branding

How to Influence Public Perception: A Blueprint

The perception of your company and industry as a whole is the primary driver of purchase behavior for consumers. Learn how to shape those perceptions and grow your business.

The Beauty of Instagram Story Design

Instagram stories have grown a lot since its launch, and it has become a wonderful communication tool for everyone. On a platform where it is easy to overwhelm your audience by posting too many photos, stories allow you to convey a lot of messages quickly, but they are creating an even greater opportunity with graphic design. Many stories seen on the platform are more “handmade” with markup style drawings, text and a quickly snapped photo, however a trend of creating beautiful looking stories for companies and bloggers alike has begun.

On Instagram it can often be difficult to bring brand elements to the forefront except with the tones, mood, and general aesthetic of photos posted. Stories are a wonderful way to get followers more familiarized with the brand after only experiencing it on your website or in person. This also helps build trust when audience members interact with other digital platforms, and a good way to increase customer loyalty and potentially conversions. It doesn’t mean that every story posted has to be amazingly designed and planned; there is certainly room for what we often think of as stories, taken in the moment, more playful, or however they are being utilized now.

Some great ways to use well-designed Instagram stories are:

  1. Announcements
  2. Sales
  3. Team/personnel feature
  4. Contests & giveaways
  5. Polls
  6. New Blog Posts

The best part about stories right now is that there are a ton of ready-made Instagram Story templates that anyone with Photoshop can utilize and upload to their phone to post. If that seems a bit out of scope for now, the easiest way to start is to come up with one branded background that has a space to place text, polls, tags etc. that social media managers can just use whenever a more well designed story is called for. Another great benefit is if the account is a verified account or has 10k+ followers, users can swipe up to be taken to links directly without leaving the story, which makes linking to sales or content outside Instagram so much easier.

If you want a great stories template for your account let us know! Here are just a few amazing examples of instagram templates from Creative Market for inspiration:

 Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

 Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

 Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

 Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

 Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

 Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Pande

 Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Onurcan Erdem

Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Onurcan Erdem

 Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Onurcan Erdem

Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Onurcan Erdem

 Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Onurcan Erdem

Creative Market - Instagram Stories Pack - Onurcan Erdem

Crush That Writer’s Block

As we now have a couple of weeks of the new year under our belt, we wanted to take a look back at one of our most popular blogs posts from 2017.  Sarah talks about how to deal with Writer's Block; perfect to start your year off strong!

At some point, it happens to all of us. You sit down to write, but the words just aren’t there. It happens because writers aren’t machines - even machines need an oil change and tune up once in a while. When you have a million items on your to-do list, creative time can easily fall by the wayside. It’s one of the most important aspects of a social media manager’s job.  Anyone with a deadline for journalistic or other forms of writing has likely experienced writer’s block.

Here are some handy tips and tricks to help you stay focused and keep creating awesome content daily.

1.     Write at different times. If you usually write in the afternoon, try writing in the morning or evening. The change in time may be enough to create a fresh outlook. For me, evenings are great for getting some uninterrupted work done. Tasks from the day are behind me and I can focus on jotting down content ideas, catching up on some reading or to research new trends. For the early-bird, the hours before starting your work day might be most productive. Break your habit and experiment to see what works best for you.

2.     Change of scenery. Moving around in your office can get you out of a stale mindset and allow you to gain a fresh perspective in new surroundings. Try changing up locations twice a day. When the weather cooperates, try bringing your computer or notebook outdoors. Fresh air has a way of changing your mood and outlook, which is good news for your next project!

3.     Try something different. Sometimes it’s possible to be too familiar with a topic. Agency life can mean working in the same industry, with the same clients for years. After awhile, it becomes easy to get stuck in a rut. Try looking at your topic from a different perspective and research new ideas or trends to keep it fresh and interesting to read AND write.

4.     Take a break. Short breaks are a great way to stay motivated. As research has shown, we’re actually more productive when we break up our work routine throughout the day. Barring an immediate deadline, there is usually some time to step away from your assignment and come back to it with a fresh set of eyes.

5.     Crank up the tunes. Sometimes office chatter can be too much to bear. Music can provide some much-needed relief to those little conversations and “quick” meetings that can easily break your focus and concentration. If you find you have difficulty listening to music as you write, try queuing up a playlist that doesn’t have lyrics.

