Making social content engaging is an ever-evolving battle, as the creative standard of content posted on social continues to rise. Plain posts are no longer cutting through, with 91% of B2B buyers now saying they prefer to consume interactive and visual content.
We’ve found some tools that will help you make your content better and more visually engaging. You can use them to create graphics for social media, presentations, or even print materials. They are easy to use and don’t require a vast array of technical design skills to use them.
These tools make it possible to:
All these tools could have the potential to make your content more competitive against rival social media posts.
Headliner lets you add custom video or audio to a social media post linking through to your podcast, radio show or blog.
First, you upload an audio or video file; then the application gives you options to edit how the media will appear as a social post. You can see the full waveform of your audio file and select the exact section of audio you want to use, there is an option to automatically transcribe the audio and turn it into a caption, and you can use text animation to enhance your video posts.
This Target Internet tweet was made using Headliner. It uses a short audio clip to give people a flavour of a full podcast episode.
There’s loads of scope for customisation within Headliner. You can add your own audio, choose your own images, and tweak the formatting to help your posts stand out and match your brand. Plus, each post can be set to your choice of three aspect ratios, to suit different social platforms.
Based on our experience with Headliner, we think the tool is especially useful for promoting podcasts and other audio content. By bringing audio content into social users’ timelines, it encourages them to listen or click through. Headliner also works well with video clips, which is a nice bonus if you have some of those to promote too.
Headliner has a generous free version, Forever Free, which allows you to create up to 10 posts per month. For unlimited Headliner posts and unwatermarked videos, you’ll need to pay a subscription, starting from a very reasonable $12.95 per month.
Lumen5 is a clever toolkit that gives you lots of different ways to make social posts with video. The jewel in its crown is a text-to-video functionality, which uses AI to create social-ready videos from blog posts. You simply input your content via a URL, RSS feed or copy-and-paste, and the tool then stitches together important pieces from the blog to create the structure for a teaser video. Once this is done, you can add your choice of images, video clips and music, and customise the video to your liking.
Here’s a social post made with Lumen5. The tool’s AI took the content from a blog article, and turned it into a teaser video advertising the article.
If you use Lumen5 often, there is a risk that your posts might end up looking a little samey after a while. Our advice is to let the AI do the heavy lifting of pulling the video together, then customise it slightly to put your own stamp on the content. We have also found that less is more with this tool. Many of our earlier posts using this tool were 30- 45 seconds long as we indulged in a bit of story telling. However this was way too long for most social media users. Testing and viewing our results and engagement levels in social analytics has shown us that 8-10 seconds is often plenty of time to get the attention you require with a social post thats animated.
Casual users who only want to make a maximum of three Lumen5 posts per month can use the tool free of charge, although their posts will carry a lumen5 watermark. Paid subscriptions start from $19 per month.
The perfect image could still potentially attract more social engagement than a video or audio clip. However, the requirements for success are relatively high.
Canva is a tool you can use to make image-led posts that meet today’s elevated industry standards, using a combination of image and text.
Creating collages using Background Remover is one of many advanced features that set Canva apart from other social media tools.
One of the great things about this tool is that it gives you some pretty powerful graphic design capabilities in a very accessible package. You can drag and drop images to create a collage, add effects, make infographics and much more.
While a limited version of Canva is available free of charge, we would advise going for the Pro subscription (£8.99 per month), which unlocks key features such as an image library and the capability to add your own branding to posts.
Crello is a social media graphics tool, which stands out from the crowd for its excellent animation offering.
With Crello, you can make custom visuals using a library of over 5,000 animated templates and 2,000 animated objects. This provides a great alternative to video that can add life and interest to a social post.
An animated tweet, created with Crello. The app can be used to create animations featuring illustrations or photos.
We created this animated Gif from one of their templates. It’s not really on brand but it gives you an idea of some of the uses.
The Crellow interface is surprisingly flexible. Don’t like the animated character in your chosen template? Well then you can simply remove / resize it or replace it with a completely different character. Once you have perfected your animation it can be output in multiple formats, including MP4, Animated Gif, PNG, JPEG or PDF.
We’ve chosen to focus on animation here, but Crello actually offers a vast array of features beyond that, from poster design to display ad design. The app is marketed as “the easiest online design tool to create animations and graphics for social and web,” and based on our experience, that description is pretty accurate.
After an initial 2-week free trial, Crello costs $7.99 per month on a subscription basis.
Users of tools like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign will recognise Adobe as the go-to software provider for digital media professionals. Quite simply, this company’s tools set the benchmark.
Adobe Spark is Adobe’s offering for web and social content production. It brings together a suite of tools that enable you to create a comprehensive range of media assets, including social graphics, short videos and web pages.
This social media video was created using Adobe Spark.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Adobe Spark is just a little more expensive than the other tools featured in this roundup. Subscriptions start at £10.10 per month for an individual account, rising to £20.20 for team use. However, if you have an Adobe Creative Suite license, this comes bundled as part of it. We liked this tool so much we have started to use it for some of our online graphic and animation creation.
The free ‘Starter Plan’ version of Adobe Spark is quite limited, so we would advise researching the tool’s features thoroughly to get a proper sense of its full functionality before you get a subscription.
The most cost-effective way to subscribe to a social media tool is usually to buy a year’s subscription in up front. This option can save money in the long run, but it does mean you must either commit to that tool long term, or write off the cost if you end up deciding the tool is not for you.
With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to try a few different social tools before you subscribe. All the tools featured in this article have either a free version or a free trial period – so what are you waiting for? Give them a try!