We all know the importance of visual content. Photography, together with both video and infographics, have become powerful tools for brands and companies to communicate with their audience.
Here are some statistics:
- Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. (Source: Kiss Metrics)
- Infographics are Liked and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content. (Source: Mass Planner)
- People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations. (Source: Springer Link)
- Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. (Source: Buffer Social)
Here are three free tools you can use to design stunning visual content:
Pablo by Buffer helps you to create social media images, with ideal sizes for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +. It’s very easy to use.
Follow these simple steps:
STEP #1. On the left side, either you can choose from over 600k free images or you can upload your own image.
Before jumping into the sizes and filters, you can click on ‘Templates’ in the middle top of the screen and see if you want to use one of the amazing templates for quotes, announcements, promotions, etc.
STEP #2. Once you’ve chosen your picture, go on the right side and pick your size [Horizontal- 1,024 x 512 – ideal size for Facebook and Twitter; Square – 1,024 x 1,024 – Ideal size for Instagram; Tall – 734 x 1,100 – Ideal size for Pinterest], and filter [Light/Heavy contrast; Light/Heavy Blur; Grayscale/Blur Grayscale; Red/Green/Blue Tint].
STEP #3. Then, we write the text. There are three possibilities: Header, Body, Caption. You can use them all, if you wish. Just click or unclick the box you want to use. If you run out of imagination, Pablo also provides you with random quotes. Play and choose one by clicking on ‘Add quotes’.
One important feature in Social Media Marketing is to add our signature and/or logo in any visual content. Pablo allows you to upload your own logo and adjust its size.
STEP #4. In the last final step, you’ve got three choices:
1. You are ready to share it on your social networks.
2. You can schedule it through buffer.
3. The image can be also downloaded.
Here is another easy and effective tool I use for creating engaging visual content. While Buffer gives you the possibility to choose from a few templates, there are multiple free templates ready to use with Canva.
You can create documents with different sizes, kindle books cover, business cards, social media headers and so on.
In the image below, you can see some of them.
We pick ‘Social Media’, and it opens a blank canvas where you can start creating your design. Either you can choose from a Canva layout—some of them are free—and you’ll be ready to go just adapting your own text or you can create your own.
To create your own, you can pick the elements given by Canva: Photos [a million], grids, frames, shapes, lines, illustrations, icons, charts and Canva. You’ll see some of them are free and others don’t. The pictures, for instance, cost $1 each one.
You can simply write your text or use beautiful logo designs.
The last two features on the left are background and uploads. Pick the color you wish as a background, and if you want to use your own photograph, click on uploads and download your own.
Once we have our design ready, you are allowed to share it directly just on Facebook and Twitter. Of course, you can also download it and share it on other social media channels.
Finally, there is an option in which you can make public your creation. Feel free to share it with the Canva Community. Get inspiration from it!
As you can see, there are many possibilities with Canva. Watch some tutorials here and be creative!
The Canva standard platform is free to use, and they say it always will be.
Wish to use Canva for work?
Canva for work is a subscription service with amazing features perfect for content creators or professional designers. It costs $9.95/month if paid annually, $12.95/month if paid monthly.
3. Adobe Spark
Adobe Spark is another easy tool that helps you turn your ideas into impactful social graphics, web stories, and animated videos.
Need to tell your story in a compelling way? You can create a social post, a web page or animated video.
Let’s say, we want to create a post. First, we write what we want to say and pick a graphic size.
Still, we will have the chance to resize it, as you see on the right side.
Although Adobe Spark is a free tool, el hashtag #AdobeSpark on the image might bother you. Don’t worry! By clicking on it and sharing your post on Facebook or Twitter, they remove it.
So once you do that, you’ll never see the watermark on your works anymore.
If we don’t like the theme, the palette and the background that are given to us, we can change them. And finally, Adobe Spark allows us to edit the text.
Once our creative image is ready, we have two possibilities: either we can share it through Facebook, Twitter or e-mail or we can download it.
As you’ve seen, these are the three easy and free tools you can use to design stunning visual content.
Be Creative | Be Social