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8 Tips for Creating Highly Effective Instagram Stories Ads

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Instagram Stories have captured the hearts (and eyeballs) of Instagram users across the world. So is it any surprise, then, that Instagram Story Ads are one of the very best ways to advertise on the platform?

With more than 500 million people using Instagram Stories daily, brands have a massive opportunity to make an impression. In fact, 58% of Instagram users report being more interested in a brand or product after watching their Stories.

So if Instagram is part of your brand’s social media strategy: it’s Story time, baby! Here’s everything you need to know about making effective, engaging Instagram Story ads.

Download your free pack of 72 customizable Instagram Stories templates now. Save time and look professional while promoting your brand in style.

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What are Instagram Story ads?

An Instagram Story ad is paid content that appears as users are watching Stories on Instagram.

Bombas decorating the tree video ad

Source: Instagram Business

Instagram Stories are vertical, full-screen photos and videos that appear at the top of the Instagram app, rather than in the news feed.

Organic Stories disappear after 24 hours; Instagram Story ads will continue to be served up as long as your campaign is running.

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Stories incorporate fun, interactive components like stickers, filters and effects. They’ve become incredibly popular since launching in 2017, and brands have reaped the benefits. In a survey of Instagram users, half reported visiting a business’ website to make a purchase after seeing it in Stories.

TLDR: For brands on Instagram, Story Ads are a powerfully effective avenue for sharing your message. Get that ROI! Get it!

Chameleon Cold Brew Instagram Story poll vanilla vs black flavor

Source: Instagram Business

How to publish an Instagram Story ad

You’ll be creating your Instagram Story through the Meta Ads Manager on your computer or through the Meta Ads Manager app. (At this point in time, you can’t publish an Instagram Story ad directly through Instagram.)

1. Go to Meta Ads Manager and select the + icon (aka, the Create button).

event at Biltmore Cabaret Nasty Women Comedy

2. Choose a marketing objective, like Website Traffic, Reach, or Page Likes. (One key note: “Post Engagement” does not offer an Instagram Story ad option.)

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choose marketing objective under create campaign

3. Select your creative from your camera roll or from an existing Instagram post.

select media ad creative for stories placement

4. Fill in the details (which vary depending on the marketing objective).

ad headline primary text

5. Then, tap on Placements. Toggle Manual to see all of your platform distribution options. Tap Instagram and select Stories.

placement mode automatic or maual

6. Continue on to the next page to set your ad audience. You can select people who are already interacting with you (for instance, “People who engaged with your page”) or create a new target audience.

audience who should see your ad

7. Set your campaign budget and schedule.

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set campaign budget and schedule for ad

See also  How to Become a (Well-Paid) Content Creator in 2022

8. The final step will allow you to review and preview your campaign. Tap Place Order to seal the deal.

ad preview on Instagram Stories

Instagram Story ads design requirements

For best results, use Meta’s recommended dimensions and formats as you’re designing your Story ad. Otherwise, you may risk an unflattering crop or sketchy-looking stretch.

Aspect Ratio 9:16
Recommended Dimensions 1080px x 1920px
Minimum Dimensions 600px x 1067px
Video File Type .mp4 or .mov
Photo File Type .jpg or .png
Max Video File Size 250MB
Max Photo File Size 30MB
Video Length 60 minutes
Supported Video Codecs H.264, VP8
Supported Audio Codecs AAC, Vorbis

In case this chart isn’t enough of an inspiration (ok, weird??), check out our list of 20 creative Instagram Story ideas!

Meta ad guidelines for Stories

Buying an Instagram Story ad doesn’t give you carte blanche to do what you want — this isn’t Westworld, people.

Instagram’s parent company, Meta, has policies in place to try to create a user-friendly experience. If your ad doesn’t meet these guidelines, it may not make the cut.

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Ads should not violate Instagram’s Community Guidelines. You can read the full rundown here, but basically: don’t be a jerk! Here’s the bullet-point version of prohibited content:

  • Illegal products or services
  • Discriminatory practices
  • Tobacco and related products
  • Unsafe substances
  • Adult products or services
  • Adult content
  • Third-party infringement
  • “Sensational” content
  • Personal attributes
  • Misinformation
  • Controversial content
  • Non-functional landing pages
  • Cheating and deceitful practices
  • Grammar and profanity
  • … plus a laundry list of predatory businesses like payday loans or multi-level marketing.

Wow, I guess Meta just hates fun??? (JK, JK, JK! Online safety: we love to see it!)

In addition to this list of outright no-nos, there is also content that Meta restricts, such as:

  • ads for online gambling
  • promotion of online pharmacies
  • Alcohol related advertisments
  • promotions for dating services

To advertise a business focused on these products or services, you’ll need to request special permission or comply with applicable local laws.

If you put together an ad in violation of Meta’s advertising policies (uh ohhh!), you’ll receive a notification that your ad has been denied, and it won’t run.

However, if you think your denial was unfair, you can always request a review of the decision. Typically, that review happens within 24 hours.

Dive deeper into Meta’s ad policies here, or Instagram’s Community Guidelines here.

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How much do Instagram Story ads cost?

Instagram Story ads cost as much as you want to spend. As Instagram itself puts it, “the cost to advertise is up to you.

A draft campaign is the best way to see what bang you’re going to get for your buck.

Set the budget, the duration, and the audience that works for you as you’re planning your campaign. This will give you a clear estimate of just how much reach you’ll get. Adjust as necessary.

