After you create your content you should spend an ample amount of time promoting it. When getting started with content marketing most people dedicate more time to creating and less time to promoting. But experienced marketers know the importance of content promotion. Some top marketers like Derek Halpern spend as much as 80% of their time promoting and only 20% creating. That’s where the importance of creating shareable images comes in.
Promoting your content will make all the time spent creating it worthwhile. It will also help your content get more traffic and generate more leads and sales.
One way to promote your content is by creating highly shareable images to accompany it. Images drive the highest engagement on networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and can drive a lot of traffic to your site.
So, today I’m going to show you exactly what types of images drive the highest traffic and how to quickly create them…
Choose the platforms:
While promoting your content on social media you should create one unique image for each social network. Images of different dimensions perform better on different sites. And the social networks themselves have their own set of rules.
So, before you begin creating the images, decide on which social networks you need them for.
These should be a combination of social networks that are already bringing results and those that could potentially.
To figure out which social networks are currently working best for you use Google Analytics.
Just go to your dashboard. Then click on ‘Acquisition’ in the left menu and then on ‘Social’ and on ‘Overview’.
This will show you the social networks that are driving the most traffic to your site.
If it is a decent amount of traffic, you should create unique shareable images for each and every one of them.
Now that you know which social networks are already bringing you results. Figure out which ones have the potential to bring in more traffic. For this, you can start by surveying your website audience using a tool like Hotjar.
It lets you create a feedback poll and that appears when someone scrolls down on your website. You can ask questions like ‘Which social network are you most active on?’ or ‘Choose the social networks you are most active on?’
Then provide a list of social networks as options that people can pick by clicking. As it is a simple steps many people will take part.
The answers they pick will show you which social networks have the potential to drive shares and traffic to your site.
Another way to find social networks that could work for you is by analysing your competitors using a tool like Similar Web.
If you type in the URL of your competitors in their search field it will show you what percentage of traffic they get from social media and the different social networks that are driving this traffic.
It is also important to find out which social networks your email subscribers are active on. To get this information you can conduct a survey.
Just set up a simple survey using a tool like Feedier and ask them details about the social networks they are active on. Then email the link to the survey to your list.
If you would like to go into more details like asking them how much time they spend on each social network or ask them to rank social networks by preference.
Feedier comes equipped with several templates which can provide you with some inspiration on questions to ask.
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Find quality images:
Once you know the social networks your audience is active on, you can begin looking for images. The images you select for each social network should be based on what works there.
For example, while creating images for social networks like Facebook you can use landscape shaped images as these work best here for the link images.
But these landscape shaped images won’t work best on social networks like Pinterest and Instagram. As on Pinterest taller images perform better and on Instagram square shaped images look better.
You can find hundreds of thousands of free images on several stock photo sites. But most of these images have been used several times by bloggers and content marketers out there.
Therefore, if you want to stand out I recommend that you use a premium stock photo site like Depositphotos. They have a collection of over 80 million files. These include photos and vector images and even videos.
Here you should be able to find stock photos for various niches. After you create the content just type keywords related to the content in the search field provided and it will show you all the images available.
For example, when I need a photo, I just type in keywords like ‘business people’ in search and this lists all the images available.
Photos with business people usually work for most posts I write as my blog focuses in the B2B niche and my audience will relate to these pictures.
So, think about what types of images your audience can to relate to and search for them. Depositphotos will usually have plenty of images on that subject.
Optimize shareable images with an editor:
When you purchase an image from a premium stock photo service you are allowed to modify them. So, make the most of this and add in your own text and branding.
When my aim is to drive traffic to my site I just add in the title of the post and then some branding (website URL, company name or logo). As the title generates curiosity and convinces people to click the image and check out the post.
But when my aim is to drive engagement on the network itself I add a quote or a fact and some branding. And I make sure that the content doesn’t link out anywhere. This type of engagement driving content won’t get you any traffic, but it will increase engagement and reach which will ensure that future posts promoting content on your site get more traffic.
To design most of my images I like to use Adoble Illustrator and Photoshop because they provide more flexibility and let me draw unique elements for my images.
But if you have zero experience with either of these, you can use an online image editing tool from this list. Many of them are available for free and contain various fonts and icons that can help you quickly design images.
Set up image sharing:
You can go ahead and begin sharing these images while attaching them to your social media posts. But to get the most out of the images you create you need to set up automatic image sharing i.e. you should make sure that these images are automatically picked when visitors click the share buttons. This will ensure that each of their social media updates will drive more traffic.
To do this you can use a tool like Social Warfare. It lets you display beautiful share buttons and the images to be shared along with the link when someone clicks the share button for social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
It also lets you add share buttons to images.
You can also set up this sharing buttons for other forms of downloadable content like white papers and ebooks. You can learn how to do that for Facebook here and Twitter here. Once you know how to do it for these two setting it up for other networks shouldn’t be a problem as they are more or less the same steps.
Now begin creating the shareable images…
This is how you create highly shareable images for your content marketing. Start by choosing the platforms you want to promote your content on. These should be a combination of social networks that are already driving traffic to your website and those that show potential. You can use your website analytics and conduct surveys to figure this out.
After that, begin looking for quality images. For best results use unique images from premium stock photo sites instead of relying on free images. The more unique the images are the more you stand out.
Once you have a few images begin modifying them by adding details like the title of the content and branding. The title will help drive traffic and the branding will help you build an impression.
Finally, begin sharing the content along with the image. You should also set the images for automated sharing on your site. This will ensure that these images are picked when someone clicks the share buttons.
Taking all these steps will require a little extra time. But it is worth the effort as it can drive a ton of traffic in the long run.
What steps do you take to create highly shareable images for your content? Did I forget to list anything important? Please leave your comments below.