Introduction

Content marketers and bloggers are constantly creating and sharing visual assets with their copy. Images have become an important asset for search engines and social networks. Users not only search with keywords, they also browse images to find what they need. Pinterest and Facebook are showing high traffic over images and the interaction of users with them increases constantly. Statistics show that publishers and content creators are prioritizing the creation of visual content. Some stats of the content marketing institute support this.

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For this tasks, several tools are available that allow marketers and bloggers without formal graphic designs skills, and without big budget to be able to delegate, to create amazing graphics. In this article we are listing 4 easy tools that have a proven record in the industry and are available online.

Our first choice of tools are the presentation tools, not only because of their versatility and installed base, but also because almost everyone with a computer has faced at once the task of creating a presentation and how easy is to create graphics and texts. Also, there is a complete social network (SlideShare.net) dedicated to share presentations.

The second group of applications are the new online design tools created specifically for online marketers, finally we present a great tool for infographics,which is becoming one of the preferred graphic asset within marketers for presenting quantifiable information.

Microsoft PowerPoint

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Microsoft PowerPoint is the popular presentation design software included in Microsoft’s productivity suite Office. PowerPoint has a legion of faithful users in the online marketing arena. Not only because it is installed in almost every Windows PC in the world, but also because its is extremely easy to use. The most popular features of PowerPoint are:

  1. Native graphics engine (vectorial) with layering.
  2. Professional Layout management
  3. Use of any font supported by the OS.
  4. Editable Charts and graphs (through excel)
  5. Professional graphics effects (3D, 2D, shadows, colors, etc.)
  6. Professional Photo editing capabilities (Cropping, effects. etc.)
  7. Exportable to every known format.
  8. Animations Engine (frame by frame)
  9. Transition Effects
  10. Online collaboration through powerpointonline.com

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Creating a cool PowerPoint graphic assets from scratch requires some knowledge that might be overwhelming at first. So we recommend to reduce the learning curve and start from already made content. PowerPoint Templates are created for reducing design time, allow the user to reach designs with publishing quality. You can select several popular sources of PowerPoint templates. Some of our favorites are:

  1. Free PowerPoint Templates (fppt.com): Huge free gallery of PowerPoint templates. Find your graphic easily and with good quality.
  2. SlideModel (slidemodel.com): Professionally designed powerpoint templates ranging from business designs, to icons, shapes, infographics, maps, etc. High quality with a modern design and look and feel. Tutorials and free templates are also available.
  3. SlideHunter (slidehunter.com): Free Gallery of templates focused on diagrams and business presentations.
  4. Indezine (indezine.com): Number one site of powerpoint news and tutorials. Every question can be answered through their content.

Google Slides

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Google Slides is Google’s Drive copy cat for PowerPoint. It is SaaS by nature and some of its original features are stronger than other presentations software with more time in the market. Like PowerPoint, Google slides design process is slide by slide. The improvements over the interface have been fascinating in the last years, and it can be said that professional designs can be created with this tools.

From our standpoint, the most impressive features for content marketers are:

  1. Native graphics engine (vectorial) with layering.
  2. Use any google fonts (huge gallery of cool fonts)
  3. Basic Charting features (static)
  4. Basic Photo editing capabilities (Cropping, effects. etc.)
  5. Exportable to popular format.
  6. Online collaboration (the best tool ever for online collaboration).

In this case we suggest the same approach used for powerpoint. Instead of creating designs by scratch you can access libraries of Google Slides Templates and Google Slide Themes

You can select a couple of popular sources of Google slides templates.

  1. Slides Carnival (slidescarnival.com): A popular site with editables google slides for educational audiences. You can find cool designs for your presentation and banners.
  2. Free Google Slides Templates (freegoogleslidestemplates.com) : A great gallery of professional google slides. The main differentiator is that its designs are targeted to different audiences. Great inspiration for banners and slideshares.

Canva

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Canva is a SaaS platform created specifically for the digital market user. It tries to provide a simple interface and pre-created templates for the marketing purpose. In terms of functionality it offers the basic design tools any graphic design package should have:

  1. Use any fonts
  2. Basic vectorial engine.
  3. Professional Layouts
  4. Photo editing tools (Cropping, effects. etc.)
  5. Exportable to popular format.
  6. Online collaboration (the best tool ever for online collaboration).

So in terms of functionality, it does not seem extremely powerful, so why is so popular ? Simple, it provides built-in templates extremely targeted to marketers and the interface is super simple to follow. Every user, can create a good visual asset in few clicks, without leaving the platform (as we saw before, other software packages require external assets to really be accessible for the regular user).

Canva offers the following templates:

  1. Social Media: It provides layouts and examples formatted for the different placeholders in social media (headers, background images, posts, etc.) For the popular social networks (twitter, pinterest, facebook, instagram, etc.)
  2. Presentations: You can create slide like creations , the same way you can do with powerpoint and google slides.
  3. Documents: Format of Templates for brochures and marketing materials.
  4. Blogging and Ebooks: Templates for custom made ebooks and blogging images.
  5. Marketing Materials: Several Templates for marketing visuals.

Canva provides a free account with several features that are worth to try. A professional look and feel can be achieved with little effort and some ideas from the built-in examples.

Designbold

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Designbold is one of Canva’s competitor. It is based on the same idea of SaaS platform targeted for digital marketers with little or no designs skills. The interface and features are very similar to Canva, but the most noticeable difference would be the available templates. Designbold templates have more complex graphics, layouts and animations, this means that users can create graphics with a higher degree of complexity from editable built in examples. The highlighted features would be:

  1. Amazing fonts library (open source and proprietary)
  2. Advanced vectorial engine.
  3. Professional Layouts
  4. Photo editing tools (Cropping, effects. etc.)
  5. Exportable to popular format.

Conclusion

In this article we have pointed 4 tools of easy access where any marketer and blogger can create amazing graphics with little effort. I hope you can make some use of this list and that you can comment your experience with them. I know there are several other tools to server this purpose but I decided to point those were I have great experience and proven track of success,

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Nirmal Anandh
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Nirmal Anandh

CEO at RAAM IT Solutions
Hi, this is M Nirmal Anandh from the "Temple City", Madurai. I am the Founder of this blog.My profession is, as a CEO in RAAM IT Solutions. It's about E-Publishing, Data Conversion and Data Entry Projects. you can connect with me @, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Nirmal Anandh
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