Design Once, Publish Everywhere_ How to Accelerate and Elevate Your Newsletters, Social Media, Video & More
8:51PM Jun 22, 2021
Hello ONA. Lovely to be with you today. Hello everyone. Great to be here. Greetings from, well, a not so sunny Sydney, well, winter Sydney morning, 4:15 am in Sydney, so up bright and early to be with you today and really looking forward over the next 80 minutes going through a bunch of content, which I'm hoping is going to be super valuable for anyone working in a newsroom in journalism, and dealing with trying to tell the best and most visual stories they possibly can. My name is Jonathan Harley, I lead the news initiative at Canva as well as the media initiatives, sports a bunch of stuff across the content space and industry space. I come to this having worked as a journalist for more than 20 years, ABC Australia, 60 minutes Australia in production, docuseries. So a lot in the content space. Led news partnerships at Twitter, across Asia for three years. And my passion is really helping digital transformation to support great journalism and great news businesses. And there's no better place to do that work than the world's biggest design platform, which is Canva. What we're going to look at today is really the fundamentals of what anyone in a newsroom is dealing with, which is how do we create, manage, and deliver really compelling visual content and storytelling, at speed. At speed, and on brand. And we're going to be doing a bunch of stuff that I think is really going to be of high value because of the great use case we're finding for value in the new space. So I'm going to talk a bit about how Canva is pairing newsrooms everywhere, we're going to do a really great deep dive into seven top tips for social media newsletter production, with Canva, thanks to Ronnie, our absolute sopremo in the community space. Then we're going to have a great little chat with Danielle Woodward about Gannett and AZ Central around catching audiences and success that AZ Central has had at u sing Canva. What the future holds. Give you a little sneak peek around how we're thinking about product for newsrooms, and then we'll have time for a bit of q&a. So lots to get through. So let's get into it. First up, let's take a look at how Canva is pairing newsrooms everywhere. When we look, let's just go big picture. Because when we look at the world, you know, there's lots of different economies, the obviously in journalism, you're in the information economy, the ideas, economy, there's the share economy, you name it, there's an economy for everything. But a Canva, when we're looking at overarching all of that is what we think of as the visual economy. And that's because the digital revolution is actually a visual revolution. How we consume and create visual content is unlike anything before in human history. When you look at the arc of time, you know, the Gutenberg press, say, for example, in the 15th century, that was so key to what eventually became the transformation of societies with democracy. Without the Gutenberg press, it's so hard to see how the democratic process could have unfolded. And of course, the unleashing of the Free Press. With the digital revolution, we now have this visual revolution, which of course, is largely mobile as well. And what we'll explore today is asking the question and really exploring, do we have the tools to make that moment, the traditional tools we think, aren't fit for purpose. And that's why Canva is so powerful in a newsroom setting, you know, we are still visual creatures. That's the thing. visual content, as many of you will know, in this space is so much more likely to be shared and remembered, in fact, 40 times more likely to be shared and remembered, in fact, 65% of us are visual learners, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. And of course, visual information is processed so much more quickly than text, in fact, 6,000 times faster. And of course, in the new space, in the breaking news space, that piece of speed is capable. We'll come back to that in more detail as we come through. Now, what this means that I think this is a is a real unlock in how we think about it, because traditionally, we think about visual content as really being, you know, especially the news space, pretty much social or what goes to screen, in video. It's actually much broader than that. Everything we are now doing in this space is visual. Now, you know, newsletters is a really obvious example that still got a really visual component to it. But when you look at crossing news business, and especially for executives, the reality is that everything has this really compelling visual component to it. Whether it's the actual editorial content, or it's a business proposal, or it's a strategy document, or an infographic or database. And that's where Canva can help across that board. And, of course, the visual economy in 2020, was, let's just say it, was pretty active. Of course, there was COVID, you know, the transformational story of COVID. But there were also major civil, political, and cultural shifts, environmental catastrophes. There was the economic story, of course, we'll come to that. But also environmental catastrophes and stories, such as the bushfires we saw here in Australia, and catastrophic forest fires in California. But we also saw a seismic shift in the way people and businesses are creating, collaborating, and communicating. Of course, we saw newsrooms completely change the way they worked because of COVID. We were all dispersed to work from home to work remotely. That was such a big piece of it. But that was just the start, in many ways. It was a public health challenge. But it was also an information production and distribution challenge. And of course, everyone on this call, felt that and experienced that. And it was such an intense journalistic year, but it was also a year in which everyone was telling me a COVID story in one way, shape, or form, you know, whether it was a cafe, putting up an information sheet, whether it was, you know, people communicating with customers, etc. And so in Canada, we actually saw 14 million COVID templates being downloaded across 2020. As I touched on, it was a medical calamity, but there's also a story of an economic disruption, and reinvention. And so we saw a lot of businesses as they pivoted, you know, think of just for example, the way schools had to be. Think of how so many businesses like yours had to rethink the way they did it. And for a lot of businesses that also saw that the start of new businesses and new pieces. So not surprisingly, we saw this explosion of logos on Canva. In fact, 65 million new logos across 2020. Now, what that is telling us is a couple of things, obviously, there's a lot of people doing a digital pivot. Obviously, there's there's a lot of side hustles coming up a lot of new businesses. But I think one reason why this is so important in the news and journalism space, is the fact that this is, because this is brand explosion, the battle of the brands only gets more intense. You're not just competing with news brands, when you're out there with the content, you're competing with every brand. Every business is a content business now. And of course, you're really in the game of how do you cut through and how do you imprint, the integrity, the authority and the independence of your journalism brand on everything you do? Now, we've got a lot of really fantastic media brands that have brought Canva into the heart of their workflow. And one of the reasons for that is because these are these brands that, like yours, have been built over generations, and built on trust in journalism, more than anything in media, I think brand is bond. And the way Canva helps strengthen that brand proposition is really key. Let me give you an example from here in Australia. Network 10 is a freeware broadcast, traditional broadcaster. It's owned by Viacom, CBS now and so it has been going through this tremendous pivot, if you like, digital pivot. It's gone through the digital transformation pace in recent years.
