Canva: How Guy Kawasaki became the OG Tech InfluencerNew Post

Canva: From Humble Beginnings to Design Domination (with a little help from Guy Kawasaki)

Canva, the design platform that empowers everyone to be a creator, has exploded in popularity, boasting over 170 million users worldwide.

But how did a design tool transcend the realm of professional creatives and become a household name?

The answer lies in a strategic marketing approach that prioritizes accessibility, education, and community.

Along with roping in one of the OG influencers or ‘evangelists’ of the tech community.

Let’s dive deep into the Canva story!

Freemium: The Core of Attraction

Canva's foundation rests on a robust freemium model. Users have access to a vast library of templates, fonts, and design elements at no cost. This eliminates the initial barrier to entry, allowing anyone, regardless of experience, to explore their creative potential.

The free plan effectively acts as a gateway drug, showcasing the platform's intuitive interface and powerful features. Users can then choose to upgrade for premium elements and advanced functionalities, creating a seamless path to paid subscriptions.

Content is King (and Queen)

Canva understands that a confused user is a lost user. Their marketing strategy heavily emphasizes content marketing, providing users with a treasure trove of educational resources.

Their website offers a plethora of tutorials, blog posts, and design guides, catering to all skill levels.

They even have a dedicated YouTube channel bursting with design tips and tricks.

This commitment to education not only empowers users but also fosters brand loyalty. When users feel confident and supported in their creative journey, they're more likely to stick with Canva.

SEO Savvy

Canva champions a "jobs to be done" approach when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). They target keywords that reflect the specific problems their users are trying to solve. Imagine someone searching for "how to make a social media post." Canva's website will likely appear at the top of the search results, offering a user-friendly template and a quick tutorial. This laser focus on user intent ensures they reach the right audience at the right time.

Social Media Mastery

Canva's vibrant presence across social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok fosters a strong sense of community. They share engaging design challenges, host live Q&A sessions with design experts, and showcase user-created content. This interactive approach not only keeps users engaged but also leverages the power of social proof. Seeing others create stunning visuals with Canva inspires new users to join the movement.

A Campaign That Captivates

Canva's marketing efforts extend beyond the platform itself. They've executed some truly remarkable campaigns that have garnered international acclaim.

Canva partnered with Guy Kawasaki, a tech influencer and marketing specialist. This partnership helped them 3X their users in just a few months.

“Macintosh democratized computers; Google democratized information; and eBay democratized commerce. In the same way, Canva democratizes design” - Guy Kawasaki.

Kawasaki not only contributed to Canva's user growth but also assumed the role of "Chief Evangelist of Canva," leveraging his extensive following to endorse and advocate for the platform. By enlisting a respected tech influencer like Kawasaki, Canva effectively expanded its reach and efficiently attracted a wider audience, facilitating swift user conversions.

An early Apple employee himself, Guy brought a ton of experience, expertise, and trust to the table, something that would’ve been difficult for a company thousands of miles away from Silicon Valley to cultivate.

Interestingly, only a few weeks ago, the Australian unicorn announced that they were acquiring Affinity, known for their suite of services which enhance graphics, illustrations, and photographs.

Canva always partners with a diverse range of influencers, from micro-influencers with engaged communities to design celebrities with massive followings.

These partnerships leverage the influencer's credibility and reach to introduce Canva to new audiences.

Guy just happened to be the first major name.

The influencers, in turn, benefit by creating engaging content for their followers using Canva's user-friendly tools. Win-win.

Now that AI has come into the scene, it’ll be interesting to see how the design company moves with the times.

We discuss more about Canva’s influencer marketing strategy in the next episode of Influencer Matchmaking, the video will be live soon on YouTube, so do subscribe to our channel.

While you are at it, check us out on Instagram too.

See you next week!

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