As the year winds down, business owners are busily planning for the year to come. This year, visual marketing came to the forefront of strategy, and in 2016 it will become even more important. Leaving out visual aspects to your advertising, social media, email, web, and PR campaigns with mean a smaller return on your investment, and no one wants that. With visual marketing becoming so crucial, small business owners are starting to rely more and more on outside sources to assist them with their campaigns. Here are 7 of our favorite tools that can help you boost your visual marketing without an in-house designer.
- Canva. This basic design tool is ideal for bloggers and social media campaigns. With a small library of royalty-free photos and basic tools, the free version allows you to create simple quote graphics. They even have sizing guides for things like social media, ebooks and more. Upgrade to the professional software for only $13/month and get access to all of the photos you need, plus the ability to save branding tools and share them with your team.
- StockSnap.IO. This free resource gives you access to thousands of high-resolution photos covering every topic imaginable, from high heels to scenic vistas. Once downloaded, the photos are yours, so if you’ve got someone with a bit of design talent on your team, the sky’s the limit for what you can do.
- Studio. Individuals traditionally use this phone app to dress up their photos on Instagram, but there’s nothing to stop you from using it for your business! This great free resource allows you to add text and professionally-designed overlays to any photo. Snap a picture of your business, employees, workstation, the view out your office window, or anything of interest and instantly transform it into a share-worthy image for your next marketing campaign.
- Wondershare. This simple-to-use video editing software can help you put together a marketing video in a pinch. They also provide options for converting video footage across format and creating DVDs, which is useful for had copy press kits. If the free trial seems helpful to your company, most of the options are under $50 to purchase.
- Photoshop Elements. While free options are great, sometimes spending the cash for the real deal can go a long way in creating that professional look you’re hoping for. For small business owners, Adobe has a bare-bones version of Photoshop called Elements. This software has more basic tools than most amateurs have the time or inclination to learn, and at a fraction of the cost of their more advanced programs (just $99), it’s perfect for basic photo editing and ad creation.
- DaFont.com. This is just one of many font directories that can help you create beautiful designs. We love that DaFont gives independent artists a chance to showcase their work. DaFont has a great variety of fonts to match any tone, look or feel. Be sure to carefully read the terms that come with any font, however – not all are free for commercial use.
- Piktochart. For creating a simple info graphic, Piktochart offers several options that can help your small business get started. There are a few free templates if you just need a one-time fix, or for $15-$30/month, you can upgrade to the lite or pro versions, which offer more tools.
This is just a sample of the hundreds of free or low cost design, video, infographic, and image tools that can help you generate creative, professional quality visual content. With all of these resources at your fingertips, there is simply no excuse for small business owners to stay out of the visual design game. If you want to take your content a step further, feel free to contact us – we’ve got variety of affordable design options to help you out.Share