Surely you’ve heard a thousand times that of “content is king”, right?
However, there are many people who do not fully understand this statement and focus on developing texts, texts and more texts, forgetting about the design of striking images that catch the reader from the first moment.
Therefore, we agree that “content is king”. But this includes all kinds of content. A content marketing strategy should also include the images, videos, infographics, podcasts, or even ebooks you offer.
I don’t mean that you “should” include all these formats in your strategy (that wouldn’t make sense either, if they don’t fit the type of content you can offer), but I do think you should consider other formats beyond pure text and Lasted. A good example of this is taking care of the design of images with which you accompany these texts.
“Transmitting messages visually favors direct connection with users and one of the best ways to make your content enjoyable and pleasant, is by including beautiful images (especially at the beginning).”
Do you dare to learn how to design images that convey the message you want to get across?
For example, and to give you an idea of its importance, whenever I launch a new publication, I am concerned in the first instance that the featured image (or cover) impacts and conveys the main idea at a first glance.
Surely you have seen a lot of cover images with different attraction elements and styles on networks: from vector illustrations, with a single representative element, to high-quality photographs, with headlines that combine different typefaces.
And have you ever wondered how these featured images are achieved or designed?
Well, I confess that, in reality, achieving a result similar to that of a design professional (although not the same, of course), is easier than you think.
I encourage you to continue reading this post so you can work on your content marketing strategy to take it to the next level. We will see:
- Online and advanced tools for image design.
- 100% recommended image banks.
- Up to 5 essential tips to create beautiful photos for your posts.
4 Tools for designing images online
Devoting yourself to designing your own cover images may feel a little overwhelming at first, especially if you have no experience with graphic design or retouching tools.
In fact, companies and entrepreneurs with sufficient resources end up needing the support of an externally outsourced freelance professional.
But, if what you want is to be able to get out of trouble with something nice for your posts, don’t worry about it now, I assure you that we have more and more options to create designs online!
This is one of the most popular online tools among bloggers and amateur designers. It is a free tool that presents a multitude of options and templates that can be easily adapted to your needs.
Canva was one of the first tools of this type to appear and, little by little, it has evolved to provide a very complete portfolio of services in terms of custom image design.
With it, you can design from the cover images, of which I speak so much in this article, to infographics, personalized postcards and covers of books or magazines.
In addition to the multitude of formats that it offers when working, it also has a wide catalog of predesigned templates, which are very easy to modify and customize.
It is a tool that emerged to create infographics quickly and easily. However, its popularity has made Piktochart evolve, a lot!
Now, in addition to making infographics, it allows you to create presentations, flyers, posters and reports. In the section to create posters, there are different options of sizes and templates, which also allows you to create images for the covers of your posts.
Piktochart has a Premium option, which offers a very large number of templates and formats, which you can adapt to your needs.
The free option has very limited options in terms of templates. However, if you are good at designing and have creativity, you can also create good images starting from scratch.
This is the free star tool from Adobe. They launched it a little over a year ago and since then, it has been gaining a lot of loyal fans.
Adobe Spark is one of the simplest design programs to use and has many pre-established options that will make your job easier.
It is a tool designed, precisely, to facilitate the work of bloggers and community managers, so its formats include all the sizes of images for social networks and blogs.
Spark’s designs have the text as the main protagonist, so they are ideal if you want to include the title of the post or something similar in the cover image.
Pixlr is an online image editor very similar to Photoshop or other paid tools. It is not as complete as the previous ones, but it has many internal tools, which will facilitate the design of cover images.
It is not as easy to use as the other tools we have seen, since it is somewhat less intuitive. However, those who have previous knowledge of image editing will like it, since it allows working quickly and online without the need to install a complete program.
3 Advanced Image Design Tools
The online tools we have seen before are very good for beginners, but if you have the support of a professional in graphic design or have somewhat more advanced knowledge, I recommend going one step further.
“Think that tools like Adobe Spark, or any other in a free version, do not allow you a total customization and, sometimes, they are somewhat limited.”
So, if you want to go a little further, you will surely prefer some of the advanced tools that we are going to see below.
The programs in the Adobe package are almost certainly among the most popular among designers and marketers. All of us, before or after, have tried to retouch an image in Photoshop with more or less resolution, for the design of our images.
The programs in this package are for professionals, although on the Internet you can find many tutorials that will help you learn how to use them.
The most prominent are:
- InDesign: It is intended to design and layout pages of an editorial product.
- Illustrator: As you can imagine, it is focused to create illustrations.
- Photoshop: the jewel in the crown, designed to retouch and modify images.
All 3 allow you to export and import files from the other programs, so using them in parallel, you can achieve great designs for your cover images for posts and digital content.
You can also consider doing a course to learn about the Adobe world. Of course, if you’ve never done anything design before, they’re going to be a bit overwhelming. My recommendation here is that you take it easy and go little by little.
