5 common design mistakes that are killing engagement rates on your social ads and pages
You don’t need to be a graphic design extraordinaire to succeed in creating your own visual elements for social media, but there are nevertheless plenty of instances in which you might be making design mistakes without even realizing it. Worse still, these seemingly minor mistakes could be causing lower engagement rates with your ads or driving followers away from your social pages.
To make sure you aren’t distracting your followers with tacky images or poorly designed visual elements, here’s a nifty checklist to help you assess whether your visual marketing strategy needs a makeover:
Poor Color Choices
According to the marketing fundamentals color theory, consumers typically decide whether or not they like a product within 90 seconds, and 90% of those consumers typically base their decisions on the color. The same logic applies to social media images, visual advertising collateral, on-page elements like profile pictures and cover photos…and so on. If your images are more eyesores than they are eye-catching, then you may be inadvertently driving people away from your pages and ads.
Wrong Size Images
Unless you have a strong foundation in graphic design, you might not realize just how big of a difference image sizing can make in the appearance of photos and ad visuals on social media. If you use the wrong sized image for a profile photo or mobile ad, then you might be accidentally frustrating your followers and potential customers who expect high-quality images for everything they might spend time and money on. To make sure you’re using the appropriate sizing for every image you post to social media, this image sizing cheatsheet can help you cover your bases.
Unreadable Cover Photos
Speaking of image sizing: do you presently include text in your Facebook cover photo and/or Twitter banner? If so, then the text might not be as readable as you might imagine. Cover photos may appear differently on a desktop versus a mobile app. A common mistake some marketers make with their brand’s cover photos is pasting the full logo or text about a new promotional offer without testing to see whether page visitors will be able to view it properly. For best results, avoid using text in your cover photos as much as possible unless the image is specifically designed (and sized) for a cover photo.
Too Much Text Overlaying Images
Perhaps your profile pictures and cover photos are fine, but what about your actual posts? If there is text on 20% or more of an image included in your post, Facebook and Instagram’s ad managers will reject it. Even if the image is intended for organic engagement with followers, plastering too much text on your visual elements can be distracting and unpleasing to look at. For best results, keep your social images text-free and save your message for the actual text area of the post, not the image itself.
Blatantly Obvious Stock Photos
A final design mistake you should watch out for while working on your marketing collateral is using images that are so clearly stock photos that the people, animals, food, drinks and other elements don’t even look real. The goal for images – particularly on social media – is to capture your audience’s attention, and the best way to accomplish this is by incorporating high-quality, realistic photos into your visual toolbox.
People relate best to images when the people/places/things look similar to themselves and other things in their lives. Although it would be difficult for most brands to produce all of their own photography, it’s important to at least balance your occasional use of stock photos with realistic imagery that reflects your target audience’s personalities, wants, needs and lifestyles.
Short vs. long-form content: Which is best for your blog?
Have you ever considered how the word length of your blog posts can affect everything from your website’s search engine rankings to the number of leads generated by your content marketing strategy? If you’ve ever wondered whether you should be writing shorter or longer content to maximize your blog’s ROI, then here’s what you need to know about short versus long-form content:
Short-Form Content is More Feasible
How long does it take you (or your hired writers) to research, write, proofread and publish a blog post? Generally speaking, the longer the content is, the more time it’ll take, which equates to higher costs as well. Meanwhile, short-form content ensures you can regularly publish new, high-quality content on your blog without having to worry about sporadic gaps in your publishing schedule or going over budget when it comes to your content marketing strategy.
Short-form content should be at least 250 words to be effective and no more than 750 words to maintain your audience’s attention throughout the article. Another advantage to short-form content is that it avoids repetitiveness (repeating the same information, just with different words), which is a common problem experienced by long-form content writers who may run out of fresh ideas once they get past the 1,200 word mark.
Long-Form Content is Ideal for SEO
According to the top blogging statistics for 2019, the average blog post is 1,050 words long and the average length of top-performing blog content in Google searches ranges between 1,140-1,285 words. Although further research shows that long-form content can generate as much as 9x more leads than short-form content, just 18% of companies regularly publish blog posts that are longer than 750 words.
Additionally, there are many search engine optimization benefits to publishing long-form content, including: more backlinks, more social shares, better rankings on Google search, and so much more. If you want to increase your website’s ranking in the search engines, then producing high-quality, well-researched content in the 1,500-2,000 word range would be ideal for your SEO strategy.
Best Solution: Variety of Content Lengths?
Unless your marketing budget is exceptionally generous, you likely won’t be able produce long-form content often enough to satisfy your audience. However, this doesn’t mean you should solely focus on producing short-form content, either. For best results, you should experiment with a variety of content lengths and analyze your most valuable metrics (leads generated, backlinks acquired, social shares, etc.) to determine what the ideal length of your blog posts should be.
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