See also  Instagram Reels in 2022: A Simple Guide for Businesses

We know you probably want a clear prescription here, but there’s honestly no best practice for how much to spend on Instagram Story ads. Sorry!

Start with a few bucks, see how it goes, and add on from there. We’re all social media scientists, just trying to make our way in this crazy, mixed-up life.

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For more Instagram advertising wisdom, check out our 5 Step Guide to Instagram Ads.

8 tips for creating highly effective Instagram stories ads

Now that you know how to buy an Instagram Story ad, let’s dig into how to make the most of your moment in the spotlight.

Take advantage of fullscreen

When you’re creating your content for your Instagram Story ad, shoot it in a vertical format. That’s how your audience is most likely to be viewing it, after all.

Take advantage of the fullscreen vertical canvas and design creative specifically proportioned for the mobile experience.

Along those same lines: consider planning out which Stories add-ons and tools you’ll be using in the final product. That way, you can compose your video or photo scenes strategically to make visual space for stickers, polls, or effects.

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Hotels.com, for instance, created this vertically oriented ad with space around their spokesperson to pepper in fun stickers.

vertical ad with colorful stickers

Source: Instagram Business

Emphasize your CTA

A CTA — or “call to action”— is what you’re asking the viewer to do. For instance: “Swipe up,” “Shop now,” “Get your tickets,” or “Place your vote.” (Explore our list of compelling CTA ideas here.)

ClassPass asked the audience to Swipe Up for more info on a free trial. Even though the video itself is fast-paced, we don’t miss the point since that CTA is front and center: ClassPass would love if we just give a lil swipey.

Don’t let that important detail get lost in the thick of your graphic design or fun stickers: make sure your mission or ask is crystal clear for the person tapping by your ad.

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Instagram reports that campaigns perform far better when they emphasize their CTAs and make the product or service the vocal point. Say it loud and proud!

CTA swipe up

Add text overlays

Visuals can say a lot but sometimes words can say it better. Instagram recommends pairing text with a visual focal point for best results in your Story Ad.

According to internal research, there’s actually a 75% chance of better performance with central-placed text for add-to-cart objectives.

Clinique layered in text onto dynamic, colorful product shots to hammer home the benefits of each of its new hydrating gels. Now I know it’s green and refreshing and treats irritation! I’ll take 12!

See also  Instagram Reels Algorithm: Everything You Need to Know

Clinique hydrating gel ad text overlay

Here are 19 helpful tools for designing cool Instagram Story graphics and creating thumb-stopping text treatments.

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Enhance your ad with audio

Sound can be a powerful tool to set a mood or hammer home the value of your ad.

Experiment with voice-overs and music to enhance your Instagram Story ad. Chances are, it’ll pay off; Instagram has found that 80% of Stories with audio (voiceover or music) enjoy better results than ads without sound.

This VW ad features fun (and dare we say, funky?) music to enhance the cool-factor of its mini car commercial.

VW ad Betta Getta Jetta mini car

Get interactive

Elements like polls or “tap to hold” games give your audience a moment of fun.They also encourage users to actually stop and take the time to interact with your brand instead of flipping by.

For instance, this Doritos poll — sure to inspire a fiery debate.

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Doritos poll hot corn taco or nacho

Another cool idea: this interactive Ritz ad gave the viewers a surprise result when they hit pause. (Suddenly, I’m craving strawberries on crackers?)

interactive Ritz ad enjoying Ritz topped with strawberry fora snack bread hit pause

Design with your brand in mind

Every second counts in the fast-paced world of Stories, so make sure you’re integrating your brand right off the bat. Elements like products or logos at the very beginning of your Story will help capture attention and build positive brand recall.

Sephora makes sure to start off its Instagram Story ads with its logo and beautiful, on-brand imagery.

Sephora person behind white stripes video ad

Try one of our 72 free Instagram Stories templates to get you started.

Make those Stories move

Motion catches the eye and captures attention, so if you have the opportunity to enhance a static image with a little bit of movement… do it! Studies show that ads that use motion regularly receive more views and purchases than still images. So get moving, why dontcha?

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Arlo Skye’s Story ad flips between images of its carry-on suitcases, which creates a dynamic movement despite the fact that the product shots themselves are static.

Arlo Skye meet the perfect carry-on travel ad

Can’t wait to see your captivating Story ads as we’re flipping through our Stories soon. Want more marketing ideas for Instagram? Dig into our Instagram marketing cheat sheet here.

Manage your Instagram presence alongside your other social channels and save time using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can schedule posts and Stories, edit images, and measure performance. Try it free today.

Start Your Free Trial Today

Easily create, analyze, and schedule Instagram posts and Stories with Hootsuite. Save time and get results.

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Free 30-Day Trial

Bonus: Get the Instagram advertising cheat sheet for 2022. The free resource includes key audience insights, recommended ad types, and tips for success.

Get the free cheat sheet now!

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How to Become a (Well-Paid) Content Creator in 2022

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Wondering how to be a content creator? One that not only gets paid but gets paid well?

Well, good news, my friend: you’re in the right place!

Content creators, whether freelance or in-house, are in high demand. And there’s no sign of that demand slowing down.

In this post, we’ll discuss exactly what being a content creator means and the different ways you can apply that title to yourself. Plus, we’ll share a step-by-step process on how to become a content creator, what to include on your resume, and which tools you’ll need to get started.

