UMAI social circle cpg podcast

#43: 6 Tips for Using Canva to Create Quality Content Faster

Hey, y’all! 👋🏼 Today, we’re chatting about one of our FAVORITE tools to make content creation easier, whether you’re a marketer, social media enthusiast, founder, or even a small business owner. We’re talking about the wonderful world of Canva! If you’re not using it yet, no worries. We are here to share 6 quick-and-dirty tips on how you can use Canva to whip up high-quality content quicker than ever. So, get ready to level up your social game and create content in a flash with these awesome Canva hacks! Let’s jump right in! 🤓🎨


Let Us Break It Down For You…

[0:59 – 5:13] Introduction to Canva
[5:15 – 8:01] Tip 1: Create Your Brand Kit
[8:02 – 12:34] Tip 2: Pull in Gifs as Memes
[12:35 – 14:15] Tip 3: Explore Stock Imagery, Videos, and Audio Elements
[14:16 – 16:42] Tip 4: The Power of Background Remover and Magic Eraser
[16:43 – 18:45] Tip 5: Canva Assistant “Magic Write”
[18:46 – 20:45] Tip 6: Utilize Templates Whenever Possible
[20:49 – 21:21] How to Access The Consumer Goods Social Media Marketing Kit

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#43: 6 Tips for Using Canva to Create Quality Content Faster 


