We recently became part of the DepositPhoto affiliate program, and we wanted to share with you how to set up your own account and start making money as a DepositPhoto affiliate! Before you start, we just want to be upfront: If you follow this link to create a DepositPhotos affiliate account, the nice folks […]
How to Become an Adobe Affiliate: ULTIMATE GUIDE
We found Adobe’s Affiliate Program to be a bit cumbersome to set up and some of the help files outdated, so we created this ultimate guide to walk you through the steps of setting your website up as an Adobe Affiliate.
You’ll find all the steps included here (we update this on a regular basis) and we’ve also provided a free SOP Template that you can access by entering your email above. If you’d like to pass this task to a coworker or freelancer to have them set this up for you, send them the SOP.
PERKS OF BEING AN ADOBE AFFILIATE
You can find detailed information about the payouts for the Adobe Affiliate program in the HELP section of your affiliate account once you’ve applied, but here is a basic breakdown of what the program offers:
Month-to-Month subscription: 85.00% of the first month (yes, 85%!)
One Year, prepaid subscription: 8.33% of the first year payment
Post View: 3 Days
Post Click: 120 Days
Adobe has a massive range of products which makes it pretty easy to find a good match for your audience. These products are professional-grade and used to be very expensive, but Adobe has since switched up their pricing strategy. Users can now get subscriptions that are much more affordable, even for individuals and small businesses. For example, for 9.99USD/mo you can now get access to Photoshop and Lightroom as well as get 20GB of free storage on Adobe Cloud. This new pricing model makes it easier to sell Adobe products to your audience.
Regardless of your niche, your audience will likely find at least one of Adobe’s products useful and cost-effective for their business. Being familiar with Adobe products is key to offering the best solutions to your audience. Take some time now to take a look at what products Adobe is now offering and their price points.
HOW TO SIGN-UP FOR ADOBE’S AFFILIATE PROGRAM
Go to the Adobe Affiliate sign-up page and click the APPLY NOW button to create an affiliate account.
Fill out the required information and then click CREATE ACCOUNT. Below is a list of the information that you will need to complete this section. If you are delegating this task to a coworker or freelancer, be sure to add this information into the SOP template before passing it over to them.
A list of everything that you need to add to the SOP will be in the email we send you along with the SOP as both a PDF and DOCX file.
REQUIRED INFORMATION FOR BECOMING AN ADOBE AFFILIATE
When you create a new affiliate account with Adobe, they will ask you for the following information:
- Country – where your business is located
- Language – your preferred language
- Business Type – choose from Individual, Organisation (non-taxable) and Company
- First Name – business owner’s or account manager’s first name
- Last Name – business owner’s or account manager’s last name
- Email – email address that will be associated with the affiliate account
- Username – create a username for your affiliate account
- Password – create a password for your affiliate account
- Your Website – provide your website’s URL
ACTIVATE YOUR ADOBE AFFILIATE ACCOUNT
Once you have filled out the information required by Adobe’s Affiliate program, check the inbox of the email address that you used to register. You should receive a welcome email from the Adobe Affiliate Team with an activation link. Click the link in the email within 15 minutes of applying.
HOW TO VERIFY YOUR WEBSITE
After activating your account, sign-in to your affiliate dashboard. (Note that adobe uses an affiliate network called TradeDoubler, so the style of the login page may sometimes look differently from typical Adobe web pages.)
Once you are logged-in you will see a big blue banner at the top of the page telling you to verify your site. You need to complete two steps in order to finalize the verification process. First, add your contact details by clicking the CONTACT INFORMATION link in the blue box.
Fill out the required information and click the SAVE button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
Here is a list of the information that you need to provide in addition to the information you have already provided when signing up for the affiliate program:
- Reporting currency – what currency would you like to appear on your affiliate reports
- Address – including street address, postal code, country, etc.
- Market – choose the area where the majority of your audience is located
- Phone number
After you have saved your contact information, click the HOME button to return to the affiliate dashboard.
In the big blue box, you’ll now click the CLICK HERE link. You will see a list of your websites (at this point you will probably only have one site listed here).
Click the text that says NOT VERIFIED next to your website’s URL to see the instructions for verifying your site.
You will now see a set of instructions with two ways that you can verify your site for the Adobe Affiliate program.
WEBSITE VERIFICATION METHOD 1: ADD META TAG TO HOMEPAGE CODE
Using this method, you will copy the meta tag provided into the HTML code of your website under the <HEAD> tag of the code. TradeDoubler (the company that manages Adobe Affiliates) has provided this video with more detailed instructions. It is outdated, but you will still be able to figure out how to do this by watching it. Here is the instructional video: https://hst.tradedoubler.com/file/20649/tdpull/tdDomainVerification.htm
Once you have pasted the meta tag into the code and saved the updated version of your website, you can click the CLICK HERE TO VERIFY YOUR SITE button on the Site Info screen of the affiliate account. If you’ve accidentally navigated off of this page, you can get back to it by going to the homepage of your affiliate account and clicking the CLICK HERE button in the big blue box at the top of the page. From there, click the NOT VERIFIED text next to your website’s URL.
WEBSITE VERIFICATION METHOD 2: ADD FILE TO THE ROOT OF YOUR WEB SERVER
If you have already verified your site using the previous method, skip this step and move on to the next step. Here is an alternative method for verifying your site. Create an empty file and name it as the instructions say on this screen, example: 3018026.html. Then save this file in the root of your web server. You will need to access your hosting via your FTP or web browser to do this. If you’re unclear how to do this, you can find more detailed instructions here.
