taking photoA content marketing strategy without visual elements is like chocolate chip cookies without any chocolate. It’s still good, but it lacks the mass appeal.

Researchers believe that around 65% of the population are visual learners, who are able to best process information that’s relayed in images, infographics and video. While the average adult reads around 300 words a minute, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text.

High-quality visual content can reduce your website’s bounce rate, improve social media engagement, and help you create content that people want to share.

To help you boost your business blogging strategy without an enormous investment in software and apps, we’ve created a comprehensive list of the best free and low-cost tools on the web.

Infographics and Word Clouds

content-marketing-wordcloud

Image credit: Marketing My Journey

1. Easely.ly

Easel.ly offers free templates for infographic creation within their website. Most of the tools available primarily support text-based content.

2. Visual.ly

One of the world’s largest marketplaces for infographics, Visual.ly also offers a number of free templates, several of which support visualization of your Facebook, Twitter, or Google Фnalytics. Venn diagrams, visual resumes, and other options are also available.

3. PiktoChart

A number of free and paid templates are available through this web resource. Users can also access free training tools on infographic design best practices.

4. Infogr.am

A one-stop shop for visual content creation, this tool offers a number of templates for text-based infographics and word clouds.

5. Tagxedo

This is one of the best tools online to create visually-appealing word clouds in a variety of shapes and color schemes.

6. Create.ly

This platform supports the creation of complex diagrams and flowcharts that are ideal for explaining technical processes.

7. DataVisualization.ch

In an era where over 1 billion consumers worldwide self-publish via social media, big data is among the trends that will shape the future of marketing. Data Visualization offers a number of tools, many of which are free, for mapping and visualizing enormous data sets.

8. Create.ly

This platform supports the creation of complex diagrams and flowcharts that are ideal for explaining technical processes.

9. PhotoStatsApp

To create gorgeous infographics of your photos on iPhone, this app can easily compile your images into a comprehensive story. The app was priced at $1 at the time of writing.

10. Gliffy

This no-frills platform for creating business diagrams can help you communicate organization and basic data internally or externally.

11. Wordle

Perhaps the world’s leading tool for word clouds, this platform provides basic options for visual content which is driven by text.

12. What About Me?

Courtesy of tech giant Intel, social media users can capture a visualization of their web usage through digital imagery.

13. Visualize.me

This free visual content tool integrates with your LinkedIn profile to create personalized infographics of your online resume.

14. Infoto Free

A free app for Android users, Infoto can compile your phone’s data into compelling infographics on your photo habits.

15. Tableau Software

A free version of one of the world’s leading data visualization software, Tableau offers sophisticated options for translating large data sets into compelling imagery.

16. iCharts

This platform provides the tools necessary to create professional-looking charts and graphs from your data sets or ideas, all of which are impressive enough to grace the pages of your next whitepaper.

17. Dumpr

This free, photo-editing platform will allow you to transform your simple images into compelling visual content, with special effects like cartoons and surrealist art available.

Photo Editing and Graphic Design

photo editingImage credit: Ammer/freedigitalphotos.net

18. Gimp

TechRadar describes Gimp as the “most powerful free photo editor you’ll find anywhere.” It’s been available and improving since 1996, and the capabilities currently range from simple enhancements such as removing redeye or adding text, to more advanced effects, like converting a photo into an oil painting.

19. Pixlr

It’s no secret that Adobe licensing is a costly investment. If you’re not quite ready to make the plunge, Pixlr offers many of the same benefits as Photoshop, but free. Mobile versions of the app are also available.

20. Paint.NET

Not only does Paint offer the vast majority of photo editing capabilities you’ll find in a paid product, it’s among the easiest-to-use visual content creation tools we’re aware of. You’ll be able to achieve advanced editing effects, like editing a given layer, with minimal effort.

21. Photoscape

If your idea of the perfect visual content is turning your boss into a meme, this is your tool. Photoscape offers an extensive collection of clipart, including lettering and speech bubbles, which can quickly be applied to your photos for something truly unique.

22. Phoxo

Described by its creators as a “mini” Photoshop, Phoxo is a strong choice for marketers new to photo editing, thanks to the vast supply of tutorials available. Not only is it simple, it’s capabilities to create ripple effects and color gradients are superb.

23. OmniGraffle

Being available only to Mac or iPad users, this app is a powerful platform for diagrams, process charts, graphic design, or laying out web design concepts. The tool is paid, but it’s an amazing app for professional visual artists.

