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Sharing beautiful images is a major part of marketing on social media. Users are more visually driven, and the right images are quick to attract attention online. That's because the human brain is able to process images faster than text.
And because the human brain responds faster to visual cues, viewers are already forming their opinions based on your visuals way before they read what the images are all about!
But what does it take to create beautiful images that click with viewers? What kinds of style, lighting, or colour give a positive response among customers? In this guide, we'll outline tips that'll help you create beautiful images that won't fail to convert:
Before we get right down to it, here are the different types of visual content on social media:
In photography, composition refers to the arrangement of all elements in an image. The more pleasing the arrangement is, the more attractive the image to the eyes. You just can’t simply shoot an object because the lighting is amazing and call it a day. You have to carefully compose all the elements in a frame.
There are many composition rules in photography, but these rules are not set in stone. Do experiment with different styles and see which ones suit your brand the best. Some of the composition concepts to try are:
The Rule of Thirds: Divide a frame into nine even sections. Set the subject slightly off-centre to catch the eye and create movement.
Viewpoint: Visually, the viewpoint is where you'll set the viewers' eyes when they look at the finished shot. Give the viewers a unique viewpoint to make your image stand out. A different perspective gives the completed shot a more dramatic effect.
Leading Lines: The human eye follows natural lines. The natural lines can be adjusted on a frame by shifting the camera or the angle. You can take advantage of this by shooting an image along a landscape with a path.
You don't need professional equipment to create eye-catching images; a mobile phone is enough for creative shots. But if you can invest in a few, a good camera and a tripod will help improve the quality of your images.
How do you express your brand values in pictures? To develop a unique visual style:
Once you have established a signature style, apply it throughout your social media profiles for consistency. This way, users will quickly associate this unique style with your brand. Be sure to use your signature style in your thumbnails if you post videos so your feed looks beautiful and consistent.
Branding is crucial in marketing a business. The same thing goes for your visuals; these should have the same colour palette as branded images on your website or blog site. If you already have a decent following on your blog site, your readers will instantly recognise your brand.
On the other hand, if you don't have an established colour palette, you can create a mood board to see which colours suit your business the best. Depending on the vibe you want to express, your colour choices could be vibrant and playful, dark and elegant, or bold and unique. You can also check the colour wheel and match different colours to see which ones resonate with your brand the best and start from there.
Quality is everything when it comes to visual content. And the fastest way to ruin the quality of your photos is by zooming and cutting images. This lowers the resolution of the picture, so the result is a fuzzy, hazy mess.
This goes especially for images captured by a phone camera. If the subject is too far away, walk near it and avoid zooming in to take a shot.
If you must focus on a faraway image, cut the image after taking a shot instead of zooming in on it before shooting. Cropping the image will still affect its quality, but the effect on the resolution is minimal compared to zooming.
Leave the text in the description field, not in the photo itself. This goes even if your industry is primarily text-based. Visual content aims to tell a story through images, not text. Plus, the text takes the eyes away from the photo, obscuring the message.
This doesn't mean you should leave out text content entirely. When you must add text to an image, do so mindfully. You can still overlay some text on a shot if it does not distract the eye and muddle the message. The piece should be engaging and dynamic, but the text shouldn't be so distracting that it puts off viewers. Less is more.
Branded content helps spread the word about your business on social media. Just as long as you don't overdo it! An image free from branding will make viewers forget where it came from. However, too much branding could distract the eye from the message it conveys.
A tiny logo at the corner of an image, using a complementing text style and colour, and keeping text to zero – these are hallmarks of good branding in visual content. Ikea, Nike, and National Geographic are just some of the big brands that use subtle branding in all visuals they own.
Many people won't post an overly branded image unless sponsored or owned because the visual looks and feels like an advert. Put your logo where appropriate. Subtly branding will improve the shareability of your visual content.
Nothing ruins a good image like getting the size wrong after publishing it on social media. Every social media platform has its own image requirements, so customise the visuals accordingly.
If you choose the wrong aspect ratio, the image could lose sharpness (low res), get stretched, cropped in weird places, or ruin the proportion. Before posting a photo, inspect how the image will look once published – particularly the resolution and composition.
Some platforms will auto-crop an image or offer less control over the final look of the picture. So, pay close attention to the aspect ratio as well. You don't want an unfortunate crop to ruin a perfectly good image.
Your visuals should paint viewers a clear picture of your message; they should tell your story. It's cliche, but a picture does say a thousand words!
Even without context, your image should capture the message you want to express. It should tell your story clearly, giving viewers all the information they need before reading the caption.
And no one can resist a good story! No matter what you're selling – a product, service, or lifestyle – people will pay attention to a compelling story.
Social media is visually driven, and if you want to stand out, you need to put out amazing visual content consistently. With the tips outlined above, you're ready to mesmerize followers with beautiful, branded images.
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