A low-cost, easy-to-use design platform. Is it too good to be true?
Many business owners recognize the importance of having a steady stream of graphics on hand. If you are going to market your company or have an active presence on a channel like social media, you need compelling imagery to supplement your copy. The data almost unanimously backs this up, with Twitter, for instance, reporting that “tweets with photos average a 35% increase in retweets.”[i] Of course, understanding the importance of graphics naturally brings up the question of how you’re going to create them. Hiring a graphic designer can be expensive. And using Photoshop often involves a steep learning curve.
Thankfully, there are several online platforms these days that facilitate the easy creation of beautiful graphics, with one of them being Canva. Canva has a variety of pricing levels or tiers. There is a free version, as well as “pro” and “enterprise.” While each version is fairly affordable, most small agencies would likely find the free edition of Canva sufficient for their purposes, as it includes numerous templates, design types, cloud storage and more.
Given its robust functionality, on some level, Canva almost feels too good to be true – as nothing in life is truly “free.” And naturally, this may raise some understandable questions, such as whether you own the material you create on Canva and if you need to be concerned about licensing. These are questions we will address in this blog post and hopefully allay any concerns so you can start producing your graphical material.
Do You Own Your Canva Graphics?
What Should I Know About Canva Licenses?
So, what do we mean when we say that you have permission to use your Canva creations? Well, Canva essentially gives you a license to use all free templates or images on Canva to create different pieces of collateral that promote your business, such as flyers, banners, social media graphics and so on. The one thing you cannot do is create an image with materials owned by the platform and then directly sell that graphic. This is a violation of the site’s policies. Another prohibited action is to use templates or stock imagery as the standing logo for your business.
Canva has two other types of licenses to be aware of:
- One-time use licenses: As a free Canva user, you will have access to hundreds of thousands of free stock imagery and other design elements. You can mix and match these assets to create myriad designs, and you don’t need to take any additional action to obtain permission. A large portion of the site’s content, however, is watermarked. To access and appropriately use this material, you must buy a one-time user license, which does carry some modest restrictions:
- For example, you cannot use your design’s stock imagery in more than one design. (Although you can use it on more than one platform, such as on your website and social media.)
- You also cannot use the stock image in designs made outside of the Canva.
- Finally, there is a hard limit on the amount of time you can reproduce the image, with the ceiling currently being 2,000 times.
- Canva Pro unlimited licenses: With a pro subscription, however, you are given unlimited access to the platform’s content, and you have the freedom to use Canva’s entire catalog of stock imagery and other design elements across multiple pieces of collateral. There is nothing additional to pay because the unlimited license is included as a part of your subscription.
A Viable Option?
Canva is a viable option for any organization dealing with real constraints in time or money. We live in a visually oriented society, meaning that to communicate effectively with your target audiences, you need to be able to pair your messaging with compelling photos or designs. With its relatively inexpensive price point, deep repository of images and templates, and the option to buy licenses for additional design materials, Canva can help small agencies and firms put out content that wows and potentially even converts their audiences.
This article is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. Any opinions, or perceived opinions, are strictly those of the authors and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Consultation with an attorney for specific advice based upon the reader’s situation is recommended.
[i] Social Media Engagement: What Is It & How to Increase It (socialfiremedia.com)
Social media has its own language. Be sure to become fluent.
A great benefit of social media marketing is the analytics that are available for little to no cost. However, sometimes when evaluating a campaign, it can feel as if you are drowning in data and that more questions are being raised than answers. From understanding what analytics to prioritize to knowing what each metric means, reviewing your work on social media can be far from straightforward. The following tips can serve as a helpful primer on setting your campaign’s goals and properly interpreting the results.
Determine Your Goals
Before you can start evaluating your social media campaigns, you must determine what your goal was in the first place. Was it to drive more people to your website? Develop a broader reach on social media? Cultivate leads for your business? Generate sales? Once you clarify your goal, you’re ready to zero in on which metrics to scrutinize further.
