Graphic Design, Online Marketing

How Graphic Design Impacts Content Marketing

content marketing graphic designJust about everyone involved in marketing in any manner understands the value of content marketing by this point.

If you’re still not familiar, consider that 70% of B2B marketers intend to generate more content in 2017 than the previous year. In addition, 81% of marketers saw increased traffic with as little as 6 hours each week invested in social marketing.

As if that weren’t enough, data from Hubspot suggests that marketers who choose to make blogging a priority are 13 times more likely to achieve a positive ROI. Unfortunately, a lot of marketers tend to overlook one important element of their content strategy among all the articles, eBooks, and emails: design.

Initial Impressions Encourage Engagement

On average, marketers only have 15 seconds to capture the average reader’s attention, and if the design doesn’t instantly pique the reader’s interest, they’re probably not going to get much further. Therefore, the best way to ensure that your content is not passed-over or lost in the flood it to provide a striking and engaging visual right off the bat.

Think of your graphics as being like a magazine cover—the point is to get readers to pick it up and read further. This harkens back to time-honored principles of marketing developed long before the internet age, in that if you want readers to give your content a try, you must give them a reason to do so.

If the average reader scrolls down and sees endless blocks of unbroken text, they will be more likely to leave without engaging the content. This makes it necessary for you to break up the content using images as well as bullet points and subheadings.

Provide a Diverse Array of Quality Content

Contemporary consumers are bombarded by a near-constant stream of content. That means you must be eye-catching if you hope to get eyes on your material.

Concise, easy-to-understand and intriguing visual content is the best way to communicate an idea in as little time as possible. This includes:

  • Charts
  • Screenshots
  • Animated Graphics
  • Illustrations
  • Infographics

However, simply having lots of images and infographics won’t get you very far if they’re not instantly arresting. If a visual element is not striking and demanding of the reader’s attention, it’s going to get lost in the shuffle. To avoid that problem, visuals must be visually pleasing and intuitive to readers in addition to providing useful information.

If you are publishing content on multiple websites, consider using a platform to organize all your articles in one place. For example, entrepreneur Gary Cardone uses Contently to manage his guest posts.

This allows you to easily navigate from one piece to another, noticing trends and missed opportunities for visuals. Are you using the same type of visuals for all your content? Could you add more variety? Improve quality?

Think of content as a cohesive experience; it must give readers a very good reason why they should invest the time in exploring it, and if any element of that experience is weak, readers will go elsewhere.

What Message Do Your Graphics Convey?

One of the biggest challenges here is to make your content universal to everyone with whom it interacts. Unfortunately, words and symbols can often mean different things to different people.

Think about your content from multiple different angles and interpretations to ensure that it is in-line with the overall message and image of the brand. As you survey the information and the way it’s presented, ask yourself:

Is there any vagueness or ambiguity to these words and images?

Can there be more than one way to look at any of this information?

Is the intended meaning clear to avoid being misinterpreted or taken out of context?

Content only works if it’s understood in the manner you intend it to. If the reader doesn’t understand the information in the way you expect, it will be not just ineffective, but could be damagingly counterproductive.

Try to keep the information simple, and aim for the same level of simplicity in your design. This will minimize the chances that something can be misconstrued by the reader.

Great Content Demands Great Design

Design is an integral part of the process which you should have in mind at every stage in the process.

Remember with content marketing, your content is competing against thousands of other potential sources for a finite number of readers. It doesn’t matter how useful your content is—if you don’t provide an engaging, aesthetically-pleasing, and intuitive experience for readers, they’re not going to stick around.

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