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Bonus: Download a free, fully customizable influencer media kit template to help you introduce your accounts to brands, land sponsorship deals, and make more money on social media.

What is a content creator?

A content creator is anyone who makes and publishes digital content. And while anyone with an Instagram or TikTok account is technically a creator, professional content creators take it one step further. They use their digital platforms to build an audience and generate revenue from their content.

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The term ‘content creation’ has blown up in the past few years, especially with social content creation. But as a practice, content creation has been around for much, much longer. Journalists, painters, and sculptors all fall into the ‘content creator’ category. The cavemen who made pictographs on the walls of their caves were, essentially, the world’s first content creators. You could call them Stone Age Influencers.

Since you’re reading Hootsuite’s blog and not, say, Pictographs Weekly, we’ll assume that you’re interested in becoming a digital content creator. We’ll take you through a few of the most common types of digital content creators.

Note: These content creator categories can (and often do) overlap. For example, you can be an influencer, a photographer, and a vlogger.

Influencers or brand ambassadors

Content creators who want to monetize their personal brand may be called influencers or brand ambassadors. These creators may be life coaches, speakers, or anything else where you make money off your personal brand.

You’ll likely be taking your own photos or videos, writing your own captions, and developing your own social media strategy. You’ll be a jack of all trades when it comes to content creation.

Social media managers

‘Social media manager’ is a pretty broad title and often treated as a catch-all for social media tasks.

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A social media manager’s duties cover a lot of ground. These roles often handle everything from content creation and campaign planning to social listening and reporting.

Freelance social media managers often niche down to the skills they’re most interested in. But those just starting out can expect to touch on every aspect of content creation. If this sounds like you, be sure to bookmark these customizable social media templates.

Here’s more on what you can expect as a freelance social media manager.

Writers

Digital copy and content writers cover a huge spectrum of content creation. As a writer, you can monetize articles, blog posts, brochures, web copy, email marketing copy, news pieces, voice-over scripts, social copy, e-books, or white papers, to name a few.

The opportunities are vast, and, like I always told my mom, every industry needs a good writer.

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Hey friends! Jsyk I write shot n’ snappy copy and my portfolio spans industries. Check it out: https://t.co/5Qv7nSLdBX

— Colleen Christison (@CCHRISTISONN) August 15, 2022

If you decide to become a copy or content writer, you might need to develop more content creation skills. In most cases, it won’t be all writing. You might need photography skills to create imagery for platforms like Instagram, for example.

Photographers and videographers

Social media apps require engaging images. That means the digital world always needs more photographers and videographers.

Photo and video freelancers often choose to become Instagram content creators. Bigger brands often outsource some of their social media asset production to creators.

Plus, stock imagery sites always need visual content. Websites, blogs and e-commerce sites are also great sources of potential work.

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Vloggers and streamers

Thinking about monetizing your daily life? Vlogging or streaming might be for you.

The difference between the two is slight. A vlogger is someone who creates and publishes video blogs. A streamer, however, is someone who broadcasts themselves on a live stream or posts a video after the fact. Streamers may play video games, put on tutorials, or conduct interviews.

Take Rachel Aust, for example. She is a YouTube content creator who publishes vlogs that basically just show her living.

Designers and artists

Artists and designers have always been visual innovators. Those skills are even more important in creating content for the online world.

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To be successful, you’ll need to know how to tell a story through your posts. You’ll use elements like color, light, and composition to create visually appealing content.

Instagram is a natural place to flex your artistic muscles. With a beautifully designed feed, you can reach a wide audience and generate some buzz for your brand. Many designers use the platform as an online portfolio to showcase their work.

How much do content creators get paid in 2022?

As we pointed out at the beginning of this article, content creation can vary widely.

That makes it tough to pinpoint exactly how much an average content creator’s salary would be without getting specific. You’ve also got to consider local market rates, medium, and subject matter. And, if you decide to niche-down within a specific industry, you can raise your rates.

Glassdoor says the average Canadian content creator makes $47,830 annually; for the US, it’s $48,082. However, ZipRecruiter is slightly higher at $50,837 for a US-based content creator.

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But, that’s pretty broad, and different platforms have different payment ranges for creators. YouTube, for example, will pay you between $0.01 and $0.03 for an ad view. That means you can make roughly $18 for 1,000 views. The average YouTuber salary for those with at least 1 million subscribers, according to MintLife, is $60,000 per year.

Most successful content creators make their money through brand sponsorships. These can drastically increase your salary. Popular YouTuber MrBeast, for example, made $54 million in 2021.

Brand partnerships on TikTok can net you $80,000 and up.

On Instagram, macro-influencers (over a million followers) can make $10,000–$1 million+ per post. Micro-influencers (10,000–50,000 followers) are looking at $100–$500 per post.

And, if you’re making money on platforms like TikTok or Instagram, you might as well create a Patreon account. With Patreon, you can convert followers to subscribers and further monetize your brand. If you’re a micro-influencer, that could be roughly $50-$250 extra a month.

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How to become a content creator: 4 steps

The paths to different positions may differ, but there’s a general process you can follow to become a social media content creator. Here are four steps on how to become a content creator.

Step 1: Develop your skills

You probably already have an idea of what type of content creator you want to be. Now, you just have to hone or develop your skills.

Try practicing for brands you know and love. Say you want to be a copywriter, for example. Try executing a mock creative brief to show off your skills. You can write a product description, social media post, and a headline to promote a new shoe launch.

