Easy Ways to Create Original Images for Visual Marketing [PicMonkey]

I love visual marketing and I love using original, visual images on Facebook, Pinterest, and my Blog. 

I often get asked how to make original images without being a professional photographer, graphic designer or photoshop whizz.

Today I am starting a series of posts focused on tips for helping you easily create original images – images you can use immediately to add wow factor to your social media marketing.   And we start with PicMonkey!  

Visual Marketing Series | PicMonkey | Socially Sorted
This image was created with PicMonkey (screenshot + the fab PicMonkey creative tools)
I will admit, I have been a Photoshop girl until recently.  I am not a graphic artist, but I do have creative flair and love using creative programs to make my content pop (at least just a little).

But for most people, Photoshop is just a little bit techy, so I was excited to discover this wonderful free (yes, free……I say it again, free) PicMonkey a couple of months ago. I have been playing with it more and more recently and have decided that you must know about it, if you don’t already!
PicMonkey – the free (yes free) photo editing site.

PicMonkey is not just free, creative and useful…it is downright choc full of fabulous applications.  In a drag and drop kind of way. This makes it easy to use for anyone. That includes you!

Note:  if you want to take your photo creation and image editing a little further you can purchase a “Royale” membership and get access to even more great features, fonts, backgrounds and templates.  But the free version is definitely a great place to start!

Let’s look at some of the features:

Upload your photo or background and choose from one of the following features and more:

Visual Marketing | PicMonkey | Text and Basic Edits
Start with a photo or background….and add some seriously super-cool fonts…or how about some cropping, resizing or colour editing. It’s a snap!
Or how about adding some effects and layouts…
Visual Marketing | PicMonkey | Socially Sorted | Effects and Layouts
The Effects Toolbar on PicMonkey rivals that of Instagram, and the Layouts allow you to create some pretty attention-grabbing designs. Need a Facebook Timeline cover? PicMoney to the rescue!
Need to add a shape, arrow or speech bubble? Perhaps a funky border or style?  No problem!
Visual Marketing | PicMonkey | Socially Sorted | General and Frames
Borders and shapes galore….you are only limited by your imagination. Like?
I could go on and on about the features and functions of PicMonkey, but suffice to say it is one of those tools that you just have to play with.  To give you an idea of how easy it is to use, I just created this in 5 minutes.  5 minutes of playing around with this tool and I have an image worthy of placing on my blog, Facebook Page or Pinterest:

Visual Marketing | Picmonkey | Socially Sorted | Image Example
5 Minutes. Easy. PicMonkey Rocks! (oh and yes, if you do want to keep updated with awesome social media tips, subscribe to our updates at the top of the page!

In this case I grabbed a stock photo that I had purchased on file a while back…but I recommend you use your own photos where possible. Even if you have a semi-decent photo, the filters and tools in PicMonkey can help you to create an eye-catching, professional looking image!

Or what about those quotes that fly around on Pinterest on Facebook? Maybe you could do one for your niche or industry, using a quote that is relevant to your target market (and add a watermark for your website).

Here is one that I just whipped up using PicMonkey.  Total time 9 minutes (including finding the quote):

Visual marketing | Picmonkey | Socially Sorted | Quote Example
Eye catching, shareable quotes are easy to produce on PicMonkey. Go crazy with it!

That’s it.  Images produced quickly, easily, and with a whole lot of fun!  I have not even touched on some of the functions of Picmonkey….but I will let you explore and have fun with it.

Update:   since this article was published, another great image creation tool, Canva has been released and together with Picmonkey, Canva rounds out my two favourite tools for creating images that get shared and drive traffic.  You can find out more about Canva here.

Here is the Skinny on this Visual Marketing Series:  For the purposes of this series, I will be keeping it simple and featuring sites and tools that can help you to easily create three of my favourite types of images:
  • Photos
  • Text-Based Images
  • Mixed Media Images (including graphics, photos, and/or text).
Why?  Because images get shared, commented on, and liked more than any other type of content online. It’s not surprising really.  Visual images are processed fast than text.  They impact our emotions and reactions. It is quicker to make an impact with a picture vs words! You only have to look at the rise and rise of Pinterest to see that this is true.

And what about Facebook?  Their recent changes showcase images for cover photos, milestones and the newsfeed.  Oh and there is the little matter of Facebook buying Instagram for 1 Billion dollars.  You get the picture?  Anyone can use images to get wow factor on Social Media. Believe me, you can! You just have to know some tricks to create great images!

Over to you.  What do you think you could use this for?  Have you created any images yet for your social media marketing? Would you feel more confident trying it now that you can use a program like PicMonkey?  I would love to hear your feedback and if you make some cool images, post the link to it below!  

Create Traffic Driving Images www.createtrafficdrivingimages.com

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, a Top 10 Social Media Blog Winner in 2015 & 2016, and winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition (Business Category). Donna helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs use visual social media and content strategy to get more traffic, shares and sales in their business. She is a contributor to Entrepreneur Online and Social Media Examiner and has been featured in Forbes, NBC, Yahoo, the Huffington Pos, Entrepreneur and Problogger.