As I said, you know, it's a major new sport and entertainment provider, and it's put Canva at the heart of its newsroom of its digital transformation piece. And that has just been so important to the way it's really been able to deal with the challenges that it's had. How does it do more with less by working with the best, because we all know any news stream like 10, or your own challenges, especially over the last 12 to 18 months, the content demands only keep going up, often your resources are going down or they're being consolidated. And you've got to do more with less, you've got to be creating more content, it's got to be in more places. And with 10, they found Canva was a really key piece of that solution. And so the feedback from Tim has been really consistent across the board, the simplicity and creativity of Canva allows for greater creative control, and an ability to increase engagement through visual design. We're going to have a great breakout with Danielle of Gannett, she's going to walk us through how AZ Central in Arizona has been a real leader with Canva and the results that they're getting there. And one of the things we're also finding is these really powerful strategic results. And also the ability to actually, as Rochelle says from 10, the social and digital editor, that we're able to focus more on the story, that because we're not spending as much time having to reinvent the wheel, at a design side of things, were able to focus on the story and focus on the audience and what's meaningful to them. And that's a real breakthrough. Because traditionally, the tools that we've been using for content creation in the newsroom have been for professional designers, they haven't been for journalists, right. And those tools have been really fragmented, and not focused on what's going to empower your whole ecosystem to make visual content. And that's really, really key. Because when you're looking at journalists, you've got this really broad spread of design skills. And Canva really flattens that by making the production process so much more accessible for everyone. Because the reality is that in the visual economy, when you look at the just the sheer volume of content that we need to create, content creation is now everyone's job, right? It doesn't matter if you're a designer or a journo, or you're in comms or operations, or you're the Chief of Staff, this is actually everyone's business. and Canva makes that happen. And we make that happen by integrating the entire design ecosystem into one simple page, right? And, and that's really key that whether it's stock photos, fonts, editing, content management, it's all under the one roof. Now, for those who might not have used Canva, let me just give you a really quick insight into how it works, a quick overview. At its core, it's a simple and easy to use design platform for all. And the simple drag and drop editor means you quickly update your text, you quickly update your image, you drag and drop across, and you're ready to go and it gives you all the design assets you need. Remember, we talked about, you know, traditionally, that you had your fonts over there, you had to go somewhere else for your your templates for design elements, you name it, with Canva, you've got two things, you've got the biggest template library on the planet. But you've also got the Getty, the full Getty stock image library, the full Getty stock video library, all the design elements you could possibly want, and infographics, charts, that's all there under the one roof. And you don't need to leave the Canva environment to do it.
So you've got all those assets, which are really key. And the result is that you're able to create stories in seconds. And we know how important time is. So the way I think about it is that Canva gives newsrooms the muscle to create, manage and deliver content with speed, ease, and brand consistency, speed ease and brand consistency and the brand consistency piece is such a key part of it in the b attle of of the brands, you need to protect and grow your brand. That brand integrity, as we've said has been built up over such a long time. So in the enterprise environment for Canva, there are brand controls that mean you can switch ON or OFF color control, font control, and you can even apply design approval so that your editorial lead ensures that nothing is published without approval from the relevant person. And that's obviously really powerful. And so that also will, by enabling everyone to collaborate in real time because that's okay, especially when you're working remotely. And by integrating seamlessly with all your existing platforms. And if there's something that's not integrated, then of course, because it's an open, there's an open API, it's easy to plug in, you, therefore effectively become plugged in to the Canva ecosystem. And that is really powerful and broad. Now, let's just break out to a couple of things that we also saw last year, that have been so shaping the way we're creating content, and stories. Black Lives Matter was obviously a defining social, political and cultural moment, we sort of sweep across every aspect of society, not least in the world of sport, but we also saw a significant shift in the way the world expressed ideas with the rise and rise of the infographic influencer. Powerful, impactful stories and explainers that informed, educated raised awareness. A really good example of this is Avery Francis. She's a talent strategist who works with startups to navigate talent acquisition, she's also a champion of diversity, inclusion and belonging, and her posts on Instagram created with Canva spread like absolute wildfire. Now, we've seen that major social justice organizations have been doing these sorts of posts before, but you know, many of them had their own editorial or design resource. And that can be said, too, of newsrooms. What shifted at scale last year was the ability for just about anyone, and the share ability and the virality of these sorts of stories, content created these infographic influences that engaged and resonated with a much wider audience, and did so at the speed of culture. Because anyone in a newsroom knows that things are moving faster. Stories are moving, cultures moving faster than ever before. And that's why so many journalists report the Canva is the fastest content creation tool that they've used. And for us, it's about democratizing design. You know, I think, you know, examples by Francis show how design is being democratized. And that's been a core mission for Canva. And we're also seeing the same dynamic power, a new generation of new startups and news brands, particularly talking to a younger audience, and particularly talking to them on Instagram. So take, for example, here again, in Australia, a really great case study of the Daily Aus, a little new startup, and was a couple of founders who have built this entire product and business entirely on Canva. They started out using Canva, a few years ago, to create these little stories and infographics on Instagram. And they've had absolutely phenomenal success. They've used these very simple, engaging, quick hit visual language, with the text and color palette that you can see here, that's really focused, on how do we inform a younger, news consuming audience. And then as you can see, they've had phenomenal growth. I think, these guys were just getting going when I spoke at ONA last year. And back then though, around the 25,000 follower mark, they're now at 125,000. So phenomenal, use case and case study of really compelling visual content. Let me show you.