Alison Smith: [0:17]
Howdy listeners, we’re Alison.
Karin Samelson: [0:19]
And I’m Karin.
Alison Smith: [0:20]
And we love growing CPG brands.
Karin Samelson: [0:23]
We’re the founders of a digital and social media marketing agency, UMI Marketing and creators of the Consumer Goods Growth course, where we’ve helped grow dozens of brands to six and seven figures.
Alison Smith: [0:33]
We’re a former in-house marketers, turn consumer goods marketing educators who’ve set off on a mission to provide CPG founders and marketers with actionable strategies that drive community and sales. We’re talking real results.
Karin Samelson: [0:46]
If you’re wanting to learn simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies needed to drive real brand growth without breaking the bank or sacrificing your social life, then this is the podcast for you. Let’s get into today’s episode.
Alison Smith: [0:59]
We’re all about working smarter and not harder when it comes to marketing and creating content. Luckily, there are a whole lot of resources. Today, we’ll be talking about one of them, Canva, that make your life as a marketer, a social media marketer, a founder, a small business owner, so much easier. We’re going to give you our top six tips on how you can use the awesome tool of Canva to create quality content a whole lot faster.
Karin Samelson: [1:37]
Alison Smith: [1:38]
Karin and I are on today together. Karin, how’s it going?
Karin Samelson: [1:42]
It’s going good. It’s a Friday and Alison and I have to work on… I know. What are we doing on a Friday? We are pretty strict about not having any calls or any meetings on Friday, but we were like, “Oh gosh, we got to stay on track.” Sometimes, you just got to do what you got to do.
Alison Smith: [2:02]
That’s right. We got to do what we got to do. Yeah, usually Fridays, no calls. Like Karin said, we’re pretty strict on that. It’s the time that you can do all the things that you didn’t get to do on the week or even deep thinking. Also, personally, if I have any errands, I’ll do that on Friday. During the week, There’s not really a whole lot of time to do that.
Karin Samelson: [2:31]
Exactly. Yeah, I told my partner, I was really annoying about it, I was like, “We have a very strict no call policy on Fridays, but tomorrow, yes, we have.” He was like, “You mean you rarely do.” I was like, “No, we never do.”
Alison Smith: [2:49]
Yeah, this is a rarity. Yeah, my partner said the exact same thing. He was like, “I thought you didn’t really do that on Fridays,” whatever.
Karin Samelson: [2:59]
Jokes on us.
Alison Smith: [3:00]
It’s also Summer Friday, so it’s extra bad of us, we’ll into it. Sorry for all the complaints, but yes happy to do it.
Karin Samelson: [3:11]
Yeah. While unfortunately, this podcast isn’t sponsored, wish it was, shout out Canva, we really just love Canva because of all the time it saves us. All of us know Photoshop, a lot of us know Illustrator, but Canva, it makes it a breeze for us. It’s a graphic design platform that helps make marketing content and even things like presentations really easily. You can use Canva on a free account or you can pay for the premium version to have access to a few more features. We’re going to be covering some of those features that you’ll need the Pro access to but we’ll also be sharing some things that can be utilized on the free version as well.
Alison Smith: [3:56]
I will say I was a diehard Adobe gal-
Karin Samelson: [4:00]
Alison Smith: [4:02]
… For a very long time. And I think you, Karin, were popping up in Slack. Caleb’s tight in Austin, they were in billboards everywhere at the same time. I was like-
Karin Samelson: [4:14]
Oh, I don’t remember that.
Alison Smith: [4:15]
There was a billboard on 290, I think, towards the airport, and I was just like, “No, Adobe’s where it’s at.” Our entire suite is in Adobe, so I was Anti-Canva. I was like, “It’s so basic.”
Karin Samelson: [4:34]
It’s for noobs.
Alison Smith: [4:35]
Yeah, it’s for noobs. I’m actually a noob, I’m not a graphic designer, but anyways, I thought I was cool because I could use Photoshop. But they have developed so much even past this past year, they have increased all their offerings, they have so much. We’re going to talk about all of it, highly recommend anyone, especially if you’re not developed graphic designer, illustrator, Canva is for everyone. Sponsor us, Canva.
Karin Samelson: [5:07]
Why are we not affiliates? That’s okay. Maybe by the time this airs, we’ll get a link for y’all.
Alison Smith: [5:14]
But first and foremost, this is our first tip, and this is setting your foundation, this is what you should do really before really diving in. It’s uploading your brand kit into Canva. What does that mean? That’s your brand colors, your typography, your logo, all of your product photos, product images, all of that.
Step one is just get all of that in there. It’s just going to make it a lot easier if you create an organized folder with your brand kit. It’s going to prompt you to do that, it’s basically going to ask you to fill that all in. Just don’t skip that step, it’s just imperative to making everything streamlined and easy.
Some example folders that you can make within your brand kit, within these folders would be your product images of all your SKUs, you can also make a folder for your social posts. We like to segment all of our social posts by their type, so we’ll have a folder for our Carousel posts, a folder for our reels, a folder for our static graphics. That makes it really easy because exactly where everything is. Also, say, you know, need a carousel post for the week. You go into that folder, you can do the one before, edit it. It’s just going to be a lot, lot faster for you to crank out some content.
