How to Find Free Social Media Imagery for Your Content Marketing Strategy
I intentionally made the imagery for this article a little over the top. I wanted to provide a visual example of a few things you can do with the information & tools below. When you are self employed, it's extremely important to develop organic traffic through Content & Social Media Marketing.
Content with relevant imagery gets 94% more views than content without images (Kissmetrics). Seriously, 94%!
Where can a Solopreneur find free, but professional stock photos?
Below I’ll list out free stock photo sites that are perfect for social media images. I’m sure you can use these images for other content need as well.
Pexels is my personal favorite. It’s an all-around free stock photo site with lots of visual content. The stock photo site contains an easy to navigate search bar. Suggestions based on Popular Searches, Popular Photos, Top Photographers, and New Stock Photos.
Kaboompics is all around stock photo site. The search bar is easier to use than choosing a category. Type a short description into the search to receive narrowed down results.
Free Refe is an all around site with good visual content categorization. They also have an easy to use search bar. I highly recommend this site.
This stock photo site is entertaining! I’ve used it many times and find the imagery a bit peculiar, but engaging. It’s a way to be very creative with your visual content, but keep it tied to your marketing message. Give it a shot!
How do you customize pictures based on your Social Media Marketing strategy for free?
So you’ve found the right photo. It’s relevant to your social media content. What’s next? For me, I head over to Canva. If you’re a first time user of Canva, you’ll need to create an account. Don’t worry, it’s free. Obviously, any free tool for a Solopreneur is a bonus! Once you’ve created an account, you’ll have templates at the top of the screen. Or, you can create your own by clicking the “Use Custom Dimensions” button at the top right of the screen.
The templates include designs for all different social media accounts and even A4. My recommendation, click the square with a plus sign in the middle for “more” templates. Once you click this button, you’ll pull up all of Canva's design groups.
For social media, you have several options: Twitter Post, Social Media (general), Pinterest Graphic, Facebook Post, Facebook App, Tumblr Graphic, and Instagram Post. There are lots of options, so don't hesitate to scroll through.
Once you choose your template, it will create a blank canvas. On the left of the screen, you’ll have the option to select between pre-populated layouts. Each layout is labeled free or has a small fee. You can choose a pre-designed layout or create your own. If you use a pre- designed layout, you can still customize it to your liking.
Below the layout, you have several options for customization.
- Elements – Shapes, Lines, Illustrations, Icons, etc.
- Text – Different kinds of pre-formatted text
- Background – Options to change or create the background
- Uploads – This is where you can upload your newly found visual content
I recommend you play around a little. Within 15-30 minutes, you’ll get the hang of it. Canva is pretty intuitive.
Give me an example: How do I create my social media imagery?
I like to create my own canvas. Typically, I don’t use any layouts. I love to be short, sweet, but get the job done well. I’ll use the general “Social Media” design or custom dimensions (6 X 4 inches). Below, I’ll list out the stepped process below using the Social Media Design:
- Select Social Media Design
- Go to Uploads & upload my imagery
- Click on Elements
- Select Frames
- Determine if one of the pre-populated Frame will work
- Left-click & hold the Frame I want
- Drag the Frame to the canvas
- Position the Frame, so it covers all white space
- Go to Uploads
- Left-click, hold, & drag my imagery into the frame
- Find the right position, zoom, etc. of the imagery
- Go to Text
- Determine if there is pre-formatted text that will work
- Left-click, hold and drag the text onto the canvas
- Size the text
- Write my message - Can be the main point, the title, or anything you want to convey!
- Review and adjust the imagery and text until I like it
- Click the download button, save as appropriate file type
Once you get good, should only take you 5-10 minutes tops!
Now you have content and engaging imagery. Yes, it’s that easy with Canva. Don’t forget to look through all available templates and layouts. I use Canva for social media. But, its templates can expand into many different graphic design projects. It’s simple graphic design for non-graphic designers!
Have fun! Make some cool Social Media Imagery for free. I’d enjoy hearing about and seeing your designs!