6.     Do the dishes. Your brain needs to relax before coming up with creative insight. Staring at your computer screen might end up being counterproductive. Try stimulating those creative muscles with routine tasks. Tidy your work space. Fold the laundry. Wash the dishes. Above all, relax.

7.     Talk it out. In order to beat your writer's block, try seeking inspiration from others around you. Bounce your ideas off friends and colleagues, or ask someone to brainstorm with you. Just having someone to talk to can often lead to creating ideas you never thought possible, helping ending your writer's block-induced creative drought.

There’s no doubt about it - writing is hard work. Don’t become a tortured genius. Experiment. Find out what works for you. Write where and when you like. Be as crazy as you like to be. Just have with it fun!

Boomerang: 1-Second Video Loops Everyone Loves

What is Boomerang?

Boomerang is an Instagram app that allows you to create mini videos that continually loop back and forth (much like the toy “boomerang” itself.) The app essentially takes a quick burst of photographs and combines them together to make a soundless, 1-second video. It’s a fun and unique way to add something a little “extra” to your videos.

Why it’s great:

One word: simplicity. Anyone who’s used Boomerang before will tell you that it’s one of the simplest apps to use! Once the app is open, you only have to hold down one button to capture your mini video. The content of the video doesn’t need to be complex either, as you only have a brief moment to capture the subject in action.

Boomerang for your business:

Businesses can take advantage of Boomerang to showcase their products, services, and culture in a unique way. Users are more likely to engage with, and remember a Boomerang post more than they will a normal video. This is due to the quick succession and aesthetically pleasing way in which information is relayed.

For example, IKEA used a Boomerang to announce its new bicycle:

Vans captured its “free spirit” vibe with this Boomerang:

@leilahurst cutting loose like it's Friday. 📸 @jatecson #Regram from @vanssurf

A post shared by vans (@vans) on

Ulta Beauty frequently uses Boomerang to show off new product releases and makeup tutorials:

#Repost @lovemelisamichelle

A post shared by Ulta Beauty (@ultabeauty) on

Jus by Julie loves to promote a healthy lifestyle by featuring its employees eating its product:

Using the Boomerang app is simple, effective and engaging. With a video length so short, the possibilities of content are endless. Let your creative juices flow and spice up your Instagram posts with these mini videos.

Adobe Spark: Content Creation for Every Skill Level.

What better time of year to talk about one of my favorite (newer/revamped) products from Adobe, Adobe Spark, than on the 4th of July. It just seems fitting as I listen to all of the bottle rockets and roman candles being fired off by the neighborhood kids. No, Adobe Spark won’t blowup or light your neighbors overgrown lawn on fire, but it will help you put on quite a show for your fans, followers and clients.

Adobe Spark is comprised of a suite of apps which allow users to create social graphics, animated videos, and web stories. According to TechCrunch, “the Spark collection is effectively an upgrade and rebranding of a trio of apps Adobe already operated – its Adobe Post App became Spark Post, Adobe Slate became Spark Page; and Adobe Voice became Spark Video”. Along with the apps, Adobe also released a web version which allows its users to access the apps using their browser. Long story short, Adobe Spark lets your average, everyday user create stunning visuals and content without having to take a 2-year training course.

 

Spark Post

Spark Post allows users to create graphics for social channels in a quick and efficient way. It offers multiple professionally-designed templates, various themes, the ability to place and edit text, as well as an auto resize feature that adjusts your images automatically for different social channels. Once you’ve got everything looking extra pretty, save your image and upload for your fans and followers to enjoy.

Spark Page

Spark Page allows users to layout their favorite photos and information in a creative and unique way and share them with the world. Think of it as your own simplified web page. Users can upload photos from their own devices, cloud storage or use stock photography. You can then add motion or text to make a fun and informational viewing experience. Spark Page works great for showcasing products, events or for sending out your weekly newsletter.

Spark Video

Last but not least is Spark Video – which allows users to create stunning videos in a matter of minutes. Choose from a wide variety of themes and layouts to create engaging content that is sure to capture the attention of your viewers. Users can stitch together photos, videos, and icons and then add text to clearly communicate their message. You can also add music from your personal library or Adobe’s stock library to give your video the full professional touch.

Do you need help with your social media? We’ve got a team of professionals ready to take your business or product to the next level. Drop us a line at http://thinpigmedia.com/contact-us/.