4 Visual Content Tools to Help You Stand Out Visually

social media toolsDo you want to create more interesting visual content?

Are you looking for new ways to present your message?

Today’s marketers are using visual content to capture their readers’ interest and attention.

In this article I’ll show you four of the best free tools you can use to create strong visual content for social media.

Why Stand-Out Visual Content?

All of those people we’re trying to reach–fans, followers, customers–overlap with the same people our competitors are trying to reach. All of us are clamoring to have our content noticed over everyone else’s.

Text alone is hollow. It doesn’t attract much interest and it’s easily overlooked. Visual content has become one of the most important ways to bring attention to your social marketing efforts.

#1: Design Infographics

Right now, infographics are the hot thing. They’ve taken content marketing by storm because they bring data to life. There’s no doubt they’re eye-catching.

The problem is that creating infographics can be a headache if you’ve never done it before. Until now. Instead of buying the right software and hiring an expensive graphic designer, you have a number of free and affordable options.

I’ve tested many of them and Easelly is my favorite because it’s so easy to use (a nice reflection of its name).

easelly app

Easelly is an easy way to create your own infographics.

Easelly is a classic What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) platform—you can choose your infographic elements and drag them around as needed.

Choose from a wide selection of backgrounds, add other objects (like a picture of a person), upload your own images and use your own data. You have almost 100% control over any part of your infographic.

The result is a professional, custom infographic your audience will love—and you didn’t even need a graphic designer.

#2: Create Video Slideshows

Have you considered using slideshows in your content marketing? I’m not talking about a PowerPoint presentation (though I’ll touch on those in a bit). I’m talking about creating a cool, dramatic or funny video slideshow using your own images.

Slideshows are a fun way to share how customers are using your product, introduce a new product, give your fans a peek behind the scenes of your company’s day-to-day business or just have fun.

slidelybiz app

Show customers your company’s accomplishments.

A few months ago, I found Slidely and it’s become my tool of choice for creating this kind of quick, rich content. Frankly, when I found it, I was shocked to learn there was an entire social network hiding right under my nose!

Slidely is as simple as it gets: You choose a few of your own photos (or video), add a filter and choose the background music. Voilà! You have a video or animated gallery.

That simplicity has attracted almost 50 million users (Magisto, the more well-known slideshow app, has 20 million users).

And, of course, your galleries are shareable. You and your fans can share Slidely shows to all of the major social platforms, as well as email them to friends or embed them in a website. There’s even a special feature called Remix that lets you create a stand-alone postcard—perfect for an easy-to-pin option.

Recently, Slidely released the Slidely Show app for iOS. Now you can make shows on the go as opportunities present themselves.

slidely show app

Share peeks behind the scenes and fun experiences in real time.

With Slidely Show, you can use photos or videos you take in the moment, or you can easily choose images from within your social networks (as well as Dropbox) to use in your videos. When you’re ready, share your final product with audiences everywhere.

#3: Replace Slides With Animated Video

I don’t know about you, but our prospects are sick of PowerPoint presentations, and we are too. The slides are almost always boring, too technical or so corny I can’t bear to look at them.

Every presentation is the same—the same backgrounds and the same typography, over and over again. It’s time to try something new.

PowToon offers an alternative to that same old, same old. Now you can create free, animated, interesting videos and presentations. PowToon is ideal for product demos, business presentations and teaser trailers about your company.

PowToon offers a wide range of templates, characters, backgrounds, transitions and more. To make your own project, you can either edit a ready-made template or you can create your own from scratch.

Most of the PowToon videos I’ve seen are amusing. Humor can be a critical component of a successful social media marketing campaign. If you have the funny but need the medium, PowToon is a good option for you.

With the free version, you’ll have the PowToon watermark on your finished product, but you can upgrade to a premium account for white label options and some other features.

#4: Create Graphic Designs

Truth be told, I’ve always been jealous of professional graphic designers. I’m a creative person, but I have zero knowledge when it comes to Photoshop or Illustrator. I usually need something a little easier to work with.

Canva is a relatively new DIY graphic design platform that’s backed by heavy hitters like Google and Yahoo executives.

canva app

Easily create fun images you can include in your campaigns.

Canva’s fun gamified tutorial gets you up and running in no time so you can start creating Facebook cover photos, Twitter headers, pinnable images, posters and more.

It’s similar to Easelly and PowToon in that you have complete control of the text, objects and colors for each of your projects.

Canva is free and gives you thousands of free images to use, or you can upload your own. If you’d rather have professional stock images you can pay $1 per image (you’re only charged when you publish your design).

Use the Tools, Make the Sales

Rich content is dominating all aspects of marketing—online and off. That’s a fact that isn’t changing anytime soon. Plain, dull content just won’t cut it.

These four tools are excellent options for creating professional, customized, fascinating images. So go ahead, change things up. Your audience won’t be able to look away.

What do you think? What are your favorite tools to create rich, compelling content? Have you tried any of the tools in this post? Let us know! Share your experience and advice below.

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author, Yoav Vilner

Yoav Vilner is a growth hacker and CEO of Ranky, performing marketing & growth for startups. He’s contributing his knowledge to publications such as VentureBeat, TheNextWeb and ReadWrite. Other posts by »




More Info
  • http://www.piltdownsuperman.com Question Evol Proj

    I wonder how many sites with services are shooting themselves in the foot by sneaking their product on you. For example, Slidely, mentioned above. I wanted to find out more about it. They gave a vague couple of sentences describing themselves, which does nothing. So, you have to sign up. Not so fast, Ferdinand! In this age of identity theft, hacking, Heartbleed and so on, some of us are in less of a hurry. And maybe others are like me, resenting the sneaky way of getting our e-mail or Fazebook information because they don’t want to tell us up front about the material.

