4 Things You Need to Know About Using Canva

by Alabaweh Baweh -
4 Things You Need to Know About Using Canva

Marketers for years have chanted the mantra at the heart of successful inbound marketing:  content is king. It's king because, arguably, content marketing is among the most effective ways businesses can generate more quality leads, build trust, polish their brands, and boost sales. Consider, for example, these important metrics from the Content Marketing Institute:

  • Content marketing, on average, generates 3 times as many leads as sponsored ads, dollar for marketing dollar
  • Content marketing also delivers 3 times as many leads as outbound marketing tactics—and for 62% less money
  • Businesses that blog regularly generate 126% more leads than those that don't
  • More than 60% of consumers make a purchase after reading a product recommendation in a blog
  • Content marketing produces 6 times the conversion rates of other marketing strategies

THE NEED FOR FRESH, RELEVANT CONTENT IS LARGE—AND GROWING

The advent not only of inbound, but also of increasingly segmented marketing campaigns targeted at precise buyer personas, and of a growing choice of marketing channels, has created the need for businesses to substantially expand their libraries of timely and relevant content. For some, that means growing the size of their in-house marketing teams. For others, it means outsourcing much of their content creation. For all, however, it means developing a robust and effective content strategy, one that leverages new tools that make content creation scalable. One of the more effective of those new tools is Canva.

WHAT IS CANVA?

As Small Business Trends explains, Canva is one among an increasingly larger group of user-friendly design tools that are transforming the way marketers and designers can meet the demand of creating an ever-larger content library:

"What is Canva? Canva is a tool loaded with enough easy-to-use features and functionality that anyone can create a variety of engaging content that gets shared.  Last week, you were introduced to Visme, one of a new breed of "no tech or design skills required" content creation tools that have taken the online world by storm.  These tools are helping small businesses get past two of the greatest obstacles to implementing an effective content marketing campaign: 'Producing Engaging Content' and 'Producing Content Consistently.'"

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WHAT UNEXPECTED THINGS CAN CANVA DO FOR YOUR DESIGNS?

If you're a designer, you probably already know a good deal about what Canva can do to improve your designs—in fact, you might already be using it. But Canva's versatility and flexibility are such that it has multiple uses you might not to this point have considered—uses that can effectively streamline and enhance the design process—including the following 4:

1.  INCORPORATE YOUR BRAND INTO CANVA TEMPLATES

Canva offers a wealth of pre-designed templates for a multitude of design purposes, everything from posters to logos, presentations, flyers, cards, infographics, brochures, invitations, and menus. Although Canva templates are attractive and professional-looking, they're obviously not branded for your business. For that reason, designers are sometimes reluctant to use them.

The good news is that it's relatively easy incorporate the principal elements of your company's brand into Canva templates.  For example, you can easily switch out the colors in a given template with those that match your brand's color palette. You can also change individual image elements, photos, illustrations, copy, and fonts. This flexibility frees designers up from the tedious work of creating their own branded templates from scratch, ensures the final result is appealing and professional, and extends the reach of your brand.

2.  USE TEMPLATES WITH THE $ SIGN—FOR FREE

Many of Canva's best templates show a dollar sign in the lower right-hand corner.  Yes, that does mean there's a cost for using those templates—but it doesn't mean you can't still use them for free. The dollar sign simply means that one or more elements in the template has an associated cost. To find out what Canva is charging you for, click on the cursive "i" icon in the lower left-hand corner and Canva will show you what elements cost money.

Most of the time, the cost is associated with a stock photograph. Here's the trick—you can swap out that photo for another one of your own. Now you have the $ template for free, and you probably have a photo more to your liking and more relevant to your messaging and your brand.

3.  REUSE YOUR FAVORITE TEMPLATES WITHOUT PAYING FOR "CANVA FOR WORK"

Canva for Work is Canva's paid upgrade that offers several useful design features. Some designers need most or all of those features, but others need only one or two. The good news is that there are some useful hacks that will get you the same flexibility Canva for Work offers without your needing to pay for the upgrade. 

One feature many designers want is the ability to reuse designs you save as templates—for example, you might want to change up one or two content elements of a saved template and repurpose it for a different marketing campaign. 

So, here's the hack. The version of Canva you use at no cost provides two separate folders to help you organize your designs. You can use one of those folders to save and organize templates you want to reuse. Simply create your design, give it a name, and move it to that folder. When you want to reuse it, go to your template folder and copy that template. Now you can make any edits you want. The result is that you get the ability to repurpose your best designs without paying for the Canva upgrade.

4.  USE CANVA TO CREATE BROCHURES

There are times when a digital marketing campaign can benefit from elements of direct marketing, like creating brochures to reinforce digital marketing messages at trade events, career fairs, and conferences. The problem is that creating those handouts can be a drain on already tight marketing budgets.

You can easily transform many of Canva's custom designs (some at no cost) into simple, trifold brochures. This probably won't work if your brochure design is complex, but it's a great solution for simple brochures. It's also a great way to help writers visualize how their copy will work with your design.

CONCLUSION

The increasing demand on content marketers to come up with a steady stream of fresh, relevant, and effective content doesn't need to become a boondoggle for your marketing team. With the advent of user-friendly content creation tools like Canva, designers and marketers can get ahead of the curve, more easily meeting their principal marketing and business objectives.

Still, keeping up with the latest design and content creation innovations can be challenging.  Fortunately, there are experienced agencies who can help. To learn more about My Design Deal's affordable, effective and unbeatable design resources bundles, contact us today.