February 27, 2018 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Design is a critical element in any well-rounded content marketing strategy. While text and data may be at the heart of your message, it’s the visual elements of your finished product that will have the most immediate impact. In a cluttered online space, it’s difficult to find an original niche. What you can do is make sure your presentation comes in above the cut with outstanding design features that will stop viewers in their fast-paced scroll and pull them in to more closely examine your article. Consider these compelling reasons to invest in outstanding design.
Eye-Catching Imagery Stops the Scroll
Image via Flickr by TheGabeC
Social platforms are overwhelmingly cluttered spaces. Viewers fall victim to the endless scroll, often skating past posts with alarming speed. Text-only features easily get lost in the crush. Design products like infographics, photos, charts, GIFs, memes, and videos all act to effectively break up a text-heavy feed and capture the eye.
Adding design features to your social feed can stop your potential customers in their visual tracks and make them pause long enough to truly absorb your content. Even something as simple as pulling out a key quote and placing it on a decorative background or generating a visually engaging header for your blog post can cause your followers to slow the scroll long enough to consider your content and hopefully grace you with a click.
High-Quality Graphics Are Highly Sharable
A post that features graphics is more likely to get your desired levels of engagement than one that incorporates only text. A tweet with an image is 94 percent more likely to get a retweet than one without. The right imagery sends an instant message.
Use this opportunity to emphasize your brand voice. You can easily reinforce a quirky, humorous attitude by creating pop culture memes that comment on hot topics. If you’re seeking to reinforce your image as a thought leader in a highly academic area, clean designs with fascinating facts make for sharable content that will gain traction with a highly engaged niche audience. Spread the word effectively by incorporating plenty of visuals in your content campaigns.
Design Features Enhance Your Brand
Incorporating the right design elements will instantly brand your content marketing. Using carefully chosen colors, typography, and image style across your blogs, infographics, emails, and social media profiles will create a cohesive look and feel that your customers will begin to associate with your products and services. Branding will help you stand out in what might otherwise be a crowded space. Consider how the golden arches image can instantly put you in mind of salty French fries and a particular type of burger, and you’ll have an idea of how powerful the right branding can be.
Invest in design features now, and you can begin reinforcing your brand, even if you’re relatively new to your marketplace. It’s best to establish your brand early and maintain a consistent look long into the future, so your shoppers can learn to recognize your company’s features at a glance.
Sensation Transference Impacts Online Purchases
Sensation transference is the phenomenon by which customers apply certain attributes to a product based solely on their visual perception of it. Louis Cheskin developed this theory and used it to effectively change consumers’ perceptions of several key products. Working for Imperial Margarine, Cheskin demonstrated how simply changing the color of margarine from white to yellow could sway taste testers into believing that they were sampling a superior product.
Giving the 7-Up can a yellower tint made customers perceive a stronger lemon flavor in the drink. A promotional change to white Coca-Cola cans convinced buyers that the beverage formula had changed. Despite all admonishments to the contrary, people truly do judge books by their covers. This same theory of perception carries over to your online marketing campaigns. The right design elements can influence the way viewers perceive your information, making the difference between viewing your pieces as smart and authoritative or cluttered and confusing. Investing in design can make a dramatic difference in the effectiveness of your content.
Visual Content Keeps You Competitive
Today’s marketers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of design. In 2015, over 40 percent of marketers said that 91 to 100 percent of their content contained visuals. In 2016, that number was 53 percent. While stock photos are still the most widely used option, many marketers are seeing performance falter with unoriginal imagery. Over 30 percent of marketers use original graphics most often, and more than 41 percent report that this is the most engaging type of visual in their campaign.
Professional designers are the most popular source for visual content. Around 30 percent of marketers use an in-house designer, and 24 percent work with a freelance designer. If you’re ignoring visuals or working primarily with inexperienced designers and stock imagery, you’ll quickly fall behind the competition.
Design Elements Engage the Brain
It’s easy to fall victim to mindless scrolling or quick, cursory browsing on the internet. Incorporating visual elements in your content will help you pull viewers out of that stupor and get them deeply engaged with your content. A whopping 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is gathered visually. Humans process images 60,000 times faster than text.
If you’re presenting a complex concept, utilizing a sleek infographic will be far more effective than writing a lengthy explanation of your research findings. Clean, intuitive design will guide the viewers from one point to the next, clearly communicating your most important information in a manner that’s intuitive, understandable, and memorable. Using the right design can bridge what might otherwise be a gaping chasm between the presentation of data and meaningful absorption of what you’re truly saying.
If you’re looking for a fast and effective way to enhance your content and increase engagement, investing in design is an effective approach. You can reinforce your brand and subtly influence your audience’s perception with eye-catching pieces that make use of time-tested visual principles. Make a strong connection with your viewers and craft sharable pieces by paying keen attention to the design elements incorporated in every part of your content marketing campaign.
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