16 Great Resources to Create Quick and Beautiful Images for Social

16 Great Resources to Create Quick and Beautiful Images for Social

Images play a crucial role in the world of social media marketing. You’ve heard it time and time again: a post with visual content will garner more engagement than its text-based counterpart. But this poses a challenge: how do you share compelling images multiple times per day on a slew of platforms while maintaining an efficient workflow? It’s a tough thing to manage – especially when quality and cost come into play.

There isn’t one answer, but many. And as usual, the Internet comes to the rescue. Below we look at easy-to-use tools that you can work into your content strategy to create quality imagery while saving time and money. These are 16 of the best image resources we’ve found, and they have one vital thing in common: they make the life of a social marketer a whole lot easier.

Full service image creators

Canva

For a social marketer, the biggest value Canva provides is simplicity: create striking imagery by just dragging and dropping elements into place. No design experience? No problem. Plug text or photos into their ready-made layouts or produce something from scratch.

canva
Image via Canva

BeFunky

Much like Canva, BeFunky is a one-stop-shop for graphic creation and collages. Choose layouts based on function: social media headers, blogger resources and small business templates are among the options. Customizations come quick and easy with the company’s user-friendly interface.

Design assets

Creative Market

For those who delve deeper into the design world, Creative Market has a massive catalog of ready-to-use fonts, templates, mockups and stock photos produced by incredible talents. With a vision in mind, finding what you need is a cinch, and even if your creative flow is running dry, Made with Creative Market has infinite inspiration. Not sure where to get started? Creative Market gives out six free products every week to start a collection of assets with.

Image via Made with Creative Market
Image via Made with Creative Market

Free stock photos

Unsplash

Unsplash has a model that’s hard to beat: “Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos.” The organization dishes out 10 stunning new photos every 10 days shot by photographers in their skilled community. Finding the right image to accompany a social post can be a challenge so Unsplash is gold for a social marketer. Under the Creative Commons Zero license, you can copy, alter, redistribute and even use their photos commercially. It’s the ultimate creative freedom.

Image via Unsplash
Image via Unsplash

Pexels

Great photography sparks emotion. Emotion sells. End of story. A great photo can be the backbone of any social post, and Pexels is another valuable site with access to a growing database of free stock photos. At the moment, the company boasts more than 4,500 photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, and they’re adding at least 70 new images per week.

Data visualization

Infogr.am

It’s no question that including compelling data in your content strategy is an effective way of engaging your audience. Infogr.am is data visualization at its finest. The platform makes repackaging information a painless process. Though you can choose from a multitude of options and designs, from creating complex infographics to simple charts, the experience is far from overwhelming.

Easel.ly

Creating an infographic from scratch doesn’t have to be an arduous task. If you’re up for the challenge, you can make your own using Easel.ly. Choose from a slew of ready-to-use templates or create your own. The real value is in the drag-and-drop interface and the ease of plugging in your own data.

Photo editor/enhancer

Pixlr

The entire Pixlr suite includes a wide range of tools that come in handy for a social media manager—starting with the web-based photo editor, a free alternative to Photoshop. Pixlr Express functions much like Instagram in that you can apply different color effects to your images and adjust their strengths. It also includes creative overlays, stickers and the ability to add text. Pixlr’s collection of web-based apps helps beautify your images.

Snapseed

Editing and enhancing photos on the go is a snap (pun intended) using the Snapseed mobile app. You don’t have to be seasoned in complicated photo editing software to easily understand how it works. Swipe up, down, left and right to create your desired effect. Your smartphone can be a powerful tool for generating original content for your social pages.

Photo overlays

Over App

Over is a powerful tool that goes far beyond just adding text to images—though that’s how it’s best known to the market. Even choosing from preset social dimensions just scratches the surface of the app’s features. With a recent update, it now allows for blending, taking color samples, adding image overlays, and offers striking ready-made artwork. A new integration with Unsplash, the free stock photo site also mentioned on this list, means Over is a graphic creations powerhouse.

Phonto

Phonto, the app that allows you to add creative text to images, is a minute-marketer’s dream: import image, add text, style it and share. Of course, the real art is selecting the right font and impeccably placing your design. The best part? Phonto won’t cost you a dime.