A helpful way to think about which social media metrics to examine is to decide if your campaign is intended to increase awareness or drive action and engagement. Let’s say you are trying to increase awareness of your agency. Some major metrics to look at could include:
- Net follower gains
- Page reach
Impressions capture how many people saw a post on a given platform, while net follower gains describe the number of people who followed your page and are now receiving updates on your activities.
Both are simple to track. You can see impression figures for an individual post with a simple click. If you are looking to track them over time, you can access the built-in analytics on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Follower numbers are also prominently displayed on a user’s profile on each site – allowing for easy review.
Page reach is used on Facebook and describes the total number of unique people who saw your page’s content within a specified time frame. LinkedIn has a similar metric called “page views,” which is the total number of page views in a designated period. To view this metric and collect necessary data, navigate to the analytics platforms within Facebook or LinkedIn. Twitter does not contain a comparable metric, but you can view impression data for your tweets (both individual and cumulative) by visiting https://analytics.twitter.com/ and logging into your account.
These metrics are important for agents to be mindful of, as social media is about building brand identity and fostering community just as much as it is about driving people to your website or inspiring sales. Agents should evaluate how their output on social is resonating, making tweaks to language, messaging and hashtags based on the results they are seeing.
If emotional-based messages are not working, you could try posting about the tangible benefits you can provide to your customers. And if the hashtags you’re incorporating don’t seem to increase the number of people viewing your content, you can always apply a hashtag research tool to improve how your posts are connecting with your audience.
Action or Engagement Metrics
What are the analytics you should focus on if your goal is to drive action with your content? Some pertinent metrics would include:
- Likes and favorites
- Post shares and retweets
- Conversions and click-through rate (CTR)
Not all metrics are created equally. While it can be satisfying to receive likes on a carefully crafted post, they may not do much for your brand or make an impact toward your campaign goal.
Typically, it is more valuable to receive engagement based around a business priority. For example, although sharing or retweeting a post is technically an engagement, it provides the type of organic awareness of an agent’s operations that cannot be matched by your own posting.
Conversions, which means that a user has navigated to your site and performed a specific action, and CTR, which measures how many people have clicked on a link embedded in your post, are usually the most valuable form of engagement. The main social media platforms provide an easy mechanism for tracking CTR. LinkedIn, for instance, offers several metrics (including CTR) to review at the bottom of each post, while Facebook offers a similar array of helpful insights in the same location.
Tracking conversions is a bit more complicated and can require some familiarity with additional technologies like Google Analytics. However, numerous online resources can walk you through how to gauge whether your social media is inspiring the actions you want to see on your website, such as people signing up for consultations or joining your agency’s email list.
Take Advantage of Social’s Power
Social media has changed how people connect, obtain information and conduct business. While these technologies can take some time to master, they can be incredibly advantageous for an agent’s operations. The trick is to have a strong idea of what it is you are trying to accomplish via social media and a firm understanding of how to measure your results. By applying these principles, you will start seeing a positive impact and ultimately make progress toward your business goals.
Put your best foot forward on the world’s largest social platform with these easy-to-implement tips.
You’ve done it. You’ve finally set up a Facebook page for your business. It’s time to leverage the platform’s nearly 2 billion subscribers, engage directly with your customers and promote your products. But before you start crafting your first posts or preparing your weekly hashtags, you must ask yourself a key question: Are the basics of my profile optimized?
If you are brand new to using Facebook for business, the answer is likely no. While it is tempting to immediately start marketing on the platform, it’s critical to not skip optimizing your profile. For many businesses, Facebook is the number one way in which their customers will connect with them and form long-term judgments about their brand. You want to be sure that you are putting your best foot forward by implementing the following tips.
Any Facebook page includes both a profile photo and a cover photo, each of which needs to be formatted correctly. Begin with your profile photo. Typically, for most businesses, this will be your company logo. It is highly recommended that you resize your image before you upload it, as Facebook will compress photos to make them fit the platform’s specifications. For instance, your profile photo will be displayed 170×170 pixels on computers, 128×128 pixels on smartphones and 36×36 pixels on most phones.
