The Visual Content Toolbox (For Dummies Style)

How many times have you said or heard “we need visual content?”  We get the memo and we will still talk about it. The demand is not faltering anytime soon, but my trusty visual content toolbox is helpful especially when I want to create visuals multiple times a week. Not every one has to be intricate. I am no website developer nor did I take classes (with the exception of Photoshop I & II years ago!) so if I am able to develop graphic busting skills with these tools, you most definitely can!  As I like to say, fear not. Get ready to actually incorporate quality visuals in your content strategy! I recommend these tools for community managers too. 

Visual Content
photo credit: rosscrawford1 via photopin cc

Quozio

This is ridiculously easy. Quozio lets you put in a quote and name, choose a background, and voila! You can even install it in your bookmark so you can copy and paste a quote from your browser. It’s epic for featuring your clients or brand advocates.

Over

Chances are you’ve heard of Made with Over app. If you don’t have it, you need it. They offer different, stunning typography to add to any photos. Sometimes I’ll use my iPhone pictures or email pictures from my computer (free images or personally designed backgrounds) with Over. Tip: try to use more than one kind of font or don’t forget you can just use symbols.

I like to highlight great quotes our community members have shared during discussions but you can do that with any tool!

Pixelmator for Mac

Pixelmator IS phenomenal. I use this majority of the time and it only costs three lattes ($15) right now in iTunes with a free trial. It’s a simplified, very intuitive (and cheaper) photo design program compared to Photoshop. I make custom Facebook banners (you really should if you can) here among other things (pictures to share on Facebook, Pinterest, or put on my website). It’s very easy to select the exact size you want, create and manipulate any image and layer it up!  They offer beautiful and easy to understand tutorials. Even Dino Dogan announced Pixelmator as the answer to his prayers in “How to Create an Infographic with no Discernible Talent Whatsoever.”
Quick Tips:

  • Want an image with no background? Clear the background and save in PNG. I didn’t know that for a while. Dummy me!
  • We often see images with text in marketing now. Use the Marquee tool (the dotted line rectangle) to create shapes, fill with colors, then use the text tool to simply place text. You can open an image first and decrease opacity of the color to make it see through. I used to wonder how people did that. Sharp.
  • Copy and paste your logo on top of any image you create for personal branding so when it gets shared and travels the digital playground, we are aware it came from your brand. If it’s a picture you already own or took, with no intention of manipulating, you can just open it in Pixelmator to put on your logo.

PS: For non Mac users, I read from SteamFeeder Cheri that Pixlr works great as a simple option in any browser!
PPS: Here are 30 pre made kits to download for creating inforgraphics!

Memes

There’s a reason why memes are compared to genes. Those things spread wildly (sometimes by natural selection)! Not everyone is a fan of marketing with memes, but remember you can create (a classy) one without a generator. For example, you can find an old black and white picture from a vintage movie. Create a color bar at the top/bottom,  type a witty caption over it, and you’ve got a cute meme. If you like the “creepy” faces, you’ll appreciate the glorious gallery of choices in the SMS Rage Comic app which I have. They also make for fun texting!

Powerpoint

Now we know what Hubspot does. I present you, to read, a heavenly guide to creating visuals in Powerpoint.  Don’t even consider it a task – it’s very cool.

Community managers, part of our job is to make content interesting – as well as giving attention to the community – so these tools can be utilized to facilitate conversation (and feature) for our respective communities.

I intended for this to be far from intimidating. Along with a mobile and computer, and your fearless attitude, you’re gold! What else do we need in this visual content toolkit for Dummies?

Anne Reuss

Anne Reuss

Social Media + Content Marketing Specialist
A fitness-fueled digital marketer who wants you to live and market your business with grit. Addicted to adrenaline, pull-ups and social media, she's also Deaf, which has only taught her to listen abnormally well. She is a craft beer-loving social marketing manager for 360Connext, a customer experience consulting firm, and a freelance marketing consultant.
Anne Reuss
Anne Reuss

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18 Comments on "The Visual Content Toolbox (For Dummies Style)"


Guest
Cendrine Marrouat
2 years 16 days ago

Thank you for this list Anne. I'll definitely check Quozio and Over!

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@AnneReuss
2 years 13 days ago

You are most welcome :-) Hope you like!

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@itsjessicann
2 years 18 days ago

Visual is so important – yet often overlooked. Another great visual tool that I've used with clients recently is PitchEngine. It allows you to include video and photos in your pitch. great article, Anne, with excellent suggestions!

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@AnneReuss
2 years 16 days ago

That sounds snazzy!! Thanks so much for telling us.

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ideagirlmedia
2 years 19 days ago

Anne,

Thanks for the groovy graphic tips! I use other tools not mentioned above, but have used Quozio. Like it!!

I have Pixelmator for Mac. My quandry is that I purchased and installed just after switching from PC to Mac. It could be that I've installed incorrectly, but it does not seem very user-friendly at all. Surely the errors are on my end – haha.

You are correct – It is a community manager's job to make the content interesting – which, more and more, means graphically pleasing. Thanks for the list and new things to try…

~Keri

Guest
@AnneReuss
2 years 19 days ago

Hey you! Did you get the latest version? My first version had a lot of bugs but the latest update has been working great! Thanks for jumping in. Hugs!

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bowden2bowden
2 years 19 days ago

Thanks for a great overview of these tools and especially PixelMator, I am on it!

Guest
@AnneReuss
2 years 19 days ago

Have fun and let me know how it goes!

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@CASUDI
2 years 19 days ago

Great tips for those who don't have photoshop and graphic design programs expertise. I love it how "visual" context is coming into its own, so in the future I will no longer be accused of "visual" overuse as I was when I started to blog 3 years ago! Oh how times change. Great to see you blogging here, Anne.

Guest
@AnneReuss
2 years 19 days ago

You were just smart back then! Thanks for the comment ;)