There is no doubt that strong written material, whether it’s compelling ad, social media, blog or website copy, is critical for marketing your brand online. Visual marketing is equally imperative and is an important tool for telling your brand story.
Messages can be consumed faster through visuals than through text; we process visuals 60,000 times faster. This is key for today’s fast-paced consumer, especially when it comes to standing out amongst the buffet of content being served up on social media each day.
There have been countless studies showing that visuals boost engagement online, and top marketers know this. Hubspot reports that 46% of marketers say photography is critical for their strategies, 65% of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets are core to communicating their brand story, and visual content is more than 40 times more likely to be shared on social media. And it’s not just any visual content; infographics see three times more likes and shares.
So why are small businesses holding back? One of the biggest challenges to producing engaging visual content is time and resources. While professional photography and infographics are top performers in digital marketing, not all small business owners have these resources at their fingertips. Luckily, there are some easy, low cost (read: free!) ways to create beautiful images for your brand online.
Here are some options to check out:
You can create and customize your own infographics with simple tools online. Download templates from Hubspot or check out the options from Canva (Bonus: They don’t just have templates for infographics, you can create anything from business cards to ebooks and more!).
Many SMEs don’t have the budget for Photoshop or a professional designer and programs like PowerPoint and Paint are seriously limiting when it comes to photo editing capabilities. The good news is you can still make your images pop for free, without downloading yet another program. Sharing a resemblance to Photoshop, one great photo editing app to try is Pixlr. PicMonkey is another easy option for editing your photos, whether you want to touch up an image, create a collage or add text overlay.
Yes, there are a lot of cringe-worthy stock photos out there, but there are more options for finding quality images than ever before. Try free stock photo sites like Unsplash and StockSnap.io, that have thousands of copyright free or creative commons images, or Death to Stock Photos, a service that sends a pack of ten photos in your preferred category straight to your inbox each month.
They say a picture says a thousand words. Visual marketing is immensely important in today’s marketing world and can enhance your efforts – from engaging consumers to building your brand identity and telling your story – meriting serious consideration when building your digital strategy and budget. Plus, with user-friendly online tools and a clear vision, it’s not out of reach, or sight, for small businesses and entrepreneurs.