Canva's Marketing Strategies Success

Unpacking Canva's Marketing Strategy – Learn how Canva's marketing strategies can serve as a model for other companies looking to generate traffic, impressions, and clicks.

Canva is a well-known graphic design platform that offers an easy-to-use interface and a vast array of templates and design tools. With over 457 million visits per month, Canva is one of the most successful and popular graphic design platforms worldwide.

Canva's success can be attributed to its well-planned and executed marketing strategies. The following key takeaways can be applied by other businesses looking to drive traffic and generate interest in their software:

  • Implement a product-led marketing technique to get users hooked on the software before charging them

  • Target specific demographics and optimise landing pages for specific tools that people search for

  • Leverage paid ads and brand search to generate awareness and interest in the software

  • Showcase the software's features and benefits through product demonstration

By following these strategies, businesses can attract more users and generate more revenue, ultimately leading to greater success. Let’s look deeper into Canva’s marketing strategy.

Free Taste: Product-Led Marketing Technique

Canva follows a product-led marketing technique, which offers its product for free and gets its users hooked on its software before charging them. When users sign up, they don't need to provide any credit card details, which makes it easy for them to get started with the platform. This approach has been successful for Canva, as it has over 40 million monthly active users.

It is crucial for businesses to provide a way for potential customers to try out their product or service for free before committing to a purchase. By allowing potential customers to try before they buy, businesses can build trust with their audience and demonstrate the value of their offering. Free trials also allow businesses to showcase the features and benefits of their product, giving customers a better understanding of how it can solve their pain points. Additionally, offering a free trial can help businesses identify any pain points in the user experience and address them before launching fully. By offering a no-obligation free trial, businesses can also lower the barrier to entry for customers, increasing the likelihood of conversion and customer retention. This approach has been successful for Canva, as it has helped the company acquire millions of monthly active users and build a loyal customer base.

Getting Discovered: SEO and Traffic

Canva's SEO and traffic are impressive, with SimilarWeb indicating that they receive 457 million visits per month. They have a bounce rate of 28%, which is excellent, and the average visit duration is 10 minutes, which means that users are spending a lot of time on the platform. They have a younger audience, with over 60% of their users being between the ages of 18 and 34. Canva dominates the United States market, but it is interesting to see that they have a sizable presence in Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines as well.

Canva's success story highlights the importance of having an SEO marketing strategy in order to be discovered online and to grow an audience. By offering a free product, Canva was able to generate a large user base quickly. However, in order to continue to drive traffic to their site and convert users to paying customers, they needed to implement a strategy to improve their visibility online. By creating blog articles and landing pages optimised for search engines, Canva was able to rank higher in search results and attract more traffic to their site. This allowed them to build brand awareness, establish themselves as an authority in their industry, and ultimately drive more conversions.

For any business looking to grow its audience and increase its online visibility, having an SEO strategy is essential. By creating high-quality content and optimising it for search engines, businesses can improve their chances of being discovered by potential customers and drive more traffic to their sites.

Attract a New Audience: Paid Ads

Canva's paid ads primarily target teachers, who can benefit from their software by spending less time preparing and more time teaching. They have been successful in targeting this demographic, with their ads featuring Asian women, men, and classwork, highlighting the product's features and benefits. Canva's paid ads have also been successful in targeting people who are looking for specific tools, such as video editors and logo makers.

Here are some examples of their ads used on YouTube and as Micro Ads on social media channels:

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In addition to their video ads, one of Canva's most successful marketing strategies is brand search. They have ads targeting their brand name, and misspellings of their brand, and have optimized their landing pages for specific tools that people search for, such as sticker makers, flyer makers, and logo makers.

