You Can’t Live Without These Visual Content Creation Tools (Really, You Can’t!)

Are you a little lost when it comes to creating visual content on a daily basis?

As someone who manages a business’s social media account, visual creation is a big part of the job. Most of us dive into social media management eagerly creating anything from infographics to video and more. But of course, time is always of the essence when it comes to social media, and you need the best applications and tools to make the job easier and more efficient.

Mainly, you need the tools you use to be simple, easy, and most of all, accessible from almost anywhere!

Creating stunning visual content quickly and easily is simple if you know the right websites to use. These are some of the ones that really WORK; and for common folk like myself, you will find they are easy and effective (meaning if I can use them, anyone can!)

PHOTOGRAPHS

Having a license for Shutterstock is awesome, and expensive! Some businesses do not have the luxury to spend a ton of money on marketing. You can, however, get in serious legal problems by posting pictures when you do not have the proper licensing for them. I cannot stress enough, do not Google an image and use it in a marketing campaign, especially if it’s in a paid advertisement. You run a huge risk of being sued! There is another option! “Stock photos” are released free usually under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0). The CC0 license was released by the non-profit organization Creative Commons (CC). It means you can legally download, manipulate, and distribute any picture for what you need, including commercial applications. Your only restriction is you cannot make an identifiable persons appear in a bad light or in a way they may find offensive. Other than that, these are free photos you can use for your marketing needs. There are plenty of free stock image websites, but these two are my particular favorites.

Pexels

Pixabay

Both are licensed under the CC0 license and completely free to use. Shutterstock is still the safest and best place to find what you need most often, but Pexels and Pixabay are a close second!

VIDEO

Are you a video editor by chance, but have no idea how to use iMovie or Windows Media Maker? Well WeVideo can help you. WeVideo is a website where you can upload videos and pictures, and edit them quickly and easily. And by adding features like lower thirds, name keys, and logos, download your work.. bam, done!  Share it to the world!

WeVideo is the most basic of editing applications, and a vast majority of people will also find it very easy to use as well. One of the best things about this website is that you can edit from anywhere there is internet and a desktop computer.  As long as you’ve already uploaded your media, you can pull up WeVideo on another computer and access all your projects at any time and start editing. The mobility of the application itself is amazing.  There are also color correct options and some pretty brilliant editing abilities for such a simple application. It’s free to use up to a certain storage capacity, and then ranges from a one-time $25 dollar charge to $69 dollars a year for unlimited storage and downloads.  If you’re creating one video every couple months, you probably could get away without paying, but for a weekly user the unlimited option is probably your best bet.

WeVideo

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Posting on social media can be hard. You want your brand shared as many times as possible, but in the age of the internet, graphics are stolen daily; leaving virtually no footprint and or credit. You could post a great info-graphic or quote, and someone could repost it, but leave you and your brand out of the equation.

As a social media marketer, we create our own graphics to ensure no one leaves my brand out of the share equation. If you want to share my nicely designed quote to your followers, go ahead, but Zocle’s huge Z will be on it somewhere (in a place you can’t hide or crop it).

For example, some of our most recent posts…

You get the picture…(see what I did there?)

Canva is a great choice for graphic design, and it’s sooo easy, even a kid can use it (no really, my 11 year old has used it and often can do a better job than I can!!)

Anything from social media posts, to blog graphics, to logos, to business cards, to real estate flyers, to newsletters, to Twitter headers, Canva has all the templates you need.  The possibilities are endless on Canva to create unique and inspiring content, and you and get your creative juices flowing, too. With thousands of customizable layouts and backgrounds to choose from, the potential is endless.  Photoshop is awesome (it’s the industry standard for graphic design for a reason) but sometimes you just need something super quick to post on Instagram with a cool picture and a quote. Photoshop isn’t quite as user friendly for the amateur social media graphic designer to design a piece in less than 10 minutes.  Downloading options include JPEG, PNG, and PDF, with options for a transparent background (like for a logo) or crop marks & bleed.  Even if it’s as simple as a quote with a nice background (use free stock images ONLY) and your logo, the branding is crucial and your followers will appreciate that you created original and shareable content.

Canva

THE KINGPIN

Zocle is a social dashboard that grants the user the power to track multitudes of information. Most importantly, Zocle will track what topics, people, and stories their audience is talking about in that exact moment. With this power of knowledge, a social media manager can determine what hashtags to use, possible shareable content, while simultaneously monitor their competitor’s posts.

While the Zocle dashboard allows users to find stories and media that are relevant to their audience, there is much more functionality than meets the eye. It’s not just a dashboard. It’s a means of creating individualized posts on multiple social media platforms at once. For instance, if I wanted to post an article to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, I can schedule them to go out all at once or all of them at different times. I can also change the wording in each post, so for Facebook I wouldn’t use any hashtags but for Twitter, I would. Creating and scheduling posts has never been easier! (and I would know because I am a social media account manager.)  Nothing has been easier than to use Zocles dashboard as a means of finding relevant content, and then sharing it to multiple outlets. The ability and potential for brand growth via social media with Zocle’s dashboard is unparalleled. For any social media manager, it’s a must have.

Zocle

There are so many amazing applications and websites that can help you and your business’s social media profile flourish, it’s all about taking the time to design!