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5 Tips to Improve Your Visual Content

5 Tips to Improve Your Visual Content

As the purchasing landscape increasingly skews younger, you need to think about how to improve your visual content to satisfy buyers’ preferences.


Highlights:

  • Audiences increasingly prefer visual content.
  • Optimize visual content for search engines by including text.
  • Use graphics to make data pop.

Digital natives, who make up the majority of today’s B2B purchasing landscape, are highly steeped in online content. And, it may come as no surprise, they overwhelmingly prefer visual presentation, whether in video, infographic, animation, or gif format. What does this mean? Supply chain marketers need to adapt or be left behind.

Good content marketing is all about presenting information in a story format. Great content marketing also packs emotional resonance. Click To Tweet

While this doesn’t mean that text-based marketing is a thing of the past, it does mean that all your branded content — from blog posts to infographics to case studies to video — needs to be design-minded and visually appealing. These five suggestions will help improve your visual content game.

5 ways to improve your visual content

1)      Optimize for search engines.

The biggest downside to visual content such as videos and infographics is that they aren’t searchable in the way that text-based content is. But this doesn’t mean that you need to lose out on the SEO benefits when publishing this type of content.

First off, it pays to post a text transcript with video or accompanying explanatory text with infographics and images. It’s also important for you to categorize and organize your visual content, which means labeling visual assets like logos and images with relevant keywords. When publishing them, be sure to tag images with keywords.

2)      Make data interesting.

Common sense tells us that reading a bunch of numbers is far less compelling than seeing numerical data presented graphically. B2B marketers are in a prime position to make use of attractive data presentation, such as charts, graphs, animated images, or other formats to display your numerical data.

3)      Create reusable graphics.

If you’re investing in visual content creation, it pays to consider how it can be reused. For example, when creating an infographic, consider how you can break it up into multiple graphics, each containing a set of statistics or other information. This way, you can add these smaller graphics to other pieces of text content, boosting engagement and adding visual appeal.

Additionally, keep in mind that visual snippets are ideal for posting on social media, as teasers, or even self-contained Instagram or Facebook Stories.

4)      Keep your branding consistent.

A key point with visual content creation is consistent branding. Your brand’s visual presentation includes fonts, colors, font sizes, image styles, and anything else that is a visual indicator of your identity.

The first step to consistent branding is to document visual guidelines clearly and to distribute them to all content creators, along with samples for their use. Each time you publish visual content, make checking against the guidelines part of your editorial process.

5)      Use visual content to tell a story.

Good content marketing is all about presenting information in a story format. Great content marketing also packs emotional resonance. When creating visual content, start with the idea of telling a story. Ideally, you’re presenting data in a way that communicates a feeling and elicits an emotional response from the viewer. If your data is impactful, your viewers will forge an emotional connection with your brand.

How are you trying to improve your visual content?

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Archive for the "Social Media" Category


6 Content Marketing Trends for the Supply Chain in 2019

6 Content Marketing Trends for the Supply Chain in 2019

Content marketing is no longer optional. It’s essential in creating brand awareness, educating audiences, and building credibility. Here’s a look at the biggest digital marketing trends for 2019.


Highlights:

  • The content marketing industry is expected to be worth more than $400 billion by 2021.
  • Video is currently the most popular form of content being consumed online today.
  • Peers and colleagues are the third most influential source of information for B2B purchasing, right behind online searches and your website.

A recent article by Forbes on content marketing notes: “As recently as a few years ago, marketers handled content mostly as a side project. It was more of a bonus than an essential role — something you did when you had time because it took a backseat to more traditional marketing projects and responsibilities. That’s changed.”

Boy, has that changed. The content marketing industry is expected to be worth more than $400 billion by 2021.

The content marketing industry is expected to be worth more than $400 billion by 2021. Click To Tweet

The 2018 report from the Content Marketing Institute shows just how prevalent digital and content marketing is, and how essential it has become to creating brand awareness, educating your audience, and building credibility and trust with your customers.

Supply chain & logistics marketers: Trends to watch

So, where is content marketing headed in 2019? Marketing budgets are still on the rise, and supply chain and logistics companies are increasingly seeing the value in moving to an inbound marketing strategy driven by original content.

These are the six notable trends to consider when planning your 2019 content marketing strategy.

