Why Design is Essential in your Marketing Strategy
We’re buried beneath content
We’re overwhelmed by content.
Blog posts, email newsletters, photos on social media, every single day there’s more and more content to read and see.
Just on Facebook In 2015 there were two billion photos shared every day.
In 2014 Snapchat said they had 700m photos shared per day, we can only imagine the number they have now that the social network is going really popular.
And let’s talk about blog posts too: more than 2 million articles are written every day.
2 millions blog posts, every single day. Can you imagine that?
How can your blog stand out?
They say content is king.
They say blog consistently, write every day, and you’ll get a lot of traffic, million of subscribers, thousands of sales, right?
Nowadays — with all the content produced every single moment — your best option is to write a long, insightful blogpost and hope that your target market will see how much time, effort and quality you put into it.
But guess what?
Good content isn’t enough to convince your target audience to read you.
Design can take you to the next level.
First impression matters, a lot
In the analog world you have 7 seconds to make a good first impression.
In the digital one it’s even less, there’s too much content and too little time.
To really stand out you need to catch your public’s eye: nothing screams “eye candy!” like a nice header image and lots of other images during the reading.
Would you prefer to read a boring wall of text with no end in sight or a blogpost with a nice opening image and a lot of other graphics lightening the content?
The latter, of course.
What about social networks?
This is not just limited to blogposts, obviously.
Whatever strategy you’re planning to follow on your social media channels, it would be improved by some nice designs.
Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest are photo-based social networks, while Facebook is prioritising photo-based content since a few years.
Just sharing some not-so-good photos or a cheap graphic would have been enough years ago, nowadays it is not: you have to produce great designs, on daily/weekly basis, spreading the right message by content but also by design.
Design narrates your brand’s story
If you are a marketer or you have studied marketing you already know that your message has to always be cohesive, coherent.
What you should also know is that design matters a lot in carrying your message online and offline.
From your logo and all the other branding assets to your website to your graphics on social networks you should always keep a cohesive design.
Failing to do so could give your public the impression your brand is unprofessional, it could undermine your position in the market.
You should use the right set of colours, the right typographic elements, the right kind of photos, every design choice is important to set the right mood, to communicate a story.
Just think of Apple: every poster, image on social media, video and landing page they create follows the same patterns, they always have the same design aesthetic for their marketing materials.
This helps them communicate a specific set of values, a specific story.
Good design is noticed
Good design will help your brand get noticed too.
If you see a great logo you’ll remember it, same for a nice infographic, a poster, a graphic asset.
You’ll also remember the brand associated to these assets, and you’ll value it more than a similar one with worse designs.
Of course, if what you sell isn’t good enough you could have the best design in the world and still be considered a not-so-great brand.
Yet, since your design is good, when comparing to another brand with similar quality products you’ll have an higher perceived value.
Your audience loves visual storytelling
A great piece of design like an infographic or an ebook could increase your content reach too.
People love visual storytelling: with the help of a designer you could translate your epic blogpost into a cool infographic, even a nice ebook to give away for free.
Ekaterina Walter, in her book The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand says:
“visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text by the human brain and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
Humans evolved over millennia to respond to visual information long before they developed the ability to read text. Images act like shortcuts to the brain: we are visual creatures, and we are programmed to react to visuals more than to words.”
These new infographics could help you reach more people, people in your target audience who didn’t have time to read a wall of text, but could easily take a look at your graphic piece.
It could also go viral: your great content summed up to a great design will annihilate your competition, making your brand stands out from the crowd.
Let’s talk about websites too
Like every other branding asset, your website should keep a cohesive design: the color palette, the typography, the shapes, the images, the illustrations and so on, everything should convey the same story.
Doing so will make your prospects comfortable, they’d be more prone to listen to you because they know you, they remember you, you’re not a stranger.
Design can also provide the right direction to your visitors, it can shape the User Experience to emphasise your message.
From your homepage to your specific landing pages, there’s always a specific action you’d like your user to do: design is essential in helping you doing that.
Every element of your User Interface can and should be used to gently move the users towards your call to action, that being a form or a contact button or something else.
Colors are essential too, thanks to the use of contrast they’ll highlight the right elements and make them stand out, ready to be clicked by your target audience.
Design is just like Marketing
Design is no different from marketing, it’s part of it.
It takes an alternative path but the end goal is the same: to position a brand as the leader of its specific niche.
Just like there is content marketing, design could be considered visual marketing: both are essentials to narrate your story, one with words and the other with graphics.
Designing a new brand identity, a website, a set of graphic assets or an infographic requires time, and a lot of testing & research.
While in marketing you can easily show the Return Of Investment, design is more complicated.
Yet, more and more businesses are making design their priority, it’s not an afterthought anymore.
Design helps you tell a story, it moves your public so they’ll be more likely to choose you.
“People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”
Marketing without design is lifeless, and design without marketing is mute. Why not doing both?
We are Refud, and we are here to help you engage your audience through our design services.