Does the prospect of having to produce visual content make your palms sweat? Does your mouth get dry and heart begins to pound so hard that you think it's going to break free?
Well then, you're not alone. But it doesn't have to be that way. In this article I will show you 5 simple tools that will help make your content look great.
According to Social Media Examiner, for instance, nearly 70% of content marketers admit that they need to learn more about producing visual content.
And in April 2015 eMarketer discovered that lack of resources (i.e. budget to hire designers) is the biggest challenge marketers face when creating visual content.
At the same time, visuals are becoming the most popular content type for marketers. And for a reason:
- They grab attention. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. It comes as no surprise then that it gives more significance to visual information.
- They're also easier to digest. After all, our brains process visual information 60000 times faster than text.
- Not to mention that visuals make up for the majority of human communication.
So, if you're struggling with developing visual content or lack proper resources to hire outside help, this post is for you. I'm going to show you 5 ways to create stunning visuals even if you're not a designer.
Web Graphics - Canva.com
Canva is one of the simplest graphic design tools that helps create stunning images for blog posts, web pages or social media updates.
And it is super simple to use too. To create a graphic in Canva you just need to:
Select a visual type you want to create from a templates library (or specify format):
Pick elements you want to include in it from an impressive library of shapes, colors, images and many others.
Canva uses a drag and drop editor to place elements you want to include in your design.
Position them on your graphic, tweak to your liking, add text and ... You're done!
Of course, there are some intricacies in the process. But in a nutshell, the whole process takes no more than a couple of steps.
eBooks - Beacon.by
eBooks are by far the most popular lead generation assets and for a reason. They hardly seem like a marketing tool, since they also exist outside the business space. They are also convenient for readers to consume and their performance is easy to measure.
Moreover, they're easy to create and don't require any original content. In fact, you could create eBooks simply by repurposing old blog posts, for instance.
And so, for most marketers then, the only problem is making eBooks look professional. That's where Beacon comes in.
Beacon lets you automatically convert blog posts into eBooks and other lead generation assets in minutes.
And without any help from a designer.
To create an eBook, you can import blog posts directly to the app. If your site is built on Wordpress, use the Beacon's handy WP plugin.
The platform will then automatically convert each blog post into a page in an eBook.
Beacon features hundreds of text and color presets you could use to style your eBook:
And then, output it either to the web, embed on your site or save as a PDF to use for lead generation.
It's that simple.
Infographics - Piktochart
An infographic is, as the name suggests, a visual that focuses entirely on presenting information in a graphical way. The secret to their success is that they're eye-catching but at the same time, able to convey even complex information in a digestible way.
And so, the biggest factor that prevents many content marketers from using them is their heavy reliance on graphics.
Luckily there is a solution - Piktochart.
I often refer to Piktochart as Canva for Infographics. Why? Because the two work in a very similar way.
To create an Infographics in Piktochart, you need to:
Select a template for your visual (or start from a blank page)
Select graphic and text elements from various libraries and drag and drop them on your design.
Add data you want to base your infographic on. This is what makes Piktochart so powerful. You can add your data and statistics through an Excel like interface to create graphs and charts.
And then download your infographic when its ready.
Videos - Wideo.co
Video is by far the most engaging visual content type today.
And there's plenty of data to prove it:
According to Invodo, 52% of shoppers admit that watching product videos makes them more confident in making a purchase. And, according to Google, 40% of them are more likely to visit a store after watching a video.
But I bet that when hearing of videos, you immediately think of those big budget productions brands output to raise brand awareness.
You could however easily create simple clips to achieve the same effect. How? By using Wideo.co
Wideo is another app working on a simple template format.
To create a movie, pick a template or start off with a custom design.
Add or edit frames and add additional elements from various libraries. The platform will look after any transitions and visual effects (and what's more, you can control many of those too).
And once you're done, download your movie to use on YouTube or in other places.
Note that Wideo offers both free and paid plan. However, on a free plan you have to pay $49 to download a clip. On a paid version downloads are already included in the monthly fee.
Presentations - Slidebean
I bet that to you the word presentation is synonymous with boring slides you had to sit through so many times...
But in truth presentations have become a powerful marketing content type. They could help attract traffic, rank in Google for highly competitive keywords, build your authority status, grow an email list and achieve much more.
But just like with the other content types I talked about already, they require design skills to produce.
Or do they?
You see, there's an app called Slidebean that, just like other tools on this list, helps you design powerful presentations without any need for design skills.
Similarly to other applications I mentioned already, to create a presentation you need to select a template first (or use a blank canvas).
Then you need to populate each slide with content and graphics from various libraries.
You can also style your presentation using preset design template, in a similar way to Beacon.
And then when you're ready you can output it for the others to see.
And there you have it...
5 tools that allow you to create powerful visual content without any need for a designer or other professional help. Each of these tools includes templates you could use to quickly output visuals or an option to start from scratch and play with different ideas.
And they all allow you to produce stunning results.
So remind me again, what's exactly been stopping you from creating visual content?