Hi everyone, it’s Fred with Prezly again with some more PR tips to help you promote your coworking space. Last week, we went over the basics of social media press releases and why visual content is so important (reminder: press releases with visuals can get nearly 10 times more views than text releases).
Today, we’re taking a deeper dive into the visual side of things with a detailed list of best practices and tools to help you create killer visuals on a shoestring. This post is a little long, but bear with me – it will be worth your time.
Let’s start with a quick overview of the three main types of visual content you can use in your social media press releases, along with a few best practices to help you get the most out of each content type.
Images are easy to use, cheap to obtain, and proven to increase views. As an added bonus, images are extra powerful when you share your press release on social media – they’ll automatically generate an image preview, which increases your odds of engagement. Facebook posts with images get 53% more likes and 104% more comments than the average post, and tweets with pictures are nearly twice as likely to be retweeted.
Best Practices for Images
- Choose images that are eye-catching, high quality, and relevant. Avoid generic stock photos in favor of images that relate to your coworking space.
- For press releases, use high quality, high-resolution photos. They’ll make your press release look more professional online, and they look great in print, too.
- For pitch emails, include an image preview that downloads quickly. Use a preview of the actual image, not a link.
Eliciting powerful emotions and memorable narratives in just seconds, video is an incredibly effective way to tell the story of your coworking space. Best of all, you don’t need a professional film crew to make a great video. A short Instagram or Vine filmed with your smartphone can be just as effective.
Best Practices for Video
- Keep videos short and simple, a few minutes long at most.
- Tell a clear story that’s easy to follow.
- Upload large video files to YouTube or Vimeo rather than host them on your server. This helps your press releases load faster, automatically generates previews when sharing on social media, works across all devices, and makes your content searchable, giving you an SEO boost.
If you have some interesting data to share, consider telling your story with an infographic. Good infographics are visually appealing and simple for readers to follow. Great infographics literally paint a picture with numbers and statistics, telling a clear and engaging story as they go. They have a lot of viral potential, too.
Best Practices for Infographics
- Aim for three things: simplicity, clarity, and good data. Ask yourself what you want the reader to take away from your infographic, and design around the answer.
- Choose only the data that’s absolutely necessary to tell your story.
- Get more traction by sharing your infographics on Pinterest, the ultimate visual social media platform.
How to Create More Visual Content
If, by now, you’re wondering where you’ll find the time and the budget to create all this content, don’t despair. It’s important to invest in high-quality visuals, but you don’t have to break the bank or lose hours of sleep to create the content you need. Here are a few options – most are affordable, and some are even free.
Do It Yourself
Creating your own visual content isn’t as hard as it sounds, and it’s usually cheaper than paying someone else to create it for you. If you carry a smartphone, you already have everything you need to create gorgeous photos and videos.
Helpful tools to create your own visual content:
- PowerPoint templates. PowerPoint may not be sexy, but it’s easy to use and surprisingly powerful tool for visual design. HubSpot offers a great set of free downloadable templates for infographics.
- Canva. Canva is a simple online tool helps you design images, edit photos, and create beautiful visual content at little to no cost Canva includes hundreds of elements and fonts for free, or you can access their premium digital library for a very small fee.
- Adobe Voice. Adobe Voice is a free iPad app that lets you easily create your own animated videos. All you have to do is talk. Choose from over 25,000 images to create your custom backdrop, and Voice automatically adds music and cinematic motion.
- Wistia. Wistia is an excellent resource for all things video-related. For practical guidance concepting, producing, and marketing videos, be sure to check out their free Learning Center.
When you’re pressed for time or have limited resources for content creation, it often makes sense to let someone else do the heavy lifting. Outsourcing content creation doesn’t have to be expensive, though it certainly can be. Here are a few options to satisfy all budgets and timeframes.
- Visual.ly. A flexible, affordable option, you can work with Visual.ly to create infographics, videos, custom web experiences, presentations, and micro content. They’ll work with you from start to finish, and fixed prices mean you always know what you’re getting.
- 99 Designs. If you’re on a tight budget, crowdsourcing an image through 99Designs is a cost-effective way to go. Create a project brief, pick a payment option, and let designers come to you.
- Freelancers. When you need professional-quality work on a project basis, contracting with a freelancer is the way to go. oDesk and Freelancer.com are two reputable places to find candidates.
- Free stock images. If you need stock images free, and you need them now, check out Google for finding free online images. Pay close attention to the citation guidelines – you don’t want to end up in legal trouble!
Phew, you made it to the end! I know I gave you a lot of information to process, but if you utilize the tips and tools in this post, you can dramatically improve the quality of your visual content.
Friendly reminder: If you have a coworking space, you can use my software Prezly free for 3 months to create social media press releases. Just sign up for the free trial on our website, then send us a quick email to let us know that you’re running a coworking space.
See you next week with some tips to help you send pitch emails that get results.