10 Visual & Graphic Design Tools to Enhance Your Digital Marketing
Visual and Creative Marketing is mandatory within our digital world, and online marketing strategies. We are visually stimulated creatures we have a visceral reaction to visual content. When I design my games, videos or transmedia stories, I focus on color, branding and new invigorating ways to awaken the digital mind through new media design. Creating a WOW factor is what I strive for in my visual storytelling.
It is proven that blog posts, social media posts and content marketing with photos, images and videos are more often shared, liked and promoted. It’s eye candy for the viewer, potential customer and your tribe.
The power of images
The power of an image is evident in this above example. Using images, photos, hashtags and videos enhance the optimization. The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
So here are 10 simple steps to enhance your visual marketing techniques. Ways to reduce the human hours you have used in the past to create promotional graphics, and ways to become more efficient and mobile at the same time.
Tim Ferriss States
“Being able to quit things that don’t work is integral to being a winner”
― Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek
And I totally agree. For many years I took the long road, being a perfectionist, I dropped that old story! Although I was a digital nomad my life was changing, I was no longer a soulful bohemian hipster walking the walk alone, with time to spare. I had two young sons, a hubby, private health practice and online business! Outside of that my family and I were living nomadically with foundations and organizations all over the world, serving as volunteers in midwifery, community development and more!
We had a second child and we were living in hill tribe villages in Northern Thailand. So I let go, and “QUIT” programs and patterns that didn’t work for me, my growing family, and online business. I’m an avid ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD user, and yearned for on-the-go apps and programs which generated amazing result in a blink of an eye. I needed to be mobile, if not 100% then at least 90% when it came to on the fly design and branding.
These are my top 10 apps and graphic programs, part of my daily ritual, and the programs I’d love to share with you!
So with that said, here are 10 simple ways to maximize your time, and create efficient and thought provoking ads, power statements and your WORD, using these apps and programs for visual marketing success!
1.) CANVA: Graphic Design (iPad & Desktop) FREE & PAID Versions (CANVA FOR WORK) $12.95/mo
(No Affiliate Partnership available at this time)
CANVA is a drag and drop graphic design program for your personal computer and iPad! Yes iPad! With CANVA you can design beautiful and modern promotional materials, social media images, branding packages and much more. They released their CANVA FOR WORK program, so sign up now! CANVA is currently a free program with millions of stock images, templates, fonts and design elements.
I am using the new CANVA FOR WORK, thanks to Guy Kawasaki! He gave me a 90 day trial at Social Media Marketing World, this past year in San Diego. The CANVA FOR WORK program allows you to create a branding profile with your logo/fonts/pre-made layouts. And also allows you to add team members. Think of this as a one-stop design shop for your entire team. If you are a solopreneur, this program will make your life much easier, and with confidence. You can design on the fly, creating your visual ads from the heart and mind. Save money on a designer and do it yourself! From your iPad or laptop, design from your own space be it a beautiful office or an office without walls and boundaries. I have been using CANVA for years. I use it for my website images, banners and even for my apps and video designs. Hence, my number 1. I am now a member of CANVA FOR WORK AND LOVE IT!
FIND OUT MORE HERE!!! CLICK for CANVA
USES for CANVA: the uses are limitless, you create your own dimensions or use their templates
- Social Media Posts: Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/Google+
- Promotional Design
- Posters and Flyers
- Invitations & Cards
- Magazine and Presentations
- Cover Art: Facebook/Twitter/Youtube/Google+
- Ads: Twitter/Facebook
- Website and Widgets
- Banner Design
- Marketing Materials
- Office Documents: Letterhead/Business Cards/Email Headers
- Ebook Covers
MY EXAMPLE: This is an infographic poster (FULL SIZE) I made for my app SCRUB NINJAS® a promotional piece for pre-med students, made in CANVA
2.) PicMonkey: Photo Editing & Graphic Design (Desktop) FREE & PAID ($33/Annual Membership)
(Affiliate Partnership is available at this time)
PicMonkey is a photo editing and graphics program available online as a desktop application. There are a lot of similarities with CANVA, but I feel that PicMonkey allows you to do more creative work with typography, using masks, and photo filters. This program is loaded with a ton of features for photo editing and image creation. You can also create promotional pieces for your visual marketing projects. I always use this program to edit my photos, although I love Photoshop, I feel this program allows me the on-the-go feel that I need for my nomadic business. Here are some amazing features. With PicMonkey you can edit, enhance and design from one place!!! Love it!
USES for PicMonkey
- Photo Editing & Enhancing Tools
- Create Promotional Materials (From Scratch)
- Picture Collages
- Themed Designs (Holiday)
- Tons of Fonts
3.) PiktoChart: Infographic Creator Program (Desktop) $15 Lite/$29 Pro
(No Affiliate Partnership available at this time)
Okay, this is a really fun program, and most importantly, a beneficial program to learn! Using Infographics is a powerful way to tell your story, to give specific information and facts. It’s a digital storytelling to your consumers, audience and peeps. I have made so many from scratch with Illustrator and other graphic programs. They are tedious and time consuming, but there is a benefit to creating custom designed infographics for branding purposes and unique ownership. I do both! and I will show examples. However, the beauty of this hot lil’ program is that there is a wild array of pre-made customizable templates! so don’t fret. People can spend 100’s of dollars having infographics made from designers. I know, I’ve been the designer! My point is, that today entrepreneurs can learn to do it themselves vs. spending thousands on design campaigns, or thousands in student debt like me! To be a forward thinking mompreneur, or entrepreneur you need to design your thoughts on the go, so this is a beautiful way to tell your story, sell your product and give detailed information. Also, it’s great for Pinterest! and all your social media platforms! re-purpose that content! turn your blog into an infographic!!! like I did with this one.
