Using Visual Marketing for Social Media Results – 3 Simple Content Creation Tools

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Want to grab attention to your posts but don’t have a bucket of money to spend on graphics?  Well look no further!  In this week’s Visual Marketing Post, we have highlighted some of most accessible, cost-effective and simple ways to create engaging, fun, shareable content for your posts – on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Google+.  

Simple Content Creation Tools for your Social Media
Want to Create Great, Affordable Images for your Posts?

This is the 3rd in a series of posts about How to use Visual Marketing Strategies for Social Media Results in Your Business. Click here to read the other posts in the series: Using Visual Marketing for Social Media Results – 3 Cheeky Calls to Action and Using Visual Marketing for Social Media Results – How to Use Text Creatively.    

We have talked recently about the importance of creating engaging, visually attractive content by way of photos, text or graphics.  Visual images are engaging. There is no doubt about it.  Visual images are more likely to be shared.  But how can you create  your own original shareable content without enlisting the help of a graphic designer?  Here are a bunch of great little apps and strategies that I use regularly to create some great shareable content…content that gets clicked on and doesn’t put a hole in my wallet!).

#1 Instagram
Instagram
Instagram - Become Your Own Stock Photo Catalogue!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a big fan of buying a good stock photo and using it strategically to make a post or an article or program “pop”.  But truly, some of the best photos I have used (and have seen used) have come from Instagram.  With a little creativity, something great to photograph and the clever use of Instagram’s filters, you can make any photo “pop” and catch the attention of your readers. And the best bit?  They are FREE and you OWN the copyright!  If you are posting them on platforms like Pinterest or Facebook, you don’t have to worry about who owns it, because you do (as long as the subject, if you have one, agrees).

Tip:  Apart from being able to create killer images with instagram (that can rival a good stock photo), consider using instagram to take photos of simple text. This works really well to showcase a blog post (heading) or a quote.   This trick can be applied by creating a simple font on a great background on your computer (using any design program or even Word).   Then take a photo of the screen, capturing your “title” or “quote” using Instagram. When you apply an Instagram border and filter to the image, the result can be quite eye-catching – which is what you want, right?  For your readers to have their eye drawn to your image…and be inspired to share it!  

Simple Font - Instagram
A Simple Heading can be made more eyecatching with Instagram
#2  Tweegram’

I have mentioned Pinstamatic before as a great tool for creating visual content.  And some of our readers have taken this on board – check out this great post (with a great little matching quote made simply with Pinstamatic). Simplicity works!   If you loved Pinstamatic, you will also love Tweegram.  Tweegram is a great little app for creating text based images – and if you are willing to contribute the $0.99c for the Pro Version, you can also add in some images, remove the Tweegram branding and access more templates.  What is Tweegram? – let’s let their app description update you:

Tweegram
Tweegram transforms thoughts into wonderful images. Simple!

Here are some examples of what the finished product might look like:

Tweegram
Tweegram is a quick way of creating text (and picture) based Content - using just your smartphone! .

Tip:  Mix up a Tweegram image with your Instagram images – a quote, or hot tip related to your niche, interspersed with your Instagram Images can quickly catch the attention of your Instagram followers….with so many picture-only images, a little text thrown in can be a pleasant change inside the Instagram feed!  Mix it up! 

#3  Pixlr
Pixlr
Pixlr - the most popular online photo editor in the world - if you like some of the wow factor without having to be a photoshop wizz, then check out Pixlr!

Pixlr didn’t get to become the most popular online photo editor in the world for nothing.  Filled with great filters, special effects, and the ablity to add text to images, you can do a lot with Pixlr!  And don’t forget to download the smartphone app for editing on the move.

Tip:  Check out Pixlr-omatic for some awesome filters (and click on the “More” Tab to find even more awesome special effects, borders and overlays. Whether you are using the Full Pixlr Editor or the Express version (all available on the main website) you can create some great images.  Why not create a series of quotes or tips related to your niche – either with photos and images or just the text…and then post them up via your website to Pinterest or Facebook.  People LOVE to share great tips or quotes, so give them something original to share!  

