Need some fresh visual content for social media? Here are 15 tips for creating content that stops the scroll.
It can be hard to choose the perfect photo or video to post on social these days.
There’s a lot of pressure to look “Instagram perfect” or add heavy filters to already beautiful images.
Sometimes we can’t find anything to post because we’re so critical that we don’t have much to choose from.
Feeling disappointed with your pictures makes it really tempting to put off the marketing photography session your brand depends on.
That’s why we’re sharing 15 tips for creating stunning visual content for social media – and it’s about a lot more than clothes and makeup!
How To Create Stunning Social Media Visual Content
1. Creative Vision
There’s a lot that goes into good marketing visuals – before you even pick up the camera. You have to consider your goals, platforms, story, script, wardrobe, graphics and more. Starting from the top, we help you solidify your vision with a process that encourages you to: define the purpose of your content, determine your marketing goals for this specific project, figure out how best to use your content, map out a marketing plan and more. Most importantly, we make sure you’re telling a powerful, engaging story that will stand out and capture the attention of the right audience. (Don’t have a creative vision yet? Try starting with an assessment of your personal brand.)
2. Style Guide
A consistent and unique visual style sets you apart. We’d even go as far as to say a consistently compelling visual brand is the magic ingredient that turns a casual viewer into a devoted customer. In fact, 67% of consumers believe that clear, detailed images carry more weight than product information or customer ratings, according to a study by MDG Advertising. That’s the power of visuals in decision-making. By having a visual marketing style guide, you ensure that your brand’s visual narrative aligns with your audience’s preferences, making your content more appealing and impactful.
3. Audience Research
While there are a number of variables at play in every marketing campaign, knowing your audience is a significant step that many marketers underestimate or even overlook entirely. After all, your audience is the backbone of your business, and they can make or break your success. That means knowing them inside out is key. Plus, audience research can lead to higher conversion rates, ROI and customer loyalty.
4. Platform Demographics
So how do you zero in on that perfect audience? Well, that’s where some serious social media strategy comes in. But to get started without all the fancy algorithms and expensive strategists, there’s an easy way to begin defining your audiences. Learn the demographics and audiences of each platform, and create content that speaks to each one differently. The goal is to speak to the audience that’s already there – not use the exact same strategy and content across all platforms.
Successful brands are really, really good at one thing: telling stories. Why? Stories go beyond simple marketing gimmicks and seasonal promotions. They capture the heart of a customer to create the kind of bond that lasts – despite market changes or poor economies. Compelling visual storytelling demonstrates your unique values and connects you with the people who share them. In fact, people are 22 times more likely to remember details when stories communicate messages instead of just facts and numbers, according to psychologist Jerome Bruner. Why? Stories are memorable.
6. Balance of Topics
We love variety. In fact, it’s one of the things we’re craving when we turn to social media: a constant scroll of different images, media, influencers, conversations and more. To capture your audience’s attention, you need to keep things fresh. One of the great things about social media is the opportunity it gives us to reach people on a more personal level. It shows potential clients a new side of you and allows you to connect with people in a new way. So don’t forget to integrate different topics besides just business.
7. Balance of Visuals
In addition to a variety of topics and conversations, your social media should be as visually versatile as possible, while still staying within the confines of your brand. Strive for a consistent level of quality in your images, and add variety by changing the locations and styles of photography. For example, shake things up by rotating between in-studio portraiture, custom set designs, on-location images, and portraits from within your office. Everything will look and feel exactly like your brand, but there will be plenty of variety to keep your audience engaged.
8. Professional Eye
Selecting the right marketing images often requires as much professional guidance as shooting them. As we review your images, we will look with a technical eye while you look with an emotional eye, and together, we arrive at the best choice. We’ll also eliminate any images that don’t have crystal-clear focus or perfect lighting, and keep an eye out for body language that doesn’t look natural or comfortable. Plus, we’ll let you know when we see an image that has that special something – an effortless connection with the camera lens.
9. Creative Locations
Is your visual marketing feeling a little drab? Do you need some new eye-catching images to freshen things up? Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity, the right lighting, and enough trust in your photographer to create the right visual content for social media purposes. If things have been feeling a little stale in your digital storefront, take a look at these five creative locations for professional marketing photography in Santa Clarita.
