Visual marketing is the use of images to convey your message.
When you create unique images for your content, its sure to stand out in the crowd. Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest… even LinkedIn – all the major social media platforms give preference to images in their newsfeed. In addition, your blog posts, digital ads, and articles all rely on images to grab the reader’s attention. Remember the saying:
A picture is worth 1000 words.
But hiring a photographer or buying stock photos isn’t always practical or affordable for a small business or nonprofit on a shoestring budget. Thankfully, today nearly everyone has a mobile phone with a camera or has access to someone with a phone camera. But why all the emphasis on photos? Digital marketing statistics overwhelmingly demonstrate that people who online prefer images over words.
5 Statistics That Demonstrate the Power of Visual Content
- Visual content performs 4.4 times better than text-based content
- Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets
- 65% of people are visual learners
- Photos are the most engaging type of content on Facebook, with a whopping 87% interaction rate from fans
- Company Facebook Pages who post status updates with visuals in the form of videos and photo albums create up to 180% and 100% stronger engagement
~ via TapSnap
How To Create, Find and Use Images for Content Marketing
1. Source Photos Online
Photos enhance a blog post or a social media post, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of new photos posted online daily. Never ever use a photo you are not authorized to use: it’s simply not worth it if you are Instead, either subscribe to a photo service or source free stock photos. We like this list of 21 free stock photos you can use:
Once you source an image to use in your content marketing, you can customize that image and make it your own:
- Crop, resize or flip it
- Add text
- Brand it with your logo or tagline
- Use filters or overlays
- Create a meme or quote
2. Take Your Own Photos
You don’t need to be an expert photographer to take and use photos for your blogs. Most mobile phones now have built-in cameras, and there are free and easy to use photo editing tools and apps that you can use to resize photos, create collages, add text, crop, or enhance your simple photo right on your phone, or on your desktop.
Some free and simple to use photo editing apps are:
3. Create Your Own Images, Infographics and Charts
There are many free and paid tools to design and edit images to look exactly the way you need them too. They are simple to use, and have easy-to-follow online tutorials. Many of the basic free tools also have paid upgrades with more features and functionality. Some of the free image making tools we like at MacManda Media are:
tip: We love Canva’s templates!
4. Use Screenshots
A screenshot is ideal to make your point. Using screenshot editing tools, you can also edit your screenshot to highlight certain features including
- arrows and circles
- text and captions
- bold colors
To take a screenshot, use the prtscr (print screen) key on your Windows keyboard or Shift-Command-4 on a Mac.
There are also free, easy-to-use tools to take and edit your screenshots:
5. Quote Makers
Quotes are a great way to add emphasis and authority to your blog post. Instead of just citing your source in quotation marks, free quote generator tools add an impactful image to your blog. Some free quote generators we like are:
tip: every social media platform has their own preferred image sizes, and it can be a bit confusing! We like Constant Contact’s handy 2017 Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet so we always know what size image is best for each platform.
In the age of visual marketing, creating unique images that grab attention are key to getting your blog and social media posts noticed, read and REMEMBERED.