Visual content is at the heart of social media nowadays, and unsurprisingly images have a big part to play. However, because practically every brand knows that, your social media marketing images will be facing an uphill slope and have to compete to stand out enough and draw the attention of viewers.
Making sure your images do that in accordance with the latest social media marketing trends is not easy, as you may have already noticed. Aside from the stiff competition, it requires an understanding of design (and photography), that not everyone has.
On the bright side – you can learn. To be more specific, there are a few key methods that you can use to directly improve the chances that your digital marketing images will make an impact.
Brand Social Media Marketing Images Consistently
Although consistency may seem to be the antithesis of standing out, it is actually one of the best ways to do so. By branding your social media pictures consistently, you’ll train viewers to recognize them instantly – and they’ll stand out amongst other images as a result.
Keep in mind that ‘branding’ social media marketing images doesn’t just mean placing a logo on them but rather ensuring they have a similar look and vibe. In other words, they should share common colors, font styles, frames, and other visual elements.
The more visually consistent your images are, the better your brand recognition will be. It will also make your brand seem more solid and established, and promote trust and authority – which can help in more ways than one.
One of the first steps you should take to brand your social media images is to identify a color scheme for your brand, as well as select fonts that you’ll use for its typography. After that, you can look for other similarities that you may like your images to have, such as similar scenes, expressions, people, or even shapes.
As much as your logo is an important part of your brand and should be present in your images, you should only create it after you’ve identified these elements – as it should share them as well.
Finally, use these newfound branding elements throughout the images that you come up with for social media.
Draw Focus to Important Elements with Contrast
Contrast is one of the most important concepts in design and involves accentuating the differences in visual properties within an image. It is a great way to make certain elements in your social media marketing images stand out, and create focal points that viewers gravitate towards immediately.
Having a focal point is important because viewers will hone in on it. In that way, it can make your image stand out more, by immediately drawing their attention to the most important part of the image.
Keep in mind that although the color is one of the most common ways in which contrast can be used – there are others as well. Differences in size (big vs. small), shape (geometric vs. organic) and typography can all be used to set certain elements apart.
In any given image, you can use a combination of these types of contrast to set one (or more) element apart. Initially, it may be best to use the minimalist approach, as it is easier to employ contrast with fewer competing elements.
That being said, you can use contrast to draw focus to elements even in more ‘crowded’ digital marketing images. In such cases, you will want to establish a distinct visual hierarchy that draws focus to a particular element and then guides the viewer to other elements that are important too.
Use a Grid to Design Images and Align Elements
One of the best ways to create social media marketing images that are visually interesting is to start with a grid. In photography, this approach is commonly used with a 3 by 3 grid, and is known as the ‘rule of thirds’.
Basically the ‘rule of thirds’ involves aligning elements by positioning them in one-third of the grid, along with the gridlines or at the intersection points. The same theory can be extended in a more general sense to larger grids as well, and so you can use it in innumerable ways.
Starting to design your image on top of a grid can give it a sense of order, make it look more professional, and improve its composition. It will also make it easier for you to place text on your images and align them in a balanced way with the other elements that are present.
The two most common types of grids that are used to improve the composition of social media pictures are the rule of thirds and the golden mean. Both should provide a good starting point, and later you can experiment with other grids if you feel it is necessary.
Ensure the Image Size is Right for the Platform
It is critical that any images you publish on social media are the right size, and that size will vary depending on the platform in question. In some cases, it also depends on the orientation of the image, i.e. horizontal, vertical or square.
The reason why it is important to ensure the image size is right is that if it isn’t the social media platform you’re using may automatically crop, stretch, or compress the image to fit in a different frame. Needless to say, that can ruin the visual appeal of an image and make it stand out much less.
As a quick guide, you should try to use these image sizes:
Keep in mind that the ‘optimal’ dimensions for social media images do change periodically, which is why it is best to always check in advance. After you publish an image you should also make sure it is displayed correctly.
If you want to design a single image for multiple platforms it may be best to use a 1:1 (i.e. square) aspect ratio, as it can be displayed properly on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Add Quotes That Stand Out
Adding quotes to accompany images has become a mainstay on social media, and it is a type of content that lots of people enjoy. More importantly, it has been proven to attract attention – but in order for that to happen your quote itself needs to stand out.
To be more specific, when you add quotes to social media images it is important to use:
Contrast to set it apart from other elements.
Typography that is consistent, clean, and readable – and matches your message.
Composition so it is aligned with other elements symmetrically.
Images that pair with the context of the quotes.
It goes without saying that the quote you choose to use should also be relevant to your audience, and speak to them and their interests in some way.
If you can pull all that off, you should have an image with a quote that viewers feel compelled to read – and that will cause the image itself to stand out among other social media marketing images on a social media feed.
Now that you have 5 ways that you can use to come up with social media marketing images that stand out – the next step is to put them into action. For that, you’ll need a way to edit your social media marketing images, to adjust the frame and composition, tweak any elements, and improve them in other ways.
While you may not be all that familiar with editing, a good place to start is with Movavi Photo Editor. It is an easy to use image editor that will let you quickly edit your digital marketing images without needing any prior experience. To be honest, even if you’re a complete beginner you should be able to start editing your photos with its help in minutes at most.
With the features in Movavi Photo Editor, you’ll be able to transform the frame and improve the composition by removing unwanted elements. On top of that, you could enhance the quality or your images, apply artistic filters, add creative text elements, touch up portraits, replace the background, and more.
Although it may take a bit of time to experiment with the methods listed above and apply them to your social media pictures – it is really all about practice. As you experiment with each method, you’ll start to see for yourself how it is able to improve your images and make them stand out more.
It will also help if you track the performance of images that you publish on social media. That should give you a yardstick to measure their effectiveness, and allow you to gradually improve your social media marketing images further.
Once you’re able to create images that stand out more, fulfilling your marketing goals will be easier than it seems.
Allison is a professional content marketer and an inspired author. Marketing manager by day and a writer by night, she is creating many articles on business, marketing, design and web development. She loves working with website builders and CMS, and sharing her experience with the readers. Follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook.
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