The Best Tools for Managing Your Visual Content
Picture this. You’ve ordered the most amazing dessert. What do you do? Compose an email telling your friends about it, or take a picture and post it on Instagram? I’m betting the latter.
Images are immediate, engaging and prompt people to share what they’ve seen. Visual storytelling uses visuals on social media platforms to craft a graphical story around key brand values and offerings. Below are some of the best tools around to harness its power and make it work for you.
Video gives that priceless feeling of achieving face-to-face contact with your customers. It can capture emotions, inspire, educate, and entertain. Vitally, it must be in tune with the needs of your audience – if they aren’t engaged, they won’t watch or share the content
- Youtube: The possibilities are endless with the world’s second largest search engine after Google. Hyperlinks can be incorporated into the video itself to create a ‘clickable’ interactive video. You can even embed ads in video content to encourage viewers to click straight through to your store.
- Vine: This social app lets companies post short (maximum 6-second) video footage loops. Dunkin Donuts has cornered the market in producing quirky, colorful, commercials within this time frame. Customers can like, comment on and share your footage. So clips go viral across networks.
- Pinterest: Not just for photographs, it’s useful for posting infographics and videos, which many companies use to give short tutorials or how-to-style guidance.
Combining the best of both worlds when it comes to data and visuals, infographics offer an accessible way of visually showing information. And not just data, there’s an argument for using infographics to share expert information such as how-to steps.
- Infogr.am: This user-friendly platform claims it can help to create an infographic in minutes. That fact that it’s seen thousands created to date suggests there’s some truth to the claim.
- iCharts: A quick way to banish boring charts and create something that looks great. Data can be shared and embedded on any website, portal, dashboard or cloud-application.
- Visual.ly: An easy-to-use tool for creating infographics. It’s also a great place to upload infographics you’ve already created, or can be used as a resource for finding most popular and useful infographics based on various categories (i.e.: business, technology, marketing, etc.).
The beauty of GIFs, or pictures in the Graphical Interchange Format, is their ability to tell a bite-sized story in a few seconds. By using GIFs we can all become animators, creating mini segments of film using multiple images or still frames from a video. Use them to create stories around products and events or even to give customers a lesson in how your product works.
- Photoshop: It’s still the daddy when it comes to creating GIFs, giving you complete control to manipulate images.
- GIFboom: All it takes is 60 seconds to create a GIF from your camera, photo library or videos using this application. It’s then simple to send the GIFs to your friends via email, social media or MMS.
- Picasion: This web-based tool lets you upload a maximum of 10 images, or alternatively, import up to 50 images directly from Flickr or Picasa.
4. User-Generated Content
User-generated content is great for empowering your customers to tell the story of your product through pictures is a fantastic way of giving credibility to your brand, and engaging your fan base. The key is knowing what makes your customers tick – that should steer you when it comes to deciding what imagery or videos you want to encourage, plus the level of depth or creativity.
- FeedMagnet: This is a content and curation platform leveraging the best of social, user-generated and real time content across all of the major social media sites. Big brands like Ben and Jerry’s are using it.
- Olapic: An easy way of collecting, curating, displaying and measuring user-generated photos. It automatically gathers relevant photos from the most popular photo sharing networks and showcases them on your website.
- Seen: Seen piggybacks on the success of Instagram and Twitter, connecting businesses with consumers through visual media. Brands get an insight into their social communities and brand-relevant conversations through user-generated photos.
5. Photo Collage
If every picture tells a story, imagine what 10, 50 or 100 pictures could say about your brand. Multiple images and collages offer a great opportunity to highlight different attributes of a company, a product, or an event. The right assortment of images, artfully put together, can pull in the customer’s attention and maintain their interest.
- Bazaart: This app claims to be the most beautiful way to mix your photos into mind-blowing images. Best of all it’s free and can be saved to your camera roll and shared across Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and email.
- Diptic: Offering more than 170 collage layouts, costing $0.99 each, this application allows you to customize frames, filters, and text captions. Either post directly onto any app that supports JPGs or share via email.
- PicMonkey: A free tool for editing and adding filters, text, shapes to images, or for creating collages.
I hope you have found this quick round-up useful. For more tips, tools, and information, please take a look at my latest book, The Power of Visual Storytelling.