Rough Guide: How to create visual content for social media with ease
Today we fight for more attention from our audiences on social media. People have become more time poor and therefore visual content such as images and short videos have become more prominent across social media. Using Images in your social media marketing strategy can boost engagement much more than simply text alone. Some stats suggest that posting an image on Twitter gets up to 300% more engagement than text alone and video even more so.
One of fastest growing social networks of all time is Instagram which relies on great visual content only.
So how can you create great visual content for your social networks that ensures you stand out from the crowd? It's not as difficult as you may think to create visual images that stand out. There are heaps of free or low cost tools that help you to create great images without the need for an expensive graphic designer.
Here are some of the visual content creation applications I could not live without! They are free or low cost and so very easy to use:
Canva.com – Canva is an online application, you can create social media visual content from templates very easily. It’s free and you are able to choose templates in exactly the right size for each social media platform, each image / quote or ad you create takes minutes and looks professional and high quality.
Word Swag – Word Swag is an IOS app which generates gorgeous text styles over images that you either upload or you can you the pixabay (integrated) image library which includes thousands of free – do whatever you like with – images. This app is not free but a snip at £2.99 – I use this app everyday!
Typrorama - Typorama is a lot like Wordswag as it's also an easy to use app yet with a few extra features and fonts. It's very easy to create great images, again there is a free version and a paid version at around £2.99
Legend – Legend is another phone / device application which is similar to wordswag but you can create awesome flashing GIFs and mini videos which grabs the attention of your audience via Twitter and Instagram
[video width="640" height="640" m4v="http://lucyshall.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMG_9548.m4v" autoplay="true"][/video]
Pic Monkey – Pic Monkey is a fantastic tool for editing images, cutting and adding filters. This is a web / desktop application. Use Pic monkey to edit image elements before making more advanced creations on Canva. Also great If you need to edit an image size fast. It’s mostly free or you can pay $5 per month for more advanced features.
Sourcing Free Images
When it comes to using images in your social media posts, you should ensure that you own the content or that you have the permission to edit or use them. It used to be really difficult to source free images and expensive to pay for stock images. Luckily the world has changed a lot! And heaps of free –do whatever you want with – image platforms have popped up.
Most of the time you’d don’t need to attribute the work to the photographer and the images are very high quality by far the easiest to search and best to use is Pixabay.com – Pixabay is a public domain image library of high quality images that are copyright free. Pixabay has over 550,000 images to choose from and is being added to every day. These images can be manipulated and used as you wish.
(A version of this guide is also available in print from KWIB Magazine)
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