Pro-tip, you can also have a folder for presentations too. If you’re an agency and you have to do a lot of webinars or proposals, pitch decks, if you’re a brand and you have to create a lot of investor presentations, you can have a folder for these. You don’t have to make these ugly old school, I think of my dad’s presentations. Those are out. You can make beautiful presentations with Canva templates, PowerPoint presentations, and make them beautiful and all your brand kits there, so it’ll be super simple to pull everything in. That’s really going to help you add that branded touch and really impress any investor or retailer or whoever that you’re presenting to.
Going to make a strong brand aesthetic and that’s tip one, create a brand kit in Canva.
Karin Samelson: [7:50]
While you might be like, “Yeah, duh, guys,” there are some of you that may not have updated your brand kit in Canva. That is just like, we have to say that.
The next tip we have for you is pulling in GIFS for memes. You see brands having memes in their content and static posts and reels and wherever they want to use them. You’re like, “Where do they pull that GIF from? How do they do that?” They’re probably most likely doing it in Canva. We are constantly talking about how we need to be posting more video content since that is just one of the best ways to reach new cold audiences on social but we also know that it can be really time-consuming to make videos from scratch. Again, work smarter, not harder, and create some meme reels. That means just a reel that’s a short form piece of video content that has a meme on it.
Meme, meaning it has text on it, but then you can pull in GIFS to make it super relatable and just making it a full overarching mean. You can pull things like relatable tweets direct from Twitter or Reddit or Pinterest, and or you can pull in again, those GIFS and add some clever copy that you think will resonate with your audience. We’re going to get into the nitty-gritty on some of these just to help you help guide you on where to go in Canva. But obviously, you can Google any of the things that we’re saying and find out how to do it by reading it there.
But first, you’re going to want to create a new design in reels dimensions. That’s 1080 by 1920. We’re always trying to be vertical here. Simply add one of your brand colors as the background color, or you can step it up a notch and use a template that you add your brand elements to and more on that later. The next, you’re going to scroll on the left. On the left, you’re going to have a lot of different options. One of the options is going to be apps. When you click into apps, you’re going to search for Giphy, which is spelled G-I-P-H-Y. Once you’re in Giphy within Canva, then you can search for any GIF you’d like. Think of your customer avatar and your ideal demographic when searching for GIFS and think of things like popular bands or popular shows and movies or celebrities that your audience resonates with.
All you got to do is type that in, find one you like, click on your favorite, add some text if that relates to your audience and the GIF you chose and that’s really it. You’re adding some text, you’re adding a relatable GIF, and you’re exporting it as a video and that is a reel. That is a very, very, very easy short form video piece of content that you can make and one up that and duplicate it a couple times and make a few while you’re in there and that’s three different videos that you can post throughout the month.
Using GIF within Canva for meme reels is something we really, really like doing.
Alison Smith: [11:07]
Any video, is it going to be highlighted by social platforms for the most part? Is that a better idea to make a video than a static image for the most part?
Karin Samelson: [11:23]
Yeah, I would say for the most part. There’s no black and white terms, everything is gray on digital for the most part. What we try to do is try to make as much as we can into a piece of video content, but to always test other versions of it too. If you’re like, “Okay, I’ve done a whole lot of those, let me try to do it in a square version,” and it’s static, it’s not moving, it’s just an image and some text and it’s still a meme, try it out, see what happens. See if you get more shares on that. But for the most part, try and make as many videos as you can.
Alison Smith: [12:03]
And that’s a quick and dirty tip to make videos, so that’s awesome.
I noticed you’re JIF and you’re not GIF. You’re GIF. Team GIF.
Karin Samelson: [12:13]
I’m Team GIF.
Alison Smith: [12:17]
Oh, you’re Team GIF.
Karin Samelson: [12:18]
I’m Team GIF. We’ve discussed this in the past.
Alison Smith: [12:22]
Oh no.
Karin Samelson: [12:23]
I’m only Team GIF. Even though the creator of them calls them JIFS. that is peanut butter and I am not interested.
Alison Smith: [12:32]
Don’t get it confused.
Okay, moving on to our third tip, stock imagery. There is stock imagery in Canva if you didn’t know this. Gone are the days where I have three bookmarks of the stock sites that I need to search through to maybe find what I need. It’s all on Canva now, which is super easy. It’s just a one-stop shop.
When you’re creating a new design, there’s a tab called Elements on your left-hand sidebar, and you can search in the Elements for whatever you need. You can find all the photos, it’ll also show you different… Other than Elements, it will also show you videos, graphics, audio even, so it’s all going to be in there. Say you need a background photo or you’re creating an ad and you need some stock imagery to help fill some things, just search what you need. People at a party chatting, it’s going to be in there, it’s free to use, royalty free imagery that you can just simply pull in and no more searching the web for stock imagery or stock video or paying whatever royal imagery, whatever it’s called, 5.99 for an image. Tip number three, Canva has stock imagery as well, and video and audio in Elements.
Karin Samelson: [14:06] 
It’s a one stop shot, that’s what we want here. We want to make it super easy. If you’re going to pay for it with a Pro version, use it as much as humanly possible.
