On the whole, the internet is just one big toilet wall for humanity to write graffiti on.
It has brought out the worst in the collective ‘us’. It has given a ‘voice’ to many that should have remained shrouded in ignorant silence. It has become a cauldron of hate for some and a chalice of arrogance for many.
It is the playground of the phishing and hacking criminal, the bully’s third fist, the coward’s heroic ‘voice’, and the exponentially growing death knell of our high streets.
That is sometimes how I feel. Usually after one of THOSE days when every troll, gremlin and grumbling cyber-nob have all posted and tweeted about something that’s not quite right with things my nursery product clients have made or done.
It’s often a Monday when this happens. The wheels aren’t round enough, the suspension isn’t suspension-ey enough, the handlebars don’t suit my 7’11” husband, my 48lb baby doesn’t fit in the carrycot and he’s only 6 weeks old…
Yes, I am writing this at the end of one of those Mondays.
But if I push the little button behind my ear and reboot the brain, then I am reminded that the internet is also the great leveller for the modern brand and retailer. It is the people’s megaphone and the medium that records our souls as we tumble down the rabbit hole towards a brave new world. It is today, and it is certainly tomorrow. The genie won’t go back into the bottle. It is not going to go the same way as CB radio.
The business battlefield has shifted and hearts and minds can now be won digitally through enchanting story-telling and glorious photography. Creativity is king in today’s commercial war, and not every business is suited to fighting with colours and poetry, so here are a few free services that will help you to get tooled up and raise your visual bar:
It amazes me that you can use Pablo for free and without having to create an account. Pablo exists to give you the ability to make stunning social media sized images with your own title, body and caption text. Choose from a library of thousands of excellent free stock photos, select whether you need an image for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, add your text (or just grab the photo), play with colour filters and then download your finished creation and get sharing. You could run your entire social media visual plan by just using Pablo.
Not every business has a graphic designer available all the time, and Canva gives you the ability to create your own marketing visuals by using a huge catalogue of templates and images. Think Photoshop for dummies. You can upload your own images to keep it personal and on-brand and within minutes can create perfectly sized social media cover images, visuals for posts, profile pics right through to laying out your own magazine. It takes a little bit of getting used to, hours not days, but will unlock a new dimension of quality to your content. Again, it is free to use.
I’ve written previously about the importance of adding videos to your content plan, and I know it can still be a little bit daunting for some of you without the budgets to bring in external help. Well, for $99 a year you can sign up for the Premium plan on Biteable.com and use their library of video and animation clips and stitch together a great movie yourself in a matter of minutes. The service includes a very simple to use video editor that lets you add text and captions, as well as a decent sized library of royalty free music. There is a free option but the $99 removes the biteable watermark and allows you to download the finished video files for you to use elsewhere on the web. This is probably my online find of the year so far.
Fight the trolls with rainbows and splendour and all of the above will put some pixie dust into your arsenal.
If you have any questions about Digital Marketing and how you are or could be using it then please get in touch and we will be happy to chat about it with you. We can even train you up if you want to get started the right way…