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How to create low-cost creative assets to promote your business on social media

How to create low-cost creative assets to promote your business on social media
 

Posted: Wed 9th Oct 2019

You need great photography, social media graphics and video to help promote your business. Here's how to create it yourself for next to nothing.

Taking great photos with your mobile phone

Enterprise Nation member Mariko Broome runs courses to help business owners take better photos through her business Mariko Broome Photography. She said people tend to lack the confidence to take photos for their business using mobile phones.

Broome recommends creating a library of photos you can use that are unique to your business.

"Make sure your photos are interesting and inspirational and add value, because people don't want to be sold to all the time. Create a library that isn't just photos of your products. Try to inspire or motivate to help them connect," she said.

There are a number of guidelines she has for people that are starting to take their own photos:

  • Don't use zoom or flash

  • Tap the screen to choose where you want to focus

  • When you're shooting for Instagram think about how you shoot - it will come up in a square so your composition will change

  • Try turning on the phone's grid. You can line up the horizon (the horizon should be flat to avoid putting the viewer off) or something of interest with one of the lines.

It really helps to practice. If you see an opportunity to take a photo, get multiple shots. Try portrait and landscape, or shoot from above. Experiment with different layouts. Experimentation will help you get comfortable and find a style that suits your business.

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Editing photos for business use

Broome recommends Gimp (free photo editing software), Adobe Photoshop Express (monthly fee, includes options to create grids and layouts), VSCO (free and paid options, good for general fixes) and Snapseed (free, accessible photo editor, great for more technical work) for editing.

"My top tip for editing is don't over-edit. If you want your image to be recognisable on social media, one way to do it is to use filters or presets. You can find filters that you can add to your images to get consistency," said Broome.

Creating beautiful social media assets

Small businesses will often use templates to give their posts a unique identity. This could include a frame for photos or a quote card.

Canva is a great, free way to start making these yourself. It offers extensive resources for creating all sorts of different images and assets which you can resize for all social media platforms.

Try to create three or four templates that you can update with different pieces of advice or products when necessary. The approach helps make sure the brand is consistent and saves time.

Here are a couple of examples from Enterprise Nation's Twitter feed.

💡 🤝 Find out about the business advisers offering one-to-one advice at Festival of Female Entrepreneurs in Bristol on 18 October and then book your ticket! https://t.co/4OXYAz55NA pic.twitter.com/OhrsoqG2Up

— Enterprise Nation (@e_nation) October 8, 2019

⏰ We just love these insights from a day in the life of entrepreneur @kathyennis https://t.co/PDjdTtcAHD

She's the Enterprise Nation member of the week!

Want to be profiled? Join Enterprise Nation today! https://t.co/kPozAO4PPS

#ENmember pic.twitter.com/vFTq6ujpyX

— Enterprise Nation (@e_nation) September 22, 2019

Creating videos to promote your small business

Enterprise Nation member and video strategist Lucy Griffiths said that being professional on camera is at the forefront of everyone's mind because video is the fastest and most cost-effective way to market your business.

She said that your video needs to resonate with your customers - you need to be creating good quality videos. How can you do that?

"It's about building a relationship with the lense and learning to love the lens, so that you can look and feel more confidence," said Griffiths.

Video doesn't have to cost the earth and Griffiths provided several tips to help you get started making your own videos.

  • Lighting: When you put nice lights on, you look so much better. Think about buying a lighting ring attachment for your phone.

  • Sound and image quality: Start by using your phone and the light. After that, you can look at things like a microphone (she recommends Rode microphones, but there are cheaper alternatives).

  • Tripods: Avoid camera wobble and look more professional.

In terms of filming, she mentioned that having the camera horizontal is often better because it looks more professional. However, vertical can look best on mobile, so mix it up. Make eye contact by looking at the lense, rather than the screen.

Wear clothes that are on brand and try to avoid stripes and patterns. Think about your framing and backdrop - what objects and scenery give the right impression?

It's worth writing a bullet-point plan of what you want to cover.

Marketing resources to tell the world about your business

Enterprise Nation members can access the content below for extra advice. You can sign up as a member here.

 
 
Chris has over a decade of experience writing about small businesses and startups. He runs Inkwell, a content agency that helps companies that sell to small business owners grow their audiences through content marketing. You can find him on Twitter at @CPGoodfellow.
 

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