We’re fortunate at IU Communications.
We have a vast array of resources to help execute meaningful, integrated marketing and communications plans. But we know not every unit on campus has access to those same resources, especially in the burgeoning and still somewhat confusing world of social media.
Thankfully, there are low-cost tools out there that can help any marketer or communicator engage with their audience more effectively while still staying true to the IU brand. Below are three of my favorite cost effective multimedia tools for creating engaging social media content.
Of all the tools on this list, this is the one we use the most, especially at IUPUI. Piktochart is a sort of “Graphic Design for Dummies” program, with templates, customizable colors—so you can match that official “IU Crimson” pantone—and the ability to use either clip art or to insert your own art or logo to create eye-pleasing infographics to go with those text-heavy reports or news releases.
You can sign up for a free version of the tool or, if you’re part of an educational institution, you can get access to more templates and images for a nominal fee (it’s worth it if you plan on cranking out lots of graphics). While the tool is intended to create infographics, the IUPUI campus has also used it to create digital signs, some of which have even been printed for events.
No matter what you use it for, Piktochart is a great way to increase engagement, especially with numbers-heavy content.
Wideo is like the animated video version of Piktochart. While not as customizable as the infographic service, users still have the ability to pick from a small assortment of templates and fonts—one of which is very close to brand standard “Georgia Pro”—to create an engaging video.
I won’t lie: It requires more patience than Piktochart, but the time spent creating your video can be worth it. For an example, check out this video from IUPUI on construction and traffic issues at the start of the fall semester last year, which was a nice contrast to the traditional PowerPoint video or long news release.
Like Piktochart, Wideo also offers an education discount.
Adobe Premiere Pro
The trickiest tool to master on this list, Adobe Premiere Pro is a powerful video-editing program available for free from IUware. If you don’t have video experience, it’s probably worth attending a training session run by UITS, which posts its class calendar online.
With a basic understanding, you can then include the branded intros/outros tagline available on the brand website. You can also use title bar images, manipulate green screen backgrounds and insert music into videos.
Premiere Pro is an amazing tool, but will take some time to master. It’s probably best left to those with a staff large enough to be able to set aside some time for training without sacrificing other unit goals.
There you have it: Three low-cost, effective tools to help you master multimedia storytelling on social media, while staying true to the IU brand. Ditch the written word and embrace visual communications in that next project!
Questions about this post, or just want to talk about social media? Contact Kristofer Karol, IU’s director of social media strategy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.