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Tools of the Trade: Let’s Get Creative!

Tools of the Trade: Let’s Get Creative!

There are plenty of professional tools like Adobe Creative Cloud that can help you create amazing custom graphics and visuals for your social media profiles. However, if you don’t have a graphic designer on your team, those programs might seem a little bit intimidating. People who are new to social media marketing and veteran digital marketers who aren’t quite tech-savvy still have options! There are several tools that are quick to master and easy to use. Here are some of our personal favorites.

Primary Function: Design tool with a myriad of uses.
Pros: One of the most user-friendly tools available today. Enables users to collaborate with team members. Users can also create videos.
Cons: Users don’t have much creative freedom, as they are limited to Canva’s fonts and graphics. There are skills and programs that can help you circumvent this (e.g., creating a .png file with Adobe Illustrator and uploading it to Canva), but people who can do so would likely not need Canva in the first place.

Primary Function: An application from Evernote that allows users to capture, share, and annotate screenshots.
Pros: Free. Intuitive. Easy to use. Quick.
Cons: Work cannot be saved to a local drive.

Primary Function: Online source of free stock photos.
Pros: Massive amount of photos. Every photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license–meaning that each picture is totally free and available for any legal purpose, whether personal or commercial.
Cons: Paid applications have even more photos.

Primary Function: Create professional infographics from thousands of templates.
Pros: Easy to use. Intuitive. Lots of existing templates. Premium accounts are quite reasonably priced. Account options include one for companies who deal with sensitive data.
Cons: Free version has far fewer themes, images, and fonts.

Primary Function: Data visualization tool that enables users to create interactive charts, infographics, maps, and more.
Pros: Designs can be interactive. Great for dealing with complex data.
Cons: Free designs require inclusion of its logo. The basic package does not allow rich text editing (no fiddling with fonts).

Primary Function: Presentation software.
Pros: Cloud-based. Teachers and college students are eligible for free non-Public accounts. Mobile version is available.
Cons: Better suited to creative presentations (not great for, say, presenting the third quarter budget projections). The Public option is free, but public–anyone can view your work.

Primary Function: A tool that lets people with no design experience create professional-looking presentations, reports, posters, and infographics.
Pros: Cloud-based. Very intuitive. Suited for all experience levels. Over 200 templates are available. Lots of different options for accounts, including free basic plan.
Cons: The paid plans are a little pricey. Similar versions of some of the premium templates are available for free on other platforms.

Primary Function: A community for storing and sharing presentations, but also hosts documents, videos, and webinars. Owned by LinkedIn.
Pros: Claims to be the largest online community for sharing presentations. Cloud-based.
Cons: Freemium, meaning that you must purchase premium content and features.

There are hundreds of programs, applications, and tools available–these are just a few of our favorites. Each proves that you do not need an MFA in Graphic Design to create basic visuals for your social media branding materials.

We have a team of marketing and design experts who can take your branding materials to the next level!
Contact us today for a free consultation!

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