Quality Visuals on a Shoestring

Posted: 14th November 2017


By: Kim Gilmour

Quality Visuals on a Shoestring

Did you know 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual and this is processed 60,000 faster than text?

So it can’t have escaped your attention that visual content is becoming increasingly important in the world of social media, whether that be Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. This has progressed to the rapid growth of visual platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat. This phenomenon has been called The Visual Shift and this blog will give you links to some free resources to help you with your own Visual Shift.

The 2017 Annual Social Media Examiner Social Media Marketing Industry Report* proved the importance of visuals:

  • 74% of respondents used visual resources in their social media marketing – up 3% on the previous year
  • 60% of respondents were using video
  • Visual content and videos came out as the second (37%) and third (21%) most important form of content, just behind blogging (38%)
  • 73% of marketers stated that videos were the type of content that they would use in the near future, with visuals at 71% – and the area, including Live Videos that people wanted to learn about.

So there is no doubt that visuals will help you create engaging content with visuals and capture that all important attention of your time-poor customers. Here’s some ideas of how to create a variety of quality of visuals in your social media marketing – even on a shoestring!


Do make sure these are high quality and relevant. If you can use original images so much the better- your products, behind the scenes, staff, displays, where you are visiting/working. Don’t be tempted to download images from Google, you could end up paying dearly for breaching copyright.  If your business is not very photogenic there are many free images that you can use under a Creative Commons license on sites like Pixabay and Flickr.


If you don’t have photogenic products or services, you can create your own images for free on packages like Canva and Pablo. You can overlay words onto pictures, and create event notices, posters, blog headers etc.  So there really is no excuse not to have some sort of image if you are posting on social media. This is one I use on Facebook, Twitter and have had printed into a postcard sized flyer.

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Part of LinkedIn, SlideShare you to create and share a professional presentations and tutorials. It is a great way to add media to your LinkedIn profile and is also a great source of information for learning. You simply upload your files to create a presentation and save as a pdf before uploading. For example you could break a blog down into a number of pages with visuals for each key point. Try to make them high on design and visuals rather than lots of text that means that longer presentations can quickly be flicked through.


Another good way of breaking up posts about your own business is to post a relevant, motivational or funny quote within an image. There are lots of sites out there such as Brainy Quote and PostQuotes– why not save the ones you like to Pinterest so you can access them later? Before posting always make sure you can share them by checking the website, crediting the originator or including any credit in the image rather than cropping it out. Or to avoid copyright issues you can create your own branded quotes in packages like Canva.


Similar to SlideShare, these are great for presenting complex or factual information such as the key results from some research in a highly visual manner. These are getting easier to create with packages like Canva, Infogram and Piktochart which have great templates (this was the first infographic I produced) or if you have access to a graphic designer you could ask them to create one.


Memes are images (often the same image over and over again) that are accompanied by humorous captions. Meme’s are not just for students, they can be a great way to lighten up your content but make sure they are relevant to your business and not offensive.  You can also upload your own image at sites like this one via Meme Generator.



A GIF, or Graphical Interchange Format, is animated image format that is easy to share, again they might not be suitable for all businesses but it can show a bit of your personality if you use them on social media. For example to thank or congratulate someone, or for a Friday afternoon or weekend post.  You can find a GIF for more or less any topic using websites like Giphy which are free to share.


Video is the fastest growing content that is shared on social media – and it’s not just YouTube but short (less than 15 second clips) across all platforms including live streaming and live video. There are some fantastic resources out there, far too many for this blog but you could start with Facebook Live, video editing apps on your phone, Windows Movie Maker, or video creating tools like Flipagram or Powtoon.

According to Mammoth Infographics, one of the leaders in visual marketing your visuals can:

  • make complex information easier to understand
  • give you immediate impact
  • make your content easy to share
  • support improved brand awareness
  • increase engagement
  • convey the benefits of your product or service
  • increase website traffic and SEO ranking

So if you’re not using visuals in your marketing you need to think about why!!