It’s also a powerful agency value-add
Content marketing is expensive. If you’re an agency providing content marketing services, you probably invoice a fairly hefty dollar amount each month – or if you are the company, you’re investing significant budget. Why? Because great content is very, very labor-intensive.
Not paying (or invoicing) much? Might wanna compare deliverables with brands that are rockin’ it. You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to writing and placement.
It’s also becoming more and more competitive. As more agencies realize the importance of content creation to their clients and their own success AND, as more freelancers enter the fray, competition is becoming a serious issue.
Standing out with fabulous service makes a huge difference.
So how can agencies take their deliverables from expected to fabulous?
Consistently give them a PRE-SIZED SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE they can post and link to the content! Something to promote it that can easily be retweeted or shared by their audience, and that adds visual interest to grab attention. Using a quote wraps in their expertise in a nice little visual “sound bite.”
This is a simple, low-cost value-add for agencies to give their clients every time they deliver a new piece of content – especially if you have a graphic designer on staff.
If you are doing your own content development, you’ll explode your reach and awareness efforts for your content IN MINUTES. Free tools are readily available, including a few of my own personal favorites: Canva and PicMonkey.
Another inexpensive idea is a graphic design service like Design Pickle that charges a flat monthly fee. I don’t know that I would use them for complex work, but for things with a defined graphic standard or template they are following, it could be ideal. I came across their service model recently and it sounded interesting, under the right circumstances.
How many of your competitors AREN’T taking this small step of creating visual sound bites for their blog posts and social media shares? It’s a great way to rise above the noise.
How to Create a Visual Sound Bite
1. Create a small social media template that fits your brand standards or, for smaller companies and entrepreneurs, is consistent in appearance with your own defined “look.”
This template will be used to highlight a short quote from a piece of content that can be shared on social media and even used within the content itself (especially for blog posts, sponsored content and other text-heavy content that could use a little bit of visual interest).
Since the focus of the image will be to highlight the quote, with the secondary purpose of reinforcing brand awareness, it should be simple, easily resized and of simple design that won’t draw attention away from the quote.
I’m in the middle of a rebrand, so I’m not creating visuals for my own brand at the moment, but the purple header image on today’s post and this green one to the left are examples of “visual sound bites” that I’ve used in the past.
For my own template, I’d change the background color every time, move the photo to different places and change alignment of the quote to balance where the image was. Then, I’d resize it to fit the social media platform (see my cheat sheet here for specific sizes.) and post it with a link to the article that the quote originated from.
It’s only about ten minutes of work, but it’s worth every single second.
2. Every time you create a new piece of content, identify one or two short quotes (think in 140-character bite-size snippets) that can be showcased visually in an image.
3. Using the new template you’ve created, transform each quote into a graphic sized for Twitter (440 x 220 pixels) or for the most active/important social media platform you (or your client) are using. If LinkedIn is your primary social media platform, size it appropriately for LinkedIn. If you are on multiple platforms, use it on the one you feel is most relevant to your blog post and target audience.
4. Write a tweet or post that includes a shortlink to the piece of content, attach the image and share it on the social media platform. If you are using Facebook, you will want to put in your copy and paste in the link first, remove the image and summary box of text it automatically pulls into your post because of that link, then replace it by uploading the new image.
If you don’t have the ability to post it yourself – perhaps you’re an agency that doesn’t also manage that client’s social media activity – just send the image and pre-written post to someone who does. You’ll want to make it a normal part of the process EVERY TIME you send them links to newly live content.
Helping clients be more effective in small ways on social media is a powerful value-add, and a no-brainer for the agency if it enhances results of content you are already creating. It takes one small task off their already-overloaded plate, and helps you become more of an irreplaceable partner.
If you send them a social-media-friendly image with every piece of content, it sends a strong message to them about how you are in it for their success, not just to fill a quota of billable hours.
4. If you have a small amount of time to spare, resize that same image for a different social media platform, and/or create a second one using a different quote.
It’s perfectly acceptable to promote a piece of content more than once on a social platform. For Twitter, you’ll want to promote it multiple times on the day it was originally posted, since people only see small snippets of their Twitter stream at any given moment. Most other platforms move more slowly than Twitter. I try to re-share older blog posts once a week or so, so that I’m maximizing reach to newer followers.
That’s it. You’re done! Ten minutes of work for a powerful value-add from an agency, or a fabulous way to amplify reach of your own content.
Don’t forget to include a logo, URL or Twitter handle in each image! it’s not just about the quote and driving traffic to that piece of content – it’s also about brand awareness and building audience.
Have a wonderful weekend!