1. Video

Video is currently the most popular form of content being consumed online today, and video marketing will continue to have substantial value in 2019.

Smart supply chain marketers should start the new year by developing a visual storytelling strategy that offers consistent delivery of valuable content.

What’s your best bet? Be helpful and teach your audience something worthwhile to them.

2. Chatbots

The rise of chatbots – automated computer programs that simulate human conversation in messaging apps – is expected to continue in 2019. Business Insider recently reported that the number of people on messaging apps surpassed the number of users on social networks!

Chatbots are just one of the ways artificial intelligence will shape the content marketing landscape in 2019, but their ability to drastically increase customer engagement puts them on the short list for a major trend to watch in the coming year.

3. Voice search

Voice search is becoming an increasingly prevalent means of attaining information. Statistics vary, but it’s expected that anywhere between 30-50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. A recent report by NPR and Edison Research found that the rise of smart speakers is substantially changing consumer routines and purchasing behavior.

A good content marketing strategy for 2019 should consider how your customers might use voice search in your industry, and what you can do to maximize your content’s ability to respond.

4. Long-form content

I love this one, because it harkens back to humble beginnings of content marketing and the desire to put informative, quality content in front of a targeted interested audience.

Long form content – white papers, case studies, and lengthier blog posts e.g. – will have a resurgence of renewed appreciation in 2019. Why? Because many industries, including supply chain and logistics industries, are saturated with tons of mediocre short form content. People are increasingly looking to weed through it all for substantial quality posts from trusted sources. In addition, search engines will favor longer posts in results rankings.

Cheers to 2019 being the year of quality over quantity!

5. Brand ambassadors

We wrote about brand ambassadors as we headed into 2018, but they are worth mentioning again as we look forward to 2019. Brand ambassadors are employees that influence the B2B buying decisions of others, and they are an often-overlooked resource with more traditional marketing tactics.

Peers and colleagues are the third most influential source of information for business to business (B2B) purchasing, right behind online searches and your website! And there’s nothing more credible than a friend who speaks highly of their company’s product or service.

Definitely consider how you can help make brand ambassadors out of your employees in 2019.

6. Market Influencers

The final trend to watch in 2019 is influencer marketing, a form of marketing which focuses on influential people rather than the market as a whole.

Basically, marketers identify individuals who might have influence over potential buyers and create marketing campaigns and activities around these influencers. In many ways, this works similarly to a brand ambassador, where a single person influences their network of friends; in this case, however, the market influencer has a large network and a lot of “friends” who listen.

Influencer marketing will be a huge trend in marketing for 2019, and it would be worth considering who might be an influencer in your industry in the coming year and what your company might do reach them.

So, there you have it. As we head into 2019, these are the trends to watch and plan for in content marketing space.

The B2B buying climate is growing longer and more complex, and content marketing is so effective throughout the entire sales cycle if it’s done well.  The end of the year is a great time to revisit your marketing strategy and make any necessary changes for the coming year.

This post originally appeared on EBN Online.

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Infographic: 4 Strategies for Supply Chain Marketers to Build a YouTube Audience

Infographic: 4 Strategies for Supply Chain Marketers to Build a YouTube Audience

If you’re trying to build a YouTube audience, you’ll need equal parts strategy, creativity, concision, and valuable subject matter.


Highlights:

  • Strategy and creativity are top priorities.
  • Keep content short and sweet for maximum impact.
  • Offer value to your audience rather than a sales pitch.

An increasing percentage of search traffic is perusing YouTube for information, advice, and education. That makes the platform ideal for getting in front of prospects looking for products and services like yours.

But I’ve seen a lot of B2B marketers getting YouTube wrong. The good news is that the problem is usually that they’re trying too hard — and not in the right ways.

To effectively build a YouTube audience that will eventually become leads and, hopefully, customers, you need to be distributing video content that showcases your organization’s expertise in an approachable way. Here are some simple rules for how to go about that (without barking up the wrong tree).

4 Strategies for Brands on YouTube

4 ways to build a YouTube audience

1)      Be disciplined about your content schedule.

When it comes to publishing content on social media, when you post is nearly as important as what you post. YouTube is no different. Creating and sticking to a consistent schedule for posting new content essentially trains your audience and lets them know when they can expect to hear more from you.

