Canva: A Free (and Awesome) Tool You’re Not Using for Visual Inbound MarketingOnline Tool for Marketers and Businesses
October 11, 2013
Business 2 Community
by Michael Dooley
Not everyone has extensive Photoshop or InDesign experience and skills, and not all projects require these complex design tools. Projects like CTA’s for websites, social media images, posters, and business cards only require simple design elements. Canva is a new online design tool, which is now in a beta version, available to those who reserve a username on their website. Inside of Canva, users can design projects using a variety of templates, or their own custom sizing. User accounts are activated based on reservation date, so if you reserve an account you may have to wait a little while, but it’s well worth it.
How it Works
Canva is a very simple and intuitive tool, which anyone with basic PowerPoint experience shouldn’t have much trouble with. Users can choose any of the templates, which have set size proportions, or set their own custom proportions. Once inside the project, users can start by using template layouts or backgrounds, and then start dragging and dropping the additional elements. There are a variety of preset elements such as text holders, icons, image frames, and other graphics. Canva currently has over one million images throughout these categories, which can be searched using the search tab. Many of these images and templates are provided for free, however, some premium images and elements will cost users $1. The upload tab allows users to add of their own images, which greatly expands the user’s ability to be creative and customize their project personally.
Your New CTA Builder
As an inbound marketer, the most helpful part of Canva to be is easily being able to create CTA’s for websites in just a few minutes. I can simply drag and drop any company logos I have uploaded to include with the templates and images provided by Canva, which I match to the logo with color coding. After a few minutes of dragging, dropping, and resizing, I have a simple and clean CTA ready to upload in Hubspot. Being able to design these CTA’s quickly is a big help because it makes it much easier for marketers to update old CTA’s and try out new designs with A-B testing. Also by being able to quickly design within Canva, I don’t have to exhaust other design resources on simple projects.
A Free (and Awesome) Tool Youre Not Using for Visual Inbound Marketing image cta1 resized 600
Canva can also become a social media manager’s new best friend, allowing them to upgrade the aesthetic quality of their profiles. One of the project templates included is Facebook cover photo, which makes it easy to update your cover for different events, times of the year, etc. Also there is a project template for a social media post, which provides space to include one or multiple images and text, sized to fit perfectly in a social media news feed. Having this easy design tool at their fingertips, social media managers can take plain boring posts and make them remarkable.
This design tool doesn’t replace the need for Photoshop or other design programs, which have much broader capabilities and can handle more complex projects. But what Canva does is allow someone who doesn’t have much graphic design skill to create simple projects by themselves. For marketers this tool can be very helpful towards getting the simple design work done quickly, and freeing up your professional design resources for the more demanding projects.