Canva is Killing Your Branding

How to Improve Your Social Media Content

In This Article

Okay, y’all, we’ve got to take a minute to talk about Canva. I know that it’s every entrepreneur’s favourite design tool, but for the love of branding, something has got to change

Every morning, I sip my coffee and have a little scroll through my social channels to get caught up on what’s happening in the world. Don’t judge.  I know it’s toxic, but I do it anyway, okay? While I’ve been trying to curb this habit for years, I have to say that the lack of variety in what I’m seeing is starting to make it a little bit easier. 

Over the past year, I’ve spotted a troubling trend in how brands and small businesses are riding the Canva wave. It’s like everyone’s at the same party, wearing identical outfits – and it’s killing the vibe!

Everyone’s Content Looks the Same

Canva is a superhero tool that has helped millions of people create incredible content that they can share with the masses. I love it for that. The problem is, with a lack of variety in the market, everyone’s content starts to look the same! 

Here’s a quick look at what my Explore feed looks like. All of these posts are from different creators, but so much of it looks exactly the same. Every so often, I’ll see that someone has taken the time to customize their template by changing an accent colour here and there, but otherwise, a lot of content looks like copy/paste.


Now, I’m going to be blunt. The reason a lot of this stuff looks like it’s been copied-pasted is because it friggin is! Thanks to all the marketing bros shilling their “100k follower blueprint” everyone is doing the same thing. Obviously, there is some merit to the way they’re doing this, but c’mon – we need some originality.

Cutting Through the Noise

Now, don’t get me wrong – I love Canva! As a marketer, I’ve been using it since its inception and I’ve found it to be one of the most useful tools in my arsenal. But it’s important to use it in a way that helps you communicate your message effectively while helping you shine. 

You and your brand are unique and your branding and communications tools should help you differentiate yourself. 

We’re drowning in ads, folks. Phones, emails, websites—you name it, they’re all throwing ads at us. In the digital realm alone, we see ’em 24/7.

Marketers follow what is commonly known as The Rule of Seven. This rule states that a consumer needs to see an ad an average of seven times before they make a purchase. While I don’t have the data, I would guess that number is changing to add a bit of nuance. I think that number implies that the ad has actually been seen, but the number of impressions required to be noticed in the first place is probably higher. 

Americans wade through approximately 4,000-10,000 ads every day (That’s double the amount we saw in 2007!) When you factor in the onslaught of content we’re seeing on social media, that’s a whole lot of noise to cut through!


Building a Brand is About Standing Out

So, what is the fastest way to get noticed on social media? Well, that’s what content creators are trying to figure out every single day. 

While I can’t tell you the exact formula to cut through the noise and stop the scroll – side note: anyone who tells you they can do this is full of it because your brand and messaging strategy should be totally unique to you – I can tell you that copying what everyone else is doing won’t help you stand out. 

When your content shows up on the coveted Explore page of Instagram, it shouldn’t be just another carousel that could belong to anyone. It should be eye-catching in a way that people know that it’s your high-quality content. How do you do this? Through customization.

Customize Your Canva Templates

There are a couple of ways that you can customize your templates but they all start with a strong brand as a foundation. 

If you’ve worked with a skilled brand designer, they should give you detailed brand guidelines when they designed your logo. These guidelines should include specific colours and fonts to use, providing you with the basics you’ll need for creating beautiful branded content. 

When it comes to branding, consistency is key. Luckily, Canva makes it easy to stay consistent through its Brand Kit feature. 

  1. From the Canva Home navigate to the Brand menu on the side navigation panel. 
  2. Next, you’ll want to click on Brand Kit and click Add New in the top right-hand corner.
  3. From this point, you can start populating your brand kit with all of your brand elements provided by your designer. 
  4. Upload your logo in PNG format in all colourways to provide you with the most flexibility when creating your content.
  5. Add your brand colours using your trusty hex codes outlined in your brand guides.
  6. Next, you will want to select or upload your fonts. Canva has expanded this feature recently, allowing you to outline the fonts for all the text styles you will use often. This includes your titles, subtitles, headings, subheadings, body fonts and quotes, making it super easy to create consistent content. 
  7. If your designer went the extra step of outlining what your other brand elements should look like, such as your photography style, icons or particular branded graphics, you can upload those as well. 


While the extra step of including photography style, icons and brand graphics can be a little more costly, it will ultimately give you more flexibility – plus they’re the secret sauce for dazzling branded designs.

Once you’ve created your brand kit, you’re ready to start customizing some of the premade templates Canva offers. This is the first step in creating a more unique look on Instagram and other social media platforms.

Design Custom Templates

If you want to take things a step further, you can have a designer create custom-branded Canva templates for your content creation workflow. These can also be a part of your Canva Brand Kit. We love that these provide the opportunity to create unique content without having to outsource your content creation if you don’t want to. 

As a marketing agency, we offer content creation services, but we love to provide our clients with these easy-to-use custom templates so they can create supplementary content in addition to what we build so everything stays on brand. 

Here is an example of some of the content we’ve created next to some of the templated content that our clients have used. This way our clients can share appointment opportunities in their stories and stay on brand. What a dream for everyone!

Check Out Other Options

There is no shortage of design programs available now. We’ve tried a few options and have to say that Adobe Express is a great alternative to Canva. As a design studio, we’re always using Adobe products from Photoshop and Illustrator to Premier Pro and After Effects, Adobe has it all. While there are still a few bugs for them to work out, we really like that the interface feels similar to other Adobe products. It also offers some variety when it comes to template options that might help your content look unique compared to the classic Canva templates. 

Similar to Canva, you can set up your brand kit through Adobe and customize your templates to fit your unique brand.

Remember, Video Is Your Friend

Finally, we’ll always advocate for video content on social. There is nobody who can convey your uniqueness quite like you! Video is always a great way to show people who you are and why you’re different. And it’s continuing to grow in popularity! 

While you might not be comfortable in front of the camera, with a bit of practice, video can be a close ally when it comes to creating memorable content for social media.

Final Thoughts

Before I wrap up, a big shoutout to Canva, Adobe Express, and all the design tools making our lives easier. Good design is the kingpin of communication. But remember, your brand’s uniqueness should shine through.

If you need help with templates or brand basics, check out our brand packages or shoot us a message. Let’s craft a standout brand that connects with your audience and takes your business to the stars!

Now, let’s get social media savvy and start creating content that turns heads!

Branding on a Budget?

Get our free guide to the essential items you need to get started branding your business.

Share With A friend

Check Our Latest Posts

Confused About Where to Begin Your Branding Journey?


Let's Build Your Brand

Did this post get you fired up to start building your brand? Book a free 20-minute discovery call to find out how we can work together to bring your vision to life.

Copyright Cedar Creative Inc. 2022

We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze website traffic. By clicking “Accept“, you agree to our website’s cookie use as described in our Cookie Policy. You can change your cookie settings at any time by clicking “Preferences.”