When website visitors share your content, whether on their social media channels or on other websites, the sites will search the content for an image to associate with it. This means if you don’t include a feature image with your webpage or blog post, the tiny image in your webpage sidebar might be the one selected. Don’t miss this opportunity to create a feature image that can serve as an eye-catching advertisement for your content.
There are many professional tools available to create customized feature images, such as PhotoShop and Illustrator, and also free tools like Canva and PicMonkey. In this post, we show you how to create the images using PowerPoint. It’s quick and easy, and produces great results. (Below the example, look for a list of other opportunities to improve your content marketing using this same process.)
Feature images with text overlays add an engaging visual element to any article headline or webpage. In the example below, I’ll show you how we created the feature image for our blog post titled 5 Must-Have Tools To Rock Content and Save Tons of Time.
1. Create a blank slide in PowerPoint and edit the size.
Menu: Choose the Design Tab in the main PowerPoint Header Menu, then slide size, then custom.
2. Customize the Height and Length of the image in pixels.
For feature images, choose the most common size such as 400 x 400 pixels for a square image and 600 x 400 for landscape images. When editing the size of your PowerPoint slide, enter the dimensions in pixels and PowerPoint will automatically convert this to the same size in inches. In the example below, I entered 400 px x 400 px and the file was converted to 4.167 inches.
3. Insert an image that ties to the topic of your content.
When selecting your image, use photos you’ve taken or stock images. For very high-quality stock images, with no attribution or purchase required, turn to Pixabay.com. Their free stock images will knock your socks off.
For the feature image design in this example, I first inserted the image, then enlarged it by dragging the corner edges so that the image covered the entire space. Only use the corners for enlarging the size, so that the image is not distorted. I then cropped the edges to make it the exact size of the space.
4. Insert text box and customize colors and fonts.
Click on the Picture Tools Format Tab from the Header Menu. Customize the color and transparency from the Shape Fill menu using the More Fill colors feature and the Eyedropper feature. The Eyedropper feature allows you to select any color from the image to use as the fill color for your text box. I set the transparency for the text box above to 32%.
5. Save the file as a PNG file.
For greatest clarity, save the file as a png file. Insert the newly created image into your blog post or webpage just as you would any other image.
The same process above can be used in other components of your content marketing. Here are a few ideas:
- Create cover photos and profile photos for business social media channels. Most platforms will tell you the optimal size of images. Simply enter these dimensions into the appropriate fields when adjusting the size of your PowerPoint slide.
- Create image and text-based social media posts such as tweets and Facebook updates.
- Create a simple image for an upcoming email campaign.
- Create images or advertisements for your company newsletter.
- Use this process to create banner ads for your website as a revenue stream.
Want more ideas and free tools for creating dynamic content? Download the Ultimate Guide to Free Small Business Marketing. And the guide is free too!