Our shoes again. This happens every time. My name is Sam. I'm 26. And I'm Zahra. I'm 24. And we're the co founders of the Daily Aus.
We were those friends who were always asked what's going on in the news. And we wanted to take that to a bigger platform. So we started an Instagram four years ago. And now we communicate the news to 80,000 people every day.
The whole news environment is experiencing the same challenge. And that's just trying to keep people engaged. And we know everyone's on mobile. And we know they're reading the news on mobile. So our challenge is to keep them engaged on their phones with a really interesting visual content. So I think of Canva as the hub of the content, and the imagery and the social aspects all coming together. We worked really hard to set up the right template so that we didn't have to reinvent the wheel every time we wanted to design.
I think the best part is that we can go in and just edit each other's work that we can be working in separate places and at separate times and yet can really collaborate on one piece of work and he can fix up my design errors and I his and that's the best part of it for us.
We use design to set a different tone to information that might be hard to swallow and make it accessible so that when you're on a bus and you're reading it on your phone, you're not immediately daunted by black and white plain text. Being a good journalist is now no longer just about being a good writer. It's about being a good writer, but also a good designer, and a good publisher. And that's what all young journalists are learning to do. And that's really important to where we're going in the future.
They've done a great job, they've really created a great product and check them out the Daily Aus. Okay, so let's move to the second chapter of this ONA extravaganza. And before we do, I just want to let everyone know if you haven't picked up already, that we are offering a three month free trial of Canva Pro, and you can just jump across to our workshop page on the ONA 21. website to get yours today or we'll, in fact, we will drop the link in the chat. Diana already has. And thanks, Diana. Diana was also who's been really key to setting up this workshop today. And thanks to Darcy, you'll find the link in there. A question for whenever you're ready. How does legal work with Getty Images? If we're an editorial team, with Shutterstock, we can still use to get a stock image on Canva without running into cross licensing legal issues? Yeah, it's good question. Look, obviously the terms of service are in the product. But the headline is, the TLDR. The headline on licensing is, is if you've used the Getty image in Canva, to create a design, if there's a design component to that if that image is used, any of that can be as simple as a new logo on it, or a headline. And then then that's basically you're covered by that that legal framework. You can't take the stock images and say, then just, you know, put them on your website without any design element. But beyond that, you know, as long as there's a design component to it. That's part of the terms of service. Let me know if that Tiffany answers your question. Or if you need more, there'll be time for q&a at the end. So let's dive in. I really want to now introduce you to a man who may need no introduction, Ronny Hermosa looks after our communities. He's a huge resource in terms of bringing training tips and info to the broader camper community. And he's now going to walk you through some social media and newsletter content production tips that will really make it easy to show us how easy it is to work with Canva. So over to Ronny, and I'll be back again with you guys straight afterwards.
Hi, everyone. Welcome to this webinar about social media and newsletter content creation made easy with Canva. My name is Ronny, I am the community education lead at Canva. So I create educational content that we share with our community. And today, I will be presenting on behalf of Canva Space. We have a jam packed agenda for today. So let's just get started. We are going to talk about social media and newsletter creation specifically for journalists. We know that journalists and newsrooms need to move very quickly, and that the demand are always changing. So social media channels and newsletters continue to be central in the way we publish. And we share news, right? And Canva can really play a central role in the creation of all of this in making this process easier, smoother. So today, I have seven tips for you one for each day of the week, we will talk about three tips for social media content creation, and four tips for newsletter content creation. So let's jump right in. Let's jump into Canva. And let's start with social media. So let's talk about three ways you can use Canva to speed up your workflow to bolster your activity on your preferred social media channels. Alright, so I have three trends or three tips for you that we will cover one after the other and for each of them showing you how to use Canva to speed up that workflow. Okay, so the first one is that visuals dominate social media. So that is the fact. Now let's see how we can use Canva to make our content more visual. Indeed, Canva has a huge media library we are talking about and especially if you use Canva Pro or Canva for enterprise, we are talking about 70 plus million stock photos, videos, audio clips, graphics that you can use to stop the scroll when you're creating content for social media. So in fact, the entire Getty image library and video library is available if you're using Canva Pro or Canva, for enterprise. So here are a few tips for you to get the most out of this extensive Media Library. Okay, so the first one is to use the search box. Okay, so for that, you can head over to canva.com slash photos, you can access this page via the homepage, if you click on simply the second tab on top of your screen and just go to photos. And then you will find basically the landing page where you can search for different kinds of photos. So use the search box, that is my first tip, and use in there in that box any kind of keywords, precise keywords even, to help you find the perfect photo. And once you do find that perfect photo that you think you can use in your content, you can add it to your folder. So there is an add to Folder button that you can use to store the images you find in this library in a folder that you can access later, either from the Canva folder management, from the homepage, or from directly within the editor, which is super useful. You can create different folders if you're kind of a pro user and rename them and organize your photos like so. So you can browse the library, the stuff that you like, you put them in folders, and then you access these folders later. So that is pretty useful. You can also use from within the editor, different filters to search for your photos. So for that very simply, when you're on the elements tab, and you search for a keyword, you can filter that search by clicking on the little settings icon at the end of your search bar, you will see that option you click on that and then you will see this menu that you see here on the slide. And you can filter by color orientation, if it's still or animated elements, etc, etc. So this should help you search and find your element faster. And then we have another feature that is pretty useful if you want to remain consistent with colors. So we are aware that a lot of you or some of you might be limited by some brand colors. So maybe your your organization uses a certain set of colors, that is your brand identity. So you might be limited by that. But if you have more flexibility in the creation process, photo colors will help you by identifying the five dominant colors of any photo you upload into Canva. So you if you use a photo in your in your design Canva will let you know these are the five dominant colors. So maybe you can change the overlay for this color to remain consistent. Alright, let's move on to the tip number two: video for social media made easy and speedy. People want videos right? This is no secret. I guess we are pretty all aware of that trend. But again, I would like to show you a few ways you can use Canva to really double down on that content production and create faster with videos. So for that, we are going to make it move. Okay, since people want more video, how can we give it to them. So there are a couple of ways in Canva to add movement to your design. So let's look at them.
