We all know the saying…
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’
But for content creators and social media managers, its not that simple.
We can’t just dive into Google images and save off the best images; we have to be conscious of copyright issues.
If we hire a professional photographer or designer to create some bespoke images we’ll spend a pretty penny.
But we need to create powerful images to help our content.
Seriously, we need to create powerful images
According to this great HubSpot article we need images…
- For ENGAGEMENT – Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%
- For INFO RE-CALL – When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
- For COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE – Only 27% of marketers have a process in place to aggregate, organize, and manage the visual assets being used across their marketing teams.
- For VIRALITY – Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
- For SHARES – Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images.
If, like me, you don’t have the budget to outsource your imaging requirements you’ll need to do it yourself.
Here are some helpful places to both find and create powerful images.
FIRST – Sources to help create powerful images
ONE – Unsplash.com
All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero (CCZ) which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.
As if this wasn’t helpful enough, the Unsplash folks and the website visitors recently spent some time tagging pictures, which means they now have a pretty cool search function.
You can join their email list if you’d like 10 new images in your inbox every 10 days.
This is probably my favourite, especially for scenes from nature and city scapes.
TWO – Gratisography.com
Gratisography also provide free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects under CCZ. New awesome pictures are added weekly.
The catalogue is not as extensive as Unsplash but they are quite different. It even has a Whimsical category if you’re looking for something completely left of centre.
THREE – FreeStockPhotos.org
FreeStockPhotos is an offshoot of Hubspot and they have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Free Stock Photos. This is a great repository for ‘work’ related images, like office scenes or people in meetings.
SECOND – Format for type
The bigger the file, the better the image quality… But this can slow down the delivery of the image significantly. It can also slow down the speed of your website and as Mailchimp will tell you obliterate your email and not give it a chance to get read because it takes forever to open.
If you format your image file to the correct dimensions it will give it the best chance of being delivered. Also, if you’ve run the image through an editing tool you can seriously reduce the size of the file with limited reduction in quality.
The good folks at MakeAWebsiteHub.com created this cool infographic showing exactly what size you image needs to be for the various social channels.
I’ll talk a bit more about formatting when we discuss some of the editing tools. (Click the image to open in a new window and then click again to expand to full screen)
THIRD – Cool Tools
ONE – Canva
For a long time I was a Canva agnostic. However, because people, particularly influencers, kept talking up this website I finally gave it another go… And now I love it!
After you’ve been using it for a while you’ll start to recognise other Canva created images from around the ‘www’… They are everywhere!
The best part about Canva is it has lots of templates already pre-set to the correct dimensions. Whether its Facebook cover, Pinterest graphic, an eBook or an infopgraphic you just upload you image and add the design features and text.
TWO – Pixlr.com
Pixlr used to be my go-to image editor – mainly because there is an online version, so you don’t have to download anything and because its free. It’s real easy to uyse and lots of feature have been added over the years.
(UPDATED) THREE – Adode Spark
Adobe have introduced this new, free tool for crating images. I’ve only tested it out briefly and it feels more user friendly than Canva. At the very least it’s nice to have more options.
FOUR – Notable Mentions…
Powerpoint – Having used Microsoft Powerpoint for almost 20 years, I’m pretty familiar with building presentations and the images inside. Can be clunky if you dont know your way around; but if you do it can be handy for pulling images and text together.
Computer Application – Dont forget your laptop/PC probably has an image editing tool pre-installed. No doubt, it’ll be basic to at least you can format the dimensions and reduce the file size.
Have you anything to add?
Have you any top tips you’d like to share about finding and formatting images? Drop a comment below and share some of your social media experience.
If you’d like to get in touch with me, it’s easy, you can find my contact details HERE.
Thanks for reading.