USES for PIKTOCHART
- Point and click editor makes it easy, even for non-designers
- Choose from over 400 templates, icons and graphics
- Use our extensive image library or upload your own
- Unlimited customisation to make your infographic unique
- Create professional infographics, reports, marketing materials
- Publish your creation online or print out in glorious high resolution
MY EXAMPLE: This is an explainer infographic for my program i’m launching this Summer, created in Piktochart.
FIND OUT MORE HERE!!! CLICK HERE
4.) eLearning Brothers: Elearning Templates & Design (Desktop)
(Affiliate Partnership is available at this time for PRO members)
CHECK OUT E-LEARNING BROTHERS CLICK HERE
eLearning Brothers is an online program with a variety of templates and design assets for educators, game based instructors and educators. However, it’s just as powerful for entrepreneurs and small businesses in regards to presentations, stock images and more! I use their products for my ecourses, elearning presentations and stock images for my industry. If you are an instructional designer and use interaction builders, this is a great membership program. eLearning Bro’s has templates for: Adobe Captivate, Adobe Edge Animate, Adobe Flash, Articulate, Camtasia, Lectora, and of course Powerpoint. These programs allow you to create animated presentations, quizzes, courses and games. I design medical video gaming apps, so this program is essential for me! I get a ton of stock images, cut out people and medical device images through this membership. So I recommend it highly for instructional designers, elearning designers and developers like me.
5.) Creative Market: (Desktop) for graphics, images, backgrounds, fonts, etc. Also weekly FREE products.
(Affiliate Partnership available is at this time)
Creative Market is a platform for handcrafted, mouse-made design content from independent creatives around the world, passionate about making beautiful design simple and accessible to everyone. I’m a seller and buyer with this site! I love this site because of the custom fonts, art and graphics. A wicked bonus is all the FREE GOODS! every month they give away fonts, images, graphics, textures and more as free bonus files. GET this months FREE GOOD! CLICK HERE
6.) Studio Design APP: Graphic Design (iPhone/iPad/Android) In App Purchases
This is my GO-TO on the go APP! Great for social media posts, especially INSTAGRAM. An amazing visual marketing tool! Excellent for the Foodie Hipsters doing their Food Porn Shots for their blogs. There are also re-mixes, from other designers that you can flip and draw inspiration from. Another benefit is the ability to design beautiful and inspirational quotes, motivating posts and fashion or hipster phrases! CHECK OUT STUDIO DESIGN APP CLICK HERE
MY EXAMPLE: Inspirational Thoughts #quotes
7.) Moldiv APP Photo Editing/Graphic Design/Collages (iPhone/iPad/Android) In App Purchases
Moldiv™ lets you combine and edit multiple photos to make amazing collages. Moldiv has fantastic frames and lots of professional editing options. Especially Moldiv offers awesome photo effects and great decoration features like text captions and numerous stamps. A wicked little app for newspaper/magazine/blog layout and collages. Another go-to app on my iPhone I can’t live without.
CHECK OUT MOLDIV APP CLICK HERE
MY EXAMPLE: Inspiration Post
8.) WORDSWAG APP: Typography/Photo Editing App (iPhone/iPad/Android) In App Purchases
WordSwag is a font and typography generator. A creative way to get your WORD out in style. An additional app for your social media and visual marketing needs and designs. Create amazing text layouts that would normally take minutes – or even hours in Photoshop – with just a tap. Only WordSwag has the exclusive Typomatic™ type engine that makes this possible.
CHECK OUT WORDSWAG APP CLICK HERE
9.) OVER APP: Typography/Overlay Art/Graphic Design (iPhone/iPad/Android) $1.99
Create beautiful text and creative art overlays, express your story visually with this app. A powerful add-on that lets you overlay logos, branding, and custom artwork to your photos.
CHECK OUT OVER APP CLICK HERE
10.) SKITCH: Organization & Sketch APP (Free)
SKITCH Get your point across with fewer words using annotation, shapes and sketches, so that your ideas become reality faster. I use this app all the time on my mobile devices and the desktop to create ‘How-To’s’ for clients, and tutorials. SKITCH also has screenshot capture tools, and so much more.
CHECK OUT SKITCH APP from EVERNOTE CLICK HERE
- FUN: Mark up photos of silly, cool, or inspiring things you see and share them via social, email, SMS, and more.
- HOME: Annotate photos of your backyard to plan out your vegetable garden
- STUDENTS: Share a diagram of the earth’s layers and have students label it with you
- EVENTS:Capture a map, mark it up, and share it with your friends to show them where you’ll be.
- WORK: Open a PDF and highlight changes to skip the lengthy, confusing email chains and give clear feedback.
MY EXAMPLE: A SKITCH walk-through on CANVA’s NEW program! CANVA FOR WORK
RULES FOR THE DIGITAL ROAD:
*Always use royalty-free stock images: The fines can be up to 10k for using images that are copyrighted so don’t RIGHT CLICK on Google Images! be respectful of others property, and become mindful of what is out there to enhance your message and blogs.
Here are some Stock Image Sites: Click on Links for more information
Creative Market (Free & Royalty Free Images)
Deposit Photos (Free Stock Images)
elearning Brothers Stock Library (Royalty Free Images)
iStockphoto (Royalty Free Images)
Shutterstock (Royalty Free Images)
PhotoDune (Royalty Free Images)
*Use Your Own Backgrounds and Themes: I am a fanatic about using custom backgrounds and personally love Creative Market and Graphic River. I buy bundles of backgrounds at a time for my graphic design, web and new media design projects. That way you can download them to your personal computer and upload them to CANVA, PicMonkey and my photo apps. You can also save them in your phone and use them as backgrounds for your quick design posts by using the apps I’ve listed above.
Image Sources: Crazy Egg