First, you can start your project with a video template. Okay, so you can use this search term plus video. After any keyword you search from the Canva homepage. So let's say you want to search for Twitter plus video, then you will find a lot of templates available for Twitter but also that have video in them. So searching for a template which is a video template, just go to your templates tab and then type your main keyword and then add plus video. Next is that you can import your very own videos into Canva. So a lot of people don't know that but you can upload just like you would upload an image or even a sound clip, an mp3, you can upload an mp4 clip so a video clip directly into Canva. For that just upload it as if it was a normal image. And then you will have in your upload button three different tabs, images, video and audio so you can toggle between these tabs to access the different types of media you have uploaded into Canva. Alright, you can also use and animate your design very simply in one click by using the animate button. So the animate button will show on the upper right upper left sorry corner of your screen when you're designing in the editor. So you can have like none of your elements selected, click on the animate button. And that will give you a bunch of different options preset animations that you can use to add some movement to your design. Or if you design to animate a specific element in your design, select that specific element and then and then click on the animate button, then you will have a new set of options that will let you animate one specific element instead of the entire page. You can also use stickers to draw your audience's attention like I am doing in this presentation, you see the little arrows and stuff flashing. So for that, you can search for an element, and then go to your filtering options, like I mentioned previously, and then tick the little box that says animated. And then that filter will then be applied to your search and even to your next searches. And that's a way for you to filter out all the animated or moving objects from the Canva library. So that is to find stickers. Alright, now let's jump into the third trend. The third tip that social media happens on mobile. Again, no breaking news here, it just people consume most of their social media content via their mobile phone. So what does Canva offer for you to create graphics and designs that look good on both mobile and desktop? Let's talk about this. So the goal here is to make it mobile friendly. So you can start with the right template, we will be capitalizing on this third trend, and see how you can create content optimized for mobile.
Alright, so you can start with story templates. So for that, you can go to your homepage and simply type in the keyword stories. So if you type stories, and then just wait for Canva to propose to suggest different end of that sentence, you will see that Canva has a bunch of different templates in the story format that will be optimized for mobile. So that is that is my first tip, just type in stories in the search box, either the homepage or either the templates homepage. So that is canva.com slash templates, you can access that via the tabs web. Use mobile optimized documents. So when you search for a template search for the keyword mobile, for example. So just type in mobile, to surface all the documents that are optimized for mobile. Alright, so this wraps up the first part of the webinar. I'm now going to give you four tips for your newsletter content creation. Let's go over them one by one. The first one is that you can create newsletter assets directly from Canva. Okay, so for example, email headers, email headers is actually a document type in Canva. So just find the template that you like, tweak it and export it and it will be ready for your newsletter in the perfect dimension. Right moving on to tip number two, you can connect Canva to MailChimp, a lot of people don't know that it is pretty easy to do. So you just design your email header, for example, or your email assets. And then once they are ready, just click on the three little dots that you will see in the upper right corner of the editor and then click publish it directly to MailChimp. Okay, so you will find this MailChimp icon and it says MailChimp. So when you click there, Canva will open a prompt window asking you to connect your Canva account to your MailChimp. So you just enter the credentials there and then you connect your Canva account and what it will do, it will publish that specific asset you have designed in Canva directly into your media library in MailChimp. So now the next time you create an email via MailChimp, when you click on Import Media from the library, you will see your Canva designs right there ready for you to design. The third tip is that you can create downloadable newsletters. So for this is the newsletters that you can create and send to you employees sent to your organization or your audience in the PDF format. So for that you can discover newsletter templates, just type in the Canva library email newsletter in the templates library from the homepage wherever you are really doesn't really matter. But email newsletter is the keywords you want to type into Canva. In order to surface all of these ready to use, I would say one or two pager newsletters, you can just tweak them, change the photos, add your content, and you're ready to go. And then the fourth and final tip that I have for you today is to create micro sites and spread your newsletters in that format. So you can create microsite by simply using a presentation template or a website template from Canva. So typing for presentation or website, or if you know that most of your audience is going to consume that content from their mobile, you can find a mobile optimized template like we've seen before. So once you have your template, once you have tweaked it and added your content, all you have to do to create your microsite is to go to the three little dots icon in the upper right corner of your screen, find the option that says websites, click on that. And then you will be presented with four different options. And these four options are that you can create a website, which is a presentation style, scrolling, classic or standard. Scrolling websites are my preferred options, because they will allow people to just scroll down just as on a regular website. And what they will see is the content that you have designed, obviously, in your presentation document or your website document. So you create it in Canva as if it was a presentation, and then you publish that as a website. So what will happen once you click on websites, you choose your style of website and then click Publish, is that Canva will create and open a new window with your website in that window and a URL. So you can copy that URL. And that is the URL to your micro website newsletter that you can share with your audience. I personally love that feature. And I think it's really cool. So that's what I have for you guys today. Thank you for watching, and I wish you a very good day.
