The quick and easy way to create branded images for social media using Canva

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How to use Canva

Is Canva part of your marketing arsenal? If not, you should consider adding this powerful (and for the basic version, free) image editing solution to your everyday toolbox. It’s a great help in creating content based on predefined social themes and easily customisable branded image templates.

Creating branded image templates is a great way to get your business — and any important or thought-provoking information you provide — in front of your audience.

Some ways you can use Canva social images include:

  • Comment on something relating to popular culture (you can look at trending topics or the National Days Calendar for ideas)
  • Share something about your local community
  • Ask a question people can’t help but answer
  • Give a look behind the scenes into your day-to-day
  • Make a bold statement and invite discussion

Here are some examples:

Branded quotes from industry thought leaders to spark discussion

Branded Quotes

Testimonials from happy clients to demonstrate effectiveness

Branded industry tips to get people thinking about hiring you to help them

Create Canva Footer

Why create branded image templates for social media?

Visuals are an important aspect of social media marketing that should be more than an afterthought. The temptation is to use royalty-free stock photos, but that’s what everyone’s doing. It’s easy to recognise stock photos that get used commonly, and it can be a turn off for your readers.

Branded images help your posts stand out.

The goal is to create shareable content and including elements of branding makes it easier for people to find you if your image grows wings and gets shared from accounts other than yours. By creating templates for the common branded images you’ll need (based on the social themes you’ve already decided on), you’ll make the process of social content creation a lot easier.

Though your branded image templates should reflect your company’s branding, here are some essential elements to consider when first creating them:

  • An on-brand background image (solid colours are boring)
  • Heading in a font that matches your brand’s style
  • Room for one or two lines of text (with an on-brand font)
  • The URL of your website/company Twitter handle
  • The option to add people’s images (for quotes or testimonials)

By now, you might be starting to visualise what your branded image templates might look like. The easiest way to reach a final product you love is by playing around with a user-friendly graphic editor. It’s time to learn how to use Canva.

Why learn how to use Canva?

How To Use Canva

Canva is like Photoshop, but also quicker and simpler to pick up and learn. For those who don’t understand Photoshop, all the available options can be distracting.

Learning how to use Canva offers an experience that’s a bit more user-friendly for the uninitiated and makes it really easy to create a branded image template for social that can be shared with team members for collaboration purposes.

How to use Canva to create branded images

Once you figure out how to use Canva, designing is straightforward. Here’s the process I use for creating branded images.

  1. Decide what templates to create.
  2. Set the dimensions.
  3. Set a background image.
  4. Create your title.
  5. Create your dummy copy.
  6. Create a footer.
  7. Add extras.
  8. Save as .PNG.
  9. Share with your team.
  10. Repeat with new information weekly.

 Designing your template on a program like Canva means that you can be consistent and create great on-brand images without spending a lot of time on the process. Read on to learn how.

1. Decide what templates to create

The good news? You’ve already done this! Once you’ve decided on your social media themes, you know exactly what to make.

Canva Templates

2. Set the dimensions

You have two options: set your own dimensions or choose from Canva’s existing social media templates. If you’re primarily posting on one platform, use that platform’s guidance to set your dimensions.

Canva Design

3. Set a background image

Background Image

This will largely depend on your brand and image assets. Canva also offers some textures and patterns to add more dimension than a solid colour background.

Canva Colour Background

4. Create your title

Create Your Title

Match the font of the image’s title/heading to that of your existing branding. It’s at this point that I also create a transparent box that will hold the text and give it enough contrast to be easily read.

5. Create your dummy copy

Canva Dummy

Add some lorem ipsum text (or the content for your first branded image post) in a font that matches your company’s website body text branding. Note all Canva’s tools for formatting text, including font choice, size, text decorations, spacing and alignment.

6. Create a footer

Create Canva Footer

At the bottom of your branded image template, create space to share your company’s URL and Twitter handle. I usually do this by adding a rectangle that spans the length of the image in an on-brand colour (and contrasting text).

7. Add extras

For testimonial posts, I like to add in the person’s picture. This adds more depth — and credibility — to the post. Go to Elements, and then select Frames to find different options for including images within your design.

Canva Files

8. Save as a .PNG

Canva File Type

Sometimes, Canva saves stuff weird. Save your social images in .PNG format and double-check the file before uploading!

9. Share with your team

Share Canva Design

Canva offers a premium business account feature, but you can share designs with a limited number of team members for free. This is the ideal use scenario for someone who outsources social media content creation, but wants to provide image creation guidance.

10. Repeat with new information weekly

The whole process can honestly take seconds if you line up information with respect to your themes before attempting image creation. By the time you go into your files on Canva, the hard part is over since you’ve already created your templates. Now, all you must do is fill them in with this week’s information!

Thanks to the straightforward nature of Canva, creating beautiful on-brand images for your company’s social media channels can take only minutes each week, after a small investment of time creating templates.

Pro tip: When you’re saving your Canva images to share on your website, make them work for your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. Naming an image file with the right term can help your SEO. To further optimise for search, have a look at GoDaddy’s do-it-yourself SEO tool .