Video

video

Image credit: Winnond/freedigitalphotos.net

24. Present.me

This platform allows you to record a video yourself giving a presentation in the privacy of your own home. While some packages require a paid subscription, basic membership is cost-free.

25. Virtual Dub

An open-source option for editing video files available to Windows users, there’s a bit of a learning curve attached to getting the hang of this program. Once you’ve figured out the interface, you can convert videos to grayscale, reorder pieces of the video, and crop side bars.

26. Avidemux

One of the most advanced free video editing programs available, Avidemux can be used to create visual content on Macs, Windows and Linux. Capabilities include cutting, inserting and editing audio files, and extracting your final product in different formats.

27. Wax

If you’re looking to add visually-stimulating special effects to your videos without spending a time, few programs can compete with Wax’s extensive options for enhancement. Other video editing capabilities offered are limited, but it’s all you need to add some other-worldly elements to your visual content.

28. T@B ZS4

This incredible program is a little bit like a blender for multimedia content. You upload images, video files, and audio, and use the program to produce a professional-quality final product.

29. Cinefx Jashaka

Can you believe there’s a free, open source program that offers many of the same tools used to produce and edit major motion pictures? Well, there is, and it’s everything you need to transform a simple iPhone video with editing, encoding, animation, and other effects.

30. Blender

The world’s leading open source program for 3D visual content creation, this program is only as limited as your imagination. Whether you opt to create a detailed, 3D animation, or utilize the program to create auditory effects, make it your go-to source for highly advanced video editing on a budget.

31. MovieStorm

Described as the “world’s first video sketch tool,” MovieStorm is also one of the best free resources for creating animated shorts. Regardless of industry, the visuals available through the platform can communicate the right message, whether that’s serious and educational, or light-hearted.

32. Storyboard Pro

There’s no need to pay thousands for a beautifully-drawn custom animation. You’re in complete control of your visual content with this tool, which allows users to upload drawings, audio, and edit to their heart’s content.

33. Mewa Film

Hoping to extract just a few seconds of your video to create a short, powerful piece of visual content? Mewa Film presents your video file as a series of images, which you are able to drag, drop, rearrange, and discard, until you reach perfection.

Comics and Avatars

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Image credit: bplanet/freedigitalphotos.net

34. Write Comics

With a variety of customizable templates offered, this website allows users to create customized cartoons to engage prospects and customers.

35. Toonlet

This platform has everything you need to create basic, but highly unique, comic strips. The website additionally offers a number of free resources on how to cartoon like a professional.

36. ToonDoo

Described as the world’s fastest way to create comic strips, ToonDoo allows users to do everything from creating their own characters to enhancing images or drawings.

37. Web Cartoon Maker

A leading free platform since 2010, Web Cartoon Maker provides users with the ability to create comics, animated .gif files, and even full-length films.

38. Pencil

In open source product for users of Macs, Windows or Linux, Pencil is a drawing app for creating truly unique animations.

39. Anmish

Create your own images or memes with Anmish, a platform for cartooning, or animating photos into lighthearted visual content.

40. Cartoonize

By converting images of your colleagues and customers into cartoons on this free platform, you can build some serious brand personality through visual content.

41. Portrait Illustration Maker

This free platform allows users to create cartoon avatars, which can be saved for further use in content marketing.

42. Kuso Portrait to Cartoon

Turn your colleagues, customers, or boss into a work of art with the help of Kuso’s free tool, which offers a number of creative visual content effects. Images can be exported for use at up to 55 x 500 pixels.

43. Cartoon Photo

Infuse your content marketing strategy with humor and whimsy with the help of Cartoon Photo’s free filters. Filter images to look hand-drawn, or morph pictures of people into caricatures.

44. BeFunky

This all-in-one photo editing tool allows you to turn pictures into cartoons, or just perform some basic editing changes on your visual content files.

45. Face Your Manga

A fascinating blend of social network and image creation tool, Face Your Manga allows content marketers to create, share, and store avatars.

While the value of visual content to a greater content marketing strategy is apparent, what works best for one company isn’t necessarily the right approach for another. Fortunately, whether your buyer personas prefer complex visualizations of big data, or humorous cartoons, there are a number of free tools available to optimize your content!

Which tools do you use to create compelling visual content on a tight marketing budget?

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