In an era where solopreneurs reign, independent business owners have had to learn how to juggle a bunch of skills at once - being your own accountant, operations manager, admin team and marketing department is no easy feat. The advent of Canva has eased the burden a little, making graphic design a more intuitive and easy-to-navigate process for those lacking in Photoshop or InDesign expertise.
Their regularly-updated range of templates, library of millions of social photography and social video and over 3,000 fonts have made it a staple in the toolbox of marketers and brand owners alike. Whether you’re creating digital or print content, Canva likely has the solution, but social media mavens have especially adopted the tool as their own.
We’ve compiled our list of the top 11 ways you can use Canva to enhance your brand’s social media presence and content, from creating unique and professional graphics to managing social media on-location, any time. A note before we get started; the majority of Canva’s best features are available on their Pro plan, so some of the below items may be unavailable to free users. You have been warned!
1. Establish consistent branding throughout all your visual assets
When it comes to managing the visual identity of your brand, it can be overwhelming to juggle all the different elements and remember to keep things stylistically consistent. Thankfully, Canva has in-built brand kit capabilities for you to upload your logos, colour palette, fonts and more to have in one handy spot. Ensure that your content is stylistically similar and cohesive by copying settings and elements across designs and using Canva’s various tools to move and manage files as you need to ensure their alignment.
2. Experiment with video
Canva is constantly developing its animation and social video offerings and they've recently revamped their video editor. Now, you can create engaging videos in just a few clicks. You can use one of their thousands of fully customisable templates or create your own from scratch. Either way, it's an easy way to create videos that can educate, inspire and entertain your audience. Canva is your oyster!
3. Resize content for different platforms with the click of a button
If you’ve ever been annoyed by the idea of recreating an entire design in a new canvas just to fit a new aspect ratio, then you’ll find Canva’s resize button is a thing of wonder. With the click of a button, you can select a predetermined size and shape or enter your own custom dimensions to create a copy of your Canva design in a new size. Your elements obviously won’t be imported perfectly, but the spacing and sizing will be consistent and far easier to adjust in your new design. This starts to become really useful for things like banners - Facebook cover pics, LinkedIn cover pics, Eventbrite banners and more are all similar but not-quite-the-same sizes, which the resize tool helps ensure you have a polished and balanced version for each one, establishing brand unity across channels.
4. Create infographics with graphs and charts
Canva’s Charts tab allows you to create beautiful, eye-catching visual representations of data with just a few clicks. Data visualisation has historically been a tricky area of design often left to the professionals but Canva changes the game with the same easy drag-and-drop use you’ll already be familiar with. Peppering in informative and educational content across your usual social media posts is a great way to build trust with your audience, using evidence and data to validate the need for your brand’s offering. Plus, there’s more than 20 types of charts to choose from, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to how you want to present the numbers.
5. Develop QR codes
QR codes have become increasingly popular not only in the real world (with many restaurants pledging never to go back to physical menus post-Covid) but online as well, with QR codes appearing on livestream overlays as well for the multi-device user. If you’ve ever had a social video playing on one screen while doing something on another, you’ll understand how QR codes become relevant for digital use. Canva’s built-in one-click QR code tool eliminates the need to hunt down an external service, keeping everything you need in-house.
6. Schedule your posts to social media straight from Canva
One less tool to juggle is always a good thing and with Canva’s ability to now post or schedule posts directly to social media without leaving its interface, managing your accounts just got a whole lot easier. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Tumblr are all supported. Canva’s team capabilities also make it possible for you to share content among your team members for their feedback and approval before anything goes live, keeping all your social video and social photography efforts centralised in one spot and easy to manage.
7. Design on the go
If you’ve ever been out to lunch and thought, “shoot, I forgot to schedule something for today”, you’ll love Canva’s smartphone app. Design, share and post on the go as you would from the regular desktop app or website interface. The best part about the Canva app is how similar it is to use to desktop Canva - with intuitive tapping and swiping, you’ll be an on-the-go designer in no time.
8. Background remover
One of our favourite tools of all time has to be the background remover - no more painstaking games of connect-the-dot on Photoshop because Canva’s machine learning has gotten the art of cutting out the subject and removing the background down to an art taking just several seconds. Even if the tool doesn’t work flawlessly, there is an Erase and Restore tool for you to make manual adjustments until you’re happy with the result. This then frees you up to a whole new range of design opportunities. What will you create next?
9. Track post insights
When you post from Canva, you get analytics from Canva. Integrating your social media accounts with Canva means that the app will be able to track important engagement and impression insights for you, presenting the numbers in an easy-to-read mini dashboard, so you can access all the info you need at the drop of a hat to keep optimising and improving your practice. Impressions, clicks, engagements and reactions can all be measured with Canva’s Insights dashboard.
10. Edit photos with a comprehensive editing suite
Canva has filters, frames, stickers and GIFs galore to edit your imagery with. Even if you’re not looking at designing a graphic from scratch and just want to edit a photo you already have, Canva’s editing features include a wide array of settings and adjustments, so you can get down to the nitty gritty of the look you want to achieve. Adjust light levels, saturation, noise and more with incremental sliders to your heart’s content to take your social photography to the next level. Don’t even have social photography or social video to begin with? Not to worry, you’re not alone - in fact, you’re so not alone that we created a whole business to solve your problem. avails has a range of affordable, easy-to-book custom content creation packages for small businesses. Simply book a time for our squad of professionals to visit on-site, and they’ll create social photography and social video content that you’ll love. The best part? We’ll get the finals delivered back to you within 48 hours. That’s just the way we roll.
11. Turn reviews into content
Social proof has always been a powerful marketing tool, and Canva recognises that with their seemingly endless stream of social templates for quotes and reviews. Presenting genuine, positive anecdotal feedback from customers in a well-executed branded template can do wonders for building brand credibility, as well as turning warm leads into piping hot ones.
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