Or, if you want to be a graphic designer, you could create a mock advertisement to promote said shoe launch.

You can continue to develop your skills through courses. There are plenty of online courses that will walk you through different types of content creation. Or, reach out to other content creators whose work you admire. Ask them for advice on how they developed their skills or (if they’re open to it) to look at your work and provide feedback.

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Step 2: Create a portfolio

Once you’ve started building those skills, it’s time to show off your work. Start an online portfolio to share some of your best samples with prospective clients or employers.

Just starting out and don’t have anything to show? Share some speculative work (that just means “make something up”). Or, if you created anything noteworthy while developing your skills, you can publish it here.

Your portfolio doesn’t have to be fancy. You can even host them for free on Squarespace or Wix.

Even if you’re building your personal brand as an influencer and not, say, a videographer, a portfolio is a useful tool. Do you want to attract brands who want to partner with you? Show them how you’ve partnered with other brands in the past.

Be sure to link your social media accounts and make your contact information easy to find. And, you’ll want to have a solid brand pitch deck in your back pocket.

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Step 3: Start hustling

You can find prospective clients almost anywhere. Start by networking or reaching out to job postings or freelancer-needed ads. You could even try pursuing opportunities you see in your daily life.

Perhaps there’s a website you’ve noticed that needs new banner ads. As a burgeoning graphic designer, you could cold email them and pitch your services.

Here are five ideas for finding new work:

  1. Join as many freelance Facebook Groups as you can. Clients may post work needed, or you could forge valuable professional relationships.
  2. Post your portfolio or your elevator pitch in relevant online spaces. If you specialize in travel photography, look for travel groups online.
  3. Content marketing Slack groups are a great place to network.
  4. Look for relevant sub Reddits like r/copywriting.
  5. Be active on LinkedIn and create posts with keywords relevant to your industry and title.

Step 4: Get paid

Pricing yourself when you’re just starting out can be tough. Take a look at your market average to get an idea of what others in your experience range are charging. Try not to undersell yourself at first!

If you’re looking to get hired in-house at a corporation as a content creator, research the industry average for your position. That way, you can weed out job positions with salaries that are too high (expectations may be beyond your skill set) and too low (get paid what you’re worth).

If you’re looking to freelance, be sure to have signed written contracts with your clients. Include your payment terms and penalties for late payments.

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Follow these four steps, and you’ll have our vote as the next content creator of the year!

What should be on your resume as a content creator?

Whether you’re freelancing or looking for an in-house position, a content creator resume helps you to look professional. Freelance clients will sometimes ask for one along with your portfolio, so it’s best to be ready.

As a content creator, you’ll only want to include relevant information about the job you’re applying for on your resume. That means you probably don’t want to include the part-time summer job you had as a dog washer. (Unless part of that job included posting adorable puppy photos)

If your resume is looking a little sparse, it might be time to complete some volunteer work. Ask around your local community for a worthy organization you can volunteer your time with. This will give you a content creator job to add.

If you’re at a loss for what to say on your resume, look up content creator job descriptions similar to the job you want. These will be full of useful keywords you can include on your resume.

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content creator tell well publishing job summary

Source: Glassdoor Jobs

In the example above, we might pull out “content marketing creator” and “creating and managing content across all channels.” Just make sure you have the experience or knowledge to match those keywords!

What is a content creator kit?

Content creator kits vary depending on where you get them. But, the idea is to provide content creators with everything they need to produce quality content efficiently.

A social media manager or copywriter’s kit might include templates and editorial calendars. If you’re an email marketer or web designer, your kit may include a library of stock photos and videos.

If you’re a vlogger or streamer, a content kit you’d be interested in might include a camera, a tripod, and a memory stick.

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Creator kits aren’t too hard to come by. Camera brands, for example, have noticed the market potential and started creating content creator kits. The Canon EOS m200 content creator kit includes most things you would need as a successful streamer.

Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. Publish and schedule posts, find relevant conversions, engage your audience, measure results, and more — all from one dashboard. Try it free today.

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Do it better with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media toolkit. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.

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See also  Instagram Reels in 2022: A Simple Guide for Businesses
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How To Make and Share Facebook Reels That Attract an Audience

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It’s no secret that people love short videos — TikTok’s explosive rise to fame and the popularity of Instagram Reels prove that short clips are compelling and effective. But what about Facebook Reels?

Facebook’s version of short-form video showed up a little after the other apps, but don’t sleep on these Reels. Facebook Reels are a useful tool in every content creator’s marketing strategy. Especially because you can repurpose content you’ve already created.

In this blog post, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Facebook Reels, including how to make and share your short video content.

Bonus: Download the free 10-Day Reels Challenge, a daily workbook of creative prompts that will help you get started with Instagram Reels, track your growth, and see results across your entire Instagram profile.

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What are Reels on Facebook?

Facebook Reels are short-form videos (under 30 seconds) enhanced with tools like music, audio clips, and effects. They’re often used by content creators, marketers, and influencers.

Facebook is a little late to the game when it comes to vertical video content. They first rolled out Reels in the US in September 2021 and globally in 2022. (Instagram Reels’ debut, for example, happened in 2020, and TikTok was first released in 2016)

But even though they came slightly after the other apps, Facebook Reels are now available in over 150 countries for content creators worldwide to enjoy.

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Videos published to Facebook Reels are shown in a vertically scrolling feed and can be found in your Feed, Groups, and Menu.

