4 Tips to Jump-Start Content Production (That Do Not Require a Graphic Designer or Videographer)
Graphic designers and video designers are great … but they can be expensive! It is possible to create visual content for your business or organization without spending a fortune on a professional designer, though.
Keep up with your competition with these four content production tips:
Plan Content Around Popular Search Terms
Before you begin designing, make sure you’re creating content that your audience is looking for. An obvious example of this is holiday decorations. As you would expect, nobody is searching for “holiday decorations” in the spring; they’re searching in autumn and winter. You don’t want to spend precious time designing something at a time when no one is searching for it.
Use Google Trends, a free tool, to see when a topic is performing well. Conducting search term research is important because it will help you know when to create designed content about topics that are already popular with your audience.
Find a Free Design Tool
Once you know what you’ll be creating, it’s time to find a design tool that’s right for you.
There are plenty of inexpensive (or free!) alternatives to Photoshop. Two of our favorites are Canva and DesignBold, and both offer free plans. You can use these tools to create engaging and unique visual content for your brand, for free.
Develop a Design Process
To stay organized, set some guidelines before you start. Guidelines might look something like this eight-step process if you’re designing on your own:
- Set a topic based on the interests of your target audience and your keyword research.
- Decide what type of content best suits this topic. For instance, an infographic or video might work better than a photo if you’re trying to present a lot of information at once.
- Set goals for your design. Do you want the content to increase brand awareness, earn you more leads/followers, drive more traffic to your website, or something else? Write down your goal(s).
- Create the first iteration. This is by no means the final product, but you’re halfway there!
- Step away from your design. Whether this is for 30 minutes or three days, stepping away will allow you to see your concept and design with fresh, critical eyes so you can make important changes.
- Make the changes. Keep in mind the goals of your design as you edit.
- Step away from your design once more. This is especially useful if you’re the only person seeing your designs before they’re published.
- Return to your design and determine whether it will work to effectively achieve the goal(s) you outlined in Step 3. If it does, you’re done! Time to schedule that post. (If not, make your edits and return to your design after some more time away. Repeat as necessary until you’re happy.)
Take Advantage of Schedule Integrations
Whether your new designs are going on your website or social media channels, plan out when your content is going live.
As a small business employee or owner, you’re very busy and might not always remember to post that graphic you made for #FlashbackFriday. To avoid this huge waste of time and effort, create a spreadsheet with the date and time you want to publish, along with captions and hashtags, if applicable, and the channel(s) you plan to publish to. This spreadsheet will keep track of your assets and set your timeline in stone.
Next up: scheduling. Neither Canva nor DesignBold currently offer social media scheduling. There are, however, in-app scheduling integrations. Facebook offers Creator Studio, which is a great way to see all your current posts as well as scheduled posts for both Facebook and Instagram.
In addition, Twitter offers scheduling through TweetDeck. Both Creator Studio and TweetDeck are great ways to help you stay on track of your social media posts.
If you have a WordPress website, you can schedule blog posts to publish at a set date and time. Simply create the post, and instead of clicking “publish now,” click the “edit” button and select a custom date and time.
Our Team Knows Small Business Marketing
At PointA, we work almost exclusively with small businesses. We know how to work with you and your team to create the best visual content … all while working within your small-business budget. To check out our expert team of designers and videographers, reach out today.
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