Thanks very much, Ronny, and good day again, everyone. Welcome back from still not so sunny Sydney, we're coming into 5am over here. Hopefully those seven tips are really helpful. You know, it's the social content piece. It's the newsletters piece that we're really focused on. It's just two aspects for newsrooms around our tool and our product serving functionality for journalists. I'm going to talk a little bit later also, around how we're thinking about product and give you a little window into our product roadmap and some of our newer features. So hold on for that. Welcome greetings to anyone who's just dialed in to the Canva for newsrooms session here at ONA 21. And it's great to be back at ONA. I'm looking forward to being at ONA in person, hopefully in the not too distant future. My name is Jonathan Harley and I lead the newsroom initiative here at ONA. You can follow me on Twitter, at jharleyaus and I put that up at the end as well. Now let's dive in. Because this I think is such a super, super valuable next session. It's my very great pleasure to introduce Danielle Woodward, who leads audience engagement strategy as part of the Gannett Network and the USA Today network. Her main area of focus has been with AZ Central out of Arizona and she has been an absolute pioneer and I don't use that word lightly. She has been a pioneer in the way Canva can be used to power newsrooms and social content. Hello, Danielle.
Hello, thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it.
Thanks so much for joining us. You're dialing in from well, Arizona, I think the weather's a little different to the pre dawn winter in Sydney that I'm experiencing.
It's so hot here. I think it's what like 100 over 100 right now which it has been for the last. I don't even remember how long summer is just a blur here.
There should be some there should be some sweet spot for us hopefully between the weather you're experiencing and the weather I'm experiencing. Thanks again for joining us. I'm really excited to have you join this session because you know we first started talking about a year or so ago because we've been noticing the work that you've been doing. First just big picture, give us tell us a little bit about AZ Central what sort of what sort of team are you and publisher. Are you tell us about it?
Yeah, so AZ Central. Also the Arizona Republic is part of the Gannett's USA Today Network. We are a local newspaper. We are Arizona's largest newspaper based in Phoenix, we cover news across Arizona but heavily so in the metro Phoenix area.
And, what were you doing before you started using Canva, just tell us a little bit about what life was like before Canva came into the newsroom, especially in the social space.
Yeah, so, um, before I even got to AZ Central in 2018, our Instagram expert Grace, who I love to embarrass on a daily basis, because she has always been using Canva. And she's always done such great work with it. And, you know, she has before, we decided to start doing more, you know, social cards and really focus on that, in 2020, she would, you know, still use Canva sporadically to do, you know, quote cards and smaller sort of bigger announcements, but not on the scale that we were able to use it in 2020. Basically, before we start, we made that switch, we're doing a lot of just photos, pretty photos, just using Instagram as a way to highlight our photographers' work, which was great. But we wanted to, I think, figure out a way to make our Instagram more of a news resource. And so I think what kind of helped with that transition was us getting the Canva premium and really being able to just take off with that, and, you know, really start our strategy to do a lot of social cards and explainers and things like that.
And and tell us about that strategy and what changed in terms of the look and feel we're just seeing here, some an example from your feet.
Yeah. Well, I know at the beginning of 2020 Grace, and I sat down and we talked about how we wanted to figure out a way to make the news more visual for Canva. And, you know, that was a big goal of hers personally, and it was a big goal for our social team, because we knew there was a lot more that we could do with it. But we just didn't really, we weren't sure how the audience was going to react. But it ended up just being people found it really useful. We were able to take take news that wasn't necessarily visual before, like, I mean, later on in the year would be Coronavirus, or, you know, just things like state budgets, things like that, that aren't inherently visual and didn't use to have a place on our Instagram. And you were able to make you know explainers for those and help break down more complex topics in ways that people could easily share and understand. And even just photos that we would get from our amazing photographers. Now it just was kind of another opportunity to put text on those photos. You know, make them into social cards to give people extra context and you know, share what was going on. But it just, it really changed. I think it changed what people used our Instagram for because it wasn't just pretty pictures anymore. It was, you know, information you can share on Arizona news, but also just a lot of you know, with Coronavirus, and, you know, a lot of the elections. A lot of you know explainers and you know Q and A's and, you know, fact checks even.
And, and that's what's interesting, of course, because when you started using at the beginning of last year using Canva in those workflows, and of course, it seems like another universe ago, you know, COVID or Coronavirus, was just to kind of a word and a story, you know, in Wuhan and we have no idea the transformative year that we were going to have and the pressures and it wasn't just COVID, you had COVID, you had the election, as you just mentioned, Black Lives Matter. I mean, I can see you know, you've got a COVID related story there around, you know, dropping public mask mandate, for example. How did Canva help you navigate that year? Because I like to say that, you know, because we used last year as a real test and learn across newsrooms that we prove, you know, we demonstrated Canva is newsroom proof, you know, and when I talk to other, you know, businesses or sectors, I say that if Canva can withstand the speed pressures, the time pressures, and you know, bunch of, you know, sometimes under pressure and sometimes even grumpy journalists, you're not being one of them, Danielle, then it can withstand anything. How did Canva actually become key to such a big news year.
Yeah, I mean, when we decided to really start using Canva to like the full extent that we could and when we decided to start, you know, making art changing the way that we used our Instagram, we had no idea what the next year was going to be like, we had no idea COVID was not even on the radar of things that our audience cared about at that time, it was so far off. And so it ended up just allowing us to do so much because a lot of these things like Coronavirus, there wasn't. It's not inherently visual as far as explainers, and how, you know, getting accurate information out to the public and from Coronavirus to vaccines to election information. I don't know how we would have presented all that on Instagram, if we had done our strategy as we'd been doing it up until 2020. And hadn't started using social cards as much as we did, because it took things that, you know, were not really ideal for Instagram like just COVID explainers. And you know, Grace, again, would always find amazing creative ways to present this really complex information into a social card on Canva. That looked pretty and that was easily shareable. And that was what people were wanting to know. And then it took also really powerful photos, you know, that a lot of really powerful photos that we got from Black Lives Matter protests, and you know, even just feature photos from really interesting profiles that we've done. And we were just, it just allowed us to give extra context to those. And just, you know, make it more shareable and make it give people a better idea of what was going on. So if they didn't read the caption, you could at least kind of get an idea of what you were looking at. And I know it allowed us to go a little bit deeper to especially with the Black Lives Matter protests. And a lot of people were wanting to know, "How can we help? How can we support this movement?", or just how can we get more into something than just the surface. And so we were able to take a guide to black owned businesses that one of our reporters put together and just make it into a simple social card. And that was one of the best performing posts that we had this year, because people really wanted that information. And Instagram was a really easy way to share it. And Canva was a really easy way to make it quickly. So it was just, it really helped us, constantly look at what our audience wants to know, what, what questions they're asking. And, how can we answer those in a social card that you can share with all of your followers. And we went from, we'll look at our visual social cards of just photos, you know, those will get maybe a couple 100 shares if they're pretty, but some of these explainer social cards, the Q and A's, this is what happens when businesses are reopening after coronavirus this is what happens when, you know, mandates are being lifted from Coronavirus. Those got 1000s of shares because everyone was wanting to know the latest information. And Canva gave us a way to present that, that we could do easily and quickly.