Once you saved the file and updated your site, click the CLICK HERE TO VERIFY YOUR SITE button on the Site Info screen of the affiliate account. You can get back to the Site Info screen by going to the homepage of your affiliate account and clicking the CLICK HERE button in the big blue box at the top of the page. From there, click the NOT VERIFIED text next to your website’s URL.
HOW TO COMPLY WITH ADOBE’S AFFILIATE PROGRAM CONTENT GUIDELINES
If you scroll down on the Site Info screen of your affiliate account, you will see a form with some information that you need to fill out about your site (yes, even more info!). Though it doesn’t explicitly say anywhere in the instructions, you need to fill out this information before you can get approved for the program.
This is the last set of information that you’ll need:
- Site description – give a brief explanation describing your site’s purpose
- Promotion type – choose from a list of options for how you’ll be offering the affiliate (we chose “Bloggers”)
- Traffic size – select the range that matches how many unique visitors you get to your site per month (at the time that we applied, our site was in the lowest tier but we still got accepted)
- Select website content – tick the boxes of different content types that match the content of your site
- Site type – choose from PC/mobile/mobile app
Once you’ve filled in the information, make sure to tick the box at the bottom of the screen to assure that your site doesn’t include any content that goes against Adobe’s content guidelines. Click SAVE to complete this section.
HOW TO GET APPROVED FOR ADOBE’S AFFILIATE PROGRAM
At this point, you must wait for approval to get into the affiliate program. Initially we foolishly thought that once our website was verified, we were ready to go with adding Adobe links and ads to our site. This is not the case, and you will likely get frustrated (as we did!) trying to navigate the Affiliate Dashboard attempting to find links to add to your site. You’ll have to be a little patient as you won’t be able to take any action at this time.
We were not all that patient and decided to contact Adobe’s Affiliate Team after 24 hours of applying. We were approved pretty much immediately after doing so. It’s possible that we would have been approved that quickly anyway, but if you want to push things along, you could try sending them an email as we did.
This is the text from the email that we sent to Adobe:
Sent to: AdobeAffiliates@arvato.com
I have verified my website and see the different ads available for the affiliate program, but how do I apply for one so that I can put the ad on my site? My website: www.soptemplates.com
They replied the same day with an approval for our site to enter the program. Again, this might have been a coincidence, but it couldn’t hurt to try.
NAVIGATING ADOBE’S AFFILIATE DASHBOARD
While you are awaiting approval for your site, take the opportunity to get familiar with your new affiliate dashboard. Sign in to your affiliate dashboard using this link: http://reports.tradedoubler.com/pan/public?pvnId=1993633.
Once you are logged-in to your account, you can have a look around before you’ve been approved to join the program. The main dashboard gives you a snapshot for how your affiliate links and ads have been performing. You’ll be able to see your impressions, clicks, account balances and more, directly on the dashboard when you login to your account.
VIEWING AFFILIATE LINKS AND ADS FOR ADOBE OFFERS
Even if you haven’t been approved for the affiliate program yet, you can take a look at some of the links and ads that are available for you to put on your website. You won’t be able to get the affiliate code until you have approval, but you can use the time while you wait to decide which ads/links you want to add to your site.
Sidenote: The welcome email that you will have received from Adobe has some instructions for how to view/manage the ads available, but we found that it is not up to date. In fact, we got pretty lost trying to navigate the program, which is the whole point behind writing this article. In the end, it’s been worth it to figure it all out, because the program has great payouts. We hope these instructions help to make the whole process smoother.
To access the list of ads and links available in Adobe’s Affiliate Program, click the TRACKING dropdown menu from the main affiliate dashboard page and then select BANNERS & TEXT LINKS.
While you’re in the Banners & Text Links section, click the SEARCH button in the bottom-right corner of the screen. You can also make the search more specific by adding details here, but we found that seeing ALL the ads and links available was the best method for us to find the ones that would fit our website and audience.
Once you have tapped SEARCH, you’ll be able to see a list of all ads and links available through the Adobe Affiliate program. There are several pages of these ads and links, so make sure to page through everything that’s available.
Before your website is verified and before you have been accepted into the program, you can notice two things when viewing the ads on this screen. First, the box under “Adobe Affiliate Program” is blank. Second, you will see text that says “Not verified” on the right column of the table.
After your site is verified and you have been accepted into the program, this same screen will look like the image above. Now there are two links in the box below “Adobe Affiliate Program”. The first is where you’ll be able to get the code for the ad and the affiliate link. The second is a preview for what your audience will see when they click on the ad from your website.
Also note that in the rightmost column of this table, the text has changed from “Not verified” to “Accepted”. Once your table on this screen looks like the image above, you’re ready to start adding links and ads to your site.
If you are still waiting for approval, use this time to map out which ads will work best for your site and decide where you would like to add them into your content.
ADDING YOUR FIRST ADOBE AFFILIATE LINK TO YOUR WEBSITE
If you have verified your site and received an acceptance email from Adobe, you are now ready to begin adding ads/links to your site.
To insert a new ad into your content, go to the TRACKING dropdown menu and select MY ADS. You can filter the ads available by size or type or you can select LIST ALL AVAILABLE ADS to see a list of all the assets available to you through the program.
