Visual content is becoming a huge part of digital marketing. According to Social Media Examiner, 73 percent of marketers plan on increasing their use of images this year.
The reason? Visual content works.
Facebook image posts get 179 percent more interaction than regular posts. On Twitter, photos are responsible for 57 percent of all engagement with brands. And these aren’t even the image-centric platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.
Seeing as nearly 66 percent of social media shares are visual content, any brand not utilizing viral images might miss out on audience engagement altogether.
Here are 15 free tools to jumpstart your viral image creation process today:
Pictaculous is a great option to try before you start editing an image.
Basically, it’s a color palette generator that offers custom color suggestions based on any photo you upload.
Use the suggestions to design the right color text, backgrounds, icons and more for your visual content campaigns.
Can’t afford Photoshop? Pixlr has you covered.
Pixlr offers much of the same functionality as Photoshop, except it’s free. Use it to resize, crop and color correct any image from your browser, desktop, or mobile.
If your viral image plans include creating a meme (which I definitely recommend), MemeCrunch is a great tool for your needs.
This free photo editor can be used on desktop, tablet, or mobile, and offers a complete, searchable library of all the hottest meme images that you can then select and edit.
QuotesCover is an image editing tool specifically designed for putting words and images together in an artistic way.
Choose from their list of quotes or upload your own, and combine them with the right background to create a powerful message.
QuotesCover lets you create Facebook and Google+ cover images, square viral images, and computer wallpapers, as seen in the example below:
PicMonkey is a free photo editing tool that’s bound to spark your creativity with a wide range of unique fonts, custom filters, clip art, and other features to enhance your photos.
Some features can only be used with a paid membership, but the free options are more than enough to keep any photo editor busy.
If you want to create a quote image but are lacking images of your own, Recite is a great option.
This free tool has a ton of great templates to choose from. Or, if you want them to do all the work for you, they’ll suggest some quotes as well.
GIMP is a free, open-source, downloadable photo editor available for Mac and PC that offers a wide range of features, including high-quality photo manipulation, artwork creation, and graphic design.
Like Photoshop, it requires a little know-how to make full use of the features. But the results can really pay off:
Related Article: How to Get Better Graphic Design Without Paying Top Dollar
Pinstamatic is an essential tool for any marketer who wants to leverage Pinterest images. Use it to create custom text images, or use your favorite Spotify song to create an album artwork image.
The most useful feature is Pinstamatic’s ability to create a pinnable website snapshot. Just enter any URL, and Pinstamatic does the rest.
Upload a photo from your computer - or from your Facebook, Flickr or Photobucket account - and start editing for free with FotoFlexer.
Use it to touch up any image (for instance, you can smooth blemishes or fix red eyes) or get creative with stickers, glitter, borders, and other features.
The best part is the Geek section, where you can morph two images together. Not only is it fun to use, the resulting images you create will be unlike anything else found online, helping to differentiate your brand further.
Pinwords is another great free tool that helps you combine text and images with a wide variety of unique fonts. Upload an image, enter an image URL, or use one of theirs.
Add text, and you’re done!
If you’d like to create a complex design, but don’t have any design skills to speak of, Canva is the tool for you.
This free resource focuses on offering simple and intuitive design options that’ll help you surprise even yourself with your hidden artistic skills.
Wondering what kinds of images go viral? Need some inspiration for your own creations? Imgur’s viral image search tool can help you out on both counts.
Browse and search through the most popular viral images, and even create your own “galleries” of images that meet your parameters. Imgur Search is the only tool of its kind that’ll help you understand what makes images viral.
BeFunky is another easy-to-use photo editing tool that’ll make any user feel like a real designer.
Use it to edit photos and to create customizable graphic designs for free:
This web-based photo editing platform helps you easily adjust basic image settings, such as contrast, brightness, and clarity. Use the platform’s toning tools to create beautiful highlights and shadows to set your images apart from everything else online.
Were you interested in Adobe Lightroom, but never really learned how to use it? You’ll love Polarr.
Related Article: Marketing to the Mobile Man and the Mobile Woman
Pablo by Buffer
With Buffer’s own social graphics tool, users can create shareable images in just 30 seconds, using features including different contrast filters and font choices with automatic sizing.
Then, if you have a Buffer account set up for your business, you can share photos directly from Pablo to Twitter and Facebook.
These 15 free tools will help you get started, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg.