UPDATE MAY 2015 – Get on the early notification list for the business edition of Canva with even more features to help you be efficient and effective with your visual content creation.
Do you still have Christmas cards to send or event last minute touches for your social media marketing and email marketing campaigns? If you are a small business and do not have expert in-house design skills how can you make your visual content marketing or even personal Holiday, Christmas and New cards look stunning?
I have a special Christmas gift for you and it is FREE. Frankly it is one of the best tools available to help you enhance your visual content marketing that I have ever come across – though as you know I am also a huge fan of PicMonkey as I covered in a previous article about creating your Holiday marketing materials.
You might have noticed that for the last number of months the articles I have been publishing here have all had unique graphics and my secret weapon is a tool that is still in beta but I have a special VIP access link for you to use – and I promise that you will be able to create the kind of content I have showcased here at no charge.
I have been sharing this tool with a number of my clients and now you can access it too – the platform is called Canva and it has been developed by a very talented team based in Australia.
I have been really impressed with their responsiveness and the new features that they have rolled out over recent months, and I have been sharing with them some ideas for new elements which I know they are working on in the forthcoming months.
Canva has given me permission to share a special VIP access link to give you early access (some people have been waiting months to try the platform) and when you register for an account you will be astounded at the number of different designs and templates you will have free access to immediately. They know I am a big fan of their service – I have been using it to create digital content and also for my presentations on visual content marketing and social media.
You can do a significant amount of customisation including importing your own graphics and phtographs, but what is really terrific is that if you have a very limited budget and do not want to invest in purchasing photographs to add to your images, they also have a library of content that you can purchase for only 1 USD.
I expect when you register that you will need to wait about 24 hours to get access – of course over the Holidays you will need to wait a little longer.
Here are steps you will go through to create your graphics with Canva. In this example I will share how to create a Christmas card with one of their new templates – but Canva is not just for Christmas!
When you access Canva you will immediately have the option to select different templates from documents to Facebook cover images. I used the Christmas card template.
In my screen shot below you will see that you can also easily access previously created content which you can amend and also copy and re-mix.
You then have a variety of different layouts you can choose from – for the Christmas cards you might want to include family or team photographs – you can upload your images to Canva and add them to the templates.
There are also many different images that have been added in their latest update for Christmas.
One of the great features is that while there are templates you can make these very personalised as you can change the colour and even the level of transparency.
What will make your designs stand out will be the attention you pay to the colour choses you make, how you position the images and the fonts you use.
As you create your graphic in Canva it continually saves your content and you will have the opportunity to name it with an optimised titile – this is very important if you are using Canva for your blog, Pinterest or other online channels.
Once you have created your Christmas card you can then choose to send it to people – however I typically download a .png file – there is also the option to download as a PDF.
Here is an example of a Christmas card with an image that the terrific Irish photographer Catherine Drea has given me permission to use.
And here is an example of a Christmas card I created using no photograph.
I am sure you will agree that Canva is a game changer when it comes to creating visual content for personal and business use.
And as no launch of a new product or serice these days is complete unless it has an infographic, here is one all about the magic of the humble Christmas card.
I highly recommend that you check out Canva and you can be sure that your 2014 visual content marketing will be metty and bright!
Thank you Canva for being one of my favourite resources that I uncovered in 2013!