Next to the ad that you would like to put on your website, you will see a link that says SHOW CODE. (If you don’t see anything in this box, you have not yet been accepted into Adobe’s Affiliate program for that ad.) Click SHOW CODE to view the options that you have to add the ad or link to your website.
For our site, we chose the HTML link and copied the code into a widget on our sidebar. We recommend you make sure NEW WINDOW is selected in the “Open link in” section so that your audience is still on your website after they have finished visiting Adobe.
CREATING DEEP LINKS IN YOUR BLOG POST TEXT CONTENT
If you want to link to an Adobe product from within your blog post text, you can create a deep link to any page of Adobe’s website by clicking the CREATE DEEP LINK button on the My Ads page of your affiliate account. (Go to the TRACKING dropdown menu and select MY ADS to get to this page).
Steps to creating a custom deep link for your text content:
- Switch from Full Anchor Tag to PLAIN URL
- Paste the link on Adobe’s website where you want your audience to land from your text link
- Copy the code that gets generated in the “Deep link code” box
- Test your new deep link either by pasting the code into a browser window or by clicking the MY TEXT button
You can now paste your deep link as the hyperlink for text within your blog post. This can be a great way to lead your audience into making a purchase with Adobe in a more organic way. If your users click on your deep link and don’t make a purchase the first time around, like with the other Adobe ads, there will be a cookie that lasts 120 days in their browser which will track whether they make a purchase within that time window. If they do, Adobe will credit you a commission.
GETTING THE BEST RESULTS FROM YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS AND ADS
The best performing affiliate links are those that provide a relevant tool that your audience actually needs. If you go pasting ads in every possible space on your website, you will end up losing your audience’s trust. Remember that you’re not getting paid for impressions, only for actual purchases. Make sure each ad or link is carefully calculated with your audience’s best interests in mind.
You can put ads on any posts that contain relevant content, but we find that text links do especially well when used appropriately. Being honest with your audience that you collect a commission can be a powerful tool in gaining trust with your audience. If you decide to take that route, make sure to let your audience know that using your affiliate link will give you a commission without costing them anything extra.
DON’T FORGET THAT YOU CAN DELEGATE THIS TASK
We hope this post helps you start earning money with Adobe’s Affiliate program. If you struggled with any section or have questions, we’re eager to know what’s on your mind! Send us a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to grab the SOP template if you’d like someone else to do the grunt work for you and want the delegating process to be as smooth as butter. Happy delegating!
THE ESSENTIAL SOCIAL MEDIA CHECKLIST FOR BUSINESS
Managing several social media platforms at once can sometimes be overwhelming and it can be difficult to maintain all aspects of your marketing strategy. Although this social media checklist will help you manage the business side of things, it may also help you arrange your time more responsibly. For many people, having a list that they can actively tick off, helps establish a realistic timeframe in which to complete these tasks during the day.
Having worked out how much time you need to spend on social, you may want to split up these tasks into more manageable pieces throughout your day. I use a tool called Plan to arrange my tasks for the day, including my social media.
Whether you’re new to using social media for business, or you’re a seasoned social media manager, having a checklist can be great for accountability and helps keep you and your team on the same page. Additionally, if you outsource some of your social media tasks, you can share the spreadsheet that accompanies this list with your freelancer, so that they can check off their tasks when they’re completed.
Both the social media checklist doc and spreadsheets can easily be edited, so if you have additional daily, weekly or monthly tasks that may be specific to your business or niche, you can add them. As the social media industry changes frequently, there maybe new features that can be used in marketing, and you may want to add these to the list as well. We’ll update the checklist and spreadsheet regularly, but we may miss something!
DAILY SOCIAL MEDIA CHECKLIST FOR BUSINESS
RESPOND TO MESSAGES ON YOUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Answering direct messages from your audience and customers is essential to building your brand loyalty. Your customers may ask questions regarding your niche and products which may be time sensitive. Responding quickly is in your own interest, as leaving your customers in the lurch may lose a sale or loyal fan!
REPLY TO COMMENTS ON YOUR POSTS
Your audience is probably leaving comments on your social media posts or retweeting with their own thoughts and opinions and you should reply to as many of these comments as you can. This will improve engagement and maintain customer loyalty.
CHECK FOR BRAND AND CAMPAIGN MENTIONS
You can use a tool or social media management software to track mentions of specific keywords relevant to your brand. People may be contacting you about an element of your business and not tag you, so you should keep an eye on these things regularly.
I use Hootsuite to follow specific hashtags and keywords for Twitter and Instagram, although Instagram now has a feature that allows you to track your keywords within the app.
ENGAGE WITH OTHER PAGES AND POSTS
One of the main things you should remember about engaging with other pages, is to add value to their content without appearing spammy (you know what I’m talking about). A good way to engage is to contribute to conversations on social media posts with relevant comments and without being self promotional (unless for some reason its relevant). You’ll soon build up a reputation in your niche and get noticed by your target audience. Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ content you also think is valuable and share articles written by your partners.
CHECK YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR
Whilst you may schedule some of your social media posts for the week or even month, but you should view your social media calendar to check the times and content for your daily posts. If you outsource your social media scheduling, you should also take this time to check your already scheduled posts for mistakes or changes you might want to make.
