After working as a Brand and Marketing Strategist for one of Nigeria’s foremost end to end IT companies, I absolutely agree with the thought that a key ingredient of Sales and Marketing is CONTENT.
In the organization I worked for, we have as a team sat for hours drawing up digital marketing strategies, matching them up with contents that are specifically targeted at our Ideal Customer. Every time I hold a coaching session with clients on what I know to do best; social media marketing, I usually take them through everything they need to know about the topic; social media branding, niching, personal brand development, authority building, customer persona, audience insight, marketing then I usually end by telling them that everything we have covered is nothing without good content. Then I close the session by teaching them content creation.
You can market all you want but without content, not just content but targeted content, just forget it.
If you are going to generate leads, you need content. If it is engagements you are after, you need content.
That aside, let’s talk about my tools for creating graphics for social media.
90% of my social media graphics are done on my phone. I only use my PC when I have a low battery on my phone or when I am working from the PC.
That said, here are my top two.
The first app but not necessarily my favourite is Snapseed. Snapseed is a photo editing app that is available for both Android and iOS users. It also has a desktop version for those you want to take advantage of the real estate a larger screen offers.
If you do a lot of mobile photography like me, I need this app.
Snapseed has features that allow you to improve the quality of your photos, give room for double exposure meaning that you can add photos on photos. It also allows you to include text to your image and it comes with a list of creative text but only a few of them. There are also pre-set text layouts that you could jump on and use.
I love this tool because with it, I can adjust my picture to whatever I want and the blur feature just makes me love it even more. Don’t worry about how to use it, it is simple to use, you just play around it plus it comes with tutorial videos too. On top of that, it is free.
When you are through editing a photo or creating a banner, we can share directly to any social media platform or download it on your device.
One disadvantage of this app is that you get what you give it in terms of dimensions and unlike Canva, it doesn’t host your finished works so once you exit without saving, you may have to start all over again.
Canva is another app I love so much when we talk graphics on mobile. Canva is the most popular and commonly used mobile graphics app mostly because it is robust, use to use and has a wide list of prebuilt templates.
Canva has templates for almost every kind of graphics you want to design; Over sixty thousand templates for designing Facebook cover photos, ebook covers, Instagram stories templates, flyers, logo, call cards (business cards), posters, presentations, invitations, just name it.
Canva has thousands of predesigned templates but must of them are premium meaning that you will have to pay a few dollars if you must use them.
If you love to build from scratch, Canva also gives you the opportunity, however, photo manipulation options are limited which makes it less suitable for photo editing. However, you have millions of free and premium stock photos to choose from when you create.
One beautiful advantage of Canva is that you can use it to create
Canva also has an endless list of fonts to choose from. This makes it one of my most preferred apps for graphics.
Once you are done creating, you can share directly on any platform, download, or publish it live on Canva so that your design can be seen by other users.
I create my book covers on Canva and render them into 3d on a different web-based app.
Canva started as a web app only useable on desktops but now has both Android and iOS versions.
I have used other apps like Desygner, Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and a few other Adobe products, some I have even forget their names. I must say that Adobe has got some really powerful tools but I do not fancy them so much partly because I use Adobe CS6 on the desktop and it gives me all I want so I don’t really consider it a thing to have it on mobile too.
Adobe sparkle is an alternative for Canva and Adobe Lightroom will do good as an alternative to Snapseed but they only have limited free options, if you want more, you pay.
A FEW TIPS FOR DESIGNING
1. When I design, the first thing I consider is why am I doing this for? That lone question determines a lot of things in my design process.
2. Choose pictures that grab attention. What you want is to make people stop when they see your graphics.
3. Select your colors and mix
them creatively. Most times, I settle for only two colors that complement each
other. I love red a lot, something about that color that grabs attention.
White on black sends a clear straight message maybe not urgency though.
4. Don’t just pick a font. I choose fonts to represent the kind of reaction I want. Italics, brush strokes, bold and all.
Finally, while it is good to have some best apps for your mobile graphics works, I must add that experience makes a lot of difference. Just like writing, daily practice gradually brews sour grapes into fine wine.
At some point, I made at least two designs on Canva every day, not for anything but practice.
I am a trained artist and so I cannot separate my professional training from this as it has helped me understand in details the principles and elements of design however with constant practice you will begin to understand more and more how colors work and what fonts are best for what.
Your Content and Digital Media Strategist.