In my first blog post, I touched on a great social media tool called Canva. Then, in last week’s post, I explained how visual content is a vital part of the social media marketing for my client in the appliance retail industry. In that post, I mentioned the mobile photo editing app Enlight, which is a great tool to make your photos stand out either through meticulous editing tools or by adding artistic filters to really make them unique. This week I want to focus on a mobile app that I use on a regular basis to further create visual content and harness the power of video. Images alone are great and definitely outperform social media posts that do not contain an image. But sometimes you'll have more than just one photo that you want to share on social media. Let’s say you have a lot of photos from a company event or, as is the case with my client in the appliance industry, you have multiple photos of a project you want to share on social media. Well, there are mobile apps like Instagram’s Layout which is integrated into the Instagram interface to enable you to combine two or more photos into a single post. Instagram also recently implemented the ability to share multiple photos with a feature that allows you to swipe through (up to) ten images in a single post. Another great app that allows you to share multiple photos (and video) in a grid style is PicPlayPost. PicPlayPost has a lot of options for customizing your grid and I like to use it more for creative posts than anything that has photos I want prominently featured.
These apps all have a place in my social media arsenal and are great tools to boost engagement. Still, you may not want to use a grid layout because it does make the images smaller in order to fit. In situations where I have a series of related photos, or want to create a visual narrative to go along with the images, I use the mobile app Ripl. Ripl has a lot of great features and the free version is essentially as powerful as the paid version, with the main difference being the ability to remove the Ripl watermark. In her blog “6 Visual Apps for Creating Social Media Content” writer Kristi Hines succinctly describes Ripl as an app that “allows you to create Canva-like images, but with animated features” (2016). I suggest reading her blog post to learn how to actually use Ripl and other helpful mobile apps to create visual content (Adobe Spark Post is another favorite of mine).
Where I find the most value from Ripl is the ability to animate still photos in ways that create an engaging video presentation. It gives me the ability to take a series of photos and create a video that offers more than a simple slideshow. Below is an example of a Ripl video I made at the recent KBIS 2017 convention my wife and I attended in support of Milcarsky’s Appliance Centre’.
Ripl gives you the ability to add as much, or as little, text as needed and offers a variety of transitions between images. I like to use Ripl after I have already edited photos in Enlight to look their best. Here is an example of an installation video I made from photos taken by the delivery team at Milcarsky’s:
(The photos in the video above were first edited in Enlight)
Recently, Ripl added hundreds of fonts to their library. This adds another great opportunity to stay consistent in your branding. You can also add different logos or have no logo at all. This is especially helpful for me since I manage multiple social media accounts. There is also the ability to add music to your video though I rarely use this feature (music is a very subjective thing). If you don’t have a picture chosen but want to create a video post, Ripl is integrated with Flickr, giving you access to a large library of public domain photos. The app also allows you to connect multiple Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and even schedule your social media posts to optimize engagement.
I think Ripl is an excellent mobile app for any small business to add to their set of marketing tools. Since it is mobile based you can create content on the fly and make your social media posts current and relevant. Ripl adds the ability to connect with your target audience through emotional appeals. Last Christmas I created a simple and effective video for my Facebook business page. It is a great example of how a Ripl video can elicit emotion without the need for complex videography or editing software. Here is the Christmas video I created using Ripl and stock photos:
For more details on Ripl (additional features, case studies, and pricing details) visit their website and blog here.
Hines, K. (2016). 6 Visual Apps for Creating Social Media Content: Social Media Examiner. Socialmediaexaminer.com. Retrieved 27 February 2017, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-visual-apps-for-creating-social-media-content/
Redsicker, P. (2017). Social Photos Generate More Engagement: New Research : Social Media Examiner. Socialmediaexaminer.com. Retrieved 27 February 2017, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/photos-generate-engagement-research/