10. Custom Set Design
At SchlickArt, we love creating a custom in-studio set just for you. With a wide range of backdrops, we can create everything from solid-color backgrounds to city skylines to chic office interiors. All you have to do is bring the props and items that represent you most. Then we will design a set using your props to make your images feel as unique as your personal brand. We even have multiple locations within our studio to help you achieve a diverse range of looks in one shoot.
The right pose can change everything – and so can the wrong one. Posing starts from the ground up, with sturdy feet and strong legs that give way to an inner lift. Top it with a lifted yet squared-off jaw, and you’ve got the foundation down. At SchlickArt, we do the work for you with simple posing instructions that are as easy to follow as Simon Says. Except everyone wins! Because by the time you see your photos, you’ll be stunned at what a difference the right angles can make.
12. Range of Expressions
Expression is something to be played with in photography and video! While smiles are always great to see on social media, other expressions can be used to convey a range of messages, including listening faces, surprised faces and more. That way, you can cover more topics without having to search for an image with the appropriate expression. At SchlickArt, we capture the entire range of your expression when you smile – from the small smirk, all the way up to a full grin, and back to neutral again. Somewhere in that range is the perfect smile, the one that’s big enough to be genuine but also relaxed enough to not feel forced. Plus, we also have some fun sayings to elicit a real and genuine smile. (But if you want to see what that’s all about, you’ll have to join us in the studio!)
13. Beautiful Wardrobe
Your headshot should be the best representation of you and your brand, but you also want it to be memorable. That’s why, at SchlickArt, your photography session starts with a quick and creative styling. Whether you bring a suitcase full of shoes (it’s happened) or a few simple selections, we’ll look at your wardrobe with you to choose the best colors, shapes and fabrics for your vision. While there are a few standard tips to abide by, there’s also room to play. We help you figure all that out, so you’re not just getting a good photo – you’re getting a little bit of star treatment at the same time.
14. Camera-Ready Hair & Makeup
Depending on your preference and your branding, you may want to book professional hair and makeup services for your photography session. When doing your own makeup, we always suggest classic, timeless looks with foundation that’s a little bit heavier than what you’d normally wear. If you’d rather leave it to the professionals, then you can rest assured that we’ve searched far and wide for stylists who work in the entertainment industry. They understand how to create the perfect hair and makeup looks that also translate flawlessly on camera. Not only does it make you look your best, but a luxurious experience in the makeup chair makes you feel good, too.
At SchlickArt, we believe there’s no such thing as being naturally “photogenic.” In fact, it’s not the subject’s responsibility to look good on camera – but the photographer’s responsibility to bring out the very best in the person they’re shooting. In our studio, being “photogenic” is about who is taking the picture, not who’s in front of the camera, because a great photographer can bring out the best in everyone. In fact, we have an entire system designed to do exactly that, from the moment you walk in the door until you receive your final retouched images. From start to finish, we do everything we can to create an experience that makes you feel as good as you look.
Ready to put these strategies into practice? Learn how to create stunning visual content for social media with a SchlickArt Visual Marketing Training Session.
Marketing Photography in Santa Clarita
When it comes to creating visual content for social media, our goal is simple: We want you to walk away feeling like you have the best headshots in Santa Clarita. That’s why we’ve designed a line of Marketing Photography Sessions that are custom-made to make you happy. How do we do that? Simple. We pay attention to you, your needs and your business. We take the time to create a photography experience – we don’t just point, shoot and send you on your way. We bring our visual marketing background to every session, to help you make smart choices in wardrobe, appearance, posing and expression.
Visual Marketing Education
At SchlickArt, we know your marketing visuals are only effective if you actually use them. That’s why we help you create powerful photography and video – and then we teach you how to share it. With each session, we’ll give you our best tips based on your specific marketing goals. We provide the education and resources you need to brand your content, integrate it into your marketing strategy, post it with intention, and maximize engagement along the way.
If you want even more tips and resources, we have an educational blog, newsletter and video channel to help you dive deeper, as well as professional presentations, workshops, and coaching sessions if you’re ready to take action and level-up your marketing now.
SchlickArt, a boutique photo and video studio in Santa Clarita, started in March 2012 with the simple idea that empowerment creates a kind of beauty and authenticity that shines through every camera lens. Built on a philosophy — rather than a product, service or person — SchlickArt has rapidly evolved, meeting professional portraiture, business photo and business video needs as diverse as the community we capture. It’s the desire to take care of you, the client, that drives us at SchlickArt.