Creating video content consistently doesn’t need to feel like reinventing the wheel. First off, videos should be part of your content calendar in the same way as blog posts, case studies, and other forms of content. You don’t need to create brand new material for each video. Take a high-performing blog post and re-package the ideas into video content.

2)      Get creative.

Creativity for B2B companies is all about striking the right balance between entertaining presentation and informative, high-quality content. Think about approaching the information you want to convey in a different way. Can you use a different medium (like animation) or interview two subject-matter experts together if your one-on-one interviews are feeling stale?

There are plenty of technologies available today that will help you create exciting, engaging video content relatively cheaply. Or you could always consider outsourcing your videography.

3)      Keep it short.

While we’ve seen recent growth in long-form YouTube content, for most B2B marketing purposes, shorter videos are far more effective. Of course, this is good news in that producing shorter videos can be less time-consuming and costly. But I cannot emphasize enough the importance of quality over quantity here.

A 1- to 2-minute video of high-quality, well-edited content will get far more engagement (and be more successful in helping you build a YouTube audience) than 15 minutes of lecturing or poorly executed, complex animation. Click To Tweet

A 1- to 2-minute video of high-quality, well-edited content will get far more engagement (and be more successful in helping you build a YouTube audience) than 15 minutes of lecturing or poorly executed, complex animation. If you have a lot of footage about a certain subject, consider releasing a series of shorter videos.

4)      Don’t make video a sales pitch.

Content marketing is inbound marketing, and video is no different. Countless studies have shown that increasingly buyers prefer informative, valuable content to blatant sales pitches.

This doesn’t mean that your content shouldn’t be branded, but it does mean that your focus in creation and execution needs to be what you can offer your audience, rather than you’re asking from them.

Use your video content to address specific concerns or answer questions that are relevant to your target audience. It’s simple: if you give something of value, you will build a YouTube audience that could eventually become your leads and customers.

What have you been doing to build a YouTube audience?

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Archive for the "Social Media" Category


Twitter’s New Video Analytics Tool, Facebook Showcase, and More Social Media News March 2019

Twitter’s New Video Analytics Tool, Facebook Showcase, and More Social Media News March 2019

Also, this month in social media news: Twitter launches new camera tools to increase visual focus; and Pinterest introduces Catalogs and expands shopping ads.

This month on social media news, we’re seeing a few trends continuing. Platforms are increasingly offering robust analytics tools to content creators in an effort to boost engagement. This time, it’s Twitter rolling out a new tool that gives video publishers insights on optimal post timings. Twitter is also jumping on the “Stories” bandwagon, with its own answer to the trend: a camera feature that allows users to create images similar to Instagram and Facebook Stories.

Also this month, we’re seeing good news for brands when it comes to advertising on social media. Facebook is introducing a feature for premium video advertising, while Pinterest is rolling out multiple tools to help brands sell directly from the platform. Read on for a round-up of social media news.

Social media news for March 2019

Twitter Debuts a New Analytics Tool for Video Publishers

In an effort to provide video publishers with increased data to aid in performance improvement on Twitter, the platform has released the first in a new series of publisher insights tools: Timing is Everything. According to Twitter, the tool “displays historical data showing when audiences are on Twitter watching and engaging with video. This data highlights the best time(s) to Tweet video content with an aim to maximize engagement, conversation, and viewership.”

This is big news for video publishers, including content marketers. Twitter is offering key insights on one of the most important factors in determining social media marketing success: timing. Of course, increased engagement is in the platform’s best interest — and it’s in yours as well. Stay tuned for the release of more insight tools from Twitter in the coming weeks and months.

Facebook Announces Facebook Showcase for Premium Video Advertising

Facebook has debuted Facebook Showcase, a new premium video ad program that gives online video and TV ad buyers participating in the upfront selling cycle new opportunities to reach their target audiences on the platform. Showcase is currently available for campaigns targeting U.S. audiences and includes In-Stream Reserve, In-Stream Reserve Categories, and Sponsorships.

Facebook’s announcement is another big one for advertisers. Showcase will help advertisers connect with people through premium content and unique video experiences and can help reach younger-skewing audiences that are increasingly difficult to reach on TV.