CHECK FOR TRENDING EVENTS AND CREATE IMPROMPTU CONTENT
To keep your social media posts fresh, you should keep on top of trending events and create impromptu based on these events. Checking for trending hashtags in Twitter can often give you a good idea of what’s popular in your part of the world, or where in the world your audience is. You can also see what events your competitors and partners are talking about.
CURATE, SCHEDULE AND POST
To see what’s going on in the news, in our niche as well as personal interests, I use the RSS tool, Feedly. Feedly makes curating and managing your consumption of content easy, by separating everything out into categories. Once you’ve found relevant articles, schedule or post them on the relevant platforms or schedule them using a social media management tool such as HootSuite.
WEEKLY SOCIAL MEDIA CHECKLIST FOR BUSINESS
VIEW YOUR ANALYTICS
Each week, take a quick look at your insights and analytics for each of your social media platforms. Check to see how your social media posts are doing, so you can tweak and improve your content for the following days and weeks. Don’t panic if you have a post that doesn’t do well, try making small changes to your content and see if your analytics improve. This also may be a good time to experiment with different hashtags for Twitter and Instagram. If the ones you’re using aren’t really working for you, change some of them and reassess next week. You can see how your hashtags work for your Instagram posts within individual insights.
ENGAGE WITH PARTNERS AND INFLUENCERS
Give your partners shout outs, compliment their newest blog post (whilst adding value, of course) and keep in touch so that your audience knows about other companies you’re involved in. It also keeps connections alive and promotes good business practices.
REVIEW AND CREATE YOUR CONTENT
Based on your analytics, make improvements to your planned social posts. If certain posts have been successful, try and use this as a template to create even more engaging content. You may need to change your image, develop your copy or change angles completely!
STAY UP TO DATE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING UPDATES AND TRENDS
Not only do social media platforms change ridiculously quickly, with new features or changes to their algorithm, but these also affect how we use social media for marketing purposes. Find some time once or even twice a week to read about updates to the platforms you use, up and coming platforms and suggestions on how to use social media for your marketing.
MONTHLY SOCIAL MEDIA CHECKLIST FOR BUSINESS
ANALYSE YOUR SOCIAL INSIGHTS & COMPLETE A KPI
Take a comprehensive look at your insights based on the goals you’ve set for your company. What can you improve? Are all your social platforms fulfilling your expectations? You might want to record the numbers in a KPI (Key Performance Indicators) report.
UPDATE YOUR SOCIAL STRATEGY DOCUMENTS
Based on your analytics, you can create or update strategy documents for the upcoming months detailing the strategies you can implement to improve your metrics and achieve your company’s goals.
UPDATE YOUR SOCIAL PROFILES
Take some time once a month to update your profile cover art and make improvements to your bio where necessary. You may want to change your profile cover to promote a social media campaign you’re running at the time. When you update your profile cover photo it will get posted on your timeline, which gives your page an additional boost.
LOOK AT COMPETITORS FOR INSPIRATION
As well as spending time researching new methods for improving your social media posts, you should also take a look to see what your competitors are posting about. You can also get a good idea of their new products and whether they’re providing their audience with valuable content.
UPDATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR
Each month I create a new sheet in my social media calendar spreadsheet and fill in some of the important dates that are coming up that month. These may be specific holidays relevant to your audience or niche, or start dates for specific social campaigns. When I come to creating images and copy for each platform, I can consider these specific dates.
CREATE NEW CONTENT
After you’ve analysed content from the previous month(s) you can begin to create content for the following month(s). Perhaps some of your posts didn’t do as well as expected, how can you improve the images or copy to increase engagement or clicks. Once you’re happy with your content, add them to your social media calendar and schedule what you can.
You can get your social media checklist for business by filling in your email address in the space above and you’ll get your templates to your inbox!
THE OVERLOOKED BUT ALL-IMPORTANT ANDROID FEATURE GRAPHIC
Once you’ve built an Android app, it’s time to think about the promotional materials that you’ll put together in order to get the app seen and downloaded in the Android market. Since you’ve spent so much time and effort on developing the app, many of these promotional details may have been pushed to the back-burner.
The truth is, some of these details are just as important as how your app functions because they may be the determining factor for whether or not a user will download your app. One of these details is the feature graphic, which appears at the top of the screen when you look at the details for an app in the Google Play App Store.
The feature graphic acts as a visual summary to describe your app’s purpose and its benefits to users who may not have ever seen or used it before. The image should be colorful and eye-catching in order to stand out in the sea of apps in Google Play or any other Android app markets.
Android Feature Graphic Rules
Feature graphics must follow the guidelines that Google provides in order to fit perfectly in the space provided in Google Play. It’s better not to take a graphic that you used for a different promotional spot, like on your Facebook page or your app splash screen, and stretch it so that it fits in the feature graphic space. The feature graphic should be specifically designed for use in the Google Play Store.
That being said, you can certainly use elements or the style from other graphics you’ve created for your app. Just make sure that your designer creates the feature graphic using the dimensions outlined by Google. The design requirements can be found in the SOP document available for download above.
When considering the design of your feature graphic, think about whether you plan to translate the app into different languages in the future. If this is the case, you should think carefully whether or not you want to include any text within the feature graphic. Google allows you to change the feature graphic for each language but this may end up being a an unnecessary use of your time, especially if you plan on keeping the style of the app updated with market design trends.
If you can come up with an image for the feature graphic that describes your app without any text, it will simplify your work in the long run. Additionally, try to avoid using screenshots of your app in the feature graphic or you will need to update the graphic every time you make changes to your app.
