It’s hard to believe that a single service can make a company expand like canvas printing has done for CanvasPop, but the proper use of social media has made that happen for the Ottawa-based company.
CanvasPop was established in 2009 and grew quickly; fielding over 300 000 orders in just three years – and has grown extensively since then. The company markets itself to social media users, particularly on Instagram, based on its ability to produce high quality prints from photo sharing sites and photo-based social media sites.
Along with the rise in photography thanks to smart phones, Canvas printing is a niche market that continues to grow in popularity, as we see on numerous home décor websites.
The company overcomes its limitation (that, of being a single-product shop) by being relevant in the social media sphere. Whether the approach is to share photography tricks, decorating ideas or tips in photo editing, the company manages to be diverse, all the while remaining in tune with its niche market.
What works for CanvasPop is that they re-imagine their strategy as often as possible, which is mentioned in an article published in the Ottawa Business Journal discussing how the company tracks and analyzes its social media activities.
I think CanvasPop is succeeding due to one of their principles: “Engaging is more important than broadcasting,” according to the article. The trick is to use social media to engage and thus provide value, rather than promoting oneself.
And, based on the characteristics, Canvas pop is successfully driving a B2C advertising campaign, despite not having an advertising budget:
- They market in a very product-driven fashion
- They make an effort to maximize the value of the transaction
- The target market is generally quite large
- The buying process is often one-step, and sales cycles are short
- They use repetition and imagery to create brand identity
- They employ merchandising and point-of-purchase activities (up-sell, specials, deals)
- They bank on people making emotional buying decisions based on status, desire, or price
The company is also open to experimenting while closely measuring and monitoring what works and what does not. While most companies are using Twitter and Facebook, CanvasPop has opened itself to Flickr, Pinterest, YouTube and more.
What I have learned from watching CanvasPop for the last year or so, is that it’s imperative to stay fresh and not be afraid to engage and experiment.