What they say rings true – content is king – and what piece of content is complete without eye-catching imagery to accompany it? Content that incorporates visuals is better received by users. It may feel impossible to keep up with the quality and calibre of visual content that is being rapidly pushed out by brands, which is where Canva comes in. Canva is a simple graphic design tool that anybody can use, for free! From social media marketing to email campaigns to blog posts, Canva offers a range of fantastic imagery templates that you can utilise for your business.
Why is a Visual Content Marketing Strategy So Important?
Humans are visual beings – it is in our nature to consume and interpret visuals more effectively and efficiently than any other form of content. Visual content instantly appeals to us as it appears more interesting and engaging. So, it is not very surprising that visual content marketing dominates the digital sphere.
Consumers want visuals, and social platforms are evolving to align with this demand. Take Facebook as an example – they recently updated their text posts to allow users to share statuses on a colourful background and with fun stickers. Businesses, therefore, need to meet this consumer demand, too. People expect to see striking visuals regularly, and if you can’t meet these demands, then your content will probably be ignored.
Thankfully, there’s no need to feel overwhelmed with all of this information! Canva is an excellent simple graphic design tool that allows you to make a start on your business’s visual content marketing. Not only will it allow you to create eye-catching content that looks professional and streamlined, but it will also save you so much time doing it. Here are five of the best ways to use Canva for business.
1. Designing Canva Instagram Stories
Instagram is all about the visuals. Instagram stories, in particular, are a form of micro-content, and we love them. Over 400 million Instagram users create Instagram stories every day, and brands post an average of 2.5 stories each week. An Instagram story is a selection of short, sequential visuals that disappear after 24 hours.
More and more brands are consistently utilising the stories feature as part of their visual content marketing strategy. You could create bite-size educational content, like step-by-step guides or short tutorials. Or, why not try behind-the-scenes content, such as highlighting days in the life in your offices or days out at business conferences and industry events? Stories also offer promotional opportunities, like highlighting current offers or special announcements. Get creative about how you could use stories to reach your audience in a visually engaging and instant way. On Canva, there are a variety of free and eye-catching Instagram story templates that you can easily manipulate to fit with your brand and message.
Some templates allow you to incorporate Instagram’s interactive story features – like the countdown element or the question and answer element. Also, check out the templates that are pre-designed in a list format, if this would suit a content idea you have. Another popular Instagram story feature is sharing a template with a question and leaving spaces for answers – your audience can then screen-shot the story and re-post it with their answers filled in. This is a fun, personalised way to interact with your audience, and there are templates for these on Canva!
Top Tip: Remember to save your Instagram stories into highlights that sit underneath your Instagram bio. If users miss a story or want to come back to it, they should be able to locate that story on your Instagram profile easily.
2. Designing Canva Instagram Posts
Continuing with Canva’s Instagram templates, you can also use this simple graphic design tool to create visually pleasing Instagram posts to populate your profile. Instagram posts can be used to share content in a variety of ways. You could promote a sale, wish your audience a Happy Easter, or share a powerful quote that relates to your industry or key message. The possibilities are endless, but if your Instagram posts aren’t consistent and don’t align to reflect what your brand is trying to say, then it is not going to be very effective.
Canva is a great way to consistently produce high-quality Instagram posts that reflect your branding and resonate with your buyer persona. There so many Instagram post templates to choose from, many of which incorporate fun graphics and bold text overlays. Experiment with your posts to see which type of content resonates best with your audience.
Before sifting through the templates, you could refine your search and lookup keywords that align with your brand or the focus of your post. For example, if you are sharing content relating to Christmas, you can search for templates that have a festive feel.
For more insight into utilising Instagram for your business strategy, read our blog on how to convert Instagram followers into sales.
3. Designing Canva Infographics
Infographics are a popular and effective visual content marketing tool that allows you to present data in an engaging, neat and user-friendly way. They are a fantastic tool that you should be using! Many of us don’t want to – or don’t have time to – read through lengthy reports and try to pick out the key facts and figures. Infographics serve as a tool to quickly and easily digest key pieces of information.
A well-designed, vibrant infographic with important snippets of information is more likely to be shared across social media and be linked to by blogs and brands, which is great for SEO.
Canva has an expansive collection of infographic templates that you can use as a starting point. There are infographic templates that incorporate graphic elements (as seen in our infographic about infographics), timelines, place maps, and various graphs and charts.
Graphs are a useful way to present numerical data in an impactful way (often in a more impactful way than text). Canva allows you to input your figures easily and generates visual graphs for you. Try to use contrasting colours to make your charts more striking and easier to understand.
Top Tip: Make it easy for people to share your infographic on other social media platforms by incorporating widgets. Infographics look great on Pinterest, and you can add a ‘Pin it’ button so users can transfer it to their profile.
4. Designing Canva Facebook Covers
Facebook is the most used social platform in the world – if it were a country, it would be the most populated country on Earth. It is, therefore, very important to have a strong Facebook presence.
Facebook business pages allow you to make a visual statement when users click on your profile. A cover photo dominates the top of your profile and is the first thing that your audience will see when they click on your page. So, how are you using your cover photo to send a message about your brand to your profile visitors?
Canva has an array of Facebook header templates that you can manipulate to fit your brand. One of the best things about Canva is that the dimensions of its’ templates are fit to purpose – so if you use a Facebook header template, it will fit perfectly at the top of your profile.
Think about what you want the style of your Facebook header to be. Will it include a photograph, your strapline in bold typography, or artistic graphics? Such features are very easy to experiment with in Canva so you can create something unique to your brand. You could also consider changing up your Facebook header depending on what is going on in your business. For example, you could use it to highlight a new product or an upcoming event.
5. Designing Canva Animated Posts
Animated visuals are an excellent way to stand out and injects life into your visual content. They’re growing in popularity, too. GIFs, for example, are silent animations that play in a loop and convey the mood about a situation – they are extremely popular on social media and connect with people well.
Animated visuals demonstrate that you’ve put a little bit more time and effort into your post, which reflects well on your brand. Canva offers a fantastic selection of animated social media templates that you can edit to fit your style before uploading to social media channels. Look out for the templates with a little, white play button in the top left-hand corner.
Also, when you’re in the design mode on Canva, you should browse through the ‘Stickers’ collection in the ‘Elements’ tab. Here, you will find a collection of fun, animated graphics that you can use to draw people to your posts. Overall, this is a perfect example of how to incorporate simple graphic design into your content.
Top Tip: Don’t go crazy with the animations. If you go overboard with moving parts, it can look unprofessional and far too busy.
Canva is a smart, user-friendly and simple graphic design tool that you should definitely try to see if you can take your visual content marketing that extra step further. There are lots of templates to inspire you, and there are plenty of ways that you can manipulate them to suit your business and branding. Better yet, the base version is completely free and offers enough resources and freedom for you to create your own striking visuals.