    Yes, kind of off-topic for this article, but others may feel the same way. Maybe this is worth an article on its own.

  • http://www.piltdownsuperman.com Question Evol Proj

    Oh, and Canva pulls the same stunt. Many of them do. It’s like getting married before I know the girl’s name.

  • Guest

    Hey I’m Sharon Slidely’s Community Manager, Thanks for your input on this. I would love to hear your thoughts on how Slidely can be a more trusted experience! You can email me at Sharon@slidely.com

  • http://markitwrite.com/ Kerry Butters

    Great article thanks, I will be using some of these in the coming weeks!

  • Pel Abbott

    Awesome, thank you!

  • Elizabeth

    I never come on this site without learning something new. Problem is so much good stuff, so few hours in the day! Thanks

  • Robert Patrick

    Great stuff, really impressed with Slidely on my iPhone – the sources made creation a breeze (dropbox was tooo slow! but that’s another thing) thanks for sharing SME

  • helentonetti

    Tried Slidely … am already hooked … so now do you know an app that can create more hours in a day!

  • Denis Smith

    I am living proof that the design of a website matters for converting visitors into buyers. Though I do not vote for a fancy website, a decent design and graphics can make a real difference in your online income.

  • Elizabeth Delaney

    Very useful tips. Thankyou. I will check these out – although I have already become a fan of Canva.

  • Raquel M Ramirez

    Very cool ninja tools here Yoav! I’m really excited to try Slidely and Slidely Show :D. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/ramin Ramin

    Thanks, will try out Easelly :)

  • Yoav Vilner

    Hey, thanks for reading my post but i have to disagree. Slidely and Canva both made it very, very clear to me about exactly why i’m signing up for.

  • Yoav Vilner

    Sure you’ll like ‘em!

  • Yoav Vilner

    Happy I helped you, Elizabeth :)

  • Yoav Vilner

    Haha, happened to me as well

  • Yoav Vilner

    Hope you’ll be as hooked on it as i was!

  • http://www.7eyetechnologies.com Kristina Roy

    I have been used Easelly and Canva. These are nice tool. Slidely may be another useful tool for me and I am highly interested to use it. Thanks Yoav to share your experience with us.

  • Yoav Vilner

    Well, was my pleasure putting this piece together, so thanks for your positive feedback :)

  • KWEScott

    Another one that we use for video is Animoto. Easy to use, loads of preformatted templates, all the audio is licensed…

  • http://www.facethebuzz.com/blog Kary Snell | Face The Buzz

    I have loved my experience with Canva so far. It’s extremely useful for when you need a quick custom graphic to complement an article or even for “on-the-fly” use in an email campaign.

  • http://blog.taskworld.com varitc

    I never try to make animated video before so thanks to share your experience.

  • http://pr.co/ lorenzo grandi

    Yeah, write one about it and I’ll read it. I see it the other way around, as in “how many users run away because I want them to sign up before they see the value”.

  • Sauber F1 Team

    Hi Sharon! Markus, Sauber F1 Team’s social media manager. Slidely looks
    cool and interesting. Two problems: 1) We can’t connect with our
    Facebook fan page (instead of a personal page) to use our brand’s photos
    and albums (Instagram works fine). 2) What about music/royalties? We
    doubt it’s fully legal to use any artists’ work as a soundscape for
    Slidely videos, is it? It might not be a problem for “personal use”, but how about posting Slidely videos as a brand/company?

  • sharon b

    Hi Markus!

    1) At the moment there’s no option to connect to a Facebook page/group, you can only connect to a user’s account/profile. This question has been popping up lately so it’s defiantly being considered.
    2) The users are fully and solely responsible for any content they use on our site, same as YouTube. If they choose to use a YouTube video, then the liability as to music rights/royalties are the original uploader of the video. You can have a look at our terms of service http://slide.ly/terms-of-service and read YouTube/Soundcloud’s terms of service https://www.youtube.com/static?template=terms https://soundcloud.com/terms-of-use#your-content for in-depth understanding of the legal obligation on all parties taking part in the making of their Slidely videos:

    Hope this helps!

  • sharon b

    Hey Robert, I’m Sharon the Community Manager at Slidely. Glad you are enjoying Slidely! Thanks for your input about dropbox, I passes it on to our tech team which are constantly working to improve Slidely :)

  • sharon b

    Hey Helen, be sure to share some of your Slidelys with us! We love to see what our users are creating :)

  • sharon b

    Hey Raquel, let us know what you think of it!

  • http://www.silverpromo.com/ Jessi Linh

    Hi Yoav, Thank you so much for writing this great article. It really helps me a lot in work. Keep going!!! and look forward to seeing your next article.

  • Barbara McKinney

    Thanks for sharing this Yoav! I admit that it was so dry and boring using slides in presentations and reports, old styles and sick of old themes. Good thing reading this post, visual content plays significant roles in presentation of products and interesting videos are usually applied these days. Thank you again for sharing!









Pinterest
Join our Social Media Marketing Networking Club
Get Your FREE Copy of the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
Wondering how your peers are using social media? Get this free report (50 pages, 80+ charts) and never miss another great article from Social Media Examiner.
Check out the Social Media Marketing Podcast!