ANDROID FEATURE GRAPHIC SAMPLE GALLERY
The Importance of the Feature Graphic
The feature graphic is the very first thing that your audience will see related to your app after they click on the app icon in Google Play. They will see this graphic before they see the your app’s written description. They may even judge your app based solely on this graphic.
Creating the feature graphic for an app is often an overlooked or rushed task, but it’s important to spend a little bit of effort creating a graphic that grabs the attention of your target audience. Choose bright colors, simple messaging and make sure you don’t crowd the space with unnecessary images or text. This will encourage users to download your app which in turn will lead to a higher ranking in Google Play and more potential revenue for your team.
As the design is so important for the feature graphic, outsourcing this task to a designer with a marketing background may be a good idea if you don’t have one in-house. Experienced graphic designers will understand the best layout for the space and will know which elements to include within the graphic to attract the attention of your audience. The designer can use some of the working files from your user-interface design and playfully incorporate them into a graphic which becomes an eye-catching ad for your app.
The SOP document that will be emailed directly to your inbox is a creative brief with all the instructions that your designer needs to create a feature graphic for Google Play.
You will get a PDF and a DOCX that you can edit yourself to add in your specific requests or details. Pass the SOP to your designer and they will pass the feature graphic back to you. Good luck on your project!
ESTABLISH YOUR BRAND WITH THIS STYLE GUIDE TEMPLATE DOWNLOAD
WHAT IS A BRAND STYLE GUIDE?
A brand style guide, also known as a ‘brand book’, ‘brand guidelines’ or ‘brand standards’ is a visual breakdown of your brand ranging from font styles and colours to image style and design. A style guide can also reference the kind of tone and point of view you want to use for your brand ‘message’ as well as detailing your target market. Although some companies create beautiful visual representations of their brand, it can also be a simple document that can easily be edited as your visual style develops over time. This style guide template download provides guidelines for you to fill out and use for your company’s branding.
WHY CREATE A BRAND STYLE GUIDE?
A brand style guide is an essential tool for your company regardless of its size. Even if you’re a solopreneur you should create a guide. Why waste brain space trying to remember a colour hex code when you can easily access it within your style guide. Furthermore, if you’re planning on outsourcing certain design tasks, you’ll need a brand style guide for a freelance designer to follow in order to retain aspects of your visual brand.
The same can be said if you’re working as part of a team. You should have a brand style guide with as much detail as possible so that every member of your team can understand (or easily find) the central elements of your visual brand.
Although the reason for creating a brand style guide is to make sure all the members of your team are on the same page regarding visuals, the aim of a style guide is to ensure all the elements of your brand, when combined together, are easily recognizable by your audience.
There are many companies out there with very strong visual style, and we can see this throughout their products, social media and other forms of advertising.
WHAT DOES A BRAND STYLE GUIDE INCLUDE?
One of my favourites is Marmite (yup, you either love it or you hate it!), whose yellow and black theme and red and white logo is instantly recognizable.
When introducing a new ‘reduced salt’ product the usual bright yellow colour was replaced by a contrasting blue colour. Whilst retaining its signature black bottle and red banner logo, the yellow becomes a minor colour. The audience will still recognize the brand but know there is a difference between Marmite’s ‘normal’ bottle and their new product.
The brand style guide might also include some less obvious content, including information on your target market, as this can make a big difference when creating visuals. Granted, you will have probably already considered your target market, also known as an ‘avatar’ to choose various elements of your brand, including font type, colours, logo etc before creating this brand style guide. However, it will also help freelancers or designers who are unfamiliar with your brand to glean context about your visual style before creating graphics.
TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE
You should be as specific as you can about your customer ‘avatar’, even going as far as creating a visual representation of them. Detail their occupation, where they live even their hobbies. Each detail may help your designer make a choice that could be the difference between your target audience paying attention to your visuals, or not.
INCLUDE VISUAL EXAMPLES IN YOUR STYLE GUIDE
If you have existing graphics that you’re happy with and uphold your companies values, include these within your style guide. If you want your logo to be in a specific place and a certain size on your social media graphics then you should also include examples with these specifications within your style guide.
LINK TO YOUR VISUALS AND LOGOS
If you’re sharing your brand style guide with a freelancer or a designer, you should include links to all your visuals and logos within the style guide. Create a specific folder that includes everything necessary for your designer to create visuals that fit your needs. If you’re using Google Drive, you can simply share your Style Guide folder with your freelancer and they can access those specific files.
You can download the Style Guide Template and instructional SOP by filling in your email in the space at the top of the page and it will be sent to your inbox.
FREE TEMPLATE FOR REPOSTING ON INSTAGRAM
With Instagram there is currently no way to repost or share other people’s photos to your personal feed. There have long since been rumors that Instagram will be releasing a feature that allows for this capability but alas, we are all still waiting. So in the meantime, here is a way to cheat the system with Photoshop and a simple template.
If you don’t currently have Photoshop or you prefer to edit your photos directly on your mobile we’ve also found that you can use our free PNG repost template with Adobe’s Photoshop Mix app. Scroll down to the “WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE PHOTOSHOP?” section of this blog article if you prefer this method.
