If you’ve never created images or videos for your small business, you might think you need expert graphic design skills to produce professional-looking visual content.
However, there are many useful tools available for creating visual assets, and some of them are geared toward beginners.
In this guide, we’ll explore what visual assets are and why they’re so important. We’ll also dive into the top tools to use and best practices to follow.
What are visual assets?
Visual assets are creative elements such as logos, infographics, photographs, GIFs and videos. These assets can be used for various purposes. For example, you might want to share information with your audience, provide entertainment or invest in digital marketing to drive sales.
You can showcase visual assets on your website, social media channels, emails or print media. Your choice of visual assets will largely depend on your target audience and the medium through which you communicate with them. For example, infographics fit well in case studies, and short-form videos are great for social media.
Why are visual assets important?
Creating visual assets involves more than just showing off your creativity. Here’s why visual assets are key to a successful online business:
- Visual assets help shape your brand identity: An eye-catching logo can make your brand memorable. According to a 2022 study by Zippia, 75% of people recognize a brand from its logo.
- Customers make an emotional connection with visual content: By creating high-quality and thought-provoking visual assets, you can harness this connection to boost your brand’s profile.
- Visual assets are pivotal to digital marketing campaigns: Depending on your audience, a digital marketing campaign with just text could fall flat. When you throw some visuals into the mix, you’ll have a better chance of reaping rich rewards from your marketing efforts.
- Visual assets boost engagement on social media: According to LinkedIn data, posts that include images have a 98% higher comment rate than posts without. What’s more, video posts have 20 times more shares than other content.
- Visual assets are more memorable than text alone: This concept, known as the picture superiority effect, has significant implications for education, as people are more likely to retain information presented using visual assets.
Best tools for creating visual assets
A quick internet search will return numerous visual content creation tools. Some of these are too costly for small business owners, and others aren’t suitable if you’re just starting your design journey.
We’ve hand-picked Canva, Adobe’s design suite and PicMonkey as great options for small businesses. Canva and PicMonkey provide ease of use if images are your preferred visual assets, and Adobe’s design suite is a great all-rounder for a fair monthly price.
- A drag-and-drop editor.
- Over 250,000 free templates.
- Over 100 design types.
- AI design tools.
Canva is a beginner-friendly tool, so you can create brand assets even if you don’t have any design experience. You’ll find step-by-step tutorials to help you get started with graphic design on Canva.
Price: A free plan is available. Canva Pro costs $14.99/month for one person, and Canva for Teams costs $29.99/month for five people.
Adobe Creative Cloud
While some Adobe products have steep learning curves, they’re often touted as the best in the market — once you get the hang of them. We’ve singled out three tools under Creative Cloud for design, image editing and video editing.
Illustrator: This premium vector graphic tool is great for mockups and logo design. It offers templates and a shape builder tool for advanced customization. You can crop and resize images and also edit fonts.
Photoshop: If you want to create and edit pixel-based images, Adobe Photoshop has all you need. A relatively new feature, Generative Fill, lets you leverage generative AI to streamline image editing tasks.
Premiere Pro: This tool brings a high level of professionalism and customization to your videos, whether they’re for your YouTube channel or business website. Features include transitions, effects and high-level audio tools, such as a background noise remover.
If you’d prefer not to pay for Creative Cloud after a free trial, you can gain access to some of Adobe’s visual asset features using Adobe Express.
Price: A Teams plan with all apps currently costs $49.99/month for one user.
Owned by Shutterstock, PicMonkey is a popular photo editor used by big brands such as Amazon and Google. It has all the fonts, templates, graphics and stock images you’ll need to create and edit stunning visual assets.
Once you’re done editing your images, you can download them in various formats, including PNG and JPG. PicMonkey lets you publish visual assets on various social networking platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.
Price: A Basic plan costs $7.99/month, and a Business plan costs $23.00/month.
Creating visual assets: Best practices
To make the most of your visual asset tools and hone your digital marketing strategy, keep these tips in mind:
- Know your audience: Some audiences like short-form videos, while others prefer eye-catching graphics. Conduct in-depth market research to understand your audience’s needs and preferences.
- Start off simple: Simplicity is often best, especially when you’re new to graphic design. An image with too many design elements can distract viewers. This could prevent you from effectively communicating your brand’s message.
- Ensure brand consistency: Use the same logo, colors and typography across all your graphics. Create a style guide that outlines your brand’s guidelines for staff members to follow.
- Use high-quality images and video: This means using a good camera and ensuring your visual assets have the most appropriate dimensions and resolutions.
- Optimize your images for various devices and social media platforms: Make sure all your images are crystal clear and load quickly, wherever they are viewed.
- Optimize your visual assets for search engines: Image SEO involves resizing images, providing descriptive file names and writing keyword-rich ALT texts to help your visual assets rank high in search engines.
Final thoughts: Creating visual assets — tools and tips for beginners
After you’ve crafted your visual assets and added them to your website, ensure your target audience can view them easily and quickly. Your stunning videos and high-resolution images shouldn’t be let down by a slow-loading website that struggles to handle them.
If you choose Bluehost as your web hosting provider, you can rest assured your visual content will get to viewers quickly — our hosting is 75% faster than competitors, and we’re a WordPress-recommended web host.
With several pricing options to suit budget-conscious business owners and major eCommerce operators alike, you’re sure to find a good home for your visual assets.
Contact our 24/7 support team today to find out the best plan for your business.