We've got two best performing posts year on year, here that that you've shared with us. Tell us about these two and the difference. I'm just looking at these, these stats here, you know, in 2019, your top performer got just under 3000 likes and 68 comments for your best performer in 2020. it's a completely different ballgame, isn't it?
Yeah, that was It's so crazy. Looking back at that, because I just looked at the top performing posts from 2019. And, you know, like you said, this was the top post with almost 3000 likes, and you know, a few dozen comments. And then I looked at and obviously, other things in 2019 were similar that other things on the top performing lists that we pulled from Crowdtangle. But then we look at 2020. And I would say almost, if not all of the top 10 posts that we had or top, you know, however many were social graphics, this one in particular, Joe Biden winning Arizona, turning the state blue, that Grace designed for us ahead of the win for us to have prepared for when we you know, we're able to call it. I mean, almost 10,000 likes hundreds of comments. And then you know, I didn't look at the shares for this particular one on crowdtangle. But I know that there was you know, it was widely shared as well and widely saved. And then, you know, underneath this top performing post, it's not like this was a standout either. If we look at our top performing posts on crowdtangle from 2020, there are multiple with numbers like this one that the one second two it was pretty close, and it was marijuana being legalized in Arizona recreationally and then, you know, a q&a on what that meant. There was, you know, a sort of q&a on where, you know, which areas in Arizona were enforcing a masked mandate during Coronavirus and, you know, during the height of Coronavirus in Arizona and which ones weren't. I mean, it was just every single post in our top 10 was a social graphic and it was a different kinds of one too, so it was really cool to see such a variety of the things we used can before too. All of those were resonating really well.
And look, you know, of course, these are big stories, right. But the point is, I think that you built the audience, and you created an awareness and, and a workflow such that for the big stories you can make the most of them. I'm really interested in the audience growth that you saw across that time will you talk to us about that pace.
Yeah. So in 2020, I was just looking at, you know, the growth and engagements. In 2020, we had 571,000 total engagements, and in 2019, we had 139 total engagements, so it wasn't even close. And a lot of these engagements come from, obviously, a majority of them come from the social cards. And then we saw a big growth in followers, just from, I think, a combination, obviously, of just all of the news that was happening, but also us being able to portray that on Instagram in a way that we wouldn't have been able to before. We saw that grow, I think we actually had planned or we set a goal is to reach 100,000 followers by the end of 2020. Because that would have been in line to from, you know, our growth from 2019. And we reach that by June, because of the constant news. And, you know, the ability that we had with Canva, to continue to make social cards that explain that news. So that was really, it was really cool to see. And it was, it was cool to see our audience come to expect a different kind of content from us as well.
That's fantastic. We're joined by Danielle Woodward, who leads audience engagement and social as part of the Gannett Network, and particularly with AZ Central, where they've had such phenomenal success over this past year with Canva, year and a half really, with Canva, that workflow. Danielle, just let's talk about, I guess brand consistency, we talked about the battle of the brands earlier, and how that you're not just competing with news brands you're competing with every brand on the planet, and that every business is now a content business. How has the brand consistency piece helped over that 18 month journey with Canva.
That's Yeah, that's another big thing that was really helpful was just having the brand kit in Canva, too. I mean, we could easily save the exact, for us it was the USA Today, you know, blue, black and white for the most part, we could consistently save, you know, our logos, or we had a brand kit where we had our you know USA Today fonts and our USA Today network colors that we could just have right all there right in the same brand kit. So it made it easy not only for, you know, Grace and I to work in this, but also if you know, we had other people on the social team who wanted to design something, it was really easy for them to just pull out that brand kit and be able to use that. And then when we decided to, you know, revamp, I guess what our brand looked like a little bit, start using different colors and just try and distinguish ourselves from some from other, you know, local news outlets. We were able to kind of do that easily, we were able to add those colors into the brand can easily and just experiment with different types of looks for our brand. And I just think you could tell on our Instagram feed now too just looking between those two, 2019 and 2020, what our page looked like before we started using Canva very consistently and before we started really doing social cards, and after it's just, it's you come to AZ Central and you kind of I think you can expect a certain layout. And you can it's very consistent throughout even as we experiment with different, you know, different styles and colors and types of explainers which again is you know, thanks to Grace, our Instagram expert, using Canva to do all this in Canva and Photoshop. But she's been very good about finding creative ways to make these social cards and make them consistent with our brand as well.
Yeah, I love it. And there's a question here around saying the goal is great, but how did did the audience respond? And I think we've, I think, looking at those metrics, we've seen the response, how did they measure if the audience like it, and I think what were the benchmarks? And if I'm if I'm recapping Danielle that was mostly around engagement, comments, and followers, is that right?
