With more and more of our products being consumed digitally, many chambers have had to step up their graphics game a bit in order to be seen and, like our events, the way we used to do things just doesn’t hold up anymore.
For instance, many chambers have done much more video work in the last few months than they have in the history of the organization. If you are posting these videos to YouTube, have you created a thumbnail to upload as the screen shot that is visible when your video shows up in somebody’s feed? If you simply select one of the three options YouTube provides for you, statistically, your video is less likely to be viewed.
Think about it: YouTube is a visual platform. A random screen shot from the middle of your video is not going to do it justice. Creating a thumbnail that has your chamber logo and the title of the video is much more engaging.
So, I’m going to talk about an app that I have mentioned in previous columns here, and that’s Canva.
OK, so there are a lot of “graphic design” apps out there these days, but my wife recently brought Canva back to my attention.
Through her real estate business, she has used Canva instead of Adobe (which we subscribe to) for many design projects for one reason—simplicity. Not only is it simple to use, but it’s simple in that it has design templates for EVERYTHING!
One of my wife’s biggest social media platforms is YouTube. She creates weekly videos with information on the local real estate market, relocation information and tips to help buyers and sellers through the process. By using Canva, she is able to create simple-yet-attractive thumbnails for her videos that attract viewers’ attention.
She also is able to create video elements like intros, outros and subscribe screens to put in her videos as she is editing. These are the things professional YouTubers use to gain large followings and she has incorporated them from the start, thanks to Canva.
Aside from YouTube, Canva also offers access to templates appropriately sized for Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. Whether it’s a Facebook cover page image or a Facebook video, you don’t have to go through the work of designing it from scratch.
In addition to the social media applications, Canva has a wide variety of templates to create brochures, business cards, posters, presentations, invitations, newsletters, postcards—the list goes on. They are all at your fingertips right as you log in.
Maybe you’re in need of a branding refresher? You can even design a logo through Canva using some of its creative elements without knowing a lot about graphic design.
As a designer myself, it wouldn’t be my first choice, but it can be done. Plus, if you pay for the pro account, you can create a brand kit in Canva that saves your brand colors and logos.
The other nice aspect of Canva is that if you pay for a pro account, you gain access to a fairly large library of stock images that you can use in your designs at no additional cost. This is a nice feature in that you have to pay an additional fee for Adobe Stock or another stock image library—and they are typically more expensive than the cost of Canva alone.
So, speaking of cost, you might be asking what the subscription price is. Although Canva does have a free version that you can use, the value is truly in the pro account. The pro account will cost you just shy of $10 a month if you pay for the year in advance, or $12.95 a month if you choose monthly billing.
Using Canva, my wife can generate graphics that are just as attractive in a fraction of the time it takes me to do the same work as a seasoned Adobe professional. For that reason, I have dubbed Canva a lifesaver.