Stuck for content ideas? Try these!

The best ways to work out what types of content your audience wants is to observe or simply ask them. But let’s face it, we all run short on ideas now and then! If (or when?) this happens to you, we have a few ideas to get the content idea ball rolling again.

1. News and current events.

Pay attention to what’s happening in the news and often you’ll find something that ties in perfectly to your audience’s interests. For example, if your target market is parents of teens and stories of online dangers or even of inspiring kids is a potential subject to share and comment on.

2. Keep a notebook of ideas

Always keep a little notebook or your smartphone handy when you come across ideas. Sometimes a little story about what happened to you at the weekend or even your kid’s football match can become a relevant lesson to your readers.

3. Product reviews

People always appreciate detailed and honest product reviews. A good review will discuss a product’s features and potential benefits. It will also clearly show who the product is suitable for and perhaps who it is not. Don’t forget to mention about any potential drawbacks.

4. Create case studies with your clients/customers

Case studies are perfect because they can be highly-informative, but also provide amazing testimonials for your business.

5. Interview other experts/celebrities in your market.

This doesn’t have to be Angelina Jolie or some other celebrity. Just get people in your market that people turn to for information, guidance and even entertainment.

6. Be interviewed by someone else

This is an ultra-easy way to create content simply by answering questions. You can even ask  your own readers submit questions for the interview.

7. Look at previous content and expand on it

If you previously created some popular content, see where you can expand it or possibly target a certain aspect of it in finer detail.

8. Create a “Top 10” list

Writing not your thing? This is an easy way to come up with plenty of ideas in point-form. For example, ‘Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Your Groceries’.

9. Entertain them!

People use the Internet for information but also for entertainment. You don’t always have to come up with earth-shattering information to impress your audience. Have fun, inspire them or make them laugh.

Photo: lum3n.com

Graphic design tips for social media marketing

If you’re planning to use more (and better!) graphic design techniques in your social media marketing, it’s important to know what works and what doesn’t work. You may have to try different strategies to get the results you want, but you can get ahead of the game with these tips.

  • Add Alt Tags to All Images – When you add an image to your website, sales pages, or anywhere online, you should be able to add ‘alt’ tags to the image. While most people cannot see the tag, which is a description of the image, search engines and people who use screen readers such as blind people can read the description and get an idea of what is included on the image. You can make the alt tag as long as you need to so that screen readers and search engines can understand what is included in the content.
  • Understand Copyright Laws – The thing to understand about copyright is that the creator of any image doesn’t have to physically tell you that their image is copyrighted. The creator has the right to tell you whether you can use the images or not and how you can use them. It’s important to be clear that even if you purchase an image it doesn’t mean you own all rights to it. Read the small print and understand how the laws work. Although it’s a few years old now, this is a great post about image copyrights on Social Media Examiner.
  • Know Where to Find Images – There are many places you can get images that are both paid and free. The important thing is to read the rules and understand the copyright that the site gives you and follow it. Sites like, Pixabay.com, Death to the Stock Photo, Unsplash.com, Gratisography.com, and morgueFile.com offer free images for limited use. You can get paid images for more uses from sites like Stockfresh.com, iStockphoto.com and Dreamstime.com.
  • Choose Relevant Images – When you pick or create images to represent the story and information you’re trying to get across to your audience, it’s imperative to choose images that are relevant to the content that you’re writing. If the image disconnects from the message it will simply be a distraction. If the image helps move the story forward, there will be more understanding of the message.
  • Use the Right Tools – When you create images they need to be the right aspect ratio, size, pixels, and properly compressed. If you create images with the wrong tools, such as in Word for example, they will not appear attractive online because the pixels will be wrong and the type of image will be wrong. Use free tools like GIMP.org, Canva.com, and Pixlr.com, or you can get a membership with Adobe Creative Cloud, to take advantage of many programs that will help you create the right type of images for the right visual marketing project.
  • Include Interesting Fonts – Be careful about the fonts you choose; ensure that they are highly readable on your graphics. There are places you can acquire new fonts such as Dafont.com which can be used on many different operating systems. You can also get fonts from Google Fonts which can be used without any worry about issues.
  • Match Colours Perfectly – There are a number of tools that you can use to ensure that your colors match. You can use Adobe’s Color Tool, the color pixel picker or this color lover’s palette chooser. Or upload an image and get matching colours generated with this colour palette generator. You might want to read about the psychology of color in relation to your target audience to ensure that you pick the right colours and not just colours that you personally like.

Good luck!

Ten ways to a better Facebook Live Broadcast

You don’t have to be a TV presenter!

Facebook Live is a great way to build relationships and get feedback from your followers. Facebook Live broadcasts currently have more reach than almost any other type of content you could post on your Facebook page, too.

If the thought of being on video makes you nervous, then the thought of being on live video could be downright scary.  But with practice it becomes much easier – you never know, you may find you love it! Here are some tips to help you have a successful broadcast:

  1. Announce when you’ll be going live a few hours before you do it. You can announce this as Facebook page post and on any of your other social media channels, you can also email your mailing list subscribers.
  2. Always aim to have a strong wifi signal to avoid interruptions to your broadcast.
  3. Have a clear focus for your broadcast and pick an appealing title. This is more likely to attract viewers than a general chit-chat.
  4. Be prepared to talk to yourself for the first 30 seconds or so! Facebook takes a while to promote your broadcast.
  5. It’s OK to repeat yourself as new people will be arriving throughout the broadcast.
  6. Stabilise your camera if possible. You can pick up small, inexpensive smartphone tripods on Amazon.
  7. Make your broadcast easy to watch by paying attention to your lighting and minimising any background noise.
  8. Ask viewers to subscribe to your Live broadcasts during your video – tell them to click ‘follow’ so they can get notifications when you go Live.
  9. You can also ask your viewers to share the video with their friends.
  10.  Facebook recommends that a Facebook Live broadcast lasts at least ten minutes, so make sure you have enough good content prepared to keep you going for that time!

Why not give it a try? Good luck!