I’m not a designer. These apps are usually free up to some level, and offer efficiencies like drag-and-drop editing and templates. It’s sharp and simple, and if the design and dimensions are what you’re looking for, all you need to do is edit the text. Here’s an example of a pull-quote design template from Canva. Not only is it important to stay on-brand, but colors also encompass their own spectrum of emotions. Get Creative with Fonts and Layouts The trouble with using free online design apps is that, well, lots of other people use them, too. Whenever possible, add unique touches and flares. Maybe your company’s designers are too busy to create graphics for each blog post you write, but can provide a few customized templates or fonts for you to upload and use. But for quick one-off graphics to promote or accompany a blog post, these practices have proven really critical. Speaking of captivating visual imagery, there may be no more important platform to add some of that wow-factor than on social media.
I’m not a designer. I’m not artsy. I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
I’m a writer to the core. But, as much I love words, I recognize that they don’t jump off the screen and grab people’s attention. Let’s face it: even the most beautiful prose is pretty ugly, from an aesthetic standpoint. You’re not going to find a framed portrait of blocky text hanging at the Guggenheim anytime soon.
As a marketer who is admittedly lacking in design skills, I’ve done an awful lot of reading on the subject, and I do my best to soak up knowledge and advice from the awesome group of visual wizards here in the TopRank Marketing design department.
My belief is that any writer who wants their work to be seen should be seeking to sharpen expertise in this area.
Design is Essential to Content Marketing
A compelling and unique graphic on a social media link can be the deciding factor when it comes to earning a click. Once a visitor arrives at a blog post, they’re liable to quickly move on if there isn’t an eye-catching visual to immediately pull them in.
These statistics help portray the vital importance of keeping design front-and-center:
- Posts with images produce 650% higher engagement than those with text only.
“Design is content,” asserts Patrick Pineda, motion designer for TopRank Marketing. And he’s right: treating visual elements as separate add-ons for your content is a mistake. Without the help of integrated imagery, great writing can easily go unnoticed.
The trouble, of course, is that your design department may be stretched thin or you need super quick turnaround. And while this is never an ideal scenario, if the need arises, you can create simple, professional-looking visuals that enhance your content by adhering to a few simple guidelines.
1. Find a Tool You Love
The emergence of user-friendly apps for graphic design has been huge for folks like me. No longer must we stare blankly at a Photoshop interface while trying to figure out the functional differences between three different paint-brush icons.
There are plenty of different options out there for executing simple design tasks. Find one you like and take some time to get comfortable with it. These apps are usually free up to some level, and offer efficiencies like drag-and-drop editing and templates.
Here are a few worth trying:
- Canva: My personal go-to. Tons of templates, backgrounds,…