Canva has become a major staple in today's marketing world, and if you haven't used it yet, you're missing out. But first, what is Canva? Canva is an online graphic design website, with free and paid plans, used by non-designers and professionals. Canva allows those with little to no graphic design experience or access to expensive editing programs to create simple and beautiful graphics. Chief Evangelist for Canva Guy Kawasaki says, "Canva democratizes design" giving the world of marketers access to beautiful graphics. It's time to learn a little bit more about the program you should already be using in your content marketing.
Why is Canva important?
Kawasaki stresses how important it is to regularly share images for blogs on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. 90% of information sent to the brain is visual, further stressing the importance of working on producing visually pleasing graphics for social media.
So how do you use Canva?
Here are a few simple steps to get started.
1. Have an account. The first and most obvious step to getting started in designing some pretty graphics. Like stated above, there are free and paid plans. The paid business plan gives you more access to pictures, layouts, and designs.
2. Have a purpose and strategy.
- Having a strategy to every piece of visual content is an important step before you spend the time designing, and all pieces of content should be related back to your overall marketing plan.
- Keep it simple. Every part of your design should have a purpose. Throwing in random elements can be visually overwhelming, so keeping your graphic simple but interesting is a formula for success.
3. Choose the right template.
- Don't just pick the first one you see, but familiarize yourself with all the templates that Canva offers. These templates are a great place to start, but make sure to personalize all parts of the graphic instead of just adding texts and exporting. There are templates for every platform, flyers, and more which is a great option to have for optimization.
4. Add visual elements, images, and text to the graphic.
- While personalizing the template, it's important to keep in mind that you should stay true to your branding here (color scheme, logos, fonts). If you ignore this, your graphic will be quickly forgotten or even ignored as a reference to your company. Canva even has a branding page for your team, to keep all colors and logos in one place so there is an easy way for everyone on the team to know what to use, easily creating a streamlined brand.
- Make it readable. This goes for spacing, choosing the right fonts, and picking colors that are readable. For example: Yellow text is often difficult to read. Likewise, mixing up text fonts can be visually pleasing, but remember to stay simple.
5. Resize for all social media.
- An unfortunate and common mistake that many people make is using the same graphic on all platforms. With different dimension requirements for each platform, Canva easily allows you to resize a graphic (with the business paid plan) and even pick graphics to design for a specific platform.
6. Share with your team and export away!
- Use the collaboration tool to allow your team to make comments and edit your graphic. After staring at your design for a while, you can lose sight of what it really looks like. In that situation, allowing your team to view, collaborate, and edit the design gives multiple frames of view and will make for better graphics. This also makes approving designs more streamlined. Once this is done, you can easily export as a JPG, PNG, or PDF, giving you many options to share your graphic.
Go and try out Canva!
If you haven't been convinced that Canva is a simple way to make beautiful social media graphics, go try it for yourself. Visual content has been scientifically proven to influence human emotion and decision, giving you another way to connect with your audience. Now you have little to no excuse to not create quality visual content with Canva.