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Price: $0 Starter Plan (Click to Try FREE Here) / $9-$12 per month/yearly or $15-$20 per month/monthly
Ideal for: Complete Beginners – Advanced
Does it work: Yes, and it is a tool of convenience… (I will give details in the review)
Final Rating: 9.8 out of 10 Stars (Almost full, but one thing could be improved)
Why I Recommend This Product
I recommend Stencil because it is an image creation tool that is easy to use for beginners and advanced users. There is not a huge learning curve and it doesn’t require the user to be a techy nerd to produce high quality images.
There are a lot of tools out there that can be used to create images… Photoshop, Gimp, and Canva just to name a few.
Photoshop and Gimp come with a huge learning curve and take time to get the images just the way you want them.
Canva has a free version that is pretty good, but the best images will cost $1 if you want to use them… so it really isn’t 100% Free. Also, the free version only allows you to download one image type – jpg.
Stencil is a complete image creation tool that can be used on any blog, website, or social platform. It comes with more than 2 million royalty free images that can be used without any attribution required.
The cost is minimal… and the result is that you get access to a fully functional, easy to use image creation tool that you can use for just about anything.
5 reasons I recommend Stencil as an image creation tool:
Reason #1: It’s FREE to Test. No Credit Card and you can keep a FREE monthly subscription… This is a limited plan, but it allows you the chance to test drive the app.
Reason #2: It’s easy to use. It takes about 30 minutes to learn how to use the program and then you can start creating images within the first hour after purchase. This makes it simple for beginners and advanced users.
It is a lot easier to learn than Photoshop and you don’t have to be a graphic designer to produce nice imagery. A little bit of imagination or even borrowing ideas from competitors will get the job done.
Reason #3: It integrates with WordPress. As a digital marketer, I really appreciate that this app has a plugin for WordPress. The plugin makes it so that Stencil connects to the media library and you can create images directly inside of the WordPress dashboard.
Being able to create images as you are creating content inside of WordPress is worth its weight in gold. This saves a lot of time not having to jump from window to window, downloading and uploading each individual image.
If you are already doing this… you know exactly what I mean.
Reason #4: Pre-Set templates for all popular social media platforms. Stencil has the sizes pre-set for all social media elements. All you have to do is select the image type you want to create and don’t worry about searching Google for the right image dimensions.
Stencil also updates the image sizes as they change within their social platforms. These templates are preset for all of the images used on those sites. For example: you can find Facebook image sizes for posts, ads, and headers to make sure everything you need is available.
Reason #5: Quality & Speed. Stencil lets you produce professional quality images quickly. If you want to batch create images to use on Pinterest (for example), you can have a months worth of images created and saved in a short period of time.
It shouldn’t be an accomplishment to finish one image after working for long periods of time. Because online marketing is heavily on the Do-It-Yourself side of business, time is an asset. Therefore, producing high quantities of images is beneficial for digital marketing.
How Can You Use Stencil As An Online Marketer
WordPress: Content creators, like bloggers, who constantly create articles on WordPress websites can use Stencil to create Featured Images and images within articles as well.
These images can be created inside of the Media Library and uploaded into the article upon completion of the image. This process cuts the image creation time in half when producing new content on websites and blogs.
YouTube: Thumbnails are more important than headlines when creating videos on YouTube. Using Stencil to create attractive video thumbnails is a great way to improve the click through rate on YouTube videos.
Video marketers are always trying to find new methods to stand out from the competition and images are one of the best ways to do it. Use images to get the initial click and use your marketing to earn subsequent commissions.
In addition to thumbnails, you can use Stencil to spice up your channel art on your YouTube channel homepage. Let people know you are an expert when they see the high-quality image on your homepage.
Facebook: There are many kinds of images you can use on Facebook. You can use Stencil for your personal pages and your business pages, too.
Posts and ad image sizes come pre-set in Stencil so all you have to do is create a winning design.
Twitter: Create images to send to this social media powerhouse as often as you like.
Images created for all these social media platforms can be sent directly from the Stencil dashboard.
Pinterest: Pinterest has the potential to drive a lot of traffic to your website. Use Stencil to create Pins for every article you create on your website.
Add your pin images to your site directly from the WordPress dashboard and send the pins to Pinterest after completion.
It’s a great idea to create batches of images for Pinterest to schedule on your boards for the week or the whole month. This is a real time saver.
Instagram: Instagram is a little different than the other platforms. Creating the images is exactly the same, but sending them to Instagram is a little different.
Because Instagram will not allow images to be sent from a desktop, all your images have to be sent to your phone via SMS and then you upload them to Instagram.
Stencil Pros & Cons for Online Marketers
In my opinion, Stencil is a complete image creation tool that does exactly what it is needed to do. There are so many advantages of using this application… and the price is not even an issue. It is not expensive at all.
- It is easy to use, so beginners and advanced users can use it.
- It produces high quality images, so your audience is attracted to your pages.
- It has pre-set and custom sizes, so you never have to worry about the right size for your images.
- It has a WordPress plugin, so content creators can create images without leaving the WordPress dashboard.
- It has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, so it can be used on Windows and Mac.
- It has all the pre-sets needed for all of the most popular social media platforms, so you can send images to your social profiles daily.
- It saves you time, so you can focus more on other aspects of your business or maybe even spend more time with your loved ones.
These are just a few of the benefits of using Stencil… once you try it out for yourself, you will notice a lot more.
The one thing I don’t like about Stencil is the Instagram usage. I’m sure they can create an app that links to the platform without the necessity of using SMS.
The amount of SMS’s are limited to the plan you choose, but the easiest way to get around that is to just send the messages to your email and download them to your phone directly.
This is not a deal breaker by any means, but this is the reason I didn’t give 10 stars. I know they can create an app that will handle Instagram posts for free.
Final Rating: Stencil
9.8 out of 10 stars. I highly recommend digital marketers who are serious about producing quality images for their articles and social media accounts to pick up Stencil to add professional quality images to their toolbox.
My Final Thoughts
Stencil is a great tool to use for all your digital marketing image needs. I personally use this application and I am using it now. Any graphics I created (not the product images) within this article were made using Stencil and its WordPress plugin.
I am a firm believer in practicing what you preach and also I believe that the best way to get ahead online is to use technology whenever possible.
If you decide to pick up Stencil… please leave a comment below and let me know how you like it.