Facebook Reels vs. Instagram Reels

Facebook and Instagram Reels are actually linked across the apps, which makes sense since they’re both owned by Meta. If you watch an Instagram Reel on Facebook and try to comment on it, you’ll be bounced from one app to the other.

The main difference between the two: Facebook Reels will appear on people’s Feeds whether or not they follow you. This expands your reach beyond friends and family and allows you to connect with new people.

Where are Facebook Reels shown?

Facebook wants you to watch Reels, so they’ve made it easy for the videos to appear pretty much all over the platform. Here’s how to find Reels on Facebook.

Reels on your Feed

Reels appear at the top of your page, to the right of your Stories. You’ll also notice Reels partway down as you scroll through your Feed.

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Facebook Reels on feed

Reels in Facebook Groups

In Facebook Groups, Reels will show up on the top right vertical menu.

Facebook group official supernatural community Reels

Reels from your menu

You can find your menu by navigating to the hamburger menu on your home page. For Android users, it’s at the top right corner. iPhone users can find the menu at the bottom of your app.

Facebook Reels hamburger menu

Within the menu, you’ll find Reels at the top left.

Facbook Reels top left side of screen

How to make a Reel on Facebook in 5 steps

Does the thought of creating short videos send a shiver down your spine? Relax: Making your first Facebook Reel doesn’t have to stress you out! We’ve broken down exactly how to do it in 5 easy steps.

We’ll go over everything from publishing, splicing and editing to how to add pre-recorded videos to Facebook Reels.

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Step 1. Tap Create from the Reels section of your Facebook Feed

Create reel on Facebook feed

This will bring you to a gallery of your phone’s camera roll. Here, you can add pre-recorded videos or photos to Facebook Reels. Or, you can create your own reel on the fly.

create a reel camera roll

Step 2. Record, splice, or upload your content

If you choose to record your own video, you can use effects like the green screen. You can also upload one of your own photos to be used as the green screen background.

You can also add music, speed it up or down, add effects like filters, or use that handy timer for hands-free creation. One thing to note: if you choose to use a filter, your green screen will disappear.

See also  How to Use TikTok for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

add music speed and effects

Once you’ve recorded your video or uploaded your own photo, it’s time to add effects.

Step 3. Add effects like audio clips, text, stickers, or music

You can add audio clips, texts, stickers, or music to your reel by using the menu on the right-hand side of your screen. You can also trim your video to the right length here.

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The Text feature lets you write directly on your video — but use text sparingly. It’s best practice to avoid excess text on your photos and videos.

If you hit audio at the top, you’ll have the option to either add music or a voiceover.

Don’t forget to hit Save if you want to download your video to your phone.

save to download video to phone

Once you’ve spliced and edited your video to perfection, hit Next.

Step 4. Add a description, hashtags, and choose your audience.

Your final step to creating a Facebook Reel is to add a description and hashtags and decide who gets to see your art.

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Your description will show up in the reel caption. Be sure to include relevant hashtags so you can expand your reach.

reel description deaf cat

Source: Somedeafguy on Facebook

comedy hashtag

Source: #comedy on Facebook

Here, you can set the audience you’d like for your reel. Facebook’s default is set to “Public” for any creators who are over the age of 18. If you want your content to be seen by the maximum number of people, we suggest leaving this setting on Public.

Step 5. Share your reel

Hit Share reel at the bottom of your screen and you’re done!

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Now, your reel can be seen by all of your friends on Facebook. And, hopefully, be discovered by new viewers.

How does the Facebook Reels algorithm work?

Facebook publicly announced the algorithm’s focus is on helping users “discover new content and connect with the stories they care the most about.” And Facebook has also mentioned that they are “focused on making Reels the best way for creators to get discovered.”

That means that Facebook Reels are designed to help users discover new things. That could be YOU as a brand or a creator, or something you want to show the world! Test out Reel content that serves a purpose like educating, uncovering new information, or telling your story.

Above all, make content that folks will find interesting or entertaining. User engagement is Facebook’s bread and butter, so it makes sense that the algorithm would be geared toward rewarding engagement.

If you serve the algorithm, the algorithm will serve you.

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Facebook Reels best practices

We all know the importance of following best practices and creating content folks love to watch. But, if your Reels blow up, you could find yourself in the coveted Reels Play bonus program.

Facebook created Reels Play to reward content creators whose videos gain over 1,000 views within 30 days. The program intends to compensate creators for these reel views on Instagram and Facebook.

Reels Play is invite-only, and the chosen few will be alerted directly in their professional dashboard in the Instagram app.

So, stick to these best practices to keep your reel game real strong.

Keep an eye on what’s working

Tracking the results of your content allows you to focus your efforts and attention on the pieces that resonate. You can use Facebook’s analytics dashboard within the app or upgrade to more detailed third-party analytics like Hootsuite.

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If your account is brand new, you won’t have enough data to see what’s working and what’s not. But, if you’ve found success on Instagram or TikTok, use that data to tell you what went well. Then you can try experimenting with what worked for those apps.

Repurpose your TikTok videos

Repurposing content is one surefire way to save time. Pick your best-performing TikTok content and repost it to your Facebook Reels.

See also  18 Black Friday Marketing Strategies to Try in 2022

Instagram has been clear that they’ll make content with watermarks less discoverable; the same likely applies to Facebook.

Luckily, you can easily remove that pesky watermark TikTok loves to add.

