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What Makes a Good Graphic for Instagram?

“What makes a good graphic for Instagram?”

 

In a vast ocean of visual information like Instagram, it’s very easy to have your work drowned out amid countless other users trying to get their content into the public eye. That is, unless, you have something visually stunning to attract the eye of Instagram users that’ll entice them to continue to scroll through all of your images, not someone else’s. 

What ways can you do this?

 

May I direct your attention to:

    1. The Principles of Design. In the age of information, many people consider themselves a digital artist to some degree, but what really separates the novices from the masters is the use of the principles of design in your graphics. These principles are pattern, contrast, emphasis, balance, proportion, harmony, and movement, respectively. Employment of one or more of these principles in your graphics is going to skyrocket its visual appeal. Remember, you want to give people something that is hard to look away from, but in a good way
    2. The fact that it really is in the little things. Static placement, lackluster/mismatched/too many fonts, and low-resolution images, et cetera do make a big difference in the overall effect of a graphic. You want to pay mind to all aspects of your graphic to make sure it is coherent -getting across whatever message it’s trying to convey- and artistically unified. Spend the extra few minutes or so perfecting the harmony between each element of your graphic. Making sure everything is positioned correctly, or finding the most complementary font you can. A good keyword to keep in your head while designing is “clean” -because even professional graphics that seem chaotic on the surface have a rhyme and reason to the chaos. Which brings me to my next point…
    3. Sometimes less is more/Keep it simple, stupid. A VERY common rookie mistake is to make a design way too busy and inflated so it seems more ‘thought out’ or ‘complete’. Thus, the message of the graphic becomes completely lost among plasters of sans serif and excessive images. Minimalist designs that are simple and clean tend to work far better. In fact, the industry has been geared towards minimalism these days.  It just goes to show that sometimes, the dreaded ‘white space’ can indeed be your friend.
    4. Maintaining the theme. Themes have been increasingly popular on Instagram, as maintaining one can turn the view of your entire profile into a pleasant graphic in and of itself. Themes keep the overall look of your profile cohesive and intriguing. Often the most effective themes are ones that consistently keep content original and new; it’s simply a matter of uploading in multiples of 3 so that you have clean rows of similar images lining up. Though it may be frustrating at times and feel restrictive, there’s no denying the effectiveness that employing this strategy can have for keeping a professional-looking, aesthetic-pleasing Instagram profile. 

 

 

 

Starfish Ad Age Digital Marketing Agency Longview

Cookies without sugar!

What are cookies? 

Cookies are small pieces of code on websites that are used to help marketers track consumers’ behavior and interest. Publishers (websites) sell that user data in a marketplace auction. DMPs (Data Management Platforms) are ad tech companies that make a profit by collecting PII (Personal Identifiable Information) from cookies and other data tracking codes. 

 

What do cookies collect? 

Some of the data points that are collected are browser info, location-based data, device IDs, search history, IP addresses, and financial information. These are just a few things that you have given permission to sites to collect. I highly recommend that you download the browser extension called Ghostery (click here http://bit.ly/2nGpms6) this extension will provide you with more control over these third-party data trackers. 

Now that you have an idea of what DMPs track, it should be more obvious why these data points are so important to advertisers and publishers. Losing the ability to track users across an enormous ecosystem would render marketers useless very quickly. Walled gardens (Google, Facebook, and Amazon) have caused a serious debate over these platforms’ ability and their permission to harness our data. After all, isn’t the idea to connect inventory to users’ data and ultimately follow the consumer journey? 

 

What is happening to cookies? 

More and more users are demanding control over their data and how it is used or sold online. Browsers have taken significant steps to eliminate these cookies altogether, making it difficult for users to be tracked or targeted. Safari took an aggressive step to block cookies when ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention) was introduced in 2017. It worked to protect privacy by restricting companies’ ability to track users online. Like many in this space, Apple believes that privacy is a human right, and we should have the choice to opt-in or out.

The most notable privacy regulation known as GDPR (General Data Privacy Regulation) is not even a law in the US, yet it has still become the framework for the protection of user data. Many US states are starting to adopt similar regulations. For example, the  CCPA (California Consumer Protection Act) goes into law in 2020 and will mimic the GDPR about user data and identity protection.

 

How can I protect my business? 

First, you have to understand that there are so many moving parts to this, but the easiest thing to do is to make sure that your business is GDPR compliant. Regulation around privacy is taking its steps from the EU, so start there. Second, make sure you have easy access to a list of third-party trackers. Third, be sure to store all of the data securely and have the ability to remove any user data at any time. 

 

Wait, how will I be able to track my audience?  

It is not all bad news. As more and more regulations on digital privacy begin to merge, it is best to start understanding your targeted audiences. Marketing is all about having a connection with a consumer and making them feel like they have that personal relationship with you. 

Censorship & Cryptocurrency

Let’s start with the most recent YouTube announcement. YouTube is changing their guidelines to ban videos promoting the superiority of any group as a justification for discrimination against others based on age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. This will result in the removal of all videos promoting discriminatory ideologies. Users will no longer be able to post videos stating historically documented events did not happen. For example, the events surrounding 9/11. YouTube has already reduced the number of views by 50% for this type of video. The “next watch” panel will start to include videos from reputable sources instead of similar content only. Channels who repeatedly push the limits on discrimination policies will be restricted from running ads or using Super Chat which lets subscribers pay creators directly for additional chat features.

I’m curious to see how YouTube will interpret and apply their own policies especially considering they’re currently under fire for hate speech made by Steven Crowder (Louder with Crowder) towards Carlos Maza (Vox Strikethrough). Steven openly ridicules Carlos in his videos for being homosexual and Carlos has since received a daily influx of Social Media messages and emails including death threats. That’s the very definition of something that insights bullying and hate-speech yet YouTube is not taking down the content or doing anything to stop Steven Crowder. There is such a thing as good-natured ribbing or fun and people do that regularly even including racial/homophobic/religious, etc. slurs, but if the recipient is good with it and jokes back, then it’s obviously not bullying. That’s not what happened here.

I’m also a little unsettled by the thought that YouTube plans to “police” content. Does YouTube really want to step into an area of “censorship”? I say, let the Conspiracy theorists have their content about what did or did not happen on 9/11 or whatever other “well-documented” event that happens. Isn’t that part of free speech? Why does YouTube feel the need to “control” that type of content? It seems to me that they have an agenda and in time it will be revealed. Everything comes to light at some point.

Facebook Cryptocurrency

You read that right. Facebook has created their own Libra cryptocurrency and they’ve secured the backing of over a dozen companies which include major financial organizations like Visa and Mastercard, and trusted internet giants like PayPal, Uber, Stripe, and Booking.com. The announcement comes shortly after Facebook’s new update which allows users to participate in e-commerce through messaging products like WhatsApp and Messenger. They reportedly are looking into building physical terminals similar to an ATM so people can choose to convert their money into Libra.

The name of the currency interests me because it was a currency used in Ancient Rome and in Zodiac signs it represents a person who wants to create equilibrium in all areas of life. Is Facebook sending a message that they’d like to create a currency that is universally used and accepted? That sounds like it may be a move of Biblical proportions. Only time will tell.

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