Creating great images for your SMB is more important than ever. Social media continues to put emphasis on images by allowing businesses to create large cover photos and banners for their Facebook pages, Google+ pages, YouTube channels, LinkedIn company pages and now the new Twitter profiles. Most networks have even made shared images more prominent in their feeds.
Not a designer? Not a problem. There are some easy-to-use tools out there that can make you look like a designer without being one. Here are a few of my favorites that can help you with a variety of design needs.
Do you need an image to use for a social media post, Facebook cover photo, presentation slide background, blog graphic, business cards, or other print media? if so, then Canva is a great tool to try. They have hundreds of templates that you can customize for a variety of uses, both online and off. You can even add in your own photos, or use the stock photography they provide within their platform. Best of all, if you don’t need stock photography, you can use this tool to create as many images as you like for free!
One tip: if you don’t find a template you like in one area of the tool (like the perfect Facebook cover), look in another area. You might be able to create a great Facebook cover using a template from the presentation slides and just crop it down to the right size for Facebook.
Infographics tend to spread like wildfire when they have that perfect combination of interesting and useful data along with beautiful design. Piktochart can help you create a great infographic that you can use to share rich data with your audience and boost visibility for your business. They have over 100 themes to choose from for your infographic, with pricing starting at $29 per month (or less if you pay for your subscription quarterly or yearly).
If you’re not sure how to start with infographics, take a look at what other businesses are doing for inspiration. You can quickly search for infographics on Pinterest to see which ones get the most interest on a wide array of topics.
Don’t pay for word cloud images from big stock photography sites. Make your own using Wordle. Just enter the words you want shown, and you’ll get a word cloud that you can customize using different font sizes, font colors, and background colors.
The only downside to this free tool is that it doesn’t let you easily download the image you created – you’ll have to use a screenshot program such as Jing screen capture it and save it as a PNG. And remember, screenshots can make great images too when applicable to your content, and best of all they’re free!
If you like to create images using your Android or iOS mobile device, then you should give Aviary a try. This app comes with 20 tools that allow you to go beyond Instagram filters. You can apply quick enhancement effects, use filters, frame, overlay with stickers, change orientation, crop, adjust brightness, sharpen, splash color, draw, add text, fix red eye, whiten teeth, blur, fix blemishes, and even turn your photo into a meme.
It’s the ultimate photo editor for mobile devices and best of all, it’s easy and free to use. And if you find yourself needing more filters, frames, stickers, and other options, you can buy them when you need them.
For those who are just embarking upon a new business venture, it’s tough to imagine spending hundreds of dollars on a logo. What if you could make one yourself for free? LogoGarden is a free online tool that helps you quickly create a professional logo. You simply choose from hundreds of symbols that best represent your business, choose your fonts, and then add in your business name and tag line.
If you’re not sure how to get started, take a look at the hundreds of samples they have in their gallery for every industry from accounting to travel.
Imgflip Meme Generator
Want to add a little humor to your content and social shares? Try the Imgflip Meme Generator. This free tool will let you add a little Grumpy Cat, Doge, and Condescending Willy Wonka to brighten up your audience’s day. They definitely make for shareable image content! Just remember not to go too overboard on memes – use them every once in a while to spice up your blog posts or social posts.
If you want to learn about the general usage of certain memes, you can search for them in the Know Your Meme database. And don’t forget you can create your own custom memes using your mobile device and the Aviary app that we mentioned earlier.
P.S. The homepage of this site shows the latest user-submitted memes. Be warned that some are NSFW.
Now start creating
Thanks to the awesome web-based tools out there, you don’t have to be a designer or need to own a powerful computer to create professional images that your audience will love to see and share! Experiment with these tools to see how better graphics can boost your content and social media updates. And if you create infographics or video, be sure to give them some extra promotional push so they achieve the best results possible for your business.