Twitter Launches New Camera Tools to Increase Visual Focus

While platforms like Facebook and Instagram are increasingly ushering users towards their respective Stories features, Twitter is introducing a camera tool which will let users capture Stories-like images, including overlays and a searchable element. In addition to bringing the platform on board with the Stories trend, it ushers in more visual content options.

Twitter is introducing a camera tool which will let users capture Stories-like images, including overlays and a searchable element. Click To Tweet

Swiping left on your Twitter timeline from your mobile device will take you to the new camera. There you can capture an image or video, or even go Live straight from Twitter, rather than having to be routed through Periscope. Next, users have the option to add details to the image, including hashtags suggested based on location. Stickers and filters aren’t here yet, but no doubt they’ll be coming soon.

Pinterest Introduces Catalogs and Expands Shopping Ads

Pinterest has rolled out a series of new tools and products to help brands sell their products directly on the platform. The company has debuted Catalogs, which allows brands to upload their full product portfolios to Pinterest and easily turn each item into dynamic, shoppable product pins. In addition, Pinterest has introduced personalized shopping recommendations for style, home, beauty, and DIY boards.

The platform’s rollouts are good news for brands and speaks to the company’s pro-business corporate mindset: “People come to Pinterest in a shopping mindset open to discovering products, which creates a great connection between Pinners and businesses. Pinners are looking for inspiration, and brands help make that inspiration a reality.”

What other social media news has your attention this month?

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Infographic: 12 Instagram Tips for Supply Chain Companies

Infographic: 12 Instagram Tips for Supply Chain Companies

Many B2B organizations are using Instagram to grow business. Here are a dozen Instagram tips to help you use the platform effectively.


 Highlights:

  • Instagram has become the second most used social media platform, up from fourth in 2017.
  • Audiences love real-time content, like Instagram Stories. It lets them feel a genuine, human connection — the creation of which sometimes poses a challenge for B2B marketers.
  • An effective Instagram presence has the potential to grow brand awareness, improve your reputation, and generate qualified leads.

Recent research on social media use shows that 66% of brands now use Instagram. As of 2018, it was second-most used platform by businesses, up from fourth in 2017. If you’re considering using this social media network for your business, which you should be, our 12 Instagram tips can help you get started.

12 Instagram Tips for Supply Chain Companies

Top Instagram Tips for Suply Chain Companies

1.      Be authentic

Many supply chain companies often fall into the trap of using stock photography or overly staged promotional pictures of products. The ethos of Instagram is all about authenticity and personality. Let your audience get an up-close-and-personal glimpse into your company’s culture with real photos of the people, places, and things that make your business run every day.

2.      Optimize your account

Before we get to anything fancy, take a step back and make sure your Instagram account is fully optimized. This means you need:

  • a bio with a link to marketing or product pages related to a specific keyword or hashtag;
  • image captions, which can reference the link in your bio;
  • a search-friendly username; and
  • a compelling profile image that reflects your company.

3.      Go live

Live video is the “it” trend in social media marketing, with 63% of marketers reporting that they plan on adding it to their overall strategy. Audiences love real-time content, and it lets them feel a genuine, human connection — the creation of which sometimes poses a challenge for B2B marketers.

4.      Put your Stories in Highlights

In addition to its Stories feature, Instagram now lets users create a featured group of “Highlights” in various categories on their profiles. Stories have only a 24-hour lifespan, so featuring your most effective Stories clips in Highlights gives them a second life and a chance to engage future followers. One of the best features of Stories and Highlights is that it allows companies to view and analyze how users have viewed and interacted with their content.

5.      Keep up the pace

Instagram is one of the easiest social media platforms to post on. That means you can quickly snap photos wherever you are — say, at a conference or event, or even on your way into the office — and publish it instantly. This is great for reaching the coveted millennial audience, which seems to have an unquenchable thirst for consuming content, particularly images and graphics.

6.      Keep your content consistent

Posting on a consistent timetable is crucial to maintaining an active following. Posting irregularly means you risk your followers forgetting about you, and posting all at once can annoy and drive followers away. Ideally, companies should post 2-3 times a day, but you’ll need to test how many times a day is most effective for your particular business in engaging your specific audience. For more, check out our guide to when to post on social media.