A REVIEW OF REGRAMMING APPS
There are a lot of apps out there that claim they can repost photos from other feeds to your feed. After testing several of these, we found the following problems:
1. You can only post one photo at a time, so you’ll have to say goodbye to any multiple-photo posts, a.k.a. Carousels and videos.
2. You don’t have much choice about the style of the repost tag. You may be able to move it around a little and change the color from black to white but that’s about it.
3. The photos that get reposted are essentially screenshots of photos. Anyone can do that with a simple template and a little bit of knowhow.
These regramming apps are essentially glorified Photoshop templates, without the ability to fully customize the output. Essentially what these apps seem to be doing is taking a screenshot of the post that you want to repost, cropping it so that other bits on the screen don’t appear, and finally putting a stamp with the profile photo and username of the original creator on it. There is nothing technical or specialized- so these apps are not necessary to accomplishing the repost.
From what we’ve seen in our own testing, the apps out there that help you to regram a photo can only post one photo at a time. As we all know, people sometimes like to post a series of photos and you can’t do that with these regramming apps.
This is not a very sophisticated way to handle regramming, in fact you can do it yourself. If you’re going to hack something together anyway, then you might as well have the freedom to make adjustments when necessary so that it fits in with the rest of the posts in your feed. All of this can be done by using the simple Photoshop template available for free above.
If you’ve got a little design skills, you can also easily make your own from scratch. The SOP provided above has step-by-step instructions that you can use whether you end up using our template or creating your own.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE PHOTOSHOP?
If you haven’t used any Adobe products recently, a lot has changed. Previously, Adobe offered software with a massive price tag. I remember years back when Photoshop came out, my brother bought it with a half-price special student discount and it was still over $400. Yikes! Nowadays we non-millionaires can get it for $9.99 a month. Here’s our Photoshop affiliate link if you want to try it. Alternatively, you can use a mobile app. Whether you choose Photoshop or the app, the downloadable instructions have got you covered.
Most people use their mobile devices to take pictures for Instagram so it makes sense to use another app without leaving your mobile, edit the image and share. If this is how you normally post and you’d like to do the editing all on your mobile, we’ve also included an extremely simple PNG template that you can use with Adobe’s free Photoshop Mix app. Be aware that you won’t have as much creative control as you do when using the full Photoshop template, but you will still have more options than using an Instagram repost app. Plus, Adobe’s Mix app is pretty rad and definitely worth checking out.
USING THE SOP TEMPLATE
The template provided is very simple to use and comes with an SOP of instructions. Having the instructions written out also makes it easy to delegate this task to a coworker, freelancer or friend. Pass them the documents we email you and then simply ask them to follow the instructions. This task doesn’t take any specific skills to complete so if you’re strapped for time and have some help, delegate!
Using the Instagram repost template provided, you will have full control over the editing as well as the amount of photos that get posted your Instagram feed. You can post one of a series of photos or post two out of four instead of all of them. With the template you have all the freedom as if the Instagram post were your own.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE A REGRAM TAG
You might wonder why you would ever need to use this template. The biggest reason is that you should give credit to whoever created the original photo. I’ve had lots of experience where I’ve found my own images reposted on Instagram without any credit, and it’s extremely frustrating when you spend lots of time and energy creating a picture.
Ideally, it’s good Instagram etiquette to ask someone if it’s okay to repost their photo before doing so. The absolute least you can do is to send them a little love by making sure you use this regram template so at least they get some credit. And of course, make sure you leave a link to their profile in your text content.
TAGGING THE ORIGINAL CREATOR
Another little trick that I like to do when reposting somebody else’s photo is that I like to tag them in it when posting. That way, they get a notification that their photo is on your feed. If you don’t tag the person, they’ll have no idea unless they happen to follow you and see the repost in their feed.
Tagging them in the repost is also good etiquette because it allows your audience to see other work that they’ve done. It draws your audience to their profile page too and creates a more beneficial relationship for both sides: you are using their work while they are getting an opportunity to reach your audience with their content.
DOWNLOAD THE SOP TEMPLATE
While we’re all still anxiously awaiting Instagram to get itself in gear with this new regram feature that everyone has been whispering about for the longest time, you can get our free template sent to your inbox now. There are no watermarks or logos in the template, it is fully customizable. It comes with clear instructions for how to add a new user profile and username so that you can share other people’s photos onto your own Instagram feed.
Get both the Photoshop and PNG templates to your inbox along with easy to follow step-by-step instructions for you, your freelancer, or a coworker by entering your email above. Enjoy your regramming!
CREATE ENGAGING IMAGES WITH THIS SOCIAL MEDIA GRAPHICS CHECKLIST
There are lots of tools out there to create your own social media images, but if you really want to make your mark on social, you can outsource your images and have a designer create your images by following this social media graphics checklist.
WHY ARE SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGES SO IMPORTANT?
Using social media images have been shown to improve social media shares, earn more retweets, and get more engagement. Your social graphics are also a great way to show your companies values and shows your audience what your brand is about.
UNIFORMITY AND BRANDING
To make sure your audience recognizes your social media graphics, you need to keep certain aspects of your images uniform. Many experts recommend keeping your companies logo in the same location on every image and using your brand colours or text.
Although you probably won’t use all of your brand’s colour or type fonts in every image, using 1 or 2 of them throughout your graphics will create a connection between your business and your social campaign. When your audience sees your images, they’ll instantly recognize your brand.
To make sure your designer and team use a consistent theme for your social media graphics, you might consider creating a style guide for your brand.
