Designing Impactful Social Media Content
I'm no graphic designer, and will never claim to be. I know too many clever and talented people who can do that stuff and execute it so much better than I ever could. However, in my time of being a social media wizard, and managing as many accounts as I have, I've learnt a thing or two about designing content to win online.
Design is a big player in a successful social campaign and plays a huge role in the overall look and feel of social media feeds. Yes, your individual content should ultimately shine and perfection isn't everything when it comes to content, but a well designed, super curated and aesthetically pleasing feed will always help in tipping someone over the edge from a viewer to a follower- or at least in my personal experiences anyway. From creative concept to colours and fonts, the design choices you make can make or break the success of a campaign.
Social media campaigns can cover almost anything: a new product launch, a giveaway, an event, or even the arrival of a new season. Campaigns can have the same branding as all of your other social media content but, occasionally, you might want to consider giving your campaign a distinctive look and feel to set it apart. A fresh design can set the tone for your campaign at a glance and is also a great way to visually tie all of your campaign content together.
Staying in line with your overall brand identity is important, but that doesn’t mean you can’t introduce some playful new creative elements to your social campaigns. Investing in the visual design of your next campaign can really build hype and drive extra momentum on social media, from comments and likes to saves and shares. Fortunately, it’s easier than you might think to get creative on social media.
Here are some epic tips we've picked up along the way to help you in designing your content:
Design Tip #1: Understand the Goals of Your Campaign: Before jumping straight into the creative phase, it’s important to consider the goals of your social media campaign. Gaining a solid understanding of why you’re running a campaign, as well as who your target audience is, will keep the creative process focused and relevant. And thinking more and designing less at this stage, you’ll save yourself valuable time and effort further down the line. Once you’ve fully established your campaign goals and objectives, they should be the backbone of every design decision you make, from the over-arching concept to the colour palette.
Design Tip #2: Come up with a creative concept: The most memorable social media campaign designs usually have a strong creative narrative, a concept or theme that ties all of the design elements together in a visual story. And a powerful concept with help play into the engaging aspect of storytelling on social media. Setting a concept early on in the design process can act as a valuable framework for creative brainstorming, which is especially helpful if there are multiple designers working on the same project. If you’re not sure where to find inspiration for a creative concept, go back to your campaign goals and target audience. Look at what’s visually trending with your audience right now on different social media platforms.
Design Tip #3: Create a mood board to guide you: Once you’ve got your concept nailed down, it’s time to bring it to life. By creating a visual mood board, you can bring all of your creative inspirations together in one place and gain a holistic view of what themes and styles work well together. The trick is to use your mood board as a launchpad for creativity, rather than repeating designs that already exist. Use platforms like Unsplash and Pinterest to help you grab images for inspiration.
Design Tip #4: Choose appropriate colours and fonts: Color is a huge part of any design process. The colours you choose can set the tone for your campaign at a glance and are often loaded with subliminal connotations. It’s also important to consider how your campaign colourways will work alongside your overall branding. A fresh colour palette can re-energize your social presence, but it’s usually a good idea to stick to the same gradient. And then we have fonts...your go-to brand font will be the best option for your social media campaign design. Changing fonts too often can result in a disjointed aesthetic. However, all rules are made to be broken, and there will occasionally be times when introducing a new font for a campaign feels right.
Design Tip #5: Get creative with Apps: No matter how limited your design skills are, there are still ways to create professional-looking social media campaigns. Design apps such as Over, Canva, and Adobe Spark are full of pre-designed templates that are perfect for beginners looking to get creative on a budget. From pre-populated font and colour combinations to cool layered layouts, design apps are an easy and affordable way to level-up your visuals on social. Plus, you can easily customize the designs on offer to add your unique creative identity. Over, Canva, and Adobe Spark all offer the capability to upload your own custom font.
Design Tip #6: Plan out the content's look in advance: As your campaign creative starts to take shape, it’s always a good idea to preview how your designs will look in your Instagram feed. Doing this in advance can help you catch any jarring tones or textures, and will give you a holistic view of how your campaign will visually play out alongside your other posts. It's a great idea to use apps like Garny, UNUM, Plann and more, to plan out the look of the content, and ensure everything is consistent with one another, but also with the overall look you have created on your accounts and with your overall branding.
And that concludes our top 6 tips to take your social media campaign designs to the next level. Our final piece of advice? Have fun and don’t be afraid to take a few risks!