Remember that your photo will also be snipped to fit within a circular-shape template that Facebook uses for profile photos. You will need to ensure that your logo image has excess whitespace around it, which will then guarantee that the entirety of your logo shows up within the circle. Utilizing photo editing software like Photoshop or a free online platform like Pixlr can help you make this change.
Your page’s cover photo needs to be approached the same way. The ideal dimensions for your cover photo are 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall for computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on mobile devices. To make things easier on yourself, seek out an online tutorial. Hubspot’s guide to the Facebook cover photo is particularly helpful and includes a free, downloadable template to help you optimize it.
There are other considerations to keep in mind regarding your profile’s photos. You will want to make sure they accurately reflect your brand. Is your logo the correct version? Do the colors, words and imagery that are in your cover photo fit with your organization’s style guide? Be sure you can answer “yes” to both of these questions before you proceed.
Keep It Fresh and Accurate
Once you have some great-looking photos in place, you’ll need to update your profile’s logistical information. A freshly updated page has become even more important during the coronavirus pandemic, as more people are online than ever before. While you don’t need to necessarily use every field that Facebook offers, you should strongly consider providing responses for the following sections:
- Category: This field will increase your chances of your company showing up in Facebook’s internal search.
- Address, Hours and Additional Contact Info: While always meaningful, these fields have become exponentially more important for businesses during the pandemic. With some customers now limiting their face-to-face engagement with businesses do to health concerns, you will want your customer-base to be aware of any changes to your hours and to know how they can get in touch with you regarding questions or concerns.
- About: This is your opportunity to offer an “elevator pitch” that sums up who you are and what you’re offering. Make it short and succinct. Additionally, consider knitting together your digital presence by providing links to other social profiles and your website.
Don’t Forget Your Call to Action
In addition to its other functionality, Facebook provides what is known as a “call to action” (CTA) button. With a bright blue color, and given its prominent location near the top of a business page, this is another aspect of Facebook that merits careful optimization.
Facebook allows you to modify the button’s text and choose from a variety of different CTAs. You can direct people to click on the button to book an appointment, call you, download an app and much more. Don’t forget to insert a URL into the button and that your URL’s destination aligns effectively with your chosen CTA.
Onward and Upward
Now that you’ve got a fully-optimized profile, you’re truly ready to begin taking advantage of the world’s largest social network. Once you start pulling people into your business page’s orbit by creating great content, they will have everything they need to learn who you are and what you have to offer. From there, it is onward and upward. Continue nurturing your profile. The more work you put in, the more progress you’ll make toward your business goals of achieving greater recognition, reach and additional sales.
How to appropriately address clients amid the pandemic
The pandemic has changed almost every nuance of our lives; however, it shouldn’t change your communication with customers. Now — more than ever — is a critical time to reach out to your clients, family and friends, and effectively show compassion and interest in them. Many individuals have more time than ever before to reflect and communicate.
Be authentic in your approach and seek creative ways to safely stay in touch with your clients. People appreciate the reassurance of being connected to familiar networks. Just because many aspects of life have stopped, do not let your connection to customers falter.
There are three key components of empathetic and appropriate communication during Covid. A genuine approach that is on target for your intended demographic is a thoughtful and ideal bridging of the lack of in-person communication. This effort also helps to maintain existing online and virtual relationships.
Now is the time to engage and reaffirm relationships with customers. What worked in the past with you and your clients? Was it a phone call, in-person, a facetime call, email, text, or even snail mail? Whatever was working, never abandon that line of communication. Don’t suddenly start texting a client who up till now only communicated with you in person. Rather, educate your clients on the many options they have for engaging with you.
If your client base is on a newsletter system, this is an excellent source to reiterate ways to get in touch with you. Create a menu of options for clients and let them pick the communication method that is best for them.
Don’t recreate the wheel. Use the same information on all the types of communication that you have available, and make sure it is up to date on your website. If you have a physical address, you can always check in with Google address, Yelp, Yahoo, etc., to make sure all of your information is up to date.
