Superheroes of Marketing Podcast

How to Easily Create Effective Visuals for Content Marketing - Zach Kitschke #9

Posted by Alisa Meredith on Apr 1, 2015 10:36:00 AM

How to Easily Create Effective Visuals for Content Marketing - Zach Kitschke #9

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Our first guest with a really cool accent!!! Zach from Canva stopped in to talk about the importance of visuals in social media and blog posts.

As soon as you add one image in to a blog post it tends to get twice as many shares on Facebook and Twitter. I'm guessing if we looked at Pinterest, the impact would be even larger.

Canva finds that about 95% of the images that people pin are from inside the blog post rather than the image. They include some graphic design inspirational images and those are what get shared. So nicely illustrates that "inspiration" is what people want on Pinterest.

We're still waiting for the arrival of our new (non-crackly) microphone, but believe me, when he says, "Twittah" you won't notice. :)

Where to Start with Images

Don't complicate things. Start simple and build up. Consider the importance of branding - use your logo consistently, using your color pallette, brand fonts and even things like the style or filter effect of images. This not only improves your images, but builds your visual brand.

Use the Canva templates to get started. It's so much easier than starting from scratch, and it will help you learn what sorts of things make a good design.

Where to Find Design Inspiration

Well, Kelly and I find ours on Canva a lot of times :) The Canva design teams actually go out and look at other designs. For instance, when developing the new menu layouts, they went to restaurants and spoke to restaurant owners and looked at menus, collecting design element ideas they liked.

So, when you're starting with a template, think about what you like, which elements attract you - and incorporate those into your own designs. Or, look though Designinspiration or  Canva's design stream and when a user-created image catches your eye - ask yourself why.


Images for Social Media - What You Need to Know

The different social networks have different specifications for images. Pinterest, of course, uses a taller image, the ideal Twitter size is much wider and shorter. Canva experiemented with using one image size for all networks and it just didn't go well.

Check out the Social Warfare plugin for WordPress. You can have one image in your  blog post and specify other images of different dimensions for other platforms. Cool!

What About Using Visuals with Inspirational Quotes?

Some marketers love using inspirational quotes, and others feel that they're irrelevant, and maybe a little too "fluffy." Canva uses them to showcase design (by putting them on a pretty background and in an interesting font) and usually features a design-related quote. They get tremendous response. This pretty and effective approach, coupled with a brand-relevant strategy seems the ideal scenario!

And remember - if you are sharing quotes, make sure they look good!

The Facebook Page Challenge

So, we all know that the reach of the average Facebook Page has plummeted. However, Canva finds that they get more traffic referrals from Facebook than from any other source? The secret? While they do still share some image updates, when they share a link and allow Facebook to pull in the image from the post, they get a lot more exposure. This means you still need to have a beautiful image in each blog post!

Images in Emails

Use them! Canva now offers an email header layout. Start there.

Color Theory for Beginners

Look at the color wheel - on the outside are the bright colors - great for a pop of color or for generating excitement. Move to the inside and you get your more muted colors. If you see an image with a color pallete you like, you can pick those colors right out using an online color picker.

Keep track of your brand colors! Know your hex codes. Write them down and put them on your corkboard or on a sticky note on your monitor. Keeping these consistent will help build brand recognition faster. If you don't know your brand colors, you can ask your website or logo designer what your hex codes are, or use the above referenced color picker!

Zach mentioned the example of Corona - they are pretty consistent in their colors and filters. Check out their Pinterest account:

Taking Images from OK to Awesome

Consider the key elements of what you're trying to convey - think about the choice of colors, find a color pallete. What sorts of fonts would go well together here (check the design stream or layouts).  Experiment with filters, too. If you find a filter that you like, think about using that filter on all your images. You can even create a custom filter and copy the code for it (you'll see what I mean if you click on the advanced link) and use it for every image.

Trends in Images

Modern and clean is where it's at today. Color palletes come and go. Color usage and image choices are partly seasonal.

Which Social Networks Are Best for Visual Brands?

Well, Facebook may bring in the most traffic, but the engagement on Instagram is exponentially higher. In fact, engagement rates are as much as 50 times (not percent, times) higher on Instagram when compared to Twitter. So, as always, it comes down to considering your audience, your brand, and your marketing goals.

Kelly and I get a little "Fan Girl," but it really is a great tool and it will take your images from so-so, to POW!

A "Super" Secret Announcement and a Free Offer!!!

Canva is releasing a brand new product - Canva Pro!!! Keep track of your layouts, fonts, images and more (listen to hear the full details).

From now through the end of April, you can get a free Canva Pro Trial account here. You'll get a response with your unique coupon code. Enjoy!!!



 About Zach

 ZachAlisaZach is head of communications at Canva, an amazing, free, and simple-to-use online graphic design tool. He works across Canva's marketing, PR , social media, customer service and graphic design teams. In his free time, he's learning Spanish.

I was very happy to meet him in person at Social Media Marketing World last week!

Topics: images, visuals

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