April 17, 2015
Social media is one of the single most powerful tools that a marketer possesses today. Many business and celebrities have reached extreme levels of success solely through these powerful information and community channels. There truly is no “secret” in how to establish a dominant presence on social media; the real key lies in production of a quality and reputable product and remaining tuned to the pulse of social trends and happenings. That, and a whole lot of appealing brand personality.
These days, images dominate the spotlight of social media content marketing. By March of 2014, content accompanied by an image accounted for 75% of all Facebook posts. Additionally, if a photo is included in a tweet, the chances of it being retweeted are more than doubled. This data tells us simply that if marketing efforts made via social media are not visually dynamic and compelling, they won’t be seen. Images are one of the main keys to creating compelling content.
Happily, the days of over-complicated, over-priced design software are officially behind us, as an array of easy to use and easy-on-the-wallet tools emerge.
Here are 5 design tools to create masterfully engaging images to captivate audiences for your next social media campaign.
Google Fonts is a fantastic tool for branding purposes in a marketing campaign. With over 600 applicable fonts, a company can select a letter style that is eye-catching and appropriate for the message conveyed by any campaign. This incredibly simple tool allows lines of HTML and CSS to be copied and pasted directly to a website, requiring no further effort or programming prowess. Fonts can also be downloaded directly to a desktop so they can then be continuously utilized for further content generation. Google supplies many helpful and useful resources that business owners should utilize to stay ahead of the curve. Since most are free, we would be crazy not to take advantage of them all.
Since we’ve established that images rule the content roost, finding your favorite stock photo source is crucial. Shutterstock is a royalty free stock photo service that hosts more than 50 million pieces of media just waiting to be utilized. This platform offers extremely high resolution photos, images, and videos to ensure that the content that the media is attached to appears proper and professional. User submissions are accepted by the website so the selection of usable media continues to constantly expand. With a variety of subscription plans available, Shutterstock offers options for all budgets.
The internet loves infographics. Infographics are content goldmines, but to create one takes a lot of time, effort, and know-how. That is, until some savvy and resourceful folks created an app for that. Queue Easelly. This easy-to-use theme based web-app provides a simple, time efficient, and cost effective way to develop infographics and data visualizations. Easelly provides a multitude of infographic templates, and the drag and drop function turns any design novice into a skilled professional capable of developing compelling visuals. Virtually no skills are required to use this service and infographics can be generated in mere minutes. To top it all off, Easelly is completely free to use and no sign up is required.
Hailed by The Webby’s as “the easiest to use design program in the world”, Canva makes graphic design a no-brainer. This free to use service allows visually captivating images to be generated through premade templates, a drag and drop interface, and a variety of fonts. Furthermore, Canva’s custom image resizing feature can optimize photos for each specific channel of social media. This platform can render stunning media to accompany unique content from start to finish with minimal effort and frustration. Simplicity and convenience are critical in the technological age and Canva delivers.
Yes, images dominate the social stratosphere, but video is the future. Geared directly towards marketers, Powtoon is an easy and intuitive platform that creates captivating and entertaining animated videos. The wide selection of templates, backgrounds, transitions, and characters makes video generation simple and effective for beginners while ensuring a professional look. For someone with more developed video production skills, presentations can be created from scratch. Powtoon does offer its services for free, but a watermark will appear on the video. Upgraded accounts at reasonable rates offer full white label and customizable options, so you can go as big or small as your video needs require.
Images, slideshows, and video media all play a critical part in the success of content and the campaign it is attached to. Without these captivating and eye-drawing highlights, you run the serious risk of becoming irrelevant to the myriad of netizens who have far too many compelling options to choose from. Implement the tools above to allow the quality content you are producing to stand out from the competition and get the eyeballs you are after.
What other visual design tools have you found to be great for increased click-ability? Have you already began to utilize images with content, and if so, how has it affected the success/ failure of your content?
Digital producer, online marketer, community manager, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney-Brown has been managing cross-functional teams for online businesses since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, massively multiplayer games, community management, social networks, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, nonprofit director and spiritual counselor. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook and Google+.