Brand experiences can be as big or small as you want them to be. In fact, a lot of experiential marketing starts with great online content. If you’re a small-scale business or a start-up with less of a budget for content, it can be difficult to find alternatives for the ever-so-expensive Photoshop and other similar pieces of software.
We know ‘free trials’ and restricted access can be frustrating, so we’ve put together our best recommendations for free software/apps that you can use to create standout content.
Canva is our go-to for creating banners, infographics, social posts and all sorts! It’s so user-friendly and provides a range of templates to give you inspiration. The best thing about Canva is that you don’t need a super high-tech skillset to use it – you can literally drag and drop the images you want to use and create your own brand identity without needing to spend a load of money. The free access is more than enough for content creators to still be able to do their thing, but if you want a little bit extra you can sign up to a premium account for things like background removal and image resizing.
Lightroom offers a range of solutions for photo editing, covering not just the basics of adjusting brightness and saturation, but also allowing you to create your own presets within the app. Presets are great for channels like Instagram as they will help keep all the colour tones of your imagery uniform – great for if you want an aesthetically pleasing grid. Lightroom is free to use on the mobile app but there is a charge for the desktop application.
If you’re familiar with photoshop, then you’ll find that gimp is a pretty great alternative. Gimp is a free, open-source graphics editor that basically allows you to manipulate images, remove backgrounds, retouch, create freeform drawings and more. It’s slightly more on the complicated side, especially if you’re not a graphic designer, but there are plenty of tutorials online that can teach you the basics. Gimp provides slightly more advanced capabilities than other programs, which is why it’s a great tool to have under your belt.
If you’re into posting collages on your Instagram feed then we really recommend the Layout app for creating basic image compositions. You can simply select photos from your camera roll and choose which orientation and pattern you want them in. We love the way this looks and it’s ideal for getting maximum messaging in one post.
You may be anticipating that you’ll be sharing a lot of user-generated content online, in which case the repost app is ideal. All you have to do is log onto Instagram and copy the URL of the post you want to re-share. The URL will then be saved to your clipboard and the Repost app will detect it and automatically generate the copied picture with the poster’s icon at the bottom. You’ll then be ready to post this directly to your Instagram account. The best thing about this is that it gives credit to the original poster, but still enables you to repurpose their content for your own Instagram page.
6. Record it!
We all know that video is one of the most engaging forms of content, but if you’re working to a low budget it can be difficult to harness it to your benefit. If your business has an app, screen recordings of your app’s different functions can be a great way to drive awareness. Why not create a screen-recording as a tutorial on how to use it? This is infinitely more engaging than standard written instructions. We recommend using the Record it! App for your screen-recording needs. It’s free to use and is an incredibly easy way to create video content.
These are our current fave free apps for creating content, but be sure to check back because we’ll be updating this with any new discoveries.