Yeah. And also one thing that I really liked to measure was the amount of shares and saves that these posts got or you know, just like going a little bit deeper into these, you know, those types of metrics, especially shares and saves because it was like, Okay, this might have been a cop topic of conversation for you. But did you find this useful if you saved it if you shared it to your story that tells me that you found this informative, you found this useful and, you know, you consider us a reliable news source, you know that you feel comfortable sharing, you know, the information that we're putting out. So and I also just kind of noticed a little bit of a shift in our audience. I feel like people were really for the most part on Instagram, it seemed like people were way more receptive to our social cards. And we were just seeing a lot. It's felt like younger people commenting on our posts, especially, you know, during Coronavirus, like when it first kind of became, you know, when at first everyone wanted answers to all these questions surrounding Coronavirus at the beginning of everything, and then the Black Lives Matter protests. And then you know, the elections, it was like, we just noticed a shift in people who were sharing our content and what they were saying about our content. And people were a lot kinder to us on Instagram, it felt like we saw a drop.
That's interesting, that's interesting. And of course, you were a guinea pig, you didn't know that at the time, but you became the guinea pig for the much broader Gannett network that most people on this call will know, you know, a really big and, and diverse, you know, media network, which, and basically they saw what you were doing, and was so impressed by that, that many other newsrooms have taken up Canva. And in fact, we've been working across the network, and with Jaime and others to see the Canva enterprise product become baked in across Gannett. Tell us about that adoption journey?
Oh, well, we didn't kind of realize that that was where that was going. We note we knew that, you know, other outlets. I mean, were doing stuff similar to this. I mean, we we know, national news outlets, you know, are doing social cards similar to this, but we kind of didn't really, weren't really focusing on any of that, when we were doing this, we just had a goal to, you know, find a way to make our Instagram newsier and to explain the news on our Instagram. And I guess by accident, it's really cool that other places, you know, other outlets and Gannet have found that helpful. And I mean, I've seen so many outlets within Gannett doing great work on Instagram, like Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Detroit Free Press. Like, it's been really cool to watch them, you know, do their own social cards with Canva. And, you know, they've now have it ideas or posts that like inspire stuff that we do. So it's just really cool. But I mean, people found this helpful, and it felt pretty seamless to because I loved you know, especially when we did the enterprise, you know, and we were able to start doing enterprise account and just sharing templates, and making it so that it was really as easy as just filling out like, you know, here's the template, all you got to do is fill out your news headline, fill out your information, fill out your q&a, and like you can post this too. And I mean, especially for me, since I'm just starting kind of doing social strategy for Western properties, and USA Today, I'm really excited to bring that you know, to those newsrooms, too, and to just show that it can be a really, it doesn't have to take a long time to, to come up with these graphics, all you have to do is plug in the information and you can it can really help you reach a much larger audience when you do it.
That's great. And just quickly one one other question, there'll be time there'll be a little bit of time for q&a as well at the end. But before we bounce out, just want to touch on a question around other social using social cards on Twitter, for example, we've talked a lot about Insta because that was the point at the end of it, but you're also using, you're saying you're obviously using Canva, across your other social platforms. And are you seeing similar sorts of results, say, for Twitter or Facebook?
Yeah, definitely. I mean, this started out for Instagram, but it ended up being something where you could share a really popular social card that we made in Instagram, right to Facebook, and we'd find that a lot of the times it would get the same, you know, it would get the same acceptance, you know, on Facebook. People would really find it helpful. And you know, Twitter too. I know, Twitter, on Twitter, for example. We did, you know, social cards for, you know, election results. So it was just easy for us to post that as soon as we would know, you know, for sure. You know, like when prop 207 passed, or, you know, when we found out that Joe Biden had won Arizona, we had, you know, election, we had social cards ready for all of the different outcomes. So instead of having to wait for, you know, instead of having to make something or make a tweet right there, we could have everything prepared, and it was much more visual. And people really responded well to that. So we did we have seen similar popularity with some of the graphics that we've used.
I'm sorry, what?
Have you seen more referral traffic from socials? Have you seen it flowing through?
Yeah, definitely. Especially through Instagram. I just like, I mean, referrals was never the goal. And we were looking at Instagram, but just being able to see kind of a byproduct of that, you know, how our numbers, you know, would grew throughout 2020 from Instagram. I mean, it was definitely an added bonus. And I think it was just also helpful in bringing in a new audience and getting more of that audience to trust us and see us in a different way. So I'm hoping that the referrals reflected that I think they did.
Yeah, that's, that's what we're saying. A lot of newsrooms are finding (audio cuts out). Danielle thank you so much for your time, we're going to just stay with us because hopefully, there might be some questions again. Okay. Is that is that great? I think that's I think that microphone issues that, folks. Danielle Woodward is the head of social strategy for AZ Central. And it's been, you know, SSA reclining here, hoping that apologies if there was some issues there around my mic that hopefully is fixed up. Okay. Danielle, stick around, and we're hoping we get some questions, a reminder that we've got the three month trial of Canva Pro. And just the link is in the chat. Okay, going to give you a quick little window into upcoming product features for newsrooms, and how we're thinking about this space, because it's just so important to all of us, really, and look just really big picture. When we think about our theme this year, it's really about teams. It's about working together and collaborating. I think it's fair to say that the days of being hyper competitive journos and solo journos, when I was in newsrooms, it was hyper competitive, and pretty individualistic. I think we're seeing more journalists and newsrooms working together. And we're at Canva really focused on how the product can help teams work together as well. The other thing I'd say is that we really listened to your feedback. And, you know, it's really great to hear what what works or what you want more of and we feed that back to the product team. One thing that we've heard journalists and newsroom ask for and we've listened is flat Facebook blur functionality, face blurred functionality is harder to say 5am, then than it should be. Now, this is coming soon. I know that this is a really important piece for if you need to you know, conceal identity, whether there's, you don't have consent from someone in the story or for legal reasons, or someone or this photo of a minor. So face blur is coming and coming soon. And that's going to be really helpful to a lot of newsrooms and ( video accidentally plays) turn that down a bit if I could. The content planner is really key to streamlining your workflow. And with all your edits, seamlessly synced and updated from Facebook, Insta and the lot, more on the way on that front. It's really important to be making life easier when it comes to the Content Planner pace.
