We know that having an online presence is incredibly important, especially in times when we rely heavily on the internet to connect us with each other, and clubs rely on it to keep their members engaged. What’s even more important is the content we post online. It has to be engaging, on brand, eye catching and clearly convey our messages.
When it comes to designing stunning visual content, practice makes perfect. Most of the time you won’t know what looks good until you get in and give it a crack for yourself and experiment with colours, themes and text. But to make this a little easier and to give you somewhere to start, we’ve put together a guide on the kinds of visual content you can create for your members and how to go about creating them.
Videos are a great way to capture your members' attention and make things exciting. A lot of people are scared to use videos as they don’t have any video editing experience or don’t have a professional camera to record things. The good news is, you don’t need either of these things! Videos expand so much further than this.
Videos can be used for a range of things. If you’re running a workshop with an industry professional, you can film a quick promo with them talking about the workshop and what it’ll cover. These kinds of things require hardly any editing at all and can be uploaded straight to your event page. While these types of videos are effective, videos don’t have to include footage of people at all. You can get creative! Some of the most effective videos use only text and animation combined with some upbeat background music.
There are many ways you can go about creating videos if you’ve never edited video before. If you’ve got an Apple Mac or have access to one, iMovie is one of the simplest ones out there to use. If you don’t want to start from scratch, you can even create some banners and social media tiles to incorporate into your video - just add background music and you’re set. Keep in mind copyright on any music you use as these will be automatically stripped from many social media sites if they don’t comply. You can also face legal ramifications for this. We suggest trying to use royalty free music that’s available for commercial use.
Social media tiles
Social media tiles are an essential for Instagram and should also be an essential for your other social media posts and email blasts. We know that content accompanied with an image is seen by more eyes than if it was just plain text, so it’s important that the social media tiles you use aren’t just there for the sake of it – they should add value to your post.
You don’t have to be a graphic design whiz to make engaging social media tiles. There are so many free online platforms that are user-friendly and have so many templates available that you can easily adapt to make your own. One of our favourite platforms is Canva.
While Canva has social media templates available, there are some things to keep in mind when making them to ensure you’re adding value to your posts.
Make sure the colours you use in your tile make sense with the tone of the post. This could include using your society’s key colours to promote your merchandise or using darker tones to promote an evening networking event.
Keep it simple
When designing social media tiles, it can be easy to get carried away with all the options available and be tempting to include too much. More times than not, less is more. Keep it simple and don’t overwhelm your audience with too much text, too much information or too many features.
Cover photos and banners
Cover photos and banners aren’t just important for Facebook – they’re also great to use on your website. They’re most commonly used to promote Facebook events as the key photo at the top of the event page, but can also be used as headings on your website. Canva is also a favourite platform that many clubs use to make their cover photos.
Something important to note about making cover photos for Facebook is that the dimensions required for a cover photo vary depending on their purpose. For example, if you’re updating the cover photo to your society’s main page, the “Facebook Cover” pre-set dimensions on Canva are perfect. However, if you’re making a cover photo for a Facebook event, “Presentation” is a better fit. If you’re at all worried, you can check out Facebook’s required dimensions for cover photos on their website for events and homepage cover photos as they often change as Facebook updates their layout.
When it comes to making cover photos for your events, there are a few things to consider.
Essential information only
Like with social media tiles, it can be easy to get carried away. If you’re promoting an event, people want to know the key details quickly. This includes the name of the event, if other societies are involved, the location, date and time.
Be on theme
If your event has a theme, design your cover photo to mirror this and have some fun with it! If your event is a social barbeque, don't be afraid to use some bright colours or even some cartoon snags to bring your banner to life. If you’re running a professional event, use lighter colours if it’s a breakfast and deeper tones if it’s an evening event. Keep it clean and neat, just like how a business would promote a company event.
Include your logo
This might sound simple, but it’s so important to stick your logo on every cover photo you make for your events. This helps with brand recognition and puts ownership with your club. This isn’t just important for your members, but also important if it’s a public event where industry professionals might be attending or the venue hosting your event wants to promote it. Make your club stand out!
Easy to read
Designing cover photos for events present so much opportunity to get creative, but it’s important to know when to stop. Try not to make your cover photos too full of information or too busy for the eyes with design. This also includes making sure that the text you include on the banner is easily readable – the font is clear and a decent size, and the text stands out from the background colour.
We know that infographics have the power to relay complex information to our members in a simple graphic, but how should we go about making them?
Piktochart is one of our favourites for complex infographics that include data. They have heaps of pre-set themes to inspire you and have easy options to input your data and it creates visual representations for you. Piktochart has some easy five minute guides on their website about how to get this set up.
We’ve put together a couple of tips on how to make your infographics stand out.
Think of your audience and platform
The size of your infographic and the amount of information you include will heavily depend on what platform it’s going to be published on. If it’s going on Instagram, consider making something square in size and with minimal information. Because you’ve only got a small space to work with and your members will be viewing this on their phones, you want to make sure everything is easy to read and understand. However, if you’ve got quite a lot of information and the infographic is quite long, it’s more suited to something like Facebook or an email where people can scroll and view it on a desktop.
Not too much information
Infographics are a great way to synthesise information and present data visually. Before you get started, it’s good to think about how much info you have and how much you want to share. If you have a lot of information and are wanting to represent data in large pie charts and graphs, it might be worth splitting up the information into a few different infographics so as to not overwhelm your members. This includes leaving plenty of blank space and making the data look visually appealing on the graphic. The purpose of infographics is to make things easier for your audience to understand, not more complex.
To read more about the power of infographics, check out our blog.
Photos from events
Everyone loves seeing photos from their club’s events. It’s photo evidence that people attended your event and had a good time! These images don’t have to be professional photos taken at an event, they can just be ones you snapped on your phone (after all, smartphone cameras are almost just as good as professional cameras these days). This makes for excellent content to use for your members - you can include these photos in promotional cover photos to advertise future events, or can post them on their own.
But, there are things you can do to take your images to the next level. There are so many free and easy editing softwares available, both on your phone and online, that allow you to edit your photos. This doesn’t have to be much - it can be as simple as playing around with the brightness and contrast in the image to make your photo really pop and stand out.
If you’ve got a couple of simple social media tiles or a couple of fun images, why not make them into a GIF? There are so many websites, such as Giphy, where you can upload a series of images for free and the site compiles them into a GIF for you to download. While you can use images in GIFs that have text in them, it’s important to consider how long it takes to read and understand the text in these when deciding how many seconds to leave between flipping to the next image. Infographics and other text tiles with lots of info aren’t the best for GIFs for this reason, but images for your events are a perfect fit. GIFs are particularly effective on social media as they capture attention and allow you to showcase a number of images in just one post.