We all love visual content. Without it, we wouldn't have platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, which encourage users to share images and short, informative videos.
For marketers, regardless of which social media platforms your business is present on, it's important to be aware of this trend and create good quality visual content to share with your audience. This could be images, videos, infographics, memes, presentations and even screenshots.
Why Should Businesses Share Visual Content?
Many businesses are still sharing text only posts on social media, but is this the best format when consumers are already overloaded with data and want information instantly? Research reveals that people can process visual content 60,000 times faster than text - why not take advantage of this?
Instead of writing a block of text, present your information visually, which can then be quickly and easily absorbed by customers - and is more likely to be shared.
Visual content is also easier for people to remember, with research revealing that we only retain 20% of what we read, but 80% of what we see. Brands should therefore be getting visual content in front of consumers, so they'll remember their messages for longer.
How Can Businesses Create Images For Social Media?
Creating images on a regular basis for social media can sound like a lot of hard work. A simple solution would be to hire a graphic designer to do it all for you, but that's not a realistic option for most.
Luckily, there's a heap of easy-to-use tools online that can help you create good quality images for social media, quickly and for free.
So that you don't have to trawl through 100's of tools on the web yourself, we've picked 6 of our favorites for you to try.
If you're looking to produce a range of beautiful images quickly, take a look at Canva. Whether you want a Facebook post or Instagram profile picture, you can create them quickly using this tool.
Select from a number of pre-set designs, or create something from scratch. You can choose from a wide range of free images, purchase from Canva's stock image library, or simply upload your own. You then drag and drop your elements into place and once you've finished, download it in your required format.
Canva's free to use, however if you want more advanced features, you do also have the option to upgrade for a small fee.
If you're looking for something a little more advanced, take a look at Pixlr.
You're given two different options, either 'Pixlr Express' or 'Pixlr Editor'.
With Pixlr Express, you can make basic adjustments to beautify your image, add special effects, overlays, borders, stickers and even text. Pixlr Editor allows you to make much more advanced changes to the image, whilst also giving you the option to add filters and text.
If you're looking for an all-in-one editor, take a look at PicMonkey. Simply edit an existing image, design an image from scratch or create a fun collage.
When you get started, you can make basic edits such as cropping and resizing, add special effects, choose from a wide variety of font types, overlays, frames and textures, and even make touch-ups such whitening your teeth or removing red-eye.
You can get lots out of the free version of PicMonkey but to unlock some of the special effects, you can sign up to PicMonkey Royale for a fee.
If you want to create an image in super speed, give Pablo a try. Pablo is a relatively new tool from Buffer, which is very easy to use.
You can choose from over 50,000 royalty-free photos, select an amazing font, and you can even upload your own assets to include in your image, such as a photo or logo.
If you want to create some fun visuals for your business, give PicCollage a try. It's a mobile app, so you'll need to download it first to your Apple or Android device. Then, you simply use images from your device or Facebook account to create fun and colorful collages.
It's a tool that definitely requires some imagination, but it can help you to show a more creative and personal side to your business.
If you're looking for something more advanced, try Paint.NET. It's not strictly an online tool as you need to download it to your desktop, but it should definitely be included in this list.
It's completely free to use and is a great alternative to Photoshop. You can edit your image, add especial effects, draw shapes, add text and can even create layers.
And there you go, 6 great tools to create spectacular social media images. Give them a try to see which one you prefer. You may even find that you switch between a couple of tools in order to create your ideal social media images.
Don't forget, to help make your images stand out even more, you may need some great quality photos. Some of these tools have their own royalty free images that you can use, but what better way to get across your brands personality and style than by taking your own photographs? Alternatively, you can take a look at sites like Shutterstock and iStock - both of which require a fee - or Foter and Unsplash which are completely free.