Images and photos are very important in online marketing. The eye is attracted to images more so than text, and one scientific study has documented that people are able to recall 80 percent of what they see and only 30 percent of what they read.
The photos and images used on a company website and blog are part of the first impression and overall perception of a business by visitors. Images online are even more important with the growth and use of social media as a marketing tool for business. On Facebook, for example, not only do photo posts get more engagement than links, videos or text-based updates, they actually account for 93 percent of the most engaging posts on Facebook. Since engagement is important in social media for businesses as it is the method by which affinity is measured that ensures fans see more of a company’s future posts, the importance of creating and editing images to grow engagement and communicate messages visually is critical to success online.
As a result of the need for businesses to communicate well visually online via their website, blog, and social media efforts, a key is being able to edit and create custom images While many companies may have a designer on staff or outsource key visual projects to professional graphic designers, many smaller companies or companies wanting to react quickly have a need to do image manipulation themselves.
There are many software tools that can be purchased such as Adobe’s Photoshop and related tools, but these can be cost prohibitive and difficult to master for the non-designer. Fortunately, the growth of free or low cost online image editing software has grown substantially in the past few years.
Pixlr is a quality online tool with actually a number of different options for different needs. When you arrive on Pixlr.com you have three options, Pixlr Editor, which is the advanced editor most similar to Photoshop. If you want to create images from scratch or do advanced editing on images, this can be a great tool. No cost and lots of functionality.
Pixlr Express is a second option and it is great if you want do some quick editing to images. You can upload an image or take a photo and then start editing. Pixlr also offers a basic editor, Pixlr O-matic, with ability to change image colors or tones, similar to the Instagram mobile app.
If you want a simple to use and basic photo editing tool, Picmonkey, can be a good choice. Simply go to the website, upload the image to edit and make changes. It is quite simple to crop, adjust color, add text, or apply features such as a border. One of the key ways to use images in social media is to add a simple text caption to an image and Picmonkey makes this easy.
This is a new online tool that is still in beta but offers great features for the non-designer. The key to Canva is that it offers great templates for free and even professional images for $1 that you can then customize, download, and use. It has a simple interface and great features to add and edit images.
These three online tools give the business professional who is a not a design pro the ability to quickly and easily edit images. While a professional designer is still important for your larger and overall brand design, these online tools can help a marketer quickly and easily create the type of visual images that communicate and work well with blog posts, infographics and social media.
Mike Gingerich leads the Social Application division of web design company, Digital Hill Multimedia (http://www.DigitalHill.com). He is a co-founder of TabSite.com, a leader in Facebook fan page tools for businesses. TabSite offers brands the power to boost Facebook marketing with contests and promotions. For more information on TabSite, please visit www.tabsite.com.