It is a professional photo and image editing software. It stands out for being one of the few that does not require a monthly subscription, but can be purchased with a single payment.
It has more than 40 different tools to design the cover images of your articles and can process practically all types of files.
In fact, it works directly with many camera files, which are not compatible with other programs.
It is available for both iOS and Windows, but there is no version compatible with other operating systems yet.
Among the most popular advanced tools, this is one of the easiest to use. It is much more intuitive than the others and this does not detract from its power and possibilities in image design.
Pixelmator is for Mac, and presents many functions that are perfectly adapted to this operating system and its own characteristics.
In addition to retouching images, you also have options to create illustrations from scratch, design images based on fonts, or add optical effects.
Where to find images for your covers?
You already have information about tools and programs with which you can make your own images for the covers of your posts.
Surely now the next logical question will arise; “Where do I get the resources to create those designs?”
This is precisely what we are going to talk about now, about image banks that you can use to download royalty-free resources that will be very useful to you.
- Pixabay: This is a free image bank that, although not the most complete, has very good quality photographs. All of them are royalty free and can even be used for commercial purposes.
- Freepik– A free bank specialized in vectors and illustrations. It also contains photographs, but its catalog is much smaller than that of other similar websites.
Every day they publish new free vector graphics that the Freepik team develops, apart from all the material that users can upload.
- Pexels: It is one of the best free image banks. The content they offer is always of high quality and, although they do not become like Premium banks, professional resources can be obtained.
- Flaticon: is a bank of icons and buttons. It may not seem relevant to you at first glance, but when editing an image and personalizing it to meet the standards of your blog, it will be very useful to have such a tool. They have thematic packs that follow the same aesthetic, but also with icons and loose buttons that can solve more than one situation.
- iStockphoto: This is one of the payment image banks that we are going to see. It is the “little brother” of Getty, a version adapted to all pockets and with a tighter catalog. While Getty offers all kinds of materials, iStockphoto focuses on quality photos accompanied by some vectors and illustrations.
- Shutterstock: It is one of the most popular among designers, bloggers and other professionals related to image and communication. It has one of the best and most complete catalogs, and all the resources it offers are of a very high quality.
- Fotolia: It is the Adobe image bank, and with the license of some of its programs you can get a pretty good subscription.
It is also associated with WordPress and other blogging tools.
Tips for designing images for your posts
With clear resources and a selection of tools to design cover images for your posts, the time has come to start creating.
How you decide to design these images is up to you. No one knows the public and readers of your blog better than you. In addition, you must adapt the images to the written content and the themes that you usually use.
Still, there are a number of tips that I would like to give you when it comes to getting to work with the design of the images for the covers of your posts.
Let’s go see them!
Balance between text and image
This first point is important in several ways. On the one hand, because the balance between all the elements is always necessary to achieve a good image design. But, on the other hand, because it is an essential requirement in both email marketing and Social Ads.
You may not see the importance of these channels in your strategy now, but if you want to integrate them into your online marketing actions tomorrow, you will need all your content to meet their demands.
Otherwise, you would have to redo the images for all the content you want to use.
As for the design, the abuse of text on the images can make it difficult to read, or even produce rejection by users (and especially, by advertising on some social networks, such as Facebook Ads).
Proper proportions to responsive design
Keep in mind that users today surf the Internet from any device. Doing a quick analysis of Google Analytics data you will see that your readers will surely connect from computers and mobile devices.
For this reason, you should think about them and create images with appropriate proportions to fit the design of your blog on the desktop and also on other screens.
Consistency in style
If you want to create a solid brand image, you will always need to go in the same direction. Therefore, it is worth spending a few hours looking for the style that best represents you.
In addition, it will save you a lot of time in the long run, since you only have to adapt the following images to the content following the style that you have previously defined.
Consistency with content
The images for the covers of your posts should reinforce the theme and content of the articles you write. It is the first thing readers will see, so it should help them get an idea of what they will find when reading the text.
If you want to retain readers, you will always have to offer them the best of yourself. The contents, whatever they may be, must always be professional and of quality.
The quality applied to the images means:
- Do not use pixelated resources or resources that do not adapt well to large screens.
- Always take into account the legibility of the texts.
- Do not cut important parts of the image that may affect its meaning.
- Use colors that look good on screen and are not annoying.
Images, along with videos, are the contents that users like the most on social networks. Similarly, they are very attractive hooks for readers to jump into reading your content.
For this reason, I strongly recommend that you take the time to create your own style when designing cover images for your posts. The one that will make you recognizable on the Internet!
What other aspects are essential for you to make our content stand out from the competition?
Freelance Digital Marketing Consultant and Content Manager. He has university training in International Business Management and Teaching. She is currently the Marketing Manager of MadridNYC and administrator of the blog Diseñocreativo.com