Content Creation

How To Create The Perfect Instagram Pictures

How To Create The Perfect Instagram Pictures

It's a question that troubles even the biggest brand online —how to create engaging photos on sites like Instagram without loosing the personal touch people have grown to really connect with on social media. Here are a few tips to get you started out making mega perfect pics.

Quick Tips To Immediately Improve Any Email Marketing Campaign

Nothing captures attention faster than a bold email marketing campaign. Since 72 % of people online prefer to receive promotional content through email you have an audience that are actively asking you for information — a rare thing online. Once that email has been opened what makes the real difference is how you present to your audience.

Here are some quick tips for increasing click through rates on emails you can implement today:

Taglines

Never send an email without first writing a tagline for your campaign. This tagline should embody you, and be the basis for your email. This is your chance to emotionally connect with your audience, use it well. I like to use this in any header I send as it instantly creates impact.

 Here's a tagline I use in my emails and online.

Here's a tagline I use in my emails and online.

Visuals

Leading on from the above point, visual content is everything when it comes to emails. Coupling great copy with eye-catching and on-brand visual content is key. Here's a great example from postmates. Great visuals coupled with imaginative copy results in higher in engagement.

 Image from Hubspot

Image from Hubspot

F-Layouts

Keep the most important copy up front and towards the start of any email. We read online in an F shaped pattern (in left to right reading cultures), so it makes sense that the content we focus on is towards the top and towards the left. We're all skim-readers at heart so keep that in mind when crafting content. Write your main message — be that discounts on certain orders or course availabilities —- at the very top of your message. Not only will this allow for skimming, it will also show up in any preview message in inboxes and increase open rates.

 

White Layouts

Understand that white-space is just as important as the copy you place in your emails. White-space keeps your emails looking clean and uncluttered, as well as guiding readers to the most important content creating attention where in a cluttered layout there may be none.

Not all white-space need be white — it could be green or yellow or pink — but it does need to form a blank, uncluttered background.

Most brands opt for white, however. This isn't accidental. White is a very non-offensive colour that is unlikely to strain eyes.

Five Quick Tips to Instantly Improve Your Email Marketing Game

Everyone is searching for quick answers when it comes to marketing and the truth is, there aren't any. Marketing success is an amalgamation of hard work, intense research and content crafting. Good campaigns don't just happen, they're sculpted.

That said, I know of a few ways you can instantly improve the emails you've been sending out today. It doesn't take much to instantly transform your email marketing and increase clicks. Here are some quick tips for subject header lines that can instantly spruce up any campaign:

[Firstname][LastName]

If you include somebody's first name and last names in a subject header you'll see an increase in open rates of emails. Not got time to include both? That's fine, last names matter the most so if you can't do both focus on that. If this feels converse to your own opinions on the matter, that's okay. Just remember your audience isn't necessarily you and won't behave like you either.

[Words]

We also know that phrases like 'introducing', 'brand new' and 'on orders over' perform incredibly well in subject header lines (being scored 64, 71, and 83 out of 100 respectively), which further supports what we know about subject header lines in general in 2017 — being upfront and to the point matters.

The top scoring name with phrasee.co is actually Canada (at 93) so this scoring system isn't the final word on word-choice in subject header lines. But with the likes of 'plus free delivery' and 'mid season sale' scoring 82 and 84 respectively these scores are something to consider if you don't yet have time to do a detailed analysis of your own audience.

[CompanyName]

If you include your company name in your subject header you'll increase open rates. Again, this reaffirms that people care about you being upfront with your brand. 

[Mobiles]

Be aware of how your subject headers look on mobile devices. We're all guilty of a sneaky check of our emails in line for the bathroom or sat on the bus. Remember that your audience is likely to see your emails first on their phone before it reaches their desktop.

[Captials]

Make sure you capitalise your headers, much like you might do any titles. Although sentence case is easier to read these kind of emails often look like spam and have lower open rates in general. Again, if you know your audience to have different preferences go with what you know as these tips only apply if you haven't done deeper research into your audience.

 

Follow these five quick tips and you'll see an increase in open rates of emails you send to your customer. While you're watching that skyrocket you can begin deeper research into your audience, and what they respond to.

Cinemagraphs: The Clicks Don't Lie

There's something irrefutable about the way visual content engages people online.

Gifs (graphic interchange format files, pictures that move on a loop), images, and videos are among the most viewed, clicked, and reacted to pieces of content on most networks. A picture is worth 1000 words and, in the age of the 140 character post, this is a crucial consideration when it comes to creating content. Silent videos in particular, or videos with subtitles, work especially well on Facebook. Gifs are now an embedded and native feature in Twitter. But what about cinemagraphs?

Cinemagraphs are an oddly unique blend of still and moving content somewhere between a gif and a static image. A minor and repeated movement occurs, forming a loop (much like with a gif). The result is somewhat hypnotic. A frozen picture with a singular movement on repeat. It's easy to fall into watching a cinemagraph loop for a long period of time.

Cinemagraphs tend to drive higher engagement and click through rates (CTRs) when placed on social ads.  They help brands break away from static content and can quickly catch the attention of a viewer. On Instagram, brands like Mercedes are finding success with cinemagraphs. According to Martech, Pepsi saw a 75 percent increase in CTR and 51 percent increase in engagement during their cinemagraph campaign in 2016 on Facebook. Those are incredible stats.

Cinemagraphs have been around and flourishing for a while, but as time goes on more and more brands are recognising the unique opportunities this content offers. You might want to play with it too.

This content is beautiful, and it might follow that you think it's hard to make. It isn't. It's quick too, meaning you're spending less on production and produce more content. There are apps on iOS and Android that can help you make these files from video clips. Flixel and Echograph are a couple of great examples of apps you can use to create cinemagraphs. Flixel is around $200 a year, and that may seem like a lot, but if you don't want to learn Adobe Creative Suite it's worth the investment. Here's a quick cinemagraph I made using the free trail software. It took me five minutes (no kidding):

Flixel is actually integrated into Facebook Ads Manager too, and as of February 2016 Facebook have been promoting the use of these files heavily. Anything Facebook is on-board with, I tend to push within any team I'm working with provided it suits their goals -- if a social network start promoting a certain file format getting ahead of the curve and using it can give you an edge.

cinemagraph2smaller.gif

Here's a couple of cinemagraphs I made using Adobe After Effects. Took me a little longer than five minutes to get to grips with the technique but, admittedly, was incredibly faster than editing a video together for use online.