If you're a communicator of any sort, you've probably realized by now how important it is to leverage visual content in all your messages – and what a big mistake it is if you don't.
I know this from experience because I've traveled the long path from a simple writer to a multimedia storyteller.
For many years, I stubbornly stuck to my outdated communication arsenal: Word documents, PowerPoints and Excel charts and graphs.
Really old school.
Then, something revolutionary happened: Visual content started to dethrone plain old textual content, even on traditionally text-based mediums.
Images, memes and videos began to populate all my feeds, and the written word took a back seat to stunning visuals that could communicate so much more in less time.
Next thing I knew, I was installing a trial version of the Adobe Creative Suite to keep up with all the competition out there. But even after spending several nights dabbling in Photoshop and Illustrator, I still couldn't create something that I was proud to share with the rest of the world.
(I'm probably not the only one who's had this experience!)
Thankfully, there are now at least a handful of free, do-it-yourself online tools that address this problem.
After experimenting with several of them, I've found that one of the most versatile on this list is Visme. An intuitive drag-and-drop tool, it makes the process of creating visual content easy, fast, efficient and fun – even for non-designers like me.
What is Visme?
In a nutshell, Visme is an online tool for creating interactive and animated infographics, presentations, reports, web banners, short animations and other engaging visual content.
With it, non-designers can take content like this:
And turn it into this:
What makes Visme so easy to use is that it provides you with hundreds of infographic and presentation templates that can be quickly customized in a few hours, with little to no design skills required. For those who are always on the go, this is a big time saver.
Unlike complex Adobe programs, Visme offers plenty of built-in graphic assets that can easily be dragged and dropped onto the main canvas area and it works in your browser.
Need high-quality images? Visme offers millions of searchable images. What about vector icons? There are more than 6,000 of them in its extensive library. And nice fonts? There are over 100 modern-looking fonts to match a variety of design styles.
What can you create with Visme?
To give you an idea of how easy it is to use, let's start by browsing its selection of infographic templates.
Visme makes it easy to create what you envision by organizing templates both by industry and the type of infographic.
For example, if you're a marketer looking to create an eye-catching and easy-to-understand product comparison, all you have to do is click on the Comparison category to the right of the search bar, and you'll see dozens of options to choose from.
Or, if you need to create a visual report based on survey results, all you have to is click on the Reports category, and you'll find infographics with all kinds of chart types.
After choosing the desired template, you can customize it by searching and adding your own icons and images. You can change anything, from the size of the infographic to the color scheme and font selections.
You can also create charts and tables in Visme. The chart widget allows you to create charts on the fly, update values and switch to other chart types in just a couple of clicks.
Visme offers sleek-looking presentation templates for almost every need.
There are dozens of themes with a variety of slide layouts and chart styles you can choose from.
Unlike PowerPoint, Visme gives you the flexibility to customize the look of each and every element.
You can change the size of your canvas area; add images and crop them; add icons and change their color scheme; embed videos into your presentation; and even add animated charts and tables.
Visme also allows you to embed third-party content like quizzes, polls or maps. Want to insert a survey created with Survey Monkey or a form from Wufoo? Simply paste the embed code into Visme's iframe tool, and you'll be able to interact with the third-party content right from within your presentation.
To get a better idea of what you can do with Visme, you can also take a look at an example of real content created by non-designers:
Image Source: Visme
But Visme is not just for small businesses and individuals. Here's a project created by a marketing manager at a leading company:
Image Source: Visme
What has improved in the latest version?
It's also worth mentioning that Visme rolls out new features on a regular basis, which means that as a user, you're always guaranteed an ever-improving experience and new features as they roll out..
For example, Visme now allows you to record your own voiceovers right within the software. This is great not only for narrated tutorials and audio how-to's but also for visual stories and self-running presentations.
You can also upload your own audio files or choose from dozens of free audio files available within the tool, which can be used as background music for standalone slide decks. Just take a look at this tutorial with background music created in Visme:
Image Source: Visme
Also, all charts and graphs created with Visme are now automatically animated (although you can deactivate this option if you wish), which is a great feature for those looking to heighten the visual interest of their infographics and presentations.
Need to reuse an image from a previous presentation? Simple. With the new Visme media manager, you can save, store and organize all of the images and graphic assets used in prior projects in a single repository. This makes it easier to search and locate them in the future.
For example, if you need to change an image or icon that was used in several different presentations or infographics, the new media manager will allow you to replace it once and see the changes across all your projects.
In the new Visme, you can also insert stylized text frames which can be completely customized. When dropped onto the stage, they can be moved to any position desired in your project area and when deselected, they become ungrouped, allowing you to position and precisely size every layer to fit your needs.
What's the difference between Visme and other tools?
If you've tinkered with other do-it-yourself visual content creation tools such as Canva or Piktochart, you might be asking yourself, “So what makes Visme special?”
For starters, Visme is a visual content creation tool for those who want to go beyond text-based, static content. Rather than concentrating on one particular content format such as infographics, Visme allows you to create all forms of visual content – in particular engaging presentations, infographics and reports – and it takes things one step further by allowing users to add interactivity to projects in the form of video, audio and third-party content like surveys, forms, quizzes and maps.
There are several tools out there that are either too difficult to use, have a steep learning curve or have limited features with various restrictions that prevent users from creating content that serves their specific needs.
Some of these are designed specifically for creating infographics; others for creating presentations; and still others for creating social media memes, banners and posters. But few tools combine the best features of all of these into one visual content creation tool with a single, easy-to-master learning curve.
If that weren't enough, Visme also offers powerful productivity tools that allow you to manage users, set access permissions and organize content into folders that can then be shared with other team members.
This means that as a marketer, you can easily start a project and share it with others so that they can complete it, or you can copy a project to use as a template for future projects.
When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of your visual content, Visme also has a solution. It provides you with detailed analytics on the total number of project views, the duration of each visit and the location from which each project was accessed.
With so many capabilities you might think Visme might not be as intuitive as you would like, but the truth is it is so easy that users feel right at home after a few minutes of use.
Take it for a test drive
The best part is that for all that you get, the price points are very attractive. It's free for everyone and premium versions start at $7 a month for individual users ($16 a month and up for team members), Visme is considerably affordable over many other visual content creation tools, especially the most complex ones, and at the same time, still offers more of the features you're really looking for in a content creation tool.
Personally, Visme has made the process of visual content creation easy and even fun for me, but you can see for yourself if it's right for you. Sign up for a free account at www.visme.co, and use the basic version for free for as long as you like.
You just might be surprised by all the new things you can create to engage your audience in a much more effective way. Happy content creation!
Guest Author: Nayomi Chibana is a journalist and writer for Visme's Visual Learning Center. She has an M.A. in Journalism and Media from the University of Hamburg in Germany and was an editor of a leading Latin American political investigative magazine for several years.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post from Visme, a platform for easily creating interactive online presentations, infographics, animations and banners.
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