Okay, so also, we understand what is absolutely key in this space, in the new space, is infographics. We're developing a range of social science infographic templates, perfect for those little bite sized pieces of content, we understand that this database space is absolutely key. And we're also launching a heap of new effects and filters so you can make your mark on the images that are important to you, I think just those sort of visual tools to be able to give it that extra zouche is really important. And we've also heard your feedback when it comes to video. Obviously, you want a fast and easy and accessible video tool. And so we've been working to really get that video tool much more adaptable for the newsroom environment. For example, we've upgraded our animations, so that users can animate individual elements within the video, rather than just the video as a whole. So that video piece, we know, we're seeing a lot of adoption of video. So keep that feedback coming there. And we're in more than 100 languages, including five right to left languages, including Hebrew, and Arabic. And you're also able to preview fonts prior to applying them to the editor. These language pieces, obviously, really key and really important, as newsrooms around the world, adopt Canva. And it's not just about images. It's not just about languages. It's also about design elements and templates that are relevant in culture as well. So Chinese New Year, a whole bunch of Chinese New Year templates and design elements, Mardi Gras, in Brazil, Ramadan, these are all really important that these design elements come up together. And of course, we know that the graphmaking is absolutely essential. And you may not know that we have our very own graphmaker to help your data, these skills, take them to a whole new level, super easy to use more than 20 types of graphs to choose from. And so have a look at that, that's a really fantastic tool. And we're gonna have some more news, I think that you're gonna like in the data of this space as we double down to get better tools. And finally, as part of our sustainability issues, we've launched a 1.1 tree commitment. For every single Canvas print order, we will print one tree. And that's not just for your traditional printing on cards, posters, or business cards, that also includes t shirts, coffee cups, bags, stationery, the like. So lots of good stuff there. But what's really important is keep that product feedback coming. Because we are listening, and it's really fun and important for us to be able to feed that to the product guys. Okay, so there, we have some we've covered a bit of ground. And we've got five minutes left for q&a. If there are any questions, I you know, we've seen that arc across and visual economy, you've got those tips and tricks with Ronny for social and newsletters. And just that deep dive with Danielle from AZ Central, I think is just so helpful for anyone really, to who's wrestling with this space and how to really drive engagement across your news environment. And, Danielle, if you're still there, I'm hoping you are. Just tell me. We talked a little bit about referral traffic. And we talked a little bit about brand consistency. I mean, I guess what's interesting is, you know, you're getting those really incredible outcomes, but you're really small team.
Yeah, we we are pretty. I mean, I feel like in the world of local news, our social team is we feel lucky to have a, you know, a decent size team. But, I mean, it's definitely we have a lot of people who are just really, really passionate about audience work and making sure that our, our team, you know, that our work, you know, connects with the people that live in our community. So, I mean, on the audience team, but also just in our newsroom, so I feel like we're lucky in that in that way.
Do you, we just had a question come in around someone who works at a public radio station, talked about video, which obviously we just touched on, and but also asking about best practices around using and leveraging audio on social platforms to make it engaging. Have you guys played in the audio space at all? Is that something you've been doing?
Yeah, actually, we have done a lot of promotion for our podcasts for AZ Central's podcasts on Instagram and also on Twitter a little bit as far as you know, audio social cards, as well as I think we've done both kind of like video social cards and audio as well in Instagram Stories a lot of the time, but also, I think we've done a couple on the grid that other than just videos, but that we, I think used a social card and put video footage on top of it. So we've done a few different types of things, I would like for us to do more or, you know, find different ways to use it. But we've definitely it's, it's been a cool thing to try out.
That's great. And, you know, when you do try new things out, do you have a particular? Do you set out with particular, you know, goals and metrics in mind?
Um, I guess it depends, when we're trying, we have kind of benchmarks for how well we want posts to perform, and what we know, a good performing post would be on each platform, but it's also kind of like, with it being new content, sometimes we give ourselves you know, we give ourselves a little bit of grace, I know that we weren't sure, you know, how social cards would would land with our followers, you know, when we first started making them, but we knew it was something we wanted to try. And we knew the benchmark for a good post, and ever since that benchmark has gone up by a lot. So I think when we're just experimenting with some things, to me, it's just more important that we're able to, you know, try something new. And, you know, especially if it doesn't take a lot of resources to try something new and see how it does and see if it's something we want to keep doing and then develop goals around. But I think social media is supposed to be fun. So of course, you know, we want to make sure that we're doing everything intentionally, but at the same time, I love us being able to experiment with things. And then if it's something we want to continue building a strategy around, then developing goals around that. Then just giving my team the space to try out a lot of their really great ideas.
Yeah, brilliant. Well, folks, check out AZ Central on Insta and other social platforms and of course, at the unoperated site. Danielle, thanks so much for joining us. And congratulations on such a really impressive story. It's been so fun to dive into the work you've been doing. And thanks for being a Canva champion.
I love Canva so much. Thank you so much for having me.
Thanks, Danielle. And thanks everyone for joining this session. It's been really great to dive into how Canva's pairing newsrooms everywhere from Phoenix to Mumbai, to London to Sydney. Big shout out to those who helped make this possible. Thanks to Wiz and Bill and Hannah and the whole team. at ONA and particular shout out to Diana, my colleague who works on the newsroom community front who has been so key to helping us pull this together today. Enjoy the rest of ONA. And please reach out to me or to any of the team. You'll be able to connect with us via the broader through the network, the ONA Network. And of course you can email me at Jonathan dot firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jharleyaus. Thanks everyone. Lovely to see you all and enjoy the rest of ONA. See ya.