When it comes to visual content, Instagram is one of the best places to go if you want to see stunning examples of great visuals.
In fact, Instagram is a social media channel that is focused on photos and videos. It’s a great place for a marketer to convey a message to a specific audience but at the same time, in order for that message to be effective, it needs to be paired with great visuals too.
Social media marketers are always searching for the better and more effective ways to send their messages. For Instagram, however, in order to be successful, you need to focus primarily on the quality of the visual content. For this, you need the best tools and of course, the best resources you can find.
Let us help you in this quest and ease all your research efforts. Today, we are going to learn together about some of the best design tools and resources you can use as a social media marketer if your campaigns include Instagram as a delivery channel.
Yeah, I know, Photoshop is a bit old school for the young generations of social media marketers. Still, when it comes to design and photo manipulation, Adobe’s professional software is still the best in the industry. You need experience and trained skills in order to master this tool professionally but in time, anything is possible.
On the other hand, you don’t even need to be a Photoshop master in order to be able to create great visual with it. And, since there are still many companies who are paying a subscription to Adobe, it’s good to know how to handle it for day-to-day tasks. It’s a good chance that you will have access to Photoshop if you work at a marketing agency. Or, that you will be asked to work with it from time to time.
When you think about professionally designed banner ads, you think Bannersnack. It’s a great online tool for designing Instagram sponsored ads and Instagram Stories ads with a huge database of templates and stock images you can choose from. It allows you to design a banner from scratch or, get inspired by their collection of templates and work in a really professional and easy to learn environment.
What’s really great about Bannersnack is that it has built-in presets for social media banner designs that are compatible with all recommendations. You can design an Instagram banner ad in just a few minutes or a full set of banners for all your social media accounts in the same amount of time. Last but not least, Bannersnack allows you to create static and animated banners from the same interface which can be saved in various file formats, including Html5.
With your Bannersnack subscription, you get access also to analytics data that will help you track your banners in real time. This means that you can analyze your results and adapt to your audience with minimal efforts.
Do you already have some great photos stored on your phone? Want to publish them on Instagram but you are searching for a simple and yet effective tool to add some text and convey a message along with your great visuals?
The easiest to use and at the same time, the most effective tool, in this case, may as well be InstaQuote. As the name suggests, the app allows you to create quotes you can share with your Instagram followers in just a few seconds. The only downside is that it is available only for iOS and not for Android. Therefore, you can use it as long as you have an iPhone, iPad or an iPod Touch. As an alternative that is available for both the major mobile operating systems, I suggest you use Word Swag.
The Infographic is one of the greatest inventions of the last decade. It represents a great way to convey a message visually, especially when you want to transmit something more than a simple call to action or quote. The Infographic allows you to transform an entire article into just a single image.
Ease.ly is the perfect tool to create Infographics the easy way. In no time, you can have one ready to be published and shared with an online audience. You don’t even need to have professional designing skills.
You can get started with a pre-built template or, you can start designing your Infographic from scratch. What’s great about this tool is that it comes with an impressive number of shapes, objects, and icons that you can drag and drop into the editor, making all your work effortless and at the same time, enjoyable.
Let’s say you have some great photos stored on your drive and you don’t know exactly how they will fit into an Instagram post. Or, you already know they are too large and you want them resized and cropped to fit Instagram’s requirements. I know, you can do this with a professional photo editor but you can also do it in just a few seconds, online, with minimal efforts.
The tool I am referring to is Social Image Resizer, a basic and easy to use online tool that does exactly what the name suggests: it allows you to resize and crop your images and make them compatible with social media. In this case, we are going to use it for Instagram, of course.
There are several tools you can use in order to optimize your images for online upload. Instagram is based on visual content and therefore, you need your images to be optimized without a significant loss in quality.
Image Optimizer is a simple and easy to use online tool that does exactly what you need. It takes your image, allows you to set some parameters and then it optimizes it for Instagram or other social media channels you might want to post on. Moreover, it can be used offline as well, via a free dedicated app available on the same website for download.
You don’t need to be a visual artist in order to create stunning visuals for your Instagram account. In fact, all you need is a great tool to work with and some imagination.
If inspiration comes to you as well, then, nothing can stop you.
What about the tool? Well, here’s another great recommendation for Instagram fans. Its name is Stencil and rest assured, it can make your work easier and more effective. It has a great database of stock images, icons and templates to choose from, an easy to use interface and many more. You can add texts, effects, filters and logos/watermarks to your projects. All your works are saved on your account but you can download them for social media upload as well.
Stencil is free for the casual user, allowing up to ten visual designs per month without charge. There are two other commercial plans available as well, at $9 and $12 per month, depending on your personal needs.
While Unsplash is not a designer tool, it’s a great resource for free stock images any designer needs in his or her daily work. All the images are of high quality and they’re released under “creative commons” (CC0). This means that you can use them however you want, whenever you want. They have no commercial copyrights.
You can use Unsplash as a source of inspiration as well. Go to their website and start browsing. You’ll be amazed at how many new and great ideas you’ll get just by doing it.
Another great mobile app that will help you come up with out of the box ideas and unique images for Instagram is Slow Shutter Cam. As the name suggests, this app will allow you to slow the speed of the mobile camera’s shutter. As a result, you will get long exposure photographs with amazing motion blurs and light trail effects.
Slow Shutter Cam is available for iOS mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
I am going to conclude this list with one of my favorite mobile Instagram related apps. It allows you to create beautiful posts with images and texts and it has a great selection of typographies.
Fonts are very important when it comes to sending a message. Also, for a professional and balanced look on your post, you need a great combination of words and images. All these things are possible with Over. Apart from the regular Instagram posts, you can use the app for Instagram Stories, flyers, social media covers, posters and birthday cards.
The app is available for iOS but an Android version is in development and it’s soon to be released.
There are a lot of tools and skills a social media marketer needs needs in order to be able to create the best possible Instagram content. Since the success rate of a marketing campaign depends mostly on what you post and how able are you to engage the audience with your content, the tools you use matter a lot.
I hope you will find everything you need on my list and that these apps will help you make your work easier, more enjoyable and more effective as well.
What do you think about these apps? Do you have any other apps you might want to add to this list?