The fourth tip we have is to utilize tools like the background remover and or the Magic eraser. Again, we have always been Adobe hype women, but this is so much freaking easier. While it’s not as refined, social isn’t about being as refined anymore. Just do what you can with what you have. With the background remover, you can remove the background on most images with just the click of a button.
If you have a product image that you want to add onto a graphic, but it’s currently photographed on maybe a colorful or a busy background and you can’t find the PNG of it, just use the background remover. You can navigate to this by uploading an image into the design and then clicking edit photo. And if you have a Pro account, you’ll see the BG remover in that left-hand panel. You’re going to click that and then instantly watch the background disappear.
In the same way that the background remover works, you can also use the Magic Eraser to get rid of any unwanted objects in your images. This does work best if the background isn’t too busy. While it’s not perfect, it can be quite helpful when you’re just working quickly or you don’t know Photoshop or work with anyone who does. A tip is just keep going over the sections you’re trying to remove if it doesn’t erase completely on the first go around. But eventually, it will completely erase.
There’s actually another AI tool in beta right now that will allow you to completely replace an object in an image with something else that you dream of. This is a bit more advanced and definitely not a foolproof method, it can come up with some hilariously imperfect things, but it’s just something that you could also play around with.
Alison Smith: [16:08]
Actually, I’m an AI stan. Do you know what a stan is?
Karin Samelson: [16:14]
Yes. I know it. 
Alison Smith: [16:17]
I just learned what it is. I thought people were trying to say fan and we’re saying stan, so I googled it. For those of you who don’t know, a stan is a Gen Z turn for a super fan. I’m sure everyone knows but me, but I just learned it, so I wanted to show off my Gen Z terminology. Love me some AI and that brings us to hot tip number five, Canva Assistant Magic Write.
I’m just obsessed with AI. I use it for everything. It gets weird, but it’s really fun to play with. Like Karin said, sometimes things get really weird. It’s like, okay, for sure this is a robot and use a human touch but Magic Write is also in the Canva platform, and it’s a lot like ChatGPT if you guys have been using that. It’s going to write you headlines or any text or anything you need. It’s at the bottom corner, I believe of where you’re designing. You should see it, it’s like a little sparkle graphic. But when you see it, try it out, click it. It’s only available on the Pro plan though. If you don’t have the Pro plan, you can just go into ChatGPT and use that instead if you’re just not able to think of copy.
Yeah, use it. It can help you write headlines or short pieces of text. You’ll just want to use a human touch and go in and adjust it based on your brand, your tone, make sure it sounds like it’s not a robot. Love it. Love that Canvas… They’ve launched a lot of AI in the past few months, so really, really cool, fun tip to speed things up.
Karin Samelson: [18:14] 
Yeah, for sure. It’s not going to be perfect. Whatever prompt you put in there, no matter what it is, it’s never going to be perfect. It will get pretty close and maybe eventually, it will be perfect, but right now, it’s not. But you can use it as just inspiration, like Alison said. You can use it for headlines, for those Carousel posts that you’re creating, or even example texts for those meme reels that we talked about. Let it do the hard work for you to get your juices flowing, and then you can refine it and make it make sense.
The last tip we have for you is to utilize templates whenever possible. Literally, everything that we’ve shared today, templates would really, really, really help it. If you’re not graphically or creatively inclined, utilizing those templates is just going to up level the overall design and give you more time to focus on all of the other important stuff that you’re doing.
Canva has a number of free templates, but if you really are looking for proven top performing graphics, check out the social media marketing kit for designs that are super high performing. We have seen and tested them on hundreds of other consumer packaged goods brands and these are the best of the best on what we see bringing in the biggest amount of reach and brand awareness as well as engagement. You can find them at It’s the social media marketing kit and we’ll link those in the show notes for you too, because it’s really hard to remember things like that. Yeah, check it out. It has a lot of templates that are going to make your life a lot easier because you don’t need to start from scratch on most things. That’s a waste of time in our opinion.
Alison Smith: [20:06]
And like Karin said, we’ve been doing this for a long time, working with a lot of brands, and we have to create 16 to 20 pieces of content per brand per month, so we’ve definitely seen what works and what doesn’t, and we kind of just pulled the top performers and it’s just like, “Here you go,” just start smarter instead of testing. Definitely check it out, it’s a pretty cool kit.
Yeah, that wraps up our six top tips for Canva.
Karin Samelson: [20:47]
Woohoo, well thanks for listening, everyone.
Karin Samelson: [20:49]
Thanks for listening to the UMI Social Circle, y’all. We’re here to support you in your CPG journey, so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any new podcast episodes. While you’re at it, please leave us a review on your listening platform of choice. Shoot us a DM at UMI Marketing on Instagram. If you have any topics you want us to cover on new podcast episodes.
Alison Smith: [21:08]
And don’t forget to access our free masterclass where we’re showing you how to create a solid marketing strategy. You can access that at, and we’ll meet you back here for the next episode.

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