Link your Instagram Reels

If you’re using one, you might as well use both. You can easily share your Instagram Reels to Facebook by toggling the option when you post. Or, you can set it to automatically share when you publish content.

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There has been some debate about whether or not you should share content between the two apps. Hootsuite writer Stacey McLachlan did some investigating into whether you should share Instagram content to Facebook Reels. TL;DR: It can’t hurt.

Post quality content

Nothing gets someone to skip your video faster than a blurry or shaky view. So make sure you’re posting only quality content to your Facebook Reels.

Your content reflects your brand. If you post high-quality content, people will assume your brand is also polished and professional. You’re also more likely to earn meaningful interactions from your audience.

Plus, users are more likely to share high-quality videos, which can help to increase brand awareness and reach.

Vertical videos only

Like TikTok and Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels are set up for vertical video. So don’t turn your phone to the side when you’re recording!

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Remember, Facebook rewards content that follows all of its best practices.

Use music

Music in your Reels can help to add energy and excitement, making your videos more engaging and entertaining.

Music can also set the whole tone for your video and make it easier for viewers to remember your content in a sea of other reels. You can even keep track of trending sounds to join in on a conversation.

Use good lighting

Good lighting is essential when shooting social media videos because it makes the video look more polished and professional. When you shoot in low light, the image is often grainy and difficult to see. This can be distracting for viewers and makes it more likely that they’ll scroll past your content.

Good lighting also helps to set the mood of a video. For example, softer lighting can create a more intimate feel, while brighter lighting can give the video a more energetic vibe.

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Be experimental

Let’s be reel: You’re probably not going to go viral with your very first video. Luckily, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to Facebook Reels, so consider it an opportunity to find a style that feels authentic to your brand.

Experimenting can also help you to engage your audience. Trying new things will keep your content fresh and gives your audience a reason to keep coming back for more.

Trying new things might even lead to a breakthrough in your content creation process. You might stumble upon an unexpected theme or style that really resonates with your audience.

Include a caption

A caption helps to set the scene and tone for a video. It’s your opportunity to help shape the way people perceive your content. You can use captions to add a touch of personality, crack a joke, or deliver a heartfelt message.

Captions can provide essential context that would otherwise be lost, like the location of an event or who’s in the video. A caption can also help to highlight the key takeaways from a video, making viewers more likely to remember the most important points.

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Be intentional

The content you publish tells your audience what your brand is all about. That’s why it’s important to be intentional when planning and creating videos.

Carefully consider the message you want to communicate, the tone you want to use, and the audience you want to reach.

Keep up with trends

Trends move fast on social media, and posting something even a week late may make your brand appear out of touch.

It’s key to keep an eye on current trends. See what types of Reels are popular in your industry and try to create similar content.

See also  9 Facebook Ad Targeting Tips for More Conversions

It should go without saying, but this also means that you need to watch other Reels before creating one yourself. Understanding the landscape first will help you find a niche that makes sense for your brand.

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Collaborate with like-minded people

Find an influencer or someone respected within your industry to collaborate with. They’ll have a different following than you and can help promote your products or services to a wider audience.

Use transitions

Most people are visual learners, which is why Facebook reels with transitions are so effective. A reel with transitions can easily communicate a before-and-after transformation, making it easy for viewers to understand the value of your product or service.

The secret is to trim the video and use the align tool. This will help to ensure that the transition is smooth and seamless.

Stop trying to go viral

The key to success with Facebook Reels is not focusing on going viral. In fact, attempting to go viral is often a recipe for disaster. It can make your content seem like it’s trying too hard.

A well-crafted reel that speaks to your target audience is more likely to result in meaningful connections than one that tries to emulate a viral video status. In the end, it’s more important to focus on making quality content that resonates with your audience than on trying to get as many views as possible.

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Frequently asked questions about Facebook Reels

How long can Facebook Reels be?

Facebook Reels must be longer than 3 seconds and up to 30 seconds long. That doesn’t seem like a ton of time, but trust us, you can accomplish a lot in 30 seconds.

How do you share Instagram Reels to Facebook?

Sharing Instagram Reels to Facebook is incredibly easy. It’s almost like the apps want you to cross-promote between them.

In your Instagram app, start recording a Reel. Once it’s recorded, tap next to Share to Facebook. You can choose which Facebook account you want to share it to here.

Then, select whether or not you want to share all future reels to Facebook. Hit that Share button, and you’re good to go!

How can you search Reels on Facebook?

There is no specific search bar for Reels, but there’s an easy hack to search for Reels on Facebook.

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Simply go to Facebook’s search bar, type in the keyword you want to search, and add the word reels. This will bring up a Discover Reels vertical scroll across the top of your page!

Facebook search bar

search for dog reels on Facebook

What are overlay ads?

Overlay ads are a way for Creators to monetize their Facebook Reels.

They’re a lot like what the name suggests: ads overlaid on top of your video. They’re pretty non-invasive, too. The ads have a transparent gray background and are fairly inconspicuous.

overlay ads baking recipes

Source: Facebook

As people engage with your reel, you make money.

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To sign up for overlay ads, you just need to be part of the existing in-stream ads program for Facebook video. If you are, you’re automatically eligible for ads in reels. You can opt out at any time in your Creator Studio.

How can you turn off Reels on Facebook?

Unfortunately, you can’t remove or disable Reels from showing up on your Facebook feed.

But, you can use Facebook on your desktop, which has not yet incorporated Reels. Or, you can delete the app off your phone and download an older version of Facebook that doesn’t have the new feature.