Visual quotes

Recite

Time is on your side with Recite, an effortless solution for creating images from quotes. Sharing quotes is often an effective method for garnering engagement on social. Boasting a straightforward user experience, the process has been stripped down to its core. Just type your quote into the text box, choose from a handful of templates below it, click ‘Create’ and bam! Download or share straight to one of your social pages.

Photo re-sizer

Autre Planete’s Social Media Image Maker

Optimizing image dimensions for each social channel can be a hassle: it’s time consuming and you have no choice but to keep up with social image specs that are constantly being modified. Autre Planete’s Social Media Image Maker is a convenient resource for cropping photos or graphics to the right size.

 

Annotations

Skitch

Annotate much? If so, Skitch might be for you. An Evernote product, Skitch provides all the tools necessary to add visual commentary to any image. Use arrows, text, stickers and a handful of other tools to get your message across on a screenshot or any image of choice. It’s a helpful app for support or community teams that have to answer complicated technical user questions.

Image via Evernote
Image via Evernote

Mockups

PlaceIt

Mockups galore! Sometimes you just need an image of your website or app and a screenshot just won’t cut it. Place It offers a wide variety of  mockups to showcase the image of your choosing. Upload it right into a template and voila! Download a free low-res version or buy it in a higher resolution.

Filed Under: Social Media

What Is E-commerce and Why Does My Business Need It?

E-commerce is the common term for any kind of commercial transaction that takes place purely through the internet. This transaction may be between a consumer and an online-only store, on the website of a big-box store chain, or even a business to business transaction. No matter what your business model is, you should take a closer look at e-commerce as a way to build your business.

What does E-commerce do?

E-commerce gives your customers the ability to buy from you without having any limitations imposed by time or distance. Think about that for a moment. A sale that you normally would not have made because the customer was unable to visit during business hours or lived too far away suddenly becomes not only possible, but likely. This shows why there has been such a rapid expansion of e-commerce over the last 10 years and why it shows no signs of slowing down. Businesses worldwide are racing to conquer the e-commerce landscape, but with virtually limitless potential for sales there is plenty of room for everybody.

What about B2B sales?

Conventional wisdom states that consumer sales and B2B sales are light-years apart, but in the case of e-commerce your B2B sales can benefit just as much from an online presence as any retail outlet. Since B2B sales is such a complex arena, with companies dealing with hundreds if not thousands of other customers and suppliers, e-commerce gives these businesses a competitive advantage when they are able to automate and simplify the sales and shipping process. It is often a faster and more affordable way to run a B2B sales company.

So does my business need e-commerce?

Setting up an online store can be difficult, especially if you are not an expert web designer. If you don’t have an advanced knowledge of online sales you may be daunted by the prospect of moving a significant portion of your operation online. You may be worried that your online endeavor may fall well short of your expectations and put the success of your business in serious jeopardy. The truth of it is that if you choose not to take the plunge there are a hundred businesses waiting right behind you that will. There is no doubt that e-commerce is here to stay.

When implemented correctly, e-commerce:

  • Connects you to a customer base you otherwise never would have access to
  • Lower your costs and raise your margins on sales
  • Create an automated flow of repeat business and perpetual ordering cycles
  • Save you a great deal of money in loss prevention costs
  • Increase your brand recognition and make your business a leader in your industry

If any of this sounds good to you, and it should, you should take the time to look into building an e-commerce platform for your business. It may not be as hard as you think it is, and it could have a huge positive impact on your business for years to come.

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Why Do I Need a Website? Here are 21 Reasons

Steve Jobs also asked ‘why’. He challenged every single operation within his company. Everyone, from the engineers to the accounting staff, did things differently, because Jobs would ask them why they did things in a certain way.

And answering, “Well, that’s what everybody else is going” simply wasn’t good enough.

When I started my first business several years ago, the first thing I thought was “I need to get a website”. Why did I think that? Why do I need a website?

I decided to get with the program and copy Steve Jobs to answer the fundamental questions about why I, a small business owner, actually need a website.

Why Do I Need a Website?

Reason #1 – Online brochure

Companies spend millions creating brochures and distributing them. By having a website you can skip that entirely. Your potential customers can find out about you and any of your products online. If you get most of your business through networking and personal connections, then they will want to check out your website.