Buzzfeed’s Proper Tasty videos have the same visual style, making their recipes instantly recognizable on Facebook.
If you haven’t yet established type fonts for your business you can use several tools that can help you use find fonts that work together visually. Choose the main font for headlines, another for subtitles and a font that is easy to read for the body text.
For example, you might use a similar version of a font such as italics or bold for your subtitle and use a contrasting font for the body. Try to keep the body text as simple as possible, so that it’s easier for people to read. There are several fonts that fit the bill including Georgia, Helvetica, Open Sans and Verdana.
Selecting your brand’s colours is an important part of establishing your brand. You might employ a designer to help you choose colours that reflect the values and niche of your business.
Once you’ve chosen the main colour for your brand, you can easily find an aesthetic colour combination using tools such as Paletton to find complementary colours or Color-Hex for similar colours and to browse colour palettes.
To help your audience recognise your brand, it’s important to keep the colours of your social media images consistent throughout.
Marmite consistently uses their unmistakable yellow and black colours through their Instagram content. There’s often strong product placement too, with a jar of Marmite in almost every post.
SOCIAL IMAGE SIZES
Each platform has its own size guidelines for images, so it’s important to create your graphics for the social media platforms you’ll be using. Optimised images will look much better and also shows professionalism. Of course, cross-posting across platforms is a common occurrence now, and it is possible to reuse certain images over several social media platforms.
Here’s a list of sizes for shared social images as of 2018:
CHOOSING CONSISTENT IMAGES AND FILTERS
If you’re using images, either stock or your own photos you should try and keep them thematically similar. They should be a visual reflection of your brand, whether you’re a company or a person. Your images are also a good way to show your businesses character.
If you’re using overlays for text in your images, you should consider keeping the location of the layer the same in every image, which will help to further your brand’s recognition.
Similarly, if you’re using filters or effects, choose 1 or 2 for your social images and continue to use them throughout.
By following and creating visually consistent social media images you can establish templates that will not only create brand recognition but will allow the quick and continuous creation of your social media images.
Download your free social media graphics checklist to make outsourcing your social media images a breeze.
KICKOFF YOUR CAMPAIGN WITH THIS SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY PLAN TEMPLATE
Although it’s nice to be spontaneous on social media, if you’re using social for your online or physical business, you should really prepare your content in advance.
WHAT IS A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY PLAN?
Before you start posting, you need to know WHAT you’re promoting, WHERE you’re promoting it and to WHOM you’re promoting it to. To make sure all these questions are answered, create a strategic plan to keep you (and your team) focused on your goal.
A social media strategy plan can be used to help you plan a specific campaign for your product or business across various social media platforms.
Your campaign or strategy is just a collection of social posts that all share a similar call-to-action, theme and also hashtags to promote an event, product or maybe a specific blog post.
WHAT’S YOUR GOAL?
So first you need to set your goals. What’s the purpose of your campaign? Maybe you want to increase your audience? Or maybe you just want to improve awareness of your brand.
When you’re setting your goal, make sure that they’re S.M.A.R.T!
S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that stands for the following:
You should bear in mind these 5 points when setting your social media campaign goals.
CHOOSING YOUR AUDIENCE
Selecting your audience is important in order to direct your social posts, including for example, ‘targeting’ posts on Facebook. You also need to know what kind of language to use with your audience. You need to use different words for a younger audience than with an older one. You also need to know who you’re targeting your product towards in order to make your images too!
WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS SHOULD YOU USE?
Some social media platforms are better at promoting certain things than others. For example, if you’re promoting something very visual like a physical product, you might want to use Instagram or Pinterest. However, if you’re trying to promote a video course for new business owners, you might want to use LinkedIn, and target a more ‘professional’ audience.
PLANNING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN SCHEDULE
You need to decide the best time to promote your campaign and this might depend on your campaign goal. If you’re promoting winter jackets, you would obviously want to begin your campaign when winter begins. It might also affect the amount of time you have to post before your campaign starts (and ends), for example, if you’re promoting a sale, special event or challenge.
Social Media Calendar Template
Organize and outsource your content in 2018 with this social media calendar.
MEASURING YOUR RESULTS
In order to know that your campaign was successful, you need to set specific metrics. Once you’ve set your goals and chosen the social media platforms you want to use, you can decide on the best metrics to track. You also need to learn how to analyse each platform, and also have a good understanding of how your content is usually received.
CREATING AND SCHEDULING YOUR CONTENT
Once you’re ready with your campaign plan, you get to work writing the copy for each post, bearing in mind the right tone and character length for each platform. You also need to create your post images or send a brief to a designer to make them for you. Schedule your content using our social media content schedule template to make sure you don’t forget anything!
You can get your free social media campaign strategy plan template by filling out your deets below. Check your inbox for your template along with tips and advice on how to use it!
COMPLETE FAVICON DESIGN GUIDE WITH INSTRUCTIONS FOR PNG, ICO AND SVG
A favicon is the tiny icon that appears on the left in the browser tab when somebody is viewing any of the pages of your website. Most website creators don’t spend much time creating and implementing the favicon. This tiny design element however, plays a great role in your brand’s identity. Consider how often you have multiple tabs open in your web browser. Even those of you out there who have sworn off multitasking know how often they have a multiple browser tabs open.
