With the increasing popularity of photo and video driven social networks such as Pinterest, Instagram and evolution of Facebook and Google+, visual content has become one of the most important aspects of marketing.
According to 3M Corporation, we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. The “Social Media Scientist” Dan Zarrella found that photos perform best for likes, comments, and shares as compared to text, video, and links on Facebook.
Even when we know that Visual content is key, not all businesses have professional photographers and designers on-hand to create aesthetically-appealing graphics on a regular basis. Don’t let this stop you from making beautiful or eye-catching visuals! In this blog post, I’ve outlined a few simple steps for anyone who wants to design visual content for their business quickly and easily.
Recipe for an engaging graphic
Theme/Topic: Focus on an interesting statistic, catch phrase, or quote relating to the theme of your post. Sites like Goodreads can help you find a quote based on certain topics.
Photography: You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a Digital SLR camera to capture the perfect photo for your visual content. These days, most camera phones take great quality pictures and are more convenient for spur-of-the-moment shots. Use a photo-editing app to enhance and crop the picture to your liking. (Hint: Square photos are best for Facebook Timeline)
If you’re not confident enough in your own photography skills, Pixabay is a fantastic source of Public Domain images and graphics (the owners of the photos have waived all copyright rights to the images so you are free to edit and use them for your social media purposes).
Mix it all together! Add the theme or topic-related copy to your photo to make it more engaging and shareable. (Be sure to give attribution where necessary.) If you don’t own a copy of Adobe Photoshop, there are several free and web-based image editing alternatives such as Splashup.
For creating visuals on-the-go, my all-time favorite iPhone app is called Over. Over is a user-friendly app to add beautiful typography to your images. For only $1.99, you can easily add text in a variety of classic and modern fonts.
The most important step– Have fun. Be creative! Ask yourself if you would “like” the graphic if you saw it somewhere else. Have a purpose behind the visual, whether it is to educate, entertain, or inspire.
Once you’ve created your graphic, post it on Facebook and Google+! Add it to a blog post and pin it to your Pinterest board, or upload to Instagram– and let the sharing begin.