Save time and get the most out of your Facebook marketing strategy with Hootsuite. Publish and schedule posts, find relevant conversions, engage the audience, measure results, and more — all from one simple, streamlined dashboard. Try it free today.

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18 Black Friday Marketing Strategies to Try in 2022

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Planning a Black Friday marketing strategy is the key to standing out in a large crowd of advertising. Think about it. Every store, whether brick and mortar or eCommerce, are advertising deals. Customers are actively searching for them. So how do you catch their eye?

By being prepared and rolling out some killer tactics.

Don’t let planning your Black Friday marketing strategy frustrate you. It’s easier than you think to stand out from the crowd on a busy sales day.

Here are 18 tried and tested marketing strategies to try for Black Friday!

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Bonus: Get a free, in-depth guide to The Why, What, and How of Social Commerce. Learn how to sell more products on social media and delight your customers without relying on cookies.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the Friday following American Thanksgiving. It’s notorious for slashed prices in eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores, causing a surge in consumer spending.

Black Friday typically kicks off the holiday shopping season. You might have heard stories of the pandemonium that brick-and-mortar stores face.

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The term ‘Black Friday’ originated in Philadelphia in the 1950s. Police officers used it to describe the heavy, disruptive crowds that would flock to the city the day after Thanksgiving. Suburban shoppers and tourists would flock to the city before the infamous Army-Navy football game.

Later, retailers adopted Black Friday. They depended on holiday shopping to put them “back in the black” before the fiscal year ended. Back in the black just means earning profit instead of operating at a loss or “being in the red.”

Today, Black Friday has extended from brick-and-mortar stores to online sales, with eCommerce stores jumping on the holiday. It’s also extended its timeline. Now Black Friday isn’t just a day, it’s a weekend of sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

eCommerce stores are reaping the benefits of online sales, even during a time when global buying habits shifted in an unpredictable market. In 2021, Shopify store owners collectively made a whopping $6.3 billion USD in sales globally between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a 23% increase from 2020.

During this time, sales were attributed to 47 million unique shoppers who made a purchase from a Shopify merchant. These weren’t your classic bargain bin deals either. The average cart price was above $100 US!

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These are opportunities that your business can get in on too. All you need is a stellar marketing strategy to help you stand out from the crowd.

18 fool-proof Black Friday marketing strategies

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to Black Friday marketing strategies. You know your customers and what will work best for them. But, there are some tried and tested strategies that can help with your Black Friday marketing strategy.

Take a look below at these 19 fool-proof Black Friday marketing strategies.

Some shoppers enjoy the thrill of the hunt; others prefer to plan ahead and take advantage of early bird sales. You can entice both kinds of shoppers by using social media to promote your sales. You can tease out sales on your feed by offering ‘mystery deals’ or post exactly what your promotions will be.

By sharing previews of exclusive deals, countdown timers, and other engaging content, businesses can build anticipation and drive traffic to their stores on Black Friday. And social media is a great way to connect with customers and answer any questions they may have about your Black Friday sale.

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2. Create a sense of urgency

To get customers excited about your sale items, write copy that conveys urgency. Creating a sense of urgency or scarcity in your Black Friday marketing encourages customers to take action.

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Poshmark Just In Shop Now

One reason why creating a sense of urgency is important is that it helps to capture attention. In a busy inbox, for example, an email that stands out and creates a sense of urgency is more likely to be noticed than an email that doesn’t.

You can encourage customers to act now rather than wait. By offering a limited-time discount or exclusive access to sale items, customers will feel compelled to take advantage of your Black Friday deals before they disappear.

3. Email marketing campaign

Set up an email marketing campaign and watch your ROI grow, and grow, and grow. When you average it out, email drives an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent. That’s higher than any other channel.

Who doesn’t love receiving discounts and deals in their inbox every day? Set one up a few weeks in advance of Black Friday with offers for your subscribers.

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4. Optimize your website for shoppers searching on Google

Black Friday is swollen with eCommerce sites vying for a spot on Google’s front page. To rank, you need to optimize your website for online shoppers.

One way to do this is to use keywords that shoppers are likely to use when searching for holiday deals. Do some keyword research, then float those words throughout your site. Make sure you sound natural and don’t fall into the habit of keyword stuffing.

In addition, you should also make sure that your website is mobile-friendly, as more and more people are using their phones to do their holiday shopping.

5. Install a chatbot on your website to make customer support easier

With more shoppers comes more customer support inquiries. You can’t avoid it. Consumers are going to be reaching out with FAQs about orders, shipping, and returns. You name it.

By installing a chatbot on your website, you can streamline and automate your customer support services. The chatbot can handle the easy FAQs, and when a customer support rep is needed, they can step in and take over the conversation. This process can remove the repetitive work weighing down your team and give them time back to focus on larger-scale issues.

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6. Install a chatbot on your Shopify site, too

You want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to convert. So, if you use an eCommerce site like Shopify, consider installing a chatbot.

Shopify chatbots can pull data from your store to automate tasks. These include necessary customer communication, checking store inventory, performing returns, and encouraging sales.

During a rush like Black Friday, it’s important to give your customers the support they need. A chatbot helps you do so.

7. Use a chatbot to help shoppers find products faster

Besides automating customer service inquiries, AI chatbots like Heyday can also help with sales. If you find the right one, a chatbot can help shoppers to find the products they need quickly and easily.

