So, you want to start a small business. Or a massive one. Perhaps you already have one in the works that could use an extra coat of paint. But you need a company logo or social media posts and everywhere you look you see magnificent branding and content, and you start to doubt you could even make a splash out there.
Firstly, get rid of your doubt – you’re going to be just fine. Secondly, your competition may not be as naturally gifted in design as you think. Fair enough, they may be using a professional advertising agency. Or they may just be using Canva; the new-age design tool that everybody loves to pretend they don’t use but end up creating amazing content with anyway.
And rightly so. Canva has changed the game for brands, businesses and social media. The free design software was launched in 2012 and has since seen over 5 billion designs created on the site. They’re meeting their mission of “empowering the world to design”.
How Canva Works
As we said before, Canva is a free design tool. But before you start linking it to the likes of Adobe software, that isn’t the case here. Canva is most popular for its simplicity. It allows everyday people to create aesthetic designs for posters, invitations, business cards and social media posts or blog content, just to name a few.
The site offers free, up-to-date templates for you to use and are customisable down to the very last detail. Canva suggests font pairings, colour schemes and really does open up a whole new world for branding. So whether you want to create a company logo or an entire social media campaign, you can find a way on Canva.
Visual Content Makes You Memorable
Considering you’re already doing some internet deep diving into brand design; we probably don’t need to get too in-depth into its essential role. But we will.
What’s the one thing you want for your small business? Profit? Recognition? Community upliftment? All valid, but all unlikely without one thing: people remembering your brand.
That’s where visuals come in. Research has shown that people can recall 65% of the visual content that they see three days after they have seen it. This, in comparison to the measly 10% recall achieved in the same time frame after people had read written content, is reason enough to perk your ears at good design.
And when you consider that your company logo is the foundation of your brand identity, it’s easy to see how important design is in today’s digital world. The best part? With tools like Canva, you can do most of it yourself.
What Can I Use Canva For?
To use their words: “absolutely anything”. The range of templates available is astounding and it would take us a good chunk of word-time to list them all. We’re going to focus more on how the software works to help you create impactful social media content, but that isn’t all that Canva is good for. I mean, from a company logo to a Zoom call background, the world of design is your oyster.
Creating Brand Identities
For a new business, this is where it’s at. Getting a business off the ground costs money and you may not have extra cash to pay a designer or agency to sort out the creative branding stuff. But with Canva, you won’t have to.
You can create your entire brand identity and company logo using Canva, and nobody will be able to tell the difference. Why should it matter anyway? You can choose from thousands of templates to create your business logo, the icon that you will one day be recognised for. On top of that, you can transfer your personal branding to resumes, business cards, letterheads and brochures.
It’s really easy to save your logo and use it across all your content – consistency suddenly got a whole lot easier.
READ THIS: A Guide to Branding a Small Business
Pictures for Articles and Blog Posts
If you’re a writer or you like to post written content for your audience, you’re a part of the visual take-over, too. Why? Because articles including images get 94% more views than those who choose to keep it old school.
Up until now, you may have been holding back on using visuals in your blogs because it seems like a hack.
Canva makes it easy to include great photos and designs within your article. Alongside great fonts and graphics, Canva also hosts an impressive image library. You can find high-quality stock images, place the title of your article across a captivating header image or insert these free images within your writing.
Yes, even the photos are free. If you join Canva Premium, you’ll have access to a wider library, but you can make do using a free account.
Pinterest is a great place to advertise your brand by creating community-driven content that inspires people. We’re not sure why so many people seem to miss this platform in their social media strategy. That’s a topic for another day.
Because Pinterest is image-focused, your designs need to be good. You can create quotes, infographics and cover pages for your blog posts.
Goodbye generic Facebook covers, hello striking first impressions.
Your Facebook cover is the first thing people see – it’s going to set the tone for your Facebook page. Using Canva, you can make your cover unique and relevant to your brand. It’s a whole lot of space on your page and you should use it wisely!
READ THIS: How to Start Your Facebook Business Page
For example, you could upload a photo of your team, a past event or your workspace to Canva and overlay it with your logo and mission statement. Or perhaps you could create a bright colour block with a brand-appropriate quote. Whatever your style is, there’s a Canva template that will guide you in the right direction.
Instagram Stories and Posts
It goes without saying that when it comes to Instagram, your visual game needs be on point. Instagram requires different sizes and formats and Canva does that all for you with their Instagram size guide. If you want to create a post, it will be automatically sized to fit your feed. The same goes for stories.
Canva was even ahead of the curve when it came to TikTok and Reel formats whilst other platforms scrambled to keep up. You can create your Instagram content, still and moving, from Canva and publish it directly from the site.
If you aren’t a social media whiz, that’s cool. Canva offers Instagram post ideas to keep your feed looking put together and professional.
The more people see your brand, the more likely they are to engage with you. A social media campaign is one of the most solid strategies for growing your brand.
Because you have templates that work across all social media platforms, you can create entire campaigns using Canva. There are over 100 layouts dedicated to social media alone. So, if you want to spread consistent content across the board, Canva can help you do that.
Vision Boards, Workflows and Story Boards
Not everything you create on Canva has to be published, and that doesn’t mean it’s any less useful. Your internal branding is important, too.
Canva is also a great productivity tool and is used to create vision boards or mood boards to help you and others to grasp the essence of your brand. It’s great for communicating ideas and visualising future projects. You can also create beautiful presentations for pitches or to send to clients.
Speaking of projects, Canva lets you work as a team. You can open up projects to multiple creators for review, collaboration or to store your creations in one accessible place.
Hopefully, you’re feeling more inspired to start testing your creative prowess (of which you don’t need much now that you know where to go). If you’re looking to try your hand at creating your very own company logo or social media content, visit Canva and get started. It’s super simple and there are a bunch of templates you can use to spark some inspiration.
So, go on. Introduce your brand to the world. We’re excited to see where it takes you. If you aren’t finished taking in tips on how to nail your social media strategy, read our article on how to use hashtags like a pro to grow your business here.