If you run display ads, social media ads or manage a social media account then Adobe Creative Suite is an ideal tool to have in your arsenal. Adobe is expensive, but if they’re tools that you’ll use all the time, then the price is worth it. At the time of writing they are also running a 20% off Black Friday deal on subscriptions for all apps. We have also suggested similar tools which are cheaper or free.
Photoshop, Lightroom or Adobe Spark – Photo Editing & Graphics
Photoshop is one of Adobe’s most well-known apps. Using Photoshop, you can edit photos and create graphics. Photoshop can be used to make professional looking Google Ads banner ads and social media graphics. If you have never used Photoshop before it may take some getting used to. But to up your content game, it is worth it.
If you primarily use photography in your marketing strategy. Lightroom is a great tool for editing your images anywhere. As it’s a cloud-based service you can access your images across all devices. You can also setup presets to quickly edit your images to match your branding or social media theme.
Adobe Spark is a web-based platform to help you quickly create graphics, from social media posts to presentations. They have templates you can work from or start from scratch. It’s easy to add your own images, add borders to text and make changes to designs.
The best free Photoshop alternative is widely considered to be GIMP. This is a relatively basic photo editing tool that is open source. Photoshop does have more advanced tools but if you are looking for a free tool to get started on, try GIMP.
For graphics, a good replacement for Photoshop/Adobe Spark is Canva. This is a completely free tool which allows you to make everything from social media posts to marketing brochures. There is an assortment of free images, graphics, and fonts to use. There are also templates available. Canva does have a ‘pro’ version. This gives you access to more images and branding options. It also allows you to schedule social media content from the platform. But you absolutely do not need the pro version to create good content.
Premiere Rush & Premiere Pro – Video Editing
You can create videos to run ads on YouTube, paid social ads, or just to use on your social media feed. Video engagement has hugely increased as camera quality has increased, this means it should be part of your strategy.
Premiere Pro is an industry-leading video editing software. Honestly, it is a little bit overwhelming at first. But there are lots of great resources out there to help you learn. If you have lots of different clips to edit together, want to edit music over the top or edit the look of your footage. Then it’s worth getting the hang of.
However, Adobe also have a tool called Premiere Rush. Originally a mobile app for quick video editing on the go. This is now a desktop app which works well to simply edit a couple of clips together. Rush is more basic than Premiere Pro, but you can still add transition, add images and resize clips. If you’re not looking for complex editing then this is probably the easiest tool to use.
VSDC is a free video editing platform. It has quite a complex interface, similar to Premiere Pro. Some features are locked in the free version which also is not ideal. But if you’re looking for free editing software and you aren’t needing to make too many changes to the audio then this is a great tool.
XD – Wireframing
If you work in an agency that focuses on the marketing side of digital, you may never need this tool. However, we have redesigned our own website and we’ve had input into client’s new sites. This means that we had to create wireframes for our developers to go off. Adobe XD is an easy wireframing tool to use. You can export the files as images to keep your pages separate. You can create basic wireframes, but you can also create illustrated wireframes. We found that doing this ourselves helped the developers to understand how we wanted our new site to look.
So even if you are not doing this regularly, it’s not a bad tool to have if you come to redesign your own site.
If you’re only creating wireframes once in a blue moon, then it’s likely that XD isn’t worth a monthly fee. Mockplus is a free online wireframing tool. It’s completely free for a single user to create unlimited prototypes with functionality.
If you have the budget and you use creative tools, then it would be a great idea to invest in an Adobe Creative Suite subscription. Being able to use these tools also looks great on a cv as they are considered professional level. If this is currently out of your budget, there are great alternatives out there such as those we have suggested.