This can work if you program your chatbot to ask shoppers a series of questions. From there, they can narrow down the search to a few specific items. Then, shoppers can either purchase the product online or find it in-store.

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waterproof headphones Heyday chatbot

See also  9 Creative Ways to Improve Your Brand Awareness

Source: Heyday

Chatbots can also provide personalized recommendations based on previous purchases. And, during the chaos that is Black Friday, you’ll want all the help you can get.

Get a free Heyday demo

8. Offer long-time customers exclusive deals

People like to be acknowledged, especially when they have a relationship with your brand. Black Friday offers you a chance to show appreciation for loyal, long-time customers.

Offering exclusive deals and discounts to these customers is a smart marketing tactic that can help to build customer loyalty and drive repeat business. By showing your customers that you value their loyalty, you’ll encourage them to keep coming back on days that aren’t Black Friday.

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People often use social media to research a product or look up a brand. Close to 1 in 2 people have reported looking up new brands, products or services on Instagram.

On Black Friday, everyone will be searching for deals and promotions. By selling directly on platforms like Instagram, you can put your products right in front of your target audience. Selling your products directly on the app means it’s even easier for your consumers to convert.

And you can reach a global audience on social media. People on Instagram, for example, expect to be marketed to. 90% of people follow a brand, after all.​​


With Hootsuite, you can schedule your shoppable Instagram posts well in advance so you can focus on other brilliant Black Friday marketing ideas. Be sure to set your shop up properly first.

10. Use hashtags to reach new audiences

Black Friday gives you an opportunity to reach new audiences on social media. By using hashtags, you can connect with people who are interested in Black Friday deals and help them find your products and services.

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If you’re a retailer, you can use the hashtag #blackfridayshopping or #blackfridaydeals to reach people who are looking for bargains.

11. Follow up with customers after Black Friday

It’s great that you can sell a ton of products on Black Friday. But, a customer’s value to your brand grows over time. You want to turn those one-off purchasers into loyal, lifelong customers.

A study by Shopify notes that customer lifetime value is the lowest on holidays like Black Friday. It showed that for a whopping 64% of retailers, shoppers acquired during Black Friday or Cyber Monday have a lower lifetime value than shoppers acquired at any other time of the year.

Follow up by sending a quick thank-you email, a customer service survey, or by asking for feedback on their experience. You’ll be improving your customers’ experience, which can pay off in future dividends.

By taking the time to reach out to customers, you show that your brand truly values their business and that you’re committed to providing a positive customer experience.

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12. Referral codes

You know that referral marketing can work wonders for your brand. It’s also effective in promoting Black Friday deals.

Send out referral codes to your email subscribers. Offer them gift cards or deeper discounts as incentives. Their referrals have the potential to pull in new customers with the added bonus of showing love to your loyal customers.

13. Minimum spend rewards

Offer minimum spend rewards on certain amounts. For example, if customers check out with a $100 cart, they could be eligible for free shipping.

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Minimum spend rewards are a great way to increase your conversion rates and encourage customers to spend more money with a business. It can be even more effective if the rewards are tiered. For example, a customer who spends $50 might get a 10% discount, while a customer who spends $100 might get a 20% discount.

14. Give a free gift with purchase

People love feeling like they’ve been rewarded.

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Giving your customers a free gift with their purchase will incentivize them to act. And they create a sense of goodwill that can keep customers coming back.

Of course, you want to make sure that you’re gifting something that your customers will actually want. It’s important to take your customer base into account when choosing what to give them.

15. Focus on your abandoned cart rates

Have you ever gone to do a bit of online window-shopping and moved to abandon your cart, only to be stopped short by a pop-up? Whether it’s an offer for a discount code or a survey about your shopping intentions, those pop-ups can be very annoying, which is kind of the point.

Pop-ups are meant to grab your attention and reduce abandoned cart rates. Give shoppers a chance to express their intentions or provide them with an incentive to complete their purchase. You’ll likely decrease your abandonment rate.

Be sure to get that pop-up to express your limited-time Black-Friday-only offer.

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16. Make a gift guide

Oh, how we love Black Friday gift guides.

A gift guide is essentially a curated selection of your products, categorized in a way that makes it easy for shoppers to understand. For example, you could create a ‘For your fashionable friend’ guide that highlights unique clothing pieces you’re selling.

Gift guides help to promote specific products, drive traffic to your website or store, and generate excitement for your brand.

A social media contest can drive traffic to your website or store, generate leads, and increase brand awareness.

Offer a prize that your target audience wants and encourage people to take part in the contest and share it with their friends and followers. It works as social proof.

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When one of your friends recommends a brand, you’re more likely to trust that brand. Get your followers to tag their friends or repost your content on their story for entries.

Schedule your contest and posts ahead of time with Hootsuite so you’re organized for the big day.

18. Get weird with it

Listen, you already know how murky the marketing swamp is going to be on Black Friday.

Retailers are going to be shouting about their low prices, hot deals, and fast delivery from every corner of the ring. If you want to stand out, you’ve got to grab attention. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Deciem, for example, canceled Black Friday completely. They shut down their site and closed their stores as a way to reject the impulsive selling Black Friday is known for. Then, they announced they’re extending their sale through November.

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Deciem 23% off sale all month

Source: Deciem

Engage with shoppers on social media and turn customer conversations into sales with Heyday, our dedicated conversational AI chatbot for social commerce retailers. Deliver 5-star customer experiences — at scale.

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