Blogs are undoubtedly a great source for search engine optimization. Blogs also provide content to supplement social media accounts and help your company establish their place as an industry thought leader.
But what is that about, “A picture is worth a thousand words?”
An inbound marketing blog of 600 to 800 words is significantly less relevant or entertaining than a blog with that many words plus a few interesting and strategically selected pictures. (Bonus points if it is funny.)
Alas, not every organization has the budget for purchasing high-quality images from iStock or similar image warehouses.
But don't despair. You can still find fantastic visuals for your blogs while your content marketing is on a budget. Here’s how:
Everyone knows that Google practically runs the world, and it’s no different with pictures. Go to Google Images, and select Search Tools. Click on Usage Rights then select Labeled For Noncommercial Reuse, depending on your project.
To play it the safest (and because we like watermarking our images), we use Labeled For Noncommercial Reuse With Modification. After that, the Internet is your oyster. You can use these images for your materials safely and without the risk of copyright infringement.
Now, be aware your choices will be very limited when compared to Shutterstock or iStock, but if you are creative, you can find good images for your inbound marketing blog without spending a dime.
If you have Shutterstock desires without the Shutterstock budget, try Pixabay. It's a free photo website that offers hundreds of thousands of professional images and videos that don’t need attribution. It also offers SafeSearch, so you do not accidentally wander into the depths of explicit imagery at work.
Do it yourself.
Did you know that 10 percent of all photos taken by humankind occurred in the last 12 months? That being said there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking your own photography for blogs. In fact, it's the best way to ensure that you're not violating any copyright issues from other photo-sharing websites. Simply create a shot list a month in advance, grab a quality camera, and get snapping.
Once you have a few worthy images, send them to your graphic design team for edits. Or, if you need to DIY it because you're like me (great with words but not so great with graphics), Canva can be a lifesaver.
Check into Canva.
Speaking of, this website offers free downloadable templates that are already sized for social media, blogs, website banners, email headers, and more. They also offer free photos, text bubbles, frames, grids, icons, and other fun features.
That means users can drag, drop, and adjust any image, logo, or color scheme without starting from scratch. If you want to pay the extra penny, Canva offers premium features like uploading your company’s font, collaborating on the Team stream, and creating unlimited design folders.
Install free editing software.
Photoshop gets a bad rep for helping the media produce over-polished and unrealistic images (and for being a little pricey), but with a steady hand and the right vision, photo editing can take your blog images to new heights. Have your graphic design team download free software. Here are a few of our favorites:
- BeFunky: A photo editor that’s made for fun projects, BeFunky offers their world-famous Cartoonizer, oil painting, and pop art filters. They also have hand-drawn graphics, frames, overlays, fonts, text boxes, and more. It even comes with a mobile app, so you can edit Instagram photos in a snap.
- Fotor: This photo editor gives users tools like collage templates, graphic design, HDR photography, and beauty retouching.
- PicMonkey: Add text, effects, and overlays to your downloads or their free images. PicMonkey also offers pre-sized templates for business cards, banners, and social media. If you’re looking to edit headshots, touch up with Teeth Whitening, Wrinkle Remover, Airbrush, and so much more.
- Pixlr: Users can work with layers, replace color, transform objects, and more with Editor. If you choose Express, users can add a personal watermark with overlays, borders, and more.
Whether your company invests in editing software, uses photo-sharing websites, or pulls a do-it-yourself trick, there's a number of different ways to create and edit images for your inbound marketing blog.
The best part is that this one of the best blog promotion strategies for little to no cost.
If you’d like more information on how to create stellar content and graphic design, give Illumine8 a call. We’d be happy to help.