7.      Try a takeover

Taking over the Instagram account of a partner company or customer is a great way to draw attention from an existing and relevant audience, providing mutual benefits to both parties.

8.      Invest in sponsored posts and product reviews

Optimizing your account and following Instagram best practices will go a long way toward earning authentic followers that could become future leads and/or customers. But to really boost your impact, it pays to take advantage of influencer marketing on Instagram. Create a list of large accounts in your vertical (think industry media sites and partners), follow them, and reach out to their marketing team to ask about sponsored-post pricing. Be on the lookout for influencers with a high engagement rate relative to number of followers.

Optimizing your account and following Instagram best practices will go a long way toward earning authentic followers that could become future leads and/or customers. Click To Tweet

9.      Use the right hashtags

One of the most effective ways to grow your Instagram following is to use hashtags effectively. Since Instagram gives users the ability to follow hashtags that interest them, and they function as links to other relevant content, choosing the right hashtags is the ideal way to reach and engage your target audience.

Keep an eye on accounts of peer brands to stay up to date with the best hashtags to use. The most effective hashtags are short, memorable, and easy to read. You can also use an online tool like InconoSquare or Websta to find relevant hashtags for your business.

10.  Use the right filters

Sure, filters are great for turning boring or poorly lit photos into more engaging images. But, it turns out that which filter you choose really does have an impact on engagement. These lighting and color presets offered by Instagram have the potential to create mood and style in your image content. According to Iconosquare, these 10 filters are currently the most popular on Instagram:

  • Normal (No Filter)
  • Clarendon
  • Juno
  • Lark
  • Ludwig
  • Gingham
  • Valencia
  • X-Pro II
  • Lo-fi
  • Amaro

11.  Be a storyteller

Instagram is all about visual storytelling. Your posts should do more than promote your products — they should be drawing in your audience with narrative told through a visual format. Instagram Stories are an ideal way to engage your audience!

12.  Get personal

Go in deep and personal with your customers by answering their questions via 10-second videos. You let your viewers feel like they’re being heard. Plus, short videos are ideal for reposting.

The Bottom Line

Instagram is an extremely effective tool for B2B businesses. These Instagram tips for using the platform will help you create and nurture a loyal, engaged audience base. In turn, an effective Instagram presence has the potential to grow brand awareness, improve your reputation, and generate qualified leads.

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Video: Top Tips for Using Instagram for Business

Video: Top Tips for Using Instagram for Business

Instagram for business is a rising trend. Here are some top tips to get your business using Instagram as a part of your digital marketing strategy.


Highlights:

  • Instagram is all about authenticity and personality. Let your audience get an up close and personal glimpse into your company’s culture.
  • Audiences love real-time content and it lets them feel a genuine, human connection.
  • Posts should do more than promote your brand and Instagram Stories are an ideal way to engage your audience!

Video transcript:

I’m Katie Russell and I’m a marketing strategist here at Fronetics. Today I’m going to talk to you about Instagram for business. Instagram has been growing in popularity and if you’ve been thinking about using Instagram for your business here are some tips to get you started.

Be authentic

Instagram is all about authenticity and personality. Give your viewers an inside glimpse into your company’s culture. An easy example would be to create little videos answering your audiences questions. It shows that your viewers are being heard and as well as an opportunity to engage with new audiences.

Keep up the pace

Instagram is one of the easiest platforms to post to, so don’t be afraid to take pictures at meetings, conferences,  or events, anywhere that you are. The pictures don’t have to be perfect, just remember that the more you post the greater opportunity you have to reach new audiences.

Go live

Live video is the “it” trend in social media marketing right now. Audiences love real-time content, and it gives them feel a genuine, human connection that can sometimes be a struggle for B2B marketers.

Be a storyteller

Instagram is all about visual storytelling, so your newsfeed should be more than just promoting your brand. It should give viewers and audiences a look at what makes your brand different. Don’t be afraid to be quirky or think outside the box to show audiences what makes your brand unique.

Out of ideas? Just ask!

Creating content and coming up with new ideas can be a huge challenge for marketers. Don’t be afraid to survey your audiences and ask them what they’d be interested in seeing. You might just get some great ideas you never would have considered.

For more tips on how to get started for Instagram for your business, visit us at Fronetics.com.

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