ideasPromotional pictures are a fantastic online marketing tool which are incredibly easy to create yourself. You can use these promotional pictures for Facebook games, sales, giveaways, conversion, and countless other aspects of online marketing. While they can be used in nearly any fashion, they are most effective in social media marketing. Try using the following easy steps when creating your next promotional picture to save time, effort, and money.

Step One: Find or Take The Base Picture

If you can take a high quality, relevant picture yourself that’s great. It means your promotional picture will be a unique, one-of-a-kind picture from the very start. Not all of us have the skills or equipment to do this, however, so if you have to find a stock picture online that’s fine. CC Search is a great website which allows you to reach for pictures hosted under a Creative Commons licensing. This means you are free to use the photos for your own usage, although you should certainly make note of who the original owner of the picture was in order to give proper recognition. You can search in two ways. The first is for photos you can simply use, and the second is for photos you can both use and build upon for your own purposes. For creating promotional pictures you will need one which can be built upon.

Step Two: Choose The Tool You Like Best

There are numerous picture editing tools, both online and off. For today’s purposes we are just going to talk about those you can use online for free. If you already have or are able to purchase high quality picture editing software that’s great. Go ahead and use it then. If you do not have or unable to purchase it, however, here are a few free online tools you can take for a test run:

  • Photobucket
  • Pixlr
  • Picmonkey
  • Fotoflexer
  • Lunapic

Step Three: Think About Your Audience

Before creating your promotional graphic you will want to think about your audience. Who are they and what would best connect with them? Do a little research on what is trending in your target audience at the moment. The primary thing you will want to find out is what emotions are trending right now. This will allow you to best assess what type of graphic will be most effective. Find out whether they are connecting with items which are comedic, touching, tear-jerking, inspirational, or something else entirely. The biggest trending emotion is the one you will want to incorporate into your picture.

Step Four: Plan How You Want The Picture To Look

Although your design may change slightly during the actual creation process, you will want to come up with a basic idea of how you would like the end result to look. Most of this will be based on the emotion you picked in the previous step. Think about word fonts, picture effects, borders, and general coloring. Make notes on your second choices in case your first choices do not hold up during the creation process. It’s okay if they don’t. It happens to the best of us.

Step Five: Add Effects

You may be adding multiple effects to your base picture, or you may be adding none at all. A nice effect or two can drastically improve the appearance of your graphic. Using too many, on the other hand, can make your image seem unprofessional. Choose the effects with care and tact. Well used effects include sepia, black and white, distortion, and various types of borders. Once you are happy with your edited image save a copy. This way you won’t have to redo your entire image if you make a mistake with the text you add in the next step. Instead you will be able to simply upload the image which already has effects and redo the text only.

Step Six: Add Text

Now you may add your text. Keep in mind that the font and text coloring should be easy to read. There is nothing more annoying than being unable to read the text on a promotional image. The font should also portray the emotion you wish to target. This is incredibly easy with the numerous font faces available on most online editors.

Step Seven: Check It

The first thing you need to check is your text. Ensure that you have no typos whatsoever as this can lend a very high level of amateurism to your promotional graphic. Next you should assess the overall design. Does everything from the base picture to the effects to the text font and coloring fit well together? If not, start over. If it does, move forward. The last thing you should check is whether or not your image portrays the proper emotion. You will want to ask multiple people so as to best assess what the general public will feel.

Step Eight: Use It

Now that you have successfully created your own promotional graphic you can feel free to use it in any capacity you so desire. Use these steps for each promotional graphic you make and you will save yourself time, effort, and money. While it may not seem like a lot in the short term, these things do add up over time.