The expression "Use a picture. It's worth a thousand words." appeared in a 1911 newspaper article quoting newspaper editor Tess Flanders discussing journalism and publicity. With the ability to add text to that perfect photo, we can now say it’s worth more than a thousand words.
In 2015, both Facebook and Twitter introduced video to their platforms and for good reason. Studies have shown that users are 44 percent more likely to engage with content that contains pictures and video falls into that category.
So let's dive into the meat of this subject. Before we discuss the tools to use to create your visuals we need to create a strategy.
Decide what goal you want to achieve for the end result? Is it to drive traffic to your site or landing content? Create a connection or engagement (likes or comments), driving more shares or click-throughs, or a combination. Then determine exactly where you are going to lead them. Will it be a page on your site, a free download, a signup form, a blog, event information, or simply to view a video?
So what kind of visual should you have?
It's amazing to us and maybe frustrating to our clients how their audience engages when we post a motivational message. These are only one type of visual to include. Others include: quotes, tips, and photos. There's never a loss for comments on these types of visuals.
Then there's what I call the value added visuals. These are how-to images, checklists, and tutorials. Pinterest is loaded with these. You show people how to save time, make or save money, or look more attractive, you'll have plenty of click throughs. These do take longer to create. Because of the need to create screenshots and add content. Last month's article in the 422 Business Advisor included these types of visuals when I showed screenshots of a fledgling Facebook Business page which needed major help.
Then there's video. With Periscope, Snapchat, and Facebook Live making it super easy to share, you need more than ever to have a plan. One of the features I like on Facebook Live is the ability to choose your audience. If you want to take a live feed but aren't sure whether there will need to be editing, just tape it to yourself, download and edit. Needless to say, videos require more planning and effort.
So what about the tools to make all these cool visuals?
Well first you need a photo. There are free sites to download royalty free photos. A word of caution: DO NOT grab photos from a Google Search. They may be watermarked and copyright protected. I learned the hard way. The sites are: FreeDigitalPhotos.net, StockVault.net, FreeImages.com and many more.
All of the tools I’m sharing with you are mobile apps. There are other programs you can use to create beautiful graphics from as simple as PowerPoint to Photoshop. One of my favorite mobile app tools to add text to photos is Word Swag. It does cost $3.99 but is well worth the invested money. It's easy to use and, if you don't have a photo, they provide plenty of photos to use. The downside to this one is that it is only available at the present time for IOS. Other tools you may want to check out are Over with its layering and blurring affects. Then there's Phonto which allows you to do a lot of things with text on images, as well. Oh, and did I mention PicMonkey and Canva?
Are you ready to make your pictures say a 1,000+++ words?
As you can see there are no reasons why you shouldn’t add a visual to your messages on your social media, print material, blogs. You can create a visual for everything.
Source: "Speakers Give Sound Advice". Syracuse Post Standard (page 18). March 28, 1911.