Build your own social media ads, graphics and
videos with these simple tools.
With Spark, you can build graphics and animated
videos with ease. You can start a Spark project on
your phone (iOS only) and have it sync to your web
browser on your desktop. As far as content, Spark has plenty of
themes, templates, fonts and a selection of free images you can
use to complement your own work. It can pull your images from
Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and Lightroom.
Canva offers a library
templates for you to
choose from. You can
upload fonts, brand
colors and logos and
create graphics that
will be automatically resized for any of the popular social
networks. It also includes a light photo editor with tools such
as photo filters, exposure adjustments, cropping and rotating.
There are templates for almost every conceivable business
need, including infographics, gift certificates, business cards,
newsletters and more. Canva has a free tier with 1GB of
storage, 8,000 templates and support for two folders and ten
team members. The Canva for Work tier has unlimited folders,
50 team members, unlimited photo storage, design resizing
and support for custom colors, fonts and logos.
ANIMOTO MARKETING VIDEO BUILDER
In the ever-moving goalpost that is Facebook’s
newsfeed algorithm, video currently reigns
supreme. The more video you pile into your
posts, the better they’ll perform. Animoto’s
video builder makes it easy to craft short, compelling clips
using nothing more than your stills and b-roll. Professional
and Business subscriptions enable you to create 1080p
videos in Instagram-friendly square or landscape formats
with your own logos in the video and custom branded colors
in the theme. You can add voice-overs, text and pre-built
storyboards to your videos as well.
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To start, marketers suggest splitting up your ad budget nearly evenly
among your target networks—at least until you build up enough data on
user behavior to justify a shift in allocation.
TARGET, TEST, RINSE, REPEAT
When it comes to social media marketing, you’ll have to become
something of a data nerd to fully maximize your investment.
First, Facebook and Instagram have extremely precise tools to target
customers, Hade says. In fact, Facebook and Instagram have an identical
advertising system, since Facebook owns Instagram. You can send ads
to customers based on their location, where they’ve been, what they’ve
searched for and more. (Our total lack of Internet privacy does have some
upside for marketing, doesn’t it?) “If there’s a wedding boutique that your
ideal customer goes to, you can target your ads to everyone that goes
within five miles of that boutique or florist,” Hade says. You can also target
people by their published relationship status, which is especially helpful
for wedding photographers searching for recently engaged customers,
Even with these precision tools, you’ll want to test your approaches on
various social networks to see how they’re performing. All the major social
network ad platforms support A/B testing and a fairly rich set of analytics
to help you measure your audience, their behavior and the activity of
others in your industry. Studying those metrics on a daily or weekly basis
will help you hone your targeting. Brooks suggests creating a landing
page on your own personal site where you can track inbound leads from
various networks. “See the cost per click, then measure what percentage
is coming through a given network,” he says. “Then, track which inbound
click ends up becoming a lead. Then, which leads lead to jobs you get.”
This minutia is important, Brooks stresses, since you may find one network
sends more leads but another audience actually generates more jobs.
When it comes to promoting posts on Facebook or Instagram, you don’t
need to think of a conventional ad that markets just your service, Olson
says. “Paid giveaways and contests like a ‘Freebie Friday’ post are a great
way to get new people to interact with you,” she notes.
Co-marketing can also help, Hade says. “If there’s a florist you work
with, you can both kick in money to start a campaign to target customers
looking to get married.”
As we noted, social networks change their algorithms, often to
devastating effect. Staying current with how various networks prioritize
content is a must, Olson says. When it comes to disruptive policy changes,
Facebook seems to be the most active, followed by Instagram. Pinterest,
she says, is the slowest to change of late, which is good for those seeking
a bit of stability in their marketing efforts.
MIND YOUR SEO
While there are huge numbers of people on social networks, you
shouldn’t necessarily throw every last digital marketing dollar into social,
Brooks says. Some budget needs to be tailored toward capturing Google
search traffic—particularly during the run-up to bookings season when
consumers are doing their research. In that case, Brooks says it’s a good
idea to divide up your marketing spending with 50 percent going to
Google Ad Words and 50 percent going to social. When people are not
actively looking for wedding photographers, Brooks advises that the
majority of your marketing dollar should shift back to social.