It's come to the point in the maturation process of digital media where all businesses understand that they must participate. No matter the size of the business, it’s vital that there be a strong digital presence since the majority of commerce is conducted digitally. There are very few offline business development opportunities anymore. Print advertising has become the crown jewel of an advertising campaign—it’s used more to reinforce all of the messages that a brand has created in their digital campaigns.
The issue that burdens so many small businesses though, especially the single operator spa professional, is the ability to compete in the digital landscape. Virtually every business is now participating in the digital conversation by offering their communities rich and dynamic content, all with the goal of growing an engaged community. Larger businesses have teams of professionals who are able to create digital content with ease. They have marketing teams that are comprised of creatives and strategists that are establishing digital activities, bringing them to life, and then implementing them across multiple platforms. At the very least they have a dedicated person who is responsible to coordinate all digital activity.
All of this makes it hard for the small business to compete. The good news is, though, that thanks to new technology there are myriad ways to create your digital and social content at the push of the button. If building your brand's social and digital presence is daunting to you, try any of these five simple tips for creating your own content via a smartphone.
1. iPhone or Samsung Smartphone
Start with a smartphone. The newer smartphones have amazing cameras that take exceptional photos and videos. You can use your smartphone to create content quickly and easily. New phones have so many features on their cameras that you can create your own photoshoots without any assistance. Cameras have selfie mode, so the camera is facing you. They have timers so you can set up a shot. They also have special modes so you can shoot images that look like a professional photographer took the image. The iPhone has portrait mode. I shot this image in my iPhone X, in selfie, portrait mode, with the camera on a timer. I set the camera on the windowsill to face me so I could get the best light. You can clearly see the device, the name of the device and that it’s me holding the device, but I’m blurred out in the background, so the device takes center stage.
2. Photoshop Express
After I photographed the above image, I pulled it into Photoshop Express. A free version of the app is available in the App Store, but I do have the $10.99 plan which gives me advanced features. I tweaked the image so the colors were crisp and the device really popped.
The next step in the creative process was to open Canva, a free app also available in the App Store and online. The desktop version is my first choice to use, but in a pinch I use the mobile app. I added a pre-set text for a Labor Day Sale to the image, and viola! I created a great ad for a sale at any spa.
Boomerang never gets old! This is a built in feature inside of Instagram and is also available as a stand alone app. Below is an example of a boomerang that we used on Lipgloss + Aftershave’s Instagram that was quickly and easily shot on an iPhone X. The set up was super easy. A few products laid out, with one being held by Jenni Nagle (Lipgloss and Aftershave cofounder) as she shot the boomerang.
5. Adobe Spark
Want to create mini videos for your business? You can do that from your smartphone too! Thanks to the Adobe Spark app. It may seem daunting at first, but the best part about the new millennium is that YouTube is a fast and easy way to learn something new. Here’s a link to a YouTube video that can help you get started with Adobe Spark. Remember: You don’t have to be the next Oscar winning film maker. Just get started, your first few will be a little shaky, but you won’t improve without practice! Below is a mini animation video that I created in five minutes using my edited iPhone photo and the Adobe Spark App.
You can quickly and easily grow your business by creating fun content. Technology is truly remarkable and now you can run your business’s digital media from your mobile device. It just takes a little time to get to know the apps! Commit to failing at the first few attempts. Commit to laughing at the fun you have while learning. You’ll be on your way to a winning digital media campaign in no time and that’s money in the bank. Good luck!