Reason #2 – More customers

More than 2.4 billion people use the internet every day, and some 90% of those have purchased something, or contacted a company, online in the last 12 months. So by not having a website, you will be missing out on a big piece of the pie.

Reason #3 – Business value

Have you tried getting a business loan recently? It’s not easy, but if you try and the bank manager asks to see your website, you better have a pretty good one. It doesn’t just stop with the bank, the perceived value of your business will be lower in everyone’s eyes – especially your customers.

Reason #4 – Influence

By having a website potentially thousands of people are going to see it. You are able to influence people’s decisions and educate them.

Reason #5 – Time to show off

You know that great feeling you get when people recognize your work? Well, by having a website you can show off what you do and take pride in your work.

Reason #6 – Helps with business goals

That’s right! When it comes to writing the content for your website you are going to revisit things about your business that you haven’t in years. You will most likely reassess your business goals.

Reason #7 – Low barriers of entry

Ever wanted to start a business? Well, now you can do it with virtual space.

Reason #8 – 24 hours per day

Your website runs 24/7 without any supervision or need to lock it up. You can always be there for your customers.

Reason #9 – Communication with customers

By having a blog or even just a feed on your website, you can update customers on your newest offers, products, promotions, events, photos, or any other content.

Reason #10 – Marketing

The internet has opened up a whole new world of marketing that didn’t exist before. Your website can attract new business by using Plixon makreting tools.

Reason #11 – Customer support

You can greatly reduce the cost of customer support by have a ticketing system, or even just an FAQ on your website. I can think of about 5 companies off the top of my head that streamline your customer service straight from your website.

Reason #12 – Email@mywebsite.com

I know there are other ways to do this, but by having a website you can have your own email address@whateveryouwant.com. It is more professional and easier to remember. I know you love your don’tknowwhat@gmail.com , but it doesn’t really resonate with customers.

Reason #13 – Press releases

I know that sounds a bit far out, but it is true. You can run really press releases online about your business, but to do it you will require a website. In fact, I have had clients who were absolute nobodies get one million views on YouTube because of online press releases.

Reason #14 – Stick it to the man

The best answer to “Why do I need a website?” would be that you can stick it to the man. It is the easiest way to quit your job and earn a living.

Reason #15 – Any topic or hobby will do

Do you love sports? How about ballet, alternative dance, photography, holidays, Kit-Kats, cars, skateboards, science or animals? Well, then you have a business idea just waiting to happen. The internet has room for an unlimited number of niche blogs that can attract traffic and revenue. Just pick something you love and start writing about it.

Reason# 16 – Connect with fellow web masters

On a little side note, if you own a website you get to call yourself a ‘web master’. Pretty cool! But reason #16 for ‘why I need a website’ is that you can easily make new business and personal connections with other website owners. This can lead to extra streams of income for you!

Reason #17 – Gives you a voice

Have you ever been in an argument with someone and said “Well, I have written an article about that on my website, and actually, that isn’t the case.” It feels great! For some reason people don’t want to argue with you if you’ve written about something on your website. It also gives you a place where you can voice your opinion without judgment. If someone leaves you a comment you don’t like you can just drag it over to the spam folder.

Reason #18 – Do business your own way

You don’t need permission from your boss or company lawyer. Ash Ambridge drops the ‘F-Bomb’ all the time because she can, and no else is asking her to stop. Now she has a world class business with thousands of customers.

Reason #19 – Beat the big guys

Have you ever wanted to get into business, but don’t know how to compete with all the big names out there? By creating an incredibly beautiful website with a solid strategy behind it you can smash the big guys to pieces. You have no chance of building bigger skyscrapers, but your website can break down the perceived wall between you and them.

Reason #20 – Instant credibility

Have you ever had difficulty making that sale? Or convincing someone that you are the real deal. By having a well structured website you can foster instant credibility with anyone. You can provide the ultimate proof that you are, in fact, the realest of all deals (couldn’t resist that phrase).

Reason #21 – Helps you to find a new job

I bet you didn’t see this one coming. I have been harping on about how a website can help your business, but it can help you personally too. Not only can a website host your resume or CV, but by owning and managing your website you have demonstrated tons of hard and soft skills. Having worked in HR once upon a time, I know it is valuable.

So… why do I need a website?

Can you think of a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t? It wouldn’t be a balanced argument if you don’t.