The inception of Canva dates back to 2007 when Melanie Perkins, while teaching students how to use complex software programs like InDesign and Photoshop, realized that there was a need for a simpler and more accessible tool for the average person to create beautiful designs. With the existing graphic design tools in the market being too complex and overpowered, Melanie saw a potential market for an online graphic design tool that would be easy to use.
Melanie and Cliff initially founded Fusion Books, which has now become the largest school yearbook publisher in Australia and expanded to France and New Zealand. However, they believed that their technology could serve a broader market beyond the yearbook industry, which led them to bring on board Cameron Adams, a former Google employee, to launch Canva as a standalone product.
Canva’s success in numbers
Canva has achieved impressive growth figures, with over 15 million users and 300,000 paying customers acquired in less than seven years. The company has also been valued at $4.7 billion and raised $125 million in its latest funding round. Within the first two years of its launch, Canva had already reached two million users, averaging 3,600 daily signups or 111,111 signups per month.
Secret behind the growth
Certainly, the success of their enterprise can be largely attributed to their product and marketing strategy. They hit the bullseye when it came to recognizing the pain points of their intended audience. They were aware that individuals were seeking a hassle-free and superior method to craft visually appealing designs, which coincided with their corporate objective of facilitating people in generating stunning designs with ease.
However, as with any business, they required a means to spread the word and inform the public about their offerings. This is where their digital marketing tactics proved beneficial.
Using Goal-Oriented Keywords
Canva’s targeting strategy heavily relies on goal-related keywords, which are keywords that specifically focus on the objectives that a user wants to achieve. This approach is highly effective for Canva as it positions its product as a solution to the user’s problems and a way to accomplish its goals, which is a critical aspect of any purchasing decision.
Using this strategy, Canva targets keywords that describe specific tasks that users can achieve using their product. For example, they might target keywords such as “create a flyer,” “design a logo,” or “make a business card.” By doing so, Canva aims to attract users who are actively searching for a solution to their design needs.
Overall, Canva’s goal-related keyword targeting strategy is an effective way to position their product as a valuable solution for users and to attract users who are actively looking for a design tool to help them achieve their goals.
Over 50% of Canva’s website traffic originates from branded searches, indicating that individuals who visit Canva’s website are already familiar with the brand through external sources, like referrals from friends or mentions in other blogs, and are searching for it directly. Canva’s extensive guest posting efforts during its early online presence likely played a significant role in generating buzz and exposure for the brand, resulting in increased brand awareness, website traffic, and domain authority. Guest posting involves creating and publishing content on other websites or blogs.
Social Media Marketing
Facebook is a significant marketing channel for Canva, and their approach is smart in that they leverage their own platform to create visually striking content for their posts and advertisements. By utilizing their own templates for social media posts, they are able to showcase the capabilities of their tools.
What is particularly noteworthy is that their advertising primarily focuses on a central message: designing anything is easy with Canva. Their ads feature eye-catching visuals and a concise, compelling value proposition that targets a specific user need. This integrated communication strategy works effectively across multiple channels, including paid search ads.
These were the strategies that made Canva a multi-millionaire company just within a few years.