What tools or websites have you used to create your own visual content – that don’t break the bank?  Have you tried any of these?  If you are a Pinterest user, leave your link below so that we can follow you!  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, the Business Category Winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition. Donna helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs use visual social media and content strategy to get more reach, referrals and results in their business. She is a contributor to Entrepreneur Online, Social Media Examiner and Social Fresh, and has been featured in Forbes, NBC and Yahoo.
  • http://www.facebook.com/ignitewinners Helene Mearing

    Great to read your article..Instagram has been on my list however not quiet ticked it off yet..

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      Thanks Helen – yes I have been using Instagram for a while for fun, but more recently I have used it for graphics for my blog and it is so much fun to play with! Even if you just set up an account and start playing around with it to take “life” photos, it can be really handy (and you can get some great images!). Have fun with it!

  • Kerry douglas

    Just catching up with reading this, and the first couple. Really helpful. I have taken note of your advice. I am in the stages of learning and planning for a telesummit early next year, and think I will be back to see what could be done with your assistance to create that buzz around an event. This is a first for everything for me, so I am just taking the bit in my teeth and running!! My background is a visual art teacher, so this approach really appeals. Thank you.

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      Thanks so much Kerry – I am glad you found it to be helpful. You are so right….using images can be an awesome way to promote an event coming up. We recently released a series of posts around “Know Your Midwife” being released here on the Sunshine Coast and the images were shared quite a lot which helped us to promote the event! Oh and if you are a visual art teacher you will love the fact that images are shared more readily on Faceook, Pinterest (of course!) G+ and even Twitter. YouTube of course is visual (video) but yes, for sure, you will do well to promote with visuals! I will be posting more about using visuals to promote events sometime soon, so definitely stay tuned, or subscribe to our email list if you are not already as I always send a summary of the blog posts out each week. Be sure to let me know how you go and definitely send me any links to your event as I am always looking for examples to feature (given that you are artistic I am sure you will come up with something cool!).

  • http://MagnoliaJazz.com/blog Robbie Schlosser

    Thanks, Donna.  What GREAT suggestions!  I’m holding on, trying to keep up.  These recommendations open a world of possibilities.  I’m far from a graphic designer, but your advice is introducing me to vast possibilities of using images online, and showing me how to proceed   THANK YOU!

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      Thanks Robbie – I am planning on putting all of these on my Resources page so you won’t have to hurry! It is great to hear that people who are not graphic designers are interested in trying to think outside the square a bit with using photos and images. It definitely makes for a shareable piece of content! You are musical, so I know you have creativity in you! PS Did I tell you that my son is wanting to learn the drums so we are saving for a set together. I am actually quite excited about having a kit again!

      • http://MagnoliaJazz.com/blog Robbie Schlosser

        Thanks, Donna.  

        WHAT?  “Having a kit AGAIN?”  You’ve been a drummer, or hosted a musician sometime?  
        Wonderful!  So you can appreciate the more poetic, “feelingful” side of all this marketing business we’re trying to engage.  
        A kindred spirit in the wilderness, where everyone seems to be talking about “numbers of subscribers”, or something of that sort.
        Robbie

  • http://wirequeen.com/ Michelle

    I’ve not used the first two, but I love Pixlr. I am a total non-techie. Smile. I have a ball with Pixlr and I haven’t destroyed a picture yet.

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      Ha ha awesome Michelle….I don’t think I have destroyed a picture yet too….Instagram is great for pretty much ensuring that you can filter any picture and make it look good! Enjoy playing with the toys! And sometimes it is better to be creative than techy! These tools work for those of us that are creative!

  • http://www.facebook.com/michele.bergh Michele ‘Morton’ Bergh

    This is great!  I can’t wait to try a couple!!  Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      That’s great! Don’t forget to share it with me if you use the tools – I love to see new examples! Have a great week!

  • http://FeldyMentor.com/ Allison Rapp

    Thanks! I love finding out about new solutions to ongoing problems!  These look like fun.

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

      Thanks Allison – yes they are fun. Enjoy playing with some new toys! Thanks for the feedback!

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