If you want content that pops, then it has to be visual. A 2013 study conducted by Simply Measured proves that graphics enhances brand engagement, which is one of the reasons that Instagram is a major player in the social network game of thrones.
The problem is creating visual content is a skill set just like writing. You already hire a ghostwriter; can you afford to outsource graphics, too? Fear not, visual graphics are something anyone can master with a little user-friendly assistance.
Canva is a tool that helps you create images for social media. They provide backgrounds, layouts, a stock photo library or you can upload your own pictures. Pick a layout that serves your purpose, then drag and drop the elements you want to make the graphic. The tool is free to use, but you do have to sign up for an account. They also charge to use their images, but you can upload your own at no cost.
The downside is the two missing key design tools: page grids and alignment assistance. Even without them, it is still one of the easiest and most intuitive programs available.
Instaquote offers something a little different, but handy. InstaQuote is a mobile app for iOS devices that adds a quote to any picture. This is a neat trick when you are attending conferences, for example, or looking to interact with followers in a visual way. Snap a picture of a new product and post the details on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
You can add more than just quotes, too, like change backgrounds and do basic image editing to enhance the picture. Instaquote allows you to customize any text you add by changing fonts or adding emphasis and is free to download via iTunes.
Unsplash is a practical choice for the marketer who is always on the hunt for usable images to add to their visual toolbox. Instead of buying stock photos bundles, Unsplash provides 10 new copyright free pictures a day for you to use any way you want. These are all high quality images, too.
The platform has a search feature, so just plug in a relevant phrase to find the best image for your needs. You can sign up to have new images sent to you via email each day, as well.
Designinspiration works the same way most other image platforms do with one exception – you can create searches based on a color palette. You select five colors that fit your design layout and the program show you all the images that match your unique palette. That is a real time saver when you are trying to align the colors for a new campaign. The site is free to use, but you do need to sign up for an account.
No one tool is going to do everything you need, but a combination of two or three will have you creating visual content that seals the deal with your clients.
Darla F is a full time freelance writer published internationally and an award-winning author.