Canva 101 – How To Use This Platform In 2021

A few years back, visual marketing was regarded as the next big thing. The time has changed. Now, we know that it’s here to stay.

You might have heard about the importance of visual content for marketing. Here’s a staggering statistic: articles with an image after every 75-100 words tend to get two times more social shares than articles with fewer images. And it’s not limited to blog posts. You should create custom visual content for other social media, such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Creating all this visual content is not that easy. You need multiple tools and extra time unless you are using Canva. Canva is a very simple online graphic design tool.

If we look at creating custom graphics traditionally, the no. of resources needed is a lot: Photoshop, InDesign, VSCO, and stock photo site. But if you use Canva, you get all these editing and publishing tools under one roof. In addition to that, you get a comprehensive image library. It also offers a variety of templates for different industries.

All these features show the importance of Canva for your business. But you might be thinking that where should I start with this tool. That’s why I’ve created this guide which will guide you about using Canva, no matter what your design experience is.

Follow these seven steps of creating visual content with these tools and templates.​

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How To Use Canva

Start With A Content Marketing Strategy

I know what you are thinking: you want me to go through the whole process of creating Gantt charts and calendars. No, but those things can help. But what’s more important is that you know your content goals and the platforms that will best suit them.

Let’s say that you want to create content for an event. You want to attract social media followers for this event. You’ll create visuals for different social media, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, as a poster to display locally.​

Browse the templates library

Using Canva’s collection of specific templates will help you find and create the right content. In these templates, everything is arranged into specific categories (types of content) and subcategories (topics).

As I discussed an example previously, you can use templates for presentations or posters. And don’t worry if you are worried about dimensions. We’ll discuss that in an upcoming section.

These templates will act as a base for designing your content. For writers, the sight of a blank paper and for designers, the sight of a blank canvas can be daunting. So these templates will help if you don’t want to design from scratch. Plus, they will save you money if you don’t want to hire a graphic designer.

In the next steps, I’ll show you how to edit these templates using Canva’s drag and drop design tools.​

Use the built-in photo library to find the right visuals

The tendency of visual content to perform well on social media is very high. You’d want plenty of engagement (comments, likes, and shares). That’s why you want the right visuals for your post. Also, these visuals should be relevant to your post.

To find photos, type of keyword into the search bar. This will remove the hassle of searching on Google for images. You can get several types of images, such as abstract images, textures, landscapes, people, and animals. When you find the right image, just drag it over to your design and drop it where it needs to go.

You can also upload your images and use them while designing. This is great if you want to add things, such as your logo or other brand information.

Marry image and text through typography

You have selected the right image to draw attention. Now it’s time to add some details about your event (or for any purpose you are making the design). As we are working on a template, editing the placeholder text is easy.

The best social media content is a marriage of visuals and text. However, you want to make sure that the font fits right with the image. For that, you don’t need years of design experience because Canva offers you the font pairing tool.

Choose a starter font. It shows you fonts that work great with your chosen font, along with real-life examples from the web.

Canva

Filter your image

Filters help you enhance your image. Moreover, applying the same filter to different posts in a series ties your campaign together and adds consistency.

To add a filter, select your image, and click on the filter button to add any of the 14 available filters. The intensity of the filter can be controlled using the slider. You also get different settings, such as brightness, contrast, and saturation, or to add effects like a vignette.

Resize for different platforms

The design is ready. Now you have to resize it to fit various platforms. You can do it easily using Canva’s Magic Resize tool. But there’s one caveat, though: it comes with Canva for Work Users, which is paid.

But don’t worry if you don’t want to buy a subscription. You can do all of this by creating a copy of the original visual. Click “File,” “Change Dimensions,” and select the format to which you’d like to resize the design.

Collaborate with your team

Using Canva, you can collaborate with your team or design partners without leaving the website. Click on “Share,” navigate to “Link,” and choose the “can edit” option to generate a link that allows others to edit your design. If you don’t want someone to edit it, choose the “can view” option. You also get an option to get code that will embed your design into your blog or website.

Final Words

Today’s guide will help you get started with Canva. If you want to dive deeper into the design, I’d recommend checking out different resources on my blog and Canva’s Design School.

How much do you love Canva? Or do you have another favorite design tool? Please let me know in the comments below!

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