So here’s the thing about small business marketing and branding; most of us compete with many other much larger, better resourced and well established businesses, many with in-house marketing and design teams, and seemingly endless marketing budgets to drive their brands, attract customers, and ultimately make the cashola (otherwise known as sales).
Many I am sure would agree, that social media (particularly Facebook) has levelled the playing field for small businesses to enter markets and compete (and we do a damn good job of it too, might I add!) where previously shockingly high marketing costs and specialised skills were high barriers to competition. Luckily, those barriers are ever shrinking with the development of simple graphic design software like Canva, and small businesses can now create visually stunning marketing and branding tools like the big guys but on shoestring budgets (especially great if yours was like mine, and that budget was close to $0!).
So why should your small business be using a program like Canva?
- Every business should have a professional image.
If you want to compete with the big guys, you have to present like the big guys do. Likewise, if you want to build a brand whose customers are happily justified in spending what you’re asking – then you need to look the part. Depending on your market positioning, you will need to ‘look’ a certain way to attract your customers. If how you’re presenting isn’t reflecting your ideal customers, then your professional image may be letting you down. With Canva, every business has the ability to design and build virtually anything (both branded and templated) for digital or print use. Gone are the days of pilfering quotes and images from Google. A small business that wants to demonstrate a unique, high quality, professional, and consistent brand to its target market, ideal customers or followers can use a professional image building and editing program to achieve just that!
- Every business should have a marketing strategy.
Every small business should have a marketing strategy (even if a small one!), and professional, consistent imagery and content should support your strategy and form foundation for strong brand recognition. With flexibility to utilise dozens of fully customisable ready-to-use templates, or the ability to build your own wholly unique template, the template settings on Canva are conveniently optimised to fit most social media platforms and standard print material sizing so the hard work is done for you (awesome if you already spend way too much precious time on social media!).
- It’s convenient and simple to use.
You don’t need to be a graphic designer to use the program. While there are times you might call upon the expertise of a professional graphic designer, the beauty of Canva is that it’s specifically built for the non-designer, and is great for those everyday image building needs (social media posts, documents and other marketing materials). It is an online program, so your designs are saved in a way similar to the cloud. You can also download the app for Apple, so you can design on the go.
- Best of all – it’s free!
Can’t complain about the price, right?! It’s free for up to 10 users so it’s ideal for small business, plus Canva offers stacks of free stock photography and templates too. If, however you need premium quality photography or templates, the most you’ll pay is $1USD a piece, and if you need extra functionality, it is quite affordably priced at $12.95USD compared to other graphic design software on the market.
So, does your current marketing image and branding reflect the professional message you want to send to your potential customers? If the answer is no, and you need to polish up, then give a program like Canva a try. And if you were wondering – no, I don’t get paid for plugging Canva (but they should totally give me a job doing it, am I right?!).