How to Create Free Images for Visual Social Marketing

By Krista Neher

As you become more involved with visual social marketing, you soon realize that you need a wide variety of images. In some cases, you can take photos and edit them, but in other cases you need to buy photos or find unique ways to create the photos you need.

As visual marketing strategies move toward the need to create images that are pinnable (images that clearly represent their underlying content), the need to create good-looking images quickly grows.

You can create images to accompany your visual marketing strategy in many easy ways. You don’t have to become a designer or download any special software to your computer.

How to create images through drawing

Though the use of editing tools and software seems to be the obvious choice for creating images, don’t forget about the option to draw or write on paper, a whiteboard, a chalkboard, or chart paper.

Use your physical surroundings to your advantage, and don’t hesitate to draw or write. Variety is vital to keeping your visual social marketing strategy interesting, and real-life pictures can be a welcome change.

Boot Camp Digital uses a whiteboard in their office to create some of the images they use on social media.

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Be creative and find different ways to create images for your visual marketing strategy.

How to use image sharing sites

As you consider the tools available for your visual social marketing strategy, don’t forget the role that image sharing sites may play. The two most popular image sharing sites are Flickr and Picasa. At these photo sharing sites, you can create a free account and then upload and share your photos. The sites give you basic photo editing capabilities and let you interact with other site users.

Though Facebook is the number-one site where photos are shared online, for the reasons described in the following list, you may want to share images on other photo sharing sites:

  • Images on sharing sites are search-engine-friendly. Sharing images on a photo sharing site makes images more likely to show up in image search results at Google and other search engines. Because photos shared on Facebook aren’t indexed by search engines, search engines can’t see the images you share there.

  • Your photos gain increased visibility. The reality is that not everyone is on Facebook (though a billion or so people are), so limiting your image sharing only to Facebook may prevent certain customers from seeing your photos. Sharing them on Flickr makes them available to everyone.

  • You can allow others to use your photos. On some photo sharing sites, you can choose to license your photos so that others can use your images. If you want to share your images, or allow others to use or build on them, photo-sharing sites are the way to go.

  • You can participate in a community of photographers. If you’re interested in photography, photo sharing sites such as Flickr can be valuable resources. Many photographers use these sites to share images and connect with other photographers. You can discover, and connect with, other photographers on these sites.

  • You can find images to use. Flickr allows photographers to select licenses for their images, and some of the image licenses allow images to be used commercially. Some images from Flickr can therefore be used in your visual social marketing strategy.

    Some photos require attribution to the photographer, so carefully verify the license of any photo you use, to be sure that you have the right to use it commercially.