Not everyone is a graphic designer. It can be expensive to have someone create custom images all the time. Besides the monetary factor, not everyone has an eye for design. Creating beautiful images requires a specific skill set. But, if you follow branding agency websites, then you know that there are a myriad of best practices when it comes to creating beautiful and effective images. Learn how to bridge the gap between skill and knowledge.
Here are the tools and things to keep in mind when creating digital marketing images.
Do: Use Tools to Assist Your Designing
Even the best graphic designers couldn’t create the beautiful images they’re known for without relying on some specific tools. Luckily for beginners, there are plenty of easy to use resources to assist with digital marketing image creation.
Stock images can make great backgrounds for blog feature images or social content. There are free and paid options, depending on the client or budget. The most important thing to keep in mind is that whatever images you use that you didn’t take yourself must be legal for you to use. A failure to follow the rules can result in cease and desist letters from angry photographers and potentially a fine up to several thousand dollars. Use free and paid stock photo websites to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Besides stock photos, you may also want to use icons and other illustrations on digital marketing images. The same rules apply regarding legality, so proceed with caution.
A great tool for the digital marketer who doesn’t completely understand graphic design software like Photoshop is Canva. Canva makes it easy to create images using pre-built (and easily customized) templates. It’s drag and drop functionality is perfect for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time learning the platform, but would rather focus on creation.
Finally, make sure that the images you create implement elements of your existing branding. What specific fonts, colors, and other stylistic elements are present on your website and across print marketing materials? Incorporate these things into social media and blog feature images. If your images get shared often, you may also consider adding a logo watermark to increase brand impressions.
Do: Use Keywords to Describe Images
When using images in a blog post, it’s important to categorize them effectively. Always use an ALT tag to describe an images. This makes it so that people using screen readers can still understand what it is, even if they can’t see it. Another important ALT tag features is including the target keyword of the post in the ALT tag to help with SEO.
But the ALT tag isn’t the only place where the target keywords should be used, in regards to images. It’s also necessary to add it to the file name and title tag. As images are a strong signal of relevance for SEO, it’s important to take care with naming mechanisms.
Don’t: Use Same Image Across Social Networks
Once you’ve made an image, you can just share it across Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram, right?
Each of the aforementioned social networks have completely different image dimensions. If an image looks funny to you, it definitely looks funny to your followers. A bad look can definitely affect engagement, and ultimately – conversions.
Take the time to optimize images for each specific social network you use. Canva has a “magic resize” tool available to paid users, and Sprout Social’s Landscape tool will help you do this for free (though without editing abilities).
Do: Use Video
The new trend in creating stunning visuals is not limited to basic graphics. GIFS and videos are another important conversation for a digital marketing team to have with regards to content. These moving images tend to create more engagement than graphics ever have. And it’s not as hard as you might think to create video that works.
To sum up, graphic design doesn’t come cheap and can be difficult for someone without a background in design. But you can bridge the gap between time and money when you follow these best practices to create digital marketing images that work for your audience.
What are some digital marketing image do’s and dont’s that you swear by? We’re continuing the conversation on Twitter – just tweet your thoughts at @MabblyTribe.