You need not wait for a website to fail or a phone line to go down for a client to become extra stressed. Create multiple means of communication to ease your clients’ potential stress. This way, there is a consistency to your relationship and they will have numerous ways to get ahold of you in emergency and non-emergency scenarios.
Customers have been inundated with robotic communications, automated messages, spam phone calls, excess emails, random texts, etc. Make your communication channels honest and simple. A customer in crisis does not want to wait on hold for 20 minutes only to be connected to another operator for assistance. Be extremely up-front and honest about how you want people to communicate with you during business and non-business hours.
Society is stressed. Individuals are stressed. Now is not the time to add to your customers’ agendas. When you reach out to communicate needs, wants or even future plans, be clear about timelines and expectations.
Communication is how we maintain human relationships. While in-person meetings and group sessions are not possible, clients still want to communicate. Use your existing resources like eblasts, newsletters, phone calls, and social media to reiterate the numerous ways you want to engage with your audience. The result will be that when the pandemic passes — and it will — you and your company will have maintained a seamless and helpful communication line with your clients. They will be happy and you will too.
When you or your clients see information about a product or service, do you know if the information is provided as advertising, or is it considered public relations? Knowing the differences can help you decide what might work best in your marketing efforts.
described as a paid, non-personal, one-way public communication that draws
public communication towards a product, service, company, or any other thing
through various communication channels, to inform, influence and instigate the
target audience to respond in the manner desired by the advertiser.
Advertising can be
done through print ads, radio or television ads, billboards, flyers,
commercials, internet banner ads, direct mail, etc. Social media platforms are now
a major source of advertising. The advertiser
has exclusive control over what, how and when the ad will be aired or
published. Moreover, the ad will run as long as the advertiser’s
budget allows or determines it is effective.
As advertising is a
prominent marketing tool, it is always present, no matter if people are aware
of it or not.
Public Relations is a
strategic communication tool that uses different channels, to cultivate favorable
relations for the company. It is a practice of building a positive image
or reputation of the company in the eyes of the public by telling or displaying
the company’s products or services, in the form of featured stories or articles
through print or broadcast media. It aims at building a trust-based
relationship between the brand and its customer, mainly through media exposure
Public Relations can
be called as non-paid publicity earned by the company through its goodwill,
word of mouth, etc. (It is often referred to as “earned media”). The tactics used in public relations are
publicity, social media, press releases, press conferences, interviews, crisis
management, featured stories, speeches, news releases.
Key Differences Between Advertising and Public Relations
Adverting draws public
attention to products or services through paid announcements. Public Relations
uses strategic communication to build a mutually beneficial relationship
between the public and the company or organization.
- Advertising is a
purchased media, whereas, public relations is considered earned media.
- While advertising is a
monologue activity, public relations is a two-way communication process. The
company listens and responds to the public.
- Advertising is used to
promote products or services with the objective to induce the targeted audience
to buy. Public Relations aims to maintain a positive image of the company in
the media, with an indirect result of those effected becoming customers.
- In advertising, the
advertiser has full control over the ad, such as when, how and what will be
displayed. In public relations, the company pitches the story, but has no
control how the media uses or does not use it.
- In advertising, the ad
placement is guaranteed, but there is no such guarantee of placement with
- In advertising, as
long as you are willing to pay for it, the ad will be published or aired.
Usually in public relations, the story is only published once, but it might be
published in many media.
- Credibility is higher
in public relations than advertising. This is because customers know it’s an ad
and may not believe it easily and be skeptical. For Public Relations, third
party validation improves credibility.
- Advertising mainly
uses paid announcements (ads) to draw public attention to products or services.
Public Relations is the use of strategic communication that aims at building a
mutually beneficial relationship between the company and the public.
Advertising and Public Relations both use communication channels to inform and influence the general public. While advertising is a highly expensive marketing tool, it can reach a large number of people at the same time. Public Relations is “free of cost” implied endorsement along with validation of the third party.