Marketing is nothing without accompanying visuals. Visuals are a huge part of social media in any marketing program. It can be challenging to create your own marketing visuals if you're not an experienced designer. I use Canva to create graphics for my own marketing and for my clients’ marketing. It offers a simplified approach to design and lets me use my trained eye to create visuals. How? Through the use of an extremely user-friendly interface and pre-built templates.
Canva lets you take a template already created and easily modify the colors, pictures, background, and text to make it your own. Canva also lets you build your own custom designs from scratch at any size. It comes equipped with a ton of font choices, icons, backgrounds, shapes, images, frames, collages, and a color customizer that allows you to use any color you want. Along with all of these items, Canva also allows you to upload your own images and logos to use in your designs.
It’s more like, what can you NOT create with Canva?! As of today, there are over 50 template sizes including social media cover photos, social media posts, digital ads, resumes, presentations, Etsy shop graphics, brochures, flyers, invitations, postcards, business cards, and more. Within each of these categories comes dozens and dozens of layouts and pre-built designs. You can browse through these templates here.
What I love about a good brand is continuity. It’s great when you can see a visual on social media and know exactly who is posting it because it has a look and feel that you’re used to seeing from that brand. Canva makes this super easy. When you create a design, you can simply copy your own design and then modify it for the next post. We did this in our DIYin30 campaign for all of our Facebook posts. Each of these graphics took about 30 seconds to create because we simply copied from our own template each time.
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with creative ideas for your visuals. Canva makes this easier with all of their pre-built designs. They are continuously adding new designs, so there are always new ideas coming your way. These pre-built designs will trigger your own creative thoughts and help you come up with your own visually engaging content.
Canva is free but also has a premium subscription option that is great for anyone using Canva on a frequent basis. This paid option is called Canva for Work and it comes with a robust list of features. You can upload your own font, create a style guide for easy color picking, save designs in folders, share templates with teammates, and more. Canva will also organize a slew of design templates using your brand colors and font all catered to the industry you select when creating your account.
The application is absolutely awesome for any DIY marketer and it’s perfect for social media. With all of that being said, I still hire graphic designers for many projects. Canva is great, but it’s not the be-all and end-all solution to graphic design by any means. Graphic artists are extremely talented individuals and there are many times you just can’t replace that talent with an app. Give Canva a try and then weigh out the differences between doing your own graphics with the app and hiring that service out.
I could go on and on about Canva and I usually do when I talk with people about the app. The best advice I can give you though is to simply create an account, go through the tutorial and use it. The more you use it, the better you get at it and the more you can create. I’ve been using Canva for almost five years and every time I use it, I discover something new.
As with everything, go have fun with it. Make graphics for your business, for your family, and just for fun!
BTW, I'm not being paid to endorse this app, I just love to advocate for great products and this is one of them.