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If there was any doubt left in your mind that micro-content is one of the most powerful new strategies for social media marketing, a recent micro-content campaign by Mazda Canada that’s been making waves and getting press should seal the deal for you.
A collaboration between the auto maker and marketing firm, JWT Canada, the “Long Drive Home” campaign featured various images and videos of a Mazda car making its way through different stages of a journey that were released over a three month period. Each of the images formed a piece of a highly detailed larger image that Instagram followers could see being formed in a grid layout on Mazda Canada’s Instagram page.
This campaign by Mazda involved a lot of time and likely a sizable budget for a professional ad agency, graphic design and art direction – which might make it seem out of reach for anyone with a smaller business and marketing budget. But with the right tools and image, putting together a similar campaign could be well within your reach. Here’s what you need to know:
The first and most important tip for any marketing campaign that involves an image – and especially a campaign that’s entirely centered around one – is to use a high quality image, something that looks good and grabs the attention of your target market.
And since you’re dividing your image up into many small pieces, which you’ll release one at a time, the image you choose should have several different areas of visual interest, so they can keep people engaged throughout the campaign and make them want to see the finished product. That’s one reason why Mazda’s giant image worked so well: the image was designed so each individual part engaged the viewer and made them want to see more of the overall picture.
You also need to make sure your image file has a high enough resolution to ensure good quality when you crop it into nine pieces and then display them as full-sized Instagram photos. For best quality, your image should be at least 1836px by 1836px.
The apps below automatically break down or resize images so they are easily used on Instagram or other social media channels:
1. Giant Square
Cost: $1.99 — or download the free version, if you don’t mind the app developer’s watermark on your work.
Giant Square is the ultimate app for creating this kind of micro-content for your social media campaign. Along with the capability to easily re-size any image to fit Instagram’s aspect ratio sizing, it lets you quickly upload one of your existing images and divide it into up to nine separate frames in any size or configuration you want. These social media images can then be posted on your account separately as your followers wait to see the whole image. The app also lets you create collages for your Facebook page or Twitter profile’s cover photo.
Cost: free (with pop-up ads)
Instasize is another great app that lets you easily re-size any of your existing images or visual content and post it to Instagram. It also offers “stickers” and text overlays you can add to your photos to create instant memes, as well as filters, frames, collage options, backgrounds, editing, custom Instagram hashtags and more.
Cost: 1.99 for Squaready Pro; or free with ads
Squaready offers many of the same features as Instasize, but dials in some advanced photo editing features like tilt-shift blurs, easy correct centering, and more.
Bring it all together
You’ve got your images ready to go, now you just need to make sure you execute your campaign and make the most of the micro- content you’ve created – which means engaging your followers and building up hype for the final product.
Want to learn more about creating visuals that drive engagement? Download our white paper, Visuals That Stick, with actionable advice on impactful design from the Visually creative team.
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Colin Payne is a professional writer, photographer and visual journalist.