Adding a Creative Touch, Effortlessly


Adding a Creative Touch, Effortlessly

A Platform Guide For Small Business Owners

Over the last few years, it’s become important for small businesses to add more creative visuals in their marketing strategy as a way to encourage online customer engagement and ultimately drive sales.

Fortunately, there are multiple platforms that provide the tools for small business owners to showcase their imaginative side without breaking the bank.

Here are two online platforms small businesses should consider looking into:

The perfect design tool for any skill level

With more engagement happening online, especially via social media, adding visual elements to a business marketing strategy is an easy way to draw the attention of current and potential customers.

That’s where Canva comes in — an online platform and app.
Canva is a graphic design platform with thousands of templates for social media graphics, presentations, flyers, infographics and so much more. With its drag-and-drop design tools, creating visual content on the platform is intuitive and easy, opening the door to graphic design for people of any experience level. For those who have pre-existing design skills, Canva offers the option to build designs from a blank page, giving the creator more control.

It’s free to use, but offers inexpensive upgraded plans
Hiring agencies to help with marketing can be expensive, and for some small businesses, this may not be a viable option. Canva makes marketing accessible to entrepreneurs with any budget, and offers a free version of the site. The free account includes hundreds of templates, stock photos and other design elements. While the free account option suffices for most businesses, it does have restrictions in terms of available content.

By upgrading to Canva Pro or Canva Teams, businesses unlock more templates, over a million stock photos, and the ability to have content automatically posted to social media channels. The Pro account also offers one place to save brand colors and additional storage space, and Canva Teams account gives more room for team collaboration. Canva Pro starts at $14.99 a month, while Canva Teams starts at $29.99 a month. These prices are slightly lower with annual subscriptions.

Canva also has online articles and resources covering topics such as font and color scheme decisions in branding.

Create a brand kit for consistent marketing
For businesses with the goal of brand image building, Canva offers a brand kit feature for Canva

Pro subscribers. The feature allows businesses to add elements particular to their brand, such as fonts, color schemes, logos and other imagery, to be conveniently applied to all designs. This feature makes it effortless for growing businesses to highlight the uniqueness of their product, and makes it easy to stay consistent with a brand’s image throughout marketing efforts.

The perfect website builder for small businesses
Expanding online presence is helpful for any micro business, and having a website can increase online visibility and reach. Wix offers free website building features, providing a growing business the opportunity to create professional websites without any coding knowledge required. Business owners should take into consideration that while creating a website is free, these free sites will always include at the end of the url, unless upgraded.

Much like Canva, Wix functions as a drag-and-drop display builder with numerous templates, tutorials and customer support that aid in a business’s creation of a website that captures the uniqueness of the company.

Wix is perfect for businesses with different objectives — from simple blogging to e-commerce needs.

Useful features beyond website building
Wix also has built in tools small businesses can take advantage of. It should be noted some of these features do require an upgraded membership. Some of the features include:

Businesses can integrate tools to make it easy to accept payments. By connecting to Wix Payments, small businesses can manage shipping, payments and sales all in one place. This feature requires users to upgrade to the Core plan or higher, which starts at $27 a month. In addition, businesses can connect sales made at a brick-and-mortar store with Wix Retail POS or on the move with Wix Mobile POS. All sales made online and in-person sync automatically.

SEO tools
Over the last few years, Wix has improved its infrastructure, making its built-in features align better with search engine crawlers and bots — meaning websites made on Wix now fare better in online search results.

Wix provides a search engine optimization checklist for all new websites based on the business, location and keywords. This checklist helps businesses build a foundation in SEO. In addition, for anyone wishing to understand more about SEO, Wix offers a SEO Learning Hub full of informational videos, podcasts, in-depth guides and webinars to help elevate understanding of the industry. It should be noted many SEO features are free, but to have access to indexing reports from things like Google Search Console, you’ll need a premium subscription.

Analytic tools
Every single website created on Wix includes analytics, at no cost. This feature gives an advantage to businesses learning about how their customers engage with products while online. With analytics, companies can gain a better insight about their customers as well — where they may come from, how long they stay on the site and whether or not they return. Having this feature is a useful tool for businesses hoping to understand how their product is performing, and with recommendations provided by Wix, find ways to improve their website for optimal results. There is also a phone app for small business owners who wish to check their website performance on the go.

Email marketing
On top of its many functionalities, Wix also offers email marketing services to help businesses send beautifully designed emails with Ascend by Wix. With Wix’s email marketing feature, users can edit emails from several existing templates, automate campaigns and analyze results.

There is a free option available for the email service, but it does have its limits — users can only send 5,000 emails a month, along with three email campaigns, which includes the display of Wix branding. However, Wix is much less expensive in comparison to other email marketing services, such as Mailchimp.

Takeaways from Canva and Wix
Both Wix and Canva deliver a range of features entrepreneurs can take advantage of. Their user-friendly interfaces, along with customizable templates and specs, offer businesses of every budget the chance to create professional and appealing visual content without a background in coding or design.

As more marketing strategies revolve around the output of visually attractive content online, members with NASE, or the National Association for the Self-Employed, can utilize the many resources provided — especially for social media — in developing and growing their brand.

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