Social Media Marketing Materials: 4 Design Steps
If you want a robust social media promotional strategy for 2021, you should design powerful social media marketing materials that’ll help position you strategically on online networking platforms.
Well-designed marketing collaterals let you capture and engage your target audience, stand out among your competitors, and cultivate a strong brand image and loyal following.
Check out these four steps to designing high-impact social media marketing materials in 2021:
1 – Set goals for your promotional media
You can’t effectively design your marketing materials if you don’t even know what you want to achieve with them.
Crafting goals for your marketing materials guides you in what elements to include and emphasise in your designs.
Think of what you want to happen when your intended audience sees your visuals.
Do you want them to decide to follow your page, buy your product, or share your posts?
You can mix these objectives per material, but the key is to be clear about them and prioritise the most crucial ones. You can even specify your target audiences for some materials to finetune your designs.
Write down your goals for every project or publication period. Quantify them, state when you aim to reach those objectives and make them realistic.
Don’t go for something that’s too lofty yet. You can even start small and gradually go high as you see your performance improve.
- Reach 50 content shares in two weeks;
- Acquire 100 new followers by the end of the month;
- From December 1 to 31, gain $1,500 worth of Christmas holiday sales from social links, etc.
With clearly established objectives, you can deliberately design your social media marketing materials and concretely measure your effectiveness.
2 – Gather inspiration
Collect sufficient and relevant inspiration for your creative marketing material design.
To do that, browse through various social media content pieces, competitor pages, and blogs relating to your niche and even specific themes, such as Thanksgiving, surfing, minimalism, and others.
Observe your samples’ content formats, styles, and concepts, and take note of those that fit your messages and branding (more on these in a later section).
Although you can gather great examples from these sources, avoid copying exactly how the companies designed them and forcing their styles on your visual content.
You can even draw inspiration from your daily encounters with movies, nature, music, building architecture, interactions with people, and more.
Through these techniques, you get numerous ideas about your designs’ look, feel, and theme and customising them to match your company’s brand.
3 – Explore potential material formats to produce
With your design inspirations in mind, you can then think of the different marketing materials to use on social media. Examples are:
- Original, unique graphics and illustrations;
- Stunning real-life photos;
- Animated images and GIFs;
- Quote images;
- Animated, real-life, and edited videos;
- Data visualisation, etc.
Social platforms also offer other formats for publishing or creating your marketing materials.
You can post them on your timeline (appearing on the social feed) and stories, upload them as cover photos and images, present live, and more on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc.
If you’re a newbie in creating stunning visual content in any format, use online tools, such as video collage makers, photo and video editing apps, digital art illustrators, and others.
That way, you shorten your learning curve and can publish outstanding visuals sooner.
Whatever type of social media marketing materials you plan to use, be sure to align them with your marketing objectives and branding identity and messages.
This ensures you remain consistent about how you project your company and how your target audience sees you on social media and other platforms.
4 – Plan your designs
You can now plan your materials’ designs and formats for marketing your brand on social media in this step.
If you haven’t posted any visual content yet on your social platforms, you need to experiment and see which ones will garner the highest engagement.
Diversify your content formats, apply different designs according to specific themes, and then observe for a period how your visuals perform.
Generating much interaction takes time, especially if you don’t have a large following yet, so be patient with the results.
Once you have adequate performance data (whether you’ve only recently published visuals or have already done so for some time), you can then take a data-based approach to select your social media marketing materials.
Start by evaluating your current content, audiences (whether followers or not), and the social media channels you’re using. Ask yourself these questions:
- Which content types on which platforms yielded the most and best kinds of interactions?
- What are the demographics of my most and least interactive users?
- Which kinds of designs or material components produced the lowest and highest engagement on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.?
You can aggregate and categorise your data to get both granular and 30,000-feet views and compare accordingly.
From this dataset, you can determine your best-performing content and benchmark your next strategies for designing your social media marketing materials.
For example, you may find that Generation Z users respond more actively to your images and video graphics on Twitter than your real-life photos on Instagram.
With that, your next strategy can be to retain and enhance your Twitter visual content and turn your Instagram photos into graphic designs, cartoon animations, and other similar content types that Gen Z’s like.
To ensure meeting your social content marketing goals, continue doing the following:
- Regularly and closely monitor your content’s performance on every platform;
- Study your performance data; and
- Improve accordingly.
If you’re working with a team, always coordinate with them in every step of your design and social media marketing processes.
5 – Apply excellent design techniques
Top-notch designs catch your audience’s attention and draw them in to consume and engage with your content.
This is why you can’t sloppily produce your visuals.
Harmonise graphic design and social media marketing by applying the right techniques for various aspects of your creations:
Publish your marketing materials with measurements best suited for every social networking site.
After all, each platform has distinct content formats and resolutions, making your visuals appear differently on your profile pages, activity feeds, and others.
If your posts have unideal dimensions, your visual content appears cropped, too small, overly enlarged, etc.
