In the world of marketing, one is only as good as their tools. With the rise of technology and the digital space, a wide array of options have become available.
Being able to quickly design a video, graphic or GIF on the fly can save valuable time and resources. 32% of marketers say engaging visual content is the most important form of content for their business, before blogging.
But how does one sift through the less useful programs and get to the good stuff?
We’re here to help by narrowing down the top design tools to help complement your content creation.
Here are the three main categories:
- Graphic design
Website visuals are known to increase dwell time on your page, adding to the user experience and giving your content a boost in the rankings. Social media graphics and videos excel at capturing the attention of people scrolling, leading to higher engagement.
Now that we know the benefits of design, let’s dive right into the top tools we recommend.
1. Graphic Design Tools: Canva or Visme
Need to create a quick design on the fly but are too intimidated by Photoshop? Graphic design has never been easier thanks to the likes of Visme and Canva. These programs are extremely user-friendly and offer templates to give you a head start in the creation process.
Canva and Visme are very similar platforms with slightly different user interfaces. Both offer the same features, so it really depends on personal preference. If you want a program that is heavy on image resources, Visme may be a better choice. If you are looking for the simplest and quickest way to design a graphic, Canva takes the cake.
Other features of Visme and Canva include:
- Stock images and illustrations
- Drag and drop editor
- Photo filters and editing
- Social media graphics
- Library of fonts
- Save images as PNG, JPG, GIF, MP4, PDF
- Share option: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest
2. Stock Photo Resources: Unsplash and Pexels
Maneuvering the online world of copyright can be tricky. The last thing any marketer wants is to get their content flagged for misuse. Websites like Shutterstock offer safe stock photos for use; however, it comes at a cost.
Don’t settle for low-quality stock photos or risky internet finds — take your visual content to the next level with Unsplash and Pexels.
Unsplash and Pexels have the same goal: to provide hundreds of thousands of high-quality, free-use images to download for your graphic design needs. These images are donated by professional photographers for you to download at no charge. The only difference between the two platforms is the images available on their website.
What’s the catch?
The website asks that you give credit to the photographer, but only as a suggestion.
The best part?
Both websites are completely free to use! Simply type in a search query and begin your journey into the world of beautifully-captured images.
3. Video Creation: Powtoon and Magisto
Creating a video is no easy feat — just as any Adobe user. However, videos can be highly valuable.
According to a survey by Renderforest, 78% of users earn more traffic to their website after using videos, and 70% of participants used online video maker platforms.
Animating is a great way to catch the eye and add a touch of movement to any piece of content. Whether creating an ad, posting on social media or writing a blog, keep Powtoon and Magisto in mind for all your video creation needs.
- Powtoon: a video and presentation program with drag and drop templates. You can customize the video with live-action, merged media, and filters like cartoons or whiteboards.
- Magisto: upload photos and videos, choose a video editing style and a soundtrack from the program’s extensive catalog, and the AI program will edit it into a seamless animation.
Both programs give you the ability to share the finished product across social media or download the file as an MP4. There are free and paid plans.
As an honorable mention, we cannot forget GIPHY. Although programs like Canva allow you to create gifs from scratch, GIPHY makes it easier by offering a database with millions of gifs that are ready for download. A handy search bar facilitates your search for the most appropriate gif to complement your content.
These animations are created by professionals and amateurs alike or are taken from your favorite movie or T.V. show. You can download it, favorite it for later, copy the link, embed it, or share it across social media.
GIPHY is especially useful for social media content, as the nature of the animations is usually humorous and is guaranteed to get users to stop scrolling and engage. However, you can also use a gif in your blog, or even in an email.
Important Things to Consider
The image file size is important for user experience. According to Exults.com, an agency with a focus on internet marketing in Ft. Lauderdale, “While a giant photograph of some of your top-selling products or smiling clients might be eye-catching on a desktop site, oversized images can slow loading speed to a crawl — and seriously mess with the formatting — on a mobile device.”
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone!
Let’s face it. Whether you’re a marketer, business owner or somewhere in between, you probably already have a lot on your plate. If you are in search of that extra guidance to help you through your design process, consider looking into an agency to help you out.
A professional will be able to point you in the right direction in terms of strategy and help brainstorm ideas for your brand.