A well-designed favicon can make it easy to navigate back to the pages that you want to view, even without reading the text on the browser tab. You can give your website a more solid brand identity by spending some time on this little bitty icon. After all, this icon appears on every webpage you publish!
Back in the day, when Google analytics was still just a dream, many website owners used the favicon to estimate the traffic to their sites by tracking the amount of people who added the site to the their bookmarks. These days the favicon is more about the user experience.
The favicon should be a graphical representation of your brand. While it may be tiny, it can help your brand stand out in a big way. Websites that don’t design and implement a custom favicon resort to using the default icon for the platform used to develop the website. Using this default icon can make your project look overall unpolished and unprofessional.
Make sure you aren’t distracting the user from all the great content that you offer on your website by implementing the favicon in all of the necessary places of your site’s code. After you complete the SOP available for free above, you’ll not only have all the formats needed for your favicon but you’ll have the HTML code needed to implement the favicon on your website.
FAVICON FORMAT GUIDELINES
Due to the limited space for the favicon you shouldn’t just stick in any image, like your brand’s logo, and expect it to look good when made into a favicon. You should make sure you have a designer create the image specifically for the favicon space so that it looks great in all of the following places:
- Classic desktop browser
- Mac OS Safari
- Windows 8 and 10
- Android Chrome
- iOS Safari
All of the instructions and specifications for creating a favicon for each of these places are included in the SOP above and they are extremely easy to follow. We found a free tool that makes this daunting task quick and painless without you having to sacrifice any opportunities for brand awareness.
Because this is an important but often overlooked aspect of your website, it’s important to have a designer take a specific visual feature from your website or logo to create a relevant and eye-catching icon. This isn’t a very time intensive task, and if the designer uses the SOP provided above then the task becomes even faster. While you may be on a tight budget, getting this done right should not break the bank.
Pass this SOP directly to your designer and they will have all of the latest requirements and constraints of a favicon so that you don’t have to worry about assembling them yourself. Using the SOP, your designer will be able to create a favicon in all of the formats needed for the various browsers, tablets, mobile phones, etc. without wasting time.
Once you or your freelancer has followed the SOP to generate your favicon in all file types and sizes needed, you can implement it on your website. Give the icon a final check to make sure it looks the way you want it to on every platform. This is fast and easy to do by using this free favicon checker tool.
The checker will show you how your favicon will look in all places on the web, including on Microsoft’s tablet computer and Safari’s pinned tabs, both of which have more unusual favicon requirements.
Download the SOP above to get started today. A good designer will get your favicon back to you in no time. Best of luck on your website!
EASILY FIND PROBLEMS IN YOUR WEBSITE UX
You might have a good understanding about your target audience, but you can’t know know how a real user will view respond to your website unless you’ve had one test it out. Even if you’ve agonized over every detail, perfecting the layout and choosing your images carefully, there will always be some unexpected issues.
Stepping back and watching somebody else look over your website can give you incredible insights into the potential usability problems or confusing information on your site. This kind of testing is addicting- once you realize how quickly you can gather valuable feedback this way, you won’t want to stop testing. The website testing plan example available for download above makes it easy and fast to gather information that will be of immediate value to your business.
If you’ve been working on your website for a decent amount of time, everything on the site may seem obvious and easy to use from your perspective. The only way to see it from the point of view of a new user is to get someone who hasn’t seen it before to take a look. You’ll be surprised at what you’ve missed that can easily be fixed or improved.
CAN I GET MY FRIENDS TO UX TEST?
Ideally the person who looks at your website should have no connection to your project as this may influence their opinions and thoughts about the design and user experience. If the person has no vested interest in your project, you will likely get more real and honest feedback. Your friends may be hesitant to nitpick through your project.
Someone who has no knowledge or understanding of your project will give you clear insights into how a normal user will feel when coming across your site. A person who is completely unfamiliar with what you do should be able to tell by looking at your website what your company does without any additional explanation.
Do user testing with people in your target market, making sure to include a range of ages and backgrounds so that your feedback is more complete. You can experiment with a few testers from outside your target market as well. These people will likely add further insights about your website user experience.
KEEPING COSTS LOW WHEN TESTING YOUR WEBSITE
Keep in mind that your friends might sugarcoat their experience with your website so as not to offend you. It’s better to find a neutral party who can analyze your site from a real user’s perspective. Conducting user testing doesn’t need to be expensive. Using the SOP provided above, you can ask anyone in your target market without any special skills to conduct this test. You can find freelancers on websites like Fiverr (non-affiliate) or Upwork (non-affiliate) to do this test for you.
Using third party platforms like Fiverr or Upwork can also be beneficial because the users testing your site may have backgrounds in design or user experience themselves. These freelancers have probably worked on a multitude of other websites and are aware of what does and doesn’t work, especially when it comes to design.
If you tend to favor a certain color palette in your personal taste, it may help you to see those colors through the eyes of another person. You might find that some color schemes distract the reader from the actual content or make it more difficult for the reader to use the website.
You may not have considered that some of your users might have some kind of color blindness which would make it difficult for them to distinguish between different shades of certain colors. You want to make sure that your colors don’t ultimately make it more difficult for someone to use your website properly. At the end of the day, you want to deliver your message clearly and with as few obstacles as possible.
Take time throughout your development process to periodically do user testing. This will help guide your user experience as well as help you to avoid wasting time on unnecessary features and designs. Use the SOP at the top of this blog post to get started with some basic user testing.