Images. They capture us and invoke emotions when we least expect it. A picture is worth a thousand words. Our brains can process an image faster than it can read a string of text. We’ve all heard those descriptions about images, and those are the reasons they are so important in social media. Life is fast paced, and if you can’t get your message across in 1-2 sentences, then you have lost your audience (well, if you’ve gotten this far then I have captured your attention!).
Now that we are snug into the second month of 2015, we are starting to get the statistics and data from 2014. And one of the biggest results is the importance of the use of visuals in posts (on any platform). If you want to really get into the numbers from 2014, I encourage you to read 17 Stats You Should Know About Visual Content Marketing in 2015, by the great minds at Hubspot.
You can find countless articles written on all the great tools available for designing images for your posts and articles. They tout numbers like “Top 30 tools for …” or “My 15 Must Have Tools…”. Today I just want to share ONE tool with you: Canva.
Not only is this a FREE tool, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create stunning images. As with other tools, there are paid features. However, if you do end up using their paid features, they only cost $1. And that’s pretty affordable in my book.
The first thing I want to point out is the pre-made templates they offer for creating your images. As everyone knows, every social media platform out there is in constant change. That means that image size requirements for different locations are changing all the time. Canva keeps on top of this for you. When you go to change your Facebook cover photo, they will have the most current dimensions for you.
I’m going to go show you step by step how I created my cover image for this article using Canva. You will see just how easy it is to do this for yourself!
Step One: Select type of image to create
Choose the style/size image you want to create from the header selections (I’m assuming you have already created an account with Canva – remember….it’s free). I have chosen the “Presentation” design.
Step Two: Name and design image
This will open up a new tab/window where you will create your image. The first thing you want to do is name this image/file. Click on “Describe and #tag” and name this image (you can also use hashtags if you want to track this image in any way).
One the left side panel, you are given several options for creating your image. If you do not have any stock photos, I recommend looking through the “Layouts” tab. There are both free and priced items you can choose from. For this example, I am going to use an image I already uploaded by selecting the “Uploads” tab on the left. If you have an image you want to use on your computer, simply select the green “Upload your own Images” bar to start the process.
Now you simply drag and drop the image you want to use (this method also applies to any other features you want to ad to the image you are creating).
Now I’m going to go to the “Search” tab. In this area you will find lots of features you can add to your image. We will be looking under the “Text Holder” category.
Here you will see the Text Holder feature I selected. I simply dragged it into my image and added the text and colors I wanted to use.
Next I just drug my logo from the uploaded images in my account and placed it in the image.
Step 4: Save image
Once you are satisfied with your image, select the “Download” button in the top right of your screen. You will be given two options to save your image to your computer (I typically use the “As an Image” option).
Here is my final image (and it is the version used as my header image).
It really is that simple to create images for all things online. There are many other tools out there for you to choose from. I didn’t want to overwhelm you, so I stuck to just one. Now go out there and be creative!