Having target keywords that rank high in Google can bring many benefits, including:

  • Increased visibility and exposure for your website

  • Higher click-through rates from search engine results pages

  • More qualified traffic to your website

  • Improved brand recognition and authority

  • Higher conversion rates due to more relevant and targeted traffic

  • Improved user experience and satisfaction due to finding the information they were looking for

  • Competitive advantage over other websites that are not ranking as high for the same keywords

Educate: Solving People's Pain Points

Canva uses a problem-solving video series to address people's pain points. These videos showcase how to use their software to solve specific design problems, such as creating a mood board or editing a video. By demonstrating how their software can solve these pain points, Canva is able to build trust with potential customers and demonstrate the value of their offering. Additionally, these videos can help identify any pain points in the user experience and address them before launching fully. By showcasing the features and benefits of their software in a problem-solving format, Canva is able to generate interest and awareness about their software among potential customers.

Here is an example of one that helps you design a brand style guide for your business with Canva:

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Explain the Product: With Product Demonstration

Canva's product demonstration has been successful in generating interest and awareness about their software. They showcase their software's features and benefits through ads, landing pages, and social media posts, highlighting how easy it is to use their software to create stunning graphics and designs.

Product demonstrations are an essential part of any marketing strategy because they allow potential customers to see how a product or service works in action. Seeing a product or service in action can help to build trust with potential customers and demonstrate the value of the offering. Product demos can also help to identify any pain points in the user experience and address them before launching fully.

Here is an example of an episode that is part of a series of product demos:

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Build Brand Affinity: Word of Mouth

Canva, the graphic design platform, utilizes its "Design Stories Series" to build brand affinity and engage its audience in a connected community. In this particular episode of Design Talks, Canva explores the issue of preventing brand attrition once designs leave the studio and are out in the world. The episode features industry-leading creative minds from graphic design, advertising, and visual communications who discuss strategies to keep designs consistent with brand guidelines and prevent brand entropy. By inviting viewers to share their own experiences in the comments and subscribe to be updated on future episodes, Canva is able to create a space for its audience to connect and discuss important topics in the creative industry. Through this approach, Canva builds its brand name and fosters a community of creatives who can learn from each other's experiences.

Here is an example of one episode:

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Longer-form content, such as podcasts and video series like Canva's Design Stories, provide businesses with the opportunity to dive deeper into topics related to their industry, products, and services. This type of content allows businesses to showcase their expertise and provide value to their audience beyond the initial sale. By offering in-depth insights, analysis, and advice, businesses can build trust and authority with their audience, which can lead to increased brand affinity and loyalty. Additionally, longer-form content allows businesses to showcase their brand's personality and engage with their audience on a more personal level. By creating a community around their content, businesses can foster a sense of connection with their audience and create a two-way dialogue that can lead to valuable feedback, ideas, and insights. Overall, investing in longer-form content can be a powerful tool for building brand affinity, establishing thought leadership, and fostering a loyal and engaged audience – Canva is clearly leading the way …


In conclusion, Canva's product-led marketing strategy and emphasis on creating useful content have been integral to its success in building a large and loyal user base. As a business or brand, it's essential to offer potential customers a way to try your product or service for free to build trust and increase the chances of conversion.

Additionally, creating valuable and informative content such as blog articles and podcasts can help establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry and build a community of engaged followers.

Here are some final points that you can implement in your business:

  1. Freemium model: This is similar to what Canva does, where a business offers a basic version of their product for free and charges for premium features. This approach allows users to try out the product before committing to paying for it.

  2. Content marketing: This technique involves creating valuable and relevant content that attracts and engages potential customers. By offering useful information, businesses can build trust and establish themselves as an authority in their industry.

  3. Referral marketing: This technique involves incentivizing current customers to refer their friends and family to the business. By offering rewards or discounts for referrals, businesses can grow their customer base and increase their revenue.

  4. Personalisation: This technique involves tailoring marketing messages and product recommendations to individual customers based on their preferences and behaviour. By providing a personalized experience, businesses can improve customer satisfaction and increase sales.

  5. Trial periods: This technique involves offering a free trial of the product or service for a limited period, allowing potential customers to test it out before committing to a purchase. This approach can help businesses build trust and demonstrate the value of their product.

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