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Mar 9, 201502:15 PMThe Web Chef's Cafe

with Paul Gibler

3 tools to support your visual content marketing

(page 1 of 2)

2015 is the year of visual content marketing. A big reason why is the explosive growth of visual social media networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine. These networks allow for the distribution and sharing of a wide array of visual content, including slides, photos, videos, charts, infographics, and more.

Instagram has exploded in popularity, with more than 300 million monthly active users posting videos and photos while interacting and engaging with other consumers as well as brands. Pinterest has seen its own success, with Pew Internet reporting that 42% of women online are actively creating boards, pinning and repinning visual assets, and engaging with brands. Vine, a short-form mobile video tool created by Twitter, has seen its own popularity skyrocket, especially among younger demographic groups.

The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is now even more true. As broadband, wireless, and smartphone networks have leapt ahead, consumers are increasingly expecting visual displays of content to engage their shorter attention spans and accelerate their information processing. Beyond being visual content consumers, they’ve been contributing to the visual content ecosystem with their own creations distributed through social media.

Twenty-five years ago, Adobe saw an opportunity in the visual creation space when it launched Photoshop. The sophisticated photo-manipulation tool has now gone through 15 major releases and continues to be a leader in visual content creation.

To celebrate Photoshop’s 25th anniversary, Adobe held a contest to find 25 of the most creative designers under 25, and the winners earned an opportunity to have their images showcased on the Photoshop Instagram stream for a week. One of the artists, Fredy Santiago, is showcased below.

While Photoshop still plays a major role for the professional visual creator and editor, today we are seeing the creation of visual content with online and mobile self-service tools that have enabled small businesses and individuals to quickly create visual content, including word clouds, visual quotes, infographics, stylized photos, charts, videos, and more.

While the role of a good designer is not to be denigrated, the opportunity to be part of the message development, design, and creation process has democratized visual content creation with an ever-expanding set of free to low-cost tools supporting your marketing strategies.

Canva

Canva is a visual photo-editing site with free and fee features that can help you easily create visuals for social media and the Web. It has a sizing tool that lets you create header and other images sized specifically to the social media you are pursuing. For example, it has an Instagram-sized canvas that allows you to create messages with its free templates or to purchase more customized versions to share on Instagram. I created and posted the Instagram message below on Canva.

(Continued)

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