertical images look best on Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.
What do you think? How does your team embed graphics across your social and blogging interfaces? What approaches have proven the most successful? What free marketing design tools would you recommend to others?
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