Free Content Marketing Tool Highlight: Canva

Content Marketing, Social Media, Web Design, SEO

You’ve heard it a thousand times: “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Buddy Gardner runs on words, but there’s no denying that images are critical to a successful content marketing strategy. Canva is an excellent content marketing tool for people who aren’t quite comfortable bending Photoshop to their will. Produce attractive images quickly and easily to perfect your Instagram strategy, enhance the look of your website, and even get better SEO results.

picture of dirty hands in Canva's photo editor while user selects a filter
Canva allows you to do some simple photo editing without getting your hands dirty.

About Canva

Canva hit the scene in 2012, and has become increasingly popular in the time since. The drag-and-drop graphic design tool is likely to be around for a while, given that it has nearly 1,000 employees working on the tool. It’s raised tons of money (having been valued at $1 billion in early 2018) to support its continued growth. In other words, you can safely join their 10+ million other users without fear that it will go away any time since.

But what makes this tool worth trying?

picture of Canva's team in Sydney, Australia
Just look at this happy bunch. Don't they look like they'd make an awesome product?

Features

Canva makes graphic design easy whether you need something for print, web publication, presentations, social media, or anything else. Its photo editing capabilities can’t hold a candle to robust graphic design software like Photoshop, but it’s perfect for basic projects thanks to features including these:

  • Millions of Images – Canva acquired the stock photo sites Pexels and Pixabay in May of 2019, which allows them to offer a massive selection of photos to graphic designers and content marketers. If you’re already using free stock photo sites, you can search for and find pictures directly through Canva. From there, you can do some light editing with Canva’s other features to finish preparing images for your content marketing strategy.
Canva.com site on Discover Photos page
When you need stock photos for a web design project, social media, or any other design, Canva makes it easy to find photos right in their tool.
  • Photo Editing – Unless you need to do some intense editing, Canva should have everything you need. Filter, crop, and straighten your photos to spruce them up a little bit. You can also do basic things like adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, and transparency of your images.
  • Add Text – Canva has hundreds of fonts available, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find your brand font unless you had something custom-made. Choose one of your old favorites, or scroll through their options to see an example of each font. You can easily make anything into a meme, add labels to images, or throw some speech bubbles onto a picture.
  • Color Palettes – Choosing a color palette is important for logo design, matching design elements to photos, and more. Unless you went to art school, though, it’s probably pretty hard to decide which colors to use. Canva can identify key colors from a photo, or let you choose from nearly endless color palettes.
canva color palettes with different options for combinations
Are you the kind of person who wears black shoes with a brown suit? Better rely on Canva to pick the color combinations!
  • Graphic Design Elements – Beyond the ability to add headers and other text, you have thousands of design elements at your disposal with Canva. Want to incorporate more infographics into your content marketing strategy? No sweat. Just arrange shapes, icons, and other elements to create a homemade graphic design project.
  • Templates and Resources – If you’re not sure where to start with graphic design for content marketing, Canva comes with plenty of guides. They have more than 50,000 various templates you can use for things like logos, animated social media posts, flyers, infographics, and so on. Canva.com also includes a blog and online design school to help you get the hang of things.

Pricing: Freemium

creating the buddy gardner advertising brand logo in canva
Guess which tool is responsible for the Buddy Gardner brand logo.

Canva’s free version is extremely useful. You can access millions of photos and design elements (some of which do cost $1 to use), upload your own images, create designs, use their templates, and store up to 1GB of your designs for free. When you upgrade to Canva Pro for $12.95 per user per month, you get even more features, which include the following and more:

  • More organization and collaboration options
  • Access to more free photos, templates, and illustrations
  • Easily resize images
  • Upload custom fonts
  • Set a brand color palette for repeated use
  • Download designs with transparent backgrounds
  • Export animated GIFs
create a design page in Canva showing different template options
You don't have to pay a dime, ever, to start using Canva templates.

Content Marketing Services

The price is definitely right on the free version, and Canva Pro is worth it, too. The paid subscription has definitely proven useful for creating a content marketing strategy. The only thing easier than producing visuals with Canva is having someone else do it for you! If that sounds like it’s more your speed, let’s get in touch.

There are more articles about free content marketing tools in the Buddy Gardner blog queue. If you don’t want to miss them, you can join the mailing list below.

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