Creating professional-standard, engaging content without an in-depth knowledge of Photoshop and InDesign can feel like a daunting task – but it doesn’t need to be! Whether it’s for social media, your website, email marketing or offline channels, visual content is a crucial element of your Digital Strategy.
There are plenty of tools and tricks that can simplify the process and ensure you can create unique, informative, eye-catching content every time. Whatever the brand or business you’re designing for, the rules of good content remain the same.
So, here are our four top tips for making your way in the world of content, no qualifications in graphic design required.
1. Create a brand guideline
One of the most important factors to consider, when creating content for social media, is consistency. The fonts, colours, images, and backgrounds that you use form your content marketing pillars. Having a firm idea of what these are is going to make your job a lot easier.
So before you start designing, make sure you’ve established some brand guidelines. It can sound limiting to choose a palette of three or four colours, but it’s the best way to start to create strong visual branding that people will be able to recognise as belonging to you.
Fonts can be an essential facet of your branding, but whether it’s thick and bold or dainty and fancy, it needs to be easy to read. When creating a graphic, keep in the back of your mind the question, “would I understand this, if I have never seen it before?”
Other key questions to keep in mind include; is your messaging clear? Does the layout work? Do the colours complement each other?
2. Canva is your best friend
Photoshop and InDesign offer advanced tools for editing images, but for most of your content needs, Canva is your right-hand man. As a content creation platform, Canva can bring your vision to life, regardless of your experience. Whether you’re a professional designer or you want high-quality content for yourself or a new brand.
Canva is accessible to any ability; it doesn’t require training and is pretty self-explanatory. With a vast array of templates for all types of social media posts (it’s also great for things like presentations and CVs), you can guarantee you’ll find the inspiration that you’re looking for.
But if you feel you’re confident to make your designs come to life, Canva has the tools to make you feel like a designer, even if you might not be.
3. Choose your colours carefully
The colours you use in your content are among the most determining factors in how people understand your brand, so it’s essential that you choose colours that work on a practical level (they make your text readable) and create the right impression.
Did you know that sociologists think that 93% of human connection is non-verbal? It’s the same with the content that we see. We’ve all heard the famous phrase “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” – well, it’s also how it looks.
For example, when we see green, brown, or neutral colours, we think of natural surroundings, whereas orange and red have associations with fire, stop signs and danger.
So, it can be helpful to think about what your brand represents and the colours associated with these themes to help guide your colour choices.
4. Listen to your audience
If you’re using your graphics to promote your brand on social media, it can be beneficial to keep an eye on the engagement metrics on your posts to see which are the best performing. This will help you build up a picture of the content that your audience finds the most engaging and allow you to incorporate more of this into your content plan.
If your audience responds well to a type of content, you could consider repeating it once a week or once a month. For example, you could post a relevant quote on your organic social media every week but change the quote. This allows you to build a structure for your posting and create templates that are easy to adapt to create more content.
To summarise, the key to successful content is establishing a solid foundation that considers your audience’s needs and your brand’s objectives. Once you’ve made sure the basics are right, you’ll be well equipped to start experimenting with new types of content to see what works for you.
The world of visual content is exciting and constantly evolving, with social media and content management platforms continually creating new ways for you to communicate visually with your audience.
With that being said, our final piece of advice is to have fun with it and embrace the opportunity to make all your ideas come to life!