Did you know that we process visual images 60,000 times faster than text? We respond to and process visual data better than any other type of data, including words. Your content strategy needs to include a good set of social media tools to create engaging content.
What is the trend?
Here’s a brief overview of some stats Hubspot shared at the end of 2016:
1) 37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging (38%). (Source)
2) 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%). (Source)
3) When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. (Source)
4) B2C marketers place greater importance on visual content than B2B marketers. (Source)
5) 51% of B2B marketers prioritized creating visual content assets in 2016. (Source)
With that compelling information, I’d like to share about 8 visual tools you should consider using on a regular basis.
First things first
Know your brand! Brainstorm around your brand vocabulary with both creatives and verbals to create a visual library. Pull images from the internet scanning Pinterest boards or Designspiration.net that could relate to your brand and your story. Go through the images and talk about whether or not they fit with your messaging and keywords.
Free, free, free
Two great sources for free stock photography are J Pexels and Unsplash //unsplash.com/> Both offer thousands of high-resolution images without the need for attribution. These are great places to find something unique to tell your story. There are themes as well as collections. The pictures are free but you are encouraged to credit photographers, when possible, to encourage them to continue sharing. Paypal Donations are accepted on the Pexels website.
Flickr is another image sharing site that can be forgotten. Search for images under the creative commons license. This is another great option to find images that aren’t over used. Be sure to double check the licensing and attribute to artists as needed.
The perfect color scheme
Need help with your color palate? Looking to branch out to expand your palette? Adobe Color CC takes the guesswork out of picking colors. <//color.adobe.com/create> (formerly Adobe Kuler) can help you find complementary colors for your visual content. Look under the Color Rule to choose parameters. Some of the options include analogous, complementary and shades. Adobe takes the guesswork out of picking colors!
Not all color is the same!
Ever noticed a color difference between your monitor at work and at home? Google Chrome’s plugin, ColorZilla is a great tool for “Advanced Colorful Goodies.” It allows you to see the hex, RGB code, official name, and gradients for any color within a browser window. The Color Picker function is great for choosing a contrasting color for a call-to-action button. The tool automatically copies the hex code of any “picked” color to your clipboard, making your visual design more accurate and consistent.
Icon not help you
Flaticon gives you access to free icons in PNG, SVG, EPS, PSD and BASE 64 formats. The Avatar icons are great for infographics, ads or social images. All icons can be customized according to color and size. Flaticon’s library is most useful when you need to create a visual post dedicated to an event such as a webinar, podcast, or conference.
Fonts are often a critical part of a brand’s visual definition. Think Harley or Coca-Cola. Their brand mark is founded upon a font. DaFont.com is the go-to spot to capture a compelling font, and create visual interest on a page, in a post, in an ad.
Pulling it all together
Canva was built for creating visual social media content for the designer wanna be. It’s a great tool if you’re marketing on several platforms at once and need to create a lot of content. You get access to pre-sized social media post templates with easy-to-edit preloaded text. Once you learn how to use, it’s a tool that can give you great results fairly quickly.
Once you start to build a library of images and templates for your branding, it’s superimportant to keep a good catalogue of the files you use. Save everything – you never know what image or font you’re going to need again later. Use a common naming convention on everything (project-name_placement_date_dimensions.jpg or something similar that makes sense to you) so that it’s easy to go back and find things you’ve used before.
For consistency from image to image, you’ll want to develop some templates.
Build templates that have the right dimensions, safe zones, your logo and fonts you commonly use set to a minimum type size (keep mobile sizes in mind! 50pt might seem pretty big but when it’s shrunk down to a mobile screen it’s going to be comfortably legible). ShortStack has got you covered for just about every social media platform header.
Once your templates are built, it’s easy to drop in new images and change the copy. Plus, if anyone else ends up making web content for you, you can hand them your templates and know that everything is going to stay consistent.
NEED ASSISTANCE? Reach out to Kathi I’m always here to help!