The Best Image Editing Tools for Content Marketers
September 17th, 2014

The Best Image Editing Tools for Content Marketers

by Ashley Bullin

With a growing emphasis on content marketing, writers are feeling more pressure than ever to create their own visuals. After all, not everyone has a team of graphic designers at their disposal! In content marketing, readers most often stumble upon articles as a result of social media. This isn’t to say, however, that some readers won’t find your content on search results pages—but you’d be relying heavily on your search engine optimization tactics to pay off. And hey, it’s possible—it just requires a lot of great content, so keep it up!

In social media, readers are likely drawn to articles and blog posts as a result of an eye-catching graphic accompanying your headline and description. And we’re not referring to a boring stock photo either—your audience can spot ingenuity in a heartbeat. We’re talking about an image created specifically to complement your content.

So how does one create such an image without the use of sophisticated editing programs like Photoshop? Especially when you’re a writer, not a designer! Luckily there are several free tools available to help you. From simply adding text to images, to creating collages and infographics— check out the list below to help you create an image that results in more clicks to your content.

Canva
This free application is great for a variety of graphics—not only in digital marketing, but for presentations, business cards and more. Sign into Facebook for Canva to automatically pull your photos, upload directly from your computer or utilize stock imagery available on the platform. Add text, customize layout and backgrounds, and finally save as either JPG or PDF files. Their tutorials and ‘starter challenges’ make the tool extremely easy to learn. Their user-friendly layout couldn’t be more straight forward either—you’ll probably most often choose ‘blog graphic’ from the list on the home screen to start your project, or you can begin by using custom dimensions if you have them.

Look at this image we created in just 15 minutes! (And by “we,” we don’t mean the graphic design team.)

Sage Island Canva Graphic

Infogr.am
Nothing says you’re a pro content marketer better than a trendy infographic. This site lets you create your own infographics and charts using a variety of templates. (Of course, you can always upgrade for more style options.) Add your own charts, maps, text, photos and videos to customize the infographic for your needs.

Unsplash
This one was handpicked by one of Sage Island’s graphic designers. And yes, it’s a site with free stock images. When a client has their own library of images to pull from, we’re happy as clams. But this isn’t always the case for brands, is it? Unsplash provides users with free high-resolution photos—to do with them whatever you please. And hopefully you’ll be able to pull an image and put your own spin on it by using some of the other tools included in this list.

Fotor
We’ve all seen that one friend (or maybe it’s you) that uses the Pic Collage app to create that perfectly square photo collage to post on Instagram. But what if you need an image that’s not square? Or one that’s a bit higher resolution? Maybe you just want to use your desktop for goodness sake. Our team of writers is guilty of having spent way too much time in Photoshop trying to put together compilations of screenshots that portray what we feel best demonstrate brands’ abilities to strengthen their stories through content. So imagine our joy when another one of Sage’s own graphic designers revealed Fotor—a free tool you can use to create image collages in a variety of sizes right on your desktop!

Wordle
When all else fails, or you’re on a deadline and you just need a quick, quality visual, we suggest a word cloud. In case you’re not familiar with this term, a word cloud is just an image composed of words. Word clouds come in different sizes, shapes, color palettes and fonts, and emphasized words are usually larger than the rest. There are many tools available to create word clouds, but the simplicity of Wordle makes it the best option for novice designers. Simply copy and paste either your content or a URL from which to pull content, then customize the look of your word cloud from their many options. An important thing to note, however, is that the application requires Java to run—and Chrome, one of the most popular browsers, does not support it. You’ll need to use Firefox or Safari instead. And you may notice there’s no way to download your word cloud after you’ve finished—only an option to save to a public gallery. According to Wordle’s terms of use, however, you may use screenshots in articles, blog posts and books.

Here’s an example of a word cloud we created using the URL for a recent guide to digital marketing jargon:

Sage Island Word Cloud

Now that you’ve discovered this wonderful set of image editing tools available to help you create visuals worthy of your content, you can begin to drive more traffic to your website. And hopefully capture more new leads that will, in turn, result in increased ROI for your business. Let’s just hope your website is up to par—because if it isn’t, you’re turning away new business! Give Sage Island a call today if you think your website may be out of date, or it’s not generating the leads you’d like. Our team of account managers, designers, copywriters and programmers can bring new life to your website.