We’ve all seen the statistics, and there’s no doubt that content marketing is more effective when images or video are added. So, it’s no surprise brands that utilize visual content receive greater engagement from their customers. Visuals help us tell stories quickly with impact and emotion but they have to be the right visuals. And when the visual is a powerful one, the effect is magnified.

A couple weeks ago, I attended a visual marketing luncheon during EXPOsure 2015, Wichita’s premier networking event. Jeff Sieh, creator of manlypinteresttips.com, spoke to a room full of marketing enthusiasts. Rather than show us how to design a great visual, he guided us through ways to be successful without a design background, whether that success is in how we convey our personal image or a corporate brand.

Of course, the craft of the image matters, but there are other factors that might not be so obvious and perhaps most people rarely think about.

In order to develop and implement successful storytelling, Jeff shared his five filters for basic visual marketing. Anytime you’re putting on your creative hat, make certain you can answer each question:

1. Authentic – Is it real?
2. Relevant – Does it matter?
3. Relational – Are you responsive?
4. Repurposeable – Can it be reused?
5. Rare – Is it unique?

These filters really struck a chord with me. As a brand manager, I didn’t go to school for design or to be an artist, however, that doesn’t limit my creativity. There are limitless resources at the touch of your finger. Most I didn’t know existed until Jeff shared his tackle box of favorite tools. A couple among many of those tools being Canva and Pexels, one offers tips and templates for creating images for social media, the other providing free image resources.

There are countless tools out there. There is no right or wrong to being successful, it’s all in the storytelling. And you don’t have to be a designer to be creative or to tell an engaging story through your visuals. You just have to find the right one that works for you and your brand image, and have fun.