If a picture says a thousand words, then here are some really big numbers. A recent snapshot of consumer activity in just one minute online revealed 1.7 million images are liked by Instagram users; 300,000 images are shared by Snapchat users; and nearly 10,000 images are pinned on Pinterest.
With all this activity going on, you literally have seconds to capture the attention of today’s distracted consumer, so you need to make your messaging as visually appealing as possible, whether you’re creating images, infographics or animations. And if you’re on a budget, or don’t have a creative bone in your body, then fear not. Let’s take a look at some of the free, easy-to-use tools on offer to help you create content that will leaving a lasting impression.
Show your customers the bigger picture
Typorama - this is a great little app for designing your own adverts, memes or other social posts. First select a stock or personal image and size, then lay your text over the top, format as required and you’re ready to share. The only downside is that if you use the free version, you either have to include the company watermark at the bottom or make sure you leave enough space at the bottom of the image to crop it out once you’ve finished your design. Alternatively, you can upgrade to Typorama Pro (currently £7.99 per month).
Canva - this is a must-have platform for creating beautiful designs and it’s pretty versatile as it suits both beginners and experienced designers. It offers a range of formats including book covers, web banners, flyers, social posts and blog imagery. You can even design your own company logo using the application. Simply set up an account and scroll through the various customisable designs. It may not be up to likes of Photoshop, but it’s a great little creative tool none-the-less.
Snappa. Once you’ve written your marketing material, website copy or blogpost (or asked us to write it for you!), it can be difficult to source high-quality, engaging images to go alongside and usage rights can be a worry. With Snappa’s graphic design software, however, you have access to over half a million hi-res, royalty-free and “totally not cheesy” images (according to their website at least). The application itself is pretty versatile, allowing you to create a range of formats – content cover photos, display ads and email headers – across a range of platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn).
Making facts fun
Infographics are a great way of presenting breaking news, statistics or other snippets information in a concise, engaging and visually attractive way, but the idea of creating one from scratch can be daunting without the right tools. Here are a few that are worth a mention:
Infogram - this is a simple-to-use application, the free version of which allows you to choose from 37 customisable templates to create your own professional-looking infographics, charts, online reports and interactive maps in a matter of minutes.
Venngage - this DIY software is popular for beginners and offers an wider range of designs (over 100) to choose from. Simply select a template, add in your data, and customise the final look and feel for a truly personalised design.
Easel.ly. As the name suggests, Easel.ly is extremely straightforward to use, partly because there are only 10 templates to choose from and only a few quick steps to follow in order to achieve a great infographic that’s easy on the eye.
So there you have it – some quick and easy packages to you help unleash your creativity and get the conversation going with your customers. Next time we’ll be looking at some of the best video content creation platforms, so if you’re thinking of adding animation to your creative messaging, stayed tuned!