Creative content is the life force behind an effective inbound marketing strategy. Without strong visuals that create lasting impressions on your targeted audience, you may as well go outside and yell; you’ll be that effective.
To put the power of visual assets into perspective, consider that:
- 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their efforts – ahead of blogging at 68%.
- Within B2B circles, over half of marketers prioritize the creation of great visual content.
- In B2C crowds, 73% of marketers agree that the top priority for an effective inbound campaign is creating more engaging content.
As if that wasn’t enough cold, hard fact – video is primed to represent 80% of all internet traffic by 2019, and people who interpret information via an image retain up to 6X the information they see, as opposed to just hearing it.
So, visual marketing and creative content are wickedly effective in today’s digital marketplace. But how do you begin to navigate this sphere of viewable information and create your own content? We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 20 impressive visual marketing tools that are sure to help accelerate your inbound marketing strategies.
Photography & Zero Attribution Images
Founded in 2014, Pexels is a free stock photography database that features over 30,000 beautiful contemporary photographs all licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, requiring no payment, and no attribution that’s free for commercial use. Photos are tagged and easily searchable. Every month at least 3000 new stock photos are added so the inventory is constantly fresh and growing.
Based in Montreal, QC, Canada, Unsplash offers marketers, writers, freelancers and designers access to free high-definition stock photography contributed by photographers all over the world under the Creative Commons License. Most of Unsplash’s selections are breathtaking landscapes, and they upload 10 royalty-free pics every 10 days. Attribution is not required.
Operating out of LA and offering beautiful, artistically-driven, geologically-influenced stock photography, Superfamous Images are available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, meaning that you can use the work in web development and content campaigns as long as credit is provided.
Created in 2014 by designer and photographer Viktor Hanacek out of a need for higher resolution stock photography, Picjumbo currently offers over 2.5 million images for creative content purposes. Photos are available for use in commercial projects, and attribution is greatly appreciated.
Pixabay is a web designer’s dream. All photos and videos are offered free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0 and attribution is not required. The search feature makes the site one of the best, and the photo resolution is second-to-none. Founded by Hans Braxmeier and Simon Steinberger of Germany, Pixabay maintains a contribution quality guideline process to ensure that available photos never waver on quality.
Over 100 million designs have been created using this template-based design tool since its inception in 2012. Canva is one of the most powerful and seamless tools available online today, offering free web design tools to build ebooks, infographics, email headers, menus, etc. You can change photos, swap fonts, adjust colours, whatever your heart desires. The premium subscription allows you to access thousands of design templates, fonts, backgrounds, and ideas.
Pixlr is a royalty-free, innovative and professional photography editing software available online through two separate platforms – Editor and Express. Editor is much like Photoshop wherein designers can work with layers, and transform more complex design attributes directly from their browser. Express meanwhile is for more quick corrections, overlay effects, borders, etc.
Provides everything needed to make creative marketing ideas come to life – from photo editing, to graphic design, to collage-making. Picmonkey offers exclusive effects, and superb touch-up tools for photography, as well as a plethora of tasteful and fun fonts. It’s also a powerful design tool, offering a logo maker, poster maker, and card maker – and can even muster up wedding invitations.
Recently acquired by Canva and rebranded as Canva Font Combinations, TypeGenius is a typography tool best used to develop meaningful expressions of the written word through font aesthetics. Putting together fonts in your designs that complement each other is a subtle art that helps prospective customers and audiences to interpret your brand in a specific way – all by altering the font and layout of your text!
While a niche visual marketing tool, Placeit allows you to customize various Macbook, iPad, iPhone and iMac product mockups for promotional and marketing purposes. It also features Placeit Video, an affordable way to create seamless and professional product videos. A casual subscription plan will cost you a meager $29/month and gives you access to the platforms vast database of templates and images.
Video Marketing Tools
The strength of Animoto lies in its ability to take your videos and photos and turn them into marketing videos, slideshows and customizable digital campaigns effortlessly. The mobile app allows you to access your Animoto account from anywhere, turning trade-shows, conferences and events into impromptu marketing opportunities. The Professional package offers the best bang for your buck, giving you 1080p resolution and allows you to access 2000 music tracks to add some life to your content.
A powerful online video editor that allows you to customize and tailor footage up to 4K in resolution. WeVideo features advanced video editing features that allow anyone to jump in to create professional videos on the go without much experience. It’s music library is much smaller by comparison to some of its competitors, but its advantage lies in resolution capabilities and cloud storage, and its affordable pricing.
Linkedin’s offering to the world of visual asset marketing tools comes by way of SlideShare, a global hub of professional content and one of the 100-most visited websites on the internet. The app allows you to upload and view presentations, infographics, documents and videos. SlideShare’s claim to fame is that it’s helped millions of entrepreneurs and organizations establish themselves as experts in their fields thanks to over 18 million uploads and 70 million unique visitors per month.
Previously known as Video-Stich, Orah is a virtual reality pioneer and 360 video production solution that provides both stitching software and 360 cameras; they also feature live streaming capabilities and post production for 360 content. Video-Stitch software makes editing and stitching together 360 videos easy and fast, while Vahana VR is Orah’s live VR video software, perfect for tourism, events and concerts, real estate, or development industries.
Biteable is a fast, free and easy online animation creation tool geared at boosting digital marketing strategies with viral video animations for social media, web development and blogs. Animations can be used as presentation explainers, advertisements and promo material, making them versatile and accessible. Biteable’s animations are fully customizable and can be created from scratch, or from a plethora of engaging templates.
Hybrid Content Tools
A customizable online infographic and chart creator focusing on helping business analysts, journalists, teachers and project managers visualize information helping to make it accessible and enjoyable. Infogr.am features over 35 chart templates and over 500 map templates to visualize date beautifully, and boasts over 1 million images to use in your creations. It’s also built for collaboration – so coworkers can pass along your ideas and findings to colleagues with project-editing in mind.
Perfect for visual marketing and social media use – and adding a zest of video to incredible stock photography – cinemagraphs are video still frames that are customizable by painting motion directly onto the screen. Winner of a 2014 Apple Design Award, Flixel’s cinemagraph app is used by some of the world’s most well-known and respected brands, from Facebook, to Ikea, to HBO.
In-depth market research is the precursor to any great visual marketing campaign, and creative collection of market data is the name of the game for Survey Monkey. This survey builder is geared at helping organizations and brands to gather crucial data from their targeted audiences with use of stunning and interactive survey templates and filters.
With visual and interactive content becoming the status quo in today’s digital marketing, leveraging some of these tools can greatly help in accelerating your Inbound Marketing efforts. Now jump in and start getting creative with your content!