This ruins your followers’ social media experience, causes them to miss your message, and negatively impacts your company.
Keep a ready reference of the right content measurements for every social platform so you can size your designs correctly and quickly.
- Profile photo. 180 x 180px
- Cover photo. 820 x 312px
- Content. 1200 x 630px
- Event. 1920 x 1080px
- Profile picture. 110 x 110px
- Portrait visuals. 1080 x 1350px
- Square content. 1080 x 1080px
- Stories. 1080 x 1920px
- Profile image or photo. 400 x 400px
- Cover (known as header) picture. 1500 x 500px
- Content. 1024 x 512px
- Thumbnails. 1280 x 720px
- Profile picture. 800 x 800 px
- Cover picture. 2560 x 1440px
Finally, for LinkedIn:
- Company profile image. 300 x 300px
- Account holder’s profile picture. 200 x 200px
- Company cover photo. 1192 x 220px
- Personal profile’s cover image. 1584 x 396px
- Content. 1104 x 736px
Content sizes on social media sites can change now and then, so always check if your list is still updated and modify it accordingly.
If you’re using online tools to design your visual content, see if they have blank or customisable templates with pre-set dimensions for whatever platform you’re using.
Pick colours that resonate with your desired message and tone of voice.
You can best determine that by reflecting on what you want your customers to feel when seeing your social media marketing materials.
Additionally, align the dominant shades in your materials with your branding colours. Use hues to catch your followers’ attention so they’d pause scrolling their feeds and consume your content.
Although you have a standard colour palette for your brand, please don’t limit yourself too much with them and fear venturing into a few bright hues or new colour combinations.
Surprising your followers with fresh bursts of colour or minimalist mixtures now and then (without completely deviating from your branding palette) enlivens your audience engagement.
Just remember to balance your colour use and blends to prevent overwhelming your followers.
Choose appropriate font styles and sizes when placing texts in your social media marketing materials.
Not only can they catch users’ attention, but they also get your message across when designed rightly.
Typography is also critical, particularly for mobile users. Smartphones have smaller screens than desktop computers, so texts in your content should be appropriately sized and immediately visible.
Choose legible font styles and typefaces and size your texts proportionately on any device.
You can also use one to two font styles and play with weights and text colours for an attractive visual.
Contrasting elements in your social media marketing materials are immensely eye-catching – and this crucial when promoting your brand on social media.
It can even bolster your design’s idea and connect or complement objects. However, use this technique carefully because contrast can also make your visuals puzzling to the users.
Apply contrast to texture, colour, typography, shape, size, layout, and other design aspects to organise graphical objects and centre users’ attention on specific visual elements.
Integrate branding into your visuals to help users better remember and identify your company from other organisations.
You can do that by incorporating your brand colours and font styles, logo, elements from your logo, and style.
Doing this lets your followers associate your social media marketing materials with your brand and understand your identity more quickly, especially as they see more visuals from your social media posts.
In visual design, style refers to a complex blend of colours, compositions, typefaces, and other elements. Together, they make your content perceptible.
Applying similar styles to your visuals is excellent, but you can diversify them now and then, as long as they still consistently reflect your branding.
Doing this excites your followers and even lets you and your design team hone your digital art skills.
Your visuals should always convey your message clearly, whether you’re using a straightforward or sophisticated design.
Please don’t overdo it, but focus on clarity and balance, being informative and stylish.
Although it’s good to impress your audiences, prioritise educating them to make your visuals meaningful – compelling them to follow your page for more content.
This principle pertains to arranging elements to demonstrate their importance.
It is based on the Gestalt theory that believes that humans tend to comprehend objects as a whole before recognising them individually.
Apply this to your marketing materials to help your followers understand information fast and correctly.
Structure visual traits (such as colour, contrast, size, proximity, repetition, alignment, texture, and others) to guide users’ eyes to your desired reading paths and their focus on the most significant elements.
Create templates for visuals that represent the same theme, event, or message.
You can do that when designing quote images from one of your books, Black Friday sale announcements, etc.
Using templates helps you maintain consistency for visuals in the same category and hastens your work.
You wouldn’t even need to think of new designs every time nor confuse your audiences with different messages.
This saves you time and effort and increases your productivity.
Your social media marketing materials design can make or break your social media marketing performance.
That’s why, to fulfil your marketing goals – whether it’s extending your brand awareness, increasing sales and conversions, or others – doubly ensure your creations are first-rate, attractive, and compelling.
Here’s a recap of what we’ve covered:
- Set goals for your marketing materials.
- Gather inspiration.
- Explore potential material formats.
- Plan your designs.
- Apply the best design techniques for colour, typography, contrast, branding, style, clarity, visual hierarchy, use templates and the ideal dimensions for each social platform.
Follow these steps to positively impact users’ perceptions of your brand through your promotional media and skyrocket your social media marketing materials performance.