Series: How to Use Formatting to Make the Most of Your Shareable Content

In this blog series, Valere Studios covers essential elements to creating and formatting your shareable content for its best potential and reach in your social and digital marketing.

If something doesn’t look good in the store, do you buy it?  Likely not.  In fact, you probably cruise on by and don’t give it a second thought. Likewise, when online, if it doesn’t look worth opening or reading, well, people just don’t.  Open or read it, that is.  That’s why making your shareable content attractive and engaging is so important to your business marketing.

The first secret to creating content that, well, travels – meaning it obtains a reach equal to its full potential – is custom images.

A ChangingMinds.org study reveals that people retain only 10–20 percent of written or spoken information but almost 65 percent of visual information?  What does that mean for your shareable content? Use images and make your imagespop.  For many of our clients, we like to use on-site photographs to create stand-out images.  An example of a client’s a widely shared image was posted on Encore Talent Productions’ social media platforms:

Have you Thanked a Veteran Today- (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a photo we took on-site at an Encore dance competition last summer.  How appropriate to highlight our client Encore (and its commitment to honoring our veterans) with the use of an impactful custom image!

So, why are images so important?  They are highly shareable.  That alone is the best reason.  In fact, images that accompany a Twitter post average a 35 percent boost in retweets.  But, let’s take it a step further: images can be fun!  Are you more likely to click on and view a fun image (especially if it’s touting a sale or service you have been looking for!) or just to click and read some text?  Let’s do a side-by-side comparison of two formats using an actual image created for our client Cincinnati Maintenance:

 

CM Does It Feel Like You are Cleaning Like This-Call on Cincinnati Maintenance! We offer....

Which is more appealing?  Which is more fun?  The same content is shared, but the custom image makes the content memorable and, most importantly, easily shareable.  For this particularly custom image, we used an interesting stock photo and an easy online image creation tool.

Other types of images create buzz as well.  Charts, animated graphics and Infographics, to name a few.  And, here’s an idea you may not have thought of: hand drawn images also increase social share.  It’s true!  Just “google” hand drawn images and a whole new world opens up when it’s time to pick and choose what image works best for your business’s digital marketing.

Lastly, one more little hint: use your custom images to do more than tout your services or sales promotions.  A custom image can be created to share your company’s values or mission or it can give a fun, personal insight into a business owner’s personality.

Are You Paying Attention? Digital Strategy is Imperative for Businesses to Thrive in this Social Media-driven Content Marketing Era

Last week, we posted on Facebook an interesting article about the importance of digital strategy (you know…social media, email campaigns, content marketing) for businesses that seemed to gain a lot of readership/traction.  It’s always fun to see what gets “liked” and “shared.”  In other words, it’s interesting to see what YOU are interested in.  And, Valere Studios pays attention.

The article is titled CFOs are Failing to Recognize the Importance of Digital Strategy from Business Insider.  Now, why do you think this pretty short article garnered some significant traction?  Perhaps because our business owner friends are saying, “Oh, man, is there something I or my executives are missing?”

Facts are, yes – if you or your executives are not realizing the importance of digital strategy, you run the risk of being left behind.  This Business Insider piece talks about a survey that showed that “that only 50% of CFOs are making the shift to a digital business model a priority over the next three years.”  Not good, friends.

Take a close look at this:

“It’s surprising that few CFOs are placing a high priority on digital because the digital transformation is arguably one of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing firms today,” said Laurence Buchanan, EY’s digital leader for Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa. “The consequences of ignoring the shift to digital are far too great for only half of CFOs to be embracing it.”Business Insider, Oct. 29, 2015.

This expert sums it up: the consequences of ignoring the shift to digital are far too great…

Now most of you likely have some kind of idea of what a digital strategy is; if not, we strongly encourage you to talk to an expert and create a game plan for your business that includes:

  • A web (Internet) presence
  • Utilization of at least one (preferably more) social media platform, such as Twitter or Facebook
  • A steady stream of relevant content – not only about your business but also about outside topics that interest your target market
  • A variety of content formats – mix it up! Blogging, email campaigns, video – just to name a few

What can a business owner take away from this information?  Well, for example, pay attention.  We at Valere Studios paid attention when an article we posted on Facebook got more likes and shares than our other posts – therefore, we are following up on it with this blog post and may even follow up on it some more.

Lastly, a savvy business owner or executive may want to sit up and pay attention to the main point:  the time for a digital strategy is now.  Otherwise, statistics and experts agree: your business will be left behind.